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Upgrading while being poor.

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A couple years back, through the glory of being given department store vouchers, I managed to get a then-new GTX 1050 Ti Strix card for my desktop. It was glorious - previously I'd been using a Geforce GT 6 card that cost me about $30 on eBay. Now I could play Tomb Raider with averages of above 30fps, instead of 20. Rise of the Tomb Raider would ...play. With quite decent settings to boot!

 

I put this card in my most powerful machine of the time, a 2013 Celeron with 8GB of DDR-1600 running at 1333 because $50 CPU. It's served me well, but the truth is - I wanna play Shadow, Final Fantasy XV and 0AD-with-actual-good-framerates. And the bottleneck is my trusty Celeron chip. So, it's time for me to upgrade.

 

Only one problem. I'm poor. Luckily, 2013 was a long time ago, which means much more powerful hardware is now available for a bargain price. Point in fact, I already had a second workstation - a 2x4 Xeon Mac Pro that handily outclassed my Celeron in most things. This left me with a quandary. My Mac Pro is FSB-based, so has a limited total bus bandwidth. On the other hand, it has dual-channel DDR-667, putting it in similar hypothetical transfer class for memory as my single-channel Celeron. The machine wasn't expensive, either. $160 with 12GB ram (I had a set of 32gb sticks just lying around, so never mind) and a reasonable chunk of spinny hard disks.

 

This leaves me with a quandary. $30 gets me a decent 128GB SSD from a recycling company for either machine. $50 gets me an Ivy Bridge i5 or Xeon, 4c4t, 3ghz. $80-$100 should get me a 4c8t Xeon of similar speed. Either will work in my five year old motherboard, unlocking 1600 ram speed, moving my GTX1050 Ti from PCI-e 2.0 to 3.0, doubling my cores and adding a huge chunk to my per-thread performance to boot! But an extravagent $1.50 gets me a PCI-e power cable that lets me put my GTX 1050 Ti into that dual Xeon machine. Four times the ram, eight *real* cores...

 

I honestly don't know which would be faster. So, I bought two $30 SSD's and a $1.50 cable. Currently bidding on CPU's.

 

Any guesses about the benchmarks?

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Not really, but I recommend robbing a bank.



No, don't actually do that.

Do some odd jobs and scrap a little cash and you might be fine with general upgrades.

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not bad. I know how it is to game on office hardware. but I got it for free most of the times. not bad tho

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The 4c 8t Xeon is ideal. The other machine uses DDR you say? That's completely atrocious for modern tasks, despite the amount and dual channel ability. Single channel DDR3 has more bandwidth than dual channel DDR, and the frequency is no contest. Additionally, the SSD might even have the greatest effect of the lot, given loading speeds and in-program responsiveness.

Either way, I put my vote down for the 4c/8t budget CPU. Here's the kicker: if you're willing to wait a while for the CPU to arrive, try ordering from AliExpress. Server CPUs are sold in bulk at crazy low prices, and if it arrives DOA, Ali will pay you back immediately. Check out the CPUs you were considering off there it's a cheap Chinese secondhand market. After that you can grab some more DDR3 of eBay or something.

 

Edit: important note!!!

Make sure your fancy new CPU is compatible with your motherboard. It may seem obvious at first, but it's always good to double check with a quick Google search.

I WILL find your ITX build thread, and I WILL recommend the SIlverstone Sugo SG13B

 

Primary PC:

i7 8086k (won) - EVGA Z370 Classified K - G.Skill Trident Z RGB - WD SN750 - Jedi Order Titan Xp - Hyper 212 Black (with RGB Riing flair) - EVGA G3 650W - dual booting Windows 10 and Linux - Black and green theme, Razer brainwashed me.

Draws 400 watts under max load, for reference.

 

Linux Proliant ML150 G6:

Dual Xeon X5560 - 24GB ECC DDR3 - GTX 750 TI - old Seagate 1.5TB HDD - dark mode Ubuntu (and Win7, cuz why not)

 

How many watts do I need? Seasonic Focus thread, PSU misconceptions, protections explainedgroup reg is bad

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18 minutes ago, cMiel said:

Not really, but I recommend robbing a bank.



No, don't actually do that.

Do some odd jobs and scrap a little cash and you might be fine with general upgrades.

I like your thinking, but yeah - you're right to change your mind.

