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Any upgrade recommendations?
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netminder1976
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Videocard: Evga Gtx660ti Sc
Processor: Intel Core i5 3570k
Mainboard: Gigabyte Ud5h
Memory: 16gb Corsair Vengeance
Soundcard: onboard
PSU: Thermaltake 850w
Default Any upgrade recommendations? - 03-27-2013, 18:25 | posts: 69 | Location: Oklahoma City

Hello all. Been bored lately and looking for something to do to my computer. I got around $300 to spare and just curious what I could possibly blow it on. Currently running an i5 3570k at 4.5ghz with a Hyper 212 Evo cooler. My motherboard is a Gigabyte UD5H , 16gb Corsair Vengeance 1333 ram, Thermaltake TR2 Rx 850w psu, Evga Gtx670 Ftw video card, Intel 330 180gb ssd drive for my os which is Windows 8 Pro. What could I possibly do to this rig for around that budget? I was thinking about getting into water cooling just for the fun of it. What would you do?
   
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Darkest
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PSU: OCZ ZS 550w
Default 03-27-2013, 19:02 | posts: 7,890

I notice you're still using onboard. Personally I can't stand it, and prefer to use a decent sound card and headphones. It's something that for some reason is often over looked, even though audio is one of the two major ways you're fed information when playing games or making use of other forms of multimedia. For $300 you could make a pretty significant upgrade to your PC's sound system.
   
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thatguy91
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Videocard: HIS R9-280x Iceq X2 Turbo
Processor: i5-3570K
Mainboard: Asrock Z77 Extreme6
Memory: DDR3-2400 2x8GB
Soundcard: ALC898 + Microlab FC-730
PSU: Enermax Platimax 750W
Default 03-27-2013, 19:07 | posts: 4,225 | Location: Australia

The answer is simple! Get rid of that 1333 RAM, and go to 2x8gb DDR3-2133 RAM instead. DDR3-2133 is the 'sweet spot' for performance on Ivy Bridge. DDR3-1333 actually cripples performance. Faster RAM than DDR3-2133 such as DDR3-2400 does give some minimal benefit, not as much as DDR3-1333 to 1600, or 1600-2133, but really is only worth it if the price is good.

Water cooling is a little pointless on Ivy, as the core to IHS heat interchange isn't as good as it should be. What this means is the benefits of water cooling are greatly reduced because the heat transfer simply isn't good enough. If you delid and apply a better TIM it would be greatly beneficial, but you could damage the CPU which would then take your budget in replacement.

So, as I said, memory upgrade would be your best bet. You can then sell the DDR3-1333 RAM. You can put the rest of the money towards a fund for a future upgrade, such as to Broadwell, or even sooner to Haswell if you like.

Check out:
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/mem...ge-ddr3_4.html

There are other comparisons that show similar results (and several FPS better in games etc), that was just the first one I found . If you do look this up, ensure you look up comparisons for Ivy Bridge CPU's on Z77 platform, as Intel made changes and Sandy Bridge etc didn't show the same benefits.

Last edited by thatguy91; 03-27-2013 at 19:18.
   
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Darkest
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Videocard: HD7950
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Soundcard: Aune T1 + HD650/DT990 Pro
PSU: OCZ ZS 550w
Default 03-27-2013, 19:18 | posts: 7,890

I wouldn't say it 'cripples performance' to be honest. It's not an upgrade I would make considering the gains.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...k,3181-10.html

http://hexus.net/tech/reviews/ram/38...memory/?page=6

The only review I've read where there's a significant difference in games (Or in general outside of synthetic benchmarks and the odd app) is the one from xbitlabs that's linked above.

Last edited by Darkest; 03-27-2013 at 19:39.
   
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IcE
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Videocard: Zotac GTX 780
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Mainboard: MSI Z97 Gaming 5
Memory: 8GB G.Skill Sniper 1866
Soundcard: SBZ + Aune T1 + CAL
PSU: EVGA SuperNova 750 G2
Default 03-27-2013, 19:21 | posts: 9,422 | Location: Toledo

New ram? That's a waste. I agree with Darkest, getting some decent sound should be a priority.
   
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thatguy91
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Videocard: HIS R9-280x Iceq X2 Turbo
Processor: i5-3570K
Mainboard: Asrock Z77 Extreme6
Memory: DDR3-2400 2x8GB
Soundcard: ALC898 + Microlab FC-730
PSU: Enermax Platimax 750W
Default 03-27-2013, 19:24 | posts: 4,225 | Location: Australia

It's not an expensive upgrade, especially since you can get some of it back with selling the current RAM. Look at Winrar, DDR3-1333 to DDR3-2133, DDR3-2133 is 10 percent faster. That's the equivalent of going from 4.4Ghz to 4.84Ghz, and you won't hit 4.84Ghz safely without delidding and water cooling (potentially expensive).

