Here we go: Seeking further upgrade advice


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Hello,

Since I was here, I actually haven't got round to any hardware upgrades. It's a recession after all. Thanks for your Windows 7 advice. Things have been running brilliantly since I've had it up and running. Anyway, I've left it long enough to say goodbye to these parts.

I do like to play PC games, and have them running as pretty as possible. Contrary to a lot of web chat, I am able to run games on high settings, at acceptable frame rates of 30-frames (this varies. I'm not looking to run BF3 on ultra, but can run something like Skyrim on medium settings, with a high texture mod installed, which keeps things looking sharp). I'm gaming at a measly 1280 x 1024 which may help performance (I don't know much if anything about these things).

Some of the old gang have picked up SWTOR, which I couldn't resist. Now, after running the game for a few weeks, I'm finally admitting defeat - I think it's time to get my wallet out. I have most of the settings on high when I'm on my own, in-game, but when others are running around my rig starts sweating, and the frame-rate drops considerably. It's not much fun.

I thought I'd come to you guys before I stick the order in. Here's what I've been thinking buying:

Asus M5A78I (Motherboard) -- This would be better, if the performance didn't impact
AMD FX-4 4100 (Processor)
Corsair 8gb (RAM)

I'm jumping from this (perhaps I'm too easy pleased):

(In short):

AMD Dual Core 2800+ +2.5 Ghz
Asus M2A-VM

The reviews tell that Intel trump AMD, quite considerably at the moment. My problem being that the z68 motherboard is a little pricey. I was considering the bulldozer type bundle (I await the hostile reaction), an i3 type bundle is a little pricier, and I hoped this would perhaps perform at a similar level, considering the money involved.

Notably I'm trying to price this around £200 (obviously I'm flexible if the ends justify the means, but cheaper for similar performance certainly appeals to me -- and I can always stick another processor in it, a couple of years down the line). Enthusiasts may scratch their heads, but I'm surprised how accepting games have taken my piece of junk over the years, never mind me getting my finger out to upgrade.

I'm also thinking ahead to next month, as I'll be looking a new graphics card (and pay the bills).

If you can share any thoughts, or similar specs, I'd really appreciate that.

Thanks again for all of your help.
 
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Silverhazesurfer

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As a person who has put many, many machines into the field...go with Intel. You will not be disappointed in performance and reliability. Most of the machines I built run 24/7/365. I rarely hear of a failure due to the CPU. And there is a decent selection of CPUs for a more pointed application.

Quite the opposite, I hear of issues with AMD and performance. Bang for the buck, I swing Intel all day long.

There. I said it. :cool:

Edit: I figure I will put up some reading material.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_Core

My current choice for a standard desktop unit is the i3. Decent speed, multi-core, reasonable price. I honestly cannot comment on AMD and the gaming scene. I have been out of games for quite some time.
 
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muckshifter

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ooh, I'm of the other camp, AMD. :cool:

Derived from the same architecture as the higher end i5 and i7, the i3 is available strictly as a dual core processor. Though Hyper Threading is available, it does not feature TurboBoost (don't worry, the i3 ain't got it). The Core i3 processor presents higher levels of performance than the Core 2 but Intel severely limits the flexibility of its Core i3 CPUs.

For games, you really need a quad core, as Tom's Hardware report have shown ... interesting is that some games only seems to take advantage of three CPU cores and that there is no performance benefit to using four cores. Wonder if AMD knew this when they brought out their Phenom I X3 :)

My preference is AMD, however, the motherboard specs, utilising USB 3.0 and PCI Express 3.0 would be my first concern, very closely followed by what graphics card I can afford.

Bottom line, pick the best you can get for your budget ... but don't stop asking questions, there are real gamers on these forums, I'm not hard core. :thumb:


:user:
 
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My current choice for a standard desktop unit is the i3.

That's great, thanks. As soon as I put this thread up, I shopped around for an i3 & z68 motherboard, with the 8gb of Corsair RAM. I went a little over budget, but since reading reviews and benchmarks of AMDs FX4-4100 & 6100 it looks like Intel might be the safest way to go, perhaps if I'm looking into the future.

I'm not sure how temperamental PSUs are to new hardware, but I'm hoping I can hold onto my current one. I've an old ColorsIT 600W PSU. Well, here's hoping.
 
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For games, you really need a quad core, as Tom's Hardware report have shown ... interesting is that some games only seems to take advantage of three CPU cores and that there is no performance benefit to using four cores. Wonder if AMD knew this when they brought out their Phenom I X3

Thanks Muck. Would you happen to know how the AMD FX-4 4100 holds up against the i3?
 

muckshifter

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Thanks Muck. Would you happen to know how the AMD FX-4 4100 holds up against the i3?
oh, ah, now then ... err, it's a good price, however, I wouldn't personally get one ... it's what I would call, an entry lvl CPU, cheap is about all it's got going for it. Oh, it is a quad core, well the early ones were the 8150, or something, with 4 cores disabled.

