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Please Help: Need Suggestions on Workstation Hardware Upgrad

by reidmalmquist / December 3, 2013 12:12 PM PST

I am trying to evaluate what piece of hardware I should upgrade on my main workstation. I was thinking about adding a NVIDIA GTX 660 with the GTS 450 I have, however first wanted to see where my current bottlenecks are before adding another video card. I do not play video games, I spend most of my time on the computer programming and for my business I create virtual tours. I have my operating system on a SSD 840 drive and the rest of my work resides on 4 - 7200rpm SATA drives.

Current System Configuration
Mainboard: BIOSTAR T5XE CFX-SLI
Chipset: Intel P55
Processor: Intel Core i7 870 @ 2933 MHz (max: 3861)
Physical Memory: 20480 MB = 20GB
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450
Network Card: Realtek Semiconductor RTL8168/8111 PCIe Gigabit Ethernet Adapter ( I use BitSync and constantly remote access files off of this computer )
Cooling: Water Cooled CPU and more fans then someone could want for the rest of the hardware.


Average Physical Memory Usage while idling: 19%
Average CPU Usage while idling: 5%


I consistently max out memory and keep CPU usage in the upper 90% if I am either rendering panoramas for virtual tours or using Adobe After Effects or encoding a video or just have a lot of stuff going on with word, browsers, and Lightroom 5.

Maximum Budget: $500 prefer to spend under $400
Would I see a significant improvement increase with a newer motherboard and newer CPU?

OR

Would I be better off adding a GTX 660 graphic card and adding another 2 monitors? - I would only do this if $400 wasn't going to get me a significant performance increase.

OR

Would I just be better off saving my money and maybe adding another solid state for key files I am using in relation to panoramic rendering or video encoding?


Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thank you for reading this!

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All Answers

Collapse -
Answer
Budget
by Bob__B / December 4, 2013 2:40 AM PST

With 400 bucks I doubt your going to be able to update the cpu/mobo/ram.

Some rendering progs will try to shift the work load to the gpu.
For that type prog a better gpu is a plus.
I don't know what your going to spend for the 660 but a look here might get more bang.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-card-review,3107.html

You can try to run parallel cards if you want.....it can be a pita.
I don't look for trouble so I just stick with a single card.

Some folks when they upgrade ram make a hash.
They mix+match sticks which forces the ram to clock down to the slowest stick or they trash the dual channel feature.

Collapse -
Thank you for the input!
by reidmalmquist / December 11, 2013 3:15 PM PST
In reply to: Budget

Thank you! Just exactly what I was thinking, now its just the choice of spend more money or be satisfied with the current performance. Will I really benefit from it.

Thank you for your input !

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