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Subject: Sub $2000 PC Build - Help Appreciated!
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Derek_T Jan 18, 2016 10:35 PM Reply | Bookmark
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Hello Friends,
It's about time I upgrade my current PC, which you guys helped me with immensely, so I figured I'd come back to get some more suggestions this time round. The reason for this upgrade is partly because my current PC is almost 4 years old, but mainly because I received a BenQ GW2765HT 1440p monitor for Christmas and found out quickly my PC wasn't cut out for the world of 1440 gaming. My current PC is as follows:
CPU: Intel i5 2500K (w/ heatsink)
GPU: MSI GeForce GTX 560 Ti
HDD: Seagate Barracuda
RAM: 8GB Mushkin
Case: Cooler Master CM 690 II Advanced
I figure most of which is garbage? Could probably salvage the DVD writer?
Anyways, basically need new everything. I have my new monitor, keyboard, mouse and a 240GB Crucial M500 SSD. My budget is around $2000, however I would like it to be more in the $1700-1800 range? I put together a builder very similar to Saberon's $2000 build, please let me know what you think I should change! Should I get extra fans, etc.? Although I consider myself fairly computer savy, I still don't know if I trust my ability to build it myself, so probably tack on $50 for that...
Again, thanks for your time, help would be appreciated!

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Saberon Jan 18, 2016 10:41 PM Reply | Bookmark
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I'll be honest, upgrade the GPU only. The 2500K is amazing given its age and it's really still a solid performer especially when overclocked. . A GTX 980 Ti would absolutely blow your mind from a 560 Ti. Throw in an SSD and you're laughing.

This message was modified by the poster at 01 18, 2016 10:37 PM

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Derek_T Jan 18, 2016 10:59 PM Reply | Bookmark
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Hahaha the frugal side of me was hoping someone would say that...
Couple questions I guess:
-Since my rig is nearing the 4 year mark, what components do you foresee going on me? I'd install my SSD, however I'd probably want a new HDD anyways?
-I really wanted to upgrade to 16GB RAM however I looked at the list of supported RAM for my MoBo and it's very dated. Would this be comprehensive or would newer RAM work?
-Since I'm changing hardware, will I need to buy a new OS? or can you just reactivate it somehow? Never upgraded components, always just bought new PC.
-In your opinion, is it better to upgrade your components intermittently then just buying a brand new computer?

Ermmm, think that's all I have for you at this time. Thanks again for your help!


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Saberon Jan 18, 2016 11:05 PM Reply | Bookmark
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Forsee going on you? Well I can't really say. Don't bother upgrading your hard drive just because it might fail one day.

Pretty much any DDR3 will work, 1.5V is preferred. I particularly like G.Skill Ripjaws, Corsair Vengeance and Kingston HyperX 1600 or 1866mhz.

A video card change won't trigger the need to repurchase/reactive Windows.

Generally I prefer to replace a whole system at once, but yours is an expection due to the amazing CPU. The money you spend on a GPU will be significantly more bang for your buck than the $600ish needed for a new CPU, mobo and ram. CPUs kind of hit a wall with the 2500K, everything since has been a very small upgrade while GPU's have seen significant performance increases in 4 years.

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Rebecca_M Jan 19, 2016 06:32 AM Reply | Bookmark
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I agree only upgrade the GPU for now but if your planning to upgrade the rest in the future I wouldn't invest too heavily in RAM, unfortunately DDR3 is on its way out in favor of DDR4, so if your going to upgrade in a year I wouldn't bother, if it's going to be longer then by all means do it while RAM is cheap(ish).

As far as whether to upgrade components all at once, it depends. I tend to upgrade CPU/MB/RAM in one shot but I generally upgrade the GPU more frequently so it's usually done at a different time.

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Derek_T Jan 19, 2016 12:50 PM Reply | Bookmark
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Well I guess it's 2-on-1 now, you guys win! ;)

I think my course of action will now be to upgrade my GPU and see how my system runs with the changes. I never realized the 2500K was so highly regarded and that the CPU market has been relatively stagnant compared to most everything else.

Now here comes the additional questions:

-For GPU, you suggested the 980 Ti, which is a sexy card for sure, however it's also a large sum of money. I'm trying to justify to myself that because I'm not upgrading everything else, spending 1k on a GPU is fine, however I might need a bit of help in doing so. Are there any cards that are cheaper that are good enough for 1440p gaming? I know the 970 and R9 390 are barely good enough, 390X was my thinking, but also hear that it runs hot/loud. How much worse is the 980 over the Ti?

-I have yet to overclock my 2500K and will want to do so when I get the new GPU. I haven't ever overclocked a component, but it's not that difficult, is it? I'm sure I'll be able to figure it out with some videos

-Now that I am going to overclock my CPU and with the new GPU, will my 650W PSU be able to handle? I have an inkling it will be, but want to verify.

Thank you both for your help, us noobs would be lost without you.


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Saberon Jan 19, 2016 12:57 PM Reply | Bookmark
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970/390 is the minimum for 1440p in my opinion. I have the 780 which is a tad slower than the 970 and have been quite happy with 1440p performance.

The 980 isnt significantly faster than a 970 and it's incredibly poor value for the money. Unless it drops in price, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. A 650W will run any single GPU, so no worries there.

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Rebecca_M Jan 19, 2016 01:06 PM Reply | Bookmark
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I think you'll find a 970 can get by just fine at 1440p. I run a 3440x1440 monitor with my gtx 970 just fine, generally on max settings with a few things turned down depending on the game. I'm personally not one to go for the top tier cards as generally the performance/$$$ is weak compared to the next series down. For example if you look at the 980TI vs the 970 the price difference is roughly double, but the performance improvement is 20-30%. However if you purchase a 970 and replace it with whatever its equivalent model is in 2 years, you will have spent the same money but will have better performance then the 980TI will offer. Not to mention either card is going to be a huge improvement over what you have currently. I'm partial to NVIDIA over AMD this round, AMD has some nice performance gains under certain circumstances but efficiency (and therefore power draw and heat output) is way better on the NVIDIA 9xx series of cards.

Not overclocking a 2500K is a crime against computing   Overclocking is ridiculously easy or ridiculously time consuming based on how far you want to go. As you approach the maximum of your CPU you need to spend more and more effort trying to get it stable. However there is generally an easy range for overclocking where with a modest voltage increase and little other tweaking you can get some pretty significant clock speed increases (especially with that chip). I'd expect 4.4-4.6ghz to be in the realm of the easy overclock for most 2500k's but as you approach closer to 5ghz expect things to get far more difficult. Now a lot of this depends on the specific chip so take this with a grain of salt. Also if your using a stock cooler I'd replace that before overclocking, even with something modest like a Hyper 212 cooler, the stock cooler is not designed for even a modest overclock.

As far as power goes it really depends on the power supply, an overclocked 2500k will definitely draw significantly more then a stock 2500k and with 600 watt being the recommended minimum for a 980TI you'll be cutting it close. If your PSU is a strong single rail PSU I'd say you may be fine, if its multiple rails then it's iffy at best. A 970 should be fine in either configuration.

This message was modified by the poster at 01 19, 2016 01:06 PM

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LA_MACHINE Jan 19, 2016 01:27 PM Reply | Bookmark
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Upgrade the parts mentioned above and replace failing ones as it happens.

No reason to change all of it at once.

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