Staredit Network > Forums > Technology & Computers > Topic: Yes, Another Computer Upgrade
Yes, Another Computer Upgrade
Jun 24 2014, 7:34 pm
By: CaptainWill  

Jun 24 2014, 7:34 pm CaptainWill Post #1



So I got a bonus recently and I realised the last time I upgraded my computer was in 2010. I'm looking to upgrade the majority of components to get an entry-level to low-mid-range gaming PC.

The current specs:
AMD Phenom II x2 555 Black Edition
4GB of generic RAM
Radeon HD5770 512MB
WD Caviar Black 512GB as system disk
An old but reliable Seagate Barracuda 250GB as a backup
Seagate Barracuda 1TB for data and program installs
MSI 770T-C45 mobo, with AMD 770 chipset and 700 southbridge
Corsair VX450 PSU

I don't want to break the bank and I have other things I have to spend money on. I've come up with the following proposal and wanted to know people's thoughts:

AMD FX-6300
8GB Crucial DDR3 PC3-10600 RAM
AMD R7 260X 2GB
Asus M5A97 R2 mobo, with AMD 970/SB950 chipset
Corsair CX600 PSU

It seems to give pretty good value for money. What do you all think?



None.

Jun 24 2014, 8:30 pm Roy Post #2

An artist's depiction of an Extended Unit Death

My favorite card to recommend is the GTX 750. It has similar performance to the 260X, but it consumes half the power, so you wouldn't need a 600W PSU (not that you need it for your suggested build, either).

I don't think you need to upgrade your PSU unless you're concerned about its age. I don't think four years is bad at all if you haven't been stressing the unit.

As for the RAM, I always try to just go for the best deal. RAM is so expensive right now, unfortunately. Here's the cheapest I can find at the moment: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820313377
If the price is all the same, I'd go for the Crucial Ballistix Sport, as it has a better CAS: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148540

The CPU/mobo upgrades seem fine to me.

Edit: I should clarify that I don't think any of your selections are bad; I'm just offering some alternative considerations for recreational mulling.

Edit 2: Just to quickly confirm on your RAM upgrade: you're using or will use a 64-bit OS, correct? If you're on 32-bit/x86, you won't be able to use more than 4GB.

Post has been edited 4 time(s), last time on Jun 24 2014, 9:45 pm by Roy.




Jun 24 2014, 8:42 pm Generalpie Post #3

Staredit Puckwork

Quote from Roy
My favorite card to recommend is the GTX 750. It has similar performance to the 260X, but it consumes half the power, so you wouldn't need a 600W PSU (not that you need it for your suggested build, either).
Slightly off-topic: What do you think is a cost-efficient step up from a 750ti?

Quote from Roy
As for the RAM, I always try to just go for the best deal. RAM is so expensive right now, unfortunately. Here's the cheapest I can find at the moment: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820313377
If the price is all the same, I'd go for the Crucial Ballistix Sport, as it has a better CAS: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148540
DDR4 was displayed at Computex, how much longer do you expect those prices to stay that way?

Post has been edited 2 time(s), last time on Jun 24 2014, 8:49 pm by Generalpie. Reason: Cleanup



None.

Jun 24 2014, 9:31 pm Roy Post #4

An artist's depiction of an Extended Unit Death

Quote from Generalpie
Slightly off-topic: What do you think is a cost-efficient step up from a 750ti?
It really depends on what you're looking for. The 750 Ti can handle most modern games somewhere between medium and high at 1080p. Nvidia and AMD are pretty much neck and neck on their mid-to-high-end cards in terms of cost. AMD cards have been a bit harder to acquire lately because they're so good for mining cryptocurrency, though.

If you can afford the additional power consumption, you can get the R9 270, which outperforms the 750 Ti on gaming benchmark tests by a significant enough margin to warrant spending an extra $30 or so. These cards had shot up to around $200 back when mining was big, but they've since dropped significantly in price to be a good consideration. Here's a good review on the 750 Ti that shows the performance of other cards (including the 270): http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-750-ti-review,3750-7.html

I'd probably suggest the GTX 770 if you're looking for a high-end card (which runs around $300-$330), though I don't think that qualifies for your "cost-efficient" requirement. I have a 2GB 770 myself, and it destroys every game I've thrown at it (while I'm playing a video on a second monitor, mind you). It's still cheaper than the previous generation's single-core flagship (the GTX 680) and ever-so-slightly outperforms it.

