Upgrade options?

By LeeLuck · 44 replies
Feb 19, 2012
Post New Reply
  1. Hi, i am looking into upgrading my self built desktop and i was wondering what you lot thought would be best for it.
    My work load is mainly 3D modeling, rendering and texturing so CPU speed and RAM are paramount to the software i use :-

    3DsMAX 2012
    Cinema 4D
    Poser Pro 2012
    PS CS4

    All high end 3D application programs demanding a high end PC to which i built at the time with the budget i had.
    I am in a position to better the set up now so some advice on what i could add or change to the MB would be most appreciated.
    Here are the stats of the pc at the moment.

    Gigabyte GA-X58 USB3 MB
    12gig OCZ Tripple channel gold RAM
    Intel Core i7 950 LGA1366 (Standard CPU Fan)
    XFX Radeon 6870 (Dont need to change this as programs arent reliant on GPU)
    CoolMaster Silent Pro 500w (May replace this if needed)
    3x1TB Samsung F3 HDD
    W7 64bit

    I dont want to get into a rebuild so replacing things to suite the MB is what i am looking at doing, any other info as requested.

    I attached a cpuz just incase.

    Thanks for any info offered,


    Attached Files:

  2. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    You've only really a couple of options, both of which are to change the CPU for something more powerful, or overclock your existing unit.

    Might be worth seeing what sort of money you could get a hex-core i7 980x for now the newer LGA 2011 is out, but ultimately your best bet will probably just be to get a bloody good aftermarket cooler and overclock your CPU.

    As for coolers, dependant on your case, the Corsair H70/H100 radiator coolers, a Noctua NH-D14 or something like a Thermaltake Silver arrow.

    Another option would be some faster RAM. DDR3-1600 would be recommended, maybe go for 24GB if you're finding you're using all of it up at the moment.
  3. LeeLuck

    LeeLuck TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 61

    Thanks Leeky
    So if i were to go with this....

    Intel Core i7 990X Socket 1366 3.46GHz 12MB Cache (or the 980 like you said)


    What ram would compliment such a CPU for my X58 MB ? would this be good enough or not ?


    If i were to max out the cpu potential with the above cpu then i would max out the ram too but what ram, what make etc ?

    The MB will handle as you say 24gig so this is what i would upgrade too also,
    regarding CPU cooler, would the stock fan that comes with the 990x be ok ? and would it fit into my Antec 300 case.
    The case by the way has 5 fans sucking and blowing lol

    I know its a lot of extra cash just for upgrading but i just love my pc and want to max it out rather then start again.

    Thanks again.

    P.S. i know i can source them cheaper, i just added links for viewing type. cheers.
  4. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,484   +45

    the 980x is selling for around 600usd if you're lucky on ebay right now.
  5. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,484   +45

    24 gb a little overkill? lol.

    Have you ever maxed out your 12 gbs? If so then consider my first question/statement null.

    Find a 980x on ebay if you can. You can get a responsibly used one for cheaper than a new 990x.

    The stock HS may not fit. Check the width of your case and consider the side and dimensions of the stock HS
  6. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,706   +172

    I would not recommend a 990X, it is a previous generation part and for that money you could get a new i7-3930K plus an X79 motherboard with money to spare (you can re-use your current 12GB RAM and get another 4GB stick to run in quad channel).

    The RAM you linked to also seems insanely expensive, I doubt you will notice the difference to this one. Also the huge RAM coolers might look awesome but it will more likely than not interfere with the CPU HSF.

    If you don't want a new platform, a £50 CPU cooler will get your i7 950 to over 4Ghz easily.
  7. LeeLuck

    LeeLuck TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 61

    All great info, exactly why i came here to ask first ;)
    So it seems overclocking my existing i7 950 would be the cheaper option, the x58 MB comes with a utility program to overclock so i guess thats not too difficult bar a few questions to verify procedures, so i guess a good CPU cooler would be the next logical step yer ?
    Any preference on make and type ? remembering my case is an Antec 300.
    Also, would it still be beneficial to change the RAM to 1600mhz or can ram be overclocked too ?
    Pardon my green noobness but overclocking is something i have never ventured into.

  8. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,484   +45

  9. LeeLuck

    LeeLuck TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 61

    Cool lol, so thats the cooler sorted, and this will allow my i7 950 to reach 4GHz ?

    What about the Ram mate ? new or oc ?
  10. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    I'm happy to stand corrected, but I'm not so sure I'd want that cooler if heading for 4GHz+.

