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XMas Upgrade - ~$650 Budget

Dave20044

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#1
Hi all, it's that time of year and I'm looking to upgrade my system.

Here are my specs at the moment..
Power Supply: Earthwatts 500W
Motherboard: ASUS P5QL Pro
Video Card: Sapphire ATI Radeon 4850 HD, default clocks
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 @ 3.0GHz
Memory: 4GB DDR2 Memory

I want to be able to play CoD: Black Ops with better settings along with BFBC2 and be set for some more new titles coming in 2011.

My original plan at first was to upgrade my video card and to do that, I would also need a new PSU so I was looking at these:
Sapphire ATI Radeon 5870:
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Produc...&cm_re=ATI_Radeon_5870-_-14-102-856-_-Product
Corsair 950TX:
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Produc...rue&Keywords=(keywords)&Page=1#scrollFullInfo

After doing this, I would save enough money to get an i7-900series, motherboard, and memory upgrade (6GB-8GB DDR3) later on in 2011.

But I realize my CPU is going to bottleneck hardcore with my original plan so my question is: Is it better to hold off on the Video Card and go for a CPU, Motherboard, Memory, and PSU upgrade for a little extra cash, or should I stick to my original plan? If you have hardware suggestions please let me know, and note that I will most likely not perform overclocking on my CPU.
 
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#2
Thats good, though It'd be better to go with 6xxx series. The powercolor 6850+ is faster than a normal 5850 and cost $80-70 less. The e8400 is a good overclocker. You can get 3.6ghz easily with stock cooler with good temps. No need for 950w, 750w corsair will be fine for years to come. It should not bottleneck. It will be a good upgrade. :D If you want save for i7, but theres no need. Yet.
 
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#3
I'd change the psu to a 850HX. Modular, better quality. It costs more but you can more than make that up by going with a 6870 instead of a 5870. It's a tiny bit slower but the features and AF quality are better. I'd save the rest of the money and go for a core upgrade later, 1155 should be out in no time and looks like it will blow everything away with absurd 5ghz air overclocks.
 

Dave20044

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#4
Thanks a lot guys! I'm going to go with the PowerColour 6870 I think and the 850HX looks awesome too LAN. I would not have even checked the 6xxx series because I thought it was much more expensive.

@1nf3n0x, I don't have any experience in overclocking, and I'm worried I might mess it up :( . If it's possible for me to pull it up to even 3.2GHz it'd be able to give me some more time for the new CPUs to come out and the prices to drop on the high-end CPUs today.

If anyone else has suggestions please post.

EDIT: Will the 6870 fit in my Coolermaster Elite 335 Case? http://www.coolermaster.com/product.php?product_id=5239&category_id=19
 
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#5
No worries, overclocking is quite simple unless you go into volt mods etc. That case is too small only fits 23cm video cards and the 6870 is 26.7cm. The Antec 300 is nice and cheap and fits card up to 30cm. It has 5 fans, quite a sleek case. I have one myself.
 
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#8

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#10
If you can find a used Q9x50, I think it will be worthwhile because BFBC2 likes quad core. Also, you might want to consider a more powerful graphics card such as the 5850 because your mobo can only support 1 graphics card. I am curious, when are you planning to do a mobo+ram+cpu change? If you are only going to do it in maybe 2-3 years time, then my advice on getting a better proc+gfx holds, if you are upgrading again within 1 year, then ignore the processor advice and get the 6870 (and CF it later)
 
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#11
Hello fellow Canadian :D

kuro, that case has 35$ shipping, and he has to pay 13% tax on whatever he buys >.<



ends up 366$ after tax. The 6850 is shorter than the length of a normal motherboard, so it will fit in your case; The XFX 750W is equal to, or better than the HX750 PSU, and you DO NOT NEED anything close to 750W anyways. The XFX is modular. The HSF is so that you get best cooling possible on your CPU so that you can Overclock... if you buy an i7, Overclocking is just common sense

After that, you can upgrade your CPU + mobo + RAM

Choice 1 - buy a used X58 motherboard (with a Sata 6Gbps/USB 3 card or integrated ports would be nice)(150~185$ max), a 3x2GB kit is about 110$ new now, if used, you could probably get one at 100$ shipped soon enough, and a used i7 920 D0, or c0 if you dont want to Overclock much.... Ends up 450~500$

Choice 2 - go LGA 1156, if you settle for 4GB of RAM, it could save you 100$, else, with 8GB you could maybe save 25$

Choice 3 - go low end Phenom II x6, cheap mobo, 4/8gb of RAM. You could save up to 50$ from choice 2
 

Dave20044

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#12
Thanks for all the great case recommendations! I'm going to check if my local shop has any in-store so I can cut the shipping off.

