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Upgrading gaming/design pc... need advice!


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#1
EnjoyIce

EnjoyIce

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Hey guys, this is my first post on here so hello! It is a very long one so sorry about that, but I thought a bit more detail is important :P

I am currently trying to decide if I should upgrade or not. I have just had my Birthday go past and my parents are insisting they want to get me something even though I said I am fine! So I thought I may as well look into things that I will definitely use, hence a possible pc upgrade!

I do want to upgrade, but was originally planning on waiting out for a year or two as it seems right now that the chipsets and all that are changing quicker than normal so it makes sense to wait for it to settle a bit? I get quite lost when it comes to motherboard types / chipsets and that kinda thing so if anybody can clear that up for me that would be awesome.

My current specs are:

Asus P8Z77-V LX
i7-3770k @ 4.7GHz (Air cooled)
32GB TridentX 2400MHz RAM.
NVIDIA GTX 680 2GB superclocked
64GB Force3 SSD S-ATAIII 6.0Gb/s (Bootdrive)
128GB Force3 SSD S-ATAIII 6.0Gb/s (For Games that need the speed)
3*2TB 7,200rpm harddrives (other games, music/films etc, another system drive for bulky programs)
1*1TB 10,000rpm drive (for recording/rendering, its my 'production drive')

I upgraded the RAM myself about 2 weeks ago as I managed to find that rather cheap so snapped it up as RAM prices are going up at the moment. And before you say 'WDF 32GIGS?!!' yes I do actually use it, I'm into 3d animation etc. Also After Effects which is one big ram sink!

I was wondering about a sound card but I don't have any issues with my sound at the moment so not sure it would really be a worthwhile change? Although I guess I might be missing out on a lot! Who knows.

My motherboard is by far my cheapest component.. don't hit me! So if I do upgrade I am looking to definitely purchase a new motherboard (and newer chipset so that I am future proofed to upgrade for a few more years preferable).

The GPU is fine for what I do. I do get a bit of lag sometimes while recording so have to lower settings but I can't see any way to easily increase that performance since buying a new 700 series card seems like far too much investment for only 20/30% increase in performance and I can't go for SLI since the motherboard doesn't support it. However if I upgrade the motherboard then maybe SLI 680's would be possible? Or would it be better to sell my current 680 and get a 780 or something? I personally prefer one card over two.. yeah it doesn't look as cool but gives an option for sli again in the future if I can't sell my then current card and uses less power / generates less heat. Also, I believe 2016 brings the introduction of the volta gpu that I am interested in - stacked dram etc, massively increased memory buffer etc. I will definitely be buying one of those (unless you convince me its a big waste of time) so would it be a good idea to go sli for now and then stick with the sli config until the volta gpu rather than selling and getting a 700/800 series? Or sell the 680, buy a 780, then go sli 780 in 2015 and sell both for the volta gpu in 2016. (Or just soldier on with the single 780)

I'd love more harddrive space - bigger ssd's and maybe swap the tb drives for some bigger drives (maybe some 3 or 4 tb drives) or just get some more 2tb drives and run them in a RAID config. Although in order to do that I would need a motherboard that has more sata ports. My current one only has six and since I have 6 drives they are all taken up. I cannot use my disk drive unless I swap one of the cables over - luckily you can just download most things now a days.

One thing I am planning to do is take apart my pc over Christmas and put it back together again, give it a good clean and sort it all out. So I'm also interested in possibly water cooling or some extreme air cooling as I do like to overclock etc if I can. Maybe some pretty led lights and stuff just to make it look nice. Any advice on that?

I feel that I am just rambling at the moment, so I'll stop. Any advice for upgrades would be great and I thank you in advance! Also shedding some light on future chipsets / motherboards and what would be a good plan for the next few years would be amazing.

Thanks!
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#2
iammykyl

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Gday EnjoyIce, Posted Image
Interesting post, wish I had such a great system, may find a performance upgrade path, and my parents insisted on buying me a present.

Upgrading the MB for better/most recent Chipset, not possible for your CPU, you are at the top, next step up would be Socket 1150 or 2011 requiring a new CPU. Unless your interested in SLI, on board WiFi, Bluetoogh, I don't think worth changing.
Noted your other though on possible GPU change, I would stick with your existing card as I do not think it holds back the system.

