1. #1

    Upgrading GPU/CPU

    Hey guys,

    I'm trying to figure out some upgrades for my 3 year old Desktop in preparation for Witcher 3's release next month. Trying to stay within $300-400 budget. Here are my current specs:

    HP Z600 Mobo/Tower w/ 650 W PSU
    CPU: Intel Xeon E5607 @2.27GHz
    RAM: 12 GB (3x 4gb)
    GPU: Radeon HD 6850
    SSD: 223 GB
    HD: 232 GB w/ 2x 3TB Externals
    Display: 2x 24 inch monitors (PL2410W, BenQ G2400W)
    OS: Windows 8.1

    After talking with friends and family who are more experienced with upgrading than I am, there are several suggestions that people have made.

    Suggested GPU upgrades to a STRIX 960 or a 970

    Suggested CPU upgrades to a Xeon W3580 (3.33Ghz) or Xeon X5687 (3.6 Ghz)

    My biggest concern is that I've never switched out a CPU before, and my cousin isn't %100 certain that either of those CPU's will work with my workstation's motherboard.

    I'd appreciate any recommendations and/or suggestions.

    - - - Updated - - -

    A nice side note is that the 960, 970, 980 cards all get you witcher 3 for free, so that bumps $60 off their price for me.

  2. #2
    don't forget the xeon w3570, it is the 3.2ghz edition and can be had often for much cheaper than the top shelf w3580, they are both unlocked multipliers. I nabbed one for 90 bucks brand new off ebay but that was lucky. All said and done though compared to new stuff you are going to be paying a lot for either of them for what you get, only points in favour are not having to buy a new MB.

    oh and when considering those other xeons with funny names like the x5687 that don't really have a normal counterpart, make sure they appear on your MBs comparability list
    Last edited by Afrospinach; 2015-04-16 at 07:51 AM.

  3. #3
    upgrading your cpu for your socket 1366 mainboard is an issue and i dont recommend it at all. a xeon X5687 like you say for example goes for over 1400€... (also an i7 920 goes for over 350€ nowadays, not worth it at all).
    you usually just dont "upgrade" the cpu on an outdated socket - costs way more in comparison to new components and while i cant prove it id say on your OEM motherboard you will run into issues, just believe me. and in the end the performance increase is marginal.

    the best thing in terms of your cpu is to overclock it. ...but then i doubt / not sure if your HP motherboard even has oc features in its BIOS. your standard core clock of 2.27 ghz is on the low side, but if you'd be able to oc it to lets say at least 3200mhz+ it wont bottleneck your gpu. so take a look at into your BIOS about oc features.
    i also dont recommend to switch out your motherboard for a quality one with oc features. its against cost / reward as well.

    so in the end its better to invest into the current technology and go for a budget built!

    the biggest performance increase you will notice comes with a new gpu. in terms of the witcher 3 (what gfx settings should it run at for you?) a gtx960 is on the low end side as well. you wont be able to turn up the gfx a whole lot for playable fps. a gtx970 would be better there.

  4. #4
    Thanks for the input guys.

    Chintz, Sadly my rig can't overlock the CPU I wouldn't be buying a X5687 brand new, i'd be getting one on Ebay for around $100-130.

    I'd love to be able to get a 970, but being in med school, getting that extra $100 is a stretch.

    Afrospinach, Do you think there would be much of a difference between that 3.2ghz CPU you mentioned vs the 3.6ghz X5687?

    Regarding the comparability list, it doesn't look like it's been updated in a while, and that's one of the main reasons i'm worried about upgrading the CPU. Multiple people have reommended getting a used X5687 off ebay, but none of them seem to be absolutely, completely sure that it will work.

    --Here is the link to the X5687 : http://www.ebay.com/itm/3-6-GHz-Quad...item1e9b3b8cfe
    Last edited by mathezar; 2015-04-16 at 08:26 AM. Reason: Additional info

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by mathezar View Post
    Afrospinach, Do you think there would be much of a difference between that 3.2ghz CPU you mentioned vs the 3.6ghz X5687?
    Small enough that it will not be the break point between running well and running poorly.

    the x5687 is a chopped down 32nm hexacore with fully enabled cache(which is kind of cool, have not seen this one before), because it is a bit of an odd configuration and because the 5000 series are a couple of years newer than the 3000 I would say that the chances of it not working are increased. The w3580 is a far more ubiquitous chip( I just had a quick squiz on ebay, seems they are on parity or cheaper than the 3570) and is basically an i7 975. Sucks to give up those MHZ but imo it is a safer bet and really you are not losing much at all.

    I was just looking at the comparability list from HP, are you sure the 3580 will work? Seems to only list a very sparse selection of CPUs, where did you come up with these recommendations? have you heard of someone actually trying a 3580 in this system? These xeons can be a real minefield.

  6. #6
    The recommendations were from guild members who work in the tech industry. I've looked at that compatability list and I agree that it is extremely sparse. My cousin contacted his HP rep and they made it sound like the list may or may not have been updated recently, since the z600 mobo isn't their focus anymore.

    That really is the whole crux of why I wanted to post here, trying to figure out if these different CPUs would work on this mobo or not.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Another option would be to get this CPU: Intel® Xeon® Processor X5672 4C 3.20 GHz, 95W, 12M cache, 6.40GT/s QPI, DDR3 1333MHz, HT, Turbo
    Which is actually on the compatibility list for the Z600, and that might give me enough room in my budget to get a GTX 970 over the 960.

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