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Thread: Desktop Upgrade Question

  1. #1

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    Default Desktop Upgrade Question

    First my PC Specs:

    Power Supply- Thermaltake Toughpower 775W

    GPU- XFX Radeon HD 6870

    CPU- AMD Phenom II x4 Black Edition 3.4ghz

    HDD- Seagate Barracuda 500GB

    Motherboard- Gigabyte GA-970A-UD3

    RAM- G.Skill Sniper 8gb (2x4)
    -----
    Nothing is overclocked and I do have an aftermarket fan on the GPU due to the stock fan not working properly.

    I'm wondering what to upgrade first/upgrade order for the best performance boost for general gaming (1680x1050 at 1080i)?
    At the moment I am thinking of upgrading my GPU to a HD 7870 (possibly XT version or HD 7950 if I can find one at a nice Black Friday price).

    Any and all help is appreciated.

  2. #2
    Ascendant Laeris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toyy View Post
    First my PC Specs:

    Power Supply- Thermaltake Toughpower 775W

    GPU- XFX Radeon HD 6870

    CPU- AMD Phenom II x4 Black Edition 3.4ghz

    HDD- Seagate Barracuda 500GB

    Motherboard- Gigabyte GA-970A-UD3

    RAM- G.Skill Sniper 8gb (2x4)
    -----
    Nothing is overclocked and I do have an aftermarket fan on the GPU due to the stock fan not working properly.

    I'm wondering what to upgrade first/upgrade order for the best performance boost for general gaming (1680x1050 at 1080i)?
    At the moment I am thinking of upgrading my GPU to a HD 7870 (possibly XT version or HD 7950 if I can find one at a nice Black Friday price).

    Any and all help is appreciated.
    For plain gaming... the only 2 components you have that would affect performance are your CPU and GPU. The rest of it is inconsequential. The RAM for example is fine since 99% of all games are 32 bit programs (like Rift) and only use a 2-2.5GB block of your RAM at any given time.

    Since this is the Rift forums... if you want bang for the buck, you upgrade the CPU since changing out the GPU will have a very minor increase in performance... even if you were upgrading from a bleh GPU to a $700 liquid cooled top of the line model. That's because Rift is much more CPU intensive.

    You could double or triple your FPS with an expensive CPU... but a modern i7 with at least 10mb of shared cache would do the trick just fine.


    Disclaimer: I'm an Intel and nVidia guy. I don't have much experience with AMD and every Radeon I've had has ended up in the trash within 2 months of me buying it. Just not a fan at all
    Last edited by Laeris; 11-28-2013 at 09:07 PM.

  3. #3
    Ascendant the_real_seebs's Avatar
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    SSD can make a huge difference in loading speeds, and excess memory can mitigate the cost of re-loading, as memory not used by games can get used for disk cache. However, neither will usually noticably affect frame rates once you've got basically-enough memory. (I'd tend to go for 8GB, though, because while Rift may only need 2-3GB, it's nice to have more spare for system stuff and background processes.)

    Rift is currently mostly dominated by single-core performance, more so than many other games. That's being worked on, but even so, I expect there'll be a strong benefit to good single-core performance for quite a while. Cache size is also a big deal. Memory speed isn't as important, although it can help a bit.

    The one advantage a GPU upgrade offers is that you can do it without having to swap other stuff. A CPU upgrade is quite likely to imply also swapping in a new motherboard and new RAM, given what you're running now.
    Last edited by the_real_seebs; 11-28-2013 at 11:42 PM.
    You can play WoW in any MMO. You don't have to play WoW in RIFT. Oh, and no, RIFT is not a WoW clone. Not having fun any more? Learn to play, noob! I don't speak for Riftui, but I moderate stuff there. Just came back? Welcome back! Here's what's changed. (Updated for 2.5!)

  4. #4
    Ascendant Laeris's Avatar
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    The above is why I recommended an i7 CPU. The architecture includes a feature called smart cache. This feature allows cores to independently use cache as needed. So for games like Rift that make heavy use of a single core... the entire CPU's cache can be put onto that single core which will greatly increase your performance over CPUs like the OP's that has a shared cache.

  5. #5

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    I'd rather not have to replace RAM and MOBO just for a CPU upgrade as that would almost be enough parts to build a new computer >.<

    Would it be worth it to invest in a CPU cooler and overclock it to 3.8~4.0 GHZ (maybe higher) in addition to a new GPU? Or would my quad core still bottleneck me in CPU intensive games?

    On second thought, since I already have an aftermarket fan on my GPU (haven't seen temp above 38) would it be worth overclocking instead of an upgrade?

    TLDR; Haven't overclocked before- is that a viable alternative to part upgrades?

  6. #6
    Rift Chaser Xnats's Avatar
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    Your cpu is a socket 3 I think and there are none to be had anymore. Everything amd is socket 3+, so you need a new mb for starters. These 2 upgrades will make a world of difference. I had a 955 black box cpu and it was garbage trying to play rift.
    Corinze@Wolfsbane

  7. #7
    Ascendant Laeris's Avatar
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    Well, you can throw money at the GPU all you want... but when you get it home, plug it in and have the exact same FPS as before...

    Don't say we didn't tell ya so

    Replacing the mobo and CPU is not that hard. Yes you'll have to probably reformat your OS partition and reinstall windows... but you can spend what... 500 bucks on a REALLY good cpu/mobo combo and get huge performance gains... or a couple hundred bucks on something that probably won't do much anything for a game like Rift.

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