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Hardware  » Time for upgrade..? :)

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51 posts found
  Gdemami

Elite Member

Joined: 9/23/08
Posts: 6736

 
OP  4/01/13 4:08:33 AM#1

Hi,
I was thinking lately about upgrading my system. I am no avid gamer so I am not focusing on performance much but rather go after value for money.

Here is what I got now:

Seasoninc SS-500ET 500W
Gigabyte EP45-DS3L
Intel Dual-Core E2160 @ 2,42 GHz
Corsair cm2x2048-8500c7 1066MHz DDR2, 2x2GB
Radeon 5770

I was looking for 120 USD range card upgrade such as Radeon 7770 but then I dunno what CPU+MB to get along since CPU is getting a bit behind.

Also, any use for my DDR2? :/

  Freeaked

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/14/05
Posts: 49

4/01/13 6:27:32 AM#2

To be honest 7770 isnt that much of an upgrade (I have a 5770) if you want to save money personally I would look at getting an old quad core in that mobo you can get a q6600 on ebay pretty cheap (not sure about dollars) get a good heatsinc and overclock it.

Although you can get premade bundles with the new ddr3 boards pretty cheap you should look into that can't tell you where to look since i'm in the UK.

  Gdemami

Elite Member

Joined: 9/23/08
Posts: 6736

 
OP  4/01/13 7:40:23 AM#3


Originally posted by Freeaked
To be honest 7770 isnt that much of an upgrade (I have a 5770) if you want to save money personally I would look at getting an old quad core in that mobo you can get a q6600 on ebay pretty cheap (not sure about dollars) get a good heatsinc and overclock it.

Although you can get premade bundles with the new ddr3 boards pretty cheap you should look into that can't tell you where to look since i'm in the UK.


Radeon 7770 was rather a price range than aimed model. I think I can get nvidia GTX650ti or for little extra GTX560.

Yeah, the board is a pain and getting some older cpu would probably be the best solution.

  Ridelynn

Elite Member

Joined: 12/19/10
Posts: 3303

4/01/13 9:51:47 AM#4

Time to start saving for a whole new rig. A 7770 or 650Ti would upgrade the graphics a bit, but your still trying to do that on a 1.8G Allendale that was released in 2006.

To put that in some perspective, upgrading a video card that was released in 2009 to run it on a 2006 CPU doesn't make a lot of sense, regardless of if the new video card is faster or not.

Not saying that age alone is the only factor, or that older hardware can't perform, but both of those parts are far from top-end, even when they were new, and the fact that you've been playing on that CPU for as long as you have is impressive, but it's time to save up for a new one if you want to get much better performance out of anything.

  Gdemami

Elite Member

Joined: 9/23/08
Posts: 6736

 
OP  4/01/13 10:55:17 AM#5


Originally posted by Ridelynn
Time to start saving for a whole new rig. A 7770 or 650Ti would upgrade the graphics a bit, but your still trying to do that on a 1.8G Allendale that was released in 2006.

To put that in some perspective, upgrading a video card that was released in 2009 to run it on a 2006 CPU doesn't make a lot of sense, regardless of if the new video card is faster or not.

Not saying that age alone is the only factor, or that older hardware can't perform, but both of those parts are far from top-end, even when they were new, and the fact that you've been playing on that CPU for as long as you have is impressive, but it's time to save up for a new one if you want to get much better performance out of anything.


I did say I am also looking for MB+CPU upgrade, just not sure what to pick. I was thinking about Intel Dual-Core G2020 with some cheap B75 board.

On the other hand as Freeaked suggested, getting Quad core for my current MB sounds tempting, despite I am not very excited in buying used parts, it would be still around 100 USD save tho.

Nah, it is not impressive at all, just that impact of CPU on gaming is overrated :-P

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13107

4/01/13 12:43:49 PM#6
Originally posted by Gdemami

Nah, it is not impressive at all, just that impact of CPU on gaming is overrated :-P

In any decently coded game and even most mediocre to very bad ones, the GPU load can be brought very low by turning graphical settings to the minimum, at least outside of some corner cases where you have an enormous amount of stuff on the screen--which also puts a very heavy load on the CPU.  Regardless, if you're GPU limited at minimum settings on a Radeon HD 5770, it will probably be at something ridiculous like several hundred frames per second.