Quote from Generalpie
DDR4 was displayed at Computex, how much longer do you expect those prices to stay that way?
If history is any indicator, this will only drive the price of DDR3 up (see what happened to DDR2). There might be a short period of time where the price will drop to clear inventory, but older RAM doesn't drop in price in the same pattern as most other things that become obsolete.




Jun 25 2014, 12:23 am CaptainWill Post #5



Quote from Roy
My favorite card to recommend is the GTX 750. It has similar performance to the 260X, but it consumes half the power, so you wouldn't need a 600W PSU (not that you need it for your suggested build, either).

I don't think you need to upgrade your PSU unless you're concerned about its age. I don't think four years is bad at all if you haven't been stressing the unit.

As for the RAM, I always try to just go for the best deal. RAM is so expensive right now, unfortunately. Here's the cheapest I can find at the moment: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820313377
If the price is all the same, I'd go for the Crucial Ballistix Sport, as it has a better CAS: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148540

The CPU/mobo upgrades seem fine to me.

Edit: I should clarify that I don't think any of your selections are bad; I'm just offering some alternative considerations for recreational mulling.

Edit 2: Just to quickly confirm on your RAM upgrade: you're using or will use a 64-bit OS, correct? If you're on 32-bit/x86, you won't be able to use more than 4GB.

Good advice as always - thank you. It's good to hear that the PSU should be good for a while longer - I know that Corsair units are reliable but I wasn't sure how long I should expect a good one to last. That said, I have a plan to gift some of my old components (including the PSU) to my family so they can put together a decent home PC, so it looks like I will need to upgrade there. If you think 600W is overdoing it I will go for a CX500 instead.

On the question of the graphics card - I've always bought ATI/AMD cards in the past and I'm familiar with the manufacturers and what build quality to expect. I'm not so good on nVidia cards - it looks like the cheaper ones are MSI (who I've known as a reliable brand) while the more expensive are Asus and EVGA. Any particular recommendations there?

Also yes, I will be using a 64bit OS.



None.

Jun 25 2014, 12:42 am Roy Post #6

An artist's depiction of an Extended Unit Death

EVGA is ubiquitously the best manufacturer for Nvidia GPUs, and they're also well known for having excellent customer service in the event that you do get a defective card. Others I've seen recommended here have been Asus and Gigabyte. Personally, I've had a bad experience with Gigabyte, so I won't recommend them.




Jun 25 2014, 1:21 am NudeRaider Post #7

We can't explain the universe, just describe it; and we don't know whether our theories are true, we just know they're not wrong. >Harald Lesch

Btw. I think your system already qualifies as entry level gaming. Almost any system with a somewhat gaming oriented discrete video card does. The biggest hurt is your 512 MB of graphics RAM which forces you to hold back on the texture and anti-aliasing.
Then the CPU. It's really old and slow, but surprisingly, a lot of games are fine with that.

Still there's reasonable upgrades to make it a decent gaming computer:

Good catch from Roy on the efficiency, I'd get a 750 Ti though. Still as efficient as the non-Ti but 10-20 % faster (and 20% more expensive) but it has (and is designed for) 2 GB RAM. And the trend in graphics cards seems to be to get more memory for better looking textures. And believe me, textures really can define how good a game looks, now that we have established a solid base of (lighting) effects (= shader model) any card is featuring. There's already games on the market that make use of up to 6 GB (!) of video RAM, so don't go small there if you want it to last another 4 years.

As Roy said, get whatever RAM you can get for cheapest. Don't look at the MHz first, make sure you get 9 CAS latency THEN look for MHz. But in the end RAM will not bottleneck you whichever you get.

As Roy said, you could keep the PSU

Mobo looks fine. The only thing to complain about is that it has only 2 USB 3.0 ports on the rear (+ an internal slot for front panels your case might or might not have).

