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NGXfanatic

Replacing I7 930 system

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As a 40th birthday gift to myself, I'm looking to finally upgrade my 3 1/2 year first gen I7 system to something a little more current. Yes, you can never have enough FPS, but I have no real complaints about my current rig.   But I want to strike now while I can help defray the upgrade costs by selling the parts on eBay while they still hold some value and life in them.

 

I only pay attention to the hardware spec scene when I'm shopping for parts, and after a 3 1/2 year break I'm pretty rusty, although I have paid some attention to the trends on AVSIM now and then.  Here's what I know: Sandy Bridge is supposed to be a better value/overclocker than Ivy Bridge.  K - spec cpus (2600k, 4770k) have an unlocked multiplier for easy overclocking.   And the Haswell architecture just debuted, which should bring down prices of the SB/IB system I have been thinking about these past few weeks.

 

I want to know how much of an increase in performance I can reasonably expect.  Also, which is the best bang for the buck of the three I7 platforms out there now?  I'm not adverse to getting Haswell even though I wasn't planning on it, but if the prices for the new architecture and the related hardware is reasonable, I'm game. 

 

Here are the specs for the only parts I'm swapping:

 

CPU: Intel i7 930, 2.8 ghz overclocked to 4.2 ghz. 

MOBO: Asus P6X58D-E

GPU: EVGA 480 GTX Superclocked Edition 1.5TB

MEMORY: 6 GB Muskin Enhanced Ridgeback 1600 DDR3

CPU COOLER:  Thermalright U120extreme 1366RT Rev C CPU Cooler

 

Rest of my build is in my profile on left, but they do not need to be upgraded.

 

I'm in no huge rush, as I am conducting research for the better part of the month and hope to start putting it together by the start of November.  I don't want to interrupt my flights in the new PMDG 777 with overclocking tests and such, and I especially don't want to reinstall the OS/FSX from scratch, as I am also researching the possibility of just plugging the existing hard drives into the new system with minimal effort, via disk images or cloning.

 

Anywhoo, I welcome any and all opinions on the many changes to the hardware landscape since I last took on this task.

 

 

 

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I have the same processor and motherboard as you....even overclocked it like you......lol

 

  I do have the Nvidia 560T card with a cooler as well.......Instead of building a new high end rig, upgrade the graphic card, build or buy a cheap second computer and start networking two computers.....one runs FSX and the second runs your add on like active sky, Aivlasoft or fs commander 9.3, and etc.......this will take the load off your main computer....

 

  hope this helps on ideas

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Do you have a budget in mind?

 

I would see no reason to go with anything other than a Haswell 4770K system right now. I certainly wouldn't be purchasing a Sandybridge system at the moment as you miss out certain things, such as pcie3.0 for example. Haswell motherboards also have some nice features that 1155 boards don't have.

 

Haswell may not overclock as "high" as Sandybridge, but bear in mind it is faster clock for clock. My 4.5Ghz 4770K is faster than my 4.9Ghz 2600K for example.

 

IMO, go 4770K, but if you averse to Haswell, don't go below a 3770K.

 

Talking purely FSX here, raw CPU power is king and more CPU horsepower will net you the largest increase in performance over a GPU upgrade to your current system for example.

 

Don't bother building a second system to run all your addons networked at this stage. You will see a far bigger improvement moving to a PC for FSX. Networked PC's for FSX can be beneficial, but it depends how you're using FSX and what addons you're running etc.

 

If your budget fits, I would go with this

 

CPU - 4770K

Mobo -Your choice really as they are all comparable but I would go with MSI Mpower, Asus Sabertooth, Asus Maximus Hero, of Gigabye Z87X-UD4H.

GPU: EVGA GTX780 ACX Superclocked

RAM: 8GB G.Skill Trident X 2400Mhz CL9

CPU Cooler: Not sure if you want Air or Water, but I'd say atleast a Corsair H100i or comparable. Make sure you check what is compatible with your case.

 

I know you didn't mention it, but I'd also recommend picking up an SSD as this will reallly provide a nice boost to your system and make it feel nice and "snappy".

 

I'd strongly recommend doing a fresh install of the OS and FSX on a new build as you could run into issues having your old drivers etc on the install. I know it might seem a hassle, but it's much better to start with a fresh slate than run into issues down the track.

 

Hope this helps!

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I have to agree with all of ant's advice, especially about going for the i7-4770k.  Just because the Haswell processors have lousy heat transfer should not make you consider buying an outdated processor.  As ant said, Haswell will still have more throughput than SB/IB at the same freq.  Check out the PassMark scores if you need more convincing.  My rule of thumb is wait for your new CPU to double the benchmarks of your old one.  Your i7 930 scores 5,181 and the i7 4770k is at 10,130... close enough to 2x!