CPU intensive stuff like the render, sure, it doesn't make much if any difference, but that is a strictly CPU bound render. Most things on the computer aren't CPU bound, they rely on transferring data continuously. If you look at anything that is memory intensive (encoding, compressing, gaming), then you will see benefit.

By the time he resells the DDR3-1333 RAM, it will be definitely worth it.
   
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IcE
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Videocard: Zotac GTX 780
Processor: Intel i7 4790K
Mainboard: MSI Z97 Gaming 5
Memory: 8GB G.Skill Sniper 1866
Soundcard: SBZ + Aune T1 + CAL
PSU: EVGA SuperNova 750 G2
Default 03-27-2013, 19:26 | posts: 9,422 | Location: Toledo

He would have to replace 16GB, so yes, it's expensive. It's close to half his budget for high speed ram like that in the same amount.
   
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Darkest
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Memory: G-Skill Ripjaws 8gb 1600
Soundcard: Aune T1 + HD650/DT990 Pro
PSU: OCZ ZS 550w
Default 03-27-2013, 19:27 | posts: 7,890

I'm sure the OP spends a lot of time compressing and extracting files with WinRAR. I'm sorry but that's a pretty terrible argument for a PC upgrade. He probably wont even notice the difference unless he spends hours doing comparative benchmarking.
   
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thatguy91
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Videocard: HIS R9-280x Iceq X2 Turbo
Processor: i5-3570K
Mainboard: Asrock Z77 Extreme6
Memory: DDR3-2400 2x8GB
Soundcard: ALC898 + Microlab FC-730
PSU: Enermax Platimax 750W
Default 03-27-2013, 19:36 | posts: 4,225 | Location: Australia

At least locally, DDR3-1333 RAM is around $110, and DDR3-2133 RAM is $125. I'm not suggesting spending just the $125 (although it would probably be more beneficial spending that on RAM simply because water cooling is wasted without IHS mod on Ivy), I'm suggesting buying the DDR3-2133 for $125, then selling the current RAM for say, $80 on Ebay for example (or start the bids at $65).

You could 'dummy' sell. Check out the DDR3-2133 RAM available that's good, and good price in local stores, and availability. List the DDR3-1333 RAM on Ebay (either start bidding at say, $65, or buy it now at something like $95 people do go for that!), and once sold, simply go and purchase the DDR3-2133 and send off the DDR3-1333. Now you could argue if something goes wrong with the RAM in the meantime you have it listed, but listings can be withdrawn, and even final sales can be cancelled. Of course, you still have to buy the new RAM anyway!

Yes, it sounds dodgy, but it's what people do all the time which is why I wouldn't buy something used off of Ebay , and at least it guarantees you a cheap upgrade if it sells. If it doesn't, hey, no real loss!

Last edited by thatguy91; 03-27-2013 at 19:38.
   
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IcE
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Videocard: Zotac GTX 780
Processor: Intel i7 4790K
Mainboard: MSI Z97 Gaming 5
Memory: 8GB G.Skill Sniper 1866
Soundcard: SBZ + Aune T1 + CAL
PSU: EVGA SuperNova 750 G2
Default 03-27-2013, 19:36 | posts: 9,422 | Location: Toledo

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkest View Post
I'm sure the OP spends a lot of time compressing and extracting files with WinRAR. I'm sorry but that's a pretty terrible argument for a PC upgrade. He probably wont even notice the difference unless he spends hours doing comparative benchmarking.
I play WinRAR every day, it's GOTY for me. You should play it too!
   
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Nichtswisser
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Default 03-27-2013, 19:37 | posts: 263

Faster RAM is more or less a waste of money, the difference in most common applications and games is so small (~less than 10% in most cases) that it is really not worth the cost.

I as well would recommend getting a decent sound card and some nice headphones. That's a difference you will notice immediately and that is worth the investment.

Last edited by Nichtswisser; 03-27-2013 at 19:39.
   
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StewieTech
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Default 03-27-2013, 19:39 | posts: 1,401 | Location: Portugal

The sound! God, the sound. Buy something nice to please your ears, i had onboard and it was "enough" until i tried dedicated.
   
