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What do I need to upgrade?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I don't really have enough money right now to make two big upgrades so I'm thinking just one. What is more important in your opinion, a new case, or a 6970 (Lighting edition)?

I'm getting awful airflow with my case and my V8 is pushing right onto the side window, my CPUs temps are suffering and I have no room for cable management. I'm thinking if I get a new case that I will get a Antect 1200, it seems like a pretty good price and great airflow, cable management and a side window.

I'm also starting to play games where my 5770 crossfire set up isn't quite holding up. I also would like to be able to upgrade right now to the one of the fastest GPUs for a good price and if need I need to upgrade later, just buy another one of the same card. That's why I am thinking the 6970, it should last me a couple years before I feel the need to upgrade.
I'd probably get the lightning edition because getting the reference model would be useless considering I can just unlock a 6950, also my motherboards PCIe lanes are close together so this will benefit my heat and noise level, and maybe I'll be able to OC a bit.


What's your opinions?
    
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post #2 of 11
I'd say you can always mod the case, it can be very fun and cost efficient. A 4.5 inch hole saw and you can put another fan near the V8 to help pull air out. With a fan and a grill added to your case you may have $10 invested in that project. Obviously the 6970 would be an awesome upgrade and give the performance you are looking for. That's what I'd do.
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheJack View Post
I'd say you can always mod the case, it can be very fun and cost efficient. A 4.5 inch hole saw and you can put another fan near the V8 to help pull air out. With a fan and a grill added to your case you may have $10 invested in that project. Obviously the 6970 would be an awesome upgrade and give the performance you are looking for. That's what I'd do.
I have thought about modding the case but look up the Apevia X-Dreamer 3, it's a very small case, I have little room for more fans, maybe one more at the top.
I would still have a small case though. Although for $10 I guess it's worth a shot. Never modded before so a bit nervous.
    
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post #4 of 11
Cutting a hole with a hole saw isn't too difficult. If the cut isn't perfect that's ok, they make u-channel to hide the cut. Then, drill your 4 holes for the fan and get a grill to screw the fan into place and connect to a power cable. Simple as that and you'd be surprised how much air a 120mm fan would move away from that V8.

Getting a new and more efficient case is always nice, but I prefer to upgrade actual hardware because that's what will give the greatest performance upgrade.
post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheJack View Post
Cutting a hole with a hole saw isn't too difficult. If the cut isn't perfect that's ok, they make u-channel to hide the cut. Then, drill your 4 holes for the fan and get a grill to screw the fan into place and connect to a power cable. Simple as that and you'd be surprised how much air a 120mm fan would move away from that V8.

Getting a new and more efficient case is always nice, but I prefer to upgrade actual hardware because that's what will give the greatest performance upgrade.
definitely agree with this ... even if you just cut slats for vents, it should help air flow, and the 6970 is definitely the way to go if you want an FPS boost
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post #6 of 11
You could go a little lower on the GPU and case, like a HD6950 and Cooler Master 690 II. Then maybe you can afford both without sacrificing too much. Just something to think about.
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post #7 of 11
Also with a OEM style 6950 you can flash the BIOS to 6970
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post #8 of 11
For the case a CoolerMaster HAF 912 is a mid-tower with a lot of the special perks of a big tower. Removeable middle HDD cage. Top, front, back, and side fans. The front panel is a mesh that allows air flow right out giving your case the ability to breathe. All for $59.99 usd. I run my PSU wires right to the other side and wires only peak out to the connections needed. All my wiring is hidden very nicely. See my public profile pic and notice the mobo. Clean. You can even fit an 11" card with the middle HDD removed easily.

As for the card an MSI R6970 Lightning Radeon HD 6970 2GB is a great card. However if you don't do anything with your case and it remains cramped you may want to rethink it. The hot air off that card dumps inside your case as opposed to a reference verson where the exhaust is out the back air flow bracket. If you OC your CPU this will increase ambient temps inside your tower with poor air flow.

If you do decide reference I'd perfer as my personal choice a SAPPHIRE 100311SR Radeon HD 6970 2GB. If you like MSI then get the MSI R6970-2PM2D2GD5 Radeon HD 6970 2GB instead.

Now since you said money way tight then my suggestion is get a SAPPHIRE 100312SR Radeon HD 6950 2GB and with the money you will save get the CoolerMaster HAF 912 . Just do plenty of homework on unlocking it before you do. Do a search for that topic. Either way even just over clocking it will be a great card to own with your new case that will offer you a refreshing life to your entire system.
     
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post #9 of 11
I'd vote for the case but a nicer full tower case than the antec 1200. Thinking down the road a nice case will last and you can save up for a future graphics card.

I'd rather have an amd 78/79xx or nvidia 6xx in the same case that I would buy now or then.

Possible bias since I also have cf 5770s in a not so great airflow case (antec 300). I've had the same debate myself and if I save up the funds I'm going case first then next gen graphics card down the road.
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post #10 of 11
The Antec 1200 is a bit old, but still a great case with good air flow (removable dust filters are a nice perk).

Word to the wise if you want to buy the card. The 6970 lightning is very long -- 12.2 inches long to be exact -- making it the longest card on the market (the 6990 is a mere 12 inches). I have two of the lightnings that will go in my rig once BD arrives and they are going to extend slightly into the hard drive bays on my Antec 1200

Don't buy that version of the 6970 unless you are sure you have room in your case.
Edited by JCPUser - 5/19/11 at 10:43pm
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