Upgrading after a very long time; need some suggestions please

By Rage_3K_Moiz
Aug 21, 2012
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  1. Hello everyone,

    I'm upgrading my CPU and motherboard (and by extension, RAM, since it's DDR2), and I want some input on whether or not I should spend some cash and go with a Sandy Bridge (or Ivy Bridge?) system, or a Phenom II (or Bulldozer?) one.

    Obviously, the Phenom II system would work out cheaper, and I like cheaper! :D
    But I'm wondering if that by not opting for the latest-and-greatest Intel chip, would I be looking at an upgrade sooner rather than later, down the road?

    Any and all suggestions and/or input are welcomed; my location and current system specs are in my signature, so please keep those in mind when suggesting anything.

    I'd prefer buying locally, since most of the popular components are easily available via retail, but I wouldn't mind ordering online if the price is right (although with shipping rates the way they are, I can't imagine that happening anytime soon).
  2. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,293   +8

    Hi Rage.

    Honestly speaking, I find that the choice of CPU, whether AMD or Intel, should not warrant that you look at an upgrade too soon. I have been using the Phenom II X3 720 for three years now and still it performs really well for most purposes.

    Now benchmarks do reveal that the Intel (Ivy Bridge / Sandy Bridge) are far superior to their AMD (Bulldozer / Phenom II) counterparts. Consider the i5 3570k (the CPU you incidentally suggested for my new build). It costs around $229 which is 20% more as compared to AMD's flagship FX 8150. Although the AMD has 8 cores it is outperformed by the quad core Intel by around 40% (and above) in most benchmarks. In games, the 3570K stock outperforms an overclocked 8150 by approx. 30%.

    The above, however, are just numbers. For most everyday tasks you should be fine with either CPU. If gaming at 1920x1080, your GPU will likely be the most limiting factor as neither CPU will cause any bottlenecks.

    My opnion is that you finalise your budget. If you see that the Ivy Bridge can be comfortably accomodated go for it. Else I'm sure that the AMD will not disappoint.

    One thing of note is that the Phenom IIs have generally benched better than the Bulldozers. That makes me sad as expectations from AMD were much higher.
  3. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,926   +170

    I think this is a very good point you've thought of that a lot of people seem to ignore. If you build a 3570K Z77 system the inital cost might be more than a Phenom II one but it will last you a good 4-5 years, so you might end up saving money in the end. I've had my i7 920 for about 3 years now and I still don't have a good reason to upgrade it, and that can't be said if I had gone for a Phenom I system at the time.

    So my vote goes for the 3570K, it's only slightly more expensive than the Sandy Bridge 2500K.
  4. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,293   +8

    Well, I've been using a triple core Phenom II for the past three years. It has not warranted any replacement either. It's overclocked to 3.6GHz and performs very well when it comes to games. I'm pretty much sure that my 4890 is what might limit my frames on Very High settings in some games.

    But yes, like I said earlier, if it isn't a stretch, the 3570K is excellent in terms of price vs. performance.
  5. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Topic Starter Posts: 7,294   +27

    Hmm alright, I think I'll spend some money on a Z77 setup then; if I'm going to jump onto the quad-core bandwagon, better do it with a bang, eh? ;)

    Thanks guys! :D
  6. null2323

    null2323 TS Rookie

    Hi Guys, I've been using a triple core Phenom II for the past three years myself paring with a low end MSI board 8gb ram, and my ATI 4890, It performs very well but sadly I sold it time for a upgrade. I cannot decide which way to go AMD or Intel. Have my eyes on intel 2500k and Amd fx 6100. Its Price Vs Performance? I just cannot decide
  7. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,926   +170

    Create your own thread so people make better suggestions based on your own situation.
    But you shouldn't be comparing the 2500K and FX-6100 because they're priced very differently, a more appropriate comparison would be a 2500K/3570K against an FX-8120/8150.
  8. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Topic Starter Posts: 7,294   +27

    Hey guys, just as an update: I bought the i5 3470 and a Gigabyte GA-Z77-DS3H board, along with a 16GB Kingston HyperX DDR3 1600MHz kit, a Corsair Force GT 240GB SSD and an H80 cooler.

    Thanks for all your advice! :D
    Dawn1113 likes this.
  9. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,293   +8

    Nice! So you're staying with the HD 5850 for now?
  10. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Topic Starter Posts: 7,294   +27

    Yeah; will upgrade around New Year's; might pick up a good deal on a current-gen card.
  11. Dawn1113

    Dawn1113 TS Booster Posts: 375   +64

    Wow. That's a solid upgrade -- practically a new build, really. You'll enjoy a nice boost in performance. I'm also betting you'll have fun putting all that together.

    I for one just love unboxing new hardware. It even has its own equivalent to the "new car smell".

  12. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,293   +8

    Ah! That's the one thing I'm sure we all love - Unboxing Hardware, FTW! :D I just put together a mid-budget system for a client but thoroughly enjoyed unboxing even the most ordinary components.
  13. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Topic Starter Posts: 7,294   +27

    Haha yeah, haven't gotten around to doing it yet, but I'm pretty sure it'll be a lot of fun.

    I'm also gonna go for a new case and PSU, as well as a screen. So the GPU is pretty much the only thing that I'll be taking from the old system.
  14. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 4,389   +135

    I like taking pictures of my boxes O.O
  15. klepto12

    klepto12 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,366   +9

    Sounds like a good little setup Rage wait till around new years and might be able to pick up a 7950 for around $250
  16. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Topic Starter Posts: 7,294   +27

    That's the plan, although I might take a dive sooner and get a GTX 670 with a new case and PSU; I'm basically getting a new setup and giving the old one to my brother.

    I also have an old 8800GTS 512 lying around that I can use as a PhysX card.

    I'll update the thread when I'm building it, with pics if possible.

    Cheers! :D
  17. JC713

    JC713 TS Evangelist Posts: 7,204   +950

    good choice, you cant oc that though, so there is frankly no point in the z77, u could have saved for another mobo like a h77 if I am not mistaken.
  18. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Topic Starter Posts: 7,294   +27

    Didn't find any H77 motherboards with 2 PCI-E slots; I wanted the option to either go for a dual-card setup, or for a NVIDIA+PhysX setup.
  19. JC713

    JC713 TS Evangelist Posts: 7,204   +950

    Ah ok. good stuff bud, good luck
  20. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Topic Starter Posts: 7,294   +27

    So...I splurged a little more and got a Corsair 500R case and a Cooler Master M12 850W PSU.

    Gonna put it together soon! :D
  21. JC713

    JC713 TS Evangelist Posts: 7,204   +950

    Good case, you should have gotten a corsair PSU though, they are better than CM
  22. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Topic Starter Posts: 7,294   +27

    I wanted a modular PSU and could only find AX series Corsair PSUs, which were out of my budget range.

    This CM model is modular and had the right price, and it's an Enhance-built unit to boot; top-notch in my book.

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