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Need some advice

Discussion in Hardware Hangout started by Fresh, Oct 6, 2013

  1. Nov 28, 2010
    First here's my current specs:

    AMD Athlon Triple-Core(old and getting kinda slow)
    10GB Corsair DDR3 1600mhz
    ASUS Mobo
    2x 460 in SLI
    Thermaltake 700W PSU
    Stock cooling
    1TB HDD with 160GB HDD for OS
    NZXT M59 Case

    So I'm interested in upgrading for better performance in BF4 when it drops, and I have a few questions and need some advice since I've been out of the pc building loop for a a year or two.

    What is the difference in PCI-e 3.0 and PCI-e 2.0?

    Any recommendations on a CPU (AMD FM1/FM2 socket), and motherboard(either SLI or crossfire ready)?

    And now the big question, what is the best GPU for around 150 bucks? And what is the comparison with an Nvidia card?

    I was looking at some 7850 or 7750 but I don't know the difference with ATI/AMD gpus.

    I am getting an 120GB SSD, and do prefer Nvidia GPUs but am willing to look at ATI/AMD.

  2. Jul 14, 2010
    A budget would help people give you some recommendations. 150 bucks will not get you a very good GPU for BF4. You're going to need to shell out atleast 200 dollars to play on High, not to mention a good cpu will be atleast 100$ for AMD, and 200$+ for Intel. @Brett can probably give you some good advice.

    Definitely stick with the SSD, I'm never going back to standard HDD's.
  3. May 21, 2012
    Right now, the BF4 beta is very unoptimized for both the cpu and gpu from what I tell from many people. It's hard to tell what it's going to be like when the actual game comes out. I am running a gtx 780 and have fps ranging from 70-90 on ultra settings but the card itself costs about $650. If you are looking for a GPU for BF4, I would lean to the AMD side since BF4 and AMD have partnered up thus the optimization and performance should be better than other brand graphics card. Brett can help you when he responds here.
  4. Mar 12, 2008

    Crossfire/SLI is a joke unless you have 4 cards in your system at all times. You won't notice a thing if you're only running 2 cards. I have a 7870 and it handles everything I throw at it.
    It's a decent card too, I paid much more for it a year or so ago, $200 is a steal IMO (Not to mention 2 free games with the purchase.) When it come to comparing the two brands, nVidia will almost trump AMD. I say almost because (IMO) nVidia has some of the best cards out there. AMD still has similar performing cards for almost half the cost. Do some research, and check out the many threads @Brett has posted, there's answers and information everywhere.

    As for the CPU, I can only speak for the one I used, it works pretty well, but It could be better. I plan to upgrade later down the line when I find work.
    Stock fan is a little loud. other than that, Go go budget build.
  5. Mar 19, 2011
    My recommendation would save a bit more and purchase this card. http://us.ncix.com/products/?usaffi...950-DC2-3GD5-V2&manufacture=ASUS&promoid=1317

    The 7950 performs about the same/better than a GTX 670 in most cases. Crossfire isn't really feasible as this card is a triple slot card and you wouldn't have room for a 2nd card most likely

    $229 + $20 Mail-in-rebate and also access to the Never Settle Gold Bundle Coupon which gives you 3 games to choose from makes this a pretty damn good deal. You can also save the coupon and have till December 31st to pick from any new upcoming games or the games they currently have offered. Which include: Dues Ex Human Revolution, Dirt 3, Dirt Showdown, Devil May Cry, Far Cry 3, Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon, Hitman Absolution, Sleeping Dogs, Tomb Raider.

    Performance wise I would expect Battlefield 4 to perform around 60 fps on High settings @ 1080p but your current CPU is probably gonna be a hindrance to FPS. However if you were to upgrade your CPU + MOBO and you probably expect the same framerate on Ultra. You also have to take note that the Graphics Drivers are only going to improve so you will get better framerate with new driver releases and as of right now maybe even bad FPS since the game is still in BETA.

    I'll post more later on the CPU subject.
  6. Dec 6, 2011
    Alright @Fresh, so the Athlon X3 (probably 425) that you're running isn't all that bad, it's older but I have the same exact one in one of my older rigs and it has runs quite well over the years. If you're going to upgrade your CPU, I HIGHLY, HIGHLY, HIGHLY, HIGHLY, recommend going Intel. Going AMD isn't that great of an idea right now. You should definitely look at the Sandy Bridge 2500k successors (Ivy Bridge 3670k and Haswell 4670k), since it's the best for gaming price/performance by a long shot. I'd go with the 4670k since it's 1150 socket and you won't have to upgrade your motherboard if you want to upgrade your CPU in the near future.

    The perfect motherboard for both the Ivy Bridge and the Haswell (LGA 1155 and LGA 1150 sockets) is, by far, the ASRock Z77 Extreme 3/4 and Z87 Extreme 3. Although, even though I highly suggest you go with Haswell to be the most up-to-date and future-proof, if you go with Ivy Bridge and get the Extreme 3, you will only be able to have 2 SSDs run at the highest possible speeds, since there's only 2 SATA3 ports and the rest are SATA2. Meaning a 3rd SSD would run at about half the read/write speeds.

    The difference between PCI-e 2.0 and 3.0 isn't a big issue, but it can still pose some problems. The best way to explain it is, if you try to crossfire GPUs that are greater than or equal to the performance of 7970s on a PCI-e 2.0 board that defaults to x8 speeds instead of the full x16, you'll get minimal performance drops depending on what you play.

