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Helping with tech questions - TweakTown's Ask the Experts - Page 6


TweakTown's Ask the Experts


I'm looking to upgrade my system, can you offer some suggestions?

Question asked by Robert from United States | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Computer Systems Content | Posted: Feb 12, 2013 4:08 am

Hello, I've been out of the component game for a while currently running the following setup and want to know if it's worth upgrading and any suggestions would be appreciated! Thank you!

 

  • ASUS Sabertooth X58 LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
  • Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor BX80601950
  • EVGA GTX 470
  • SSD for startup
  • 1TB for storage
  • 12 Gigs Corsair RAM


Hi Robert,

 

It really depends on what you're doing with your system, so we'll take it from two angles. First, if you're gaming, then I would suggest getting yourself some new GPUs. Maybe you could look at two Radeon HD 7970s, or you could get two NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680s?

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/1/2/126_10_i_m_looking_to_upgrade_my_system_can_you_offer_some_suggestions.jpg

 

This would let you max out all games right now, no matter your setup - 1920x1080, 2560x1600, or even an EyeFinity or Surround Vision setup. Let's move onto the second option: CPU, motherboard and RAM upgrade.

 

Here I'd suggest two options - Intel's Core i7 3770K or the Core i7 3970X. The former is much cheaper, but the latter features a six-core design (12 threads with Hyper-Threading). If you're doing CPU intensive tasks like video editing, this would be the way I'd be going. Motherboard-wise, you just need to get yourself something that would match the CPU - and if you're moving to new GPUs, something a little higher-end.

 

I'd suggest Gigabyte's Z77X-UD4 TH, or X79-UP4 - both of these boards would kick ass in a new system. You could bring over your current RAM for the systems, but if you wanted some of that quad-channel goodness in the LGA 2011 system, you'd need to buy some new RAM.

If I upgrade my motherboard, will I see improvements to the frame rate in games?

Question asked by Shady from Egypt | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Motherboards Content | Posted: Feb 11, 2013 1:23 am

If I've changed my motherboard to a high end one, Will there be some improvement in frame-rates ?

 

If there are some tips please write it to me.

 

my PC

  • AMD Phenom II X4 965 BE ( Overclocked to 3.70 GHz )
  • Gigabyte GA-MA78LMT-S2 Motherboard
  • MSI R6970 Lightning ( Factory Overclocked )
  • Kingston Value-ram 4GB 1333 MHz
  • Western Digital HDD 160 GB 7200 RPM
  • Cougar 700CM Power Supply
  • Thermaltake Armor A60 Case
  • Samsung 900p LCD Monitor

 

Thank you.


Hi Shady,

 

I don't think you would see any improvements, as the motherboard doesn't really improve the overall power of your system. What I would suggest is, if you were to upgrade your motherboard - upgrade your CPU at the same time.

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/1/2/125_04_if_i_upgrade_my_motherboard_will_i_see_improvements_to_the_frame_rate_in_games.jpg

 

It's not worth investing more money into your system, because at the end of the day you're still constrained by your AMD CPU. Yes, it's overclocked, but it doesn't begin to compare with a mid-range Intel Core i5 processor, which you could buy for around $200, and a great motherboard for $100-$150.

 

This is more than you wanted to spend, I'm sure, but you could sell your current CPU and motherboard to contribute toward your upgrade. Doing this, would give you a huge change in your frame rates, and it would be visible in most games.

 

From here, the next option I would suggest is buying an SSD - this again will help your system feel much, much smoother. Your GPU is fine and won't need to be upgraded, the same goes for your RAM and PSU.

What's a good result for the new 3DMark? I'd like to know if my system is running well or not

Question asked by Ian from United States | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Software Content | Posted: Feb 7, 2013 6:44 am

What is a decent 3DMark score for the new 3DMark? I'm just wondering if my system is decent or not.


Hi Ian,

 

There's no best or worst score in 3DMark, but you can find a close score to yours by visiting 3DMark's 'Results' site. There, you can search for systems with a particular CPU or GPU. From there, you can look at some results of a GPU or CPU close to, or exactly the same as yours.

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/1/2/124_09_what_s_a_good_result_for_the_new_3dmark_i_d_like_to_know_if_my_system_is_running_well_or_not.jpg

 

This is the best way to see what results are close to yours, and whether your system is getting results that are similar (within 5-10% of those scores). Remember to check if they're running stock or overclocked CPU or GPU clocks, too!

 

If you find yourself not scoring near the compared results, I always suggest a fresh format and re-install of your operating system. This way you can get fresh drivers on, and wipe away any congestion on the system - kind of like a spring clean of your system.

 

Happy 3DMarking!

I'm after some new GPUs for my 2560x1440 gaming, help!

