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New here... need advice on upgrade


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#1 jayskinzracing

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 06:35 PM

Hello all!  Looking to upgrade my computer here, on a budget... trying to keep it under $200.  I use it for iRacing and some graphic arts (mostly textures for racing games, logo's, sig's, etc).  I'm not looking to have a 10k dollar Alienware super gaming rig or anything like that... I've never been one to buy top-dollar stuff to avoid having to upgrade.  I just don't have the cash for that.  But I would like to throw a little at it here and there just to keep up and run games on decent (not max) settings. 

 

here's my specs-

http://speccy.piriform.com/results/HJTbsnnqaWqaXMNgBHkMliA

 

I know it's old for computer standards, but I'd like to think there's some room for improvement there without having to do a complete rebuild.  One thing the report doesn't show, but my CPU is a Black Edition, and it's stable with all 4 cores unlocked and I've been able to OC it a little bit with some good fans(Delta... sounds like a vacuum cleaner if I get the big sucker goin!).

 

Thanks in advance for the help guys! 



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#2 synergy513

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 10:47 PM

ok, a Phenom dual core is enough to upgrade with, but what about the power supply??

 

the 9500 gt is a sure candidate for upgrade...

 

 

if your power supply is 450 or 500 watts, there is the r7 265 for around 150, but it requires around 120 watts and a 6 pin power plug off the power supply,

 

http://pcpartpicker.com/parts/video-card/#sort=a8&c=168

 

 

then there is the low power requirements and similar performance of the gtx 750ti for around the same budget..but only 60 watt which will be fine with even the feable OEM 300 watt power supplies

 

http://pcpartpicker.com/parts/video-card/#sort=a8&qq=1&c=164

 

then there is the ram,  you have two slots available to put in an extra 2 or 4gb . your speccy report is indicating you are using half of your 4gb and your 64 bit OS is capable of recognizing more than 4 gb.   RAM can be upgraded for around 50..

 

http://pcpartpicker.com/parts/memory/#s=301333&t=11&Z=2048002,4096002&sort=a10


Edited by synergy513, 26 August 2014 - 10:57 PM.

Moore's Law : 4d Graph in Progress


#3 cat1092

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 11:26 PM

Though this would push you a bit over budget for now, but something to consider down the road, is an SSD to install your OS on. 

 

There are really good 120GB models on the Newegg site for as low as $80 on promo, you have to sign up for codes & you can use these on your other upgrades too. 120GB is plenty, if you keep your downloads, movies & whatever on your data drive. And will likely be the fastest component on your system. 

 

The Samsung 120GB 840 EVO is one of those that I have & one that goes for as low as $80, though $85 is more typical. The 250GB model, of which I also have, runs for as little as $130. Used to be, RAM was considered the best bang for the buck, now it's SSD's, since RAM pricing has skyrocketed since late 2011 lows, when one could get 8GB for $30 on promo (how I upgraded my MSI). The same exact set was $74 last year, when I upgraded the Toshiba & that was with a $10 off promo code. BTW, here's my 120GB Samsung 840 EVO. Linux Mint 17 is on it by itself now, though will soon have to make room for the Windows 9 Preview. Windows 7 & 8 are dual booting on the 250GB one. 

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820147247&cm_re=samsung_840_evo-_-20-147-247-_-Product

 

This is the graphics card that I purchased to upgrade the weak one that shipped with my Dell earlier in the year. However, I didn't install any of the junk software included that was out of date anyway, downloaded the drivers straight from AMD. It's overclocked out of the box anyway, it's not going to withstand that more of a push. Not a bad card for $100 & 3 year warranty. One 6 pin power cord needed from your PSU, there are included adapters for if you don't have a native 6 pin graphics card power plug. Runs good with my 460W PSU & has never ran hot nor noisy, though I don't game. However I do run virtual machines, that takes graphic power too. 

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127687

 

Still, as my colleague synergy513 points out, more RAM is needed. Back in 2009, 4GB was considered the "sweet spot". Today, it's 8GB, as technology has evolved & more demands are placed on components. Adequate RAM is a must have. 

 

And BTW, Welcome to BC Forums! :)

 

Just noticed it was your first post, almost forgot my manners.

 

If you need further assistance with choices, let us know. 

 

Good Luck with your upgrading, it will make a difference.  :thumbup2:

 

Cat


Edited by cat1092, 26 August 2014 - 11:33 PM.

Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 


#4 jayskinzracing

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 08:19 AM

Thanks for the help!

So, if I understand correctly, my CPU isn't too bad for now... I can upgrade my GPU (GTX750 TI looks nice... I'm kind of partial to Nvidia, although I know AMD has upped the ante here lately) and throw in more RAM and see a difference in game. 

 

That being said, as I am biased towards Nvidia, should I really be more open minded to the Radeon cards?  Between the two, is one better than the other for gaming?  I think my Mobo is built specifically for Nvidia...



#5 synergy513

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 12:40 PM

they both see-saw. one jumps in front of the other and back and forth they go. it is a drawn out story thats been going on for quite a few years.

 

the thing about the 750ti is that it doesn't need much power, so it is recommended  often if we don't know what kind of power supply is deployed. if a dual-core CPU is in the higher clock range (over 2.8 ghz) then the 750ti is a good fit, but the lower clock range is more suitable for a gt 640 or similar.

 

myself, the Dassault Systemes workstation applications i use at home specifies Nvidia, so i use Nvidia at home here. But in the field, i just reference both of them and let the user determine the best one.


