Weekend Open Forum: Your next PC upgrade

By on February 24, 2012, 6:43 PM

With the Radeon HD 7000 series trickling out, Ivy Bridge and Kepler bound for mid-2012 and hard drive prices gradually recovering, it seems a great time to begin plotting your next system upgrade. What parts do you plan to buy in the near future? Need more horsepower, storage or RAM? Finally going to splurge on a flash drive or secondary display? Perhaps it's time for a completely fresh build?

Components for Shawn's new X79 test rig

I'm tempted to perform an overhaul this summer, but I think I'll skip this generation and see what 2013 brings. The i5-750 and GTX 460 should hold strong until then. Coincidentally, you are reading this via TechSpot's newly upgraded server, which now has dual quad-core Xeon E5620s, 12GB of RAM and two SSDs in RAID (from dual quad-core Xeon E5335s, 8GB of RAM and 10k RPM SAS drives).

User Comments: 82

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Guest said:

I'll be updating to SSD and Watercooler.

pmkrefeld said:

Makes absolutely no sense to me, I actually downgraded my PC lately....

Actual specs: i5-750, 4gb ram, 560ti, 64GB SSD.

I can seriously see no gain for me in Ivy Bridge, HD7000, etc.

n00bzZy said:

Currently planning on 3 things for the next half a year or so:

A 120GB SSD as my system/programs etc drive.

A new card to replace my HD5770, probably gonna see what nVidia has to offer before getting anything.

And a new sound card to replace my on-board audio, probably the ASUS Essence STX, slowly becoming an audiophile

Guest said:

I'm quite content with my current system (Phenom 2 X6 OCd @ 3.8GHz, 8GB RAM, Radeon 6970, 60GB SSD).

My current wishlist consists of a bigger monitor either a 27" or 30" (from my current 23"), some new headphones and a mechanical keyboard.

Apart from that thinking further into the future I think I want to go Micro ATX or M-ITX for my next build, as small and quiet as (reasonably) possible. Probably no HDDs, only SSD(s) I'd move all my current storage into a RAID array in a sever in a closet or something for redundancy, network access and no noisy drives in my main rig.

treeski treeski said:

I upgraded to 16GB of 1600 ram a couple months ago.

My next upgrade will probably be a graphics card. I don't have loyalties for Nvidia or ATI, so I'll probably go with whoever has the best card for around 350-400 when I get the money.

Coodu Coodu said:

A 7 series Ati card to replace my jet engine 6850 and probably an Ivy later in the year.

amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

Shawns test rig needs more then a measly 560Ti !!

Fine if your only playing at 1920 X 1080 I guess. :P

techfiend4 said:

im just waiting on my asus hd7970 dcii, but recently bought the cm storm trooper (with xornet deal) as well. will be upgrading cpu to piledriver and new mobo when they come out. sdd in future as well and possible custom loop

OS: Win 7 64-Bit Ultimate | PSU: COOLER MASTER Silent Pro Gold Series RS800-

80GAD3-US | MOBO: ASUS M4A89TD PRO/USB3 890fx CPU: AMD Phenom II X6 1090T O/C 4.0 | CPU Cooler: CORSAIR Hydro H70 w/ AS 5 | MEM: G.SKILL Ripjaws 8GB DDR3 @ 8-8-8-24 | GPU: EVGA GTX 460 SE | HDD-1:WD 1TB 7200RPM Black Caviar WD1002FAEX | Display: ASUS VH236H Black 23"x2

Guest said:

I'll hopefully be sporting one of the newest Nvidia 600 Series graphics cards that are supposed to be coming out soon. Hopefully the top model, I've got 3 superclocked Geforce 470's now, but even a single 590 could compete with that. I hope the 690 (if thats the model) will be even better. :)

Guest said:

Oh a very relevant topic for me. i am about to upgrade in march and right now i am just shortlisting parts

core 2 duo ---> i5 2500k

ddr2 ----> ddr3 1333

8800gt --> asus direct cu2 560Ti

coolermaster 350w --> 500W (probably silverstone)

the only thing i havent shortlisted is the motherboard. i need 2 PCIe slots but at a reasonable price range.dont want to go for expensive ones. i only require value for money parts.

also i am not going to wait for ivy bridge.it might be having huge performance in gaming but at high price point and anyway i am going to use 560Ti to does not matter to me.

any suggestions please.

hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:


I need a new high end video card to replace my unlocked HD 6950 2GB.