That's not at all true for a CPU, however.  Changing graphical settings can have some impact on the CPU load, but rarely is it nearly as dramatic as the effect on the GPU load.

That leaves a simple rule of thumb in determining what to upgrade:  if every game you play runs great at minimum graphical settings but only starts to choke once you turn settings up, then a faster video card will probably fix that.  If some games are struggling even at minimum settings, then a faster video card might not do you much good, but a faster processor sure will.  While that's not always true, it's usually pretty close to it.

While it's debateable what exactly you ought to do, what you certainly should not do is to spend a bunch of money on marginal upgrades that you'll be looking to replace entirely very soon.  If you don't have the money available to get an $800+ new computer, then you ought to at least get the CPU right this time, even if it means having to leave the GPU upgrade for another day.

An Intel Pentium G2020 most certainly does not constitute getting the CPU upgrade right.  While it might be double the performance of your current processor at stock speeds, your overclock has eaten up a lot of that gap, so it might be only 50% faster than what you have now.  Also, it has a locked multiplier, so it can't be meaningfully overclocked.  Buying a new CPU, motherboard, memory, and OS license for only a 50% upgrade over a nearly 7-year-old processor is doing it wrong.

Rather, I'd recommend getting an AMD FX-6300, together with an AMD 970 chipset motherboard and 8 GB of DDR3 memory.  Keep your Radeon HD 5770 a while longer; it will already run basically anything at moderate graphical settings and most games at high settings, even today.  That way, next time you decide to upgrade, it will be a simple matter of buying a new video card while keeping the processor, motherboard, and memory.

If you got everything else in the computer at the same time as the processor, except that the video card was a later upgrade, then you might also want to think about how long you want to rely on aging components.  In particular, hard drives are only built to last about five years.  If you're running a 6+ year old hard drive, then it's already living on borrowed time, so you might want to replace it just on general principle rather than waiting for it to die.

  Freeaked

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/14/05
Posts: 49

4/01/13 12:55:38 PM#7
What he said (Quizzical) is pretty spot on...even if it is elaborating on what I said ;)
  Cleffy

Elite Member

Joined: 5/09/04
Posts: 5452

4/01/13 2:26:54 PM#8
It might be time for a new system.  The base of your system is 5 years old.  I think you should be glad it lasted you so long.
  Gdemami

Elite Member

Joined: 9/23/08
Posts: 6736

 
OP  4/02/13 1:15:28 PM#9


Originally posted by Cleffy

It might be time for a new system.  The base of your system is 5 years old.  I think you should be glad it lasted you so long.

New VGA, MB, CPU and RAM I asked advice for does not count as a new system? :)


Originally posted by Quizzical

An Intel Pentium G2020 most certainly does not constitute getting the CPU upgrade right. While it might be double the performance of your current processor at stock speeds, your overclock has eaten up a lot of that gap, so it might be only 50% faster than what you have now. Also, it has a locked multiplier, so it can't be meaningfully overclocked. Buying a new CPU, motherboard, memory, and OS license for only a 50% upgrade over a nearly 7-year-old processor is doing it wrong.

Rather, I'd recommend getting an AMD FX-6300, together with an AMD 970 chipset motherboard and 8 GB of DDR3 memory.


I appreciate your explanatory reply, I understand every single point you made but I disagree :)


100 USD difference in VGA can be rather noticeable, not so much with CPU and that is why I am so long with my old Dual-Core 2160(it's not Core 2 Duo!).

Imho, FX-6300 and 8GB of RAM will cost me about 3x times as much, yet it is something I will unlikely have use for(or notice), probably in whole life cycle of those parts.


That "50% performance" increase you talk about is something I assume I need to get my CPU performance in line with CPU requirements and better VGA? I guess everyone likes to run their favourite game on higher settings :)


  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13107

4/02/13 1:37:45 PM#10
Originally posted by Gdemami

 


Originally posted by Cleffy

It might be time for a new system.  The base of your system is 5 years old.  I think you should be glad it lasted you so long.

 

New VGA, MB, CPU and RAM I asked advice for does not count as a new system? :)

 

 


Originally posted by Quizzical

An Intel Pentium G2020 most certainly does not constitute getting the CPU upgrade right. While it might be double the performance of your current processor at stock speeds, your overclock has eaten up a lot of that gap, so it might be only 50% faster than what you have now. Also, it has a locked multiplier, so it can't be meaningfully overclocked. Buying a new CPU, motherboard, memory, and OS license for only a 50% upgrade over a nearly 7-year-old processor is doing it wrong.