The GPU is fine for what I do. I do get a bit of lag sometimes while recording so have to lower settings but I can't see any way to easily increase that performance

A dedicated HDD solely for recording (no render) may speed up that performance.

I'd love more harddrive space - bigger ssd's and maybe swap the tb drives for some bigger drives (maybe some 3 or 4 tb drives) or just get some more 2tb drives and run them in a RAID config. Although in order to do that I would need a motherboard that has more sata ports. My current one only has six and since I have 6 drives they are all taken up. I cannot use my disk drive unless I swap one of the cables over - luckily you can just download most things now a days

Recommend research here on using a PCI RAID controller set up and optimizing the HDD configuration.

One thing I am planning to do is take apart my pc over Christmas and put it back together again, give it a good clean and sort it all out. So I'm also interested in possibly water cooling or some extreme air cooling as I do like to overclock etc if I can. Maybe some pretty led lights and stuff just to make it look nice. Any advice on that?

I would stay with air cooling, Please note the noise results, > http://www.tomshardw...3-max,3607.html
You have not mentioned your case, that may be an upgrade path.

Come back.
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#3
EnjoyIce

EnjoyIce

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Hey thanks for the reply! I think its because I'm away from home so its there way of connecting in a way, still, I'm not going to complain!

Motherboard wise, I *may* be able to sell the motherboard/cpu combo to a friend (or just ebay lol). I'm just not that clued up on if its worth it performance wise (and future proofing wise) or if it is best to wait a while and get the NEXT chipset which would also most likely mean I'd be ok to upgrade a few years later too. I am actually interested in wifi and if I can get it integrated with the motherboard all the better. My current motherboard choice was literally 'look for a cheap board that supports the components I want' which is probably the wrong way round to do it, since there is pretty much no upgrade potential with it without getting a new one. I was looking at the Maximus VI Extreme a short while ago (http://www.asus.com/...MUS_VI_EXTREME/) as I like lots of features and options, and that has plenty.

You mention SLI cpus. I don't have much knowledge of that at all. Don't they have to be Xeon type processors? And is there really that much performance gain over a higher clocked i7-3960x or another top end single processor?

I tend to record to the drive while there is no rendering going on, so it is literally just being written to. Recording is cpu intensive over gpu intensive (correct me if I'm wrong) so maybe the cpu is struggling with it? It isn't too much of an issue now though with nVidias Shadowplay so gpu wise I can most probably stick with it for now and focus on the other things.

Regarding storage, I will give that a look into thanks, will get back to you with what I find!

I've always thought liquid cooling is just a bit of a 'fad' rather than any actual benefit since most high end air cooling seems to do a similar job anyway, yet since I'm planning on taking it all apart I thought it may be worth a look into, although from that post it seems that water cooling is actually quiet a bit louder. So I'm probably better off getting a nice high end air cooler? Less mess too I suppose!

My case is a Zalman Z9, again a cheaper part of the original build (http://www.zalman.co...ead.php?Idx=423)

Thanks!
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#4
iammykyl

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Gday.
Thanks for the update.

Motherboard wise, I *may* be able to sell the motherboard/cpu combo to a friend (or just ebay lol). I'm just not that clued up on if its worth it performance wise (and future proofing wise) or if it is best to wait a while and get the NEXT chipset which would also most likely mean I'd be ok to upgrade a few years later too.


If you did decide to sell, would be a more attractive deal to include the RAM. If the OS is Windows OEM version you would need to seel it with the MB as it is not transferable to a different board.
Waiting for the next Chipset, mmmmm, new CPU socket, new MB, probable new DDR4 RAM.

You mention SLI cpus.

Should have made that clearer, I was referring to 2 video cards. I will give the other bit of the question a pass for now.

I tend to record to the drive while there is no rendering going on, so it is literally just being written to.

That'a OK, but when you Render on that same drive it is also reading from that drive. If your recording is valuable, you should always copy to another Drive, your Source material. So you would read from Drive E and write to Drive F, and if you need to do further work on the video, read from Drive F and write to Drive E.
then save the finished project.
On your single drive, what happens to the original recording after rendering?

Consider upgrading to a better case with more efficient cooling.

A topic we had recently, > http://www.geekstogo...er-caught-fire/


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