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Upgrade or Build a new

Heath901Heath901 Member Posts: 7

I currently need to upgrade my CPU since it is not performing well in new games such as Rift beta, SC2, etc.

Current Specs:

windows 7 prof

amd athlon 64 dual core processor 6000 3.1ghz

nvidia geforce 9800gtx 512

4gigs ram ddr2

asus m3a78t motherboard

no SSD or cooling options

 

I think if i make hardware upgrades Im going to have to upgrade my power supply and also my case since it was a cheap case.  I do not know if it would be cheaper to upgrade or buy a full new setup.  What does it take now for a high/solid end gaming performance computer? Thanks

Comments

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,094

    It largely depends on your budget.  If there's a BIOS update available for that motherboard (and there probably is), then you could get this:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103471

    then add a new video card and perhaps power supply and have something viable for a while longer.

    If you've got $1000 or more to spend, then it would make more sense to build a new system based around Intel's Sandy Bridge architecture, which would give you about double the single-threaded performance of what you have, as well as having four processor cores rather than two.

  • noquarternoquarter Member Posts: 1,170

    What kind of budget do you have? What resolution do you play at?

    You can update the bios on your motherboard to support the Phenom II X4 CPU's and pick up a Phenom II X4 955 for $149.
    http://www.asus.com/Product.aspx?P_ID=PaJTmB4aZ9WAYnM6&content=specifications#

    Your video card is hard to replace, it's still an ok card so upgrading from it isn't that efficient. A $180 Geforce GTX 460 1GB would still be a good step up in performance, if you can afford it a $250 GTX 560 would be your best bet for Rift though.

  • OszyOszy Member UncommonPosts: 87

    But  you have to really ask yourself this...Is that Game really worth spending $$$ on it. I mean dont spend $1000 just to play Rift.

  • Heath901Heath901 Member Posts: 7

    This will be split between me and one another an we have about a 1200$ limit.  Ive looked into the intel core i5  2500k 3.3ghz and the new nvidia gfx cards.  That amd processor would possibly be the way to go if its cheaper then.  Though im interested in possibly upgrading to ddr3 ram and gfx card.  This is upgrade is not just for Rift though other upcoming games and current games.

  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,060

     
    If you are looking to go from DDR2 to DDR3, then that is a motherboard upgrade in addition to the DIMMs themselves.

    My general rule of thumb, if the motherboard needs to get upgraded, I ebay/trade/sell/gift the old computer and build from new. Socket upgrades often make CPUs hard to carry forward, as well as memory differences, and by the time you get a new motherboard/CPU/RAM, you've got 2/3 of a new computer already.

    That being said, the performance difference between DDR2 and DDR3 is less than impressive ( http://www.anandtech.com/show/3501 )

    You will see a pretty good upgrade just bumping the CPU, going to a Phenom II based CPU (assuming a BIOS upgrade will let that motherboard accept it, the sockets are compatible) will make a cheap and impressive upgrade for under $200. Also bumping the video card up to a current generation would provide another impressive boost - say a nV 460GTX or an AMD6850, again, under $200.

  • noquarternoquarter Member Posts: 1,170

    Yep if you keep your current mobo and everything and just upgrade the CPU to a Phenom II X4 955 and get a GTX 570 it'll run about $480 and have legs till you eventually *need* to upgrade the CPU + mobo + RAM.


    Since it sounds like you have the money to spend you could go ahead and get the overhaul out of the way now and grab an i5 2500k, 4GB DDR3, a socket 1155 mobo, a GTX 570 and reuse everything else you already have. It'll run you about $830 but be a beast especially in RTS and MMO games that can be very CPU intensive.


    In fact those are the only 2 types of games you will really notice any difference between the Phenom II X4 and the i5 2500k because they will both get you at least 60 fps in most games. But especially CPU hungry games can run the Phenom II X4 outta steam while the i5 won't break a sweat.


    So really it's up to you.. $480 and have to put off the overhaul another couple years, or $830 and get it done now and be assured you are getting top performance in the 2 types of games you are using as criteria (Rift and SC2). I'd probably go with the i5 since you have the budget, and you can gift/sell the old mobo/cpu/ram.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,094

    I don't think it makes much sense to replace the motherboard and memory if you're going to get an AMD processor that would have allowed you to keep both.  You can expect an improvement in single-threaded performance of maybe 20%-30% by getting a Phenom II processor, and then having four cores instead of two will help further in programs that scale well to more than two cores.  DDR2 memory would probably hold your system back somewhat in relatively memory-intensive programs that scale well to all four cores, but wouldn't make much difference in most games.

