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CurEuS February 15, 2012 11:11 AM

Upgrading advice
 
Hi everyone.
I just got back home to Toronto and have been reading through the all the great articles and posts. I think I'm almost ready to begin a planned, albeit slow upgrade to my desktop computer. I mostly do word processing for my dissertation, watch movies, surf, and play games. What I hope to be able to do over the next few weeks upgrade Video card, ram, OS, etc as I get paid. I am pretty happy with my case but may need a new power supply as mine is 6 yrs old! I'm starting with video because I will build around my the card to achieve best performance for my monitor and projector and I'd really like some help if anyone is willing. I'm in North East Toronto.

Here are my specs don't laugh too hard I can still run most games :P

I use a dell u2410 and an optoma hd66 projector (720P)

Vista 32
Case Antec p182
Gigabyte 965P-DS3
Intel Core 2 Duo E6600
4 gig corsair ram
WD740ADFD-00NLR1 [SSD Hard drive] 74.35 GB
Random 500 gig drive
Radeon X1900 Series


I'm a bit confused as to which video card to get. My monitor only does 1920x1200 and my projector does 720P BUT it is supposed to be able to do 3D (with extra equipment). I would like a card that can handle outputting to both the PJ and monitor and will give me optimum experience but it seems most newer cards coming online may be overkill OR $400 :(

Essentially I'm looking suggestions for video card, mboard, ram, OS (win7 64?) SSD for the games installs that won't bottleneck or choke each other. I'd like to start with the video card first! :) SO I can play Mass Effect and Skyrim HD mods.

I should be able to afford about $2-300 every 2 weeks so if something is very expensive I'll have to wait and save before getting it.
Cheers!

dandelioneater February 15, 2012 11:38 AM

I think the video card for you would be a gtx 460. You"ll have to check to see if your power supply has 2 6 pin power connectors or at least 1 and an adapter could be used. the next upgrade to do might be an ssd. after that you should upgrade CPU, mobo, ram.

CurEuS February 15, 2012 12:06 PM

Hey thanks for the fast reply!
Which CPU/MB/RAM will work best with the gtx460?

Babrbarossa February 15, 2012 01:28 PM

the 560 ti and the 6950 are in the sweet spot right now.

Might want to set your sites on a 2500K plus mobo (something in the range of the gigabyte z68x ud3h if you're going there in the next little while - ram is ram- just look for the best sale price on a set that does at least 1600MHz with good timings.

be sure to get yourself a decent aftermarket CPU cooler so you can turn up that multiplier on the 2500K a bit- lots of free headroom there.

sswilson February 15, 2012 01:53 PM

Any idea what your PSU is? (I looked through the initial post and didn't see it... sorry if I'm just having a senior moment.... ;) ).

I'd suggest a PSU + 560ti upgrade for one heck of an upgrade from that 1950pro you're running, as well as giving you a good upgrade path when/if you decide to start upgrading the rest of your hardware. Plan to spend around $100 for a decent PSU, and then grab whatever sale on the 560ti you can find (if you decide to upgrade your GFX later, SLI'd 560ti cards kick A$$ now that they've got the drivers working fairly well.... ;) ).

Dragonstongue February 15, 2012 02:43 PM

560Ti or Radeon 6870/6950 2gb model, either way grab a factory overclocked model with better fans, for the 560Ti something like the MSI HAWX or Twin Frozr II/III, for the Radeons XFX Dual Fan(aka Double Dissapation) with the XXX/Black edtion moniker(for the 6950 this means a core clock of 830) you should be able to get any of these for $250 or less....Or wait till march if you can, Nvidia and AMD are releasing new cards as we speak, its forcing the price of the current cards down #1 and #2 you never know what shows up :)
CPU-Core I7 2500k with an ASUS motherboard such as P8Z68-V or -V PRO CPU is ~$200 motherboard ~$170
Ram-8gb DDR3 1600 Gskill models ending in GBXL, GBRL, GBXM,GBSR, GBSR2 with timings of 9,9,9,24 @ 1.5v, this should cost around $60 or less, usually around $45 for 8gb its a hell of a deal :)
Power Supply-at least 38a on the 12v rail with 550+watts total, a good fairly low cost power supply if you need it XFX 650w ~$70

Now, if you want to trim back on the costs, there is some other Core I5 models in the sandy bridge line-up, but the 2500/2500k is the best $/performance one they have, another one, that is quite a bit lower cost would be Core i3-2130 its around $125, not near as fast as the 2500k but still way faster then the cpu you are currently using.

Another option would be to go the AMD route, this is a choice, nothing else, AMD 960T Black Edition with M5A99X EVO motherboard ~$120+ ~$150 or Athlon II x4 640 Zosma based or Athlon II x4 640/645/650 ~$70+(the difference bewteen the 2 640 models is the C2/C3 stepping are the older Athlon II whereas, the newest EO stepping of any AMD cpu is Zosma/Thuban based and tend to be somewhat faster clock for clock) if possible Phenom II x4 955 or above ~$110+ but they are really hard to find right now and inflated price. The Intel setup will be somewhat faster depending on what you are doing with it, but the AMD setup can save a few $ and still be a very fast upgrade for you.

