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Last upgrade for 5 years - Need Bang for buck!

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Bonjour my fellow Fellows,

So i finally will be getting my student overdraft sorted (all it took was my dad threatening to close his business account) its time to spend some of it on what will be the possibly the final upgrade I can perchance until I get a real Job in the industry. Am on a BEng in Civil engineering with lots of tasty CAD work. Formalities first, this is my current set up:

MB - TA 790 GX 128M
CPU - AMD Athlon X2 7750
GPU - 512 MB Radeon HD 4830
PSU - 650w OC Modular
RAM - 4GB Corsair 400Mhz DDR2
CASE - Thermaltake Element G
HDD - F3 Samgun 1TB

Plan was to get:

  • An AMD 955 BE and overclock it to 3.8Ghz (have a GIANT fan on the side of my case which makes it cooler than cool)
  • ASRock 970 Extreme3 AMD 970 Motherboard
  • 8 GB Corsair Vengeance 1600 Mhz Ram
  • XFX AMD Radeon HD 6870 1024MB GDDR5 Graphics card

Roughly this will cost abut £340 and that kinda is my limit as I need to get lots of other stuff with my overdraft (if I can get more, I will try and step the game up to a 6950).

What I need the system to do:
  • Render me some large CAD drawings, handle thousands of different lines in said programs.
  • Play almost all recent games at High on 1080p and future games (in say 2 years) in Medium.
  • Have at least 1 3.0 USB port (I grow tired of waiting to put some CAD stuff on a USB stick for class)

And what I would like the system to do:

  • Play games such as Skyrim and BF3 on Ultra (biggrin.gif)

Since I can't upgrade for a good while, I want the best for what I can afford that will last but any upgrades I get will be cheap (like better cooling or some more RAM if its cheap). If I get a 955 and overclock it will it be a bottleneck with a 6870 or a 6950 as if it is, there is no point getting a 955 or whatever.

If you could spend £350 or so on this how would you do it?

Thanks for any help!
post #2 of 8
consider buying a phenom II x2 and unlocking it to a quad. if you can find a 960t, you can turn it into a 6-core. regarding CAD, i don't think that setup will handle it well at all. ideally you'd be able to purchase a workstation card, but there might be ways to turn convert gaming cards into them instead. i've never tried it but i've read about it before. not sure how it works now but you should look into it.
post #3 of 8
Are you from the US? Maybe you could find a 2500k+mobo if you are near a microcenter.
With a 6870 (hell even a 6950/6970) you won't be able to play BF3 on ultra, let alone Skyrim (still needs to be optimized and the Skyrim drivers to come out from AMD). Are you going to use the PSU you are/were using on your old rig? What brand is it?
My Rig
(17 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 2500k @ 4.8 GHZ 1.33v  ASUS P8P67 PRO 3.0 Sapphire AMD Radeon HD 7950 1000/1575 1.149v 12 GB Kingston DDR3 1600 MHZ 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Kingston 96GB SSD  Caviar Green 1TB storage  Plextor PX-L890 SA 24x DVD-RW Noctua NH-D14 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Professional 64 bit IPS Dell Ultrasharp U2412M 24" Logitech G110 Corsair AX1200  
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My Rig
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i5 2500k @ 4.8 GHZ 1.33v  ASUS P8P67 PRO 3.0 Sapphire AMD Radeon HD 7950 1000/1575 1.149v 12 GB Kingston DDR3 1600 MHZ 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Kingston 96GB SSD  Caviar Green 1TB storage  Plextor PX-L890 SA 24x DVD-RW Noctua NH-D14 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Professional 64 bit IPS Dell Ultrasharp U2412M 24" Logitech G110 Corsair AX1200  
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Cooler Master HAF X Razer Deathadder Razer Goliathus Asus Xonar DG 
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JVC HA-RX900  
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post #4 of 8
CPU cooler. The stock on sucks, the only way I can get the temp to go any lower than 37C (at stock everything) is to open a window in the winter to lower the ambient temp.
Black Hole
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Mac
(15 items)
 
