1. #1

    Best way to upgrade my current PC.

    Hey,

    I'm looking for some advice on the best way to spend £300 to upgrade my current PC. I really only use my PC for MMO's and sometimes Heroes of Might and Magic/RPG's.

    My current rig is;

    CPU: AMD Phenom(tm) 8750B Triple-Core Processor, MMX, 3DNow (3 CPUs), ~2.4GHz
    RAM: 2048MB RAM
    GPU: ATI Radeon HD 4650
    PSU: 500Watt (Unbranded)
    Motherboard: Sapphire PURE Element PE-AM2RS740G2
    HDD: 300GB
    Resolution: 1280x1040

    I also have a ATI 4850 512MB GPU, though it's not currently in use since the PS doesn't seem to have the 6pin connector for it.

    With my budget been abit limited I'm not sure what to go for since I know I'll need a new motherboard, CPU, RAM and PSU.

    I've been tossing up between getting an AMD Phenom X4 955 and an i3 2100, since those coupled with MB, RAM and PSU and a new monitor fit within £300 nicely.

    I've been thinking about picking up one of these monitors (Benq 1366x768res), since I'm sick of my none widescreen. Which leaves me with £230 to play with.

    Now I can get;

    Phenom X4 955 + AM3+ board, 4GB RAM, and an Antec 550watt PSU for £193

    or

    i3 2100 + H61 board, 4GB RAM and Antec 550Watt PSU for £200 (I can replace the H61 with a Z68 board, and then it comes in a £230.)

    I tired to put an i5 2400 in place of the i3 2100, but it puts me over budget.

    Another option is to just sit and wait out until Scan.co.uk has a Today Only Deal which bundles what I need. They do them often enough to warrent it been a decent option.

    Reason I want to upgrade is because I want to be able to play SWToR and GW2, on decent settings. I'm currently playing SWtoR beta with everything on low except textures on medium, and my FPS ranges from 20-70 depending on where I am. I'm hoping one of these upgrade could allow me to play it near max?

    Min specs for SWToR are here for reference: http://www.swtor.com/info/faq#171060

    Thanks.
    Last edited by Pyre Fierceshot; 2011-11-23 at 12:39 AM.

  2. #2
    Bloodsail Admiral lockblock's Avatar
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    Assuming your current psu isn't failing just get a 6pin pci express adapter and reuse it and get a better cpu now
    Current Computers: Gaming Rig, HTPC
    Future Builds: Pfsense Firewall

  3. #3
    I am Murloc! Xuvial's Avatar
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    i3 2100 + H61 board, 4GB RAM and Antec 550Watt PSU for £200
    This looks like a good route to take, i3 2100 is pretty beastly for gaming purposes (obviously not i5 2500K material) but for the price it's unbeatable. Using a 4650 while you have a 4850 lying around is really bad, the performance difference between those cards is HUGE - so use the 4850 with an i3 2100 (and Antec 500w) and you should see a noticeable improvement!

    Keep an eye out for any deals on a GTX560 Ti. The Antec 550w should easily power it and you'll have a very balanced gaming setup with i3 2100 + GTX560 Ti, enough to push through all MMO's and even stuff like BF3/Crysis.
    Last edited by Xuvial; 2011-11-23 at 01:32 AM.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Xuvial View Post
    This looks like a good route to take, i3 2100 is pretty beastly for gaming purposes (obviously not i5 2500K material) but for the price it's unbeatable. Using a 4650 while you have a 4850 lying around is really bad, the performance difference between those cards is HUGE - so use the 4850 with an i3 2100 (and Antec 500w) and you should see a noticeable improvement!

    Keep an eye out for any deals on a GTX560 Ti. The Antec 550w should easily power it and you'll have a very balanced gaming setup with i3 2100 + GTX560 Ti, enough to push through all MMO's and even stuff like BF3/Crysis.
    Thanks for the reply, I think I'll go with the Intel route for a good upgrade path aswell since the next set of CPUs should use the same socket.

    I'll try fit a Z68 board in I think instead of the H61 aswell. Shame that Z68 never gets bundled with an i3 2100 on the today only deals.

    Does the hyperthreading on the i3 2100 get used while gaming by the way? since on alot of benchmarks I've seen that the i3 even beats out AMDs X6, but they never mention much about the extra threads the i3 has.

    Also is a 5450 better than a 4850? Since I have one of those too.
    Last edited by Pyre Fierceshot; 2011-11-23 at 01:58 AM.

  5. #5
    I am Murloc! Xuvial's Avatar
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    5450 can hardly even be called a graphics card, 4850 will still be leagues better. Although the 5450 will support DX11...but it's just so damn weak you'll never put it to any use.