I won't try to convince you to get an Intel CPU because you don't seem to be looking for a fast CPU (nor would you need to for most games, as previously stated) or power/heat efficient CPU, but for cost efficiency - and AMD clearly wins there.

Quote from Generalpie
Slightly off-topic: What do you think is a cost-efficient step up from a 750ti?
Check this chart whenever you're trying to decide on a GPU. 1 Tier is roughly 15% faster. 3 Tiers up are a reasonable upgrade.

EDIT:
Almost forgot to mention a blatant oversight that struck me when I read your upgrades:
Get a SSD ffs! They are the hyper triggers of computers. ( :P ) They are not for gaming but they make everything else so responsive you'll wonder how you survived without it. And they are really getting cheap now.
120/128 GB should be enough since you already have enough storage. And videos won't load any faster on SSDs and game loading times are also just barely improved.
The Samsung 840 Evo has the best price / performance ratio right now, but if you want to save a few bucks don't shy away from cheap ones. They will still speed up system boot by 3-4 times compared to now. Other loading times will increase accordingly, of course.

And an upgrade is also the ideal time to put the OS on a new drive as it wouldn't drag along all the old drivers and makes a system feel fresh at the same time.

EDIT2: (You guys are writing faster than I can keep up) :P
Quote from CaptainWill
I'm not so good on nVidia cards - it looks like the cheaper ones are MSI (who I've known as a reliable brand) while the more expensive are Asus and EVGA. Any particular recommendations there?
Get Zotac if you're looking for the cheapest brand. I've had a few Zotac cards and they "just worked" until replaced so I can't say anything about quality or service.

Post has been edited 3 time(s), last time on Jun 27 2014, 1:53 am by NudeRaider.




Jun 26 2014, 3:49 am Sacrieur Post #8

Still Napping

Quote from Roy
Quote from Generalpie
Slightly off-topic: What do you think is a cost-efficient step up from a 750ti?
It really depends on what you're looking for. The 750 Ti can handle most modern games somewhere between medium and high at 1080p. Nvidia and AMD are pretty much neck and neck on their mid-to-high-end cards in terms of cost. AMD cards have been a bit harder to acquire lately because they're so good for mining cryptocurrency, though.

Except their Titan Z. AMD's Radeon blew it out of the water.



None.

Jun 26 2014, 11:48 am rockz Post #9

ᴄʜᴇᴇsᴇ ɪᴛ!

Don't waste your money on a high powered PSU. Waste your money on a gold PSU:
Corsair CS450M for $15 with iphone AR or $30 AR
Note that the Corsair CS line sucks among enthusiasts since they're cheap and often have a whine associated with them. I haven't seen any reviews either.

Highly recommend an Intel/nVidia setup due to the vast differences in efficiency. 750 ti is the best budget card out there, and any intel quad core made later than 2011 will be perfect, though you can drop down to a dual core i3 and not notice much difference.

Also, chalk up another SSD vote. They're cheap as hell now. You can grab 120 GB for $60 on a regular basis and 256 GB for $110.



"Parliamentary inquiry, Mr. Chairman - do we have to call the Gentleman a gentleman if he's not one?"

Jun 26 2014, 8:59 pm Generalpie Post #10

Staredit Puckwork

I third an SSD. Made my life much easier when I made the jump



None.

Jun 27 2014, 5:49 pm Sacrieur Post #11

Still Napping

Quote from rockz
Don't waste your money on a high powered PSU. Waste your money on a gold PSU:
Corsair CS450M for $15 with iphone AR or $30 AR
Note that the Corsair CS line sucks among enthusiasts since they're cheap and often have a whine associated with them. I haven't seen any reviews either.

Ugh yes they have a deplorable coil whine.

I suggest a semi-modular one. They're cheaper than full modular.



None.

Jun 30 2014, 2:37 am CaptainWill Post #12



Well, I went ahead with the upgrade.

I did swap out the AMD GPU for the 750 Ti - that was good advice. I'm surprised at just how efficient it is - it takes all of its power out of the PCI-e slot.