I need a new 240GB SSD to replace my 64GB SSD.

I need a new DVD burner. The tray doesn't always eject without hitting it.

I need a 2TB HDD. My 1TB is almost full.


I want a bigger monitor to replace my 24". Most likely a 27".

I want a new headset.



I may make the jump from air to water cooling (CPU and GPU) eventually, but only if I find a kickass single GPU card with amazing overclock capability and performance.

hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

Techspot, how did the server upgrade go? I can post, so you obviously didn't break anything.

Guest said:

I got pretty lucky recently, friend of mine gave me a mobo with an i7 960 and P6X. I bought 12gb of ram, a 120 SSD and I'm trying to decide, go SLI with my 460GTX or do a 560 or so... Cheapest yet best upgrade I've ever done (considering the mobo/cpu was around 800 brand new when he bought).

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Normally I'd be chomping at the bit to do a new build from scratch about now. I like to do a complete rebuild once every other CPU and GPU generation which seems to occur about once every 3-4 years. But right now, there's nothing out there even coming close to taxing my current machine. The games coming out now are all built for the console first, PC second and we're talking 7 year old console technology. With what I have now, I play every game at max settings without so much as a burp. So probably looking at 2013 or even 2014 before I do a new rebuild. Here's what I have now: Intel i7-960 CPU, ASUS Sabertooth X58 MOBO, 12GB GSkill Ripjaw DDR 3 1866 (PC3 1490), ABS Silver Certified 1050W power supply, two MSI N460GTX video cards in SLI, ASUS Xonar Essence STX sound card, OCZ 128GB SSD for the OS and commonly used software, 1TB Black Caviar data drive, 750GB Black Caviar data drive, HAF X case, ASUS VW226 26" 1900x1200 display.

Tossing around the idea of upgrading the monitor to a Dell 30" UltraSharp U3011 2560x1600 monitor, but that's $1,300 - the price of a completely new build. We'll see....

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

Something with the upcoming Trinity APU series, if I can find a mini itx case I like.

Guest said:

Ordering this weekend from NCIX my new build to replace my "gaming" laptop:

Intel i7 2600K

Asus P8Z68-V Pro

GSkill Ripjaws 8GB

Asus Radeon 7970 3GB

OCZ Vertex 3 120GB SSD

Corsair AX850 PSU

Corsair Carbide 400R

Looking at about $1500 for everything. I haven't built a system in a while, I'm pretty excited.

LNCPapa LNCPapa said:

My next upgrade will be a pair of GTX 680s if they are at least as fast as the 7970 and sell for $500-550 each. I've got the money burning a hole in my pocket now - I started saving for it and hit the magic number just recently. Then I can give both my wife and my older daughter my left over 5970s and that'll be a decent upgrade for them. My younger daughter will inherit my older daughter's video solution so she'll get an upgrade too!

Technochicken Technochicken, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I'll be getting a laptop this summer, which I guess will be my next upgrade. A SSD, quad core CPU, and discrete video card are all musts, but I haven't started researching any specifics yet.

Guest said:

first i need a better video card, then more ram to free the hdd, then a faster hdd for general speed.

but this probably when i will win at bets(so why not a new pc:) ).

Julio Franco Julio Franco, TechSpot Editor, said:

hahahanoobs said:

TechSpot, how did the server upgrade go? I can post, so you obviously didn't break anything.

It went well . We prepared well in advance, and you know how these things go, last minute hiccups always arise and they did. But Per did an awesome job, the move was quick and efficient (at least so far), downtime was minimal and DNS is propagating at a good pace. We keep troubleshooting with the devs right now but so far so good... fingers crossed.

Guest said:

I want to replace my air system with a water one, I've spent about 70$ replacing broken fans since 2009 and adding a few fans to my case. I will never go air again. I might go crossfire with my nvidia 275. I could also use a tb of hd space. Then again I might spend nothing on my pc and try out a next generation console.

