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Upgrade Suggestions!

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Hey all! So I'm in exactly the same position as Fball922: I have a little bit of money ($250) and am, exactly as he put it, "getting that itch to upgrade" something.

At the moment, I can only afford that $250, but I'm looking to start with components that will be the best/biggest performance-to-cost booster (I think) and then add things of gradually lesser importance throughout the year. I am mostly just a gamer---I don't do any intense coding/editing or anything.

Here are some components that have been tugging at my "I WANT" strings:

ATI Radeon HD 6950 (would like to go for an unlocked version then crossfire next year or something when prices are down.) EDIT*** I can get a HIS 6950 (2GB) for $258 at Newegg atm...does that kinda seem like a decent price for this card? Ha I really wouldn't mind getting one used though---the lower the better!

Motherboard Upgrade (I have no clue which one to upgrade to, but I know I'll be getting an X6 sometime soon---not a Bulldozer. Also, I'm planning to sell my 1066 G.Skills when I get a DDR3 capable board because I can basically upgrade to 1600 DDR3 with the price my 1066 RAM will go for.)

Corsair C300 SSD (I am not too familiar with SSD's, but I do know they offer a big step up in boot time and application loading.)

CM90 II Advanced Case (Although it isn't top of the line, it would suit my purposes I think.)

Any suggestions, ideas, miracles, deals, etc?

Thanks in advance!
Edited by TheScarecrow - 3/14/11 at 1:05pm
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post #2 of 23
Well you got a quad, if you're gaming, just get the 6950. You'll see the most gain from that.
post #3 of 23
Since you currently have a 4870 and are a gamer, I would go for a video card upgrade first. I haven't been keeping up-to-date with ATI video cards so I'm of little help here.

An SSD would give you a significant and noticeable boost as well, but this would be more all-around performance - quicker boot times, faster game loading times, snappier feeling overall. You should be able to get a 128GB C300 for $250 (with cash to spare) and just put the games you play most frequently on the SSD. I would also hold off for a couple of weeks if you want to get an SSD though since the C400 and Sandforce 2200 drives are about to drop and prices of 2nd gen drives ought to fall.
    
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post #4 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheScarecrow View Post
Hey all! So I'm in exactly the same position as Fball922: I have a little bit of money ($250) and am, exactly as he put it, "getting that itch to upgrade" something.

At the moment, I can only afford that $250, but I'm looking to start with components that will be the best/biggest performance-to-cost booster (I think) and then add things of gradually lesser importance throughout the year. I am mostly just a gamer---I don't do any intense coding/editing or anything.

Here are some components that have been tugging at my "I WANT" strings:

ATI Radeon HD 6950 (would like to go for an unlocked version then crossfire next year or something when prices are down.) EDIT*** I can get a HIS 6950 (2GB) for $258 at Newegg atm...does that kinda seem like a decent price for this card? Ha I really wouldn't mind getting one used though---the lower the better!

Motherboard Upgrade (I have no clue which one to upgrade to, but I know I'll be getting an X6 sometime soon---not a Bulldozer. Also, I'm planning to sell my 1066 G.Skills when I get a DDR3 capable board because I can basically upgrade to 1600 DDR3 with the price my 1066 RAM will go for.)

Corsair C300 SSD (I am not too familiar with SSD's, but I do know they offer a big step up in boot time and application loading.)

CM90 II Advanced Case (Although it isn't top of the line, it would suit my purposes I think.)

Any suggestions, ideas, miracles, deals, etc?

Thanks in advance!
that HIS HD6950 2gb will be the best upgrae,u'll see noticable performence boost in games
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post #5 of 23
Are you sold on Ati? You can also consider a 560 here for only $240

However like others have said, an SSD will give you a great "feel" of a fast computer. I LOVE my C300, its great having programs open right as you release the mouse button....
post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 
Wow, thanks for the quick and great responses guys.

Quote:
Well you got a quad, if you're gaming, just get the 6950.
I do! Ha I love my transformed X3. Ya that seems to be the consensus---though Tats has a great point: I haven't even looked at NVIDIA cards.

Quote:
Are you sold on Ati? You can also consider a 560 here for only $240
No I'm definitely not stuck on ati, but unfortunately I don't know anything about Nvidia cards (never owned one)---so I don't know what model card is what. Meaning, I have no clue (unless I look it up) what the performance difference is between a 460 and 560 or how they compare to ATI performance lol.

Quote:
I would also hold off for a couple of weeks if you want to get an SSD though since the C400 and Sandforce 2200 drives are about to drop and prices of 2nd gen drives ought to fall.
Most definitely. Ya I suppose I'm in no hurry to grab something, so I would definitely wait for price drops---this one in particular if I chose to go for an SSD. Thanks for the info about this though; I didn't know C400s were coming out!
Edited by TheScarecrow - 3/14/11 at 1:45pm
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post #7 of 23
Here is the bench at Anand - not the holy grail of accuracy but shows the 560 and the 6950 trading blows.
post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 
Looking at the benchmarks, these two cards are basically the same with a difference of 10 fps or so. Of course NVIDIA runs cooler and has better drivers...but would the 6970 unlock and the extra 1GB of memory be worth the extra $20? At the moment, I play at 1920x1080...not sure that I would utilize the full 2GB...but I probs won't be buying another gpu for awhile---except to Crossfire---so that 2GB might be good future proofing.
Edited by TheScarecrow - 3/14/11 at 1:51pm
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post #9 of 23
I opted for the 6950 1GB version for several reasons. The 2GB version is 11.3" long and would not fit in my case, mine is just over 10", it also does not give any benefit over the 1GB version unless using eyefinity or really high resolutions. At 1080 they are the same. The 6950 I bought has dual 80mm fans so it will run cooler and quieter than the reference 2GB version. I have read to many horror stories about bricking a 6950 from a bad flash.

But to answer your question.. upgrade the video card.. it will be the best bang for the buck in terms of increased performance.
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post #10 of 23
If you are only going 1920 then the 2GB won't really make a difference. I used to have 2 460's on a 1920 and had great FPS.

There was a great post here about the benefits of unlocking to 6970.

But if you are considering going to a bigger monitor then the 2GB is worth considering.
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