 

You will also miss out on other architectural enhancements of Haswell that all contribute to the new generation being more efficient than the older ones.  Don't buy a 2 year old design, the 4770k is the gold standard for new FSX builds right now.

 

While I wouldn't compromise on the proc, if you have to shave off some cash, consider a 770 instead of the venerable 780.  What you will notice in performance is probably not worth the price premium on the 780.  From what I hear, the 780 really shines when it comes to serious weather, but a 770 is still a powerful card.

 

One more thing, as ant suggests, do a fresh OS and FSX install on a new disk (preferably an SSD).  Replacing that many parts (esp. the mainboard) you're asking for driver troubles if you try to let windows deal with it.

 

Happy Birthday!

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Do you have a budget in mind?

 

I would see no reason to go with anything other than a Haswell 4770K system right now. I certainly wouldn't be purchasing a Sandybridge system at the moment as you miss out certain things, such as pcie3.0 for example. Haswell motherboards also have some nice features that 1155 boards don't have.

 

Haswell may not overclock as "high" as Sandybridge, but bear in mind it is faster clock for clock. My 4.5Ghz 4770K is faster than my 4.9Ghz 2600K for example.

 

I want to stay within $800-$1000 for the total upgrade.   Now that you mention it, it would see be a shame to settle for a SB now that the brand new Haswell architecture is out, and it appears the prices are very comparable.  I saw on Newegg that the SB chip I wanted, the 2600k, is the exact same price as the 4770k!  I thought the prices would go down, which was part of the reason I was delaying my upgrade.   So it would be foolish not to go for the newer tech, especially since I will be living with this system for the next 2-3 years.   Didn't now Haswell doesn't oc like the SB, but I did know the IB doesn't oc as easy as SB, due to the IB having a subpar thermal design.  I had pretty much ruled IB out of the running, and with the race now between SB and Haswell, looks like Haswell is in the lead!

 

I have to agree with all of ant's advice, especially about going for the i7-4770k.  Just because the Haswell processors have lousy heat transfer should not make you consider buying an outdated processor.  As ant said, Haswell will still have more throughput than SB/IB at the same freq.  Check out the PassMark scores if you need more convincing.  My rule of thumb is wait for your new CPU to double the benchmarks of your old one.  Your i7 930 scores 5,181 and the i7 4770k is at 10,130... close enough to 2x!

 

You will also miss out on other architectural enhancements of Haswell that all contribute to the new generation being more efficient than the older ones.  Don't buy a 2 year old design, the 4770k is the gold standard for new FSX builds right now.

 

While I wouldn't compromise on the proc, if you have to shave off some cash, consider a 770 instead of the venerable 780.  What you will notice in performance is probably not worth the price premium on the 780.  From what I hear, the 780 really shines when it comes to serious weather, but a 770 is still a powerful card.

 

One more thing, as ant suggests, do a fresh OS and FSX install on a new disk (preferably an SSD).  Replacing that many parts (esp. the mainboard) you're asking for driver troubles if you try to let windows deal with it.

 

Happy Birthday!

 

Thanks for the birthday wishes, and I especially value the Haswell advice.   Those passmark scores are quite persuasive, and while I don't hold too much value to benchmarks as actual application performance under real world conditions is different, it's hard to argue with the drastic doubling in score.  That certainly convinces me that it's time to stop sitting on the fence and just upgrade to the 4770k.  

 

I still have to price everything out, but I feel like I will spend the same amount of money on the Haswell build as I would the SB build.  Is there anything really different between the two platforms in terms of memory config or mobo standards?    I'm seeing some warnings about how the chip responds to overclocking, is it worse than IB? 

 

Regarding a clean install, I have a feeling it's the best option, but I would still like to try adding the hard drives intact to the new build, if it doesn't work I am fine with the clean install.  Anyways, I still have lots of reading up to do on Haswell vs SB and I thank you for your advice.

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Hi AJ, in the exact same boat as you, so this is a really timely thread :lol:

 

Keep us posted on the hardware you settle on, how the overclocking goes, and if you're able to upgrade the OS "in-place". 

 

 

Cheers,

Dylan

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Hey Dylan, great minds think alike?

