Topic Title: system overhaul
Topic Summary: which parts to upgrade
Created On: 10/21/2013 12:36 AM
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 10/21/2013 12:36 AM
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jmaverick101
Peon

Posts: 3
Joined: 09/19/2009

My system consist of cpu: phenom x4 955be.  video card: radeon 4890.  psu: 750.  All I can remember about my motherboard is its from MSI about the same time the 955 came out.  I have 4gigs of RAM, SSD (boot system), and 3 internal HDDs.  I previously built the rig for gaming but found I use it primarily for internet, storing family videos/pictures, and video/picture converting (handbrake and photoshop).My question: I buit this about 2yrs ago.  I'd like to make a more energy efficient machine (the 4890/955 are beasts), but don't want to give much in way of performance.  I thought of upgrading the motherboard since it isn't usb3 compatible and also because i am unable to use 2 slots of RAM on the motherboard (broken/blocked by cpu cooler).  Ive also been thinking of the cpu/gpu options but so far I can see much of advantage of upgarding the cpu.  The gpu is an option but i don't know if i'll make tangible gains vs. cost/performance/efficiency.Any recommendations anyone.

Edited: 10/21/2013 at 11:44 AM by jmaverick101
 10/21/2013 05:00 AM
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pclinkcomputers
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Joined: 04/25/2011

I'm not certain that spending potentially a few hundred bucks for the sole purpose of shaving some wattage off your system makes great financial sense.  Unless your system runs under load pretty much constantly, it would take quite awhile just to break even from whatever power savings you might see.

That being said, here are some thoughts:

In spite of its age, the Phenom II series still competes well with some of AMD's newer chips.  In fact, the more I look at the benchmarks, the more I'm sad that I got rid of my old 955-based rig.  It runs hot, but for single-threaded applications, it performs well.  Now for something like Handbrake or Photoshop on the other hand, you'd likely see a nice little boost with something like an FX-6350 or 4350.

If you really want to get serious about power consumption and efficiency, then what you want is an Intel chip.  Consider the i3-4130 with its 54 W TDP, compared to the 125 W TDP of the AMD chips.  You'd likely sacrifice some general productivity performance with the i3 over the FX models, but then the i3 might be a better gamer.

Last thing I'll say about CPU's: Although AMD is posting some impressive general productivity numbers with their FX chips these days, I still like Intel for their (generally speaking) vastly superior single-threaded performance.  If I were going to buy a new CPU tomorrow, I'd get an i5-3570k.

Thankfully, the situation is a little more black-and-white when it comes to your video card.  The 4890 was a great board back in the day.  I ran a single 4870 (and then later dual 4870's) for quite some time with good results.  But that was then.  If you're doing less gaming nowadays and want something that's energy efficient, I'd get a Radeon 7770.  If you're concerned that it might not provide quite enough graphics horesepower, then a 7850 would be a good compromise.

To summarize: if you're just really unhappy with the performance of your Phenom and are willing to spend the cash to upgrade your platform, cool.  I think the 6350 especially would serve you well.  Otherwise, stick with your Phenom just a little longer and wait for Steamroller.  In the meanwhile, double your RAM to 8 gigs (it's so cheap these days) and grab one of those video cards I mentioned.

Just my .02 - and I hope that helps.



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Gigabyte Z68X-UD3H | Core i5-2500K @ 4.6 w/Corsair H60 | 8 GB G.Skill DDR3-1600 | VisionTek Radeon 6950 2GB | WD VelociRaptor 74GB + WD Black 1TB | ASUS Xonar DX | Bose Companion 3 series | ASUS DVD-RW + Lite-On BD-ROM | Corsair Professional Gold AX850 | Antec Three Hundred | Windows 7 Home Premium x64 | 52" Samsung LCD HDTV @ 1920x1080...FTW

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 10/21/2013 11:50 AM
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jmaverick101
Peon

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Joined: 09/19/2009

Thanks for such a quick reply, definetly have to consider 7770.  Very good price for the card.  I must admit, I need to make my machine more efficient because when I use my desktop, laptop and tv at the same time in my bedroom I have tripped the breaker numerous times.
 10/21/2013 02:10 PM
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black_zion
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Joined: 04/17/2008

I would suggest looking at an APU setup. The A10 series packs quite a punch, enough for casual games and MMOs, and you could always get a HD 7870/270X later on if you want to be a heavy gamer.

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ASUS Sabertooth 990FX/Gen3 R2, FX-8350 w/ Corsair H60, 8 GiB G.SKILL RipjawsX DDR3-2133, XFX HD 7970 Ghz, 512GB Vertex 4, 256GB Vector, 240GB Agility 3, Creative X-Fi Titanium w/ Creative Gigaworks S750, SeaSonic X750, HP ZR2440w, Win 7 Ultimate x64
 10/30/2013 03:17 AM
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Simstim
Peon

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Joined: 10/28/2013

hey, you might want to ask an electrician about your room there with the breaker problem. Sounds sketchy to me. Do you live in an older house?

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