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Upgrading, new computer or play the waiting game?

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Upgrading, new computer or play the waiting game?

Postby Nooska » Thu Aug 29, 2013 11:09 am

So with all the upgrade chatter lately, I wanna throw my hat in, as it seems quite a few very tech savvy people are around.

Our computers are 3 years old and change, so my "childhood" learning tells me I should be looking at a new rig (that actually means 2 as the GF needs to get an upgrade at the same time, as its not my own money, but shared funds that go towards new computers).

Well on to the tech stuff:

------------------------------------

Computer:
Model: Self built
Chassis: Thermaltake Tsunami Dream
Mainboard: Crosshair III Formula
BIOS: American Megatrends Inc 1702
Total Memory: 8GB DDR3 Processor: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition
Socket/Slot: AM3
Memory Module: 2x Kingston 9905403-440.A00LF 4GB DDR3 PC3-10700 (667MHz) (9-9-9-24)[Note in CPU-Z; NB Frequency 2000 MHz)
Video Adapter: 2x Sapphire Vapor-X HD 48501GB GDDR3 Crossfired

Storage devices:
ST3200827AS ATA Device 186 GB (200,046,551,040 byte)
WDC WD1002FAEX-00Z3A0 ATA Device 930 GB(1,000,202,273,280 byte)

Operating System:
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 6.1.7601 SP1
Platform Compliance: x64
Windows Experience Index: 5.9
- Processor: 7.4
- Memory: 7.5
- Graphics: 7.1
- Gamegraphics: 7.1
- Primary harddisk: 5.9

-----

So, from the time I've spent (admittedly not that much), it doesn't really seem like I will actually get anything useful from upgrading or building a new rig, without spending a pretty large sum of cash on it. I'm not feeling that I need a new computer from the games I play, but admittedly I almost never have - untill I've had the new computer and see the difference.
What say you tech savvies? is there a potential or should I just keep piling money for a later and better buy?
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Re: Upgrading, new computer or play the waiting game?

Postby Fetzie » Thu Aug 29, 2013 11:45 am

Not much you can do without completely overhauling it. Your motherboard doesn't support the AM3+ FX series of processors. You'll not see a graphics upgrade without spending 200-300 dollars. More RAM won't change much at all.

If I were you, I would save up 500 dollars and get something like this:

i5 4570, B85 motherboard, keep the RAM, keep the graphics cards, you'll likely need a new PSU that is Haswell compatible and a 128-256 GB SSD.
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Re: Upgrading, new computer or play the waiting game?

Postby Thels » Thu Aug 29, 2013 5:33 pm

Considering your primary harddisk score, getting yourself an SSD drive might give you a really nice performance boost in windows itself, as well as loading screens in games. It won't really affect your FPS, though. And of course you'll have to reinstall windows for it.
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Re: Upgrading, new computer or play the waiting game?

Postby Koatanga » Thu Aug 29, 2013 9:26 pm

Protip: If you install your OS onto your SSD, you can still have your User files and Program Files on a regular HD so that they don't take up precious SSD space. If you have an app like WoW that loads lots of information all the time, then it's good to have it on the SSD, but your Microsoft Office apps don't need the extra speed.
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Re: Upgrading, new computer or play the waiting game?

Postby tullock » Fri Aug 30, 2013 6:13 pm

Amd 7950 graphics cards have dropped down to 200$/180$ after rebates, and would be a phenominal improvement over dual 4850s. Somewhere in the neighborhood of two to three times faster. Admittedly this is because they are on the verge of releasing a new model, but 7950s are fantastic cards, and if you are willing to overclock, theyre monsters.

If it were me, and I weren't doing a full rebuild, I'd grab a 7950 and an ssd, and again depending on your view of overclocking, a good heatsink to push that 965be to around 4ghz and call it a day.

If you do want to do a full new build, then you need to find out if you have a microcenter near you for a 4670k/z87 mobo bundle that starts at 255$ (or a budget ex6300 build for much less, again only if you live near a microcenter), along with 8gigs of 1600-1866mhz ram for ~50$. You will almost certainly be able to reuse your power supply if it could power a 4850 crossfire system, your case is atx so its fine as well.
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Re: Upgrading, new computer or play the waiting game?

Postby Fetzie » Fri Aug 30, 2013 6:53 pm

Yeah, 7950s are monster cards, and love to be overclocked*. When I first got mine I was playing around with it and got it to over 1200MHz core which is a 40% overclock on the factory overclock (900MHz) or nearly 50% on the stock clock of a reference card (825MHz) without touching the voltage. I could probably have eeked out a bit more too.

*depends on the luck of the draw when participating in the silicon lottery. However, the vast majority of 7950s can and will go up to 1100MHz core simply by upping the core clock in Afterburner.
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bldavis wrote:we are trying to extend it as long as we can...it just never seems to last very long
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Re: Upgrading, new computer or play the waiting game?