 

Rather, I'd recommend getting an AMD FX-6300, together with an AMD 970 chipset motherboard and 8 GB of DDR3 memory.


 

I appreciate your explanatory reply, I understand every single point you made but I disagree :)


100 USD difference in VGA can be rather noticeable, not so much with CPU and that is why I am so long with my old Dual-Core 2160(it's not Core 2 Duo!).

Imho, FX-6300 and 8GB of RAM will cost me about 3x times as much, yet it is something I will unlikely have use for(or notice), probably in whole life cycle of those parts.


That "50% performance" increase you talk about is something I assume I need to get my CPU performance in line with CPU requirements and better VGA? I guess everyone likes to run their favourite game on higher settings :)

The only difference that a faster video card makes is that, if your game is playable at lower settings, it lets you play it at higher graphical settings, too.  Unless you're looking at something very low end, it's not the difference between a game being playable and not.

The CPU, on the other hand, often is the difference between a game being playable and not.  Go play the games you play, and try turning everything to minimum settings.  See if you're happy with the frame rates--and in every single game, not just some of them.  If not, then it's unlikely that you'll be happy with your proposed upgrade, either.

Your current processor is a Pentium dual core, not a Core 2 Duo, but it's basically a Core 2 Duo with less L2 cache.  It's the same architecture, and the L2 cache does make a difference, but it's not a huge difference.  In particular, it's not a Pentium D or Pentium 4 or some such, which would have awful performance at 2.4 GHz.

-----

A general rule of upgrades is that you shouldn't do small upgrades.  Do a big upgrade, or don't upgrade at all.  Paying 50% more up front to get an upgrade that lasts you 5 years is a lot better than paying a little less up front and then having to replace it all again in a year.  The Pentium dual core that you're looking at will struggle with some games that you might want to play today, and isn't going to get better as time passes.  An FX-6300 will last you for years to come.

And no, it's not a difference of paying three times as much.  Assuming you're looking at a cheap motherboard from either side (which will prevent you from properly upgrading the processor without replacing the motherboard and buying a new OS license yet again), the cost there is about the same.  If you want to get a decent motherboard (for Intel, that means Z77), going AMD actually saves you quite a bit of money, as AMD charges motherboard manufacturers less for the chipset.  The FX-6300 does cost maybe $80 more than the low end CPU you're looking at.  You get the same memory whether you go AMD or Intel, so that's not a price difference.

But because you'd keep your current video card longer rather than buying a new one, on net, what I'm proposing would be cheaper than what you were planning on doing.  And that's in addition to being a far more worthy upgrade that will last you far longer.

Meanwhile, you're looking at replacing the video card with something that is only slightly faster.  A Radeon HD 5770 is about as fast as a Radeon HD 7750, which is the next bin down of the same Cape Verde chip that the 7770 is based on.  Your Radeon HD 5770 actually has more memory bandwidth than the 7770.  The GPU chip itself in the 7770 is faster, but that will get you what, maybe an extra 20% or 30% performance?  Unless you've got more money than sense, I generally recommend not upgrading unless you can at least double the performance of your old card.

-----

A completely new system would involve a new case, power supply, optical drive, hard drive, and likely SSD.  It would also leave the old computer functional, so you could either sell it or use it as a backup.  That doesn't seem to be what you're looking to do.

  Gdemami

Elite Member

Joined: 9/23/08
Posts: 6736

 
OP  4/02/13 5:05:12 PM#11


Originally posted by Quizzical

The CPU, on the other hand, often is the difference between a game being playable and not.

And this is where you are imo wrong.

The difference between high-end and low-end CPU can be 50% frame rate loss at most extreme cases but even then low-end CPU will be running at more than satisfying FPS and won't bottle neck the system. CPU bottleneck is rather rare.


And for last:


Originally posted by Quizzical

A general rule of upgrades is that you shouldn't do small upgrades. Do a big upgrade, or don't upgrade at all.

Weirdest advice I have heard.


Upgrading in a bulk means you have performance spike at the start of the cycle and deep drop at the end.