Moore's Law : 4d Graph in Progress


#6 jayskinzracing

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 02:45 PM

I have a 550W power supply.  is the 750ti the highest-range video card that I'd benefit from right now? it DOES look like a good option, and the EVGA is in my price range.  also, I can unlock cores and have a quad-core processor.  does that change any of my options?



#7 synergy513

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 03:17 PM

at that price range, the 750ti and r7 265 is about as good as it gets and compliment a dual-core quite well. with a 550w, there is the gtx 660 which only requires one 6 pin. it is only slightly better than the 750ti though. the amd equivalent to the 660 is the r9 270x which is  more demanding of power (2 x 6pin), a little too much for a 550w in my estimate.  one other thing, don't get snookered in to the mail-in rebate bait (maybe that is a better term ...  re-bait). it can be done, but from everything i read, it requires quite a hustle to get the rebate.

 

 

here is the link for the gtx 660:  

 

http://pcpartpicker.com/parts/video-card/#sort=a8&c=114

 

as far as a quad -core CPU or overclocking, yes, that opens up alot more options.

 

but once you go past the 660/r9 270x, the options start getting expensive, and the desired results don't get alot better for funds spent.

 

the way i look at it is like this...will that 660 or r9 270x coupled with a quad core CPU  get at least 30 frames per second minimum in the highest detail on a 24" monitor, and the answer is YES. beyond  that it is wasteful spending.


Edited by synergy513, 27 August 2014 - 03:50 PM.

Moore's Law : 4d Graph in Progress


#8 jayskinzracing

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 03:35 PM

fair enough!  thanks for all your help bud!  I saw some 660's with 3GB onboard.  worth it?

 

edit: nvm, just saw it's a re-bait


Edited by jayskinzracing, 27 August 2014 - 03:38 PM.


#9 synergy513

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 03:52 PM

the 3gb might be nice to have if your display is massive. some games benefit with over 2gb, i can't recall which ones.


Moore's Law : 4d Graph in Progress


#10 synergy513

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 03:59 PM

sure thing...

 

don't forget about that solid state drive. although i have never done it, everything i read about them is spot on for a quality bang-for-the-buck upgrade


Moore's Law : 4d Graph in Progress


#11 jayskinzracing

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 03:59 PM

I play iRacing mostly... not sure if it'd benefit or not, but I know I can specify in my setting how to allocate memory.  The max ammt of vid mem that I can allocate right now is 2GB... but that may change as they upgrade.  my monitors not huge (I guess)... it's 22.5



#12 cat1092

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 09:15 PM

The only thing about the 2GB GDDR5 cards, those that are 128bit, many has the same CUDA cores (around 640), these aren't really separating themselves from the 1GB GDDR5 models when it comes down to it. Maybe slight improvement, but in some instances not 1.5 or 2x the money's worth. The ones that will install w/out extra power cable especially so, don't over pay for these. ASUS once had these for as little as $119 (128 bit 2GB GDDR5), but were AMD, as I recall. 

 

It really takes 192 or 256bit to start showing real improvement, but this comes with a price tag. 

 

For those who can benefit, here's a killer deal on a 256bit 2GB GDDR5 card, though dated, is still a performer. These were once highly rated & desired $359-$399 cards, now $109.99, these won't last long. SAPPHIRE DUAL-X Radeon HD 6970, brand new. Memory Clock of 5500MHz. Wow.....

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814202113

 

Finally, Many Thanks to my colleague, synergy513,    :)   for linking the Parts Picker site, components purchased from the provided links helps to provide clean & safe drinking water to those whom need it the most. I'll most certainly use the site whenever possible, much of the time the same selections on the Newegg or Amazon site are there. If one finds what's wanted, come back & purchase through the Parts Picker site. I have bookmarked the site to where it can be easily found. 

 

http://pcpartpicker.com/blog/46/more-than-building-computers#comments

 

There is more to life than computers. 

 

Cat


Edited by cat1092, 27 August 2014 - 09:17 PM.

Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 


#13 jayskinzracing

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 09:54 PM

How would a R9 270x compare?

#14 synergy513

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 11:20 PM

it looks like they perform about the same. the noticable difference is price and wattage TDP.   6970 is 250w while  270x is at 180w

 

http://gpuboss.com/gpus/Radeon-R9-270X-vs-Radeon-HD-6970


Moore's Law : 4d Graph in Progress


#15 cat1092

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Posted 28 August 2014 - 12:07 AM

If it matters, also the 6970 is PCI Express 2.0, the 270x is PCI Express 3.0. Most boards of today are PCI Express 3.0. I would probably say the 270x is more efficient & should run cooler. Whether it maintains market share for 4 years is yet to be seen. But I doubt it. That 6970 is geared towards those with older computers whom cannot take full advantage of PCI Express 3.0 offerings, and doesn't mind the extra power & heat. It's also still supported, and is a solid upgrade from AMD 3xxx through 5xxx models. 

 

According to your Speccy specs, your motherboard is PCI Express 2.0, though I don't know how that comes into play, like if a PCI Express 3.0 card was installed. Have no experience there. This is your MB, as reported by Speccy. 

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131636

 

Just by chance, this is the best Radeon PCI Express 2.0 that Newegg offers, according to the Q&A's on the site (to the right of Reviews). I don't expect this card to be available for long, as many are keeping their older PC's alive & well. There are still a few strong CPU's of that era in use too. 

 

Cat


Edited by cat1092, 28 August 2014 - 12:17 AM.

Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 





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