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Thread: Buying New PC. Need Suggestions

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    Default Buying New PC. Need Suggestions

    Hello Guys,

    I am new to this forum and I find most of the discussion very helpful and interesting. I am upgrading my PC bought back in 2009.

    The PC is still running great except for the latest games which I am unable to play because of graphics limitation. The current configuration is as follows,

    Mobo: Asus M4A785TD -V Evo
    Proc: AMD Athlon 2 X4 Phenom 620 (AM3)
    RAM: 4 X 2GB Corsair DDR3 1333MHz
    GPU: Sapphire AMD Radeon HD 5750 1GB GDDR5
    HDD: 250GB Seagate SATA + 1TB WD Green SATA
    Optical: Samsung WriteMaster DVD RW(IDE)
    PSU: Cooler Master RS 650W PCAR E3
    Case: Cooler Master Elite

    (pfft, look at the DVD drive, sooo old)

    The configuration was pretty extreme when we bought it back in 2009. Now, I would like to have three major components upgraded to achieve the overall performance to run the latest games.

    I am looking for Motherboard, Processor, Graphics card and RAM upgrade. I am considering to retain the PSU and HDD.

    After having massive research and expert reviews on multiple forum and videos, I came down to these options.

    Motherboard: Asus M5A97 R2.0 ATX AM3+
    Processor: AMD FX-8350 4.0GHz 8-Core
    Graphics: GALAX GeForce GTX 970 EXOC Black Edition 4GB GDDR5
    RAM: Kingston HyperX FURY Memory DDR3 8 GB PC (HX318C10F/8)

    This is what I have decided to go with. So, I would like you guys to let me know if this configuration is good to run latest games and upcoming games for at least 2 years.
    >I will be running the games at 1080p res only.
    >Not a fan of AA anti-aliasing.

    Any suggestions, peeps. Looking forward to hear from you guys.

    Thanks a lot.

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    In theory, those FX series CPUs aren't very good for gaming, but I have a computer with an 8350 and another with a 9590, and they both seem to be perfectly fine at it CPU-wise.

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    RAPtor.x (10-03-2015)

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    Quote Originally Posted by RAPtor.x View Post
    Any suggestions, peeps. Looking forward to hear from you guys.
    Just some sparse thoughts.

    • An Intel Core i5 would be more performing (just an example with Battlefield 4) and noticeably more energy efficient, though it will cost a tad more.
    • I would upgrade your PSU as soon as possible, given that your Cooler Master eXtreme Power Plus 650W is not such a good one.
    • As far as I know the Galaxy isn't the best option for a GTX 970, so that, whether MSI Gaming or ASUS Strix were locally available and competitively priced, I'd rather one of these two.
    • The AMD R9 390 might be a really valuable alternative to the GTX 970, though a tad less efficient than Nvidia one.
    • Probably the most noticeable upgrade in daily use would be something you didn't planned: a 240/256Gb SSD, even a budget one like the Crucial BX100, to replace your current Seagate operating system drive.
    • You already have 8Gb DDR3 so I don't understand why you need the Kingston Fury DIMMs.
    Best, Luca

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    Default RAM incompatibilty, SSD upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by quest for silence View Post
    Just some sparse thoughts.

    • Probably the most noticeable upgrade in daily use would be something you didn't planned: a 240/256Gb SSD, even a budget one like the Crucial BX100, to replace your current Seagate operating system drive.
      You already have 8Gb DDR3 so I don't understand why you need the Kingston Fury DIMMs.
    Thank you for your suggestions. I will consider having an SSD storage installed on the new rig. I was actually thinking of having the SSD upgrade after I set these components up.

    Regarding the RAM, the AMD FX-8350 4.0GHz supports only 1866Mhz memory. The RAM that I have is 1333MHz which will not work for the new setup.
    Check this out, http://cpuboss.com/cpus/Intel-Core-i...vs-AMD-FX-8350

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    It supports *up to* that speed of RAM, most likely.

