I was hoping some of you could give me some insight on upgrading my system. I have about $300 to spend, and am not sure whether to upgrade the video card or the CPU/mobo/memory. This is my current setup:
MSI SLI Platinum (the exact model escapes me, it is a Neo4 series) mobo
Opteron 165 @ 2.8ghz
2GB Kingston RAM (DDR 400) @ ~stock speeds
xfx 7900GT @ stock speeds (256mb)
I get around 30fps on the Crysis demo at 1024x768 on medium settings, no AA
I am debating between:
a.) upgrading the video card, to either a 8600GT or a 8800GTS (more likely this one) or an 8800GT (what's the story on this video card?)
b.) upgrading the mobo/ram/cpu to:
Gigabyte P35 series mobo (~$100)
Intel E2160 (which overclocks %60-%75 to around 3ghz apparently. comparable to a stock E6750) (~$90)
2GB of some type of RAM (probably OCZ or kingston, due to brand-loyalty) (~$70-100)
Which one do you think would have more impact? Do you have any more ideas? Thanks!
With the supply limitations of the 8800GT (which you should get over the 8800GTS) you might as well upgrade the CPU/MB/RAM first. Then save up some $$ so in January or February, when the supply is better, you can get your hands on a 8800GT or the newer G92 based 8800GTS (should be out by that time).
IMO, a better video card will increase gaming performance, unless the game is 2D (cpu intensive). Now if your psu is 450W or better, the 8800GT is the clear choice. & yes, it's nearly impossible to buy an 8800GT now as it sells like hot cakes.
I say go with option C and wait just a little while. There are a lot of products coming out in a few weeks and some of the current gear will more than likely go down in price, or you might want a low end Next gen chip instead.
I would just upgrade the video card for now. I can't find the article that I read but it basically showed a 8800GTX paired up with an intel dual core processor (I think a 6750 all the way down to it clocked at 1.2) The graph showed that from 1.6 to 6750 speeds the difference in fps was not very much. Your Opteron at 2.8 should be plenty of speed. At 1.2 the fps dropped dramatically.
I have basically the same setup as you and I'm just planning on upgrading video card to 8800GT.
So the difference in DDR800 and DDR400 is pretty negligible? On the VGA charts, my 7900GT looks like its faster than anything nvidia makes aside from the 8800 series, so I figured it had to be my 2-3 year old CPU that is bottlenecking my system. I guess its the video card?
I think I agree with the video card idea, most of the time, you can get by with a slower cpu and more memory/better video. Plus remember your opteron has dual core and 1 mb cache on each core if I'm not mistaken. So I would say upgrade the video, then your set for the next upgrade later, or you might even get by with that system a couple more years.