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Thread: Time for an upgrade...

  1. #1
    cat /dev/null streetster's Avatar
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    Time for an upgrade...

    Hi Guys,

    I think it's finally time to upgrade my aging computer...

    Current spec:

    Athlon 3800+ @ 2.5Ghz
    2Gb RAM (DDR1!)
    Abit KN8
    Radeon 4870
    2x200gb HD in RAID0.


    I've been out of the loop for a while so dont really know what options are available to me. Budget is ~£800 including a new monitor (something like the HP ZR24W caught my eye).

    I dont mind AMD vs Intel - I'll probably keep my 4870 and either pickup another one for X-fire, or sell and pickup something faster in the future (depending how the 4870 copes with 1920x1200 gaming).

    Sooo... what i need is:

    1. a new motherboard (that support x-fire)
    2. a new CPU to put in said motherboard
    3. 4-6GB RAM (i7=6GB, something non-I7 would mean 4gb i think)

    I'll probably pickup 2 new harddrives (Seagate 7200.11 / 500GB, or 2x F3s) to replace my 2x200gb drives as a) i cant afford/justify SSDs and b) nothing on my computer is important enough not to lose at the drop of a hat (nothing useful lives on the RAID drive other than windows + games).

    I guess 'use' is going to be important. I've drifted out of gaming due to living in a house with an xbox, ps3 and wii, but want to get back into it - hell i still havent completed Crysis as that didnt run well enough @ decent settings. ARMA2 looks pretty tastey too - as does portal 2.

    So. What do you chaps suggest - i'm open to overclocking, though it will have to be air cooling only as my case is fairly small (Black Widow) and i dont fancy hacking it apart to put a rad/pump/tubing in there - i did that with my old chieftec case ~7 years ago).

    Thanks in advance guys!

    Mark

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    Re: Time for an upgrade...

    Quote Originally Posted by streetster View Post
    Hi Guys,

    I think it's finally time to upgrade my aging computer...

    Current spec:

    Athlon 3800+ @ 2.5Ghz
    2Gb RAM (DDR1!)
    Abit KN8
    Radeon 4870
    2x200gb HD in RAID0.


    I've been out of the loop for a while so dont really know what options are available to me. Budget is ~£800 including a new monitor (something like the HP ZR24W caught my eye).

    I dont mind AMD vs Intel - I'll probably keep my 4870 and either pickup another one for X-fire, or sell and pickup something faster in the future (depending how the 4870 copes with 1920x1200 gaming).

    Sooo... what i need is:

    1. a new motherboard (that support x-fire)
    2. a new CPU to put in said motherboard
    3. 4-6GB RAM (i7=6GB, something non-I7 would mean 4gb i think)

    I'll probably pickup 2 new harddrives (Seagate 7200.11 / 500GB, or 2x F3s) to replace my 2x200gb drives as a) i cant afford/justify SSDs and b) nothing on my computer is important enough not to lose at the drop of a hat (nothing useful lives on the RAID drive other than windows + games).

    I guess 'use' is going to be important. I've drifted out of gaming due to living in a house with an xbox, ps3 and wii, but want to get back into it - hell i still havent completed Crysis as that didnt run well enough @ decent settings. ARMA2 looks pretty tastey too - as does portal 2.

    So. What do you chaps suggest - i'm open to overclocking, though it will have to be air cooling only as my case is fairly small (Black Widow) and i dont fancy hacking it apart to put a rad/pump/tubing in there - i did that with my old chieftec case ~7 years ago).

    Thanks in advance guys!

    Mark
    better do it soon befor the vat rise.

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    Re: Time for an upgrade...

    I would defo upgrade mate, go for a i5 or AMD 6 core if you can afford !

  4. #4
    Banhammer in peace PeterB kalniel's Avatar
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    Re: Time for an upgrade...

    Well, I'll try and give a helpful reply..

    There's not really any key reason to decide between Intel or AMD at the moment - both will be fine for your use. If you go AMD you get 6 cores, if you go Intel you get more performance per clock and core, but fewer cores.

    A possible Intel build would be:
    i5 750 (quad core, very overclockable on air) - £163.50
    Asus P7P55D-E (crossfire, USB3.0, Sata 6gbps) - £128.72
    2x2GB Corsair XMS3 PC12800 (1600) CAS7 RAM - £119.99
    650W Antec Earthwatts low noise PSU - £62.83
    2x500GB samsung F3 hard drives - £71.06 (or go for 2x1TB for only £30 more)
    Artic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro v2 (HSF for overclocking) - £15.85

    I'm not completely up on monitors. You can get fast response ones for best gaming at 1920x1080, 22" and 2ms for around £150 (eg http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/22-Ii...10001-Speakers) or slightly slower ones but with better colour production for around £250.