 

I still have some researching to do, I'm really interested in the in place install, but deep inside I feel like it's not right somehow, as it's been ingrained in me that new hardware requires a clean sweep of the OS.  But the clean install is very painful for me, especially since I have everything setup just the way I like it, and it took months to get to this point.   I don't see how dropping the hard drives into the new system wouldn't work, there must be a way to load the new hardware drivers on a memory stick or something to get just the drivers replaced after the hardware swap.  I still need to do my homework, but this kind of thing happens all the time in the corporate world, where workers' data is seamlessly transferred to new desktops, I just need to read up on the options and become comfortable with that approach.  But it won't be the end of the world if I was forced to start from scratch.

 

After some reading up on Haswell, I'm a little disappointed in the lack of progress Intel has made in performance relative to earlier generation chips.  The consensus among the techie crowd is that Intel has become lazy as AMD is basically no longer a competitor in the high end/enthusiast hardware space and that Sandy Bridge was really the last great Intel chip that offered noticeable improvement over it's predecessors.   IB and Haswell offer some improvements of course, but not as much as if AMD was still in the race.  Integrated graphics?   Who the heck needs that in this day and age, seems like it's geared to the laptop crowd.  Speaking of laptops, it seems like Intel is prioritizing reducing power consumption over performance gains.  Am I correct in my assumption?

 

Anyway, it still makes more sense to go with Haswell over Sandy Bridge, even though SB seems like a better value/overclocker.  As most people have said, clock for clock it's a faster chip and if I'm going to be using this build for the new few years, why not go with the newer spec versus a years old architecture?

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I still have some researching to do, I'm really interested in the in place install, but deep inside I feel like it's not right somehow, as it's been ingrained in me that new hardware requires a clean sweep of the OS. But the clean install is very painful for me, especially since I have everything setup just the way I like it, and it took months to get to this point. I don't see how dropping the hard drives into the new system wouldn't work, there must be a way to load the new hardware drivers on a memory stick or something to get just the drivers replaced after the hardware swap. I still need to do my homework, but this kind of thing happens all the time in the corporate world, where workers' data is seamlessly transferred to new desktops, I just need to read up on the options and become comfortable with that approach. But it won't be the end of the world if I was forced to start from scratch.

 

It will work so far as you can plug in your old disk with OS on and Windows will boot etc. Did that myself once by accident when I was swapping in an SSD from my old system to this new one I recently built. You will also be able to install the new driver software for your motherboard etc.

 

HOWEVER, there will still be remnants lying around of your drivers etc from your previous system which could potentially cause issues or conflicts. You have to remember that in the corporate world where workers data is shifted, it tends to be purely that, user data and nothing else, no drivers etc.

 

Personally I wouldn't even consider anything but a fresh install on a new system, there's just too much potential for issues. No pain, no gain!

 

So far as Sandy vs Ivy vs Haswell, and one being a better value overclocker than another. Take a look at performance results. A 4.8-5Ghz Sandybridge (which you may not even be able to achieve) can be beaten by a 4.4-4.5Ghz Haswell. Of course no matter what chip you go for, you're entering the chip lottery so far as overclocking goes. Haswell also brings new instruction sets to the table and better chipset features, faster RAM compatibility etc.

 

Look at this way, you have a 2008 1st gen I7 and the current model is 2013 4th Gen. If you had a 2008 model car, lets say a BMW, would you be likely to jump from a 2008 to a 2011 model which is considered and End of Life Product/Discontinued by the manufacturer (à la Sandybridge) or would you be more likely to go for the newer 2013 model with added features that is going to provide you atleast the same performance if not better and at the same or similar cost (assuming you're not buying used parts)?

 

That would be my line of thinking if I were in your boat, but that's just my opinion, you need to go with what you're comfortable with.

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Hey Anthony, thanks for the followup.  I am aware now of the potential for issues because of old driver bits, but the way I see things it won't hurt to try.  If down the line I notice bad behavior, I will then go the clean install route.  

 

Does the Haswell top out about 4.4-4.5ghz?  From what I have gathered, 4.8 at a minimum seemed the norm for SB, but that is anecdotal.   I am a little concerned with reports that Haswell is running hotter than SB at the same or slightly better performance, even if we try to do an apples to apples comparison with a 4.5 Haswell vs. a 4.8 Sandy Bridge.  I have to wonder what that means for the chip's lifespan.  Folks really seem to love SB, and are much less than enthused with Intel's offerings since SB.  It seems reflected in the parity of prices between the 2600k and 4770k, I won't lie, that alone makes it hard for me to make up my mind.   Also, I have seen the reports here alluding to the "chip lottery" with Haswell: http://forum.avsim.net/topic/416434-do-you-have-a-good-haswell-i7-4770k-how-to-tell/ 

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Unless you delid your chip you will likely top out around 4.5 maybe 4.6Ghz if you're lucky and being sensible about your temperatures. This is on a good aftermarket CPU cooler. You may get slightly higher on custom water cooling but it is a bit "luck of the draw". Majority of 4770K's should be able to hit 4.4-4.5Ghz fairly easily though from what I've read.