    You were prepared to spend on a i7 980x or 990x, spend money on a top end cooler. They'll work on your next setup when you eventually upgrade, so you're not in the slightest bit wasting money.
  11. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,484   +45

    Leeky I've been looking for coolers considering height. Its very difficult. This is one of the only ones I found that will fit. Whatever he gets it can't have a height higher than 175mm with installation.
  12. LeeLuck

    LeeLuck TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 61

    Absolutely Leeky, but i dont know what a top end cooler entails lol so...
    Yes i was prepered to throw £1K at this machine due to a bit of luck with cash so even if i were to not pend that i would still like the best for what i got if you follow, in other words i would rather spend more on a cooler if thats the better way to go rather then waste it on a new CPU if i can get 4GHz out of this old 950, plus i would still rather compliment it with better ram if you can advise here too.....


    1. Yes, lets go with overclocking my exsiting i7 950 and let get a high end cooler to fit my case.....

    Ideas ?

    2. RAM.... what should i get then ? i certainly dont mind maxing this area out as i could take this to a future build too so money aside, whats the best ram i can get for the x58 mb assuming my i7 950 is now running at around 4GHz ?

    I would still like more the 12gig of ram as the texture mats i work with are RAM hungry so i dont mind maxing the 24gig of the mb out !


    Late edit, point taken LinkedKube.
  13. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,484   +45

  14. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    Ah, I had an Antec three hundred with a sodding great tower cooler (using a 120mm fan) on it, I'm sure it was taller than that... Hence why I wasn't concerned. If I can find the thing I'll measure it.

    It was a very close fit to the side panel, but it cleared it.

    In either case, a Corsair H70 water cooler would fit absolutely fine. The newer H80 model: http://www.ebuyer.com/275971-corsai...h80-high-performance-liquid-cpu-cooler-cwch80
  15. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,484   +45

    In most cases you could get another 12gigs of what you already have. You may have to increase the latency timings a little bit because 24 gigs is harder for your machine to keep stable than just 12.

    That would work too if he wants to get into that stuff.
  16. LeeLuck

    LeeLuck TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 61

    WATER !!! ? call me proper dense but is that normal ;p is it self contained ? jeezzzz, i need to read more ;) lol

    The newegg site is having problems loading for some reason, BT probably, can you link a description too so i can search manually please.
  17. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,484   +45

    It is self contained,

    You can google or even youtube corsair h70 water cooler and you should fine it easily.
  18. LeeLuck

    LeeLuck TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 61

    Just watched a compare against the H50 and H70, the H70 runs very noisely due to the fans running at 2000rpm according to the review.....i ceratinly dont want extra noise.

    What were the links you offered LinkedKube ? (product name please)

    Leeky, the H80 seems to have variable fan speeds ? maybe an option ?
  19. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    Here is my Corsair H50 water cooler. Its all self contained, you just fix it to the motherboard/CPU and then to the case for the fans/radiator.


    Will fit fine, as ran one in a Antec Three Hundred myself, in push/pull (e.g. one fan each side of rad) like the H70/80 is.

    I believe it is variable. I use mine all day long and I don't notice it sat next to me over the noise of my other cooling fans.

    The fans can also be swapped out for quieter ones if you prefer. So if you already have two low noise fans you could use them instead.
  20. LeeLuck

    LeeLuck TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 61

    Fabulous pic Mate, thanks ;)

    So, which one ? h50 H70 or h80.... why so bloody many lol
  21. LeeLuck

    LeeLuck TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 61

    There is another question thats bugging me.

    Whats the difference between my i7 950 running at 4GHz and one of these mega expensive i7 980x or 990x versions running around 3.4GHz standard ?
  22. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    The Corsair H50 is the single fan model, although as you can see I just added another fan to make it push/pull like the H70. The Corsair H70 is twin fans. The H80 is the replacement for the H70, and features advancements including the adjustable speed settings for the fans.

    the Corsair H100 is a twin radiator design (fits 2x 120mm fans beside each other), for even more cooling, but requires two 120mm fan mountings side by side, which your case doesn't have.

    Essentially the higher the Hxx number the better it is.
  23. LeeLuck

    LeeLuck TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 61

    Ok, i think i will go with the H80 then as this seems more adjustable noise wise.
    Thanks for the heads up on that.... now then, LinkedKube mentioned something to do with latency numbers or something regading my RAM already installed... is changing these numbers easy or should i just get some 1600mhz replcement modules and if so what the top make of ram i should go for assuming i were to max the 24gig option out, or like he said even with 1600mhz ram will i still have to adjust the latency thingymebob ?
  24. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,484   +45

    I own a 980x because my brother does CAD stuff on my pc every so often. The difference between the 950 and what I have isn't much in terms of everyday task. I do notice cpu intensive programs operate a little smoother, but don't take the word "smoother" for much.

    Someone that is usually on a core2duo(like one of my friends)gets on my computer and says "wow, that's fast" but I went from a 920 @ 4.2 to the 980x and I'm more in the field of "that's a nice little bump."
  25. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,484   +45

    Changing the latencies aren't difficult. You'll just need to go into your bios during startup. Most systems will autodetect safe latencies, even if your system does do this I suggest checking to see what they are.

Similar Topics

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...