More frequent upgrades on the other hand means you upgrade what is needed, your performance curve is smoother and you can keep much better value for money ratio, thus save money.

Only FX-6300 cost as much as G2020+B75 mobo+4GB DDR3. The performance gain wouldn't be noticeable for daily use of any home/office computer so why should I spent extra money on it?

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13107

4/02/13 5:43:55 PM#12

If the CPU doesn't matter, then why not just keep the CPU that you have until it dies and upgrade the video card only?

Ultimately, it's your money.  If you want to spend it on hardware that isn't much faster than what you had, and is close to needing to be replaced the day you buy it, I can't stop you.  But when you have to replace it all again not to far in the future, you'll have no one to blame but yourself.

  pacov

Novice Member

Joined: 5/26/10
Posts: 316

4/02/13 5:54:33 PM#13


Originally posted by Quizzical

A general rule of upgrades is that you shouldn't do small upgrades. Do a big upgrade, or don't upgrade at all.

 

Weirdest advice I have heard.


Upgrading in a bulk means you have performance spike at the start of the cycle and deep drop at the end.

More frequent upgrades on the other hand means you upgrade what is needed, your performance curve is smoother and you can keep much better value for money ratio, thus save money.

 

Only FX-6300 cost as much as G2020+B75 mobo+4GB DDR3. The performance gain wouldn't be noticeable for daily use of any home/office computer so why should I spent extra money on it?

 

I don't agree. I used to do that  for many years and I would spend almost double times as much per year than i would now. Basically I used to buy new parts every generation and upgrade to gain small performance boosts which were not so worthy of my money. When you wait 2-3 generations you will 1) Save a ton of money 2) See tremendous increase 3) Be more pleased that you spend more money on a better system than spend less money on upgrading for little extra performance. Oh and if you spend $1000+ on new parts in current generation you will still run new games 3+ years from now fine. But go ahead and spend money on little performance gain if you want to.

  Gdemami

Elite Member

Joined: 9/23/08
Posts: 6736

 
OP  4/02/13 6:26:09 PM#14


Originally posted by Quizzical

If the CPU doesn't matter, then why not just keep the CPU that you have until it dies and upgrade the video card only?

Because lately we could see quite an increase in CPU demands mostly due extended use of physics in games and my CPU is just really too old to cover those new demands. However I do not think we will see similar "jump" in upcoming years so if I get lower end CPU now, it should be fine for quite a while.


A quick google how little CPU demands for games are can be found here:
http://techreport.com/review/23246/inside-the-second-gaming-performance-with-today-cpus/3

I certainly appreciate your input tho, it made me think it over a bit more.

  Gdemami

Elite Member

Joined: 9/23/08
Posts: 6736

 
OP  4/02/13 6:35:36 PM#15


Originally posted by pacov

Basically I used to buy new parts every generation and upgrade to gain small performance boosts which were not so worthy of my money.

I never implied anything like that. On the contrary I am against any upgrades in bulk - upgrade what is needed and provide good value for money.

As of now, I am upgrading after several generations, see my specs. I cannot recall how long I have each part of my system but I think newest iteration was HDD 2 years back, everything else is much older and yet I can run all things I play once in a while just fine(Tera, SWTOR, EVE, Defiance, NWNO, etc.).

I do feel and acknowledge my CPU is starting to lose breath when I want to run some shooter and generally I lacking FPS when I want high settings, thus I am considering upgrade of both.

What we seem to differ in opinion s here is how far my upgrade should go. You keep saying that I should spend 300 USD and keep the system for 3-4 years, I say that I can spend 2x 150USD and keep the system for 4-5 years.

Just a matter of opinion, I guess.

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13107

4/02/13 6:37:37 PM#16
Originally posted by Gdemami

 


Originally posted by Quizzical

If the CPU doesn't matter, then why not just keep the CPU that you have until it dies and upgrade the video card only?


 

Because lately we could see quite an increase in CPU demands mostly due extended use of physics in games and my CPU is just really too old to cover those new demands. However I do not think we will see similar "jump" in upcoming years so if I get lower end CPU now, it should be fine for quite a while.


A quick google how little CPU demands for games are can be found here:
http://techreport.com/review/23246/inside-the-second-gaming-performance-with-today-cpus/3

I certainly appreciate your input tho, it made me think it over a bit more.

