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Helping with tech questions - TweakTown's Ask the Experts - Page 3


TweakTown's Ask the Experts


Should I upgrade to Haswell, or buy a new GPU?

Question asked by Renz from Philippines | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | CPUs, Chipsets & SoCs Content | Posted: Jun 18, 2013 6:18 am

Uhmmm, now that haswell platform is available in my country (ph), I'm thinking of an upgrade to my pc.

 

Current specs:

 

  • Intel Core i5-2500k
  • Asrock Z68 Pro3 motherboard
  • Gskill Ripjaws X 2x2gb (4GB) 1600MHz DDR3 RAM
  • Sapphire Radeon HD 6850

 

I really feel my PC is getting outdated, i need help deciding what to upgrade, go to haswell platform, or go for a newer faster card, (I'm shifting to NVIDIA btw.)

 

I can only spend 400-500 USD. :/

 

TIA!


Hi Renz,

 

Your CPU isn't actually too bad, and upgrading to Haswell (even the Core i7 4770K) isn't going to give you a huge leap in overall system performance. If you are gaming, I would suggest grabbing a new GPU and maybe an SSD. These two upgrade will give you a huge jump in performance, something you will feel in every single game you play.

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/1/5/159_07_should_i_upgrade_to_haswell_or_buy_a_new_gpu.jpg

 

I would suggest the GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 770, something Newegg sell for $399. With the left over $100 or so, I would suggest getting yourself an SSD if you wanted to spend up to the $500 budet you had in place.

 

Here's where I would suggest a Corsair 120GB Force Series GT SSD, which Newegg sell for $129. You could do this in a few weeks time after you get the new GPU. If you had a much less powerful CPU, then things would be different - but your HD 6850 isn't that great, and upgrading to a GTX 770 is going to be leaps and bounds better for you.

 

Let me know how you go!

Does pressing the power button on your PC hurt your HDD more than clicking the Shut Down icon?

Question asked by Robin from Belize | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Storage Content | Posted: May 28, 2013 7:01 am

Shutting the computer off by holding the power button is bad because the hard drive header (if you still use one) doesn't get parked where it should and instead just drops on the platters of the disk and scratches them. That is bad. But it is also said that if you simply press the power button to engage the shutdown sequence instead of clicking "shutdown" in the operating system, damage is also done. i don't see how and it doesn't seem logical; the problem that the hard shut down gave isn't present here because surely the operating system parks the header into the right place upon shutdown, whatever way it is triggered? Or am i missing something here? So i guess my question is...what exactly is wrong with engaging the shutdown sequence by pressing the power button and not the shutdown feature of the operating system?


Hi Robin,

 

I've always done either, and never had an issue with my hard drives. If my PC is physically close to me, sometimes I'll press the power button, if it's not close to me then I'll use the software way - by clicking 'Shut Down' from the Start Menu.

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/1/5/158_05_does_pressing_the_shut_down_icon_in_windows_hurt_your_hdd_more_than_pressing_the_power_button.jpg

 

I've never heard of it hurting the HDD at all by physically pressing the power button, so you should be okay. We'll surely get some comments on here, so let us know your methods of shutting down, and if you've ever experienced an issue like Robin has heard about.

What PSU should I buy for my Radeon HD 7870 CrossFire system?

Question asked by Terry from Canada | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Cases, Cooling & PSU Content | Posted: May 19, 2013 6:58 am

Whats the minimum PSU I should have for two AMD Radeon HD 7870's in crossfire and an AMD FX-6100 CPU?


Hi Terry,

 

For your two Radeon HD 7870's in CrossFire, you'll need something in excess of 450-500W. The cards themselves will use around 150W each, so two of them at 100% load, and we're looking at around 300W just for the cards, and another 100-150W for everything else (on average).

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/1/5/157_01_what_psu_should_i_buy_for_my_radeon_hd_7870_crossfire_system.jpg

 

Corsair do some of the best power supplies in the world, and Newegg currently have the Corsair CX750 PSU on special for $89.99. This is a perfect choice, and not too expensive, but it also gives you some breathing room for future upgrades. Sure, you could get a 500W and probably be fine with it, but it's better to spend $10-$20 more and give yourself ~250W of future-proofing.

