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Thread: Upgrade advice please

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    Senior Member Betty_Swallocks's Avatar
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    Upgrade advice please

    My old E8500 C2D and ATI3870 rig has served me well for a good few years but it's starting to creak now, especially as I'm running at 1920x1080. I'm finding that recently I'm having to accept lower graphics options which obviously isn't acceptable.

    Now, I know I'm going to have to replace most of the major components, cpu, ram, mobo and graphics card, but I can't afford to do it in one go.

    I'm going to have to spread it out over several months, so my question to you knowledgeable people is this. Which order should I do it in? Would I be better off replacing the graphics card, then next month the motherboard and processor and finally replacing the DDR2 ram with a nice large quantity of DDR3, or would I see a bigger performance improvement right now by doing it in a different order?
    "Free speech includes not only the inoffensive but the irritating, the contentious, the eccentric, the heretical, the unwelcome and the provocative provided it does not tend to provoke violence. Freedom only to speak inoffensively is not worth having."

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    Re: Upgrade advice please

    Well what is your budget? What is your current mobo? What games is it struggling with?

    I mean most likely do the graphics card first, but it would be useful to know the answers to these questions.

  3. #3
    (evil grin) ehhhhhhh's Avatar
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    Re: Upgrade advice please

    I think the mobo+CPU+mem should be bought together.

    what use it would be to buy the motherboard and CPU and not have DDR3 with it (which is really cheap these days).

    as willzz said I would buy the GPU in the first go and the rest later.

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  5. #4
    Senior Member Betty_Swallocks's Avatar
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    Re: Upgrade advice please

    My current spec is in my system under my avatar but my mobo is an aBit ip35 Pro XE. Not really relevant though as that's going to have to be replaced.
    At the moment I'm running a mild overclock on the E8500 from 3.16Ghz to 3.47Ghz and this with the 3870 has done me well up to now but some more graphically intensive games aren't doing too well. I bought LA Noire which I'd been looking forward to for a long time but the facial expressions which are pretty much the whole point of the game aren't too easy to read at 4fps.

    I don't really pay too much attention to advances in hardware unless I'm in the market for an upgrade so I'm well out of date and need to start my research from scratch. I never go for top of the line, rather just a little under. I'm leaning towards an i5 but I haven't decided which one will give me the best "bang for the buck" yet. I haven't even started looking at graphics cards yet.

    I'm hoping to keep the whole upgrade under about £500.

    So, you think upgrading the GPU now would give me a better performance hike than the mobo/cpu/ram? (I take your point about the RAM)
    "Free speech includes not only the inoffensive but the irritating, the contentious, the eccentric, the heretical, the unwelcome and the provocative provided it does not tend to provoke violence. Freedom only to speak inoffensively is not worth having."

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    Re: Upgrade advice please

    OK well £500 probably means you will have around £200 for the graphics card, so in that price range I would suggest the 7850, that would leave easily enough to get an i5, mobo and ram with the remainder of your budget.

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    Re: Upgrade advice please

    I'm running a GTX670 with a Q6600 and P35 motherboard atm and most modern games are quite playable with everything turned up at 1920x1200 in DX9 though can't wait to upgrade the rest of my system.

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    Re: Upgrade advice please

    Personally I would do the mobo, CPU and ram first as any new you would be bottled by those guys,

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    Betty_Swallocks (05-07-2012)

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    Re: Upgrade advice please

    The graphics card will be the worse bottleneck.

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    Re: Upgrade advice please

    just get a bundle deal from scan, a cheap i5 i7 sandybridge, and get a gfx card probably ati 7870, or a 680gt fom nvidia

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    Senior Member Betty_Swallocks's Avatar
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    That's pretty much what I've decided to do. Thanks.
    I'm going to split it over 2 months and get a 7870 first then an i7 3770 with s suitable motherboard and 8gb of ram the following month.

    Thanks to everyone for your input
    "Free speech includes not only the inoffensive but the irritating, the contentious, the eccentric, the heretical, the unwelcome and the provocative provided it does not tend to provoke violence. Freedom only to speak inoffensively is not worth having."

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    Bows out! CAT-THE-FIFTH's Avatar
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    Re: Upgrade advice please

    If you are gaming,save your money and get a Core i5.

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    Re: Upgrade advice please

    Yeah you aren't going to get what you describe above for under £500. The i7 isn't going to do anything for gaming.

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    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
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    Re: Upgrade advice please

    Personally I'd get the new GFX now, then give it a couple of months to see how you're going. With an E8500 at almost 3.5GHz you've actually got a reasonably potent gaming CPU already - there still aren't many games that heavily tax more than 2 cores (although they are becoming more common). If in a couple of months you decide that your CPU is holding you back, hopefully prices will have dropped a little, and if not there should at least by Ivy Bridge Core i3s to look at, and we should know more about AMDs new desktop releases - both Trinity APUs and the piledriver CPUs whose codename I've temporarily forgotten! (Vishera, is it?)

    Not that I'm saying that any of the IB i3s, Trinity or Vishera will be better than an i5 for gaming you understand - just that we'll know more about them - at the minute we've only really got half the playing field covered for new generation hardware...

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    Re: Upgrade advice please

    I'd agree with scaryjim here, upgrade the gpu, then see.
    There's very few games that are hampered by a dual core cpu and even then it's often down to the additional load from a sli/crossfire and/or multiple monitors to start getting held back by a dual core.

    an 7850 will be a major jump over the aging 3870, if I remember correctly the 3870 was slightly behind the 8800gt which would make the 7850 about 4 times the power.

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    Not mad just max with a long beard Mad-Max's Avatar
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    Re: Upgrade advice please

    I am in the same boat as Betty but I was thinking about upgrading my cpu to a quad@OC and sticking 8 gig of ram in and going windows 7 64, because I can't justify upgrading when the new stuff is way to pricey and only slightly better, still theres plenty of cheap quads around

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    Senior Member Betty_Swallocks's Avatar
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    Re: Upgrade advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by scaryjim View Post
    With an E8500 at almost 3.5GHz you've actually got a reasonably potent gaming CPU already - there still aren't many games that heavily tax more than 2 cores (although they are becoming more common)....
    I realise my £500 budget will have to slip a bit but as I'm going to do the upgrade over a couple of months I've got approval from SWMBO to push it to get the i7.

    I like to spec my upgrades to last for several years, what I have now I bought over 4 years ago, and the difference between the i5 and the i7 isn't beyond my budget so I'm going to go for that.

    I know the E8500 is still a good processor, especially overclocked but I've promised my daughter my old kit as an upgrade so I don't want to disappoint her. She has a dual core Pentium which is struggling with AC:Revelations which is what she really wants to play at the moment and my system runs it nicely, especially as I think the E8500 still has some more overclocking headroom. I've heard of people getting close to 4Ghz with a decent air cooler like the one I have.

    I've pretty much settled on an ATI 7870 which I can get from Scan for just over 200 quid so that's going to be the first order, then I'll do the rest the month after.
    "Free speech includes not only the inoffensive but the irritating, the contentious, the eccentric, the heretical, the unwelcome and the provocative provided it does not tend to provoke violence. Freedom only to speak inoffensively is not worth having."

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