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Thread: Upgrade advice needed

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    Upgrade advice needed

    Hi there

    It's been a while, I feel an itch, but my system is pretty well rounded. Should I wait for the new intel chips or upgrade some other part of this system? If I can snag a 3550k for £150 (somehow) I'll possibly do that in the next month or so*.

    27" 1440p IPS monitor (catleap)
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    sound is sorted

    Also, I recently got a 360 gamepad and a cheap flight style joystick, want to try them out, any game suggestions?

    thanks

    *what's the resale on a s/h oem 2500k? I'm thinking too low...
    Last edited by Millennium; 11-02-2013 at 02:42 AM. Reason: memory
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    Re: Upgrade advice needed

    Assuming your RAID array is 2 * 2TB I don't think you would notice any real world performance gains from upgrading anything in your rig. Benchmark improvements yes, but that's it. Sit on your wallet I say!

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    Re: Upgrade advice needed

    2500ks fetch about £110

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    Re: Upgrade advice needed

    If you are gaming, a CPU upgrade is really not worth unless you like measuring framerates at 800X600!!

    Also,I would only upgrade your graphics card if a game does not run fine.

    Upgrading the CPU or GPU makes sense only if you hit a realworld performance bottleneck.

    Maybe if you are interested in audio,you could get a decent soundcard or DAC and some active speakers??


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    Re: Upgrade advice needed

    Quote Originally Posted by Millennium View Post
    ... I recently got a 360 gamepad ... any game suggestions? ...
    If you like Action/RPGs, Dungeon Seige III is a great game to play with a 360 pad - I'm running through it at the minute and finding it very enjoyable I asked this same question a few months ago and bought a few games on Ferral's recommendation (although I have to admit to not having played them all yet!): http://forums.hexus.net/pc-gaming/26...ole-ports.html

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    Re: Upgrade advice needed

    Thanks Scary, I'll look to pick that up. I have guild wars 2 now, is that worth a bash?

    I agree on the upgrade thing, if I can get a decent clocking 3550k cheap I may go for it, but nothing else really needs updating. Perhaps another 6970 down the line. And yes, 2*2tb lol
    As for auidio, I have 2 outboard dacs and a decent sound card (and hifis), so sorted thanks
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    Re: Upgrade advice needed

    I doubt that the 3550K would give you any significant gains over the 2500K, I think you would be better off waiting to see what Haswell has to offer and then get that with a new mobo instead, I'm sure you'll see a much bigger performance leap if you skip a generation. It might be worth adding a second SSD just for your games and Steam folders etc...

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    Re: Upgrade advice needed

    Even Haswell seems a bit pointless IMHO. So lets say it will give you a 10% IPC increase,and can magically overclock to 5.4GHZ,is even a 30% improvement really worth it??

    Once you hit 1920X1080,the graphics card is more of limiting factor anyway,especially with an overclocked Core i5.

    The OP will see far greater improvements in future games with a GTX680 or HD7970 GE,or the next generation replacements than a CPU upgrade IMHO..


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    Re: Upgrade advice needed

    I used to have a rule: only upgrade if the improvement is at least twofold. And my second rule was spend around £50 on the mobo and £50 for the CPU. Until about 2009 this rule held true. Since then AMD has not really been competitive and Intel have been milking us with their record margins and segmentation. Still my current E5300@3.5GHz is fast enough. The closest I got to upgrading recently was to consider something like a A8-3870K or Trinity - not for pure performance but for idle power / noise.

    I worked this out a while ago while trying to see if it was time to upgrade (bearing in mind my CPU is 'good enough' atm). Starting with a Sempron 3000+ in 2006, then a E5300 in 2009, and using Passmark (rather simplistic but it will do):
    The S3000+ scores around 411 (Passmark) (never overclocked it because the Biostar mobo wasn't that stable).
    The E5300 @ 3.47GHz scores 2359.
    That's 574%. The time between them was 36 months (3 years)
    now it is about 46 months since the E5300 (say 4 years) and the best I could buy for £50 is...
    AMD Athlon II X3 460 3152 (134%)
    Intel Pentium G860 @ 3.00GHz 2888 (122%)

    So with the first I had a near sixfold increase in three years, whereas now in the last four years I'd only a third extra. Aside from power saving then, no reason to upgrade. And although I don't have the figures for my previous rigs (Duron 1400, Celeron 300A etc.) the time span and performance increases were not that different.

    Sure an i5-2500K / i5-3570K at ~4.7GHz+ is nice but at that kind of price I would have to base my comparison on Core2 Quads and proper Athlon64's etc. Oh, well no upgrade for me then.

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    Re: Upgrade advice needed

    The main issue,is that the sub £100 market is now ignored by enthusiasts due to Intel removing overclocking from lower end CPUs,and review sites really only concentrating on more expensive CPUs.

