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The Handy Guide to Hardware Upgrades


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#21 Lee-m

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Posted 03 January 2015 - 23:13

So no suggestions on AM3/PCIe upgrade? :/

AM3/AM3+ is pretty dead as a platform and offers little in the way of viable upgrade paths going forwards. The newer multicore cpus seem to perform badly on DFC due to poor single thread performance. So my advice would be upgrade to intel if your planning on spending any money. Its not worth dropping more cash on an AM3+ system IMO at this point.

However all the gfx card advice above applies to an AMD platform just as much as it does an Intel one.



#22 debro

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Posted 04 January 2015 - 01:48

AM3/AM3+ is pretty dead as a platform and offers little in the way of viable upgrade paths going forwards. The newer multicore cpus seem to perform badly on DFC due to poor single thread performance. So my advice would be upgrade to intel if your planning on spending any money. Its not worth dropping more cash on an AM3+ system IMO at this point.

However all the gfx card advice above applies to an AMD platform just as much as it does an Intel one.

 

Well there's no much room for future upgrade if you go the intel way either. LGA 1150 might support a new family of intel processors, but if you get a Haswell CPU now, you wouldn't upgrade when the following family comes out. The Haswells are powerfull enough to endure two or maybe three future CPU generations. The same applies to AMD, but the processors are currently less powerfull. But IMHO AMD offers better performance per dollar, making it more viable for the thin wallet gamer :P

 

Anyway it's your choice. I'd go:

 

AMD: FX 8350 (AM3+)

Intel: i5 4690k (LGA 1150)

 

GPU-wise it all depends on how much money you want to spend... it's a whole other world. Too vast to have a single candidate :P


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#23 khh

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Posted 04 January 2015 - 02:02

Well there's no much room for future upgrade if you go the intel way either. LGA 1150 might support a new family of intel processors, but if you get a Haswell CPU now, you wouldn't upgrade when the following family comes out. The Haswells are powerfull enough to endure two or maybe three future CPU generations. The same applies to AMD, but the processors are currently less powerfull. But IMHO AMD offers better performance per dollar, making it more viable for the thin wallet gamer :P

That depends on how you measure performance. AMD might give you more flops per dollar (I haven't actually looked into that), but that assumes that you're able to use all the cores, it ignores cache optimizations, branch predictions and other advanced features. When those differences are accounted for it would not surprise me if Intel worked better per dollar for many real world applications. It's certainly true that for DFC that ignoring potential GPU bottlenecks, performance is limited by the execution speed of a single thread.

 

At any rate plugging a new CPU into a very old motherboard isn't really that desirable, since the chipsets and communication lines will get outdated. That limits the performance boost.


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#24 Lee-m

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Posted 04 January 2015 - 03:14

The same applies to AMD, but the processors are currently less powerfull.

I disagree. an LGA 1150 is still a viable platform going forward, even if no new cpus are released. AM3 doesn't give you performance or any sort of future proofing. And we are here talking about DFC, where AMD cpus perform badly. Which is unfortunate.

I dont think AM3 is a viable upgrade option anymore.

with 1150 you can always go from an i5 to an i7 if you want more threads.

#25 debro

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Posted 04 January 2015 - 04:01

Yeah well, both your answers are very valid.
What needs to be considered is which market you are on and your specific Budget.
I went with an AMD upgrade A) because I always has AMD CPUs and B) in Argentina the price gap between AMD and Intel is very noticeable.
I believe i7 is almost unreachable performance-wise. But its a bit of overkill if you want it for gaming.

You might know more than me and i may be a bit of a fanboy... So... :P

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#26 Olstyle

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Posted 05 January 2015 - 21:24

At any rate plugging a new CPU into a very old motherboard isn't really that desirable, since the chipsets and communication lines will get outdated. That limits the performance boost.

That's not really a problem.
Anything starting at PCIe 2.0 x8 or PCIe 1.0 x16 is still enough to get 99% out of any videocard in most situations ( still around 90% in worst case scenarios).
Same with S-ATA.
If you are on a CPU which is below Phenom 2 9xx or FX6xxx and your Mothboard supports FX8 CPUs, you can still get quite a boost by upgrading AM3.

Considering the first post:
AMDs Top-APU is, at least in Germany, as expensive as a Celeron (G1840) + a discrete GPU(260x or GTX750) while not even nearly getting their performance. If you don't need to save space it is still no competitive alternative.

#27 Carlos

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Posted 05 January 2015 - 23:03

Yeah, going for an i7 is probably overkill

 

Ars System Guide: We actually built the Performance Gaming Box (December 2014)

 

note that they went for a single Intel Core i5-4690K but 2 NVIDIA GTX970 video cards, which means it packs a huge amount of GPU power. This thing will easily run any game you throw at it at 4K resolution with all setting maxed.

 

And it also shows how much more power efficient NVIDIA GPUs are getting, even when running both cards at a bit over 100% power (they're overclocked), the peak power usage was 484W, and while that may seem a lot, that's the power usage of the entire system and compares to the peak 335W a single AMD R9 290X can use (here).


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#28 Ikon

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Posted 08 January 2015 - 19:31

So no suggestions on AM3/PCIe upgrade? :/

 

Are you asking if there are any CPUs with built-in GPUs that fit the AM3 socket? If so, no, I don't believe so. I believe the AMD devices that have CPU & GPU combined on a single chip are known as APUs, rather than CPUs, and they don't fit in an AM3 socket.


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#29 Dagget

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Posted 03 February 2015 - 17:58

Check your motherboard carefully, to see whether it is AM3 or AM3+, and also check the mfgr's website for CPU's the board and BIOS recognize and will work with.  For Socket AM3, most stop at Phenoms ($80 Phenom II x4 965 on ebay will do great - I use that and run DFC smooth w/max video settings) but a few can handle some FX processors.  AM3+ will handle FX class processors from AMD, and for those I'd recommend an FX-8320e which was just introduced late last year, has 8 cores (yeah, I know DFC/Unity doesn't care about cores - their loss) and is rated to use 95w power - $149 at newegg.com.






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