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Thread: Thinking about building a new system but not sure what I need...

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    Senior Member stavroshamster's Avatar
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    Thinking about building a new system but not sure what I need...

    Hi all,

    I'm thinking (tentatively at this stage) about building a new system (to replace my existing system; details to the left) but haven't been keeping up to date very much with the latest CPUs/GPUs/Mobo combo's that are available, so I'm after some advice.

    I use my current system for two purposes in general; gaming and photo editing. I think my existing GPU (standard 4850 512MB) is at the limit of its capabilities when it comes to newer games, and this is likely to get worse when I purchase a new 24" Dell IPS screen in the next couple of months (which will have much higher resolution than my existing monitor).

    So I'm after the following:
    A new cpu (and suitable mobo) which is fast enough to cope with photo processing and games
    A new GPU which will cope with most of what's thrown at it at a resolution of 1920*1200 (both currently and ideally for when the next-gen consoles mean that ported games get more resource intensive). Have always had ATI/AMD in the past, but have no problem switching to NVidia if this offers more bang for buck.
    An SSD for the operating system (probably sticking with Win7, with perhaps a Linux dual-boot)
    DDR3 memory (as much as possible/affordable for photo editing)

    I already have (see left):
    A PSU (although whether this is sufficient wattage to support the new system may be an issue)
    Enough non-SSD storage.
    A case, DVD drive and peripherals.

    Budget-wise I was thinking up to around the £500 mark, but am not sure if this is realistic or not.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Re: Thinking about building a new system but not sure what I need...

    Something like this?

    CPU: Intel Core i3-2120 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor
    Hard Drive: Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk
    Video Card: Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card

    Plus motherboard and 16gb memory will be easily under £500.

  3. #3
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    Re: Thinking about building a new system but not sure what I need...

    It's probably not even worth upgrading your CPU until you can afford an i5 tbh, will you not have another £100 to spend by the time you purchase your new monitor?

    Plus maybe the GTX 660 will be out by then which may or may not be a better card.

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    Bows out! CAT-THE-FIFTH's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking about building a new system but not sure what I need...

    I went from a Q6600 at around 3GHZ to a Core i3 2100 and the latter is faster. However,the main reason I did the upgrade was for reliability reasons,and it won't be a massive upgrade though.

    I would say get the new monitor and an HD7850 or an HD7870. If you can wait,Nvidia will release a GTX660 in the next few months too.


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    Senior Member stavroshamster's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking about building a new system but not sure what I need...

    Thanks.

    Yes, I think it would feel like a step back to go from a quad-core to a dual-core processor, so I'd be looking for an i5 I guess - could maybe stretch to another £100 if needed.

  6. #6
    Senior Member stavroshamster's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking about building a new system but not sure what I need...

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    I went from a Q6600 at around 3GHZ to a Core i3 2100 and the latter is faster. However,the main reason I did the upgrade was for reliability reasons,and it won't be a massive upgrade though.

    I would say get the new monitor and an HD7850 or an HD7870. If you can wait,Nvidia will release a GTX660 in the next few months too.
    So you would just upgrade the GPU in my current system? What risk is there that games then become CPU limited?

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    Re: Thinking about building a new system but not sure what I need...

    I mean if money is really tight you get get a non K version and a cheaper motherboard. Or stick with 8gb ram for now, not quite sure how memory hungry your photo editing is.

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    Re: Thinking about building a new system but not sure what I need...

    Quote Originally Posted by stavroshamster View Post
    So you would just upgrade the GPU in my current system? What risk is there that games then become CPU limited?
    The GPU will give a far bigger boost than the CPU upgrade. You will want to upgrade your CPU before long, but if you can't afford a decent upgrade wait until you can.

    You run a lot of games under emulation? That might be quite CPU intensive, not sure.

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    Re: Thinking about building a new system but not sure what I need...

    Quote Originally Posted by stavroshamster View Post
    So you would just upgrade the GPU in my current system? What risk is there that games then become CPU limited?
    Some games might be CPU limited,but you will still see a decent boost in framerates, as the HD4850 is a relatively slow card by modern standards - it is around GTS450 or HD5750 level. You can always plonk in the GPU into a new system when you have got the budget for that. I certainly saw a big performance increase going from an overclocked HD4830 512MB(around HD4850 512MB level performance) to an overclocked HD5850 1GB(around HD5870 1GB level performance) on a Q6600 at around 3GHZ.


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    Re: Thinking about building a new system but not sure what I need...

    I ran my GTX670 with my Q6600 (no OC) for a few weeks and it was fine and to be honest I enjoyed Max Payne 3 more on my Q6600 with GTX670 than I do on my new i7-3770K.

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    Re: Thinking about building a new system but not sure what I need...

    As power supply may be an issue you may want to use a power supply calculator. Thermaltake have an online one, as I've just joined this forum I can't post url's but if you put in "PC power calculator Thermaltake" it should be at the top of the list

  12. #12
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    Re: Thinking about building a new system but not sure what I need...

    Well going from a q6600 to an i5 isn't going to be a major change in power demand, if the i5 is unoverclocked then it could well be a decrease, the difference between a 4850 (~145-150w) and 7850 (~125w) is actually a decrease of about 20w at full load.

    if the ssd replaces a hard drive that'll be a decrease too, if it's in addition then that'll be a small increase.
    A hard drive can go as high as 20w under heavy load, an ssd will be under 5w (around 2 - 3.7w depending on make&model)

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    Re: Thinking about building a new system but not sure what I need...

    Yeah, stick with your corsair 520w, it's fine.

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