1. #1

    How small of an upgrade can I get to meet my goal?

    My goal: upgrade my computer such that I don't drop below 30fps doing 25 man raids

    Right now, I get between 15~25 fps during most fights. The graphics settings don't seem to impact my framerate very much so I'm thinking my system is cpu-bound.

    My computer
    AMD Athlon II X3 445
    GeForce GTX 460 768MB
    ASUS M4A785-M Motherboard
    4GB DDR2 800 (clocked at 333, I get instability running it at 400)

    My system seems to be limited by its CPU right now, but I don't have many upgrade choices for that seeing as I can only use a Socket AM3 processor. The only one I'm seeing that's better than mine on Newegg is an AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition for $99. Assuming I don't mind the dead-end upgrade, would that do it?

    Assuming that's not powerful enough, what about an upgrade of the mobo/ram/cpu? I know Intel processors tend to give better performance in WoW, would a cheap ~150 chip like the Intel Core i3-3240 get me where I needed to be (or for that matter, an AMD of similar price)?

    Or is it that my old GPU just won't handle the load with any chip and I'm looking at tossing most everything except my storage?

  2. #2
    I personally do not have any exp with the 965 but from what ive read/heard it would do you wonders over your current cpu. I don't think I would make the change to intel at this particular moment in your case.

  3. #3
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  4. #4
    Your gpu will still be okay for a while. RAM, CPU and motherboard should be upgraded. The i3 is a good gaming chip. Combine it with a decent H77 MB and 8GB RAM and you should be all set for 3 more years of gaming (might have to do a small gpu upgrade in a year or so).

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by demonskies View Post
    Running 1 8GB memory stick is a bad idea, you want 2 sticks for dual channel.
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  6. #6
    Oh shit I thought I clicked on the 2 sticks, Was throwing that together in about 30 seconds was rushed to go demolish a printer at work lol.

    Updated Link lol http://pcpartpicker.com/p/hVsx
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  7. #7
    So, the CPU upgrade alone most certainly won't meet my goal? I'm not interested in playing 3D games other than WoW. The last game I bought was VVVVVV. It's just hard to imagine that the Intel setup is going to be two and a half times better to justify the much increased cost.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by adenosine View Post
    So, the CPU upgrade alone most certainly won't meet my goal? I'm not interested in playing 3D games other than WoW. The last game I bought was VVVVVV. It's just hard to imagine that the Intel setup is going to be two and a half times better to justify the much increased cost.
    I used to run a Phenom II x4 965 and it works fine for 10man and just general gameplay in WoW, did get some rather frustrating FPS drops doing Dragon Soul LFR though.
    Intel i5-3570K @ 4.7GHz | MSI Z77 Mpower | Noctua NH-D14 | Corsair Vengeance LP White 1.35V 8GB 1600MHz
    Gigabyte GTX 670 OC Windforce 3X @ 1372/7604MHz | Corsair Force GT 120GB | Silverstone Fortress FT02 | Corsair VX450

  9. #9
    Legendary! Evil Inside's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adenosine View Post
    So, the CPU upgrade alone most certainly won't meet my goal? I'm not interested in playing 3D games other than WoW. The last game I bought was VVVVVV. It's just hard to imagine that the Intel setup is going to be two and a half times better to justify the much increased cost.
    Considering your cpu is about 3 generations old, it's not that hard to imagine.
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  10. #10
    Moderator chazus's Avatar
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    It might be worthwhile to get a Z77 board (for about the same price, if you go the intel route), just so that if you decide to spend more on a CPU down the road, you're already set on the board.

    The 460 ought to be fine. I upgraded from it just a couple months ago, and I was perfectly happy with it. It was just time for a full system upgrade, and I could afford better, but it certainly did the job.

  11. #11
    Herald of the Titans shroudster's Avatar
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    get the phenom 965 and start saving for a new rig/mobo+cpu swap for the next period of time? (the phenom should last you long enough to have games playable for +-2 years on reasonable settings)
    else the +- $250 mobo/cpu/ram suggested by demonskies should work just fine.

