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Old 03-23-11, 08:46 AM   #25
shilk
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Default Re: Urgh... upgrade advice.

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Tough call, I'd go for the new mobo and RAM simply because that opens up your upgrade possibilities in the future significantly. Also, with that mobo you'll likely be allowed higher maximum oc's on that CPU. Have you read any reviews for that motherboard to see what people are capable of getting on it?
I was beginning to think the same. I mean, it's not too bad when playing games right now, but the stutters and pauses piss me off to no end. I guess I can afford to have one more reformat done if I decide to get a mobo/ram combo.

As for the 750a mobo I have, it's crap. I actually felt buyer's remorse. It was on sale at newegg for dirt cheap - I think it was about $43 bucks. I kid you not. For an SLi mobo, too. It doesn't overclock well at all like I mentioned. Some people even said something like leaving it well alone if you intend on buying it cause it's utter crap. But I wasn't expecting it to be this bad. Guess that's what happens when I cheap out, lol. I even recall posting about issues I had about this particular mobo a long time ago here.

I think the MSI mobo + RAM would be a great option for now. Like you said, it does leave the option for more upgrades later on. If anything, I could get a surprise boost in performance like you said by actually overclocking it the right way, hah.

Since I'm opting for a cheaper upgrade, I thin I can spring on a better motherboard now. Before, I was looking at an upwards of $170+.

I'm actually looking at these two right now:
  1. MSI 870-G45 AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard
  2. G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
I think I can get a better motherboard or more ram now that I have a tiny bit more cash to spare. I do a lot of photo editing work and rendering at home as well.
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Old 03-23-11, 11:52 AM   #26
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Default Re: Urgh... upgrade advice.

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I was beginning to think the same. I mean, it's not too bad when playing games right now, but the stutters and pauses piss me off to no end. I guess I can afford to have one more reformat done if I decide to get a mobo/ram combo.

As for the 750a mobo I have, it's crap. I actually felt buyer's remorse. It was on sale at newegg for dirt cheap - I think it was about $43 bucks. I kid you not. For an SLi mobo, too. It doesn't overclock well at all like I mentioned. Some people even said something like leaving it well alone if you intend on buying it cause it's utter crap. But I wasn't expecting it to be this bad. Guess that's what happens when I cheap out, lol. I even recall posting about issues I had about this particular mobo a long time ago here.

I think the MSI mobo + RAM would be a great option for now. Like you said, it does leave the option for more upgrades later on. If anything, I could get a surprise boost in performance like you said by actually overclocking it the right way, hah.

Since I'm opting for a cheaper upgrade, I thin I can spring on a better motherboard now. Before, I was looking at an upwards of $170+.

I'm actually looking at these two right now:
  1. MSI 870-G45 AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard
  2. G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
I think I can get a better motherboard or more ram now that I have a tiny bit more cash to spare. I do a lot of photo editing work and rendering at home as well.
Yeah it's kinda' a tough decision. I mean, going off of my experience with my 5770 and that I'm gaming at a much higher resolution I'm very certain it's not the card holding you back. The big differences between my rig and yours is: 1.) Mine has a faster CPU, 2.) Mine has more RAM, 3.) I'm using an SSD.

#3 likely has minimal if any impact. #2 may play a part but it'd be minimal. And #1 is likely the biggest culprit.

However if you get that CPU oc'd to 3.5 - 3.8GHz I'll be surprised if your computer doesn't seem like a brand-new rig. I think going with that mobo and RAM is the best option.

However, and this is the kicker with PC Gaming, it's fully possible that something as random as your HDD maybe causing it (not in the least bit saying it's your HDD, just using that as an example). Wont know till you get that mobo and RAM installed though.

Worst case scenerio is you'll have paved a way for many future upgrades. Honestly though I'd drop a BD in that system as soon as you can afford it. I'd not get the cheapest one possible, maybe more towards the mid-range. That should offer you a wicked performance jump accross the board. Likely great enough you wont need to worry about another CPU for some time to come- at least going off of BD's rumored performance. I know it'll help tremendously with the photo editing and rendering, as well as better feed that GPU.

Let us know how it goes.
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Old 03-23-11, 12:33 PM   #27
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Default Re: Urgh... upgrade advice.

Will do, captain! Thanks for the sagely advice and patience!
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Old 03-26-11, 11:30 AM   #28
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Default Re: Urgh... upgrade advice.

Okay. Got the motherboard and RAM in yesterday and have been running a mild burn-in. All is well so far. Haven't overclocked yet since I wanted to see how everything would gel together. But today, I'll have some overclocking and mild tests to do.

I'm going to to pop the GTX 275 back in and I'll to some comparative tests to see what the deal was all about. That card is a pain in the ass since it practically takes up the whole case. And I have to rearrange the cables to make it fit as well. Sure is day and night compared to my 5770 in terms of size/heat/power, too.
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Old 03-26-11, 06:41 PM   #29
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Default Re: Urgh... upgrade advice.

Small update. Still not 100% sure I'm doing it right though, lol.



Running stable so far. It'll crash at 3.7 tough. But I couldn't be happier. Seems like the CPU was the culprit. As soon as I hit 3.5 ghz stable, the performance was much better in everything. All of the framerate dips are gone.

Although it's not dipping in the low 20's and high teens, it's much more playable than what it was. I guess all there is to do is wait for what Bulldozer has to offer.
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Old 03-26-11, 07:21 PM   #30
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Default Re: Urgh... upgrade advice.

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Small update. Still not 100% sure I'm doing it right though, lol.



Running stable so far. It'll crash at 3.7 tough. But I couldn't be happier. Seems like the CPU was the culprit. As soon as I hit 3.5 ghz stable, the performance was much better in everything. All of the framerate dips are gone.

