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Alienware Aurora R5 Upgrade advice BANG FOR BUCK


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#1 rsssmoore

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 10:33 AM

He has an Alienware Aurora Desktop R5....specs are

Phenom X4 9550 2.20 ghz
4 gb Elipada PC2-800 (4x1gb)
Visiontek HD Radeon 4850 512 mb
1000 Watt PSU
ASUS M3A32-MVP-Deluxe Motherboard
Windows 7 64 bit

He is a gamer...uses 2 monitors..not sure which games.

The gift was pick one upgrade of the following 3 choices...
CPU
GRAPHICS CARD
MEMORY

what would enhance his gaming experience more...???

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#2 DJBPace07

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 11:13 AM

Just one upgrade on an old system, that's a tough one. The Phenom (Original) dates back about five years or so. The graphics card is also quite old as AMD is now on the Radeon 7000 series. The RAM looks alright unless you keep tons of windows open or anything that uses lots of RAM, like rendering. Essentially, you may need to pick two from that list as that PC is in need of upgrades on the CPU and GPU front if he is gaming.

That motherboard can use faster Phenom II CPU's, but, they are slowly fading away as they've already been replaced by the FX series. The AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz would be an improvement and is supported by that motherboard. You will probably need to download and install a new BIOS to get it to run. Here's Asus' page for that motherboard.

Onto the graphics front. Depending on the games he may need either a midrange or high-end graphics card. On the midrange side of things, the XFX Double D FX-785A-CDFC Radeon HD 7850 2GB is a great midrange card. At the high-end of graphics would be the EVGA 02G-P4-2670-KR GeForce GTX 670 2GB.

Both of these upgrades would be a major improvement over what is in there now.

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#3 rsssmoore

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 04:04 PM

Thanks for the quick response....I understand the suggestions you made...maybee I forgot one thing... BUDGET

We will be operating within a $ amount as well so...for example.

Would a Phenom II x4 945 or Athlon II X4 650 CPU.

Or these Graphics cards Radeon HD 4890 Radeon HD 5770 Radeon HD 5850.

I know that he uses 2 monitors and Windows 7 so I was thinking that the 5xxx series would be
and improvement with direct X 11 and Eyefinity?

or would a combo of a CPU like Phenom II or Athlon II a bit down the curve from the ones above
and a crossfire 4850 setup be best?

Thanks again for all your input Rick..

#4 DJBPace07

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 05:11 PM

If this is a gaming PC, a decent graphics card and CPU are required for modern games. Given the age of the CPU, and the fact you will probably not be able to easily find a new Phenom II CPU in the future given how AMD's no longer producing them, I would start there and get the best Phenom II you can find. Avoid the Athlon II's, those are meant for budget PC's and will not perform as well as a similarly clocked Phenom II. The Phenom II 945 is not Black Edition so it is locked, whereas the 965 is. You get a bit more for your cash with the 965. You can get an OEM model of the Phenom II 955 at Newegg for about $20 less. The 955 is pretty much the same as a 965, just with a lower clock. You will still need a BIOS update, however.

The Radeon 5850 is roughly matched by the Radeon 6870. As with all multi GPU suggestions, I would spend extra cash to get the best single graphics card I could, rather than increase my power draw and heat output Crossfiring two old cards. Two 4850's will not equal the speed of a Radeon 6870, moreover, to render an image, the exact same graphics data must be in both card's memory at the same time. Given the 4850's low memory, when compared to modern cards, you will be constrained here too. If there is an EyeFinity setup, this requires even more graphics horsepower and memory to drive two or more monitors. The XFX HD-685X-ZCFC Radeon HD 6850 1GB is a good choice.

Edited by DJBPace07, 02 June 2012 - 08:52 PM.

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#5 rsssmoore

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 07:47 PM

That sounds like sound advice...a bit outside the price range, but sometimes spending a little bit more in the right places makes a big difference down the road.
Thanks for your help and input it is greatly appreciated...Rick

#6 the_patriot11

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 12:53 AM

DJ is right, the 965 is probably the best CPU you can get for that system, and if it were me, a CPU upgrade is the way I would go. the 4850 is an aging card, but its still a decent performer. If you cant afford the 965, the 945 is a solid CPU if you don't intend to overclock. I use the 945 on my system and have been very pleased with its performance, but if you can get your hands on a 965 thats the route I would go.

If you decide to go the route of the new video card, dont even touch a 4890-it wont give you much of a performance upgrade from the 4850, least not price for buck. I would even avoid the 5xxx series and find something 6xxx or 7xxx series. A crossfire setup helps a lot with framerate, but not much with graphics performance-I think with a system that old, I would purchase a single, newer video card. If he wants to crossfire that then he can save his pennies in the future. Keep in mind crossfiring is often nice, but not always user friendly-it has its drawbacks. But like I said, I think I would go for the CPU upgrade.

Edited by the_patriot11, 03 June 2012 - 12:54 AM.

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Primary system: Motherboard: ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3, Processor: AMD Phenom II x4 945, Memory: 16 gigs of Patriot G2 DDR3 1600, Video: AMD Sapphire Nitro R9 380, Storage: 1 WD 500 gig HD, 1 Hitachi 500 gig HD, and Power supply: Coolermaster 750 watt, OS: Windows 10 64 bit. 

Media Center: Motherboard: Gigabyte mp61p-S3, Processor: AMD Athlon 64 x2 6000+, Memory: 6 gigs Patriot DDR2 800, Video: Gigabyte GeForce GT730, Storage: 500 gig Hitachi, PSU: Seasonic M1211 620W full modular, OS: Windows 10.

If I don't reply within 24 hours of your reply, feel free to send me a pm.


#7 killerx525

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 08:43 AM

Also not all games support Crossfire, you that 2nd card will be basically useless.

>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png





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