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5 Year Upgrade Plan

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  • 5 Year Upgrade Plan

    So I'm trying assess my finances for the year and figure out if building a new PC is a feasible undertaking. This one lasted for a solid 5/4.5 years, and its still pulling its weight for the most part, just not nearly as strongly as I'd like.

    Old pc:
    AMD 4400+ OCed to 2.55ish (water cooled)
    eVGA 8800GT Superoverclocked edition or something (originally was a 7900GT) (water cooled)
    2GB of OCZ Gamer Gold XTC RAM
    OCZ GameXtreme 700W PSU
    X-Fi Platinum Sound Card

    So with a new build on the horizon, I've got a few questions. What's the market like for Intel's stuff? I know the i5's are out/coming out. Is the i7 still top dog, or are the i5's the go-to for gaming/workstation PCs? Before I start digging too deeply, I want to know what processor line I should be leaning towards. What's the socket that's needed for each? I'm seeing 1366 and 1156; what's the most recent/going to be around for longer? I'm going for power, but cost is also a big consideration; quad core is pretty much a need.

    The background:

    Gonna be using my Samsung TOC 26HD blah blah (1920x1200 res.) + 19" Viewsonic LCD (1440x900)

    Gonna reuse the following:
    Keyboard/Mouse
    Hard drive(s). May opt for SSD if they drop in price soon; will upgrade to one by the end of the year for at least my OS drive
    Creative X-Fi Platinum (PCI interface)
    Win7 Pro for OS

    What I need recommendations on:
    PSU: What'll be required for what I'm buying and what's good. I'm using a OCZ GameXtreme 700W right now, and its holding my system very strongly at a moderately-ok overclock.
    Video card: what makes economical sense to get good performance. I know NVIDIA's stuff will be dropping soon-ish.
    RAM: speed/manufacturers. I know the names, but not sure if the big ones are still the ones to buy from. RAM was real cheap last year, but looks like its gotten a bit more expensive now? I'm gonna throw as much RAM in this PC as I can for a reasonable cost.

    I'm up for overclocking and replacing the stock heatsinks and whatnot. I've heard that the Intel stuff is relatively simple to OC compared to my generation of CPU (socket 939)?

  • #2
    Re: 5 Year Upgrade Plan

    1156 is more recent. It is the lower cost version of 1366. It looks like they plan for both sockets to be around about the same amount of time.

    700W PSU is more than enough for a single video card system.

    RAM manufacturer doesn't matter. Just grab whatever is cheapest and has the tightest timings/speed at the lowest voltage.
    |TG-12th| Namebot

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    • #3
      Re: 5 Year Upgrade Plan

      Originally posted by Namebot View Post
      700W PSU is more than enough for a single video card system.
      Oh, I was pretty sure 700W would be sufficient, but should I worry about the age of the PSU? Its been great so far, but with all new stuff, I'm a bit hesitant to rely on it for another 5 years. I've heard modular PSU's are actually efficient enough to be good? Back in the day, I was cautioned to stay away for a myriad of reasons.

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      • #4
        Re: 5 Year Upgrade Plan

        Modular as far as I knew only effected cables not performance. I have a 500 Watt Rosewill Modular PSU. I've running it for the last four years with out an issue. I've been pricing out a new rig with a Corsair 750 or 850 modular designed PSU. I don't remember which, but one of the two had a seven year warranty. If THAT doesn't give you some confidence what would?

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        • #5
          Re: 5 Year Upgrade Plan

          Originally posted by Namebot View Post
          ...RAM manufacturer doesn't matter. Just grab whatever is cheapest and has the tightest timings/speed at the lowest voltage.
          I disagree... I'll give you that MOST ram is good. But I would at least stick to a reputable company. I've seen one too many computers ruined by ram that would not post.

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          • #6
            Re: 5 Year Upgrade Plan

            I'm in need of some more advice.

            I'm torn between the i7 860 and the i7 930. The 930 is on sale for $250 at Microcenter (thanks a ton Bamboo, saw that in E-Male's thread), but changes everything to socket 1366. Would it be worthwhile to grab the 930 and go that route, or would the differences be very small (keep in mind I'm trying to keep things at 1920x1200 res).

            I'm going crazy trying to narrow down my motherboard search; I want sata 6.0 and USB 3.0 support. I would like to keep things cheap, but keep myself open to new tech. I've been mostly focused on ASUS boards as they've got a great reputation.

