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Old October 3, 2012, 05:33 PM
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Default Get OCing motherboard for 2500K or spend on GPU?

Hi all, (hmm we need a dedicated "bottlenecks" section or something for cross-CPU/GPU posting)

Update: I used to not have a stable OC on this board at all, but today (Oct 6 2012) I pointed a 40mm fan straight at the set of 3 power phases directly to the left of the CPU + I'm using a downdraft cooler (GeminII). I haven't had any problems so far at 3.9 GHz, so 3.8 GHz is definitely doable. I assume a Core i5 2500k @ 3.8 GHz won't bottleneck any GPU for any game that isn't bugged, right?

I'd like to spend ~$330-400 before taxes on upgrades for gaming (namely Guild Wars 2 now and Borderlands 2 later on), but I'd like to know if I should:
  1. Dump it all on a GPU and wait for Haswell / Steamroller / my motherboard to go up in smoke?
  2. Get an OCing motherboard for my current i5 2500k and a lesser GPU?
Now that I can overclock to 3.9 GHz (although it's not pleasurable to my ears ), I assume the best option would be just to stay at 3.8-3.9GHz on the CPU and grab a new GPU to replace my 550Ti which bottlenecks just about everything at 1080p? I'm referring to my "My System Specs" computer.

Thanks!
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Last edited by frontier204; October 6, 2012 at 01:18 PM.
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Old October 3, 2012, 06:33 PM
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Some people will say spend it all I am sure, but personally (being a bang for buck kinda guy) I think that at your resolution if you swap the GPU to a gtx 660 (non-Ti) for around $220+tax and leave everything else as is you would be very happy. It is a great 1920x1080 GPU without breaking the bank, is substantially faster than your 550Ti, and will run fine on your power supply. You could go to a faster GPU, but you are getting diminishing returns at that point.

Gigabyte GTX 660 for $215 Here...PM to memoryexpress and get it for $211.40

If that is not a big enough upgrade for you, then consider going to a gtx 670. It will eat up all your budget, but is a noticable amount faster than the 660. Personally I wouldn't put the money towards a new motherboard at this point.
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Last edited by Bond007; October 3, 2012 at 06:42 PM.
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Old October 3, 2012, 06:41 PM
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You can do option 2 without getting a "lesser" GPU. I wouldn't consider a GTX 660 Ti / HD 7950 "lesser", for example. MSI have good quality overclocking boards geared towards gaming (less "hardcore" features that most people never use) for great prices. Take, for example, their Z77A-G43 for $99 before rebate. Pair that with a ~$300 GTX 660 Ti / HD 7950 and that brings you to ~$400 before taxes. Sell your current board and your GPU and you're well within budget for a sweet 1080p gaming rig.
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Old October 3, 2012, 07:35 PM
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Thanks for the replies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bond007 View Post
Some people will say spend it all I am sure, but personally (being a bang for buck kinda guy) I think that at your resolution if you swap the GPU to a gtx 660 (non-Ti) for around $220+tax and leave everything else as is you would be very happy.
Since I'd like to keep the GPU for at least 18 months (hopefully it'd be able to fold by then), would the Ti version help for the extra $60-70? The 670 is too much as you mentioned, since I'd be better getting the base 660 now and then getting its replacement right at its release for about the same amount of money.

Quote:
Originally Posted by YukonTrooper View Post
Take, for example, their Z77A-G43 for $99 before rebate. Pair that with a ~$300 GTX 660 Ti / HD 7950 and that brings you to ~$400 before taxes.
I looked at the Z77A-G43 and I'm concerned about what looks like a 3+2 VRM setup. Has anyone overclocked a Sandy Bridge on that one? I know a lot of motherboards gimped their VRMs with the lower max power of the Ivy.