Not one I would get, but one step up on the i3 ... overclocks very well I read, but I don't OC :)

[EDIT] http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-overclocking,3077.html
 
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muckshifter

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Get a Core i5 ... if you can.

AMD are a wee bit behind the times ... I will stick by my guns and not recommend the i3

other opinions may ensue :D
 

Silverhazesurfer

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I agree with mucks. If there was an optimal processor to choose, i5. I think the i5 provides a better all around ability to the i3. As it was suggested, the i3 was merely a replacement for the C2D processors. They even put out two generations of it. The i7 is just a bit too pricey to be on the table for the average user.
 
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March 12th (pay day) is coming around soon, and I'm still mulling over potential builds.

I know Bulldozer isn't up to much when going all out high end, but for my wallet I don't think it's that bad a choice. Am I doing much wrong with either of these builds?

FX-8120/HD 6850/ASUS M5A78L (£296.40). Cheapy motherboard with this one -- I'm actually not sure what the difference is between the 760G, 800, 900 chips, but, good or bad pairing?

FX-6100/HD 7770/ASRock970A (£288.00) Went for the better motherboard, along with the new 7770, which looks to be less power hungry than the 6850.

I've went and shipped 8GB Corsair Vengeance RAM quite a few weeks ago, so I'll forget about that as far as the £300 goes. For an extra £40 I could probably get away with an i5 build. These low-end 900 AM3+ motherboards are relatively expensive up against the z68s. Bugger.

I keep saying this to myself: I'm only gaming at 1280x1024, nothing too hardcore. My audio work is mostly within Cubase/Pro Tools doing a wee bit of post-production, production and a lot of mixing work. All of my recording is usually done mobile, wherever work takes me on the Macbook.

Always a great help -- cheers lads.

EDIT: Forgot to ask: Which one of these would you choose if any? Can you spec something better for me, around the same price if not?
 
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March 12th (pay day) is coming around soon, and I'm still mulling over potential builds.

I know Bulldozer isn't up to much when going all out high end, but for my wallet I don't think it's that bad a choice. Am I doing much wrong with either of these builds?

FX-8120/HD 6850/ASUS M5A78L (£296.40). Cheapy motherboard with this one -- I'm actually not sure what the difference is between the 760G, 800, 900 chips, but, good or bad pairing?

FX-6100/HD 7770/ASRock970A (£288.00) Went for the better motherboard, along with the new 7770, which looks to be less power hungry than the 6850.

I've went and shipped 8GB Corsair Vengeance RAM quite a few weeks ago, so I'll forget about that as far as the £300 goes. For an extra £40 I could probably get away with an i5 build. These low-end 900 AM3+ motherboards are relatively expensive up against the z68s. Bugger.

I keep saying this to myself: I'm only gaming at 1280x1024, nothing too hardcore. My audio work is mostly within Cubase/Pro Tools doing a wee bit of post-production, production and a lot of mixing work. All of my recording is usually done mobile, wherever work takes me on the Macbook.

Always a great help -- cheers lads.

EDIT: Forgot to ask: Which one of these would you choose if any? Can you spec something better for me, around the same price if not?

Looks like those links are a little dodgy, as I've been doing more speccing.

i5/HD7770/ASUS = £340.00 (w/o shipping)
FX6100/HD7770/ASRock = £298.00 (w/o shipping)

Budget is forcing me a little more with AMD. With my res, and my requirements, in a way I should be glad for the cheaper option.
 
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Abarbarian

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You already have a graphics card so you could hang on to it for a bit longer.

https://www.aria.co.uk/SuperSpecial...+PCI-Express+ATX+Motherboard+?productId=48467

AMD 970A Chipset and £40 knocked of the price


https://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Com...re+Processor+w/+£15+CASHBACK+?productId=46819

AMD FX Unlocked Black Edition, 6-Core Technology, 3.30GHz Clock Speed, 3.90GHz Turbo Frequency, 14MB Cache, DDR3-1866 Support, 95W TDP, 3 Year Warranty.



https://www.aria.co.uk/SuperSpecial...DDR3+PCI-Express+Motherboard+?productId=45527

https://www.aria.co.uk/SuperSpecial...+Unlocked+Processor+-+Retail+?productId=43216

These are from Aria.

Ebuyer does free shipping for orders over £50.

:cool:
 

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