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Old January 6, 2012, 02:26 PM
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So, I've got a current PC that I've built about 3-5 years ago. It's been given a couple of minor upgrades here and there, but it's a little bit choppy and I fear the motherboard is failing. I've had some hard system locks and strange "apparently" unrelated errors. When I originally built this machine I was a huge gamer and played a wide range of games (RTS/FPS/MMO, etc) and I built it as such.

These days I do much, much less gaming than I used to, although I still game and I expect the machine will be able to pull it's weight if need be. I primarily play shooters and RTS games these days (Battlefield 3, Company of Heroes, "Source" engine games, World of Tanks, also some grand strategy games, Hearts of Iron, EU3..) I do notice that the small Core size of my processor is hurting my gaming performance. It just dogs in single cored applications.

These days the primary thing I used my computer for is mainly multitasking. I'm a multitasking freak and I want a machine that doesn't dog when I want to alt-tab from my game and flick on an HD movie on my second screen- so that I can play World of Tanks and watch an HD movie, or listen to music, or browse the internet between matches. I want a machine that is "future proof" and so I plan on buying a substantial amount of RAM and a large processor so I do not have to upgrade the machine for a while. I am lazy and once the machine is built I hope I won't have to fiddle with it often.

I plan on upgrading in 2 "Phases'. The first phase, right now will be Motherboard/CPU/RAM/Cooler/Powersupply. And I plan on buying a larger drive and a videocard probably during the Summer time (I'm waiting for the AMD 7000 series, plus I want to get a nice videocard and I don't have the cash.) and I plan on spending about 400-500 on the hard drive and videocard combo, later.

I have a budget between 1200 - 1400~ (can run as high as 1500, but I'd rather not break the bank). I'm Canadian and I'd prefer to buy from Canadian retailers or whatnot.

Current Build

CPU: AMD Phenom X4 9750 (9700 Zalman Cooler)
Motherboard: AFI Lanparty DK790FX
RAM: 4GB DDR2
Videocard: ATI 4870
Hard Drive(s): 250 GB HDD (7200 RPM) and 500 GB HDD (7200 RPM)
Case: ANTEC 900
Power Supply: 600 Watt Power Supply
OS: Windows Visa Home Premium (Yuck)


Planned build and upgrade

CPU: Intel Core i7 3930 (599$ Newegg.ca) (Corsair H70 Liquid Cooler 91.99$, newegg.ca)
Motherboard: Intel BOXDX79SI LGA 2011 Motherboard (279.99$, newegg.ca)
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaw 32GB (8x4GB) (183.99 GB)
Videocard: ATI 4870 - I'd love to have some upgrade suggestions, if possible.
Hard Drive(s): Same for now
Case: Same
Power Supply: Rosewill HIVE-750 750W (99.99 on sale, newegg.ca)
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium (109.99, newegg.)


What I'm really interested in is a honest review of my upgrades and some pros/cons of the choices I made in relations to my goals. I am buying a LOT of ram (for a pretty decent price, I think) and I plan on having some fun with perhaps a RAM-drive or something of the sorts. Beyond that, any suggestions on things I can do to lower the price or other options or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Last edited by OhSlowpoke; January 6, 2012 at 02:32 PM.
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Old January 6, 2012, 02:32 PM
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Intel 3920 should be release shortly. I think it'll be about $200 less than the $3930. 3.6GHZ, 3.9 turbo core. Might be worth waiting for.
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Old January 6, 2012, 02:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by great_big_abyss View Post
Intel 3920 should be release shortly. I think it'll be about $200 less than the $3930. 3.6GHZ, 3.9 turbo core. Might be worth waiting for.
+1 and for the gpu maybe get a 7xxx series when available or acouple 6970's and for the power supply go with a corsair, xfx, nzxt, or antec. rosewill doesnt have very good psu's
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Old January 6, 2012, 02:44 PM
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Unless you plan on utilizing something that uses that 6-core 12 thread processor (most games don't scale beyond 4 cores), or plan on multiple graphics cards down the line, I'd stick to a LGA1155 build and save yourself hundreds of dollars.