    The reason you don't see Z68 boards with i3 2100's is because Z68 are higher-level boards aimed at overclocking and providing additional features, while the i3 2100 is a more budget-oriented CPU that cannot be overclocked and hence would be pointless sitting on a Z68 board. While it would allow you to expand to an i5/i7 later, you still look a little tight on budget so yeah...nothing stopping you though :P but do confirm with us with exactly which board you're going with.

    I don't know whether GW2/ToR make use of HT. I don't think they do, like 95% of games don't. But the per-core processing capability of the i3 is still awesome - the hyperthreading power is there in case you decide to convert videos or do aftereffects or something :P

  6. #6
    This is the Z68 board I can fit in my budget, http://www.scan.co.uk/products/gigab...e-20-(x16)-atx

    Which I guess would be better option incase in the future I got a unlocked CPU.

    With i3, Z68, 4GB RAM, PSU and monitor I'd be pretty much bang on budget. Thank god I get free delivery from Scan.

    All that with a 4850 would fair well at 1366x768? Or should I stick to the old monitor?

  7. #7
    I am Murloc! Xuvial's Avatar
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    Good board

    You're only running at 1366x768? HD4850 should do the job then, see for yourself since you already own it :P

  8. #8
    Scarab Lord
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    The i3 route looks sound mate, and as mentioned go with the HD4850. At a lower resolution like 1366x768 the HD4850 should be able to run at Ultra with 35+FPS. Something for you to think over:

    The i3 2100 coupled with an H67 motherboard will give you Ivybridge support after a BIOS update.
    The i3 2100 coupled with a P67/Z68 motherboard will give you i5 /i7 support and Ivybridge support after a BIOS update.

    This info is all AFAIK so there is the possibility that I am incorrect and mixed up my information but I've been pretty good up until now.

  9. #9
    Thanks for the advice.

    Scan put up a deal for me which is an i3 2100, Asus Z68 board and 8GB RAM for £200.

    But I need a decent PSU to go with it. What wattage should I look for to run this build? I need to keep costs low is the only problem.

    With the monitor + bundle it comes to just under £268.

    Is this PSU decent enough do you guys think? It's the cheapest on I could find that is rated 80%+.
    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/550w-...al-rail-atx-22

    Or
    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/650w-...et-fan-atx-v23
    it's £41 on Today only deals, but i can't find any review on it.

  10. #10
    I am Murloc! Xuvial's Avatar
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    Eww, never heard of either of those brands. It's not the "80%+" stamp as much as it's brand that's important when it comes to PSU's.

    Grab this: http://www.scan.co.uk/products/500w-...et-fan-atx-v23

  11. #11

  12. #12
    Ok, I did look at that one aswell.

    But also found these two.

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/530w-...et-fan-atx-v23

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/550w-...active-pfc-psu

    Reviews I found say they're good and they're made by decent company's.

  13. #13
    I am Murloc! Xuvial's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pyre Fierceshot View Post
    Ok, I did look at that one aswell.

    But also found these two.

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/530w-...et-fan-atx-v23

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/550w-...active-pfc-psu

    Reviews I found say they're good and they're made by decent company's.
    Yes BeQuiet and Antec are both great, grab either.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Xuvial View Post
    Yes BeQuiet and Antec are both great, grab either.
    Sure, thanks for the help.

    I've also decided to not get a new monitor yet, so should be able to crank up to an i5 2400/500 depending on the deals that go up when I get paid.

    Another question though does RAM voltage matter like 1.65v or 1.5v since the 1.5v RAM is like £10 more for a kit.

  15. #15
    I am Murloc! Mif's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pyre Fierceshot View Post
    But also found these two.

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/530w-...et-fan-atx-v23

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/550w-...active-pfc-psu

    Reviews I found say they're good and they're made by decent company's.
    Get the Antec, it has dual 30 amp rails. The BQ only has dual 22 amp rails.

    1.5v ram is newer ram, usually designed for Sandy Bridge.
    The memory controller is rated at 1.1v +/- 0.5v, too much more and you risk CPU damage in the long term.
    That said, 1.65v is fine to run (albeit on the limit), but 1.5v is better.

    Also, Sandy Bridge favors MHZ over timings.
    Last edited by Mif; 2011-11-24 at 12:57 AM.

  16. #16
    1366x768 is a lower resolution than 1280x1024.
    If you are going to buy a widescreen, go with FullHD.
    Keep in mind that the 4850 won't be enough for normal gaming at 1920x1080.
    Last edited by haxartus; 2011-11-24 at 01:35 AM.

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