            Also, I'm trying to get this to run BC2 at a respectable framerate at 1920x1200 while still having most/all options turned up, so trying to figure out what video card is the best. I'm somewhat tempted to grab something cheap in the meantime till the new Nvidia cards come out and see how they affect the market. So, its looking like an ATI 5830 is the way to go?

            Thanks again!

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            • #7
              Re: 5 Year Upgrade Plan

              I would go with the 1366 chip, as in a couple of years, you can easily pop in an upgraded chip.

              3) Support game play in a near-simulation environment. Where the focus of play would not be solely on doing what it takes to win, but doing so utilizing real-world combat strategy and tactics rather than leveraging exploits provided to players by the design of the game engine.

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              • #8
                Re: 5 Year Upgrade Plan

                Originally posted by Tempus View Post
                I would go with the 1366 chip, as in a couple of years, you can easily pop in an upgraded chip.
                And the 6 core 32 nm Gulftown is on the way.

                DB

                «That looks like a really nice house except for that horrible bathroom.» Donrhos

                | |





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                • #9
                  Re: 5 Year Upgrade Plan

                  I suppose that's a good reason to go with 1366 then! Now onward with motherboard selection!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: 5 Year Upgrade Plan

                    The i5 doesn't seem to give that much of a hit in FPS with games. It won't do as well rendering video compared to the i7 but it'll do just as well with gaming. I've looked at the price difference and it's about $200 between the two (i5 750, 4GB DDR3 vs. i7 920, 6GB DDR). A 6 core processor sounds great as a future upgrade but I don't think games will truly take advantage of the extra cores. Developers have to figure out how to use that extra processing power that still keeps dual core gamers running smoothly. A game that can process thousands of particle movements still needs the GPU to render them all.

                    Plus, upgrading on the 1366 socket can be done on the 1156 socket as well. There will be upgrade options on both sockets but I don't think 6 cores is really necessary any time soon.

                    - It's who you game with.

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                    • #11
                      Re: 5 Year Upgrade Plan

                      Originally posted by =Sarc= View Post
                      The i5 doesn't seem to give that much of a hit in FPS with games. It won't do as well rendering video compared to the i7 but it'll do just as well with gaming.
                      That's a hell of a good point. In some games, the i5 750 outperforms the i7 920. Intel is moving ahead with 32nm transistors; so i5 4 core and i7 6 cores is the future.

                      DB

                      «That looks like a really nice house except for that horrible bathroom.» Donrhos

                      | |





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                      • #12
                        Re: 5 Year Upgrade Plan

                        I definitely see what you guys are saying, as the prices for motherboards and RAM for 1366 systems up the price a bit, but I can get the 920 for $200 at microcenter. I'm going to quickly look and see what I can put together with a 1156 system and see what the price comparison is.

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                        • #13
                          Re: 5 Year Upgrade Plan

                          Ok, so here's what I've come up with:

                          1156 System:
                          i7 860 for $230 @ microcenter

                          Asus P7P55D-E Pro motherboard for $190

                          4GB Corsair Dominator RAM

                          Total: $567


                          1366 System:
                          i7 920 for $200 @ microcenter

                          Gigabyte GA X58A motherboard for $210

                          6GB Corsair XMS3 RAM for $190

                          Total: $600

                          I think I'm gonna try and keep my 8800GT for a bit unless someone thinks stepping up to something in the $150ish realm would be worthwhile. I'm constantly filling my 2GB worth of RAM right now, and this is about a 5 year old system, so the 6GB of RAM is somewhat tempting (I plan to try and do some CAD and Civil 3d work at home if possible). My plan is for the new one to last just as long, with upgrades here and there down the road.

                          Thoughts?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: 5 Year Upgrade Plan

                            IMO, looking at the price difference, I would go for the 920 (yes Intel is replacing it with the 930, so what. 200$ is a good deal).

                            DB

                            «That looks like a really nice house except for that horrible bathroom.» Donrhos

                            | |





                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: 5 Year Upgrade Plan

                              Originally posted by Dick Blonov View Post
                              IMO, looking at the price difference, I would go for the 920 (yes Intel is replacing it with the 930, so what. 200$ is a good deal).

                              DB
                              Yeah, my exact thoughts. If I end up getting the 920 to be at max load in a game, I'll sorta be surprised. And if that ever happens, I can just overclock and drop it to stock when I'm not gaming.

                              Now, the final item: video card!

                              Do I just wait and let the market balance out when Fermi drops?

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