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Old 2012-01-12, 00:56   Link #1
Urzu 7
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: New England
Age: 31
Was considering upgrading my PC later this year...

I was starting to think, maybe it wouldn't be a bad idea to upgrade my PC sometime this year. My PC is two years old now. What do you think I should upgrade?

My specs:

AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition (Quad core, 3.2 GHz)
Radeon HD 5750 1 GB
4 GB DDR 3 1600 RAM
750 GB HDD

I don't really need an upgrade, but by the end of the year, if might be a good idea. I wouldn't mind trying out graphical enhancement mods for Skyrim, either. This year, would it only be beneficial to upgrade my GPU? Should I go nVidia or ATI/AMD? I have a 700 watt PSU. It was a cheap in price one. If I upgrade my GPU to a pretty powerful one, should I go with a better quality PSU? Should I go higher than a 700 PSU?

Should I upgrade RAM? Most games are just now starting to take advantage of 4 GB, huh? So maybe not needed, but with the price of RAM these days, might as well? And about the CPU, should I just keep that CPU this year, or is there a 6-core or 8-core AMD CPU that I can upgrade to (compatible with my mobo) that would be worth the upgrade?

I'd like another internal HDD. Gotta wait for HDD prices to go back to normal, though, that is for sure.

What is the thing that I should upgrade the most? The GPU and possibly the PSU? If that is the only thing that could really use an upgrade, I might upgrade those sooner rather than later.
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Old 2012-01-12, 01:07   Link #2
sa547
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So far, your machine still packs a mighty punch compared to mine (it's a P4 2.4Ghz, with 1GB of memory and a nVidia 6200 AGP card), and Skyrim has some issues with PCs having more than 4GB.

On the other hand, as most people I know of are advocating high-quality PSUs for system stability, there's a slew of them but I believe Seasonic is one of the best around.
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Old 2012-01-12, 01:48   Link #3
triskelion
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700W for your current system is pretty much overkill.

It would depend on your budget, but your CPU should be last for a little while longer. Bulldozer was pretty much a flop, we'll see how that Microsoft fix for it goes.

Your GPU would probably be the only thing worth upgrading at this point. AMD 6950 2GB or GTX 560 ti (not 448) would be the cards to get in regards to best bang for the buck.

Unless you have the money, go and buy the 7970 right now!
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Old 2012-01-12, 02:01   Link #4
Urzu 7
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Join Date: Apr 2006
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I was thinking of something more affordable, like a Radeon HD 6850, maybe a Radeon HD 6870.

How does a Radeon 6770 compare to a Radeon 6850?

Also, by the time I'm ready to buy a new GPU, there will probably be good 7000 series Radeons in the price range I'm looking at. But for now, I'd like to know how a Radeon 6770 stacks up to a Radeon 6850.
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Old 2012-01-12, 02:36   Link #5
Fahd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Urzu 7 View Post
How does a Radeon 6770 compare to a Radeon 6850?
Given that the 6770 is simply a re-badge/label re-name of the 5770 it unsurprisingly performs worse than the 6850. How much worse? The numbers tell all . Anyway, keep ahold of that Anadtech GPU comparison link so that you can compare different graphics cards when you're ready to buy.

--edit--

To answer your question about upgrading, I think the only reason for upgrading your CPU would be if you encode lots of video (or you intend to play Civilization V for more than 300 turns). You've ruled out a larger platter hard-drive till prices come back down, so the only other thing I can think of that'd make a difference is an SSD. It'd make your OS experience more snappy, and if it's large enough for your games it'd help with game load times.

Last edited by Fahd; 2012-01-12 at 02:52. Reason: More information...
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Old 2012-01-12, 04:12   Link #6
-KarumA-
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Quote:
Originally Posted by triskelion View Post
700W for your current system is pretty much overkill.
A good reason to have it is to not worry about power upgrades when you upgrade hardware.
4gb ram is nowadays the standard, however ram is super cheap at the moment so you could throw in another 2gb.
As for GPU, new cards are coming out this year AMD is releasing theirs first which should lower the prices of the semi older cards. Nvidia comes after so if you are a little patience I would suggest waiting a little. AMD comes out this month or so I think even.
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Old 2012-01-12, 05:16   Link #7
sneaker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -KarumA- View Post
As for GPU, new cards are coming out this year AMD is releasing theirs first which should lower the prices of the semi older cards. Nvidia comes after so if you are a little patience I would suggest waiting a little. AMD comes out this month or so I think even.
The Radeon HD 7970 is already available, but it is the top model, selling at some 500 Euro.
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Old 2012-01-12, 08:16   Link #8
Dist
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sa547 View Post
So far, your machine still packs a mighty punch compared to mine (it's a P4 2.4Ghz, with 1GB of memory and a nVidia 6200 AGP card), and Skyrim has some issues with PCs having more than 4GB.

