Most bang for my buck

I have a stock Alienware x51 rig and it runs good, but I would like it to be better. it has an intel i3 3220 processor, 6gb ram and a NVidia gtx 660 video card. I believe I have an intel ivy bridge H61motherboard, but I don't know how to find that out precisely. I am thinking about either boosting the ram or getting a new processor. I would probably go with the intel i5 3570k because of price and comparisons. What do you more knowledgeable people think?
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  2. i would def go to 8gb and surely to the i5, the i3 prob handles the 660 fine, but u should see an performance increase with both upgrades. With windows running and other small applications while running dayz alpha or bf4, i see at least 6gb of ram being used.

    Assuming that its a 2 dimm board, and to get 6gb it has a 4gb stick and 2gig stick, remove the 2gig stick and replace with same speed and timings 4gb stick as the other or completely replace with a 8gb dual channel kit

    I like what cturbo said, get the xeon e3 1230 v2, basically an i7 with no igpu and overclock to turbo freq which if ur not overclocking anyway its the best option as u get 4 cores with HT.
  3. I may be wrong, but I believe that my motherboard is an intel ivy bridge H61
  4. Quote:
    I may be wrong, but I believe that my motherboard is an intel ivy bridge H61

    I would find out for sure if I were you. If it is a H61, there will be no overclocking on it so a 3570k wouldn't be a very good buy. I stand by the i5 3330 or the Xeon 1230v2.
  5. I used a program called CPU-z and that is what it spat out after scanning the rig. would both of your suggested cpu's be good for gaming and graphic design work?
  6. Yes. The i5 3330 is a quad core 3.0ghz base with 3.2ghz turbo
    The Xeon is a quad core with hyperthreading 3.3ghz base with 3.7ghz turbo.

    The i5 would be a solid upgrade over your i3. The Xeon would be a huge upgrade.
  7. Thank you very much. and this would show much more improvement over adding 2 more gbs of ram? I would prefer not to do both due to expense.
  8. I don't think you would notice 8GB over 6GB
  9. Thank you very much CTurbo. last question, how much ram would I have to purchase to see a difference in our opinion?
  10. 4GB is a HUGE difference over 2GB. 8GB is noticeable over 4GB. Anything over 8GB is mostly wasted.
  11. 6gb should be fine, but 8gb is the sweet spot to have extra, 4gb will run games with win7 with lag here and there matters on the game, and 6gb is prob more than enough so its not something u should do now, but as i said to get 6gb, they prob have a 4gb and a 2g stick so u can just replace the 2gb stick for a 4gb and be good to go.
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