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Help me decide between new CPU or GPU?

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
I would like to start out by thanking everyone who posts on this site, I am relatively new to computer building and have found this site to be extremely informative.

So here's my dilemma, I want to upgrade my current rig but I am stuck and I need help choosing which parts to upgrade first. My current rig is: AMD fx 6100, sabertooth 990,radeon 6950 HD 2gb card, and 16gb of corsair vengeance ram.

Before the hate starts flying lol, I purchased the fx 6100 before I knew what I was doing. I do a lot of 3d modeling (architecture stuff) and some "light" gaming. I run x3 Asus 24" monitors and I would like to know what would make more a more beneficial upgrade. Should I upgrade the CPU and mobo to a 3770k i7 and a sabertooth z77 motherboard or should I upgrade the GPU to a 4gb 670 GTX? Eventually I will be upgrading everything, I just need help choosing what to upgrade first. I would appreciate any suggestions!
post #2 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coolwine View Post

I would like to start out by thanking everyone who posts on this site, I am relatively new to computer building and have found this site to be extremely informative.

So here's my dilemma, I want to upgrade my current rig but I am stuck and I need help choosing which parts to upgrade first. My current rig is: AMD fx 6100, sabertooth 990,radeon 6950 HD 2gb card, and 16gb of corsair vengeance ram.

Before the hate starts flying lol, I purchased the fx 6100 before I knew what I was doing. I do a lot of 3d modeling (architecture stuff) and some "light" gaming. I run x3 Asus 24" monitors and I would like to know what would make more a more beneficial upgrade. Should I upgrade the CPU and mobo to a 3770k i7 and a sabertooth z77 motherboard or should I upgrade the GPU to a 4gb 670 GTX? Eventually I will be upgrading everything, I just need help choosing what to upgrade first. I would appreciate any suggestions!

Well to start, how much are you looking to spend?

"light" gaming wouldn't require a 4gb 670.. if you could define what you consider light that would help out a bit.

Also, if you plan to use all 3 monitors for your games, then a gpu upgrade will benefit you far more than a new cpu.

What is your biggest goal right now as far as improving the system?
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post #3 of 31
Thread Starter 
My two main goals would be to have my core programs (3ds max, autocad, rhino, adobe etc.) run faster and my render times to be shorter. I do game occasionally, call of duty and modern warfare and I like to see the details with a reasonable frame rate. I am looking to get the upgrade now for under $500-$600.
post #4 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coolwine View Post

My two main goals would be to have my core programs (3ds max, autocad, rhino, adobe etc.) run faster and my render times to be shorter. I do game occasionally, call of duty and modern warfare and I like to see the details with a reasonable frame rate. I am looking to get the upgrade now for under $500-$600.

Pick up a FX-8350 (I use that cpu and it renders ridiculously fast for it's 180 price on amazon, easily out pacing anything near it's price range) and also a AMD 7950.

Those two after tax will put you right where you wanted to be budget wise and would be a huge upgrade overall.

I went from an 8120 to an 8350 and my workstation tasks (rendering, encoding, etc) took a lot less time to complete. And that's just going from a 8 core to a faster 8 core, you would be going from an 'ok' 6 core to the best AMD has to currently offer.

If you had to choose one though, a 6950 is still plenty powerful for your system and light gaming, so if you want to save I highly, highly advised swapping out the cpu first to an 8350.
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post #5 of 31
Imo, Get an FX 8350, It'll help drop render times, And I don't remember if autocad uses gpu acceleration, So i'll just say 6970/7870
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post #6 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coolwine View Post

My two main goals would be to have my core programs (3ds max, autocad, rhino, adobe etc.) run faster and my render times to be shorter. I do game occasionally, call of duty and modern warfare and I like to see the details with a reasonable frame rate. I am looking to get the upgrade now for under $500-$600.
rendering with those apps I'd say get yourself a 3770k and a z77 motherboard since it is under $600. you can use the ram you have now and GPU since it is just (light gaming). Those rendering apps will benefit MORE from that upgrade than a gtx 670 and current CPU. Those apps are heavily CPU dependent but sometimes use the GPU to accelerate but most workloads come from the CPU. I know some of those use OPEN CL, and I know those cards have them.
Edited by junkerde - 1/13/13 at 8:58pm
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post #7 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by junkerde View Post

rendering with those apps I'd say get yourself a 3770k and a z77 motherboard since it is under $600. you can use the ram you have now and GPU since it is just (light gaming). Those rendering apps will benefit MORE from that upgrade than a gtx 670 and current CPU. Those apps are heavily CPU dependent but sometimes use the GPU to accelerate but most workloads come from the CPU. I know some of those use OPEN CL, and I know those cards have them.

No point in swapping out a perfectly good motherboard for just a cpu upgrade on a dead socket when he can get a 8350 for $180 and be on equal ground with an i7 (some areas better, some areas worse of course) AND get a much much better gpu for the same cost of the swap.
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post #8 of 31
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Originally Posted by SoloCamo View Post

No point in swapping out a perfectly good motherboard for just a cpu upgrade on a dead socket when he can get a 8350 for $180 and be on equal ground with an i7 (some areas better, some areas worse of course) AND get a much much better gpu for the same cost of the swap.
A "dead socket" that will still perform better than the FX 8350 in renders, the 6950 is perfectly fine for "light gaming". The rendering is his main thing, that will be better with the 3770k. If he said "extreme gaming" then yes I would've said what you said, but rendering stuff from 3ds max/adobe etc., the 3770k will benefit more and hes willing to pay the amount.
I know people will go against this but he did state $500-$600 and he is WILLING to spend that amount it's only plausible. But if you did have a lower budget then I would've said go for the fx 8350 upgrade instead. And not trying to bash but I haven't seen any benchmarks in his applications he is using that would be better with the 8350. It's either ON PAR or LOWER than the 3770k for the stuff I've seen, but for the programs he is using that's not the case.
Edited by junkerde - 1/13/13 at 8:59pm
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post #9 of 31
Are you a student or is this for professional use where there is a higher importance of time = money?



Without knowing the answer to the above question I would say with that budget I'd aim for a 8350 (overclock it to 4.5ish ghz if you're able, I'm not sure what kind of cooler you have) and get a GTX 670 2gb to assist with any CUDA aware applications you have. Try to recoup some costs by selling the 6950 and if you need a 2nd card to drive the extra monitors just find a budget nvidia card for that purpose. My main reasoning is just the upfront cost.


If you're a professional than I would say go for the Intel side upgrade as from a quick search of benchmarks some of the leads that the Intel 3770k has on the 8350 would lead to faster renders with the software suites you listed.

As for the gaming side, don't take it into equation in your scenerio. So long as you upgrade on either cpu or gpu you'll be fine on the framerates (so long as you're currently fine on the framerates).
Edited by iamwardicus - 1/13/13 at 9:01pm
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post #10 of 31
Thread Starter 
I graduated and am doing some computer rendering to get my foot in the door at businesses before grad school. My goal is to have a rig that will last me a few years so I can do work on the side and get done with school before having to do any serious upgrades.
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