Diablo® III

Need to upgrade on a budget

Posts: 22
11/23/2011 02:41 PMPosted by Xeridea
90% of those getting i7 systems don't actually have need of them, but buy them for the cool factor, someone told them to, or like to spend money.


I have to be honest, its tough to see where you're coming from. My wife and I have been running i7's for a few years now and we absolutely love them. We didnt' go top of the line i7, nor did I suggest as such - but we haven't had to worry about upgrading for the past 2 years, nor do I expect we'll need to worry about upgrading for several more. This is why I suggested that he build an i7 machine. I thought the extra 300 bucks was quite reasonable, and definitely worth saving up for when you compare the benefits of spending 500 vs spending 800.

This person is looking for advice... and my advice was, don't spend 500... save up a bit, and set yourself up for years to come. I played the upgrade game - sinking money into my Athlon XP for as long as I could - and after 2 years, I realized that if I had just put a few more dollars in a few years before, I wouldn't be "having" to upgrade every year the way that I was to keep up with games.

His processor will get maxed - It won't be able to keep up with the calculations on the newer games. His video, especially cause I beleive its AGP won't be able to keep up. Smartest move is a shift it platform, and we found a way that it can be affordable and also be a higher end system at the same time. Again - don't argue with me, I simply provided an option. Let the OP decide which option he likes the best. People (us) have done this before, and we hopefully are helping him learn from our benefits, and also from our mistakes.

Throwing $500 at an outdated processer, motherboard (chipset, ram, etc. etc...) seems like a waste of money to me. Spending an additional 300 - 350 to upgrade to a core i7 w/ DDR3? ... not a waste of money.

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Posts: 4,443
I would say you have two options: Just upgrade the GPU to something really cheap that will run D3 well like a 6770 (assuming it works in your PCIe slot, I think it will). Or get a whole new "system." I.e. get a new CPU, Mobo, GPU and memory. Can be done for under 500 I think:

Core i3-2120 ($125)
AsRock z68 Pro3 ($100)
8gb DDR3 1333 (~$40)
GeForce GTX 560 (~$190) or AMD HD 6870 (~170)

Also, don't listen to anyone telling you to get a core i7. If your primiary use is gaming, you will see virtually no difference going from a core i5 to an i7. If you want to have a top end processor, the i5-2500k is the way to go, though that will bust the budget I think.
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Posts: 687
This person is looking for advice... and my advice was, don't spend 500... save up a bit, and set yourself up for years to come. I played the upgrade game - sinking money into my Athlon XP for as long as I could - and after 2 years, I realized that if I had just put a few more dollars in a few years before, I wouldn't be "having" to upgrade every year the way that I was to keep up with games.


Throwing $500 at an outdated processer, motherboard (chipset, ram, etc. etc...) seems like a waste of money to me. Spending an additional 300 - 350 to upgrade to a core i7 w/ DDR3? ... not a waste of money.

My $60 Dual core will play any game on the market just fine @ high res, and its old technology. There is no need to drop $800 on upgrading components to play games. I guarantee it, quote me if you want to try to prove me wrong later. Even if you wanted more speed, you can get a good quad core for ~$130. There is simply no reason to get an i7 unless you know for certain with your workload (ex. video editing, a LOT of video transcoding, heavy photo editing, compiling large projects, finding PI to the 9 billionth number, extreme gaming) you will need it, and won't even be able to tell the difference on most tasks. Why save up for months or go into debt for something you just don't need?

I had Athlon XP also and upgraded it to Athlon64 later, then to X2, but that was yesteryears, today CPUs are fast enough that 95% of people will be just fine without getting the top dawg CPU.
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Posts: 4,443
@Xeridea, <br />I agree with your sentiment, but there is an appreciable difference between older, dual core processors and newer processors, even in games.

The higher res / AA / AS you go, the less impact CPU has, but there is a very very significant difference between an older Phenom X2 and a newer i3-2100/Core i5-2500k

See, for example, http://techreport.com/articles.x/21813/10. Keep in mind also the "fps" isn't really a good measurement, and that frame stutters are very important.

While the difference between an i3-2100 and i7-2600 is minimal, the difference between a celeron/pentium class cpu now, and a i3-2100 is very big.
Edited by Collateral on 11/23/2011 7:06 PM PST
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