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Thread: £350 CPU and GPU upgrade

  1. #1
    DDY
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    £350 CPU and GPU upgrade

    Let's say I have £350 to spend on an Intel CPU and graphics card, what should I get to maximise bang for buck for gaming?

    It's going in my ITX build (specs to the left) and the requirements are;
    - Socket 1155 of course, IVB or SB, would also consider a Xeon.
    - No CPU overclocking because I'll be keeping my H67 board, but that not to say I won't consider a K CPU.
    - Graphics card must be 10.5” or less with the power connector on the side of the card. Can use double slot.

    As for power, the machine as it is now draws a maximum of 240W,while there is room for expansion I'd like to keep power draw down.

    All suggestions welcome!

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    Anthropomorphic Personification shaithis's Avatar
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    Re: £350 CPU and GPU upgrade

    Depending on what your going to run and/or what performance is most important to you:

    a) Quad core IB + 7870
    or
    b) Dual Core IB + 7950
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    Re: £350 CPU and GPU upgrade

    Keep the CPU and buy a GTX 670, simple.

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/2gb-m...79mhz-cores-13

    A reference 670 should add about 30w, this one perhaps slightly more, but still under 300w.

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    Re: £350 CPU and GPU upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by Willzzz View Post
    Keep the CPU and buy a GTX 670, simple.

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/2gb-m...79mhz-cores-13

    A reference 670 should add about 30w, this one perhaps slightly more, but still under 300w.
    This, tbh.

    You're not going to be overclocking so no point wasting money on a 'K' CPU, and why bother swapping out one i5 for another? I say go with the sole GPU route as suggested.
    Kalniel: "Nice review Tarinder - would it be possible to get a picture of the case when the components are installed (with the side off obviously)?"
    CAT-THE-FIFTH: "The Antec 300 is a case which has an understated and clean appearance which many people like. Not everyone is into e-peen looking computers which look like a cross between the imagination of a hyperactive 10 year old and a Frog."
    TKPeters: "Off to AVForum better Deal - £20+Vat for Free Shipping @ Scan"
    for all intents it seems to be the same card minus some gays name on it and a shielded cover ? with OEM added to it - GoNz0.

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  8. #5
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    Re: £350 CPU and GPU upgrade

    I haven't benched my own system but am I right to assume the i5 2300 is a little underpowered for CPU heavy games?

    It's difficult to say what sort of performance is most important to me, I don't play any games in particular so I couldn't say what I prefer.

    EDIT: One thing to note, my £350 budget included the sale of my i5 2300. GPU upgrade alone means I'll have about £260 to spend, not enough for a 670

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    Headless Chicken Terbinator's Avatar
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    Re: £350 CPU and GPU upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by DDY View Post
    I haven't benched my own system but am I right to assume the i5 2300 is a little underpowered for CPU heavy games?

    It's difficult to say what sort of performance is most important to me, I don't play any games in particular so I couldn't say what I prefer.

    EDIT: One thing to note, my £350 budget included the sale of my i5 2300. GPU upgrade alone means I'll have about £260 to spend, not enough for a 670
    Well a GTX 670 can be had for £280, can you not wait a little while to save the extra £20?

    Edit: Your CPU should be fine for CPU-heavy games.
    Kalniel: "Nice review Tarinder - would it be possible to get a picture of the case when the components are installed (with the side off obviously)?"
    CAT-THE-FIFTH: "The Antec 300 is a case which has an understated and clean appearance which many people like. Not everyone is into e-peen looking computers which look like a cross between the imagination of a hyperactive 10 year old and a Frog."
    TKPeters: "Off to AVForum better Deal - £20+Vat for Free Shipping @ Scan"
    for all intents it seems to be the same card minus some gays name on it and a shielded cover ? with OEM added to it - GoNz0.

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  11. #7
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    Re: £350 CPU and GPU upgrade

    It's not a matter of saving, but one of self restraint and you're not making it any easier!

    What's the next best thing below the GTX670?

