TechSpot

Need help with upgrading

By Great1122
Jun 6, 2010
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  1. I'm planning on upgrading my pc from the last one I built, the specs are all the same.
    Here's what I have so far on the upgraded PC: I'll have around 1200 dollars to spend, maybe around 1350 if my current video card and processor sell.

    Radeon HD 5970: $651 http://www.futurepowerpc.com/scripts/product.asp?PRDCODE=EAH5970/G/2DIS/2GD5&REFID=FR

    Full HD monitor: $210 http://www.macmall.com/p/ViewSonic-Monitors/product~dpno~8116738~pdp.gbedghi

    CPU: $214 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...51&cm_re=amd_phenom_x6-_-19-103-851-_-Product

    Full tower case: $96 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...&cm_re=full_tower_case-_-11-166-004-_-Product

    I'll have 29 dollars left after that, so I need to know if there's anything else I have to upgrade, I was thinking PSU, since the minimum required for that card is 600 watts. The other thing is ram, I have 2gb ram, would that be enough, the 2 gb ram is not really giving me any trouble right now. Also there is the problem of cooling. Here are my current temperatures and fan speeds of my components, I think the case comes with extra fans too, http://yfrog.com/juhwmonitorp Also, if you guys can find better pricing on any of the components listed above, it'll be greatly appreciated.
  2. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,839   +672

    Where to start....

    *I'd be a little surprised if a HD 5970 would fit into that chassis
    *Only having 2Gb RAM onboard is definitely going to bottleneck the CPU/GPU
    *Yes, you'll need a good good branded PSU in the 600-650w range minimum with that card-something along the lines of this - its rated higher than your requirements but is cheaper than the 650
    *For a 1920x1080 monitor that card is overkill. A HD 5850 or 5870 is a more realistic alternative, and a card of shorter length will be easier to accomodate in the chassis of choice.

    For my $0.02 I'd suggest
    > Good PSU- the best you can afford within your budget
    > a 4Gb RAM kit -preferably from a manufacturer that offers lifetime guarantee
    > A graphics card commensurate with your gaming resolution
    > If not overclocking, use the stock AMD cooler
    Chassis is subjective.I value construction, airflow and cable management over windows, lights, built in fan controllers and LED's. Go with a design aesthetic that interest you since you are the one that has to look at it. If you like the chassis but the fans are weak/noisy...replace them.

    Remember to update the BIOS to support the the new CPU (if you haven't already) before swapping out
  3. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,573   +9

    What dividebyzero said is right, using your beast of a card on a 22" is quite a waste. With any extra money, maybe look into a larger screen... Unfortunately its not a huge jump from 22" to 24" or 27", both if which has the same resolution if I'm right.

    This leaves us with the 30" beasts, which should be what you're using with a card like yours. Of course, these monitors will cost almost a cool $1000, and really, it should be a standard thing on anyone's wishlist (hint hint :D)


    On other things, RAM is cheap, RAM is good. 2GB is good now, but 4GB is better. Especially if you're running a 64-bit OS.
  4. Great1122

    Great1122 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 152

    Right now I have a case that can fit a card around 13" long and 6" wide so I think it's good enough for this card, since the site says the card is only 11.5" long and 5" wide. I'll get better cooling material definitely if I decide to do it that way and I currently leave the side of the case open for air flow, made sure there was no contact with ESD. What do you guys think? If I don't need the case, I can add the 96 dollars back in for an OCZ 700w psu. In response to the overkill, I guess it's a little too much, but a monitor upgrade I can think of next time, currently I have a 40" lcd that can run at 1080i max, so I can probably use that, but I still need the 22" monitor as that's what I'm mostly going to be using, and also the over kill means it can give me good frame rate for games past DX11, probably around DX12 or 13. If CMH says 2gb ram is good for now, I can deal with that, I don't really mind having to wait extra time for loading games and waiting for applications to open. Also thanks for reminding me to upgrade the bios, will do.
  5. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,573   +9

    Your 40" LCD won't be as good as your 22", and it really isn't going to tax your graphics card more than your 22", as the resolution is the same (or worse, since its 1080i).

    Personally, I feel that your build is quite weird. You're overspending on some parts, and underspending on others. Getting a good build (to me) is about getting the right mix, so nothing hold anything else back.

    And as mentioned, your RAM will be a little bit of a bottleneck, and your graphics card is overkill. We didn't really comment on your CPU, but for such a high end card, getting that CPU seems a little.... weak, although upgrading it probably won't change anything, which is why I didn't mention it in the first place.

    As far as DX12 or DX13, if the card won't support it, you're never going to run them.
  6. g4mer

    g4mer TS Enthusiast Posts: 340

    You can buy a little bit cheaper graphic card and save some money for the RAM.
  7. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,288   +7

  8. Great1122

    Great1122 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 152

    Oh, I think I misunderstood you, anyways I'll get 2560 x 1600 monitor later, for now I'm really just looking to greatly upgrade the graphics card, that's why I'm spending most of my money on it. But I really need the Full hd monitor for now. Just need to know if everything else looks good. Also, I'm not looking to buy another motherboard for Intel, the 6 core will be good enough for me right now, I'll probably upgrade my mobo and ram next summer, then the monitor after the processor. I think ram might be obtainable but I have to know if RAM can be asymmetric.
  9. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,925   +170

    There's absolutely no point in blowing $600 on a top end graphics card if you're looking to upgrade to a 2560x1600 monitor one year later. The way technology moves, your card will have seriously depreciated by then.