Guest said:

Not sure really. I think I'm going to hold onto my current system (i5 2500k @4Ghz, 6870X2, 240GB SSD, 8GB 1866mhz RAM) for at least 12 months. Then I'll most likely grab a 3770k and a new GPU (whatever is at least a 50% upgrade from my current one) and maybe look at grabbing some 2133mhz RAM with low timings. Got to be honest there is so much great tech out there but so much of it is overkill thanks to the consoles holding back the developers.

Guest said:

I am thinking of building 2 rigs.

first build:

based on intel core i3-2120 or its ivy bridge equivalent

this will be used for daily internet use and office productivity.

second build:

based on intel core i5-2500 or its ivy bridge equivalent.

this will be my first real gaming rig intended for the coming diablo 3 release and the "complete" starcraft 2.

i already have the following items:

thermaltake v9 blacx case with sata hdd dock

2 x 2gb ddr3-1600 gskill memory kit

4 x 4gb ddr3-1600 gskill memory kit

what i need:

2 power supply units, at least 600w each

2 intel-based motherboards based on my final processor choices

1 decent and affordable video card, probably amd hd6950 or nvidia 560

at least two 2tb hard disk drives

(i'm not buying any ssd)

i will be re-using my two monitors (lg w2043t lcd, acer 201hl led) and my old reliable speakers.

i will not be building these 2 rigs until hdd prices come down to pre-thai floods. :)

(probably in november 2012, first quarter 2013; unless the mayans are wrong :) )

Sarcasm Sarcasm said:

Waiting to get a 3 monitor set up and maybe crossfire 7870s or 7850s depending on price and performance scaling

hellokitty[hk] hellokitty[hk], I'm a TechSpot Evangelist, said:

I want an SSD.

I'd also just like to reformat windows... it's getting to be a mess, but I haven't really had the time.

Guest said:

I'm buying a new gaming pc within a few months.

My current one is 2 years old but still really nice. But with the upcoming games i'd like to be completely prepared.

The problem is that i know next to nothing about pc's and upgrading.

It's horrible. I really want to learn this stuff..

And i don't have anyone to ask help from.

Hard to find the right stuff.

p51d007 said:

Not a gamer, music streamer or video nut. Mostly photoshop.

My quad core I built a few years back runs CS5 well enough for me.

Scrub206 said:

A second SSD and a second 6970 :3 ... i just need the mons

madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

SSD (2x computers) , more memory (DDR3 sodimm in one, DDR2 in the other), and a BD burner, in no specific order. Just need to put the money down to do it, but I'm being patient for the SSDs.

Partly related, I do need to get some samsung drives while they are still available, but that'll be a gash in my wallet.

Guest said:

I just upgraded my motherboard,CPU and ram so it'll be quite awhile till my next upgrade.which will be a ssd

SalaSSin said:

I'm currently checking out prices to update MB, CPU & cooler.

Thinking of:

Asus P8Z68-v Pro

Intel i5-2500k

Thermalright Silver Arrow

H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Everything .....

colinf said:

Gpu waterblock

Guest said:

I think the FT03 Mini is really beautiful without any plastic side vent. If Silverstone would update the original mATX FT03 and remove the plastic side vent - making it as slick and clean as the mini - that would be my next upgrade.

Seraphim401 Seraphim401 said:

All I want is for those god damn core i7 970's to come down in price.

Marnomancer Marnomancer said:

By the end of March I'll buy more RAM and then wipe my HDD. And then, install Windows 7 Ultimate x64. Once I have enough savings again, I'll buy a new CPU and maybe even a GPU. SSD prices are quite high here yet x_x

hassaan said:

SSD and gaming peripherals

Guest said:

just ordered some parts!

first I need to replace my intel atom / nvidia ion HTPC with something a little more powerful, so I ordered a AMD Llano A4-3300 and a nice mini itx board: ASUS F1A75-I Deluxe. The only challenge is going to be to get the whole system to 60 Watts max power consumption (as my current power supply is limited to that). The APU already has a TDP of 65W, however I read that you can easily under voltage it,... if things don't workout I'll have to shop for another PSU (and probably case too since it is a special sized PSU in my current enclosure)

Guest said:

I just did my upgrade, I took my M11x R2 and Converted it to an R3. Now I've got a 2nd gen i7 2617m and an nvidia 540m and a 120GB ssd for a third of the cost of a new M11x R3 laptop.