On the other hand, as most people I know of are advocating high-quality PSUs for system stability, there's a slew of them but I believe Seasonic is one of the best around.
Erm .. No? Check your facts. Skyrim had issues with 4GB .. Or rather, not issues, but unable to use more than 4GB which caused random crashes occasionally. However, this has already been fixed in some of the patches.

There's also mods for Skyrim, such as Large Address Aware mod that allows you to use over 4GB, but like I said above, this should be already implemented in Skyrim.

Ram is dirt cheap now so you should definitely buy at least 4GB more. I personally have 16GB because it was so cheap.

Also Skyrim is more dependent on processor than GPU.
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Old 2012-01-12, 09:43   Link #9
sa547
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dist View Post
Erm .. No? Check your facts. Skyrim had issues with 4GB .. Or rather, not issues, but unable to use more than 4GB which caused random crashes occasionally. However, this has already been fixed in some of the patches.

There's also mods for Skyrim, such as Large Address Aware mod that allows you to use over 4GB, but like I said above, this should be already implemented in Skyrim.

Ram is dirt cheap now so you should definitely buy at least 4GB more. I personally have 16GB because it was so cheap.

Also Skyrim is more dependent on processor than GPU.
Oh, well... For my nephew, I used the LAA mod fix because he had problems loading that game (but his dad, anyway, has plans to get a new gaming rig that can do Skyrim and Battlefield 3, as the kid's current machine is an Athlon X2 with 2GB of memory and a crappy 8400GS GPU).
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Old 2012-01-12, 17:16   Link #10
Urzu 7
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Join Date: Apr 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dist View Post
Erm .. No? Check your facts. Skyrim had issues with 4GB .. Or rather, not issues, but unable to use more than 4GB which caused random crashes occasionally. However, this has already been fixed in some of the patches.

There's also mods for Skyrim, such as Large Address Aware mod that allows you to use over 4GB, but like I said above, this should be already implemented in Skyrim.

Ram is dirt cheap now so you should definitely buy at least 4GB more. I personally have 16GB because it was so cheap.

Also Skyrim is more dependent on processor than GPU.
So if I upgrade my RAM and get the Skyrim mod that utilizes more RAM, it should work smoothly?

Also, I am looking into performance enhancement mods for Skyrim. Once I try those out, I might not need a new GPU anytime soon. But my CPU should be fine for a good while, huh? I should definitely upgrade my GPU over my CPU first, right?

Are there any AMD CPUs out now that would be a worthy upgrade? Maybe I won't upgrade any time soon, but it'd be nice to know there is something available now that'd be a worthwhile upgrade that I can snag for cheap sometime later on. Not that I probably would just get a better CPU if I upgraded the CPU sometime after this year, anyway.
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Old 2012-01-14, 09:35   Link #11
Jaden
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Join Date: Jan 2006
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Thing with AMD CPUs is that Bulldozer sucks. Their best CPUs that are worth getting are still the Phenom II series. If you want to put more money into a CPU, Intel is really the only choice. Hopefully some good stuff gets released this year.

You can get 6 or 8 GB of RAM for redundancy but it probably won't make any noticeable change.

If I were looking for a new GPU right now it'd be HD 6970 from AMD or 560ti from Nvidia. Again these have dominated the mid-high range market for quite a while so if you don't need one now, it may be worth it to wait.
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Old 2012-01-14, 12:20   Link #12
-KarumA-
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It is true Bulldozer is not good. Personally next build I am stepping over to Intel anyway since AMD is stepping out of the cpu competitive business however the bad thing is many do not exactly know what it will mean for the future; will they stop cpu's all together or remain active but not int he constant heat of Intel.
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Old 2012-01-14, 13:16   Link #13
Random32
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1. Bulldozer is pretty good if you utilize all the cores effectively.
2. I wouldn't get a Bulldozer even if you can use them all effectively. AM3+ has no upgrade path. AMD is changing to FM2 to get back to only having one desktop socket for Piledriver.
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Old 2012-01-14, 16:26   Link #14
Dist
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Urzu 7 View Post
So if I upgrade my RAM and get the Skyrim mod that utilizes more RAM, it should work smoothly?

Also, I am looking into performance enhancement mods for Skyrim. Once I try those out, I might not need a new GPU anytime soon. But my CPU should be fine for a good while, huh? I should definitely upgrade my GPU over my CPU first, right?

Are there any AMD CPUs out now that would be a worthy upgrade? Maybe I won't upgrade any time soon, but it'd be nice to know there is something available now that'd be a worthwhile upgrade that I can snag for cheap sometime later on. Not that I probably would just get a better CPU if I upgraded the CPU sometime after this year, anyway.
Not necessarily. The issue was here just that Skyrim was unable to use more than 4GB which caused random crashes. Using LAA fixed that for me, I did not notice any perfomance boosts. And Skyrim still is more CPU than GPU dependant. Of course it would depend how you can run Skyrim now ; If you cant run it on everything max (excluding mods and alike, just vanilla), then yes, of course upgrading GPU would come first.
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