    An Athlon II X3 can not only be overclocked,but it can be unlocked too. One of my mates had running at 4GHZ for quite a while and another mate had one which unlocked to a Phenom II X4 with L3 cache. There is the Athlon II X4 630 for around £54 now. However,the £59 Athlon II X4 740 has a Passmark score of 4102,and with a bit of an overclock will probably double your E5300 scores.

    Those FM2 Athlon II X4 CPUs are meant to be decent overclockers,from what I heard.

    However,if you are gaming you are starting to find more games which run better if you have a quad core. One of them is BF3 and even the latest Deus Ex game shows this.

    The sad thing is due to the obssession with Core i5 CPUs,there are plenty of decent value options from AMD under £100,which people on many forums ignore.

    One example,is the A6-3670K. I actually found in many cases it was as good as a Core i3 2100,and yet at the time you could get one for £50 to £60. It might not be as fast in gaming,but unless you have a reasonable graphics card,the graphics card would be a bottleneck I suspect!
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 12-02-2013 at 02:20 PM.


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    Re: Upgrade advice needed

    Don't forget that you could overclock the Athlon II X3. Also the extra core will show significant improvements in some tasks, particularly modern games (not sure if Passmark take account of multiple cores or not?)... which version are you using?

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    Re: Upgrade advice needed

    Actually,looking in the PD thread,the FM2 Athlon II X4 740 and 750K were overclocked to between 4.3GHZ to 4.5GHZ!

    So,you can get an Athlon II X3 460 or an Athlon II X4 630 for around £50 to £55,an Athlon II X4 740 for around £58 and an Athlon II X4 750K for around £60 to £65.

    Maplins have a Phenom II X4 965 for £69.99,but they list it as the ancient 140W TDP version for some reason.

    TBH,I think the major lack of improvement has been in budget graphics cards,were progress is slow and with the new batch of more intensive DX11 games coming out,I am not sure how well they will cope.


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    Re: Upgrade advice needed

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    TBH,I think the major lack of improvement has been in budget graphics cards ...
    I think that's because AMD knew they were going to start pushing out APUs with graphics of similar power to their entry level cards. Also, we've never had anything quite as good value as the 4670 coming out with the exchange rate @ $2:£1 - if the 4670 came out now it'd be a £65 graphics card and nowhere near as compelling, but at £50 it was unheard-of value. The subsequent releases (5670/6670) both came out at ~ £70 and, while they were significant improvements in performance, just didn't feel like as good value. AMD's all but abandoned the entry-to-mid range graphics market for discrete cards (let's be honest, the new 384 shader GCN card is only there to be crossfired with Trinity/Richland APUs), and NVidia's been awful at graphics cards under £100 for about 5 years now. The only compelling cheap graphics cards you get anymore are the ones that are 2 generations old and have had massive price cuts...

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    Re: Upgrade advice needed

    Quote Originally Posted by scaryjim View Post
    I think that's because AMD knew they were going to start pushing out APUs with graphics of similar power to their entry level cards. Also, we've never had anything quite as good value as the 4670 coming out with the exchange rate @ $2:£1 - if the 4670 came out now it'd be a £65 graphics card and nowhere near as compelling, but at £50 it was unheard-of value. The subsequent releases (5670/6670) both came out at ~ £70 and, while they were significant improvements in performance, just didn't feel like as good value. AMD's all but abandoned the entry-to-mid range graphics market for discrete cards (let's be honest, the new 384 shader GCN card is only there to be crossfired with Trinity/Richland APUs), and NVidia's been awful at graphics cards under £100 for about 5 years now. The only compelling cheap graphics cards you get anymore are the ones that are 2 generations old and have had massive price cuts...
    Look at the midrange cards. It was often the case the next generation midrange card could match the previous generation high end card(or was close to it).

    After the HD4000 series ,this is not the case,and the performance jumps have become less and less. You could easily see a 70% to 100% improvement in performance in one generation after 12 to 18 months. At the end of 2010 and early 2011 you could get decent HD5850 1GB cards for £150 or less and in late 2009 HD5850 1GB cards were between £200 to £220.

    Even in the best case scenario,you are looking at an HD7950 for around £200 to £220 or a HD7950 BE for more,to double framerates in a very tessellation intensive titles on average,and that has taken the better part of three years. Other types of titles show significantly lower improvements.

    Start moving down the price-range and it gets progressively worse. It is not even worth replacing my HD5850 1GB now as an HD7850 is not a big enough upgrade,especially considering more and more are overclocking locked now.

    Even the performance boosts in tessellation intense titles is not big enough,especially with the new multi-platform games on the horizon,unless the cards are overclocked a decent amount.
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 12-02-2013 at 03:48 PM.


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