Get a i7 2500k (4 cores) or 2700k (4 cores with HT) and a Z68 mobo like this: ASUS P8Z68-V LE Z68 LGA1155 ATX DDR3 2PCI-E16 2PCI-E1 3PCI SATA3 Audio Video Motherboard - ASUS - P8Z68-V LE

Get a Corsair H80 instead of a H70, here's a price less than what you've listed: Corsair Cooling Hydro Series H80 High Performance CPU Cooler System LGA775 1366 1156 1155 AM2 AM3 - DirectCanada

For your power supply I'd recommend getting a Seasonic or Corsair like this one: Buy CORSAIR [CMPSU-750TXV2] Corsair TX750 V2 750W ATX 12V Single Rail 60A 24PIN ATX Power Supply Active PFC 80PLUS Bronze

And shop somewhere that does price matching like NCIX or Memory Express. Use shopbot.ca to find the best prices on your parts.
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Old January 6, 2012, 02:44 PM
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Any specific PSU's in the 700-800 range you guys suggest?

Well, as stated, the biggest reason I'm doing this upgrade is multi-tasking potential/futureproofing. Right now, as an example, I've got 4 Chrome browsers open, each with 10+ tabs, I've got 3 documents open, teamspeaek, I'm watching a Movie in HD, I'm running CPUz and I've got World of Tanks minimized (I'll play a game here-and-there) and that's the reason for the 6 core, really.

Also, I don't overclock.

Last edited by OhSlowpoke; January 6, 2012 at 02:59 PM.
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Old January 6, 2012, 09:19 PM
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If you don't OC forget the "k" marked chips.. Although you really should as you will get 30% more performance for very little money. (And it's quite easy, just follow a guide).

I'd be tempted to OC your current build and hold off on the upgrade till the summer (new nvidia's and Ivybridge) as your bits aren't too bad at all (but starting to reach their limit)

Oc'ing the processor and dropping in another 2 GB of ram (or 4 if it's cheap enough) mixed with a fresh install of your OS and that rig would probably be fine for another while..

Also then when you finally do want to build after taking these steps you can sell this reasonable (for non hard core gamers) gaming rig and buy all new parts (case etc etc) and add to your budget. lets say selling this rig for ??350 dollars? 400? right person and you could get maybe 450-500..
That is going give you a damn nice case and probably a bump to your GPU budget too.


If your absolutely upgrading now then I would go with SugarJ's recommendation.

Also drop half the ram... you should be more than fine with 8 GB never mind 16 or, oh dear god, 32 GB.. Running win7 64 ultimate ed I have ALOT of crap open at the same time and on my x58 build (i7 950) I am usually sat around 3GB of ram being used.
The great thing about RAM is that even if you buy a lesser amount (like 8GB, which should be plenty), it's still cheap and really easy to install with no set-up changes needed if you really need more.

As you've said you not an overclocker.. just use stock cooler or if you really want a closed loop look at a H60 (in push-pull as it will match the 80 and costs less).

PSU the xfx, antec, corsair are all the same as the Seasonic 850 watt, get the cheapest one of these you can find (note that I'm talking about the silver cert one)
850 watts will be more than enough for a single card build with a brace of hdd's and any oc you could possibly manage.. or dual cards and oc (might be tight if picking 2 VERY high end cards)

GPU, well there isn't really any point in talking about GPU's till your ready to buy one.
7970 is out on monday and expect a raft of lower (and some higher) cards to be released over the next few months.

New nvidia's will be released at the start of the summer and are promising to be quite the upgrade.
None of this is solid till testers have their hands on the cards and bench them.. at which point we can advise what you will need for your usage / budget..