First, CPU needs vary wildly from one game to the next.  Some games will run great on the processor you have now.  Some will struggle on the brand new Pentium dual core that you're looking at buying.

Second, you're looking at buying a new processor that would lose very badly to every single one in that review.  Every single processor on that list has at least four logical cores, and all but one has at least four real physical cores.  You're looking at buying a simple dual core.  On top of that, all but two of the processors on that list are stock clocked higher than what you're looking at.  Most of them also have some sort of turbo to further increase the clock speeds.  You're not debating between picking one relatively higher on the list and one that is relatively slower.  You're looking at buying one way off of the bottom of the list.

Third, tech review sites almost invariably try to pick games that aren't that heavy on CPU usage, as excessive CPU requirements make it hard to see the impact of video cards.  When they do occasionally try to benchmark CPUs, they usually use whatever games they're used to benchmarking, rather than trying to create a whole new review suite.  Look at how so many processors are nearly tied, even though some are dramatically faster than others.  That's a video card bottleneck, not a processor one.

  Gdemami

Elite Member

Joined: 9/23/08
Posts: 6736

 
OP  4/02/13 7:03:45 PM#17


Originally posted by Quizzical

First, CPU needs vary wildly from one game to the next.

Yes, I am aware of that. Still the game listed are mostly I am interested in - MMO, RPG, shooters. What is CPU demanding are strategy game, something I have no interest in.

My point still stands.


There are only a few games out there that can make benefit of more than 2 cores. However you make good argument to consider.


G2020 performance is definitely above that X4 850, not sure about more specific position. Also, Intel does much better in games than AMD.


Thanks for the input.

  Ridelynn

Elite Member

Joined: 12/19/10
Posts: 3303

4/02/13 7:54:20 PM#18

That CPU inside the second chart is interesting.
Too bad none of those CPUs go down as low as either of the older Pentium models your considering. The difference between Ivy Bridge, Sandy Bridge, and the one Lynnfield processor is about exactly as you'd expect it - about 15% per generation, and following along clock speeds.

The AMD's fall in line about where you would expect them too as well.

So, umm, if you wanted to look at your older Allendale-level technology, you'd probably be someplace waaaaay off the chart to the right, so that page does in fact pretty much tell what everyone has been saying: CPU performance matters insomuch that you need ~enough~ to not bottleneck you at minimum settings, then your GPU takes over from there to throw the eye candy on top of that.

Also, the little upgrade all the time versus big upgrades rarely:
Here's an example:

Let's player A went out and spent the $500 for a GTX5870 when it was brand new.
Player B bought a 5770 (~$150).
And then upgraded to a 6870 (~$180).
And then upgraded to a 7850 (~$200) - which is roughly the same performance as a 5870.

Both players will probably upgrade again for the 8000 series, Player A probably spending another ~$500, player B another $150-$250. Player A will go from top tier to top tier, and see a huge jump (more than double likely). Player B will see another 15-20% increase. And in another 3ish years, Player B will again have spent more money to finally end up at the same place.

So you started at much lower performance, ended up at the same level of performance, and spent $30 more getting there, upgrading a little bit along the way to "smooth" your performance curve.

Now I understand that not everyone may have the cash to throw out $500 for a video card, and those prices for those cards have all fluctuated widely over time, but the point remains the same. If you want to do small, incremental upgrades, it costs you more over time than doing big, meaningful upgrades.

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13107

4/02/13 8:03:21 PM#19

The Radeon HD 5870 was $380 at launch, not $500.  You may have been intentionally making up fictional cards, though, since AMD doesn't use the GTX moniker.

This is why economists use "widgets":  you can price them however you want, and no one will say, "Hey, that's not what it costs!"

  Gdemami

Elite Member

Joined: 9/23/08
Posts: 6736

 
OP  4/02/13 8:06:50 PM#20


Originally posted by Ridelynn

Let's player A went out and spent the $500 for a GTX5870 when it was brand new.
Player B bought a 5770 (~$150).
And then upgraded to a 6870 (~$180).
And then upgraded to a 7850 (~$200) - which is roughly the same performance as a 5870.

Both players will probably upgrade again for the 8000 series, Player A probably spending another ~$500, player B another $150-$250.


A 500+500 = 1000 USD
B 150+180+200+250 = 780 USD

Again, I never said you should upgrade with each new generation.

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