    A possible AMD build would be:
    Phenom II X6 1055T (hex core, also very overclockable on air) - £159.78
    Asus M4A89GTD PRO (crossfire, USB3.0, sata 6gbps) - £113.85
    (rest same as above)

    If you don't already have it I'd also recommend getting windows 7 x64 - by itself it produces a nice upgrade feeling even on the same components.

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    Re: Time for an upgrade...

    this is what ive gone for running win 7

    Asus M4A89GTD PRO/USB3 Socket AM3 Motherboard 104.99
    AMD Phenom II X6 1055T Processor Socket AM3 154.99
    640GB Western Digital WD6402AAEX Caviar Black, SATA 6Gb/s 52.97
    4 gig corsair £79.23p

    a future proof build, Keeping my ati4850

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    streetster (22-06-2010)

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    Re: Time for an upgrade...

    Heres a comparsion of the Phenom II X6 1055T and the i5-750. From a quick look the i5-750 is the faster in games but both are meant to be good overclockers as kalniel said.
    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/147?vs=109

    Im running a GTX 260 so roughly same performance as your HD 4870 at 1920x1080 and I get pretty good frame rates with most of the eye candy turned on. Thread below has a load of sugestions to get ideas rolling on the monitor front.
    http://forums.hexus.net/graphics-car...sub-300-a.html

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  10. #7
    cat /dev/null streetster's Avatar
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      • Motherboard:
      • Asus P7P55D-E
      • CPU:
      • Intel i5 750 2.67 @ 4.0Ghz
      • Memory:
      • 4GB Corsair XMS DDR3
      • Storage:
      • 2x1TB Drives [RAID0]
      • Graphics card(s):
      • 2xSapphire HD 4870 512MB CrossFireX
      • PSU:
      • Corsair HX520W
      • Case:
      • Coolermaster Black Widow
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 7 x64
      • Monitor(s):
      • DELL U2311
      • Internet:
      • Virgin 50Mb

    Re: Time for an upgrade...

    Hmm interesting, so i5 750 over the i7 920? is that down to price vs performance benefit - and additional cost for the motherboards? I'll look at some reviews - what sort of numbers are we talking about in terms of overclocking? 3.5Ghz+?

    Windows 7 x64 is on the list, £110 for the Professional one, don't need Ultimate but dont think Home will be enough.

    Hmm 6 slower cores vs 4 faster ones - think it makes sense to go with the 4 faster ones.

    Do you think a new PSU is necessary? is the power draw significantly more?

    Cheers,
    Mark

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    Re: Time for an upgrade...

    With decent cooling you should be able to hit about 4ghz. At stock though the CPU will not bottleneck your GPU especially at higher res. So overclocking may not really be worthwhile until you upgrade your GPU.

    520W with one 4870 will be fine. If you xfire two 4870s I would definately think of something bigger.

    For an AMD build I would go for the 965 if it is mostly for gaming; the six cores don't seem to help much. IMO none of the sockets (Intel or AMD) are very future proof and will probably be redundant this time next year.

  12. #9
    Banhammer in peace PeterB kalniel's Avatar
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    Re: Time for an upgrade...

    Quote Originally Posted by streetster View Post
    Hmm interesting, so i5 750 over the i7 920? is that down to price vs performance benefit - and additional cost for the motherboards?
    On the price side it's cheapness of CPU, cheapness of motherboard and cheapness of memory. On the performance side it's on die PCI-Express controller and higher supported RAM speeds means it eeks out a fraction of performance advantage over the equivalent socket 1366 platform. On the power side it's also much more efficient, along side a more efficient motherboard chipset.

    So basically unless you need LOTS of RAM, or lots of RAM channels, or the top range processor (extreme edition 6 core monsters) it's hard to argue against the lynnefield systems intel-wise.

    I'll look at some reviews - what sort of numbers are we talking about in terms of overclocking? 3.5Ghz+?
    YMMV of course, but with voltage increases then 4ghz is often possible. Less if you're keeping to stock voltage. Some articles:
    http://techgage.com/article/overcloc...i5-750_i7-870/
    http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/cpu...-core-i5-750/1

    Do you think a new PSU is necessary? is the power draw significantly more?
    You don't specify your current PSU so I didn't know if it could handle crossfire/OCing. Power draw on idle will actually be significantly lower with the new systems, and under light load as well. Full load, overclocked with voltage increase will draw more though.

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