 
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AMD Phenom II X4 955 @2 - 4GHz Crosshair V Formula Asus GeForce GTX 550 Ti Corsair 12 GB 
Hard DriveCoolingCoolingOS
WD Blue Coolermaster 212+ Evo GT 1850 RPM in push/pull Fractal Design 120mm exhaust fan Windows 7 Ultimate 
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Fleetwood Fleetwood Fleetwood Fleetwood 
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Fleetwood Fleetwood Fleetwood Fleetwood 
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Black Hole
(17 items)
 
Mac
(15 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Phenom II X4 955 @2 - 4GHz Crosshair V Formula Asus GeForce GTX 550 Ti Corsair 12 GB 
Hard DriveCoolingCoolingOS
WD Blue Coolermaster 212+ Evo GT 1850 RPM in push/pull Fractal Design 120mm exhaust fan Windows 7 Ultimate 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
LG 32LD450 Ducky DK9008G2 MX Red Overclock.net Edition Corsair TX650 Fractal Design Core 3000 
MouseAudio
Microsoft Logitech LS21 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Fleetwood Fleetwood Fleetwood Fleetwood 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Fleetwood Fleetwood Fleetwood Fleetwood 
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Fleetwood Fleetwood Fleetwood Fleetwood 
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post #5 of 8
Honestly, Id recommend a X6 if youre going to be doing a lot of multi threaded work. Those extra 2 core will come in might handy.

Ill assume youre in the UK so:

Phenom II X6 1055 -- £120
Asus 990X motherboard -- £100
XFX 6870 -- £140

Thats £360 and will give you plenty of processing power for your school work and if you overclock it (these 1055's will overclock very well) will be a very good gaming proc. The 6870 isnt the most powerful but its enough to max out pretty much anything at 1920x1080 with only a couple games where youll have to lower some settings. The 6950 would be the better one of course but thatll add another 80 quid to your total. Up to you. Worth it to me though.

**Edit**

Oops, forgot the RAM. Corsair 4GB for £22.
Edited by MacLeod - 11/19/11 at 10:39am
post #6 of 8
..that's just about..NOT the things you need to do what you want to do.. :doh.gif: 350 pounds..grr OK..you already have a case,psu,and hdd..what's your optical drive situation? is it sata or ide..dvd burner or no?
AMD Machine
(14 items)
 
Dedicated Backup
(14 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Sempron 145 powah! er..or..Thuban with 4 coars ;) Crosshair 4 GT 240 Samsung @ 7-8-8-20 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingMonitor
OCZ Agility2 40GB Lite-On Rasa Waterblock + Bong Samsung 2 ms 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
dell Thermaltake Tr2-800 Elite 330 cheap 
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Newegg box flap onboard 
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2500K Gimped @ stock Gigabyte H61-DS2 XFX 5870 800/1250 The Samsung RAM (Awesomeness) 
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Crucial m4 64 Sunbeamtech Core-Contact 92 attached via zip-ties. Varies Samsung 2ms 
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AMD Machine
(14 items)
 
Dedicated Backup
(14 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Sempron 145 powah! er..or..Thuban with 4 coars ;) Crosshair 4 GT 240 Samsung @ 7-8-8-20 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingMonitor
OCZ Agility2 40GB Lite-On Rasa Waterblock + Bong Samsung 2 ms 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
dell Thermaltake Tr2-800 Elite 330 cheap 
Mouse PadAudio
Newegg box flap onboard 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
2500K Gimped @ stock Gigabyte H61-DS2 XFX 5870 800/1250 The Samsung RAM (Awesomeness) 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Crucial m4 64 Sunbeamtech Core-Contact 92 attached via zip-ties. Varies Samsung 2ms 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
varies Corsair GS800 eMachine cheap 
Mouse PadAudio
Newegg Box Panel onboard 
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post #7 of 8
Well, the 955 won't bottleneck a 6950 or 6870, I can tell you that.