    Now, for a new system, I'd say definitely get a newer Socket AM3 motherboard and DDR3 memory, even if it means having to pay an extra $20 over older parts.  But if you've already got the older parts paid for and the difference in price tag is $150, it's not worth it to replace them unless you're going to upgrade all the way to Sandy Bridge.

    What you already have should run most games just fine at moderate settings, so I don't think you have a dire need to upgrade.  With that hardware, I'd probably hold off until either Sandy Bridge comes back in a couple of months or Bulldozer launches.  AMD is saying Bulldozer will launch in the second quarter of this year, but won't say more precisely than that.  I'd expect Bulldozer to launch 1-2 months after the return of Sandy Bridge.

    Sandy Bridge isn't just faster than older processors.  It's likely to be nearly the end of the line on single-threaded processor performance.  If you get a Phenom II, then you might well be looking to upgrade the processor (and replace the motherboard and perhaps memory) again in a few years.  If you get a Sandy Bridge, then a few years from now, there won't be much point in upgrading the processor, as newer ones won't be that much faster (maybe 10% or 20%) for gaming use.  Bulldozer should be competitive with Sandy Bridge, so upgrading to Bulldozer will be a lot like upgrading to Sandy Bridge.

  • Heath901Heath901 Member Posts: 7

    Well I think after today I have decided to wait for the Sandy Bridge system to fix itself or the AMD Bulldozer.  It all depends on how patient I can be I guess.  Is there any released date on the bulldozer release or its stats so far compared to the intels cpu?  I cant find as much info on the amd bulldozer though I havent researched it much.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,094

    AMD says Bulldozer will release in the second quarter fo this year.  If you want to look up information on it, you can also try Orochi (the name of the first Bulldozer die) or Zambezi (the name of the desktop processor built on that die).  Bulldozer is the name of the architecture.  A tech site recently reported that Bulldozer was delayed, and AMD almost immediately replied to say, no, you're wrong, it's still on schedule and will be released in the second quarter of this year.

    Bulldozer is kind of an eight core processor, but will make the notion of "cores" somewhat more nebulous than it has been in the past.  Bulldozer is based around modules, where each module has two integer cores, one floating point core that can split to let both integer cores use part of the floating point core at once, some L2 cache shared among the entire module, and some other stuff.  Basically, AMD sat down and tried to figure out which bits of hardware needed to be present in every single core, which could be shared among multiple cores in a module, and which could be present once and shared among everything in the entire processor.  Whatever they decided in various bits of hardware is what they put into Bulldozer.

    Zambezi will have four modules, so kind of eight cores, though it's something less than a true eight core processor.  It's certainly something more than an Intel Core i7's four cores plus hyperthreading that presents itself to the OS as an eight core processor, and is something more than a quad core.  There will also be salvage parts, with one or two of the modules disabled because it didn't work.  This is similar to how AMD makes quad core processors, and if one of the cores doesn't work, they disable it and sell it as a three core processor, and various other combinations like that.

    We don't know how Bulldozer will perform yet.  This is the architecture that AMD wants to use for a long time, and I have the impression that this is going to be the basis of AMD processors until 2015.  My guess is that Bulldozer will be a little slower than Sandy Bridge in instructions per cycle (loosely, single-threaded performance per clock cycle), but clock higher than Sandy Bridge by default, giving comparable single-threaded performance at the expense of additional power consumption.  Bulldozer should destroy Sandy Bridge in programs that scale well to eight cores, simply becuase eight cores beat four unless the four are vastly superior to the eight on a per core basis.

    For gaming purposes, I'd expect the processors themselves in Sandy Bridge and Bulldozer to be fairly comparable.  Bulldozer will probably come with better chipsets, because Intel cordons off the high end chipsets from everything else with a different processor socket, while AMD will let you pair even a single core, low end Sempron processor with a high end 890FX chipset if you so desire.  For people who want to go CrossFire, I expect Bulldozer to be the clearly superior option.  For SLI, it depends on whether Nvidia finally relents and allows SLI to work on AMD chipsets.  If Bulldozer is good enough, it may force Nvidia's hand here, as their choice would be to relent as they have for Intel chipsets or make SLI all but dead until the high end Sandy Bridge processors launch near the end of this year, and make SLI only marginally relevant even then.