I don't trade hardware online at all as I can't bring myself to give contact information to people I have never seen. The GTX 550Ti will become a 24/7 folder on my "HTPC" to replace a 7900GS that can't fold. The DP67DE, since it has cosmetic damage, will probably go to replacing my brother's or my parents' AM2 not plus platforms, which ever goes first.
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Old October 3, 2012, 11:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frontier204 View Post
I looked at the Z77A-G43 and I'm concerned about what looks like a 3+2 VRM setup. Has anyone overclocked a Sandy Bridge on that one? I know a lot of motherboards gimped their VRMs with the lower max power of the Ivy.
I have the P67A-G43 with 3+2 VRM setup. As a gaming rig, I've never pushed the board to its limit, instead settling on a 4.0GHz overclock on my 2500K for what I perceive as the best power/heat/performance relationship (it definitely goes higher, though). If you're looking for super-tweaked clocks, then definitely look elsewhere. However, for a sub $100 board after rebates, it's a great board with great build quality, as long as the cut down feature-set fits your needs.
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Old October 4, 2012, 01:23 AM
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It seems that a GPU upgrade would serve your immediate needs (gaming, GPU compute) better than an overclocking board at the moment as solid OC'ing m-ATX boards can fetch a slight premium, especially if you are interested in Intel's/AMD's next architectures.
I have built a couple of P180 boxes last year, adding a 120 front intake worked wonders as well as reversing the top fan as intake to cool the VRM's.
Grab a faster GPU now, resist the urge to SLI later.
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Old October 4, 2012, 12:50 PM
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2500k might just need a tad bump in voltage to stabilize your slight overclock.

I would go for the slightly better gpu route, a Radeon 7850/7870, A GTX660Ti, or Radeon 7950 depending on your budget.

The 7850/7870 with the right model are very fast and can handle pretty much everything, they also OC nicely(and gain alot of performance from doing it) and really do not get that much hotter or use that much more power doing so, excellent $/performance card. I have the Msi twin frozr III 7870 and love it, 2 of my buddies have the sapphire dual fan 7870 OC and we all get similar OC similar temps 65c or less 1.2Ghz core 1400+memory is nothing to sneeze at. 7850 might be a bit more $ freindly with the right choice, they have some wicked cards out there, 7870 is faster for sure, but an OC 7850 is not much behind it mostly cause they clock even higher.

GTX660Ti is a solid card apprently, somethings it doesn`t do so well, i.e all eye candy maxed at higher AA levels, but it does OC well, and does have a slight edge on the 7870 overall, it really depends on the game, settings, clock speeds etc. 7870 does have more bandwidth, but it is not often folks are pushing the 660 to that point anyways, up to you if its worth the extra cost over the 7870 e.g $40.

Around $45-$55 more and in the same bracket more or less as the GTX660 is the 7950, which overall is the faster card, and has no issues running settings up using AA/AF, it is a good $ difference to get that extra performance.

Its a choice you need to make, based on your budget among other things.

I personally would go with a better motherboard so you can take advantage of the better clock speeds etc, not to mention that high end cooler not being used :P, and a maybe mid range GPU such as the 7850 or GT650Ti. These should be able to play all the latest games at lower settings just fine, even more so with that 2500k clocked up(which helps Nvidia cards a bit more then Radeons) which can make a pretty large difference in quite a few situations.
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Old October 4, 2012, 02:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonstongue View Post
2500k might just need a tad bump in voltage to stabilize your slight overclock.
A tad more voltage and the DP67DE throttles the CPU to 3.3 GHz

Thanks for the suggestions. Haha just my luck that all the sales cycled, so I'll have to start again looking for the bang-for-the-buck deals.
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Old October 4, 2012, 03:00 PM
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Z77 MPOWER!!!!! it is a OCing god and I highly recommend it over anything else in the Z77 market :D
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Old October 4, 2012, 04:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soullessone21 View Post
Z77 MPOWER!!!!!
Hmm nice board - If there was a sawn-off (mATX) version I'd be willing to go overbudget for it.

Thanks for the replies all!
I think most of you pointed out that the GPU is more important, so I'll go for the 660Ti or 7950 and whatever's left goes to a motherboard.
For some reason I'm not seeing the same deals as I did last week (e.g. 7950 for $285 no MIR, 660Ti for $280 no MIR). Since I'm in no hurry, I set a good 20 or so price alerts for 7950s and 660 Tis. When one of the alerts triggers, I'll get both the GPU and motherboard.
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