HolidayBuyer's Guide

Desktops forum


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
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?


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.


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!

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Please Help: Need Suggestions on Workstation Hardware Upgrad
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Please Help: Need Suggestions on Workstation Hardware Upgrad
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.

All Answers

Collapse -
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.,3107.html

You can try to run parallel cards if you 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 !

Popular Forums
Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
Laptops 21,181 discussions
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
Phones 17,137 discussions
Security 31,287 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
Windows 10 2,657 discussions


Cameras that make great holiday gifts

Let them start the new year with a step up in photo and video quality from a phone.