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    The AMD Radeon R9 390 beats the GTX 970 in the same price range. It has access to all of its memory at all times unlike the GTX 970 which runs two pools of memory (3.5 GB at 7/8 speed and 512 MB at 1/8 speed) in order to allow Nvidia to die harvest some chips with defective ROP and cache units. You will probably get better minimum frame times with the R9 390 because it has full speed access to all of its memory all of the time.

    Second, the AMD FX series is not a good CPU for anything but setting overclocking records in terms of clock speeds. It consumes too much power for the performance it provides, and the first versions of this CPU had worse minimum frame times versus the Phenom II. You are better off looking for a Kaveri/Godavari/Steamroller APU or later, or an Intel CPU if you want to game especially because the FM2+ socket is the only AMD socket with chipsets that can run PCI Express 3.0. The Steamroller architecture drastically improves instructions per cycle by giving each virtual core its own hardware decoder, so the virtual cores act more like true cores than cores that are faked with hyper threading. PCI Express 3.0 is important for some of today's games. TechPowerUp exposed that the PCI Express 2.0 x 16 interface is already saturated in games like Wolfenstein: The New Order and Ryse, Son of Rome as seen in https://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/...press_Scaling/. AMD FX can only support PCI Express 2.0 because its chipset has not been updated to support PCI Express 3.0. The AMD FX series excels in one thing only: setting world overclocking records in terms of clock speeds.

    Third, I always have preferred buying my DIMMs from the companies that also make actual DRAM chips: Micron (including Crucial, its consumer sales subsidiary), Samsung, and SK Hynix (including Klevv, which is owned by SK which owns SK Hynix). This way, you know which chips are in the RAM you are buying and can stick with that vendor, while these third party RAM vendors could change chip suppliers which might cause problems when you need to add more RAM and keep the old RAM installed. I know that Winbond and Nanya also makes DRAM chips, but they do not make DIMMs. However, if you get one of the current generation quad-core Kaveri/Godavari/Steamroller APUs, you might have to consider overclocked memory from memory overclocking brands like Corsair, G.Skill, and Klevv because those APUs specify up to DDR3-2133 memory which is not currently made in a non-overclocked form, and these APUs get noticeably faster with higher throughput memory especially when you are running their integrated graphics.

    I would also think that an SSD would be a good upgrade for you, but only if either you buy an SSD that has good power loss protection like capacitors that hold enough power to allow the drive to finish any outstanding writes or does not report the completion of write commands until the drive has done enough to ensure that the write will be completed one way or another, or you buy a UPS. Some SSDs report the completion of write commands even though they are not completed enough to stick and they do not have enough capacitor backup to finish the write if there is a power failure. They cheat in this fashion in order to accept more write commands because they get really fast when processing many write commands simultaneously but are slow at handling write commands one at a time. However, this method of cheating can cause data corruption in the case of power failure especially with journaling file systems that rely on the completion of writing to the journal before actually carrying out a write. These file systems rely on this order to maintain file system correctness in the face of crashes. A journal is essentially a log of write commands to execute that is written to disk before actually performing the write in the user data area. If the journal is corrupt (from a crash or power failure while it is being written to), it is discarded and the write to the data areas will never have started if the storage device does not cheat. If the journal is not corrupt and there is corruption in the data areas due to writes that did not complete (due to either crashes or power failures), the journal is read to execute the write commands contained within to fix the corruption. If the strict ordering is violated by some SSDs, then this leads to file system corruption and file corruption if writes were happening when the power fails that the journal might not be able to fix due to the violated ordering. I know that Intel SSDs either do not cheat or do cheat only if they have the capacitors with enough charge to allow the SSD controller to finish all outstanding writes upon power failure. Many companies' enterprise SSDs have enough capacitors to guarantee no data loss on power failure, but not all of them. Those that do have this feature advertise it. However I do not know why only Intel bothers to bring this feature to desktops where it really matters. (Micron and Crucial used to advertise power loss protection, but it was exposed as incomplete and fraudulent as seen in http://www.anandtech.com/show/8528/m...da-placeholder because it only preserves some data and not all data that is waiting to be written.) I do not know about the rest on which ones cheat without having adequate capacitors because the most recent study that named names at http://lkcl.net/reports/ssd_analysis.html was done in 2013. There have been other studies, but they do not expose the names of winners or losers and therefore not very useful. If you buy something other than an Intel SSD, you should buy a UPS to prevent this kind of data corruption if it is going to a desktop machine. (Laptops do not have this concern because their batteries act as a UPS, and this is why I consider most consumer SSDs worthless for desktop machines and great for laptops.) It turns out that Intel's SSDs' price premium pays for a properly operating SSD that shields your data from this kind of corruption due to power failures.