    On the bright side, I'm actually feeling better about not upgrading the CPU because it's a real pain in the ass to get the CPU heatsink off and back on again.

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    Headless Chicken Terbinator's Avatar
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    Re: £350 CPU and GPU upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by DDY View Post
    It's not a matter of saving, but one of self restraint and you're not making it any easier!

    What's the next best thing below the GTX670?

    On the bright side, I'm actually feeling better about not upgrading the CPU because it's a real pain in the ass to get the CPU heatsink off and back on again.
    Really depends what you play but I'd be inclined to go for a Radeon 7870.

    It's a real shame that you have a wattage limit as the best card, imo that your budget allows for is a 7950 given the price difference between it and a GTX 670.

    Edit: http://img.hexus.net/v2/graphics_car...660!/Power.png

    That graph seems to indicate a 7950 only uses 10W more than a GTX 670 though.
    Kalniel: "Nice review Tarinder - would it be possible to get a picture of the case when the components are installed (with the side off obviously)?"
    CAT-THE-FIFTH: "The Antec 300 is a case which has an understated and clean appearance which many people like. Not everyone is into e-peen looking computers which look like a cross between the imagination of a hyperactive 10 year old and a Frog."
    TKPeters: "Off to AVForum better Deal - £20+Vat for Free Shipping @ Scan"
    for all intents it seems to be the same card minus some gays name on it and a shielded cover ? with OEM added to it - GoNz0.

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    Re: £350 CPU and GPU upgrade

    I really don't think your CPU is underpowered, it might make a very small difference in a small minority of games, but you don't want to spend £170 for a 1-2fps increase.

    The GTX 670 will give you the best gaming performance for the money spent.
    I mean you could go with a 7970 for £350 but that's an extra 74w of power going by Anandtech.

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  16. #10
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    Re: £350 CPU and GPU upgrade

    Your CPU should be fine IMHO. I would go for a GTX670. The HD7950 would also be a contender,but as I whinged about before,AMD uses long PCBs for its cards when compared to Nvidia. As a SFF PC fan,this is rather annoying. Power consumption according to TPU is in the same ballpark(they measure GPU power consumption),but the performance/watt of the GTX670 is higher. AFAIK,most HD7950 cards are between 10.5" to 12" long. OTH, the reference GTX670 is under 10" long and also uses a blower type cooler which is useful for SFF PCs but a tad noisier.

    The ones with a third party cooler extend the card length and also the height of the cooler. Also ones with a large pre-overclock will push up power consumption.

    Edit!!

    These ones should be around 9.5" long:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/2gb-m...cores-1344-2xd

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/2gb-e...x-dl-dvi-dp-hd

    This uses a GTX680 PCB and cooler and is 10" long:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/2gb-e...x-dl-dvi-dp-hd

    However,the use of a GTX680 PCB and the the pre-overclock will probably raise power consumption.
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 17-09-2012 at 02:26 PM.


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    Re: £350 CPU and GPU upgrade

    The reason I want to keep the power down is the massive increase in PSU fan speed when power draw approaches 70%, given the 240W I measured as the worst case scenario, I have approximately 15% or 70W extra to play with - in the worse case.

    How much more power under load does the 7950 draw compared to the 6870?

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    Re: £350 CPU and GPU upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by DDY View Post
    The reason I want to keep the power down is the massive increase in PSU fan speed when power draw approaches 70%, given the 240W I measured as the worst case scenario, I have approximately 15% or 70W extra to play with - in the worse case.

    How much more power under load does the 7950 draw compared to the 6870?
    The HD7950 cards are generally too long. The shortest will barely be around 10.5" and a reference GTX670 card will be under 10" long.


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    Re: £350 CPU and GPU upgrade

    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/GPU12/414

    6870 is 287 (so take off 47w for every figure in this table to match your existing system at 240w)
    7870 is 310w (263w)
    670 is 317w (270w)
    7950 is 353w (306w)
    7950(boost) is 373w (326w)

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