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Old 10-16-2010, 02:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Next Logical Upgrade

I have a "decent" gaming computer (pertinent specs below). If this 'puter is used mainly for gaming, what would be the next logical upgrade for this machine? Here's the present specs:

CPU: AMD Phenom 8750 Triple-Core Processor 2.40 GHz (O.C.'d to 2.9)
GPU: 2 ATI HD3870's in CrossfireX
RAM: 4 gig DDR2 mem.
HD: 3 hard drives totaling 530 gigs. (80+150+300)
OS: W7 Home Premium, 64-bit
Mobo: Gigabyte GA-MA790X-UD4

Windows Experience Index is 5.8 (don't really know what that means). In the real world I can play F.E.A.R. 2 on max everything settings and the machine functions satisfactorily. I can play Crysis on all High, but not Ultra High; it starts to seize up. Can also play Far Cry 2 all maxed. I'm not looking for the ultimate upgrade, just the next logical step up. Thanks!

TG
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Old 10-16-2010, 02:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Next Logical Upgrade

Toss up between GPU and CPU due to scaling. Id would put my vote on CPU personally. You could slap a tri Phenom II or quad Athlon X2 in there for cheap and unlock alot more performance outa your machine after some OC work.
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Old 10-16-2010, 04:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hey -
Thanks for the speedy reply. Couple of Q's:
What is scaling?
How do you work on overclocking your CPU? Never done it before. The guy who set my machine up set the processor up to OC. I suppose there is a lot of info on this on this site...
If I installed one of the said processors, would the machine have better performance in its stock form, or would I need to "tweak" it to get the performance you mention?
You know, another issue I noticed is my mobo is AM2/AM2+ compatible, apparently NOT AM3. That seems to reduce the number of options...

Thanks!

TG
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Old 10-16-2010, 05:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Next Logical Upgrade

Overclocking is easy and yes there is plenty of articles/threads and help in our overclocking section.

It would depend on what processor you chose on whether or not you get an out-of-the-box improvement
Newegg.com - AMD Phenom II X4 920 2.8GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM2+ 125W Quad-Core Processor HDX920XCGIBOX
This would wipe the floor with your processor and overclock like no other with good cooling.
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Old 10-16-2010, 05:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Next Logical Upgrade

Why not the 940BE for cheaper?

Newegg.com - AMD Phenom II X4 940 Black Edition Deneb 3.0GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM2+ 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ940XCJ4DGI - Processors - Desktops

Im sure his heatsink he currently has should work fine. Easier to explain to somebody how to OC with an unlocked multi.

Also to OP,

Scaling is how well games utilize both cards in a multi-GPU setup.
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Old 10-16-2010, 05:51 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Next Logical Upgrade

I only used the 920 as an example. a black edition would of course support an easier oc learning curve.
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Old 10-16-2010, 06:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Next Logical Upgrade

Quote:
Originally Posted by PP Mguire View Post
Why not the 940BE for cheaper?

Newegg.com - AMD Phenom II X4 940 Black Edition Deneb 3.0GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM2+ 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ940XCJ4DGI - Processors - Desktops

Im sure his heatsink he currently has should work fine. Easier to explain to somebody how to OC with an unlocked multi.

Also to OP,

Scaling is how well games utilize both cards in a multi-GPU setup.
Yes, this is what I'm talking about! You guys are great. BTW, my machine has a very nice aftermarket heat sink w/ two fans. Other things to note, this has 3 intake fans, 2 exhaust fans, plus the 2 on the heatsink, PSU and GPU's, so it has good air cooling. It also has on-board temp gauge in the HD bay. When it is working it's hardest the inside case temp has never gotten above 109 deg. f., and even that was extreme. When running modern games (like Far Cry 2) it runs some where above 100 but below 109.

TG
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Old 10-17-2010, 10:41 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Next Logical Upgrade

Sounds good to me. I think a faster CPU like that 940 will grant you an overall better performance over GPU even in Windows.
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Old 10-18-2010, 01:40 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Next Logical Upgrade

I think if you wanted a new graphics card it wouldn't be wise to get one now when the HD 6000 series is so close to launching.
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Old 10-18-2010, 07:18 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Next Logical Upgrade

Quote:
Originally Posted by Apokalipse View Post
I think if you wanted a new graphics card it wouldn't be wise to get one now when the HD 6000 series is so close to launching.
Well, if I were upgrading the GPU, it wouldn't be to the latest, greatest thing. I just want the NEXT step up, something like a HD5770 or GTX260.

TG
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