But like other people said, you might want more cores (NOT BULLDOZER), so a 1055T or a 960T wouldn't be a bad choice.
A 6870 should be able to max out Skyrim, since my 460 already can.
ChenBox
(13 items)
 
  
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1TB Samsung Spinpoint F3 ASUS DRW-24B1ST ATA Device Windows 7 64-bit Professional ASUS MS236 @ 1920x1080 
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ChenBox
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AMD Phenom II X4 955 ASUS M4A89GTD-PRO (AM3) EVGA GTX 660 SC 2GB 8GB Corsair Vengeance 1333MHz (7-7-7-21-1T) 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
1TB Samsung Spinpoint F3 ASUS DRW-24B1ST ATA Device Windows 7 64-bit Professional ASUS MS236 @ 1920x1080 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
CM Quickfire TK - MX Blues SeaSonic S12II 620w Cooler Master 690 II Advanced CM Storm Xornet 
Mouse Pad
Free Rite-Aid Mousepad 
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post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the Replies guys!
Quote:
Originally Posted by naizarak View Post

consider buying a phenom II x2 and unlocking it to a quad. if you can find a 960t, you can turn it into a 6-core. regarding CAD, i don't think that setup will handle it well at all. ideally you'd be able to purchase a workstation card, but there might be ways to turn convert gaming cards into them instead. i've never tried it but i've read about it before. not sure how it works now but you should look into it.

Well the CAD work I need to do for the first 2 years isn't that demanding. Were talking 1 building moderately detailed or a basic bridge. After that I will either have to spend allot of money on a real system that is meant for that work or just use the University's super computers for it all. Thanks for the info on the 960t, will have a read.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thryack View Post

Are you from the US? Maybe you could find a 2500k+mobo if you are near a microcenter.
With a 6870 (hell even a 6950/6970) you won't be able to play BF3 on ultra, let alone Skyrim (still needs to be optimized and the Skyrim drivers to come out from AMD). Are you going to use the PSU you are/were using on your old rig? What brand is it?

Nope, UK, where prices are $ to the £ near enough ... mad.gif I'm pretty sure a 6970 could totally max on Skyrim, I can get it on high already with a little bit of chop. Yeah, using the PSU from my old rig. Is a OCZ one.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacLeod View Post

Honestly, Id recommend a X6 if youre going to be doing a lot of multi threaded work. Those extra 2 core will come in might handy.
Ill assume youre in the UK so:
Phenom II X6 1055 -- £120
Asus 990X motherboard -- £100
XFX 6870 -- £140
Thats £360 and will give you plenty of processing power for your school work and if you overclock it (these 1055's will overclock very well) will be a very good gaming proc. The 6870 isnt the most powerful but its enough to max out pretty much anything at 1920x1080 with only a couple games where youll have to lower some settings. The 6950 would be the better one of course but thatll add another 80 quid to your total. Up to you. Worth it to me though.
**Edit**
Oops, forgot the RAM. Corsair 4GB for £22.

Thanks for the help MacLeod, just wondering what the MB you suggested will give over the one I looked at? Just with £35 difference thats a 6950 over a 6870. If its just more connections it doesn't matter, as I only use 1 HDD ever. Will have a good look at the 1055T though, only £35 more for 2 more cores might be worth it indeed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schmuckley View Post

..that's just about..NOT the things you need to do what you want to do.. :doh.gif: 350 pounds..grr OK..you already have a case,psu,and hdd..what's your optical drive situation? is it sata or ide..dvd burner or no?

When I say games on High and ultra, its just the textures and shadows I really want, all that AA stuff doesn't do it for me. As for optical drive, I ain't used a DVD or a Cd in about 3 years... I just download whatever I need online. I have a basic DVD drive, but its not plugged in.
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