What is the minimum PSU required for GeForce GTX 670's in SLI?

Question asked by Carlos from Spain | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Cases, Cooling & PSU Content | Posted: May 10, 2013 1:24 am

What is the minimum power supply for two GeForce GTX 670's to run in SLI?


Hi Carlos,

 

A single GeForce GTX 670 will consume, at a maximum, 170W of power. So two of them will consume 340W of power, according to NVIDIA's detailed specifications on the GTX 670 itself.

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/1/5/156_04_what_is_the_minimum_psu_required_for_geforce_gtx_670_s_in_sli.jpg

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/1/5/156_05_what_is_the_minimum_psu_required_for_geforce_gtx_670_s_in_sli.png

 

As for power supplies, you would probably want to get a 650-850W PSU to cover yourself. I would specifically recommend the Corsair AX760. This is one of the best power supplies in its class, and will handle the two GPU's running in SLI without a problem whatsoever.

I need some help choosing a 32GB kit of DDR3 RAM

Question asked by Jeremy from United States | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | RAM Content | Posted: May 6, 2013 3:45 am

I am in the middle of a new PC build and have almost all of my components except memory and a few other misc items. My motherboard is the ASUS Rampage Extreme IV and I am wanting to go with a 32GB kit.

 

I have been searching forums and trying to get a clear answer on what is the best but no luck so far. In the past I have had Corsair but recently been looking at Geil, G.Skill, and a few other brands. My PC will be a gaming machine and want something that will perform extremely well as well as overclocking too. Any help and feedback would be much appreciated.

 

Thank you.


Hi Jeremy,

 

When looking at any high-end kit of memory, they're each going to be great. Choosing Corsair, G.SKILL, Geil or any other brand will give you some kick-ass memory that you won't regret purchasing.

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/1/5/155_05_i_need_some_help_choosing_a_32gb_kit_of_ddr3_ram.jpg

 

I think it'll come down to two kits, G.SKILL's TridentX memory, or Corsair's Dominator kit. You can get the G.SKILL TridentX 32GB kit at 2400MHz, which I think is the best option, especially if you want it to have some overclocking headroom.

 

Alternatively, you can look at something like Corsair's Dominator kit, which comes in 1600MHz.

 

G.SKILL's TridentX memory is probably the way to go, and you can score this from Newegg's website for $309.99.

Will my 500W power supply be sufficient for a Radeon HD 7950 upgrade?

Question asked by Grant from United Kingdom (Great Britain) | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Cases, Cooling & PSU Content | Posted: Apr 29, 2013 5:28 am

Hi, I have an Aerocool Strike-X 500W PSU

 

My specs are:

  • Core i5 3570k, not oc'd
  • 500GB 7200RPM HDD
  • DVDRW
  • 8GB of DDR3 RAM

 

I would like to add GIGABYTE's Radeon HD 7950 non-OC to it.

 

Will the PSU be ok?


Hi Grant,

 

Definitely. The 500W power supply you have will be more than enough for the GIGABYTE Radeon HD 7950 GPU, even if it were the OC model, or any other HD 7950 for that matter.

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/1/5/152_06_will_my_500w_power_supply_be_sufficient_for_a_radeon_hd_7950_upgrade.jpg

 

The GIGABYTE HD 7950 requires two 6-pin PCIe power connections, which the Strike-X 500W has. The HD 7950 is a very efficient GPU, and a system under load would only pull around 400W with this GPU cranking along inside of it.

 

The Aerocool Strike-X 500W will be fine, so have fun with your new upgrade!

I need helping choosing between the Samsung S27A950D and ASUS VG278HE monitors!

Question asked by Rashid from Philippines | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Displays & Projectors Content | Posted: Apr 23, 2013 5:02 am

Hi,

 

Story is, I'm buying a new computer after five years or so with my laptop, chose to buy a PC since a laptop has a very few upgrade possibilities ( or so I think ).