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thatguy91
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Videocard: HIS R9-280x Iceq X2 Turbo
Processor: i5-3570K
Mainboard: Asrock Z77 Extreme6
Memory: DDR3-2400 2x8GB
Soundcard: ALC898 + Microlab FC-730
PSU: Enermax Platimax 750W
Default 03-27-2013, 19:42 | posts: 4,225 | Location: Australia

As I said, it's worth it if it can be done cheaply. I didn't suggest spending $125, I suggested spending $40 (if you can sell the old RAM for $85 for example).
   
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Darkest
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Videocard: HD7950
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PSU: OCZ ZS 550w
Default 03-27-2013, 19:47 | posts: 7,890

Quote:
Originally Posted by IcE View Post
I play WinRAR every day, it's GOTY for me. You should play it too!

   
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netminder1976
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Videocard: Evga Gtx660ti Sc
Processor: Intel Core i5 3570k
Mainboard: Gigabyte Ud5h
Memory: 16gb Corsair Vengeance
Soundcard: onboard
PSU: Thermaltake 850w
Default 03-27-2013, 21:17 | posts: 69 | Location: Oklahoma City

Thanks for the recommendations guys. If I decide to go with sound what card and headphones do you suggest?
   
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Darkest
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Videocard: HD7950
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Memory: G-Skill Ripjaws 8gb 1600
Soundcard: Aune T1 + HD650/DT990 Pro
PSU: OCZ ZS 550w
Default 03-27-2013, 21:34 | posts: 7,890

A Sound Blaster Z would be a pretty good start point for a sound card. What headphones/headset are you currently using? What sort of sound do you prefer?
   
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netminder1976
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Videocard: Evga Gtx660ti Sc
Processor: Intel Core i5 3570k
Mainboard: Gigabyte Ud5h
Memory: 16gb Corsair Vengeance
Soundcard: onboard
PSU: Thermaltake 850w
Default 03-27-2013, 21:42 | posts: 69 | Location: Oklahoma City

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkest View Post
A Sound Blaster Z would be a pretty good start point for a sound card. What headphones/headset are you currently using? What sort of sound do you prefer?
I don't have any headphones right now. I just go with low volume so the wife doesn't get on to me. I don't really listen to music so basically just for gaming, like BF3 and such.
   
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mitzi76
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Default 03-27-2013, 21:55 | posts: 8,126 | Location: UK

sell a kidney, dont tell wife and do water cooling plus soundcard n some heaphones..
   
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netminder1976
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Videocard: Evga Gtx660ti Sc
Processor: Intel Core i5 3570k
Mainboard: Gigabyte Ud5h
Memory: 16gb Corsair Vengeance
Soundcard: onboard
PSU: Thermaltake 850w
Default 03-27-2013, 22:02 | posts: 69 | Location: Oklahoma City

Quote:
Originally Posted by mitzi76 View Post
sell a kidney, dont tell wife and do water cooling plus soundcard n some heaphones..
I was really looking into the watercooling until the aound xame up. I was really just gonna get into it because it seemed like fun. I was thinking of going with the Raystorm D5 Rx240 kit for like 250 sincw I dont know enough yet to create my own loop. Still up in the air though.
   
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Darkest
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Videocard: HD7950
Processor: i5 3570k
Mainboard: Gigabyte Z77 D3H
Memory: G-Skill Ripjaws 8gb 1600
Soundcard: Aune T1 + HD650/DT990 Pro
PSU: OCZ ZS 550w
Default 03-27-2013, 22:09 | posts: 7,890

So some decent headphones would be quite a good buy, then. You can't go wrong with the Creative Aurvana Live + a Sound Blaster Z to be honest. Will be a nice upgrade, you wont have to sit with the volume on low and you'll still have cash left to go toward something else.
   
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mitzi76
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Videocard: MSI 970 (Gaming)
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PSU: 850w Antec
Default 03-27-2013, 22:29 | posts: 8,126 | Location: UK

Quote:
Originally Posted by netminder1976 View Post
I was really looking into the watercooling until the aound xame up. I was really just gonna get into it because it seemed like fun. I was thinking of going with the Raystorm D5 Rx240 kit for like 250 sincw I dont know enough yet to create my own loop. Still up in the air though.
I think watercooling is the most fun thing have done with pc. Does depend on your case somewhat and whether u want to do cpu+gpu.

Recently got a alphacool repack + d5 pump and also have a 360 rad plus gpu+cpu block and the fan controller + tubing/fittings so it's come out around 250-300.

So as estimate you would be looking at $400 for water cooling plus a decent soundcard..
   
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