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Advice for building a gaming computer

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November 27, 2013 4:13:25 PM

Just asking for a general opinion, I'm looking to upgrade my computer before next summer, and my goal is to slowly pick up parts as deals come until then. As always, I want to get the best pieces for the price. I have no specific budget, and I want higher end pieces, but ultimately I'm not looking for the best on the market, moreof the best for the price.

Here's my current system:

- Intel Core 2 Duo E7400 Duo Core overclocked to 3.2 Ghz (not much, i know)
- Gigabyte EP45-UD3P Motherboard (775 Socket)
- 4 GB DDR2 Ram
- Nvidia Geforce GTX 670
- 128 GB Samsung 840 Pro, 1 TB something HD

My understanding is my CPU is severely bottlenecking my system, which is understandable since it's around 3-4 years old.

Setting the benchmark as, somewhat arbitrarily, being able to play Titanfall next summer at near max settings at 60 fps:

  1. what should I be focusing on upgrading?
  2. should I wait until next summer or should I pick up deals during Christmas/Black Friday (keeping in mind the benchmark, value/price)
  3. should I upgrade graphics/sli/etc?


  • I haven't been following the market since I last built my computer almost 5 years ago, and a tremendous has changed. I'm wondering if I can get some first tidbits of advice before I go out and research into enormous depth.
    a b 4 Gaming
    November 27, 2013 5:25:38 PM

    Since you already have a decent card and a SSD, that leaves the MB, CPU, and memory. Unfortunatly, you can't upgrade just one of them. They need to be upgraded together.

    Right now, your dual core is bottle necking your GTX 670 big time. If you try to find a used quad core (Q9xxx) for that MB to keep up with the gfx card, you'll still be at a dead end for future upgrading. And adding the 2nd GTX 670 will make the Q9xxx processor the bottle neck again.

    So, you have two choices; grab a used C2Q to gain some graphics power now, or save for a new MB/CPU/RAM upgrade. The 1st would give you instant gratification. The 2nd would give you longer gratification.
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    November 28, 2013 12:56:58 AM

    clutchc said:
    Since you already have a decent card and a SSD, that leaves the MB, CPU, and memory. Unfortunatly, you can't upgrade just one of them. They need to be upgraded together.

    Right now, your dual core is bottle necking your GTX 670 big time. If you try to find a used quad core (Q9xxx) for that MB to keep up with the gfx card, you'll still be at a dead end for future upgrading. And adding the 2nd GTX 670 will make the Q9xxx processor the bottle neck again.

    So, you have two choices; grab a used C2Q to gain some graphics power now, or save for a new MB/CPU/RAM upgrade. The 1st would give you instant gratification. The 2nd would give you longer gratification.


    Yes, I'm looking for the longer gratification. I agree that I'd probably have to upgrade everything. Do you think that the mobo/CPU is worth upgrading now during this holiday season or should I just wait until before summer. I'm not in a hurry, but if picking things up this season instead of waiting for newer cooler things next summer nets me more worth/$, then I'll just go ahead and figure things out now.

    Additionally, what do you think would be something I should be looking at in terms of CPU/Mobo? In order to remove the bottleneck for my graphics card and any potential future graphics upgrade (in say 2 years or so), would I be looking at high end i5 cores etc.?

    Finally, I'm behind on what the standard is for RAM now. It was 2 GB not only a couple years ago and I thought 4 GB was decent. Is 8 GB now the "norm" for up-to-date gaming machines?

    Thanks for your time.
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    a b 4 Gaming
    November 28, 2013 10:01:47 AM

    Starting out new, there's no real reason to get an IB processor and 1155 MB anymore. Thanks to Intel, the 1155 socket has met the fate of its other recent sockets; it's been discontinued, so Haswell and the 1150 socket would be the way to go for a new Intel platform now. I don't really put much stock in "holiday sales". Prices are constantly in flux and depend on more things than simple US holidays. Buy when you find what you want for a decent price, and be prepared for the shock of seeing it at a lower price after you've bought it. Never fails.

    Yes, 8GB is the norm today, with many folks opting for 16GB or more. Today's games are still 32 bit coded, so they can only use a max of 4GB. But we usually have more going on than just the game. 8GB of DDR3 1600MHZ or faster is about average. And DDR4 is just around the corner. Your old DDR2 is actually more expensive today than the newer stuff.

    For mainly gaming, you'll want a fast i5, unlocked if you O/C. There isn't much gain to moving to an i7 strictly for gaming.
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