 

I've spec'd out a bigger upgrade at about $300 (12 cores, 24 threads, 16GB of 1600 and more PCI-E bandwidth than you can shake a stick at, but at the moment my $70 upgrade should be enough. After all, I could play Rise more than happily on a five year old Celeron with a $10 Raptor stuck on it. A high-end CPU from the same period shouldn't struggle with anything I have planned in the near term.

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13 minutes ago, fasauceome said:

The 4c 8t Xeon is ideal. The other machine uses DDR you say?

DDR2 667. So, total bandwidth of the memory should be close. The big bottleneck in that machine is the 1600mhz FSB, compared to the much faster DMI (Celeron) and QPI (Xeon) interlinks on the CPU's from 5 years later.

 

I like the AliExpress idea. I've been bidding on eBay, but I'll check out AE if my current round doesn't win me anything!

 

And, I've checked my motherboard. ;)https://www.gigabyte.com/Ajax/SupportFunction/GetCpuList/?Value=4150&Type=Product

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1 minute ago, ITS-Gray said:

DDR2 667. So, total bandwidth of the memory should be close. The big bottleneck in that machine is the 1600mhz FSB, compared to the much faster DMI (Celeron) and QPI (Xeon) interlinks on the CPU's from 5 years later.

 

I like the AliExpress idea. I've been bidding on eBay, but I'll check out AE if my current round doesn't win me anything!

 

And, I've checked my motherboard. ;)https://www.gigabyte.com/Ajax/SupportFunction/GetCpuList/?Value=4150&Type=Product

Good stuff. The dual channel DDR3 option is still better to have than bogging yourself down with DDR2 (trust me, I've been there, DDR2 is not amazing for gaming). Other than that, make sure your cooler is up to snuff too! Although, if you've got the classic style Intel stock cooler, it should work wonders 

I WILL find your ITX build thread, and I WILL recommend the SIlverstone Sugo SG13B

 

Primary PC:

i7 8086k (won) - EVGA Z370 Classified K - G.Skill Trident Z RGB - WD SN750 - Jedi Order Titan Xp - Hyper 212 Black (with RGB Riing flair) - EVGA G3 650W - dual booting Windows 10 and Linux - Black and green theme, Razer brainwashed me.

Draws 400 watts under max load, for reference.

 

Linux Proliant ML150 G6:

Dual Xeon X5560 - 24GB ECC DDR3 - GTX 750 TI - old Seagate 1.5TB HDD - dark mode Ubuntu (and Win7, cuz why not)

 

How many watts do I need? Seasonic Focus thread, PSU misconceptions, protections explainedgroup reg is bad

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35 minutes ago, LukeSavenije said:

not bad. I know how it is to game on office hardware. but I got it for free most of the times. not bad tho

I'm honestly really happy with how well this machine has been running. I think I paid $320 for all of it brand new, including a brand new $150 EATX server tower. Could fit a dual Epyc with redundant supplies and about 30 SSD's (28 hot-swap) in there if I wanted!

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5 minutes ago, fasauceome said:

Good stuff. The dual channel DDR3 option is still better to have than bogging yourself down with DDR2 (trust me, I've been there, DDR2 is not amazing for gaming). Other than that, make sure your cooler is up to snuff too! Although, if you've got the classic style Intel stock cooler, it should work wonders 

Dual-Channel DDR3 isn't on the list I'm afraid! The price of decent DDR3 dimms has hit the roof again, I'd be paying more 'sold as seen' than I paid in 2013! 8GB should be enough, RAM wise - particularly running Fedora and Windows 10 - where I can take advantage of RAM compression. I've got a compatible second DIMM bookmarked just in case I win the lottery, but if I have a spare $70 - I'm going to be spending it on 10GBe links between the two workstations.

 

And if I had a spare $300, I'd be spending it on an ARM server with dual 10GBe to offload both machines' storage drives. So, I guess the 12c24t machine is out, too!

 

Edit: Middle of the road on Intel stock coolers. They got rid of the copper slug on 1155, so no joy there - but it's still quite massive. Given that both CPU's are in the 60-70W TDP range, I'm not too worried, but I'll look at a used all-in-one liquid cooler if I get major throttling.

Edited by ITS-Gray
Forgot to answer a question.
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3 minutes ago, ITS-Gray said:

Dual-Channel DDR3 isn't on the list I'm afraid! The price of decent DDR3 dimms has hit the roof again, I'd be paying more 'sold as seen' than I paid in 2013! 

Really? I'm selling dual 8gb for $60 in the classifieds, which should make for like $30-40 dimms on eBay last I checked.

