My future upgrades to my PC.

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Vitalius
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Joined: 03/23/2012
Posts: 53

I wanted to run my plans on upgrading my PC by people who basically know a lot about them. Obviously this is a good place for that.

My Current Build (which I believe is posted elsewhere as well) that I intend to upgrade:

AMD Phenom II X4 B60 Processor OC'd from 3.3GHz to 3.5GHz (sometimes to 3.7)(Note: This is Core Unlocked from X2 to X4 as I purchased it as an X2)
8 (4x2) GB of Kingston Hyper Blue X RAM (1333)
Radeon 6870 HD Factory OC'd with 1 GB of VRAM(Note: This has bad VRAM forcing me to Underclock it to normal 6870 settings)
WD Caviar Black 1TB HDD (Note: This Drive was purchased 6 months ago and is deteriorating fast, SMART reports over 90 pending sectors among other bad things)

Those are the things I will be upgrading from.

I have a Hitachi 1 TB drive that is serving me well that I bought at around the same time as the WD Caviar Black. I'm not a fan of WD right now. I'm backing up my data every few days to prepare for the WD's death.

My intended future build:

AMD FX-6100 Zambezi 6 core 3.3GHz Socket AM3+ 95W Processor
16 (4x4) GB of Kingston HyperX RAM (1866)
SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition OC 2GB
SanDisk 128GB SATA III SSD (Note: For Booting+often used programs)
Along with another 1TB drive for storage to replace the WD when it finally dies though I'm uncertain which brand to buy.

The questions I have I guess are these:
Do any of you know of better options both performance and price-wise to upgrading my system? As in, am I picking products that have better alternatives? If so, what would you suggest?

Do you guys know of any issues with the upgrades I am going to make? Like, problems with the products themselves (a good example being how Seagate 1TB HDD's with 7200.11 have a firmware problem atm).

Anything else you guys might think of to consider?

My Motherboard is more than prepared for this build as it was recently upgraded by me as well, so I know it can handle all of the above.

Prophet4NO1
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Joined: 09/13/2010
Posts: 196

I would ignore the entire FX line myself. Find an 1100t or 1090t. Both are faster than the 8150 for gaming. The FX series is luke warm at best. The new Pile Driver chips hitting soon are only a little faster. They about as fast as Intel Sandy Bridge but SB is better priced in some cases and the "new" Ivy Bridge is faster yet. And we have Haswell next spring. It's not looking so good for AMD. It's not good when your old chips are faster than the new ones.

On the card side, the 7870 is alright but, AMD has driver issues. A trip onto the BF3 forums will give you an idea of the problem. Plus, for the same money the new GTX 660 is a bit faster and has Physx support. In the handful of games that support Physx, it makes a huge difference.

Half way into this video is a side by side of Physx on and off.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=trq6B4anzjM

Another

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0xRJt8rcmY

And Boarderlands 2 with Physx on and off. MAJOR difference.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZFRLpz5mYk

Not every game uses it, by why miss out on the sick effects and in some cases whole parts of the environment if you do not have too.

Vitalius
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Joined: 03/23/2012
Posts: 53

Thank you for the recommendations and information.

Those videos swayed me on the whole Nvidia VS AMD debate, PhysX is worth it to me just from the Borderlands 2 thing.

Would you suggest getting the ti version of the GTX660? I see it has more memory modules and whatnot, basically more of everything but raw speed (GHz) and whatnot. I have a 750w PSU so I'm not worried on power though, one day, I'd like to try 2 GPU's.

This is the card I'm now looking at: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127696

As for the CPU, I know you said "find an 1100t or 1090t" but as you likely know, they are discontinued and I would prefer to buy all of my products from Newegg. Of those, there aren't any with 5 or more cores that isn't in the FX line. There is the AMD FX-6200 Zambezi 3.8GHz (OCable to 4.1GHz at least). Which is 0.1 GHz higher than the 1100t. However, I also read in a review of it that the per-core performance for the FX series is not good at all (Borderlands 2 being bottlenecked as it only uses 2 cores).

Said CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819106010

This PC is particularly for Gaming though and it will be doing a lot of Visual Design later on (in 1-2 years). So gaming is what I'm focusing on right now.

Can you recommend a site with 1100t's or some other equivalent selection that I can trust as I do Newegg? The only site AMD says sells them right now is some place called Mwave (link to page): http://www.mwave.com/mwave/skusearch_v3.asp?scriteria=BA47567

Obviously I can't go Intel since that'd require I'd replace my motherboard which I'm not going to do.

Thanks again for the advice :D.

Prophet4NO1
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Joined: 09/13/2010
Posts: 196

In all honesty, an i3 would be better for gaming. Take a look at this.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-review-overclock,3106-5.html

That char shows CPU's and how they stack up in gaming performance as a whole. As you can see the current FX chips are not so hot. Only exception being the 4170, the factory OC version of the 4100. But even then an i3 is faster because single thread performance is SO much better.

All that being said, I would still say find an 1100t. Where do you live? Since the 1100t goes for over $200, around $250-300 in some cases. The company I work for has i5 3570K for $189 and a really nice Asrock Extreme 4 for $85 when purchased with the i5. That is about the same kind of money as just the 1100t. If we have a store near you, that would be a killer alternate option.

Vitalius
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Joined: 03/23/2012
Posts: 53

I live in Waco, Texas. I checked Microcenter's website and the nearest store is in Dallas' Metroplex which is ~2 hours away. Not that bad for Texas considering travel times (It's a lot of open space here since we are so large as a state). I may stop by one day particularly for that deal.

I also checked out the Asrock Extreme 4, it looks legit, as good if not better than my current Motherboard. I'm pretty likely to change them out.

Is this the Asrock Extreme 4 you mean: http://www.microcenter.com/product/387554/Z77_Extreme4_LGA_1155_Z77_ATX_Intel_Motherboard ?

Good job as a sales rep, Getting me to want to buy your stuff and all.

Edit: After surfing the MicroCenter site for a while, I've found most of the things I intended to buy (the SSD, RAM, etc) Are either equal to or cheaper than Newegg. That minus shipping since I can drive there means it's cheaper, for me at least, to buy from you guys.

Prophet4NO1
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Joined: 09/13/2010
Posts: 196

Sweet! I wont get anything from it, I work in the Minnesota store. But the deals are legit. Most builds I have done end up about $100 less then Newegg. Not always, but it usually is. Even if a couple parts cost a few bucks more, the whole package is less.

Prophet4NO1
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Joined: 09/13/2010
Posts: 196

Oh, and that is the mobo I was talking about. It's a great mobo for most people. Only reason to get a more expensive one is for high end OC or for some extra toys. But, $85 after combo is killer for that board.

Vitalius
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Joined: 03/23/2012
Posts: 53

Yep, thanks again :D. If there was some way to say "this is the employee who got you all this business, reward him" I would.

Oh well. Time to get the money to buy everything :D