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Possible tax refund...thinking of upgrades...what do you think?

post #1 of 13
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So I may be getting a tax refund (some possible reasons why I might not) of around $700 to $800.

My proposed upgrades:


Phenom II x 4 980be

Radeon hd 6870

8 gigs Corsair vengeance low profile (works better with my cpu cooling)

New case (maybe cooler master elite series?)

Current rig is in sig. If I got these upgrades I would have 2 complete rigs.



Any thoughts? Suggestions? I want to keep the budget below ~$400US
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Blue Steel
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post #2 of 13
That's a tough one. The processor will be an upgrade, but overall that little athlon is a kick ass chip at the price point it's in. Since phenom II's are coming in so cheap nowadays though you could really get that, drop it into your current set up and then grab a 6870/6950 while you're at it. You'll have a huge all around gaming performance boost.

If gaming isn't so much your thing, you could certainly go for a nice processor upgrade and some memory. Or even a solid state drive. There are sales once a day on SSD's it seems like and they often come to the 1$/GB price segment. Just a 64GB drive for OS will really make your system seem much more snappy and responsive, if you put some of your most used programs on there it'll seem like you upgraded a hell of a lot more than just your storage! SSD's are truly a great all around system boosting option. And for $400 you could probably really do a Phenom II a 6850 and a 64GB SSD!
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post #3 of 13
As I see it you have three potential options this Upgrade round;

Spend it all on a GPU like a 7950. You will get the biggest increase in FPS in most games from this. next round look at upgrading the CPU, case, HDD etc.


upgrade to the 980BE or a 1100T, case and an SSD. this will give you more general performance upgrade in anything but Gaming. Upgrade the GPU next time round.


Upgrade the CPU, mobo an I5-2500k and do a GPU, SSD, PSU and Case upgrade at a later time. This will give you a strong overall performance base to build on to n the future.


if you are chasing FPS then go option one
If you are chasing gerneal performance on a budget then option two
if you are chasing a general performance boost and want a stronger platform to build from intothe future then option three.
post #4 of 13
You can get a much more worthwhile upgrade with $700 by getting a 7950 instead of a mid-grade 6000 series.
And instead of a 980BE, grab a 960T. The integrated memory controller is much better on the 960T.
RAM is RAM to me. Whatever suits your fancy.

Side-note: It's a tax return, not a refund. They are returning your money that they shouldn't have taken.
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post #5 of 13
I would add the money for a platform change to Sandy Bridge. You will see a big jump in performance. You could get a used 5830 to crossfire for $100.
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post #6 of 13
I'm in a similiar situation as you with my hardware.

I already have a SSD so I'm aiming on picking up a new Ivybridge CPU, Motherboard and DDR3 ram shortly after launch and there is a slight chance I might instead pick up a cheap sandybridge around the same timeframe.

In my opinion I think you should aim for a similar option, and perhaps a smaller sized SSD which is a real treat.
Myself I'm still quite satisfied with my 5850 and with a new CPU above the 4ghz mark I know it will wake it up a bit compared to my 3.6ghz Q6600.

I did happen to win a Galaxy MDT gtx580 in December thumb.gif and I'm still waiting for it to arrive mad.gif so that will likely find a home in my new build.

I guess to sum it up my opinion is to upgrade to a newer platform and snag a SSD along with a few other things that you might want for your build.
It's always nice having cool stuff like modding, cooling and other similar gear that won't age as badly as hardware.

Ah I just saw you wanted to keep it around $400, anyways I would still shoot for swapping over to 1155.
I don't think you would see the improvement you would want moving over to something like a 6870 and just a little bit more speed on something like a Phenom.
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post #7 of 13
I vote for 960T (not 980)
it runs cooler..has higher mem bandwitdth..and clocks higher (probably) ..also chance to unlock to 6-core

and 7970 biggrin.gif
Oh..and a real overclocking motherboard..and maybe some cooling biggrin.gif

..beefier psu...
TBH i'd start with a beefy psu..then go from there
 
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post #8 of 13
7950, RAM, and a case.
post #9 of 13
a real overclocking motherboard..and maybe some cooling .g.gif
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by wikiss View Post

a real overclocking motherboard. g.gif

if he were to spend money on a new motherboard it might as well be a lga1155. He can get a lga1155 board and a i3 and would be better off with it for gaming then a x6 phenom @ 4ghz.
AMD is good and all, but they are more or less for mid-low end rigs now. Just don't forget phenom 2 is a still a hair slower then c2d clock for clock, so doesn't matter how many cores you have if your single thread performance is the same. This is the vary reason the i3 is better for gaming. thumb.gif

Also get a video card with more v-ram and power, like the 7950.
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