I WILL find your ITX build thread, and I WILL recommend the SIlverstone Sugo SG13B

 

Primary PC:

i7 8086k (won) - EVGA Z370 Classified K - G.Skill Trident Z RGB - WD SN750 - Jedi Order Titan Xp - Hyper 212 Black (with RGB Riing flair) - EVGA G3 650W - dual booting Windows 10 and Linux - Black and green theme, Razer brainwashed me.

Draws 400 watts under max load, for reference.

 

Linux Proliant ML150 G6:

Dual Xeon X5560 - 24GB ECC DDR3 - GTX 750 TI - old Seagate 1.5TB HDD - dark mode Ubuntu (and Win7, cuz why not)

 

How many watts do I need? Seasonic Focus thread, PSU misconceptions, protections explainedgroup reg is bad

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Despite my use of dollar comparisons, my location is not the same, and those prices are not available to me - particularly for 10-10-10-27 DDR3-1600. Woe is me!

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20 minutes ago, ITS-Gray said:

Despite my use of dollar comparisons, my location is not the same, and those prices are not available to me - particularly for 10-10-10-27 DDR3-1600. Woe is me!

With the xeon, there's a chance you can get cheap server memory from Ali as well. Might be worth looking into, since companies dump server stuff a lot, just like the CPUs.

I WILL find your ITX build thread, and I WILL recommend the SIlverstone Sugo SG13B

 

Primary PC:

i7 8086k (won) - EVGA Z370 Classified K - G.Skill Trident Z RGB - WD SN750 - Jedi Order Titan Xp - Hyper 212 Black (with RGB Riing flair) - EVGA G3 650W - dual booting Windows 10 and Linux - Black and green theme, Razer brainwashed me.

Draws 400 watts under max load, for reference.

 

Linux Proliant ML150 G6:

Dual Xeon X5560 - 24GB ECC DDR3 - GTX 750 TI - old Seagate 1.5TB HDD - dark mode Ubuntu (and Win7, cuz why not)

 

How many watts do I need? Seasonic Focus thread, PSU misconceptions, protections explainedgroup reg is bad

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1 minute ago, fasauceome said:

With the xeon, there's a chance you can get cheap server memory from Ali as well. Might be worth looking into, since companies dump server stuff a lot, just like the CPUs.

The Xeon supports it, but the B75 is limited to checkless udimms, so no cheap ECC ram for me. I actually have some DDR3-1600-ECC in a box here somewhere, but it wouldn't boot with it!

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13 hours ago, fasauceome said:

The 4c 8t Xeon is ideal. The other machine uses DDR you say? That's completely atrocious for modern tasks, despite the amount and dual channel ability. Single channel DDR3 has more bandwidth than dual channel DDR, and the frequency is no contest. Additionally, the SSD might even have the greatest effect of the lot, given loading speeds and in-program responsiveness.

Either way, I put my vote down for the 4c/8t budget CPU. Here's the kicker: if you're willing to wait a while for the CPU to arrive, try ordering from AliExpress. Server CPUs are sold in bulk at crazy low prices, and if it arrives DOA, Ali will pay you back immediately. Check out the CPUs you were considering off there it's a cheap Chinese secondhand market. After that you can grab some more DDR3 of eBay or something.

 

Edit: important note!!!

Make sure your fancy new CPU is compatible with your motherboard. It may seem obvious at first, but it's always good to double check with a quick Google search.

Woaah. The 1270 v2 for $50. Holy banana peel!

 

I like alibaba. Now waiting for a vendor to respond to my Skype! :D

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6 hours ago, ITS-Gray said:

Woaah. The 1270 v2 for $50. Holy banana peel!

 

I like alibaba. Now waiting for a vendor to respond to my Skype! :D

Yeah, don't forget it's based in China so be very patient.

I WILL find your ITX build thread, and I WILL recommend the SIlverstone Sugo SG13B

 

Primary PC:

i7 8086k (won) - EVGA Z370 Classified K - G.Skill Trident Z RGB - WD SN750 - Jedi Order Titan Xp - Hyper 212 Black (with RGB Riing flair) - EVGA G3 650W - dual booting Windows 10 and Linux - Black and green theme, Razer brainwashed me.

Draws 400 watts under max load, for reference.

 

Linux Proliant ML150 G6:

Dual Xeon X5560 - 24GB ECC DDR3 - GTX 750 TI - old Seagate 1.5TB HDD - dark mode Ubuntu (and Win7, cuz why not)

 

How many watts do I need? Seasonic Focus thread, PSU misconceptions, protections explainedgroup reg is bad

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