 

These are the specs:

  • CPU: Intel i7-3770
  • Motherboard: ASUS P8Z77 V
  • Memory: 2 Corsair Vengeance 8GB
  • GPU: XFX HD 7970 3GB/384bit

 

I'm torn between the Samsung S27A950 and ASUS VG278HE.

 

I'm mainly using this computer for movies and games ( League of Legends, Dragon Age, Witcher, Guild Wars 2, Star Craft, Diablo 3, the likes, I play rarely to none FPS games, because it makes me dizzy and gives me headaches ). I might plan to do some little photoshop and video editing, but that's very far from being a professional.

 

So, with that said, would you mind helping me with these ( bare with me here, some of the questions might sound noobish ):

  • 1. I'm more inline with the picture and color quality than the response time, I'm far from being a pro player but I play-to-win.
  • 2. Both of the monitor have a Dual Link DVI-D but the GPU hae a Dual Link DVI-I, what cable should I use to get a 120hz/144hz refresh rate.
  • 3. Is there any huge difference if I played a 1080p in a 60hz, 120hz and 144hz, will I notice it? ( I'm aware that films are recorded in 60fps, TV shows in 24fps, just talking about the quality of the image)
  • 4. I'm not yet a fan of 3D gaming, I heard that 3D shutter glasses can give you headaches, so is there any other alternatives.

 

Thanks in advance!


Hi Rashid,

 

Both of the monitors that you're torn between are going to be great. Both monitors are pretty much on par with each other apart from a few things, something you already know. The Samsung has a refresh rate of up to 120Hz, and the ASUS, with 144Hz.

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/1/5/151_02_i_need_helping_choosing_between_the_samsung_s27a950d_and_asus_vg278he_monitors.jpg

 

For everything I've read on the ASUS, the 144Hz isn't really noticeably better than 120Hz - so if you were going to use this as the selling point, you might want to hold on. Even if 144Hz was something that was noticeable, you would require the fRAMe rate to notice it - thus, you'd need to be pushing 144 fRAMes per second in order to justify the 144Hz monitor.

 

I don't think you'll see this, and I don't recommend the ASUS over the Samsung.

 

Samsung's S27A950D - which is the monitor I'm looking at while I reply to your question - is an excellent monitor. One of the more standout features over ASUS' VG278HE, is that the S27A950D has DisplayPort. Your video card has a DP connector, so this is something that is useful to you.

 

Sure, there's no difference to you whether you use dual-link DVI or DisplayPort, but it's there, just in case. You might want to upgrade and buy a second, or third 120Hz-capable monitor, and you'll need DisplayPort for that.

 

As for your breakdown in questions:

 

1.) If you are after picture and color quality, you might want to look at IPS-based panels, Samsung make a few and so do Dell.

 

2.) You'll need to use the dual-link DVI connector, or if you go for the S27A950D, you could use DisplayPort.

 

3.) This depends on the content you're playing - movies and TV are filmed and played back at 24 FPS, but games - if you're able to reach 120 FPS - will look absolutely amazing (in terms of fluidity) compared to 60Hz.

 

4.) I wouldn't bother with 3D gaming if you're not going to jump right into it. In my opinion, NVIDIA's 3D Vision is a superior technology because of the active shutter glasses - but this would require you to buy a 3D Vision-capable monitor, as well as a new NVIDIA GPU.

Should I go CrossFire HD 6870's, or purchase a HD 7790?

Question asked by Tony from Australia | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards Content | Posted: Apr 16, 2013 5:09 am

I want to improve my gaming performance although I have very empty pockets, I currently have a Gigabyte Radeon HD 6870 1GB Super Overclocked now. I have enough money to buy a Gigabyte Radeon HD7790 2GB Overclocked, but I'm hesitating because I can also buy another Radeon HD6870 1GB. I'm not sure whether the CrossFired cards would be much better although I'm having trouble finding another HD 6870 but i can find a HD 6850 (can the two diff cards be used in CrossFire?)

 

So help me, should I CrossFire the two cards for now to increase performance, or upgrade to the HD 7790. Although, I don't think it will improve my PC... I have a 750W power suppy and a CrossFire-enabled motherboard.

