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  1. #1
    Joined
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    2

    Upgrade suggestions

    So I'm ressurecting my gaming machine into a daily driver personal machine.
    I've been using a MacBook Pro hooked up to a 30" Cinema display for personal use and web development (my job).

    My new job is buying me a brand new retina MBP, so i plan to wipe my non-retina MBP and give that to my wife, and use my gaming rig which has sat idle for 2 years as my home machine.

    Specs:
    i7 920
    Gigabyte UDR3 X58 Motherboard
    Corsair HX850 PSU
    MSI Twin Frozr III Radeon HD6950 GPU
    12gb (3x4gb) Mushkin Enhanced Radioactive RAM
    2 crappy old mechanical HDD's
    30" Apple Cinema Display
    NZXT Tempest case

    My plan is to max out the ram at 24gb and install Win 7 on an SSD (256gb).

    I'm fine with the GPU for now, as it will run my 30" monitor at 2560x1600 via Dual Link DVI.
    Most games I would play should run fine with this card (Fifa 15, Madden 15, Wow, Startcraft 2).
    I have toyed with the idea of upgrading the chipset and MBoard, but that will be so time consuming for me... I'm not sure the benefit of extra processing power will be worth it. The 920 CPU is rock solid, and this generation is built like a tank.

    Do you think this setup with 24gb ram and running the OS on an SSD would be a huge upgrade?
    I feel like the SSD alone will make this machine scream.

    Thoughts? Suggestions?
    I'm open to ideas here.
    I need a solid, reliable machine that i can browse, game, and do freelance design and front end web work with.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Joined
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Age
    45
    Posts
    496

    Re: Upgrade suggestions

    From what I can gather, you seem to be pretty set on keeping most of your existing components in your machine. So, I will provide my suggestions (or thoughts) on the RAM and SSD primarily. I think you should consider staying closer to 16GB of memory, instead of maxing out the motherboard at 24GB. I am concerned that by stretching the memory controller to its max, it may cause a performance decrease rather than an increase, and also decrease stability.

    In terms of the SSD, it would seem that the you will get some performance benefits there. SSD is great for an OS from my experience. Keeping in mind though that SSD works best when moving large blocks of data, but isn't all that noticeable when smaller blocks are used. I would recommend you check out the Wikipedia for SSD here so you buy wisely: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solid-state_drive

    Other thoughts: Your CPU is already 6 years old, and a lot has changed over the years in terms of CPU performance and features. Of course that requires a MB change. Also, maybe even consider a second GPU at some point to allow you to run your 30" monitor and 2560X1600 resolution with even the most demanding games.
    Specs:
    Thermaltake A71, ASUS Sabertooth X79, Intel i7 3820 @ 4.5Ghz, Thermaltake Water 3.0 Extreme, 2 x 1TB 850-EVO SSD, eVGA 980ti SC+, 16GB G.Skill DDR3 @ 1866 (Quad Channel), PC Power & Cooling 850 Modular PS.

    Experience:
    NIOP, DCUCD, CCNA, CXFF, CSE, VTSP 4, MCP, A+


  3. #3
    Joined
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    2

    Re: Upgrade suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by krocodile View Post
    From what I can gather, you seem to be pretty set on keeping most of your existing components in your machine. So, I will provide my suggestions (or thoughts) on the RAM and SSD primarily. I think you should consider staying closer to 16GB of memory, instead of maxing out the motherboard at 24GB. I am concerned that by stretching the memory controller to its max, it may cause a performance decrease rather than an increase, and also decrease stability.

    In terms of the SSD, it would seem that the you will get some performance benefits there. SSD is great for an OS from my experience. Keeping in mind though that SSD works best when moving large blocks of data, but isn't all that noticeable when smaller blocks are used. I would recommend you check out the Wikipedia for SSD here so you buy wisely: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solid-state_drive

    Other thoughts: Your CPU is already 6 years old, and a lot has changed over the years in terms of CPU performance and features. Of course that requires a MB change. Also, maybe even consider a second GPU at some point to allow you to run your 30" monitor and 2560X1600 resolution with even the most demanding games.
    Thanks for the tips.

    I might have to bite the bullet and do a full rebuild with MB/CPU...

    I'd rather not, just because seating CPU's scares the bejeezus out of me.

  4. #4
    Joined
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    5

    Re: Upgrade suggestions

    IMO from having two machines with SSD's it is super upgrade.

    Phil

  5. #5
    Joined
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    10

    Re: Upgrade suggestions

    I figure if you are only using your old gaming machine to play games and not to render videos or do any massive calculations then it should be more than sufficient for another 2 years even at 2560x1600 granted perhaps at lower settings for some of the newer games. The CPU isn't that large of a burden. I am not sure if posting URLS is possible on this forum but here is an article of someone comparing benchmarks with a HD7970 with a i7 920 and a i7 3770k.
    http://www.ocaholic.ch/modules/smart...mid=836&page=0

    To paraphrase, this article is 2 years old but the difference in CPU power in 1080p gaming shows approximately a 20% difference in most games.

    EDIT: Changed 10% to 20% and the SSD will make your computer demonically fast.
    Last edited by KyonCoraeL; 11-06-2014 at 10:44 PM. Reason: Correcting myself

  6. #6
    Joined
    Nov 2014
    Location
    NorCal
    Posts
    8

    Re: Upgrade suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldphil View Post
    IMO from having two machines with SSD's it is super upgrade.
    SSHD works well too but with Black Friday incoming, SSDs are going to be dirt cheap

  7. #7
    Joined
    Oct 2014
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    18

    Re: Upgrade suggestions

    The only problem I see is the GPU. Get yourself maybe like a 270, maybe splurge a bit and get a 270x or something along those lines. CPU's good (might need to overclock it a bit but whatever), RAM's good (might want 16GB but 12 gigs is still pretty good) and although the SSD should help the two mechanical drives shouldn't be an issue as long as they aren't under, say, 7200RPM. Also it depends on the resolution of that Cinema display and what you'll be running games at.
    My username is "Gaveroid" on both Steam and Origin. Feel free to send me a friend request and we can play some games together! Also, why don't you check out my website while you're at it, listed below?

    http://www.Gaveroid.com

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