    I suggest you get a 5850/5870, then when you upgrade your motherboard in a year's time you can get another one in Crossfire at a much cheaper price.

    In any case a 5970 + 2GB RAM does not really make sense and as some people have pointed out you have to try and strike the best balance between all your components.
  10. Great1122

    Great1122 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 152

    OK, but if it depreciates, I can just crossfire the 5970 if technology does move too fast for it, plus it'll cost less if there are better graphics card, Also the sapphire site lists the system requirements for the 4gb model of this card http://www.sapphiretech.com/presentation/product/?leg=&psn=0001&pid=340, which states I only need 1024 MB of ram, but if really necessary I can get 4gb's of ram dual channel, will that be good enough?
  11. Jesse

    Jesse TechSpot Staff Posts: 369   +40

    Sorry if I'm about to be overly critical but you have your priorities way out of whack, this build doesn't make any sense. Getting the best gaming performance requires a lot more than just a beast of a graphics card. Having 2gb of ram in a gaming rig is ridiculous, the cheap laptops I sell at best buy all have 4gb standard. That processor is a 6 core processor, which suggests to me that you want to heavily multitask as there are no games that are threaded that highly, yet with that small amount of ram you are only going to be able to do one thing at a time. That graphics card will be way cheaper in a year when you can afford a display that will be able to take advantage of what it has to offer. Save some money and buy a more reasonable card, and spend the extra cash on a better processor and ram. You can get way more performance out of your computer by spending smarter. Consider buying a hybrid HDD/SSD, the seagate momentus xt is really cheap and will increase system performance:

    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicat...0178&sku=TMD-500AS4&srkey=Seagate Momentus XT
     
  12. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,573   +9

    Raid a couple of SSDs for showing off load times.

    You can't tell 60fps from 100fps without software telling you, but 6sec load time compared to 10sec.... You don't need a stopwatch for that.


    FYI with my RAIDed SSDs, I load BFBC2 MP maps with 12secs left on timer. Why did they have to introduce that delay.....
  13. Great1122

    Great1122 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 152

    I know it requires a lot more than just a graphics card, I'm just starting off with the graphics card. I'm only a High School student, so I can only work during the summer. I just want a build that's stable with that graphics card, over time, I'll upgrade the processor and the ram, I'm probably going to get a 4 gb ram stick for now and then another 4 gb ram stick later on. So, no matter what I'm not going to stick with 2 gb of ram for this build rather 4 gb. I'll most likely upgrade the Hard drive with the processor. Also, load time can also depend on how much stuff you have in your hard drive. Even the slowest hard drives can get high load speeds if they're not filled with stuff.
  14. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,925   +170

    I think it's great that you have a large budget to spend on your computer upgrade and you want to spend your money on the best card out there, but I don't think anybody here could seriously recommend buying a 5970 for a 1920x1080 monitor. In 99% of games you will not notice the difference between a 5870 and a 5970 at that resolution. When the time comes round to get a larger monitor/go eyefinity, you can either get another 5870 in CF or sell it and get a 6870 or whatever.

    Also an SSD (solid state drive) is nothing like a traditional hard drive and will cut down your load times and make your OS snappier significantly. I suggest you do some research on SSDs because you can get one now if you allocate your cash wisely.
  15. Great1122

    Great1122 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 152

    OK, slh, thanks for clearing that up. So, if I do get a 5870, It'll be good for now I guess, then I'll have 366 dollars left, the 5870 costs around 410 dollars. So, ssd hard drive/ ram upgrade do you guys recommend with that amount of money?
  16. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,925   +170

    With $410 left over you can get an Intel X25-M and another 2GB RAM with lots left over. I wouldn't get any more than 2GB because once you upgrade your CPU/motherboard you're gonna have to get a new set of DDR3 RAM.
  17. Great1122

    Great1122 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 152

    I guess you're right about the ddr3 ram, so I'll stick with 2 gb, but the ssd's will make everything run smoothly right, and also, what needs to be on the ssd for everything to run smoothly and load faster, the OS, or everything you intend to run fast like the games and everything.
  18. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,573   +9

    SSDs help with loading times. It helps with a few other "less important" things, such as noise levels, power consumption, reliability, etc, but its really just a really fast "HDD".

    Without really doing anything, your games and OS will load fast. Opening folders and things on your computer will also open up fast (unlike the spin-up lag you usually get from HDDs). Its not instant like some people wish it to be, but it'll be noticeably faster.

    2GB is the minimum amount of RAM I'd suggest anyone to buy for any computer. For a gamer, I'd say 2GB is quite inadequate, especially since RAM is so cheap, and that all your other components are considered "high-end".

    Also realise that one of the first things we tell people on older comps to do to speed their comps up is to upgrade their RAM, and here you are skimping on it. Like I said, doesn't make sense whatsoever.
  19. Great1122

    Great1122 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 152

    Oh, ok I'll upgrade to 4 gb, thanks for all your help guys. The admin can close this topic now.
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