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Upgrade for 1920x1200?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hey all,

I have around $500-600 AU to spend (which is a little less in USD) and I want some more performance from my rig.

As you can see, it's all under water, so whatever I choose I will be water cooling - obviously I will be overclocking whatever I get.

Now, I could either upgrade my CPU (to an i5 3750K), or upgrade my GPU (670, 680 or 7970).

The question is, which do you think would be the biggest upgrade and why? I mainly play Battlefield 3 and Guild Wars 2, and while my current rig handles them fine in most situations, there is still some stuttering that occurs when the settings are turned up and I'd like to be able to get a stable 60 FPS at 1920x1200 in whatever I do (I'd like to be able to turn Battlefield 3 textures up to Ultra with no lag too!). I just don't think the 1.25GB VRAM in my 570 is cutting it.

I am leaning toward the GPU upgrade, as I have read that my current i5 will not bottleneck the card (whichever of the above I choose). Obviously I'll upgrade the CPU later, probably when Haswell comes out next year.

If the upgrade path is to upgrade my GPU, could you guys help me out in making my decision, putting forward your opinions and help me find which card is going to give me the best bang for my buck at this resolution? There are a lot of benchmarks out there for 1080p and 1440p, however they don't cater so much to the 1200p screen resolution.

tl;dr:

Upgrade my CPU or GPU, and what to upgrade to with $500-600? Site I'll be buying from is http://www.pccasegear.com.

Thanks in advance for your opinions, I appreciate them.
Edited by jNSK - 10/29/12 at 8:23pm
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post #2 of 15
Grab a 1440p Korean panel on the cheap through eBay. IF you're already gaming at high FPS on your current titles, go higher rez. Plus, its another reason to upgrade for future titles.
 
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post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blindrage606 View Post

Grab a 1440p Korean panel on the cheap through eBay. IF you're already gaming at high FPS on your current titles, go higher rez. Plus, its another reason to upgrade for future titles.

But I like the monitor size I have now! Besides, my current rig doesn't run Battlefield 3 with the settings maxed at 60 FPS as it is.
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post #4 of 15
Your CPU is fine. Why would you upgrade that. As for the GPU upgrade if you are going to overclock get the HD 7950. There is no doubt it has the best bang for buck. clock for clock HD 7950 is 5% slower than HD 7970. HD 7950 (1.1 Ghz) matches the HD 7970 Ghz (1.05 Ghz).

Here is a HD 7950 (1.2 Ghz) with the 12.8 drivers. performance has improved even more with the 12.11 beta drivers. You will easily max out BF3 Ultra 4x MSAA at 60 fps at 1920 x 1200.

http://www.hardocp.com/article/2012/08/23/galaxy_gtx_660_ti_gc_oc_vs_670_hd_7950/3

The Gigabyte HD 7950 OC with the excellent windforce 3x cooler is a good option. thumb.gif

http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=193_1311&products_id=19285
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post #5 of 15
Just for clarification, your Sig says you have GTX 580, but your posts says you have a 570. Which is it, exactly?

If it's a 580, I'd get a second 580 for SLI because they're extremely cheap around now ($230 or so used) and use your remaining funds to get an Ivy Z77 motherboard and a 3570k. If you have a $700 budget, then $250 goes to the 580, $233 goes to the 3570k, leaving $217 for a motherboard, which is a VERY nice number to work with as far as a mobo goes. Plus, you could sell your i5 and current mobo for better than $100. thumb.gif

That's my first recommendation.

Most people around here like to say, "Buy the fastest single card you can, then SLI or Crossfire down the road when you need more performance." Those same people, when presented with your situation, usually then say, "Oh well you don't want to invest in an old architecture. Sell your current GPU and buy a latest generation XYZ card."

