Upgrading my rig

Discussion in 'Computer Hardware, Devices and Accessories' started by the_randomizer, May 10, 2015.

  1. the_randomizer
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    the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer

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    Current rig - Keep in mind this was built in March 2013 :P

    CPU: Ivy Bridge Core i5 3570 (non-K version)
    CPU Cooler: Arctic Freezer 7 Pro Rev. 2
    GPU: MSI GeForce GTX 660 2 GB GDDR5
    RAM: Corsair Vengeance 8 GB DDR3 SDRAM
    HDD: 2 x 1 TB 7200 RPM HDD
    Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LK
    PSU: Corsair HX650 650 W

    The parts I want to update:
    http://pcpartpicker.com/p/9jcmjX

    Budget for parts: 700-900 tops

    What I want to do:

    Be able to run PC games better in general, in addition to running Dolphin/PCSX2 games at full speed, at least, as many I can barring the ones that can't run full speed without overclocking (which I don't want to do). Now, this list likely has a lot to be desired, and I'm merely researching to see what I can do in the future when I have the budget to do this, so I'm still on the fence to see what parts I need to see if I'd need a new PSU or if my RAM module could still be used, and so on. The other concern I have is that, give the fact I would need a new motherboard when I upgrade, Windows 7 would incontrovertibly freak out and complain that it needs to be reactivated, but it's not OEM, so I would need to recover the key, assuming I can reuse the key I used back in 2013 when I installed it.


    What parts, if any, would you guys recommend I change? Should I go through with this or keep it as is? Does Haswell make any negligible differences for emulation at all, esp. over my current CPU? Thanks in advance :P :D


    ----Edit -----

    All I need really are RAM, an SSD and a new video card.
     
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  2. GreatCrippler

    GreatCrippler Greatness Fallen

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    In your budget, I would upgrade to 16 GB of Ram, a 3770K, and a GTX 970. I just did as much for my wife, and she's loving it for gaming.

    Edit: I would do the mem, and the GPU first. The CPU upgrade will help, but your current one is still pretty potent.
     
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  3. the_randomizer
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    the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer

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    Isn't that CPU kinda old though? Intel's site says Q2 2012 and is $400 on Amazon, a bit too steep, but I don't know how much of a performance increase I would get from a 3570 to a 3770 with Dolphin, games, etc. The CPU alone would break the bank on my budget, unfortunately, unless I can find the CPU for cheaper, the better GPU and RAM would be fine, but CPU wouldn't make much a diff methinks. I would've have thought that Haswell from 2014 would show better performance than the one from 2012 :P
     
  4. GreatCrippler

    GreatCrippler Greatness Fallen

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    I snagged one on Ebay for half that. As for the year, meh. The 4K series will likely get replaced this year, and the difference between the 3K, and 4K is there, but hardly steep. I did make a point in the edit to say the CPU was the least of your worries. The memory and the GPU will be the bigger gains. It's up to you, but I hardly see any point in going from a 3K to a 4K series CPU. If you were running something older it would make sense, but the difference just isn't worth buying a new board, and CPU.
     
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  5. p1ngpong

    p1ngpong Unamused frog

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    Its literally pointless upgrading anything in that list other than your graphics card, you cant even call what you are planning to do an upgrade it is a sidegrade exchanging one component for a near identical other component. You would be better off just buying a GTX 970 or a 980 and maybe an SSD, those would actually be an upgrade.
     
  6. the_randomizer
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    the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer

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    Hmm, I mean, the logic behind it would be that Dolphin and PCSX2 are emulators and as such, rely wholly on CPU power and very little on GPU power. That was my reasoning though, but my concern is that when changing CPUs on an LGA1155 socket motherboard, Windows 7 would likely bellyache and force me to reinstall or at least, reactivate and have to reinstall all the drivers >< That's my major concern right now, oh and oddly enough, my motherboard can support up to 32 GB if I wanted, though it might be overkill. The 4xxx CPU also has a higher base clock speed, which too would benefit emulators as the higher the clock speed you have, the better as it uses all you have.

