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Looking to upgrade for 'cheap'? Here's what I did...

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  • Looking to upgrade for 'cheap'? Here's what I did...

    Ok, well it's only cheap in relative terms.... but if you've been thinking about an upgrade, I'm VERY happy with what I've done. I generally buy about a year behind the curve - still get fantastic performance, but at discounted prices. (I'm also an AMD CPU fan because of the bang-for-the-buck factor... you don't quite get Intel performance, but you get close - for half the price)

    I'm running BC2 at 1680x1080, with med-high settings and getting smooth framerates and no slowdowns. I haven't measured FPS, but I'd guess it's somewhere in the 50's or 60's - whatever it is, it's sufficient so that I'm totally immersed in the game and not thinking about framerates.

    Anyway, here's what I went with...


    AMD Phenom II X4 940 (Black Edition, 3.0GHz) with BIOSTAR TA790GXBE AM3/AM2+/AM2 motherboard

    $210 for the combo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboD...t=Combo.335062


    I then added a Radeon HD 5770 (1GB) for $149.... These seem to be running around $150-$160 on newegg.com (link), but, like I did, you can sometimes find coupons available for them on slickdeals.net and the like.


    Anyway - $360+ is a lot of cash, but in the grand scheme of things I think this is probably about the most bang for the buck you're going to get - and you should be good for a while.


    (If you have more coin and think you might do a dual video-card setup in the future, consider upgrading the motherboard to one with a second video-card slot)

  • #2
    Re: Looking to upgrade for 'cheap'? Here's what I did...

    Thats a good chip....I currently run the 945 PhenomII and a ATI 4890, roughly around 70 fps....smooth as silk, nice little budget upgrade whiskey!
    "Everyone makes fun of us rednecks with our big trucks and all our guns........until the zombie apocalypse"

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    • #3
      Re: Looking to upgrade for 'cheap'? Here's what I did...

      I was planning a build next year for some of the same reasons, wait a while and today's components come down in price only to read last night that AMD has scrapped plans for a x8 (one of the components I wanted for the "new build"). This looks like a good build but curious why you decided on the 940 instead of the 965?
      Forewarned is Forearmed




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      • #4
        Re: Looking to upgrade for 'cheap'? Here's what I did...

        Originally posted by LpBronco View Post
        I was planning a build next year for some of the same reasons, wait a while and today's components come down in price only to read last night that AMD has scrapped plans for a x8 (one of the components I wanted for the "new build"). This looks like a good build but curious why you decided on the 940 instead of the 965?
        because it's about $80 cheaper... and with the Black Edition having unlocked everything, it's easy to overclock to 965 speeds (3.4GHz).


        edit: at this point, there's no reason to overclock... the chip has plenty of headroom at 3GHz... heh.. tbh, I'm considering underclocking to save heat/power :icon_lol:
        Last edited by WhiskeySix; 02-10-2010, 12:54 PM.

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        • #5
          Re: Looking to upgrade for 'cheap'? Here's what I did...

          Sounds great whiskey. I'll be looking to do something similar in the summer.


          POE2 Developer

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          • #6
            Re: Looking to upgrade for 'cheap'? Here's what I did...

            I've been tracking these for a while and only see about a $20-30 price spread but haven't looked at the combo kits. If you have a trick to overclocking these that would work for my 9750 phenom I'm all ears.
            Forewarned is Forearmed




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            • #7
              Re: Looking to upgrade for 'cheap'? Here's what I did...

              Give in to the dark side bronco....go phenomII, get a 940 or 945BE 95 watt cpu and just OC it to 3.4. whiskey is right that u could even underclock it and be fine. I use an ASUS utility which OC's on the fly and literally see no difference in performance on BFBC2 when on stock VS OC speed. Give in to your urges!


              http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboD...t=Combo.334827
              "Everyone makes fun of us rednecks with our big trucks and all our guns........until the zombie apocalypse"

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              • #8
                Re: Looking to upgrade for 'cheap'? Here's what I did...

                I popped a new ATi 5770 in on my aging AM2+ Phenom 9550 last week, and didn't get enough of a boost in frames. Ordered a Phenom II 945 95 watt version last night, but that stinkin' mid Atlantic storm kept it from shipping today. Gonna' be a long weekend if it doesn't make it by Friday.
                Last edited by |3illY; 02-10-2010, 11:51 PM. Reason: blah

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                • #9
                  Re: Looking to upgrade for 'cheap'? Here's what I did...

                  I finally installed FRAPs and bench-marked it... turns out I'm getting around 80FPS with the above gear and these settings:

                  1680x1050
                  Level of Detail: High
                  Texture Quality: High
                  Shadow Quality: Low
                  Effects Quality: Medium
                  Anti-Aliasing: 2x
                  Anisotrophic: 4x
                  VSYNC: off
                  HBAO: off

                  [DxVersion=10 in settings.ini]


                  Turning on HBAO drops it to the 40's range, and high shadows drops it into the 50-60's.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Looking to upgrade for 'cheap'? Here's what I did...

                    If you are looking to upgrade only for this game I would say give it time. To me this engine still seems highly unoptimized. It doesn't fully utilize my dual core (60%-70%, or my graphics card(65%-70%). I don't expect the optimizations at launch, but maybe a patch or two down the line. Optimizations from the game devs as well as GPU drivers should make this game more bearable on a wider amount of hardware down the line.

                    I get 40+ fps in Crysis Warhead on Enthusiast, and destroy every other game I have tried, I refuse to believe this game is more intensive (sure doesn't look like it, or show it through usage) :P.


                    I love gaming, mmmmmmmm

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                    • #11
                      Re: Looking to upgrade for 'cheap'? Here's what I did...

                      All the destruction is handled through the CPU, and this beta build is months old.

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