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RichM499 09-17-2013 12:19 PM

Time to upgrade!
I am currently using an older computer and in anticipation for the upcoming school year (I start september 30) I have decided that I'd like to do a few upgrades.

I am using currently:
Phenom II x6 1090t
On-board graphics (this one 100% for sure needs to get an upgrade)
4GB Kingston Value Ram DDR2 800 (400mhz, 6-6-6-18)
Corsair TX850w PSU

I am not sure if I want to just upgrade to a really nice graphics card or if I need to get a new cheap motherboard and one of the inexpensive 8gb DDR3 kits. My hard drives are fine for now and I don't really care about SSD because I don't mind waiting a minute or two to write or read but I can't stand the shoddy graphics performance.

My budget is $650 max. I was hoping to either get 1 beefy video card + a nice 27" BenQ monitor and a headset or one of the Blue microphones.

Mainly I'm posting this to see what your opinion is and what you'd do if you were in my boat. Gaming performance isn't a must but I'd like to be able to game in 1080p on the new monitor at 30fps+ and I'd also like the card to perform at least decently in 3dsmax.

Any input or recommendations for inexpensive high quality hardware is greatly appreciated. I've been a member here a long time and I know you guys really know your stuff when it comes to computer hardware so please point me in the right direction.

I am almost certainly getting this monitor. There are AOC and Hanns-g 27" and 26" respectively for $20 cheaper but this BenQ monitor gets great reviews so I kinda had my heart set on it.
BenQ GW2750HM Glossy Black 27" 4ms (GTG) HDMI Widescreen LED Backlight LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 DC 20,000,000:1 (5000:1) Built-in Speakers -

That's the only thing certain. The rest is up in the air because I'm really not sure if I should get a cheap GTX 660 or Radeon 7850 or something like that and a motherboard/memory combo or if I should spend more on the GPU and forget the mobo/memory. Please advise!

PP Mguire 09-17-2013 12:40 PM

Re: Time to upgrade!
I personally would not get a 1080p 27" monitor due to pixel/image stretch, but some people can live with that so it's up to you.

If you're going to school to use productivity programs like 3dsmax, you're going to want more RAM for sure. I would get a 990fx board and the cheapest 2x4GB 1600 kit available. The 1090t is still a real respectable CPU, and since it's a true hex core you're a step ahead of the game for programs like that. Although, a 970 board would work perfectly fine as well. It also gives you the availability to upgrade to an FX 8350 down the road.

For the GPU, that depends on how much budget you have left and when you plan on purchasing this stuff. If you have enough budget I suggest grabbing a GTX 760, if you're buying a little later sometime soon the 750ti is supposed to be released. It should be around 660ti performance, but I can't set a date on that yet. - ASRock 970 Extreme3 R2.0 AM3+ AMD 970 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard - Team Vulcan 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model TLD38G1600HC9DC01

That leaves you with 300 left for a GPU and your headset.

If you added: - EVGA 02G-P4-2760-KR GeForce GTX 760 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 SLI Support Video Card

It leaves you 50 bucks left for a headset and you get everything you wanted within your budget.

I also highly disagree with your opinion on SSDs, but to each their own. It does a whole lot more than most think.

Yevrag35 09-17-2013 12:41 PM

Re: Time to upgrade!
ASRock 970 Extreme4
Team Vulcan 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600

Also, my personal opinion for monitors would be striving for two identical, really-nice 22" monitors. I bought a nice 26" monitor, and kind of wish I hadn't :p.

RichM499 09-17-2013 12:57 PM

Re: Time to upgrade!
I like that both of the boards you recommended has MOSFET coolers but I dislike the 4+1 phase thing and if I ever decide to overclock I think that may be a limiting factor. I was avoiding Team memory because I don't recognize their brand and I've never used it before but since both of you recommended the same kit I'm going to assume it's at least decent. The only thing I'm not for sure about is the GTX 760. Is there any reason to get a 760 over a 7950?

I went with ASRock 970 EXTREME4 AM3+ AMD 970 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS -
because it says it has UEFI and I've always wanted to try that out.

The video card I'm still on the fence about..
This 7950 looks decent and saves me a few bucks.
Is it really worth the premium to go with a 760 instead of a 7950???

PP Mguire 09-17-2013 01:13 PM

Re: Time to upgrade!
It's best not to overclock on cheap AMD boards anyways. You can't really get away with it like you can on Intel since AMD chips are far more power hungry. Just a simple solution to maximize your budget. Also for the record, your current board is 4+1.

These days, RAM is RAM. With the hefty influx in DDR3 pricing it's best to get what you can when you can. The days of needing specific RAM for specific boards has been gone with DDR2 and early DDR3 setups. XMP profiling and wide support of 1600/9/1.65v make using anything fine.

The 760 is the superior card performance and driver wise. The 7950 competes with the 660ti on a performance level whereas the 760 outperforms the 660ti.

RichM499 09-17-2013 01:22 PM

Re: Time to upgrade!
Okay then I've decided to go with your recommendation with the GTX 760. And I know my current board is 4+1 phase and I likely won't find a quality 8+2 within my budget. I gave serious consideration to the Sabertooth board but my budget dropped from $800 to $650 so I don't think I can afford it. If for some reason my budget goes up that's likely the only change I will make.

Can you recommend a good cheap headset? I will be ordering this computer some time this week but probably friday.

PP Mguire 09-17-2013 01:42 PM

Re: Time to upgrade!
4+1 really isn't that much of an issue unless you're watercooled and going for 4+GHz overclocks or running an FX8350. You would be perfectly fine running a 3.8GHz overclock 24/7 on either of the boards listed. The 8+2 design is meant for extreme overclockers so they can break world records and such, much like how things work on the Intel side of things. Also, Asus wanted a board that could support the ridiculous 9590 which has a 220w TDP stock.
Although I'll say it now, if you're serious into the productivity you're getting into/already into, then you should considering getting an i7 sometime in the near future.

I'm not really one to recommend headsets since I'm an audiophile. You're not going to get a very good headset for 50 or so bucks. All I can really say is, the X12s are a nice budget headset. These Logitech's sound better, although the mic is slightly crappier but neither have noise cancellation. - Logitech G230 3.5mm Connector Circumaural Stero Gaming Headset

If you're willing to wait, my review manager said these are a decent budget headset as well, but shhh I didn't tell you that (NDA). - Corsair Raptor HS30 Dual 3.5mm Connector Circumaural Gaming Headset

RichM499 09-17-2013 03:16 PM

Re: Time to upgrade!
Thanks. I'll update here when I make the order and let you all know exactly what I decided to buy.

RichM499 09-20-2013 10:18 AM

Re: Time to upgrade!
I know we're not supposed to double post but I couldn't find the edit button..
I just wanted to update and let you all know I took your recommendations and got the Asrock Extreme4 motherboard, 8GB Vulcan DDR3 2400 memory, 24" Acer monitor, and GTX 760.
The monitor arrived today. Less than 24hrs after ordering it...

For some reason they split up my order into 2 shipments and 1 went UPS and the other went FedEx. The UPS shipment was the monitor and it already arrived but it says it'll be until the 24th before I get the rest of it. Probably due to flooding in colorado. Anyway, thanks for the recommendations. I'll post a benchmark/overclock thread when I get all my new parts and try them out.

PP Mguire 09-20-2013 12:48 PM

Re: Time to upgrade!
Before anybody posts, we discussed the 2400 via PM already.

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