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Upgrade Advice, Please: New GPUs alone, or new Mobo, CPU, GPU, RAM, etc?

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December 10, 2013 8:04:09 PM

Dear Gurus:

I bought a used GPU to add to my rig hoping to run SLI, but unfortunately the "new" one is unstable. I don't want to risk that process again, so should I buy an upgraded brand-spanking-new GPU (or two, for SLI)... or is it time to upgrade the Mobo, CPU, etc?

Before I get all needy with questions, here's some info on my current rig (please let me know if more info is required):

Mobo: EVGA nForce 790i Ultra SLI 132-CK-NF79
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E 8500 3.16GHz (not over-clocked)
GPU: GeForce 9800 GX2
RAM: maxed out at 8GB
PSU: Coolmax CUQ, either 1200W or 1350W. I know it was plenty to run what I have and add another 9800 GX2 when I checked a few months ago.

Question 1: Would I get the most bang for my buck by buying the best single GPU I can afford, or will I get better performance from two new (lesser) GPUs (for about the same total cost)? From what I've read on this site, 2 GPUs potentially give better performance per dollar, but also add to complications.

Question 2: Will upgrading the GPU(s) give me only a minor improvement due to the limits of the dual core CPU?

So, please advise if I should get a new GPU or two (and which you recommend... the Mobo has 3 PCI Express 16 slots, case is HUGE)... Budget is around $500 (willing to spend more if it buys me longevity), goal is to run games in high to ultra for the next couple of years or so.

Or should I start fresh with an upgraded Mobo, CPU, GPU(s), etc? If so, then I guess I'd shell out around $1,500 hoping to not upgrade anything else for about 3 more years (I just put in a 240GB SSD and a 1TB 7200rpm drive).

Thanks so much for your time!
December 10, 2013 8:33:05 PM

This cpu cant play many games at ultra.
I had this cpu before and it couldnt play bf3 even on high with a 7970.
You need a fresh build.

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/2ivMW

Great build.
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December 11, 2013 8:13:30 PM

Discos_Dead said:
Any thoughts on this upgrade?

http://pcpartpicker.com/user/Discos_Dead/saved/376Q

Thanks!


I have to ask, why the 300+ dollar motherboard ? You could spend 1/4th as much, and as long as you arent doing quad sli with massive overclocking, get the same performance.

In a system you want to keep using for several years, you should get the best GPU you can. How about this: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/2j027.
Doesnt go overboard on mobo or cpu, and gives you room to get the best single card in the world
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December 11, 2013 8:48:10 PM

I have to ask, why the 300+ dollar motherboard ? You could spend 1/4th as much, and as long as you arent doing quad sli with massive overclocking, get the same performance.

In a system you want to keep using for several years, you should get the best GPU you can. How about this: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/2j027.
Doesnt go overboard on mobo or cpu, and gives you room to get the best single card in the world[/quotemsg]

Thanks for your input. My thoughts are (and I may very well be mistaken) that I like:
1. Being able to get the best CPU I can afford (I'm probably least likely to upgrade this in the future)
2. The space to upgrade to 3-way SLI someday
3. 8 RAM slots (to add memory later)

I'm now also considering this GPU instead:
EVGA GeForce GTX 770 Superclocked ($410)

Thanks again for the advice - there is a daunting amount of info to sort through, and I appreciate the help.


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December 11, 2013 10:04:01 PM

Discos_Dead said:
I have to ask, why the 300+ dollar motherboard ? You could spend 1/4th as much, and as long as you arent doing quad sli with massive overclocking, get the same performance.

In a system you want to keep using for several years, you should get the best GPU you can. How about this: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/2j027.
Doesnt go overboard on mobo or cpu, and gives you room to get the best single card in the world


Thanks for your input. My thoughts are (and I may very well be mistaken) that I like:
1. Being able to get the best CPU I can afford (I'm probably least likely to upgrade this in the future)
2. The space to upgrade to 3-way SLI someday
3. 8 RAM slots (to add memory later)

I'm now also considering this GPU instead:
EVGA GeForce GTX 770 Superclocked ($410)

Thanks again for the advice - there is a daunting amount of info to sort through, and I appreciate the help.


[/quotemsg]

For gaming, you wont need anything more than an i5. The i7's are more geared towards video encoding and things of that nature. With the 4670k, you can overclock in the future if it starts lagging in games.
As for ram, really anything over 8g is overkill, I dont see the ram requirements for games/programs to more than quadruple in the next few years, and even if they do, you would have the option of 16g ram sticks as an upgrade.
Not to mention, if you are running windows 7 home premium, it will only recognize 16g of ram, pro and ultimate can go to 192 g
The board I listed has 3 pci slots as well, 2 3.0 and one 2.0. The current video cards dont even use the full capabilities of pci 2, so if you wanted to do 3 way sli, you could with that motherboard and not be bottlenecked by the pcie bus.
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