So this is a choice left to you, in regards to what you really want/like. CPU wise, folks can say whatever they want, but it truly depends on what you are using it for, the AMD chips are not quite as good single core performing as the Intel equivalents, but either way, it depends on the user, thier opinion, and what they are doing. The price difference can be quite large, most things however are not able to capatilize(for the most part) in that price difference.

CurEuS February 15, 2012 05:34 PM

Hey everyone thanks for chiming in your recommendations! I did not list my PSU as it is 6 years old and I was told to replace it as it degraded by now? My reading around the site suggests waiting a few weeks until the new cards come into the market which is fine as it gives me longer to save :) I'm using the price compare on the website here and including links where I can

Gaming system for Dell u2410 Monitor 1080P and Optoma hd66 720P Projector

Video card/ GPU
$200 ish I think this is the video card card recommended? MSI Computer - MSI GeForce GTX 560 Twin Frozr II OC 810MHZ 1GB 4GHZ GDDR5... - N560GTXTWINFROZRII/OC - Powered by PriceCanada.com

Processor/CPU
$330 Ish Dragonstongue I cannot find a Corei7 2500k do you mean this one? Intel Corporation - Intel Core i7 2600K Quad Core Unlocked Hyperthreading... - BX80623I72600K - Powered by PriceCanada.com

$215 i2500cpu Intel Corporation - Intel Core i5-2500K Unlocked Boxed Processor with 6MB... - BX80623I52500K

Mother/main board

$ 115 I cant find it on the price compare but I THINK I Found it here??? Buy the ASUS P8Z68-V LX Intel Z68 Express Motherboard at TigerDirect.ca

RAM
$50 ish RAM I'm not sure about the timings... G.Skill - G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600... - F312800CL9D8GBRL - Powered by PriceCanada.com


It looks like it will cost around $600-900 +/- which is 1/3 of what I paid for my system 6 years ago hahaha! :) I am tempted to start with the video card which I could use for the next few weeks until I can afford the processor and M/board? I have to get win7 but I think I can get that at school for $50

It seems like most of the stuff I need is on sale at Tiget Direct the sale wont last though...but am not sure about the video card Tiger Direct Tiger Palooza Canada

Thanks for all of your input and I'm happy to hear if u want to share more recommendations.
Cheers!

techman95 February 15, 2012 06:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CurEuS (Post 602276)
Hey everyone thanks for chiming in your recommendations! I did not list my PSU as it is 6 years old and I was told to replace it as it degraded by now? My reading around the site suggests waiting a few weeks until the new cards come into the market which is fine as it gives me longer to save :) I'm using the price compare on the website here and including links where I can

Gaming system for Dell u2410 Monitor 1080P and Optoma hd66 720P Projector

Video card/ GPU
$200 ish I think this is the video card card recommended? MSI Computer - MSI GeForce GTX 560 Twin Frozr II OC 810MHZ 1GB 4GHZ GDDR5... - N560GTXTWINFROZRII/OC - Powered by PriceCanada.com

Processor/CPU
$330 Ish Dragonstongue I cannot find a Corei7 2500k do you mean this one? Intel Corporation - Intel Core i7 2600K Quad Core Unlocked Hyperthreading... - BX80623I72600K - Powered by PriceCanada.com

$215 i2500cpu Intel Corporation - Intel Core i5-2500K Unlocked Boxed Processor with 6MB... - BX80623I52500K

Mother/main board

$ 115 I cant find it on the price compare but I THINK I Found it here??? Buy the ASUS P8Z68-V LX Intel Z68 Express Motherboard at TigerDirect.ca

RAM
$50 ish RAM I'm not sure about the timings... G.Skill - G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600... - F312800CL9D8GBRL - Powered by PriceCanada.com


It looks like it will cost around $600-900 +/- which is 1/3 of what I paid for my system 6 years ago hahaha! :) I am tempted to start with the video card which I could use for the next few weeks until I can afford the processor and M/board? I have to get win7 but I think I can get that at school for $50

It seems like most of the stuff I need is on sale at Tiget Direct the sale wont last though...but am not sure about the video card Tiger Direct Tiger Palooza Canada

Thanks for all of your input and I'm happy to hear if u want to share more recommendations.
Cheers!

Looks good but bump it up to a 6950 2gb and get a 2500k

Galcobar February 15, 2012 06:22 PM

Either i5-2500K (best choice for games if on a budget) or i7-2600K (or i7-2700K). An i7-2500K is a typo.

NyteOwl February 16, 2012 11:08 AM

Regarding your "degraded" power supply just a comment.

I always have to shake my heard when I hear such remarks. While components can degrade over time, it is by no means a given, or that equipemtn has to be discarded after some arbitrary period of time. There really is no "Best before" date for electronics. Most modern electronics usually either fail within the first thirty days or (under normal sue) last longer than their owner has use for them.

As to the computer power supply, I have the following machines (among others) in regular use here:

K6-2/350 built 1999
K6-2/500 built 2000
K6-III+/600 built 2002
386/40 built 1991
8088-8 built 1986

All are using the original parts they were built with - including power supplies. Some of them have seen month long periods of 24/7 (one was my BBS machine and one still runs a radio BBS system).

So, if your PSU is functioning well and has been offering no problems, and is of sufficient capacity, simply its age is not necessarily a reason to replace it.

JMHO and as with all such, YMMV :)


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