 

Also if you can help - where can I buy a Radeon HD6870 1GB Super Overclocked - LOL LOOKED EVERYWHERE!


Hi Tony,

 

The video card you've already got would do a good job keeping up with the HD 7790, so upgrading to the new card won't do much for performance. You could go two ways here - upgrade to the HD 7790, and sell your card - trying to secure as much money as you can to put toward another HD 7790 and CrossFire those GPUs together.

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/1/5/150_04_should_i_go_crossfire_hd_6870_s_or_purchase_a_hd_7790.jpg

 

Alternatively, hunt the Internet for a second GPU identical to yours and CrossFire it with your current card. You've asked where to find one, so I'd suggest the Overclockers Australia forums. They have a Shop & Swap section, where you could either sell your GPU - or put up a Wanted to Buy ad for another GPU identical to yours.

 

If that fails, then reconsider your options again and maybe sell your card to raise some funds, and spend the $50-$100 you'd get for your GPU and put it toward a HD 7870 or HD 7950.

I want to get a new GPU for my system but want to make sure there's no CPU bottleneck

Question asked by Ahmad from Malaysia | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards Content | Posted: Apr 13, 2013 1:02 am

Here's my spec:

  • MB: MSI 7636 H55M E33 Chipset AMI BIOS v10
  • PSU: Cooler Master Extreme Power Plus 500W
  • CPU: i3 530
  • RAM: 2 X KVR1333D3N9/4G (8GB)
  • HDD: 1 X ST3320418AS Seagate Barracuda 320GB and 1 X WD 500GB
  • GPU: ASUS GT 440 1GB DDR5
  • OS: Win7 64bit ultimate
  • DISPLAY: 32" Sony Bravia EX65 1080p

 

Im thinking of upgrading my GPU to 7850, will it be any problem especially on CPU bottleneck, the PSU (since Cooler Master Power calculator tells me i need 550w ones). What do you guys recommend?


Hi Ahmad,

 

If you were thinking of upgrading to the Radeon HD 7850, that's a great move - it's a great GPU for the price. Have you also looked at the Radeon HD 7770? You might want to take a look before you dive in. Not only the HD 7770, but the GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost, too.

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/1/4/149_07_i_want_to_get_a_new_gpu_for_my_system_but_want_to_make_sure_there_s_no_cpu_bottleneck.jpg

 

As for the CPU bottleneck, your Core i3 processor should be fine. You've got 8GB of RAM sitting there, too. I would say that your current Cooler Master 500W PSU is enough, as these mid-range GPUs do not consume that much power. I think you'll be fine, don't worry about upgrading your PSU just yet.

 

Of course, an i5 or i7 processor would help - but you should be okay for now. I would pencil in a CPU upgrade for the future, though.

Should I go for Radeon HD 7950's in CrossFire, or a single HD 7970 on my Samsung S27A950D 120Hz monitor?

Question asked by Daksh from India | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards Content | Posted: Apr 11, 2013 2:25 am

Looking for new graphics card setup everything else is up to date with latest hardware.

 

I am confused between 1x AMD Radeon HD 7970 or 2 x HD 7850's, I'm using the Samsung S27A950D 120Hz-capable monitor. What is your preference?


Hi Daksh,

 

You could not have asked a better question, as I have pretty much the identical setup right here, on the PC I'm replying to your question on. I run the same Samsung S27A950D monitor, and maintaining 120 FPS in the latest games is hard on any system.

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/1/4/148_06_should_i_go_for_radeon_hd_7950_s_in_crossfire_or_a_single_hd_7970_on_my_samsung_s27a950d_120hz_monitor.jpg

 

A single Radeon HD 7970 will be ok, but you won't be pushing 120 FPS in games like Battlefield 3 or Crysis 3. I would definitely, without a doubt, recommend the CrossFire HD 7950 solution. I take it your motherboard is CrossFire compatible, and your power supply has enough juice to run the two GPUs.

 

You won't be sorry with that setup, and you should push very close, if not over 120 FPS in most games. Crysis 3 is hard on systems, but if you scale the graphics down a little (no anti-aliasing, etc) then you should be fine. Enjoy!

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