Upgrading from a 2010 System

mwkim

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Apr 13, 2013
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Approximate Purchase Date: This year (Sorry for the rather vague date but anytime this year is fine for me)

Budget Range: ~$1000

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, HD movies, compiling

Are you buying a monitor: No

Parts to Upgrade: Currently in mind: CPU, GPU, MOBO (but I am open to suggestions to more as I will be posting my current rig specs as well)

Do you need to buy OS: No

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: If I had to choose, Newegg, but wherever is cheaper.

Location: City, State/Region, Country - CA, USA

Parts Preferences: Only have experience with Intel and Nvidia, but I am open minded :)

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: No

Your Monitor Resolution: 1680x1050, 1920x1080 dual monitor.

Additional Comments: I am open to suggestions for upgrading other parts that I am not considering, so please suggest away~

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: It's been 3 years since my last mediocre upgrade and getting tired of playing on low/medium low on newer games :) Would like to spend some big bucks this time for an overhaul of the core components.

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CURRENT SYSTEM:

CPU: Intel Core i3-540 Clarkdale 3.06GHz LGA 1156 73W Dual-Core Desktop Processor

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666)

GPU: EVGA 01G-P3-1450-TR GeForce GTS 450 (Fermi) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5

PSU: OCZ ModXStream Pro 700W Modular High Performance Power Supply compatible with Intel Sandybridge Core i3 i5 i7 and AMD Phenom

MOBO: GIGABYTE GA-H55M-S2V LGA 1156 Intel H55 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

FANS: COOLER MASTER R4-S2S-124K-GP 120mm Case Fan 4 in 1 pack

HDD: SAMSUNG EcoGreen F4 ST2000DL004 2TB 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

(a very dusty) CASE: Cooler Master Elite 430 Black

CPU heatsink: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 "Heatpipe Direct Contact" Long Life Sleeve 120mm CPU Cooler Compatible with Intel 1366/1155/775 and AMD FM1/FM2/AM3+

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IN MY MIND:

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core

GPU: SAPPHIRE 100352-2L Radeon HD 7950 3GB 384-bit GDDR5
OR NVIDIA 660 ti
(for the 7950, there is a same card with an extra DVI port. I am thinking of picking up a $5 hdmi <-> dvi port on amazon. is this a valid choice?)

MOBO: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

TOTAL : ~$700 including s&h&tax

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Alright, so for the 'official' description on what I am looking for!

Avid gamer needing a desperate upgrade. I looked around for a bit looking for some new parts for CPU, GPU and MOBO, which are listed above.

I went back to my 2010 order history on Newegg and took a while to create the list for my current system in hopes that more knowledgeable folks out there can recommend me new parts if I should get any.

Other than the 3 I listed above, I am considering getting a SSD, more RAM, speaker system, and a sound card. These would only be possible if they fit my budget.

Since I have about $300 of leeway, suggest away, and thanks for reading!

 

USAFRet

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Drop the sound card. Onboard is generally good enough.
Get the SSD. Trust me on this.
 

Gammyduck

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Apr 11, 2013
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Sound cards have a noticable difference on very high end sound systems such as the z-5500/z906. Creative Sounblaster Z is probably the best system at the moment. However, when using a headset, or a normal set of speakers, there will be virtually no difference.

If the case is really dusty, don't be afraid to steep it in a bath with soapy warm water, and leave it to completely dry in a warm press.

I would opt for the 7950, and your selected CPU, but get the MSI Z77A-G45. Its a very good motherboard for it's price.

Get the OCZ Vector 256GB SSD, it is a very good hard disk.

I wouldn't bother with more RAM unless you are using a lot of it. Maybe a new headset like the new Asus Vulcan or mechanical keyboard like the Gigabyte Osmium?
 

mwkim

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Apr 13, 2013
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Thanks for the suggestion! After I got an ASUS ultrabook last year, I realized how fast SSD's are. I guess I'll use most of my $300 leeway to get an SSD.
 

mwkim

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I wonder why I never thought of giving it a bath! Haha. I think I will be using the $300 leeway on a SSD and a speaker system. Something cheap ~$50 with an average subwoofer. I already have an okay headset when I don't want to bother other people haha.

The reason I was thinking of more RAM was to future proof myself since RAM is RAM. And I looked at the motherboard you showed me and compared it with the ASROCK I chose. What are their pros and cons? MSI and ASROCK both seem to be pretty reliable.

And looks like I will skip on the sound card.

Thanks for the suggestions! Much appreciated.
 

Gammyduck

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Both motherboards are absolutely fine. There is no "wrong" choice. The MSI however is winning the hearts of multiple reviewers as the best motherboard in that price range at this given time, so I was being slightly bias as a result.

I agree. You can't go wrong with more RAM especially if you use problems such as Sony Vegas or 3DS Max.
 

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