Indeed, I think SLI'ing or Crossfiring older cards, if you already own one, is usually a pretty good idea. If, however, you want a newer generation card, then Nvidia's Kepler 600 series and AMD's GCN 7000 series are the place to look. Selling your current motherboard, CPU, and GPU will likely give you a $1000 budget to work with for a new CPU, Mobo, and GPU. At that point, I'd say get a 3570k ($233) and a motherboard for maybe $150 or $200. That would leave you with almost $600 dollars to work with. I would then get a Zotac GTX 680 for $479 at your store, and pocket the remaining cash. A 680 will crush just about any task at 1920x1200 resolution. Plenty of VRAM and lots of compute while running cool, quiet, and drawing a small amount of power.

EDIT: As raghu78 suggested, a 7950 would provide a higher bang-for-buck GPU while consuming more power and running hotter and louder. If those aren't concerns, I'd opt for the 7950 in this case.

EDIT2: I was about to change my recommendation to a 670, but those are still $399 at that store while the 7950 is a full $100 cheaper. I'd get the 7950 if I were you, unless power draw, heat, noise, and PhysX are important. That's just too much a price difference to ignore.
Edited by coachmark2 - 10/29/12 at 8:36pm
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post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by raghu78 View Post

Your CPU is fine. Why would you upgrade that. As for the GPU upgrade if you are going to overclock get the HD 7950. There is no doubt it has the best bang for buck. clock for clock HD 7950 is 5% slower than HD 7970. HD 7950 (1.1 Ghz) matches the HD 7970 Ghz (1.05 Ghz).
Here is a HD 7950 (1.2 Ghz) with the 12.8 drivers. performance has improved even more with the 12.11 beta drivers. You will easily max out BF3 Ultra 4x MSAA at 60 fps at 1920 x 1200.
http://www.hardocp.com/article/2012/08/23/galaxy_gtx_660_ti_gc_oc_vs_670_hd_7950/3
The Gigabyte HD 7950 OC with the excellent windforce 3x cooler is a good option. thumb.gif
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=193_1311&products_id=19285

Very interesting article, thanks for the link. That does indeed look nice.

I'm probably being stupid here, but I've leaned more towards Nvidia cards in the past, as when I purchased this 570 the drivers for the AMD/ATI cards sucked. I assume this is not the case any more.
Quote:
Originally Posted by coachmark2 
Just for clarification, your Sig says you have GTX 580, but your posts says you have a 570. Which is it, exactly?

If it's a 580, I'd get a second 580 for SLI because they're extremely cheap around now ($230 or so used) and use your remaining funds to get an Ivy Z77 motherboard and a 3570k. If you have a $700 budget, then $250 goes to the 580, $233 goes to the 3570k, leaving $217 for a motherboard, which is a VERY nice number to work with as far as a mobo goes. Plus, you could sell your i5 and current mobo for better than $100.

That's my first recommendation.

Most people around here like to say, "Buy the fastest single card you can, then SLI or Crossfire down the road when you need more performance." Those same people, when presented with your situation, usually then say, "Oh well you don't want to invest in an old architecture. Sell your current GPU and buy a latest generation XYZ card."

Indeed, I think SLI'ing or Crossfiring older cards, if you already own one, is usually a pretty good idea. If, however, you want a newer generation card, then Nvidia's Kepler 600 series and AMD's GCN 7000 series are the place to look. Selling your current motherboard, CPU, and GPU will likely give you a $1000 budget to work with for a new CPU, Mobo, and GPU. At that point, I'd say get a 3570k ($233) and a motherboard for maybe $150 or $200. That would leave you with almost $600 dollars to work with. I would then get a Zotac GTX 680 for $479 at your store, and pocket the remaining cash. A 680 will crush just about any task at 1920x1200 resolution. Plenty of VRAM and lots of compute while running cool, quiet, and drawing a small amount of power.

Sorry, I have no idea why it said that. My card is indeed a 570. Must have been a typo - fixed that up now.

I would rather shy away from SLI and get a single card - since my system's under water I'd rather not have to consider radiator upgrades and the likes to accommodate two cards in the one loop.

Your upgrade path sounds very tempting. I am not sure how much I would get for my current hardware - the motherboard, CPU and RAM should be easy to sell however I'm not sure how many people look on eBay for a graphics card with the water cooling block attached to it. Although, I suppose I could try that and put the stock cooler back onto it if that doesn't sell.