    Fair enough, I merely wanted feedback to see what truly needed to be upgraded, if anything, and gathering the comments thus far, GPU for sure, possibly SSD, more RAM (16 GB or 32 if I'm insane). Having an SSD and installing Windows on it would also help tremendously. Okay, I'll make the necessary revisions to the list.

    Ugh, I hate being such a noob.
     
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  7. GreatCrippler

    GreatCrippler Greatness Fallen

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    Your knowledge seems fine. Keep in mind too that min-maxing of a computer is a lot of preference, and minor number changes that don't equal a lot of performance gain. Your weakest point is really the GTX 660. And that's hardly a bad card. I just compare my GTX 680 to my wife's GTX 970, and the difference on newer games is plain as day.
     
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  8. p1ngpong

    p1ngpong Unamused frog

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    You could go with 16gb RAM but that would probably be pointless also but it depends on what you actually do with your PC. For regular gaming and emulating 8GB should be fine. If you plan on playing the latest AAA high end pc games then go with a GTX 980, if you just play emulated games and casual/ indie stuff go with a 970 which is still a pretty powerful card that can run most new games maxed and will last you a long while. SSD wise don't go under than 128gb especially if you plan on installing high end games on it (GTA V is almost 60GB for example).
     
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  9. the_randomizer
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    the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer

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    Updated my parts http://pcpartpicker.com/p/hcHrCJ Going with a 250 GB SSD, GTX 970 and 16 GB of RAM, but I could stick with 8 like you said, I'll be reading up on reviews some more.
     
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  10. p1ngpong

    p1ngpong Unamused frog

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    You have 8gb of RAM already and your motherboard supports up to 4 sticks. So do you have 2 x 4GB in there now or 4 x 2GB? If you have two sticks of RAM you only need two more 4GB sticks to have 16GB. Anyway yeah the 970 and a 250gb ssd is probably the best bet for you. Just remember the SSD is 2.5" not 3.5" so you may need a mounting bracket for it depending on your case.
     
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  11. guitarheroknight

    guitarheroknight 1.6180339887

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    I would upgrade that CPU. It's more than likely it will bottleneck your GPU. An i5 4690k would do just fine, anything above that would be an absolute waste of money!
     
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  12. RandomUser

    RandomUser What has gotten into you Rosie?

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    Instead of SSD, you could install your whole entire Operating System on RAM, Depending on the RAM, it should be faster then SSD, however my not be cost effective and does takes some effort to prep it. I have installed several OS and Booted them all off of RAM and it is quite amazing. No need to worry about virus infection, since a simple reboot will pretty much wipe it out.
    As for the Windows activation problem, you should be able to reuse the same key, but you more then likely have to call Microsoft, to activate your Windows 7 install. It may not be wise to tell them that you upgraded your motherboard, just tell them you had a virus infection, or something along that line, and they should give you the activation key. If all else fails, you can always use Windows Loader By Daz. There will be a false positive by an antivirus software, but should be safe to use, I have used it many times without any problem. Also you may want to tick preserve boot code, in the loader, if you do use it.
     
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  13. GreatCrippler

    GreatCrippler Greatness Fallen

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    And that's the other problem with computer min-maxing. Everyone has their own idea of the best things to upgrade. :-P
     
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  14. Originality

    Originality Chibi-neko

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    Not much for me to say that hasn't already been said. Not much point upgrading the CPU since Ivy Bridge is more than strong enough. 8GB is actually enough RAM for your stated uses, but RAM is cheap so the only downside to adding more is potential instability. One aftermarket CPU cooler is as good as the next for a non-overclocked system. No point upgrading the PSU since 650W is enough for any single-GPU system.

    Just the graphics could use upgrading a tier, and adding a SSD to speed up loading times (Windows, games, apps, or all of the above if put on the same drive). If your budget is 700, I would make the jump to a GTX 980 or AMD equivalent.
     
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  15. the_randomizer
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    the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer

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    Actually, for now, it's a one 8 GB module, so I could have 4 x 8 GB modules if I was absolutely insane (given my track record on here, we all know that I am ;) All jokes aside, I could get another 8 GB module and pair them up for 16 GB as other sizes would seem kinda weird, I dunno. Maybe that's just me.

