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Advice on upgrade - CPU and MB only maybe?

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GreenSmoke

Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2013
Hello everyone.

I am considering upgrading my computer this season and I am just not sure what to go with. I am not as in touch with hardware as I used to be. I am currently not OC'd but will probably do a modest OC after the upgrade. Here is my current build.

Please consider the following in your suggestions.

  1. I went with this build to keep the machine QUIET! That is very important. The current computer is indeed quiet!
  2. I am shooting for under $500, so I want to reuse as much as possible.
  3. I play games but I have never been able to tell the difference between good or bad graphics cards. If it runs, its fine for me. Cities Skylines and Smite as examples. I have been fine with the on-board graphics that came with the A10.
  4. I have an MSDN license so reinstalling Windows is not an issue.
  5. I am not sure if I have what would be needed to switch my heatsink over to a different socket. I need to research that a bit more.
What are your thoughts? What would you recommend I upgrade? I am not suck on AMD if it makes sense to switch.

Thanks in advance!
 
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Mr.Scott

Beamed Me Up!
Joined
Jun 9, 2013
What do you do with the rig?
Budget?
To be honest, If you're just using it for everything including modest gaming, I would just overclock a little and add a discrete graphics card like a 970.
 
OP
GreenSmoke

GreenSmoke

Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2013
$500 is the budget.

Modest gaming is the usage.

I do plan to OC it a little.

I assume you mean add a discrete video card and OC my current processor? I dont think that will get me through another year. Cities Skylines seems to already bog down and its 100% processor usage. My birthday and Christmas are both in this season, so now is a good time to get some $$ for a computer upgrade.
 

Dlaw

Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Location
New York, USA
I'd go with this.

Reasoning: Since you already have DDR3 RAM, Skylake would cost too much right now. An i5 and 960 will do pretty well on most games at 1080p, though the more intense ones will need settings turned down to run smoothly.

If you can stretch your CPU a little, I'd just grab a 970 and save almost $200.
 
OP
GreenSmoke

GreenSmoke

Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2013
I feel like my cpu is limiting me in cities skyline now. I read somewhere that the video part of the processor is dedicated so if I disable it, its just idle with nothing gained on the processor.

Im fine turning the settings down. I have bad eyes anyway so Im used to it in real life.

Is a 960 or 970 quiet? I dont want a card that sounds like a jet engine.
 

caddi daddi

Godzilla to ant hills
Joined
Jan 10, 2012
depends on the cooler and load, my evga ftw is quiet, I like it that way also.
 

Dlaw

Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Location
New York, USA
The 960 I had on PCPP doesn't have the ACX2 cooler, which shuts the fans off when the card is below 60C. You can usually get cards with better cooling for ~$10-$20 more than the ones with reference coolers. I recommend the ACX2 from EVGA and Asus's Strix cooler, because I've used them both and both cool great while being as close to silent as possible. There are other good ones too, though.

As far as what you have right now: True, if you were to only shut off the iGPU on your A10, you wouldn't see any improvements. However, not using the iGPU means that all of the heat the iGPU produces would also not be present. That means that you can likely overclock the CPU portion further, provided you're at a heat limit.
 

Mr.Scott

Beamed Me Up!
Joined
Jun 9, 2013
He isn't overclocked at all. With iGPU disabled, even on a stock cooler he could see 4.5 gig.
 

Dlaw

Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Location
New York, USA
He isn't overclocked at all. With iGPU disabled, even on a stock cooler he could see 4.5 gig.

I meant in general, that an APU can usually be overclocked further with the iGPU disabled than with it enabled. I haven't seen the opposite happen, but I don't mess with APUs much either, so I figured there could be that case where one just refuses to clock, regardless of temps or voltages.
 
OP
GreenSmoke

GreenSmoke

Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2013
I'd go with this.

Reasoning: Since you already have DDR3 RAM, Skylake would cost too much right now. An i5 and 960 will do pretty well on most games at 1080p, though the more intense ones will need settings turned down to run smoothly.

If you can stretch your CPU a little, I'd just grab a 970 and save almost $200.

Suppose I was willing to up my budget a bit to move to Skylake. In your opinion, would it be worth it?

I went with my current A10 for a few reasons, it was cost effective (no discrete Graphics card to buy), quiet (no discrete graphics = fewer fans), and produced less heat (its in a small room). That being said though, I sort of feel locked into the A10 with few upgrade options now. I was hopeful that they might come out with improved A10's or something that I could upgrade to but that may have just been nieve on my part.

Has there been talk about the Skylake having future upgrades? If I bought one now and upgraded my RAM and MB, is there any likelyhood that in a year or two, I could just upgrade the chip to get a few more years out of the computer? It appears there is i5 6600 or i7 6700 right now. I would probably go with the i5.

What would you (or anyone else) suggest if I were going to upgrade to skylake now, so I could compare that to your previous suggestion?

edit: I also find this comparison to an i5 vs my a10, so it seems an i5 would be a significant improvement.

Edit #2 - I took a stab at a build... Pretty much $500 on the dot.
 
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Mandrake4565

Mr. Clean Senior Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2012
With Skylake as previously mentioned you will need DDR4 ram so that will put you out of budget.
 
OP
GreenSmoke

GreenSmoke

Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2013
I included R4 ram in the build link I included. It was still under $500. It would be using the onboard graphics with I know everyone here would poo poo, but if it plays my "old man" games, Im happy. Plus I would be able to add a discrete graphics card in a year and get 2 years out of it.

Am I missing something about the RAM?

I updated the build since I had the wrong cooling solution. Here is the link to what I am thinking...

Keep in mind I am going from an older machine to something newer... If I leave some head room now (like get budget ram and don't buy a discrete video card), I can upgrade again next year (better RAM and/or discrete video card) and be a happy camper for a few years.
 

Mandrake4565

Mr. Clean Senior Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2012
I included R4 ram in the build link I included. It was still under $500. It would be using the onboard graphics with I know everyone here would poo poo, but if it plays my "old man" games, Im happy. Plus I would be able to add a discrete graphics card in a year and get 2 years out of it.

Am I missing something about the RAM?

I updated the build since I had the wrong cooling solution. Here is the link to what I am thinking...

Keep in mind I am going from an older machine to something newer... If I leave some head room now (like get budget ram and don't buy a discrete video card), I can upgrade again next year (better RAM and/or discrete video card) and be a happy camper for a few years.
Nope I was the one missing the ram sorry.

As far as the ram goes, do you feel you will need 16 g? In most cases 8g is plenty something like these will save you some cash.
 
OP
GreenSmoke

GreenSmoke

Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2013
I honestly don't know how much RAM I need but that is a good suggestion for me to research further. I can also always go with 8 and if I need more, I can swing that later.

What about the Motherboard I picked? I pretty much just winged it and will do some more research on that also but if someone has a value recommendation, I'm interested to hear it.
 

caddi daddi

Godzilla to ant hills
Joined
Jan 10, 2012
I see nothing wrong with the build linked in post #13, the ram is a bit much, 8 gigs is all you need as manny stated.
 

Mandrake4565

Mr. Clean Senior Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2012
Memory is memory these days most DDR4 are either going to have Samsung Ic's or Hynix.

AsRock has been making pretty good motherboards of late, unless you're looking to overclock the pee out of the chip your choice is fine. Just make sure the board has all the connections you need for storage, Usb's etc...