Postby tullock » Fri Aug 30, 2013 8:34 pm

But if you go that route and you have a choice, grab one with a custom cooler on it like the sapphire dual x, msi twin frozr, or the like. I have two 7950s, a powercolor and a sapphire dual x. The power color came with a reference cooler and it is loud (loud enough that I wouldn't let the fan go anywhere near 100% because I could hear it over my games with headphones on)and still bad. The sapphire cooler was good enough to clock the card to 1100/1600 with a quiet fan profile while I waited for its waterblock to come in.
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Re: Upgrading, new computer or play the waiting game?

Postby Fetzie » Sat Aug 31, 2013 4:58 am

I have the Gigabyte Windforce version.
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Sagara wrote:You see, you need to *spread* the bun before you insert the hot dog.

bldavis wrote:we are trying to extend it as long as we can...it just never seems to last very long
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Re: Upgrading, new computer or play the waiting game?

Postby Nooska » Sun Sep 01, 2013 3:01 am

SSD: I am definatly getting an SSD next time I need to change enough stuff that I want to reinstall windos.
As for speed of it currently, I don't feel a need (my computer is on most of the time and simply slumbers) - I do have experience with a small laptop I have and the SSD speed is really nice there, but not something I feel I need for my desktop (yet).

The PSU I have is a Corsair TX750W (nonmodular, will definatly spend extra on the modular stuff next time)

No need to think about rebates (they generally don't exist, since I'm in denmark - the types most often used ouside DK, are, generally, not legal for use in DK - we have quite aggresive comsumer equality provisions)
Will definately take a look at the 7950.

As for suggesting the i5 - have the pricegap between AMD and intel narrowed enough that it is worth it to go with the (generally) more powerful intel chip? I know I went with the AMD for both this (and my mothers 1 year younger PIIx6 1100T) because the pricejump to get to the intel (including a more expensive MB) was simply not worth it from a power:price for the extra oomph.
(I haven't kept up with tomshardware for a few years, so haven't seen what the trends is)
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Morosin, Bloody freezing orc death knight on Argent Dawn (EU)
Niisca, Shady forsaken "priest" on Argent Dawn (EU)

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Re: Upgrading, new computer or play the waiting game?

Postby tullock » Sun Sep 01, 2013 7:29 am

Hard to say about the price gap since it varies person to person as to whether its "worth it". I personally love the fx6300 for what it is and what it costs, its what I consider to be the best budget computer cpu. The only real negative to the newer amd cpus in my eyes is that power draw goes through the roof when you overclock, as evidenced by the joke 9xxx processors they just released, with the 200+w power draw.

But frankly, I wouldn't consider an fx6300 much of an upgrade to your current 965be. Its going to perform worse in most anything that is 4 threads or less, which is almost all games outside of crysis 3 or battlefield 3. Mabye a couple of flight Sims. At least until you overclock it. They lowered performance clock for clock going from phenom to fx, but the fx series are capable of much higher clocks.

Also I have no idea how much the market varies from the states to Denmark, in some countries tech has wonky markups and backwards pricing, so you will have to compare things at a shop or site available to you.
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Re: Upgrading, new computer or play the waiting game?

Postby Koatanga » Sun Sep 01, 2013 3:21 pm

I used http://www.cpubenchmark.net/ as my reference, which lists processors by PassMark score. While it's not the be-all and end-all of tests, at least it gives some quantification to a rather nebulous problem.

I then sourced some local suppliers who had chips in stock, and did an index which was the PassMark score divided by the price, including MB since that is processor-dependent. The one with the best score in my price range won. In my case, it turned out to the the i5 4750.

Your current chip scores 4,306. The FX6300 that seems a decent bargain, is 6,392. My i5 4570 is 7,115. The highest i3 is the 3245 at 4,544. Since I had a Core 2 Quad Q8400 at 3,242, the i3 didn't represent enough of an upgrade to interest me. I think you'll find the same. Highest i5 is the 4670 at 7,552.

I suggest you get the most you can afford, to extend the life of the new gear as much as possible. I would certainly look at the newest tech for that same reason, and because there really isn't a price drop-off for the older stuff.
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Re: Upgrading, new computer or play the waiting game?

Postby Nooska » Mon Sep 02, 2013 1:45 am

Yeah, the "most I can afford" is the way I went on our current rigs - it ends up being more costly to replace parts every year to keep up, than to get soemthing good to begin with (I'm not quite sure whats "happened" to my ram, I'm pretty sure we started with 8 gigs, but I'm also absolutely certain that I've upgraded along the way to double.. maybe we only started with 4 gb).

Thanks for the link, I'll look at it compared to the 0 prize point of not upgrading :)
Main Characters:
Nooska, Blood Elf BM/SV Hunter on Argent Dawn (EU)
Morosin, Bloody freezing orc death knight on Argent Dawn (EU)
Niisca, Shady forsaken "priest" on Argent Dawn (EU)

Keeper Emeritus of the BM hunters guide on Elitist Jerks and the wowhead version untill patch 5.3.
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Re: Upgrading, new computer or play the waiting game?

Postby Koatanga » Mon Sep 02, 2013 2:24 pm

I do the piecemeal upgrading, because I don't generally have the budget for a whole new system. For that reason, it's important to me to get the latest-tech version of what I get, in order to extend the up-gradable life of the components. Going to a Socket 1150 motherboard means I am probably current tech for another year or so, and everything will support it for another 3 years or so.
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