  12. #12
    Bloodsail Admiral Biernot's Avatar
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    Yes, the Phenom 965 is probably the best option here.

    But look for a BIOS update first. There are some of the Asus M4Axxx boards, that can be flashed to accommodate AM3+ cpus like e.g. a FX-4300 (which would be about as powerful as the mentioned i3-3220)

    EDIT:
    Scratch that last one. According to http://support.asus.com/Cpusupport/L...785-M&p=1&s=24 this board can't support AM3+, even with a new BIOS.

    But do a BIOS update nonetheless.

  13. #13
    Moderator chazus's Avatar
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    Long and short of it.

    1) You can get a Phenom 965, with a marginal upgrade for $100. You will need to do a full cpu/mobo upgrade again in the next year or two. If not sooner. People are uprading OUT of this solution... last year. Going into it now, to me, seems like a poor fiscal choice.
    2) You can save another $150, and get the i3, board, and ram. Which is a better than the Phenom. Which ALSO gives a path to upgrade later to an i5 if you feel like it. The i3 or i5 is what you'd be upgrading to soon regardless.

  14. #14
    Yes, the cpu only upgrade is a dead-end, but I'm far more worried about if the cpu only will meet my goal. I already know it's a marginal upgrade to a dead-end system. Has anybody actually raided 25s with that chip to know how well it performs? I was getting 9fps fighting Tsulong tonight. If I'm only going to be getting 20 after the upgrade, it's not worth it at all.

    There are some other costs besides the upgrade components with the bigger upgrade, mainly the fact I have an IDE hard drive and IDE optical drive that would need to be replaced and there is the issue of the licensing of Windows 7. I used an OEM edition to build this machine; the internet seems mixed on if I can reactivate it by calling MS and telling them my original motherboard broke, legality of doing that aside. A new hard drive, optical drive, and copy of windows quickly turns my $250 upgrade into a $400 upgrade.

  15. #15
    Brewmaster Majesticii's Avatar
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    How about some actual data huh guys:
    X3 440 vs Phenom 965
    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Produ...59.50.49.48.47
    X3 440 vs I3-2100 (couldn't make comparisson with ivy i3, no corralating data, ivy is about 10% faster).
    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Produ...62.50.49.48.47

    Upgrading to ivy i3 would be a 38% performance increase.
    Upgrading to 965 would be a 14% performance increase.

    I don't know, 14% seems kinda not worth it.
    Last edited by Majesticii; 2013-01-09 at 12:31 PM.

  16. #16
    Herald of the Titans shroudster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Majesticii View Post
    How about some actual data huh guys:
    X3 440 vs Phenom 965
    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Produ...59.50.49.48.47
    X3 440 vs I3-2100 (couldn't make comparisson with ivy i3, no corralating data, ivy is about 10% faster).
    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Produ...62.50.49.48.47

    Upgrading to ivy i3 would be a 38% performance increase.
    Upgrading to 965 would be a 14% performance increase.

    I don't know, 14% seems kinda not worth it.
    depends the 14% costs $99 , the 38% +- $400

  17. #17
    Brewmaster Majesticii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shroudster View Post
    depends the 14% costs $99 , the 38% +- $400
    Wat, $400 for a H77+i3-3220+8gbddr3? More like $300.

  18. #18
    Personally, I am looking at upgrading out of my x4 965 Black Edition with tax money later this month or next month. Not sure why anyone would want to upgrade into it at this point, it's getting pretty old.

    This is what I would do if at all possible:
    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($169.99 @ Microcenter)
    Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Pro3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($89.99 @ Amazon)
    Memory: Crucial Ballistix sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($34.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $294.97
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-09 09:50 EST-0500)

    Yeah, it's a lot more, but it's about as future proof as you can get. In a year or so you could upgrade the video card and add some better cooling then OC it and it will last for several years at least. If you upgrade to the 965, you'll be looking at building a completely new system in 1-2 years, probably close to what I just linked anyway.
    Last edited by Lathais; 2013-01-09 at 02:52 PM.
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