Personally if I was thinking of upgrading now I'd hold off unless my computer had fully died.
I really think a few small changes to your current set-up will keep you happy for 6 months and give you better choices (and better budget) when most of the new shiny is released over the summer..
(Oc the cpu, re-install windows for less crap to be loaded up and think about possibly adding some extra ram if you have a 64 bit OS)


Also, learn to close shit you not using... like web pages.. or world of tanks (it really doesn't take that long to load).. why are you running cpuz?
What your doing to your computer amounts to the same thing as saying "my car isn't fast enough" when your towing a 2 tonne trailer that you don't need. Sure it may be handy..
but why have it all the time when your not using it... close shit your not using and re-open as you need.
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Old January 6, 2012, 10:01 PM
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Isn't Ivy Bridge mainly incorporating a GPU (APU?) into the processor? And, furthermore, the real reason why I'm doing this is because my computer is failing. I'm getting BSOD's and I tracked it down to a failing mobo.

This thing just isn't cutting it for the games I'm using it for, even now.

Last edited by OhSlowpoke; January 6, 2012 at 10:15 PM.
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Old January 6, 2012, 11:35 PM
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Ivy Bridge is a process-shrink of Sandy Bridge. Both have IGPU; Intel decided to go after efficiency rather than speed with Ivy Bridge, so it runs slightly faster than equivalent Sandy Bridge chips but requires less power and produces less heat. Architecturally, they're the same.

Sandy Bridge E uses the same cores as a Sandy Bridge chip, just with more of them and a larger ring bus (L3 cache). Very few games show even small improvements using the most i7-3960X (the most powerful SBE chip) over the i7-2600K or the i5-2500K -- and keep in mind almost all games are going to be limited by the GPU long before they reach the limits of a Sandy Bridge chip when played at decent resolutions.

Multi-tasking can really benefit from improvements in memory and storage speeds, however. Definately look at getting an SSD for your applications, you will notice a difference. I helped a friend build an i7-920 system with a RAID0 setup; the drives in the RAID0 later died and we replaced them with an SSD+HDD combo, and the difference going from RAID0 to SSD was much more noticeable than the difference going from an E6600 to an i7-920.

That said, 32GB of RAM is overkill unless you're a computational scientist working with large data sets or dealing with similar programs. One SBE reviewer made note that he once attempted to max out his RAM usage, so he opened over one hundred Firefox tabs, started his anti-virus scan, and ran F1 2010. He managed to get up to all of 7.9 GB RAM usage.
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Old January 7, 2012, 02:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OhSlowpoke View Post
Isn't Ivy Bridge mainly incorporating a GPU (APU?) into the processor? And, furthermore, the real reason why I'm doing this is because my computer is failing. I'm getting BSOD's and I tracked it down to a failing mobo.

This thing just isn't cutting it for the games I'm using it for, even now.
Ahh in that case yes... buy a new one. :) (must have missed that bit)

as I said above, i5 and z68 with 8GB ram will do you nicely.

Your always going to have some kind of issues running that many instances of a browser along with a game and a hd movie on top of all your other bits and pieces.
While more power and ram can go so far, learning to use your resources better will have the largest impact to your experience.
Get a nice big SSD too and put everything on it (expensive but huge performance increase).. will make huge difference to any data read time you make, further reducing your need of having everything open at the same time (and increasing your performance while having lots of other things open too)

Could you throw enough money at a set-up to do what you want? probably.. but it's gonna be ALLOT of money and for very little performance increase per $ spent.

Last thing, if your NEVER going to oc drop the cooler.. really no need unless your going to OC.. (but you really should :) )

Last edited by Dzzope; January 7, 2012 at 02:50 AM.
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Old January 15, 2012, 12:34 PM
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gaming, listening to music, and watching a movie I am doing it regularly on a Phenom II 840, and when I hit ALT+TAB it responds immediately, even if the the game plaing at that moment is NFS the Run, so a modern game. But boot drive is a SSD, no pagefile, and 4GB of RAM. storage drive a is a superfast Samsung F4@320GB. Newegg still has the Asrock A770DE+ for AM2+ platforms that will give you DDR2 compatibility and even Crossfire possibility should you need it, all these at 60$. and you could also install a Phenom II X6 and keep your ram too no need to go that expensive. Two physical X16 slots would allow you to install a second videocard, could be nVidia for PhysX calculations or a future crossfire. In this light I would get the mobo , the SSD and the ram first.
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