Question asked by Clint from United States | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards Content | Posted: Feb 6, 2013 5:19 am

I currently have an i7 920 @ stock and tri-sli GTX-280's. What would help out gaming@2560x1440 the most from these options: get a good closed loop water cooler and OC the CPU to ~4GHZ and a single hd7970/gtx-680 or save the money from the water cooler leaving cpu @ stock, 2x hd7950's / 2x gtx-670's. My budget is around $650 and time frame for upgrading is going to be in April.


Hi Clint,

 

Definitely overclock your CPU, but whatever you do, do it on air and save all of the cash for some GPUs. Your biggest bottleneck is going to be the GPUs and the higher the resolution, the more GPU grunt you're going to require.

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/1/2/123_05_i_m_after_some_new_gpus_for_my_2560x1440_gaming_help.jpg

 

I would go down the route of some CrossFire AMD Radeon HD 7950s myself, after using them for some testing, they're incredible pieces of hardware for the money. You could check out something like Sapphire's VAPOR-X HD 7950 3GB OC with Boost. Two of these in CrossFire would be insane, and would give you 60fps minimum in any game out right now.

 

The other thing to remember is, you're only on a 60Hz screen. Any frames above 60fps are wasted, so ideally, you want to be maxing out at 60fps. Two Radeon HD 7950s would allow you to reach this with all eye candy cranked to maximum, anti-aliasing (AA) included.

 

Alternatively, you could push for the HD 7970, or overclock the 7950 itself and get yourself a Corsair H100 cooler, too. Newegg sell the Corsair H100 for $99. Then you could overclock your CPU, which would become the new bottleneck with the new GPU setup.

I'd like to know about the advantages of 120Hz monitors

Question asked by Bryan from United States | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Displays & Projectors Content | Posted: Feb 5, 2013 5:09 am

Hello. :D

 

First this my Gaming PC:

  • Intel core i5 3570K
  • Gigabyte G1.Sniper M3 Z77
  • Corsair H80
  • 7870 or GTX 660 (coming soon on 2 weeks)
  • Samsung MV3V-4G3D/US DDR3 2x4GB 1600MHz
  • Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB
  • Cooler Master 690 II Advanced

 

I have a question about is necessary use 120Hz (1920x1080) monitors for more smooth movements and better peformance for gaming over 60 FPS without activate V-Sync.

 

And so if using their monitors improve on Full-HD movies. (all formats)

 

I seen on many forums but don't sure about buy a 120Hz monitor or 60Hz monitor and 60GB SSD.

 

PD: Not interested in using 3D, just a Full-HD monitor with more frequency than 60Hz.


Hi Bryan,

 

You'll be glad to hear that we'll be featuring many articles on 120Hz monitors here at TweakTown in the near future, as that is what I personally use at home. I have four of the bad boys on my desks, and it's very hard for me to use anything but 120Hz monitors now.

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/1/2/122_09_i_d_like_to_know_about_the_advantages_of_120hz_monitors.jpg

 

Fluidity in games is very important, especially for first-person shooters, but the biggest issue is achieving 120 frames per second to enjoy that smoothness. Sure, a 120Hz monitor is smoother by default than a 60Hz monitor, but you get absolute perfection - as close to a CRT as you can get - by getting a minimum of 120fps on a 120Hz-capable monitor.

 

Enabling V-Sync on a 60Hz monitor helps, but it doesn't even begin to come close to the fluidity of a true 120Hz monitor. I would definitely recommend getting a 120Hz monitor, but the GPU you have chosen won't be capable of pumping out 120fps at 1080p in most games like Battlefield 3, for example.

 

I personally run a Core i7 and a Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 OC, and if I overclock it and reduce my details down a bit in Battlefield 3, I can reach 100-120fps average. An HD 7850 or GTX 660 will require you to drop the resolution down to something like 1280x720, but you would hit 120fps pretty easily.

 

That's the problem with 120Hz monitors, they'll always have you buying new GPUs to keep up with game releases!

What's the best GPU for gaming at 1366x768?

Question asked by Rumy from Bangladesh | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards Content | Posted: Feb 4, 2013 3:26 am

Suggest me the best GPU for 1366x768 gaming.


Hi Rumy,

 

For gaming at 1366x768, I would suggest something like Sapphire's Radeon HD 7850 GPU. These bad boys can be acquired for less than $200, with NewEgg selling them for $169. The 1GB of on-board RAM will be enough to crank most games up to medium or even high detail at 1366x768.

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/1/2/121_02_what_s_the_best_gpu_for_gaming_at_1366x768.jpg

 

So while you won't be gaming at Full HD resolutions, you'll be able to enjoy some high detail in your games with the GPU's extra unused bandwidth.

Is there much difference in performance between high-end motherboards?