Although it's not dipping in the low 20's and high teens, it's much more playable than what it was. I guess all there is to do is wait for what Bulldozer has to offer.
That's kind of what I figured as well, though it still surprises me. I thought the PhII's across the board had more to offer. Granted, that 925 is more entry level for the PhII than it is high-end.

Yeah, rock it where it's stable. Performance at the cost of stability isn't worth it.

How's it running with that 5770? Or have you only tested it with the GTX275?

From what I gather (my own experience with my old GTX260 Core216 and this 5770, in addition to reviews) it seems the 5770 falls inbetween the GTX260 and GTX275 in regards to performance so you likely shouldn't see much of a difference going to the 5770. Never done a side by side comparison though so I'm curious on what you find. I know for certain this 5770 ain't the least bit slower than my old GTX260 was, but I'm curious how it'd compare to the 275... that's a stout card to say the least.
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Old 03-27-11, 12:31 AM   #31
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Default Re: Urgh... upgrade advice.

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That's kind of what I figured as well, though it still surprises me. I thought the PhII's across the board had more to offer. Granted, that 925 is more entry level for the PhII than it is high-end.
Yeah. I got it for a steal, and my old mobo supported it. I thought, "why not"? Didn't think I'd update to a new mobo and ram so soon, but it's compatible, so I'm happy.

The thing I'm finding curious is that if I got, let's say, a 965 BE, how much performance will I see? It's identical clock for clock, but if I can hit 3.6 on this CPU, what would be the point? Other than cooler temps (maybe since mine's a 95w and the 965 is a 125w), I don't see a price difference of almost $80 for that. Taking the "Black Edition" out of the equation, I'm running at higher clocks at 3.6 while the 965 runs at 3.4, stock.


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How's it running with that 5770? Or have you only tested it with the GTX275?
The trade-off for power consumption/noise/performance and heat isn't worth it. Plus I get DX11 whatever that's worth at the moment, lol. I had to struggle to get the 275 in the case and rearrange cabling. Too much of a hassle. It was literally about 1-2 inches from the HDD rack in my case (CM690).

I used the new beta drivers from NVIDIA (267.24), and I can honestly say that there was only a minor difference in the games I tried. Maybe about 10 fps, but it's not worth having that huuuuge honking card in my box. I haven't even overclocked my 5770 yet, so there's still that option. I'm using the 11.4 v2 preview drivers for the 5770, btw.

Maybe it was the selected few games I tried (I mentioned them earlier), but I don't think the trade-off was worth it. For now, I can happily stick with the 5770 until some cards drop in price or I get some more monies.
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Old 03-27-11, 12:59 AM   #32
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Default Re: Urgh... upgrade advice.

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Yeah. I got it for a steal, and my old mobo supported it. I thought, "why not"? Didn't think I'd update to a new mobo and ram so soon, but it's compatible, so I'm happy.

The thing I'm finding curious is that if I got, let's say, a 965 BE, how much performance will I see? It's identical clock for clock, but if I can hit 3.6 on this CPU, what would be the point? Other than cooler temps (maybe since mine's a 95w and the 965 is a 125w), I don't see a price difference of almost $80 for that. Taking the "Black Edition" out of the equation, I'm running at higher clocks at 3.6 while the 965 runs at 3.4, stock.
Sorry this is the first time I have seen this thread. Must have had my head up my ass. The GPU you have is pretty solid and probably not your bottleneck.

Clock-for-clock, your 925 is as good as the 965. Also, I saw you were considering the X6's. Did you ever check to see if your motherboard has a BIOS for it? By the way, could you add your specs in your sig? That would be great to keep reminding us of the hardware that you do have.

But I think you made a wise decision with the money you had to spend. Looks like the new motherboard really opened up your OC headroom. Practically no games utilize 6 cores, so an X6 would have been overkill and your old motherboard wouldn't have been able to OC it anyways. In the future, you can check out a 965 or X6 and OC it to 4GHz+. That will give you a nice little upgrade in a year or so. By then you should be able to find those chips pretty cheap too.
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Old 03-27-11, 11:50 AM   #33
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Default Re: Urgh... upgrade advice.

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Did you ever check to see if your motherboard has a BIOS for it? That would be great to keep reminding us of the hardware that you do have.
Yep. I spent a good few days on their site (Zotac's) to find what I needed, and even then, it was very difficult to get any info from their Customer Support. I emailed them to ask if they have plans on supporting the X6's. To this day, I haven't got a reply from them yet. Here is the page for my old motherboard. The last BIOS update was from 2009. Besides, the BIOS options were very limiting. It wasn't really meant for overclocking or anything at all. The biggest gripe I also had with that motherboard was that the NB ran very HOT. When I got that 750a, the last BIOS they have listed was pretty new. So, I wasn't expecting them to update it much afterwards.

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But I think you made a wise decision with the money you had to spend. Looks like the new motherboard really opened up your OC headroom. Practically no games utilize 6 cores, so an X6 would have been overkill and your old motherboard wouldn't have been able to OC it anyways. In the future, you can check out a 965 or X6 and OC it to 4GHz+. That will give you a nice little upgrade in a year or so. By then you should be able to find those chips pretty cheap too.
Thanks. This new motherboard is so awesome. It's like day and night. There's never such a thing as too many options in a BIOS, and this thing delivers. I'll update the sig when I can, too. (*updated)

I do a lot of rendering and video editing at home, so the 6 core CPU would have been awesome. I'm still looking at that a CPU as my next upgrade since the video card can hold me off a bit longer. We'll see.

Down the line, I hope AMD has some affordable Bulldozer lines available. If anything, the current CPUs will drop and I might consider getting one of those. I have better options now since I'm not limited to my old hardware.

Couldn't be any happier.
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