    Now, for the best price/performance GPU, you'd want to look at the 7950 or 7970 for sure. Right now they are about $200 and $300 respectively, but with these two AMD cards, they drop below both $200 and $300 more often than not during sales, which is great to look for. The closest comparison of performance for the 7950 is the GTX 660 Ti, which is about $50-$70 more. Here's the performance charts on them: http://anandtech.com/bench/product/856?vs=860 . The closest comparing card to the 7970 would be the GTX 680. Here's the comparison charts: http://anandtech.com/bench/product/768?vs=772 . Now, the reason why I chose the GHz edition to compare, is because it's simply a slightly overclocked card, just the same as the GTX 680's that they tested (~1058MHz stock, compared to the 1000MHz on the 7970). Yet, the 7970 overclocks up to about 1250MHz from 925MHz while the GTX 680 will hit about 1200MHz or 1250MHz if you're lucky. In short, Nvidia is simply selling you a pre-overclocked card to get that extra stock performance boost on the charts instead of keeping the clocks a little lower for your own overclocking.So your two best choices for GPUs would be 7950 or 7970 by far, since the 7870 is just $30-$40 shy of the 7950.

    SSDs are definitely the way to go. Most people don't realize that they will raise your FPS in resource heavy games as well, or in games such as CS:S with lots of maps/textures to load. Try to look for the these when choosing an SSD: Samsung 840/840 EVO, Kingston HyperX, PNY XLR8 Pro, Corsair Force/Force Series GS/Neutron, Plextor M5P/M5S/M5P Extreme. These should be your best performing SSDs right now.

    @Taters @PeNguiN
    • Like Like x 1
    • Jun 23, 2010
      I highly recommend SSD if you can get it. Worth every penny.
      For budget GPU, I recommend AMD, but I'll search around for some good deals since the new AMD card will be out soon.
    • Dec 6, 2011
      Yep ^ this. AMD is definitely going to be your choice card, since Nvidia went off on a tangent after the 500 series and are just robbing people blind now with their "fancy CUDA CORES AND PHYSX OMG".

      Just remember, once you go SSD, you never go back. 5 second cold boot ups are waiting.
      • Agree Agree x 1
      • Nov 28, 2010
        Alright Thanks @Brett and everyone else for the input, I'm looking at some 7950s on newegg and my local Fry's (not sure if there's one everywhere) so far I found this card for sale at Fry's for $129 after $20 MIR. Not sure how I feel about Intel yet, looking at them though I don't think I would need a crossfire board anymore if I were to get the 7950. I'll post some products If i find anymore. I think I'm going to go get the GPU sometime this week, since that seems like a steal atm.
      • Dec 6, 2011
        Fucking $130 for that? Wow. Only problem I see is that is probably one of the worse reference coolers out there lol... If you live in a warm area, I'd try to look for another steal. Not to be a party pooper, but that cooler is like the mentally challenged one of the group in terms of reference coolers XD. Also, you will want a motherboard that's crossfire/SLI ready because it'll save you a huge chunk of cash in the long run. Why? Because if you go for a single PCI-e x16 board, you'll wind up with very few options. USB ports/fan headers/SATA ports will be low as well. Not only that, but when your 7950 starts running into walls performance wise, you'll need to buy a whole new GPU that's $300-$400 for it to be a decent upgrade. If you have a motherboard with 2 PCI-e x16 slots, you'll be able to just grab a 7950 for $100 a year down the road, and crossfire your cards, then you'll have almost double the performance of a single 7950 and only have spent $100 extra instead of $400-$500 for the same performance.

        Another reason to go with Intel also backs up the explanation above. You'll be futureproofed with a PCI-e 3.0 board, so even after your crossfired 7950's get old, you can get a brand new GTX 900 series or AMD 10000 series card or something, while still keeping your CPU/motherboard combo, since it should still be going strong (as a little overclocking would help it too).

        Overall, the idea to save money is to spend more :clown:. You'll have to buy a little bit better parts in terms of performance, but not have to upgrade every piece of hardware each year, like you would if you went with just a 7850/7790, or $100 AMD CPU. See how it all works out?
      • Mar 12, 2008

        for $130? I would not get it if it's refurbished.

        The word alone never sits well, and fry's is notorious for selling refurbished components. The worst part will be having to go back and return it (if they allow it, I don't know their rules on returning refurbished/open box items) Ever since I got with newegg, I haven't even batted an eye at fry's. I only used fry's to get my case.
      • Mar 19, 2011
        In my opinion go with Intel, you will be paying more but Intel processors don't output heat as much as AMD chips do so you aren't going to be as limited in your OC'ing. A 3570k is a solid choice but with the 4670k being only $10 more and a 10% increase in performance the 4670k is the best option. As Brett mentioned you will be the most future proofed when selecting a Haswell CPU and Motherboard.

        via http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uD6UcsVG56g

        AMD FX-8350 $195 http://us.ncix.com/products/?usaffi...pn=FD8350FRHKBOX&manufacture=AMD&promoid=1317
        i5-3570k $219 http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007SZ0E1K/?tag=pcpapi-20
        i5-4670k $229 http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CO8TBOW/?tag=pcpapi-20

        Here's a sample of clock speeds you would need to have for the chips to perform about the same ; 8350 @ 4.6 Ghz, 3570k @ 4.2 Ghz, 4670k @ 3.8-3.9 Ghz

        Sometimes you have to pay more to have the best performance, only you can decide if it's worth it.