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    I found a study that shows plenty of the faults that power failures can cause SSDs to generate at https://www.usenix.org/system/files/...13-final80.pdf. Unfortunately, it fails to name the good devices and the bad devices. Some of the worst errors found included metadata corruption that made accessing some of the flash hang the drive until it was rebooted and a bricked SSD.

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    Apparently, Linux, at least, (not sure about Windows) uses barriers to enforce correct write ordering when necessary. This means that if the drive handles barriers correctly (*big* "if" there), journaling does work correctly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RAPtor.x View Post
    Regarding the RAM, the AMD FX-8350 4.0GHz supports only 1866Mhz memory. The RAM that I have is 1333MHz which will not work for the new setup.
    Well, no, I think you just misunderstood what you read: your new setup will work fine with your current RAM, so that you'd better spend that money for a different part.


    Quote Originally Posted by RAPtor.x View Post
    Those quick comparisons are not that useful to assess the CPUs performance.

    The main competitive advantage of AMD FX is that the whole platform may be significantly cheaper (with reference to purchasing price, as the operating price is much higher), while, as cheapie pointed out, it still offers a sufficient computing power for your needs.

    I already have had both the FX and Core i5, the i5 was significantly faster: more probably that not there's virtually no chance that an AMD FX can put out higher framerates at 1080p resolution (over a Core i5).

    You may noticeably overclock the FX, but I won't advice to do that as the proposed ASUS motherboard is not that well suited (IMO it's not that safe due to its power circuitry), and your current Cooler Master PSU is such a low grade one.
    Best, Luca

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    Default Thank you guys

    Quote Originally Posted by jnv11 View Post
    The AMD Radeon R9 390 beats the GTX 970 in the same price range. It has access to all of its memory at all times unlike the GTX 970 which runs two pools of memory (3.5 GB at 7/8 speed and 512 MB at 1/8 speed) in order to allow Nvidia to die harvest some chips with defective ROP and cache units. You will probably get better minimum frame times with the R9 390 because it has full speed access to all of its memory all of the time.
    I totally agree that R9 390 will beat GTX 970 any time, considering the VRAM, memory bandwidth and other features but, we should consider the price. I am from India, the cost of R9 390 here is ~$613 and the GTX 970 will cost me ~$383. Clearly there is $230 difference and this is beyond my budget. Sad thing is there is lot of tax and custom duty applied on every electronics. Yup, we are really pissed with our Govt.

    I appreciate your help in sharing deep thoughts about the graphics, RAM and SSD storage.

    In the end, it all comes down to what we really use the PC for. I will be using few resource intensive apps and latest games(play only on weekends and holidays... cous I work in an IT company). Secondly, this PC will also be used by my dad for office documentation, watching movies, photo editing. Brother will be using this PC for Virtualization(VMware, MS Azure Sharepoint).

    So, the configuration might look odd depending on requirements but, I am being frank with you guys. I am really into games and wanted to build an "almost" future-ready PC.

    Cheers to gamers

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