    But that's all just my guess.  It's a more educated guess than that of someone who has never heard of either Bulldozer or Sandy Bridge, but far less of an educated guess than some employees at AMD who have actually tested the processors would have.  If Bulldozer beats Sandy Bridge by a significant margin in single-threaded performance, then Intel could be in for a long two years, at least until Haswell launches, as Intel would be forced to slash prices and not make much profit, or else high end laptops could end up as the only market where an Intel processor makes much sense at all.  (Bulldozer cores probably won't be that great for laptops; AMD's rationale for introducing Bobcat was so that they could ignore laptops when designing Bulldozer, and make every decision on the basis of desktop and server performance.)  On the other hand, if Bulldozer isn't able to catch Lynnfield in single threaded performance, let alone Sandy Bridge, then AMD investors should worry that the company will go out of business entirely.

  • AethaerynAethaeryn Member RarePosts: 3,102

    Originally posted by Heath901

    I currently need to upgrade my CPU since it is not performing well in new games such as Rift beta, SC2, etc.

    Current Specs:

    windows 7 prof

    amd athlon 64 dual core processor 6000 3.1ghz

    nvidia geforce 9800gtx 512

    4gigs ram ddr2

    asus m3a78t motherboard

    no SSD or cooling options

     

    I think if i make hardware upgrades Im going to have to upgrade my power supply and also my case since it was a cheap case.  I do not know if it would be cheaper to upgrade or buy a full new setup.  What does it take now for a high/solid end gaming performance computer? Thanks

    I have almost the exact same computer except I have an asus M4N mobo and a GForce 260GTX  card.  I played rifts fine.    EDIT:  Sorry I also had to get a new PSU because the card uses a lot of power.

    Wa min God! Se æx on min heafod is!

  • Heath901Heath901 Member Posts: 7

    well i think your video card is a little bit better than mine possibly.  Im recieving 15-30 fps in Rift.  Im going to continue gaming on this PC and possibly in the next couple of months buy a Sandy Bridge system.  Possibly once i grab a sandy bridge system I can be on it and let a friend play with me though on this setup.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,094

    If you're assembling parts yourself, you don't necessarily have to do everything at once.  You might be able to upgrade only the video card right now, and do the processor later.  Upgrading the video card might require replacing the power supply and/or case, but you could replace the video card with the one you intend to get eventually without replacing the entire system.

  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,060

     






    Originally posted by Quizzical

    If you're assembling parts yourself, you don't necessarily have to do everything at once.  You might be able to upgrade only the video card right now, and do the processor later.  Upgrading the video card might require replacing the power supply and/or case, but you could replace the video card with the one you intend to get eventually without replacing the entire system.



     

    Agreed. A video card would give you an immediate and noticeable boost, and you can easily carry it forward to your next computer. Keep your old card, and when you do finally get the parts for that next computer, put it back inside this older one so you can sell/gift it as a complete unit.

    Just don't forget about the power supply. That also can easily be carried forward as well, and you may or may not need it in your current computer depending on what power supply you have now. Trying to run a GTX480 on a 300W power supply would be nothing but hurt, but you might be able to get away with it if it's a 500W. A good quality 650W power supply is enough to run almost any configuration of CPU/Hard drives/single video card, with modest overclocks on all components. If you  plan on SLI/Crossfire, or something else unusual (lots of hard drives, extreme overclocks, etc), then you'll want to go higher. Mid and lower tier video cards can get away with considerably less wattage.

    It may also let you stretch your budget a bit easiler, since your buying a really expensive part now (often GPUs are the single most expensive item on a gaming rig), and then have 2-3 months to recoup before buying the rest.

  • noquarternoquarter Member Posts: 1,170


    Originally posted by Heath901
    well i think your video card is a little bit better than mine possibly.  Im recieving 15-30 fps in Rift.  Im going to continue gaming on this PC and possibly in the next couple of months buy a Sandy Bridge system.  Possibly once i grab a sandy bridge system I can be on it and let a friend play with me though on this setup.

    It's true, Rift is really giving me an upgrade itch as well even though I know I still have at least a month and that most my problems might just be bad coding that get fixed in the next couple driver updates/game patches.. Hard to be patient.. I'm going to grab a Radeon 6950 2GB the second I can find one for $250.
  • rdom69rdom69 Member Posts: 7

    if you're not satisfy in your specs why dont you just upgrade it....less cost rather than buying a new one.

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