Question asked by Toni from Denmark | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Motherboards Content | Posted: Jan 27, 2013 4:39 am

How much difference is between high-end motherboards in performance? lets say asus sabertooth z77, Gigabyte Z77X-UD5H and Biostar Hi-Fi Z77X. i want to overclock them but i dont know which to buy.


Hi Toni,

 

This will probably get me a bunch of comments saying I'm wrong - but at the end of the day, the performance difference between high-end motherboards is not that great. I'm talking strictly performance here, not features - but pure, raw numbers.

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/1/2/120_06_is_there_much_difference_in_performance_between_high_end_motherboards.jpg

 

Sure, there'll be a few percentage points between motherboards on benchmarks, but it's not like motherboard A versus motherboard B is a 30% difference in performance. You're looking at BIOS differences, PCIe slots, overclocking headroom, 3- or 4-way GPU support, board quality (transistors, cooling, etc) and then finally, SATA controller/s, etc.

 

So there are differences between high-end motherboards, but performance you'll find will be in the same 5-10% range of any board in its class. Anything from ASUS, Gigabyte, ASRock and others will give you some seriously great performance.

I want to get some new RAM for my computer but want to make sure its compatible first!

Question asked by Oded from Israel | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | RAM Content | Posted: Jan 26, 2013 5:05 am

Hi, i want to buy a new 2x4GB RAM kit to my computer. I have a GA-EP45T-UD3LR mobo and wanted to know if when choosing the memory i gotta stick to the supported chipset of each company and model.

 

For example, i really wanna get some G.skill set of memories but the product details says that the supported mobo chipsets are P67/Z68/P55/AMD7xx.....

 

Will i be able use it on my mobo? If so, then will it run at max speed supported by my mobo?

is there any risk or other issues that might pop up?

 

tnx


Hi Oded,

 

Most RAM manufacturers won't state that their memory will be compatible with all boards, but at the end of the day it's still just RAM. By using that rule, if your board takes DDR3, then any DDR3 from any company, will work. As long as it's around the same speed (anything faster will run its clocks lower to work), and the same pin count (200-pin, 240-pin, etc).

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/1/1/119_02_i_want_to_get_some_new_ram_for_my_computer_but_want_to_make_sure_its_compatible_first.jpg

 

You can buy any of the G.Skill kits, as long as it's the same DDR type as your motherboard. Your Gigabyte EP45T-UD3LR takes DDR3 memory, so you'll be fine. Get any of their dual-channel DDR3 kits and away you go!

Should I get Corsair's H110, or the H100i for my NZXT Phantom 410?

Question asked by Severus from Romania | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Cases, Cooling & PSU Content | Posted: Jan 25, 2013 3:58 am

Hello again Tweakers,

 

I'm going to get some watercooling for my rig and wanted to know if the new Corsair H110 will fit in my NZXT Phantom 410 without additional hole modifications (like the Kraken X60), or if I should just go with the H100i which I know fits.

 

Thank you


Hi Severus,

 

The NZXT Phantom 410 should be able to house Corsair's H100 cooler, but it would be up to you if you want to go for the newer H100i. From what I've read in preparation for this question, Corsair's H100 will fit into the NZXT Phantom 410.

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/1/1/118_04_should_i_get_corsair_s_h100_or_the_h100i_for_my_nzxt_phantom_410.jpg

 

For peace of mind, I would go for the Corsair H100i, as you said - you know it works. That way you won't be worried when installing it. Let us know how you go! Definitely comment back here when you finish the build and let us know how you went!

 

Edit: I read the question wrong, and presumed you wrote "H100". The H110 is a 280mm unit, so by the looks of the Phantom 410, it will not fit. The H100i, however, will fit - so my recommendation is the same - go for the H100i!

I have an EVGA GeForce GTX 680 and a Silverstone 450W PSU - is this enough?

Question asked by John from United States | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Cases, Cooling & PSU Content | Posted: Jan 24, 2013 2:41 am

I have a EVGA GeForce GTX 680 4GB w/Backplate GPU card. Do you think a SILVERSTONE ST45SF-G 450W SFX12V PSU is enough to power up for a M-ITX setup? Because I have a SILVERSTONE FT-03 MINI case which only fits a SFX 12V PSU.


Hi John,

 

Normally I'd be fearful of recommending a 450W PSU for a video card like that, but from EVGA's own website, the maximum power draw of that GPU is 195W. If you don't overclock the EVGA GeForce GTX 680, then the rest of your system - let's say it's a Core i7, 8-16GB of RAM, SSD and a few days - should be fine.

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/1/1/117_02_i_have_an_evga_geforce_gtx_680_and_a_silverstone_450w_psu_is_this_enough.jpg

 

The actual power draw is always different to what people think, and companies like EVGA will state that the requirements are a 'minimum of 550 Watt power supply', but that is usually an older PSU, or a non-brand name PSU. Silverstone make some great power supplies, so you should be fine.

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