View Full Version : Some feedback on an upgrade path, please ...

06-07-2011, 01:02 PM
So, I've got an ageing matx rig which I've done little with for some time now:

AMD 5000+ dual core black edition
DFI 790gx lanparty matx with crossfire (am2+ mobo)
4870 512mb (neat little palit 4870 card - shame they don't do stuff for amd anymore, but how n'ever)
4MB corsair ddr2 twinx 667 mhz memory
samsung spinpoint 160gb hard drive and dvd rw
450w corsair vx power supply unit

Now, I've got little money to spare on all things computerish, but I would like to spruce this up a bit. there are a couple of things that are limiting it, mind: I probably need a new psu at some point, as even with new more power efficient video cards and the like, it's a bit too much to ask both a card and a new cpu to run off that 450vx, as reliable as its been (really, very reliable). I've been on the psu calculator, and it looks that I should probably ramp up to a 750w at this point, to keep future upgrades happy. since this is all squished one of those aspire qpack cases, I may have to spend big on the psu at some point.

Anyhow, the graphics card is not first on my list - the 4870 remains serviceable, and realistically, if I make a jump to something like a 6950, it's only going to be bottlenecked by the cpu. Because amd have been fairly nice with the upgrade path, I should be okay to slot a quad core am3 into the mobo -obviously the 955 black edition makes most sense here, although there's an argument for just going with a triple core as well since outside of gtaiv and flight sims, most games don't really use more than the two cores, right? I think I can still squeeze either on the psu at the moment, but I may get a new psu now as well, since regardless of what I'm doing next, I need more headroom:

Some time round october I'll probably have to get a new psu if I want to get a graphics card. In terms of bang for buck, it seems sensible to go with a 6950, which is a fair amount, but works well in crossfire so gives me some upgrade wiggleroom there.

then sometime after christmas, I'm expecting that the new am3+ chipset and mobos will have bedded down enough that someone (I'm guessing msi, but maybe biostar or asrock will get adventurous) will have a decent matx with crossfire out as an option, so I can make the shift to ddr3 and the new socket. So that should leave me well enough positioned in terms of future upgrades, having finally shifted over to ddr3 and am3+:

First purchases - soonish:
455 triple core/955 black edition - 58/89
750w modular psu (corsair hx) - 111

Second - around october:
a 6950 - 200

mobo+ 8 gb ddr3 memory? about 170 - depending on models

Or it may make more sense to just get the psu now and hangfire until october when things will change with the next generation of gpus and bulldozer, and make the jump to sandybridge then if bulldozer ain't up to it. Right now, not counting the psu (which I have to get regardless, so I may as well get now), the spend on upgrade is about 460. Wondered if anyone else had any feedback or could see extra factors I'm not considering.

06-07-2011, 01:15 PM
That 750W PSU is a bit overkill. Also you really dont need 8GB memory unless you do some photoshopping/video editing. I'd say 650W PSU is still more than enough but would cost much less. Also go for the 955 BE. 6950 card is a good choice for its power/value rate.

06-07-2011, 01:23 PM
Thing is, I do plan to do some more flight simm-ing at some point in the future, so I figure that the money on memory is well spent, and 8gb does seem like (the ludicrously large) sweet spot right now.

Maybe I need to go back and do my psu calculations - it did seem that 650w could potentially be a bit of a tight fit for any upgrade path I was considering.

06-07-2011, 01:31 PM
Use this http://extreme.outervision.com/PSUEngine to calculate your PSU needs.

06-07-2011, 01:52 PM
Thanks for the suggestion. I already have a subscription to the pro version - it's an essential tool for semi-puter literate individuals like myself!

06-07-2011, 02:32 PM
Well if you are certain that you need 750W PSU and 8GB memory then by all means get them. I don't see any problems for your upgrades. I don't know how power consumption will increase in the future for computers but I hope that they dont increase much. Also as my LGA775 socket C2Q q9500 is at it's limit in new games even when clocked I was hoping the new AMD bulldozers would be a good option for cheaper than Intel counterparts. But that remains to be seen when we get charts of bulldozers power.