If you can find a used Q9x50, I think it will be worthwhile because BFBC2 likes quad core. Also, you might want to consider a more powerful graphics card such as the 5850 because your mobo can only support 1 graphics card. I am curious, when are you planning to do a mobo+ram+cpu change? If you are only going to do it in maybe 2-3 years time, then my advice on getting a better proc+gfx holds, if you are upgrading again within 1 year, then ignore the processor advice and get the 6870 (and CF it later)
I will be getting the mobo+ram+cpu upgrade as soon as possible, definitely by 2012 Christmas though. & I know the board I have now has 1 slot, that's why I was going for something stronger for future expansion later.

The coolermaster elite 430, realy good case and nicer then the antec 300. it's $51.49 at newegg.ca and $20.64 dollars shipping. or the HEC Blitz steel edition, for $54.99 $14.99 shipping. here's is the link for the HEC,

http://www.newegg.ca/product/product.aspx?item=n82e16811121096
The HEC looks great, but will it fit the 6870?

Hello fellow Canadian :D

kuro, that case has 35$ shipping, and he has to pay 13% tax on whatever he buys >.<

http://img.techpowerup.org/101106/Capture006.jpg

ends up 366$ after tax. The 6850 is shorter than the length of a normal motherboard, so it will fit in your case; The XFX 750W is equal to, or better than the HX750 PSU, and you DO NOT NEED anything close to 750W anyways. The XFX is modular. The HSF is so that you get best cooling possible on your CPU so that you can Overclock... if you buy an i7, Overclocking is just common sense

After that, you can upgrade your CPU + mobo + RAM

Choice 1 - buy a used X58 motherboard (with a Sata 6Gbps/USB 3 card or integrated ports would be nice)(150~185$ max), a 3x2GB kit is about 110$ new now, if used, you could probably get one at 100$ shipped soon enough, and a used i7 920 D0, or c0 if you dont want to Overclock much.... Ends up 450~500$

Choice 2 - go LGA 1156, if you settle for 4GB of RAM, it could save you 100$, else, with 8GB you could maybe save 25$

Choice 3 - go low end Phenom II x6, cheap mobo, 4/8gb of RAM. You could save up to 50$ from choice 2
I'd much rather a 6870 and upgrade the case with it. Also what is the heatsink for? I won't be needing it because I don't plan on doing big overclocks, if any at all.

As for the choices, choice 1 seems great because I will be looking for a the USB3 plus the two slots for video cards. Choice 2 won't cut it because if I get the i7, I will need at least 6GB of memory. And choice 3, I don't want an AMD processor :p and I don't want to cheapout on the motherboard again..
 
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#13
I have an Asrock X58 Extreme + U3S6 (USB3/SATA6 card) for sale if you are interested ;)
 
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#14
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#15
definately get the 6870 it is a bit slower then a 5870 but has much better tessalation performance and other bonuses the 5XXX cards dont. a 750w is enough to piower 2 6870's and an i7 rig so you will be more then fine with 750w. also your E8400 may very well do 3.2ghz by simply uping the fsb speed a little bit and nothing more, overclocking seems really hard and intimidating at first but if you read the guides and do exactly as they say you will be fine and the e8400 was known as one of the best overclocking core 2 duo's ever made, and paired with your P45 chipset motherboard it can easily gain you lots of performance without a cpu/board upgrade for a good few years. I say read some guides try your 3.2ghz overclock watch how much faster things run and you will get the ithc im sure to puch for 3.5ghz and so on and so fourth. just remember take it slow and careful and your hardware will be fine.
 
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#16

Dave20044

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#17
I have an Asrock X58 Extreme + U3S6 (USB3/SATA6 card) for sale if you are interested ;)
No thank you, I will make the upgrade later on in the 2011 year.