I think I'll go with your recommendations and buy the 3570K, some memory and a motherboard first, then sell my current hardware and get a 680 with the cash from that. Sounds good.

Few questions, if I take your recommendations: I need to choose some RAM and a motherboard to go with. I have heard good things about this board: ASUS P8Z77-V PRO. Do you have any thoughts on a similar motherboard around this price point? As for RAM, I may as well upgrade to 8GB while I'm at it. Any ideas on what kit? Any thoughts on this kit?
Edited by jNSK - 10/29/12 at 8:40pm
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post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by jNSK View Post

Very interesting article, thanks for the link. That does indeed look nice. I'm probably being stupid here, but I've leaned more towards Nvidia cards in the past, as when I purchased this 570 the drivers for the AMD/ATI cards sucked. I assume this is not the case any more.

I have a HD 6950 2GB and its been fine. Drivers for single GPU with AMD are fine. When it comes to multi GPU Nvidia's drivers have features like frame metering which provide a smoother experience. But for a 1920 x 1200 monitor you don't need CF or SLI. With 12.11 beta drivers HD 7950 rocks.

http://www.overclock.net/t/1318674/tpu-amd-announces-never-settle-catalyst-12-11-driver-update/150#post_18428759
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post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by jNSK View Post


Few questions, if I take your recommendations: I need to choose some RAM and a motherboard to go with. I have heard good things about this board: ASUS P8Z77-V PRO. Do you have any thoughts on a similar motherboard around this price point? As for RAM, I may as well upgrade to 8GB while I'm at it. Any ideas on what kit? Any thoughts on this kit?

That is sure enough EXCELLENT RAM there, and you'll be very happy with it. It's a little pricey when RAM kits are normally $40 or $50 for 8GB, but it clocks like a madman.

I've always considered ASUS motherboards overpriced, and this goes to illustrate my point. Only 2 PCIe x16 slots? For $220? puke.gif

If you're only after a workable board for a good price that OC's a bit, then I'd go with this one:
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=138_711_1183&products_id=19867

It's a little light on the SATA, but with its ports, a card is easy to come by for add in later. Still, though, 4 SATA ports is enough for a lot of people. 1 SSD for boot, 1 HDD for storage, and 1 for a DVD Drive with one spare. wink.gif
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post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by coachmark2 View Post

That is sure enough EXCELLENT RAM there, and you'll be very happy with it. It's a little pricey when RAM kits are normally $40 or $50 for 8GB, but it clocks like a madman.
I've always considered ASUS motherboards overpriced, and this goes to illustrate my point. Only 2 PCIe x16 slots? For $220? puke.gif
If you're only after a workable board for a good price that OC's a bit, then I'd go with this one:
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=138_711_1183&products_id=19867
It's a little light on the SATA, but with its ports, a card is easy to come by for add in later. Still, though, 4 SATA ports is enough for a lot of people. 1 SSD for boot, 1 HDD for storage, and 1 for a DVD Drive with one spare. wink.gif

Well, at the moment I am using 5 SATA ports (1 SSD, 1 DVD Drive, 3 HDDs), but I probably don't need one of the hard drives. I took it out of an external enclosure that failed and stuck it in my PC for some extra storage.

I want a board that will be able to get the i5 to at least 4.5 GHz - I have a water cooled PC and wish to make use of that fact! I shall have to look at some reviews of that board - it looks nice at first glance, though.
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post #10 of 15
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Originally Posted by jNSK View Post

I think I'll go with your recommendations and buy the 3570K, some memory and a motherboard first, then sell my current hardware and get a 680 with the cash from that. Sounds good.

With a lynnfield at 4.4 Ghz you really don't need any more CPU performance. Your CPU at 4.4 Ghz most likely performs like a Ivybridge at 3.5 Ghz. There is no need for more CPU performance for running a single high end GPU.

And with Haswell due for launch in April 2013 getting a full upgrade is not a good investment. Haswell is a major improvement over sandy and ivy. newer instructions sets like AVX2, FMA3, bit manipulation instructions. improved IPC of around 10 - 15% . better power managament.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/6355/intels-haswell-architecture
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