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Upgrade Path, Take 2

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December 12, 2013 4:47:41 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: at least 1 week out, possibly as long as 2 months

BUDGET RANGE: $150-250 tops, BEFORE rebates; prefer $100-200 if possible

USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT (most to least):
-- Gaming: currently Halo CE, Halo 2, SWAT 4, AoE III, BF3, FarCry 1, & Starcraft II, but considering Diablo III, Call of Duty: MW2, and/or Battlefield 4
-- Video conversion (Nero)
-- Watching movies online
-- General office PC work

CURRENT CPU AND POWER SUPPLY: AMD Phenom II X4 970 BE; Thermaltake TR2 750W Modular
OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS:
Motherboard: Gigabyte 990FXA-UD3
GPU: Radeon HD 7450; will probably be upgrading the GPU within the next couple of months (likely candidate being an HD 7950 or some other AMD card in that performance range)
RAM: 8GB Corsair XMS3 DDR3-1333 (2x4GB)
Case: Thermaltake V3 Black; standard CPU cooler, 4x120mm case fans (max for the case)
OS: Windows 7 Professional (64-bit)
Hard Drives: WD Blue (1 TB) primary, WD Green (1 TB) secondary

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: *NONE*. I want something available in retail stores -- the local Micro Center is almost right on my drive from home to work -- so no online-only items.

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA

PARTS PREFERENCES: AMD CPUs only

OVERCLOCKING: No

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I'm a pretty avid gamer, but I tend to stick with games that I like, even if they tend to be "older", so I don't always rush out to get the newest games when they're available. I'm not looking for absolute top-of-the-line (as seen from the price range), but I like to plan ahead on my hardware so that I'm not buying a new CPU every 6-12 months. Sidenote: I just had to buy a Gigabit Ethernet adapter (the onboard Realtek 8111E just went out literally overnight), so I'm hoping I don't have to replace the motherboard as well. If I do, though, I want to stick with AM3+ mobos only.

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a b à CPUs
December 12, 2013 6:06:26 AM

Honestly the cpu you have is fairly powerful. i would upgrade the gpu first as far as gaming and movie quality goes. but if you feel that the cpu is the choke point and must go get an fx-8320 or 8350 it would be the best cpu in your budget. for a gpu you can get a 7870 in that budget and do really well with it. around 150 for the 2bg 7870 ghz edition yesterday when i looked.
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a b à CPUs
December 12, 2013 6:10:26 AM

I don't think the CPU is bottlenecking, so I'll probably hold off on that.

Would it be better to get an R7/R9 series in place of a 7870?
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December 12, 2013 7:02:53 AM

the r9 270x is a re-packaged 7870 and the hd 7870 2gb ghz edition being on sale makes it a better buy. of the 2 its just what ever is cheaper. if you can get an r9 280x within the budget and find one in stock the go for that.
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a b à CPUs
December 12, 2013 8:52:51 AM

Nope, they don't have the 280x at Micro Center, just the 270x for now. I may keep an eye out, though.
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a b à CPUs
December 12, 2013 9:30:02 AM

if the 270x is cheaper than the hd 7870 (any edition will do what you need) then get the 270x. otherwise the 7870 or 7950 is the best bet.

also may consider the 7850 its a great card. and if you dont mind nvidia the gt 650 ti or ti boost as well as gt 660 are great also and fairly cheap
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