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Cheap upgrade vs a 550ti?


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#1 AceMcCrank

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Posted 12 April 2018 - 05:01 PM

Looking to do some better gaming with this PC with just upgrading the essentials. It doesn't have to be high-res, but good enough to run Windowed at 720p recording @30FPS+ for some higher-end games which my current build can struggle with. I'm in the United States, not looking for anything over $150 (Hopefully, I mean I picked up the 550ti for $35.) I'll also be upgrading my CPU to an i7-2700k once I get the funds together, since it seems it can overclock to an easy 4.9 Ghz with the right cooling setup and undervolting.

My build atm:
Motherboard: Intel DQ67SW
8 GB 1600mhz RAM (Compatible thanks to a BIOS update)
another 4 GB @ 1333mhz for a total of 12 GB (I will be upgrading this to another set of 1600mhz memory eventually, but not too much. 32 GB is overkill for the processor lineup available for the Sandy Bridge, I think. But, you could prove me wrong also.)
Intel Core i5-2400 @ 3.1 Ghz
650w power supply
ASUS 550ti 1GB
120 GB SSD
320 GB HDD (Looking to eventually upgrade these as well, in fact on priority. The SSD is going on 6 years old now, and the HDD is starting to make a little noise when revving, including a slight clicking so I know it's bound to go soon.)

It will likely be a bit of time before I can do any of these upgrades (probably the next 2 months or so if I get lucky)

Thing is, I'm clueless when it comes to video card models. I know I'm limited to the PCIe 16x 2.0 port (only one), but there is just so many out there to try and sort through. Eventually, this is what I'm looking at:

Motherboard: Motherboard: Intel DQ67SW
8 GB 1600 Mhz RAM on Channel 0 (This is the channel that shares itself with the GPU)
8 GB 1600mhz RAM on channel 1 (Total 16 GB)
Intel Core i7-2700k @ 3.4 Ghz (Overclocked to 4.0 Ghz, otherwise I think I may need a waterblock and I'm not quite ready to invest in that)
650w power supply
????? Video Card
500 GB SSD 1 TB HDD

Hopefully the Crypto mining market will be dying soon as well, so it is okay to recommend something over the proposed amount, because it will be considered if the price is able to drop. Currently I am able to get a solid, steady 60+ FPS on Unreal Tournament Pre-Alpha while recording in OBS, and Minecraft Shaders can reach over 300 FPS depending on settings. I haven't played a game in Fortnite yet to test the quality but it does run loud even on just the loading screen.



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#2 Drillingmachine

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Posted 13 April 2018 - 04:36 AM

I doubt you can overclock heavily with that motherboard. Also price of i7-2700K should be very cheap to be worthwhile purchase.



#3 thatdoodle

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 06:28 AM

Looking at your build, most of the components are still pretty decent to be honest - 12GB RAM is enough for todays standards, i5 2400 can still play a lot of games.

 

If you've got $150 to spend you can pick up a used GTX 970 off of ebay. Still a really strong card & a massive improvement over what you have currently. I think that will give you the best bang for your buck. 

 

You're also not restricted to PCIe 2.0 either. PCIe 3.0 is fully backwards compatible, you just lose a tiny bit of performance (not much at all though).



#4 RecursiveNerd

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 12:15 PM

What is the make and model of your current power supply? While 6 years isn't that old, if the power supply you have isn't from a reputable manufacturer, you could be pushing it with how much life it has left.

 

With regards to memory - your memory runs at the speed in which the lowest of the DIMMs runs. Therefore, by adding that single 4GB stick of 1333 MHz, your other RAM is also running at that speed. If that is okay for you, then by all means keep all 12 GB of memory in there. Also, since your board is dual-channel, running three DIMMs is not the most ideal scenario in terms of performance.

 

Likewise, I agree with Drillingmachine that the Intel board is not going to support overclocking very well. If anything, you might be able to squeeze .1-.3 GHz over the turbo clock, but I do not think you will be getting near 4.9 GHz and overclocking.

 

Here's a little word of advice about used GPUs. If you're buying a pre-owned GPU from eBay or some other third-party retailer, you should be aware that many of those are from old crypto-mining rigs. These rigs are subjected to higher sustained loads and temperatures than normal. This puts more stress on the GPU and can affect its life expectancy. You might get lucky and get a pre-owned card used for mining that lasts you another 2+ years. You could also get one that is close to burning out and may only last you 6 months. I think it's important to keep this in mind if you're going to buy a pre-owned GPU.

 

If you're looking for a new card, the GTX 1050 and RX 560 are pretty close in both terms of price and performance.



#5 AceMcCrank

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 03:42 PM

The way the RAM is split, is between two separate channels, and 4 sticks. Oddly enough, this motherboard supports running the separate channels at different clock speeds through the BIOS, so that isn't an issue. There is a slight slowdown if I start to hit over that 8 GB RAM limit, but my main issue is that I'm usually maxing out my CPU by that point. The 2 4GB 1600 Mhz sticks are on the same channel as my GPU, so gaming isn't too horrible, though it can get a bit loud sometimes so I'm thinking of maybe getting an AOI liquid cooler. I've seen a few models with it included.

As for getting a video card, yes, miners can out some wear on those video cards, but I don't mind refurbishing the hardware to get them back to like-new condition. After all, that is what I did for this 550ti, which actually got it running much quieter and about a 15-20% increase in performance. Plus, running at Max all the time is not quite as stressful on the components as ramping up and down, which can damage the internal components. A quick solder check and applying some thermal grizzly kryonaut should be able to do the trick in most cases.

I like the suggestions for the cards though. As I said, I'm not all too familiar with the actual models and which ones are better, especially for my money.

#6 thatdoodle

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Posted 20 April 2018 - 02:56 AM

To be honest, the difference between 1333MHz and 1600MHz, and single to dual channel is not noticeable in day-to-day operation. That's cool you can run the different RAM separately though, i've not seen a motherboard that can do that before.

 

If you're not bothered about the card being used, the 970 is quite a bit faster than the 1050/560. If you do buy a used card, I would recommend finding an ebay seller with a lot of cards for sale at once, usually those are miners that have a proper setup, and so underclock/undervolt their cards to increase the lifespan. That's just a rule of thumb though.

But yeah, if you're going to clean the heatsinks, replace fans, check solder points etc you shouldn't have any issues.






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