PC Bundle - Need help

Hi guys,

looking to upgrade my PC , all i need tho is a new motherboard, CPU & Ram

i currently have Gigabyte Z68X-UD3H-B3 Motherboard, Intel i5 2500K OC to 3.6Ghz & 16GB of DDR3 Ram

my price range is £500 max, i use to know the market inside out just over a year ago year ago, but now i am clueless as to what is what, any help is highly appreciated, im looking for a fast CPU (well fast everything & 8GB of ram.

any takers for help? :)
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I honestly don't think you need the upgrade (yet)? Your system is like what, 2-3 years old max?
2 years old, it's starting to slow down and lag in games, i done a format to keep it fresh & clean but still i get lag on on some games, i am not happy with the performance at all, tbh i have the money now, would rather invest now then later when i dont have it.
Hi Scott,

been following PC hardware for >10 years now and up to date with current events.


Socket 1150 - Intel Xeon E3-1231 v3
Haswell, Quadcore, 22nm, Hyperthreading, 3,4Ghz normal, 3,8 with Turbo
on market since May of this year, replacement for 1230 v3
+ very good price/performance ratio
+ Xeon CPUs are perfectly fine for private consumer grade desktops and pc gamers
+ 23% increase to i5 2500K (~16% to OC 2500K)
- no free multiplikator (K models)
- Overclocking only up to ~4Ghz feasable
- no integrated graphics unit

Benchmarks /Performance comparison:
http://www.computerbase.de/2014-05/intel-xeon-e3-1231-v3-nachfolger-1230-test/2/ (hover over cpu names to see % comparisons)
Wattage and Temperature:
Hierarchy chart:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-review-overclock,3106-5.html (further information, Xeons are not listed)

Gigabyte GA-H97-D3H
specs: http://geizhals.at/eu/gigabyte-ga-h97-d3h-a1107992.html
on market since May this year as well
features you know from your current mainboard
+ dual bios
+ solid capacitors
new ones:
+ (native) USB 3.0
+ (native) 6x SATA 6Gb/s
+ HDMI 1.4
+ 1x M.2 10Gb/s (new interface for SSD drives)

full specs:

M.2 SSD support list:

CPU Support List (does support Xeon 1231 v3)
http://www.gigabyte.com/support-downloads/cpu-support-popup.aspx?pid=4962 (forth from bottom for the Xeon)

you may even keep yours

RAM support list:

Any 8 Gb Kit with 1600 or 1866Mhz will do, preferably 1.50V modules.

Even if you decide to go with new RAM modules as well, all three components will be well within your 500 pound budget.

I know you have a budget and the opportunity to upgrade right now, however looking at the numbers, the performance difference between the i5 2500K and the Xeon 1231 isn't that great. Generally speaking and contrary to popular belief, the RAM does not has a tangible impact on performance. You're fine with 8 Gb of DDR3, 1333/1600 Mhz, 1.5V. A new mainboard sounds like the best option from my standpoint.
Another thing to consider is a SSD for the OS and games with high loading times, if you don't have one already. Modern SSDs, like the Samsung 840, are already limited by the 6Gb/s SATA bus, that's why the H97 features the M.2 interface to install a faster drive today or down the road.
Furthermore, Intel will be releasing brand new desktop CPUs (Broadwell and Skylake) middle of next year.
http://www.computerbase.de/2014-06/broadwell-und-skylake-mit-parallelem-desktop-start/ (click on first image)
The question is, can you wait and upgrade to a new socket (1151), 14nm and DDR4 next year?
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Ryan Soucy

I have the same processor running stock with a new R9 270x and an SSD, and it runs everything I throw at it pretty well, at 2560x1440. It still has issues with the standard GTA4, but that is game-related as the Episodes from Liberty City run noticeably better. I use this site for CPU comparisons:

Not sure what would help most, I'd have to say save the money for now. Put half the money in savings. Make sure your graphics card is top notch and get a big stonkin' SSD for your games.
OK, I thought the SSD was for running Windows. It's where you keep the games?
Possible upgrade in the future I should learn about these things.
Yes, not only is a SSD very useful to shorten System starts (how would you like a 20 sec boot time?) and to be available for your OS to load small files (this is what a SSD does best), but also for games you use often (Race 07).
A SSD is one of the biggest immediate changes you can make to upgrade your system, it's very noticable right away.
Available for < 0.4€ per GB as of today.
If you make a decision to buy one, there are some things to look out for. These can be discussed afterwards.

Ryan Soucy

Yeah, read up on reviews of particular drives. My Patriot drive has been solid. My WD Raptors have also been faultless.

The SSDs are not quite big enough to play every game off of (at my budget), but for the important ones, its worth throwing them on the SSD.

I have to say my graphics card is pretty amazing. I was playing BF4 last night and stumbled into my graphics settings and saw a bunch of Ultra levels in there and it runs smooth. This is with the i5 2500k (no OC yet) and 8gb ram.
Yeah OCZ drives are bad. My OCZ SSD drives, so far:

60GB: dead right out of the box, replaced by OCZ. more than 150 dead sectors out of the box, replaced. Only 5 dead sectors this time around, decided to keep it this time.
180GB: works so far but has more than 10 dead sectors by now. After 2 years.