 

Intel has stated before that it is Voltage that will kill a chip/degrade lifespan as opposed to temperature, but obviously if you are irresponsible and have insane temperatures then that will end up contributing to degradation.

 

What I would recommend doing is investing in the Intel Tuning Protection Plan for your chip, regardless of what you buy (I did). In the event your CPU is damaged in the course of overclocking and through out it's use, Intel will replace it.

 

So far as comparisons go between a 4770K and a 2600K go, I have had both. My 2600K was running at 4.9Ghz HT off and my 4770K is running at 4.5Ghz with HT on (which as I'm sure you've read adds a few degrees to temperatures).

 

Performance wise (talking purely FSX here but it translates to other use also), the 4770K @ 4.5Ghz wins hands down, beats the 2600K at 4.9Ghz.

 

Temperature wise. Under Stress Test loads (i.e Prime95, Intel Burn Test etc), the 4770K does run a bit hotter, but bear in mind I have HT on. At 4.9Ghz HT off my 2600K would top out around 84C, my 4770K at 4.5Ghz HT On hit 88C (HT off would drop this a bit).

 

When using FSX, guess what? Very similar temperatures. They both max out at 60C.

 

Bear in mind these are in different cases, using different CPU coolers though so that obviously does have some impact here. 2600K was on a Corsair H70, 4770K is on a Corsair H110.

 

The above is purely from my experiences and based on the notes I had taken when overclocking boith machines.

 

I respect your position on Sandybridge, it truly is a great chip (I know, I've had one  B)), but at this point IMO I couldn't recommend someone to purchase one brand new when the are essentially old tech/discontinued by intel. Not only this but you'd be missing out on pcie3.0 among other things.

 

Food for thought I guess.

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Sounds like Haswell at 4.4-4.5 is basically the same or better performance as 4.8ghz SB, with the added benefits of more modern features like PCI-E 3.0 and others.   As long as it's reasonable to expect at least 4.4ghz on an overclock with a decent aftermarket cooler, which I always spring for, that's all I need to know to help me make my final decision.  

Yeah, I'm not particularly concerned about a higher temp relative to the SB having an impact on the cpu lifespan, as I have overclocked my past 2 chips and have never had one die on me prematurely.  I have read a lot on the subject of overclocking and understand that voltages outside the recommended limits are detrimental, and it's nice to know that is the leading cause of "fried" chips, not high temps, as FSX and other real world applications will never reach the sustained high temps found when running overclocking tools like OCCT, IBT, or the like. 

 

I have a nice long haul to fly now in the PMDG 777 from KMSP to RJAA, but the long cruise will give me the opportunity to play around with potential component choices on Newegg.  I hope to spend no more than $800 total on the new build after selling off my old parts! 

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    You are all going this the wrong way....FSX was built on old technology with 32bit.....your upgrades is like having a lamborghini on a windy road, looks great but can't really use its full potential with FSX.    

 

    I would and I have invested in a second computer and network them both, transfer all my add on and everything is running great!

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    You are all going this the wrong way....FSX was built on old technology with 32bit.....your upgrades is like having a lamborghini on a windy road, looks great but can't really use its full potential with FSX.    

 

    I would and I have invested in a second computer and network them both, transfer all my add on and everything is running great!

 

Howell, respectfully I have to say you're wrong on this one.

 

I don't doubt you have your FSX running great. However, FSX loves raw CPU horsepower and will benefit far more from a new faster system running FSX as opposed to adding a second system to offload other programs to.

 

I know it's not a competition, but I highly doubt your older Nehalem system with second networked PC would have better performance than a new Haswell system running at 4.4-4.5Ghz, some fast RAM and a decent graphics card.

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There is some truth to the old technology statement Howell states above about the 32bit operating environment fsx is coded in, however I have a i7-950 OC to 4.1 and a GTX680 and my system does okay with sliders tweaked. BUT I have seen FSX being run on a 4770k clocked to 4.5 with a GTX680 card and it runs better, however does it run better to the tune of $800 (New Motherboard, CPU and Memory) for the upgrade, that's the million dollar question? most will say yes , I still am on the fence on this one. Hopefully with Black Friday just around the corner I might say its worth a upgrade cost of $600 but I will wait to upgrade to see what the holiday sales bring... :-)

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