1. Welcome to TechPowerUp Forums, Guest! Please check out our forum guidelines for info related to our community.

Upgrade Options... Help Me Decide?

Discussion in 'System Builder's Advice' started by SomeGuy, Jun 25, 2012.

?

Which upgrade would you make?

  1. MB + RAM

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. SSD

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. GPU

    4 vote(s)
    44.4%
  4. CPU

    1 vote(s)
    11.1%
  5. Just Wait

    4 vote(s)
    44.4%
  1. SomeGuy New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2012
    Messages:
    2 (0.00/day)
    Thanks Received:
    0
    Current system:

    Gigabyte MA790X-UD4P
    AMD Athlon II X3 425 @ 3.4gHz
    4GB (2x2GB) G.Skill PC2-8000 @ 1050mHz
    MSI Nvidia GTX260 SP216 @ 650mHz/1100mHz

    The system runs well enough in any games I play, but I can see it starting to age. These are a few of my concerns:

    - Having no SATAIII support on the MoBo is what has kept me from picking up an SSD (along with the steady decline in prices) but my WD 300GB Velociraptor RAID 0 keeps me satisfied.

    - Lacking the 4th core on my CPU, as well as the L3 cache, is starting to become noticeable during multi-tasking or high-stress situations. My MoBo is capable of unlocking the 4th core in my CPU, but I had nothing but instability when attempting to do so.

    - The overclocked 260 is still pretty powerful... I honestly have no complaints about it's capabilities aside the fact that it isn't a DX11 card - and I know I'm 'missing out' on some eyecandy in current games like Battlefield 3, Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, Metro 2033, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. and the upcoming MechWarrior Online.

    Taking all that into consideration I came up with 4 distinct upgrade 'packages' all conforming to the same budget. So here's what I had in mind...

    Option 1:

    Newegg currently has an ASRock 970 Extreme3 motherboard for $67.49 - plus I would need to pick up some DDR3 (being that my current MB only supports DDR2) - I decided on a set of 2x4GB CL8 PC3-12800 by Mushkin for $54.99. Having 8GB means I could use the proprietary ASRock XRam software to set up a RAM Drive. Also with this new motherboard I set myself up for future AM3+ CPUs and the option to pick up an SSD to make full use of the onboard SATAIII controller. The question is; is this the time to take a step toward 'future' upgrades? Or would I simply be better off waiting?

    Total: $122.48

    Option 2:

    Bite the bullet and pick up an SSD + internal card for SATA III support. Choosing a reasonably priced mid-range SSD like the Mushkin Chronos 120GB @ Newegg for $92.99 and a Highpoint PCIe SATA III card for $18.99. That $18.99 is essentially a throw-away whenever I do decide to upgrade the MB, but for the time-being it would let me have a peace of mind installing my OS on the SSD and not worrying if today is the day my RAID fails.

    Total: $111.98

    Option 3:

    As much as I'd like to spend the extra money to get a video card I know for certain will be a major upgrade over my 260... (I'm looking at you, 560TI) it's just not in the budget. So I could just... wait, or maybe watch eBay like a hawk until I'm able to pick up a used card under $150 or... avoid driving myself crazy and just look into all the flavors of GTX460 there are out there. In my initial searches for deals I've come across a few of the more impressive variants like SOC and FTW around $120... but without being ready to commit to a miniscule upgrade - one that admittingly wouldn't be for the long-term - I'm not so sure I'd be comfortable pricing one specifically. On the other hand, I know I could go with a 6850/6870 from AMD (losing the PhysX support) in the same price range, if not cheaper.

    Total: $100-120

    Option 4:

    Tiger Direct has a sale on the AMD 965BE for $89.99 - I could jump on that in the next day or so, and start with a CPU that's +1 core, +6MB L3 on my current CPU.. then OC it the extra 400-600mHz. Alternatively, I have an option to buy a NIB AMD 960T for $95... which may or may not have the same OC potential + extra cores. More of a gamble - but also not strictly time-sensitive such as the case with the TD sale. Both of these come in well under the ~$125 budget, so I could spend the extra on some fancy new thermal paste and a pizza for benchmark day.

    Total: $90-95

    So, what would you do?
  2. francis511

    francis511

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2006
    Messages:
    2,547 (0.90/day)
    Thanks Received:
    271
    Location:
    N.Ireland
    Skip the cpu and gpu and get the ssd or mobo
  3. Solid_snake New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2012
    Messages:
    17 (0.02/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1
    Location:
    Georgia
    option 3
  4. BraveSoul

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2008
    Messages:
    987 (0.45/day)
    Thanks Received:
    164
    i think most noticeable upgrade for ur setup would be the gpu, gtx260 is old, i cant bear playing COD Black Ops on it
    i would wait for kepler geforce gtx660 and see how its priced..it would definitely make a great long term investment
    also i dont think u will notice a big difference even none most times with the ssd drive running on sata2 vs sata3
    i had 2 7200 drives in raid0 sata2 and upgraded to single sata2 ssd and it blows raid0 setup away
    Crunching for Team TPU
  5. SomeGuy New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2012
    Messages:
    2 (0.00/day)
    Thanks Received:
    0
    Just to follow up, I was able to pick up a 560TI 448 for $155... but that upgrade is going to cost me more down the line. The ol' 550 PSU is peaking out during stress test. Gaming is a little forgiving, but I can hear the PSU fan running full throttle 3x louder than the other fans in my PC.

    Also, the benchmarks for SATAII SSD vs 7200RPM RAID is very convincing, but I use 10000RPM Velociraptors. That will definitely be the next investment in a couple months. Going to wait for the Vertex 4 prices to drop, or some new tech to come along.

    MB/RAM will wait for the end of the year.

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guest)

Share This Page