Guest said:

every three years I replace my gaming rig its due this year DEC 2012

but with prices the way they are I just am not sure if its going to be a full replacement but what I got so far is:

intel Core i7-3960X Extreme Edition (Sandy Bridge-E)

AsUs Rampage IV Extreme mother board

Cooler Master's Hyper 212 Evo CPU cooler

the rest is waiting for the video card decision

NVIDIA or ATI by July I should know who has the best of the best .

Guest said:

@the previous guest concerning the best video card.

Every month Tom's Hardware puts out a new article discussing the current best video cards based on every price range. Just google "Tom's Hardware Graphics Card February 2012" without the quotes.

Guest said:

I am a gamer so the first time I play a game that I cannot run a max settings is when I upgrade the hardware. I think I'm good for awhile yet:

i7-2600k @ 4.1Ghz

16 GB G.Skill Ripjaw RAM

2-570GTX-OC in SLI

Intel 510 128GB SDD boot drive

2 - WD Velociraptor Datadrives

Win7 Ultimate

I have been looking at the new Asus 27" LED 3D monitor with the Nvidia 3D glasses. But at $500+ it's a little pricey just for 3D and it's a little past the "my wife will notice" threshold.

Guest said:

Probably just a better graphics card, I want one of the midrange Keplers when they come out this spring. I already have an SSD, i5 750, 16GB DDR3, etc. so there's no point really upgrading anything else.

Guest said:

My next upgrade will most likely be Haswell (unless AMD improves their CPUs), 16GB of Ram, probably a 240-256GB SSD, whatever next generation $250-300 videocard is out next Spring. Going to reuse my PSU and case.

Guest said:

I just builty my new computer with an asrock extreme3 gen 3 motherboard with a 2nd generation intel i5 2500k overclocked to 3.8 GHz with 8GB of DDR3 1066 ram, 2 gtx 560 ti in SLI and a terabyte of storage. Only upgrade i will be making soon is a sata III SSD then maybe pick up an i7 ivy bridge when they go down in price.

Benny26 Benny26, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Graphics for me...again. Or maybe a new hard drive, I can't say i have fully decided yet.


Thinking of a SSD....

But I do not know if i should, my system is fast.

GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0

With a i7-980 6 core chip

24 gig ram

I have an Antec DF-85 Case, with a SSD mount on the top of the Case empty

"Top 2.5" hot-swap SATA (SSD-compatible) drive bay"

Thinking of putting a SSD In it...hmmm... Should I ???

And Another Video card - 560 ti... maybe

Modena said:

SSD, I'll be upgrading that soon to a 128GB Crucial M4. Also I seem to be running out of RAM when playing BF3 with my 4GB kit, so I'll be upgrading to 8GB soon as well. Besides that I'll probably be upgrading my gtx460 to gtx 760 whenever Nvidia decides to come out with it...

tonylukac said:

A little different from the trend, but I just built an htpc in October. My next upgrade will be after windows 8 comes out and I think I'm buying a Toshiba laptop for web surfing, such as reading Techspot. This 2004 Toshiba laptop worked well as I upgraded it from windows xp home to windows xp professional, to use iis to write a website in asp.net. I bought window xp professional during the vista upgrade period, so I also got vista business with it, 2 for the price of one. I never had trouble upgrading to vista as all those vista capable computer users did, except that it required 2g of memory (came with 512m). I had to replace the hard drive not due to it crashing but I think Toshiba used the same firmware as Seagate did when they had their problem, as the hard drive would occasionally become unresponsive requiring a reboot (always on light). The new Toshiba drive still goes into the same mode as did my Seagate that had the firmware problem (very seldom), but now recovers without a reboot after 1 minute.

Guest said:

I just ordered some parts yesterday from NCIX for the next build

Antec 300 case as it was on for $39 after rebate, I love this case as I already own 3

OCZ petrol 128 GB SSD for $104(After Rebate) with a free LG DVD burner

Acer T231H Touch Screen for Windows 8 for $280.24 Price Matched

I have power supplies and hard drives and am waiting for Ivy-bridge and will buy

i5-3570k -> to wife's i3-530 -->to Media Center E5700 -> Linux Box P4-530J -> retirement

On the fence on upgrading my HD 5770 in my i7-2600 rig to GFX-480 that ncix has on for $249 this week or waiting for next gen nvidia as I want cuda for Adobe After Effects

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