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Windows 7: PC upgrade to i7 based unit

25 Apr 2015   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit SP1
PC upgrade to i7 based unit

Hi all,
Current PC specs:

AMD Phenom II X4 945
680Gb HDD
Sapphire HD7850 OC 2Gb

I wish to get another PC. The current one is 5 years old and is OEM and maxxed out everywhere (RAM, CPU). It originally was Athlon X3 440, no GPU and 3Gb RAM.

I use it for allsorts, and I do like my gaming, but I'm bothered about ultra maxxed out 4K, etc. My monitor is a 20" 1600 x 900 res., but that suits me fine. The PC is now getting long in the tooth, especially where the latest games are concerned. On Far Cry 4 the CPU and RAM only meet the minimum spec.! I am looking at a rig with a i7 4770S CPU (lower power 3.1Ghz version), with 6Gb DDR3 PC3-12800 1600Mhz RAM (I can increase that up to 16Gb if I wish) and 1Tb HDD. I intend to transplant the HD 7850 OC and PSU from my old rig to beef things up. Being on 1600 x 900 res, it should be OK for good FPS. Would this set-up have longevity and play the latest games in the years to come? The graphics card will be upgraded in the years ahead if required. I am not a PC technician, so don't want to go down the route of a self build, but am OK performing upgrades. I have been looking at a PC with an i5 4460 for a little less money, but wish to have something that will be future-proofed for quite a while. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks in advance

My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Apr 2015   #2

Windows 7 x64 (Ultimate)

Depending on who you talk to you will get different answers, some people say that Games don't take advantage of hyper threading so i7 is overkill, others say it does.

I say, with games being console ports (for the most part) and some less optimized than others, why waste money trying to get that ultra max hyper res, less so if your monitor is only capable of that res. I believe an i5 can last more than a few years but that is my personal opinion.

Now, if money is no object why not go for the top of the line.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Apr 2015   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit

If you are going Intel, the standard recommendation would be to use RAM in multiples of 4---such as 4, 8, 16; not 6. Insisting on 6 would probably put you in single channel mode, which would mean a slight performance hit.

Assuming this is a desktop machine, I'd question the S series processor because the power savings in the idle or low load state is minimal--and that's where most PCs spend most of their time.

Yep, an i7 is generally considered overkill on a gaming machine unless the extra 60 or 80 buck you pay for it means nothing to you. The incremental advantage for gaming purposes is minimal, but can make sense if you do a lot of video rendering or otherwise use multi-threaded applications much of the time.

You might consider waiting 3 or 4 months to get a look at Intel's new "Skylake" series of processors. They will probably be out in August and will feature i5s, i7s, over clockable K series, non-K series, 35, 65, and 95 watt models. They will likely use DDR4 RAM, which is slightly more expensive than DDR3. You would need a socket 1151 motherboard and they should be appearing shortly as well.

I wouldn't even consider building a new PC without an SSD, which I don't see mentioned in your first post.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

25 Apr 2015   #4

W7 Pro x64 SP1 | W10 Pro IP x64 | W8.1 Pro x64 VM | Linux Mint VM

It all depends on budget really. If you're on a budget look at a Z87 motherboard with an i5-4670, an SSD and a better GPU as the 7850 is far from great. Your main grunt from gaming will come from your GPU and an i5 or i7 will get bottlenecked by a 7850. Also a 450W PSU won't power anything higher than a 7850 so you'd need to upgrade that as well, look at Corsair or Seasonic, at least a 550W. 8GB 1600MHz RAM will be plenty for whichever setup you go for.

Post a budget and you'll get more detailed answers.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Apr 2015   #5

Windows10 Pro - 64Bit vs.10547

stuff that's process-heavy, like say Corel or Photoshop will benefit greatly from the CPU upgrade,
especially when you consider that they are often also making use of the (much faster) GPU RAM to process data..
- you'll probably notice the difference with Microsoft Office, as well..
- if you're building a workhorse, then go for it..

.. an i5 is well capable of handling the vast majority of PC games, though..
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 PC upgrade to i7 based unit

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