I probably should have got an SSD. However, I had already pulled the trigger by the time the votes came in for that. Perhaps something for the future.

I did move to a CS500 - not particularly because I need a new PSU, but because I am gifting the old components to my family to build a PC and it wouldn't be much good without a power supply. I'm a bit disappointed that the CS line is not as good as the VX line though (which used all Japanese caps). I managed to drop the VX on a coffee table while I was taking it out (from about a foot) - I really hope that hasn't broken it...



None.

Jun 30 2014, 10:46 am NudeRaider Post #13

We can't explain the universe, just describe it; and we don't know whether our theories are true, we just know they're not wrong. >Harald Lesch

Quote from CaptainWill
I probably should have got an SSD. However, I had already pulled the trigger by the time the votes came in for that. Perhaps something for the future.
Do it! It's never too late to make you happy. ;)




Jul 1 2014, 1:24 pm Aristocrat Post #14



Quote from CaptainWill
I did swap out the AMD GPU for the 750 Ti - that was good advice. I'm surprised at just how efficient it is - it takes all of its power out of the PCI-e slot.
Wow. Times sure have changed.



None.

Jul 2 2014, 11:04 pm rockz Post #15

ᴄʜᴇᴇsᴇ ɪᴛ!

Indeed. AMD finally owns the fastest GPU on the market too, and it's half the price of nVidia.



"Parliamentary inquiry, Mr. Chairman - do we have to call the Gentleman a gentleman if he's not one?"

Jul 11 2014, 11:34 pm CaptainWill Post #16



Well it's been a short while since the upgrade and things are running very nicely. However for over a year now I've had a massive gouge in the middle of my monitor so it's maybe time I got a new one. The problem is this was a very high quality monitor and I got it from my dad's old office for free.

It's a Lacie Photon20VisionII - which retailed for over $2,000 back in 2003 when it was released. It was designed for people who worked in the graphic design industry. http://www.digitalartsonline.co.uk/reviews/creative-hardware/photon20vision/

Unfortunately it took a beating when it was transported in my ex-gf's car when I moved house. It works fine but the gouge is in the middle and quite irritating. I'm not looking for a like-for-like replacement but I do want something that isn't crap. Would a reasonably-priced monitor today beat a $2k one from 2003?



None.

Jul 12 2014, 7:52 am Fire_Kame Post #17

wth is starcraft

Do you have a specific application that will greatly influence your choice in monitors? I have two of these, and they have served me well...the thing is I got these because I tile all of my windows and right now I can see my browser, excel spreadsheet and word processor document in full with room to spare. (edit, this one has better reviews for an extra $40)...

I just don't know if it will beat a monitor that retailed for 2k. I guess if I had 2k to spend on graphic design equipment I would rather spend it on a Cintiq...not really be thinking about the monitors.

Post has been edited 1 time(s), last time on Jul 12 2014, 8:00 am by Fire_Kame.




Jul 12 2014, 3:21 pm CaptainWill Post #18



Thanks Kame. I have no specific applications that will require that kind of quality. Basically so long as it's suitable for playing games then it will be fine. Also it would need to be 1080p+.

Although I'm now so used to a 4:3 aspect ratio screen that I kind of don't want to go widescreen.



None.

Jul 12 2014, 4:03 pm Roy Post #19

An artist's depiction of an Extended Unit Death

This monitor is a great deal right now at $130, considering it's not an annoying MIR offer: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824014377
Or, if you'd rather have a slightly smaller screen but an IPS monitor, for the same price there's this (it doesn't have DVI, but it has HDMI): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824005589

Also, widescreen is the best. Join us.




Jul 12 2014, 8:59 pm Generalpie Post #20

Staredit Puckwork

Quote from Aristocrat
Quote from CaptainWill
I did swap out the AMD GPU for the 750 Ti - that was good advice. I'm surprised at just how efficient it is - it takes all of its power out of the PCI-e slot.
Wow. Times sure have changed.
My keyboard has a mode that disables the Windows button so I don't screw up in-game. We live in exciting times.



None.

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