    Is this a good price? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819117372 $239 doesn't seem too shabby all things considered, and has gotten really good reviews (and a lot of reviews at that); I've always liked Intel processors, they've been very reliable and stable ever since switching over to them in 2004, would that give at least a decent boost in overall performance since emulators rely on the CPU so much? I know newer games like Assassin's Creed Unity need a beefier CPU, then again, the game is very poorly optimized on PC.

    RAM loading might be a bit pricey and unreliable, I don't know, I do have a 2.5" bay for SSD drives, and that one listed, the 250 GB model seems like a decent piece of hardware from the reviews I've seen thus far. What is Windows Loader if I may ask, does it help with key activation? And I know there are programs like Magic Jellybean that can retrieve the key itself, and I can always get a new key if I have to since I'm part of the computer science program at my university (Dreamspark). Either way, I'll have a way, I think.



    Definitely, I originally got the idea from seeing various ads on new Lenovo gaming laptops the other day, then I go to thinking that might not be the best course of action. A good friend of mine suggested upgrading hardware on my rig would be the better route to take, and he's right, I should go that route.


    My only concern for the GPU is the potentiality of my CPU becoming a bottleneck, especially since the GTX 980 is a beefier GPU, I'm not an AMD fan at all (long story, rather wouldn't elaborate on here lol), always went with Intel+nVidia for CPU and video cards, how cheap can the 980 models get?
     
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  16. guitarheroknight

    guitarheroknight 1.6180339887

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    Its pretty decent even though I bought it last year for like 200. All I can say is that the CPU is an overclocking beast! I managed to go up to 4.5 with it on air! Literally all the Dolphin games ran on max settings with no stutter whatsoever! The bad part is that youre gonna need a new mobo. I would actually buy only those parts you listed and run a stress test and see how the CPU handles the 970.[/quote]
     
  17. the_randomizer
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    the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer

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    [/quote]


    Yeah, uh, thing with overclocking is, one, I don't have good enough cooling to do it, I simply run off of air cooling (aftermarket CPU cooler and large 200 and 120 mm fans in my case, no liquid cooling). And two, I get paranoid when CPU temps start reaching 80 Celsius, so OCing would not be my way to go as I'm by no means a gaming enthusiast, but that's just me :P I've no intention to overclock at all, sorry :D
     
  18. RandomUser

    RandomUser What has gotten into you Rosie?

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    Yes, RAM solution is pricy, and can take some practice to get Windows to boot. Your current motherboard support 32GB of RAM and while you could boot a full featured OS in RAM, you would need to allocate at minimum 20GB of RAM for RAMDisk, and also that means 20GB of disk space to store the RAM image on your Hard drive for loading. I think SSD in your case would be cost viable option for fast access speed and you also get more Gig per $ then you would with RAM. As for reliability, it has been pretty stable for me at least. All Windows Loader does is basically emulate a system BIOS with a manufacture specific SLIC license. Windows uses the SLIC and ACPI table to activate itself. It also install a certificate and has a key to install for you to match that of the OEM machine. This is how the actual OEM manufacturers were able to send the pre-activated Windows to their costumers (without the loader). Back before the loaders, one would have to modify their BIOS to include the SLIC and ACPI table into the BIOS, and then install a certificate XML file onto their installed Windows with a corresponding Key, then Windows would instantly be activated without contacting the outside world. The same way the manufacture does it. Again Windows Loader does this without risk (no modification to your BIOS).
     
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  19. p1ngpong

    p1ngpong Unamused frog

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    Don't listen to him about you current CPU "bottlenecking" your system it is nonsense and he obviously doesn't know what he is talking about. The CPU you linked to only has a marginally higher clockspeed which is not worth the extra $250 expense, you will not see a difference in anything by upgrading to it trust me. Honestly you could easily overclock your current CPU by a small percentage and that would give you a more noticeable performance boost than upgrading to that CPU.
     
  20. VinsCool

    VinsCool Comfortably Numb

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    In the meantime, I struggle having decent speed in my old laptop :mellow:
     
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