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Thread: PC Upgrade, worth it?

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    PC Upgrade, worth it?

    Hi All

    I built a PC for a friend a couple of years ago, spec:

    i7 920
    HD 4890
    6GB RAM
    1 x Velociraptor
    2 x 500gb Samsung drives RAID 0
    2 x 1.5TB Samsung drives RAID 1

    He uses his PC for his .net development work, HD Video editing and playing games.

    He's asked me if theres any upgrades he can make to make video editing and gaming faster, but is reluctant to overclock his CPU at all.

    So other than oc'ing his CPU (which I'm still gonna try and talk him into), what could be upgraded to improve this PC? Without having to change from the 1366 socket.

    I thought maybe a Gulftown CPU might make a decent upgrade but not sure the GPU needs to be changed? Maybe 12GB RAM?

    Any ideas?

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    Mind that bus, what bus? Splat!
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    Re: PC Upgrade, worth it?

    SSD is probably the easiest thing to make a big differance.

    6GB would be plenty for me... but I don't video edit etc so someone else may be able to advise on that!

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    Senior Member kalniel's Avatar
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    Re: PC Upgrade, worth it?

    Gaming can be made faster by upgrading the GPU (the CPU is fast enough not to limit games). Video editing can be made faster by upgrading the CPU - the 950 would give a slight increase, but better to get a 970 with the extra cores.

    I've only done a little bit of video editing, but I'm not RAM limited with 6GB. SSD wouldn't make much difference as video stuff still tends to be CPU limited.

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    Re: PC Upgrade, worth it?

    I was thinking of reccommending the i7 980, from what I can tell the newer CPU's like Sandybridge etc aren't really any more faster than the older i7's?

    Is the 980 worth £480 for the bump in performance?

    I thought 6GB would be ok, never limited me on my PC either, but never really done much in the way of video editing.

    Are there really any games about that push the 4890 to its max? I know Crysis 2 is on his "to play" list.

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    Senior Member kalniel's Avatar
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    Re: PC Upgrade, worth it?

    Worth depends on a number of factors. If he saves times editing videos and his salary is £x per hour then you can work out how much it would be worth depending on how much his salary is and how many videos he edits etc.

    An OC would probably bring about a better result/cost value, but if that's off the cards then the only option is to drop in a bigger CPU or change the whole system - if he's limited to the point of needing an upgrade.

    The game question will also depend on what resolution he's gaming at. A 4890 is still a very powerful card, but it's also lacking DX11 which some games can take advantage of.

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    Re: PC Upgrade, worth it?

    Well he's got a 1920 x 1200 24 inch monitor, so nothing too big. I'm thinking the 4890 will do him as games are just a side thing, not something he'll be doing all the time.

    Oh the Video editing is also a personal thing, not work! He keeps his personal PC at work and just comes into the office to play games etc!

    Just wondering, having never used Adobe premier, does it have any settings to pass some of the encoding off on to the GPU? Or is it purely CPU?

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    Re: PC Upgrade, worth it?

    I'm fairly sure CS4 is only CPU, not sure about CS5.
    What about a second hand 970 ?
    Society's to blame,
    Or possibly Atari.

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    Re: PC Upgrade, worth it?

    I'd agree with the SSD option.

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    Re: PC Upgrade, worth it?

    SSD over what though? He already has a Velociraptor boot drive. Not so sure an ssd would help video editing much??

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    Re: PC Upgrade, worth it?

    Using an SSD as a boot drive instead would be a vast improvement over the Velociraptor, especially in terms of the time it takes to boot up, or open big programs like photoshop/video editing software.

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    Re: PC Upgrade, worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by adz08 View Post
    Hi All
    920
    HD 4890
    6GB RAM
    1 x Velociraptor
    2 x 500gb Samsung drives RAID 0
    2 x 1.5TB Samsung drives RAID 1
    If he is video editing with it then I would reccommend getting extra ram, especially for rendering, what power supply does the system have because I would recommend getting a new Graphics card mabey the 6970?
    Another good upgrade that I can recommend is a SSD to put some of the large slow starting programs on or to boot the system from.
    Last edited by DivineFatElf; 15-07-2011 at 09:37 AM.

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    Re: PC Upgrade, worth it?

    ....

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    Re: PC Upgrade, worth it?

    For gaming, *definitely* upgrade the 4890. Powerful in its day, but that was - what, 2 and a half years ago? The 5870 was a massive improvement over the 4890: the Hexus review pitted a 5870 against a 4870 X2 and a 4890 OC with the 5870 getting very close to the X2! So there's plenty of options available as a significant step up from a 4890: the GTX560 Ti and Radeon 6950 are the obvious options at or below £200.

    Otherwise, an OC on the 920, or as you say a step up to Gulftown (or even a step up to gulftown and *then* overclock ), are the obvious options. I don't think an SSD is going to make a huge difference to the uses that he feels are slow. An extra 6GB of physical RAM certainly won't affect his gaming, but I guess it *might* make a difference to the video work. That's easy enough to test in Windows 7 though: just open task manager and monitor the physical memory usage whilst performing that task!

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    Re: PC Upgrade, worth it?

    If he is serious about video editing then you should go with a dual socket Xeon motherboard based on intel 5500 design (5520 if budget is no issue)

    Then you can throw in two quad CPUs or if money is no object 2 8 core CPU's

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    Re: PC Upgrade, worth it?

    If video editing is more important to him the he should get a Nvidia Quadro graphics adapter or he can just upgrade the graphics card as scaryjim said a GTX560 is a good upgrade or if you want something more a GTX 580.

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    Re: PC Upgrade, worth it?

    I would do some investigation work first.

    Get him to show you what games are slow....decide if it is a GPU or CPU problem first. An un-overclocked 920 could seem a tad slow in some games. Give it an overclock (if only temporarily) to confirm.

    Then fire up resource monitor and get him to show you what video editing stuff is slow. You will be able to tell from the disk queue length and CPU utilisation whether it's the disk or CPU that is bottle-necking him.

    From there, you will be much better informed before spending his money
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