Yes, the HEC fit's a 10.5 inch card, and the 6870 is a 9.5 inch card. also the coolermaster elite 430, fit's any card up to a hd 5970. here is the link...
http://www.newegg.ca/product/product.aspx?item=n82e16811119227
Cool, thanks!

definately get the 6870 it is a bit slower then a 5870 but has much better tessalation performance and other bonuses the 5XXX cards dont. a 750w is enough to piower 2 6870's and an i7 rig so you will be more then fine with 750w. also your E8400 may very well do 3.2ghz by simply uping the fsb speed a little bit and nothing more, overclocking seems really hard and intimidating at first but if you read the guides and do exactly as they say you will be fine and the e8400 was known as one of the best overclocking core 2 duo's ever made, and paired with your P45 chipset motherboard it can easily gain you lots of performance without a cpu/board upgrade for a good few years. I say read some guides try your 3.2ghz overclock watch how much faster things run and you will get the ithc im sure to puch for 3.5ghz and so on and so fourth. just remember take it slow and careful and your hardware will be fine.
I have stock cooling and I don't plan on buying a cooler, still a good idea? I'm sitting around 41-43ºC, around 6-10% load.

And also, if you wanted a PSU, the corsair HX 850 is alot better the the tx 950. it is a modular PSU, and alot more popular. i found one at direct canada for $167.08. here is the link... http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=11180ac2373&vpn=cmpsu-850hx&munufacture=corsair
I was going for the HX850 as someone suggested a little earlier in the thread, thanks a lot though! And your link is like $50 cheaper :eek:

EDIT: What's the difference between a modular PSU and a non modular PSU? Everyone seems to be hyping up modulars..
 
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#18
Modular psu's, help's keep cable's out of the way, and in help's to increase air flow. it could also alow you to overclock better, as the temp's will be cooler. and also keep's a nicer cable mangement, and tidy. :)
 
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#19
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#20
850W is overkill for your system...the XFX 750W is an awesome PSU (go check jonnyguru.com), and has the same quality as the HX850W, and is also modular, but is 100W less and 57+$ less :p

If you go AMD, investing in lots of power in a power supply is useless.the 60$ is well spent elsewhere, or can be kept in your pocket ;) since the 6870 fits in your case, a 244$ 6870 + 115$ XFX PSU = 360$+tax
 

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#21
850W is overkill for your system...the XFX 750W is an awesome PSU (go check jonnyguru.com), and has the same quality as the HX850W, and is also modular, but is 100W less and 57+$ less :p

If you go AMD, investing in lots of power in a power supply is useless.the 60$ is well spent elsewhere, or can be kept in your pocket ;) since the 6870 fits in your case, a 244$ 6870 + 115$ XFX PSU = 360$+tax
I was told the 6870 does not fit in my CoolerMaster Elite 335 ( http://www.coolermaster.com/product.php?product_id=5239 ).

And I am going Intel i7-900series with 8GB of memory by October 2011, will the 850W be necessary then?
 
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#22
He's right, the xfx is just as good as the 850HX and definitely all you'll ever need. Plenty of power for multiple top end gpus.
 

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#23
"I was.... does not fit..." <--- there is only 1 word to describe it:UPGRADE!! :D (or mod...)

Heh, by oct 2011, we will be seeing more "interesting stuff" rather than the i7's already, for example Bulldozer from AMD and Sandy Bridge in Q1 2011. Sandy Bridge would have much better power consumption compared to the current i7's I think/predict. And then there is LGA2011 ...
 
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#24
yeah i would get the 750w and save the money. if you dont want to spend the saved $ on a cooler im sure the stock cooler will allow you to get 3.2/3.5ghz no problem ad your cpu may be able to do it without changing voltage at all
 

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#25
He's right, the xfx is just as good as the 850HX and definitely all you'll ever need. Plenty of power for multiple top end gpus.
Great, thanks big time!

"I was.... does not fit..." <--- there is only 1 word to describe it:UPGRADE!! :D (or mod...)

Heh, by oct 2011, we will be seeing more "interesting stuff" rather than the i7's already, for example Bulldozer from AMD and Sandy Bridge in Q1 2011. Sandy Bridge would have much better power consumption compared to the current i7's I think/predict. And then there is LGA2011 ...
I will probably have a $400-$500 budget by Q2 2011 so I don't plan on getting the next best thing.

yeah i would get the 750w and save the money. if you dont want to spend the saved $ on a cooler im sure the stock cooler will allow you to get 3.2/3.5ghz no problem ad your cpu may be able to do it without changing voltage at all
Great, thanks man. 3.2GHz will hold me off until the processor upgrade, I think I might try OCing if I need the extra power for Black Ops :)