Diverse $1k System Build Opinions Needed

I’m currently deliberating to build a new system. The current one I have is at least 4 years old. It’s starting to show in the games I play how outdated it performs with the settings I have to run them at. I’m looking for a complete tower overhaul. I have a few items I know I want to buy and some others I’m undecided yet on. Here is my current rig..

CoolerMaster Praetorian 730 RC-730-KSN1 Black Aluminum
AMD Athlon™64 X2 4800+ Dual-Core
ASUS A8N-E nForce 4 Ultra
2048 MB (1GBx2) PC3200 400MHz Corsair XMS High Performance
PNY Geforce 8600 GT 512MB
300GB SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 16M Cache 7200RPM
SB X-Fi Fatality ExtremeGamer Pro
Antec TPII-550 550Watt ATX

I’m going to be taking the X-Fi Fatality out and carrying it over to the new system. I’ll more than likely be selling the rest of the tower to help fund the new build. There isn’t much of anything else worth carrying over that can be used as an upgrade. The case is nice and still in perfect shape, but it doesn’t have enough cooling power from my experience. The PSU isn’t half bad, but won’t be enough if I ever chose to do SLI in the future(dual only.. tri-SLI is a waste imo).

The parts that I know I want.. I want the Antec Nine Hundred tower, which currently there is a nice -$50 combo deal ending 10/15 with a 850watt PSU.. or 650watt for -$40 on newegg. The Antec Twelve Hundred is also very nice with the same combo deal. I’m just not sure if myself or anyone for that matter would ever utilize all that extra free space.

Everything else is up in the air basically between ATI/Nvidia, AMD/Intel, x2/x4 core processor, and obviously a motherboard .

The ATI 4870 and the GTX 260(216 core) are both what I have in mind for a video card. Anything else in terms of a video card seems like a parallel upgrade, I don’t see the point in only going with a 9800 GTX+. I have never owned an ATI card for gaming, only Nvidia. I have no biased opinions of ATI, but I’ve never been let down by Nvidia either. And the only way to utilize any potential of either card is to go straight quad core, dual core would not benefit me hardly anything at all yes?

The other wall I’m hitting is AMD or Intel? I’ve always used AMD from the very beginning. But seeing as how their chips have fallen far behind the curve(they have always ran hotter than Intel and used more power), I’m seriously thinking Intel this time around. Is it really worth going quad, or just stay dual and get a motherboard that still supports AM2+ quad core for an easy future upgrade?

The last and biggest wall is choosing the right motherboard. Again, I have always used ASUS since they have always seemed to be very stable and have never ran into a single issue with them. There are so many options to choose from it’s absurd. I’m not an over clocking junkie so I don’t need some $250+ board. At the same time I don’t want some $75 pile of crap with every single integrated device there is slowing it down. Is there any good recommendations for a board under 200 and has two PCIE 2.0 x16 and has good placements of the SATA ports? If I choose the 4870 or 260 I wouldn’t want them to become unattainable. The reviews from newegg.com don’t seem that helpful where one stands out to be better than the other no matter what the price is. There always seems to be a negative comment even with the best of boards.

I’m just looking for some educated experienced preferences that this community has had/read about. If anyone could choose any of the selected items I mentioned, how would you finish the build staying as close to the 1k limit as possible with whatever parts? If you go over a few bucks show the setup anyway. I've done a few myself, but can't narrow down these few yet important components.

Thanks for any feedback. :bounce:
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  1. Why not splurge and go wt either of these for a cpu?

    AMD Phenom 9950 BLACK EDITION Agena 2.6GHz $173.99 to 194.99

    AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ Windsor 3.0GHz $92.00 to $99.00

    And i would think any 790x, GX, or FX would be a step in the right direction.

    GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-DS4 $109.99
    MSI K9A2 Platinum Motherboard - AMD790FX $149.99
    DFI LP DK 790FXB-M2RSH $174.99

    My last 3 builds have been intel based, how ever:
    I have been thinking about a 9950 based system due to the large "bang fer D buck"
    yes it barely competes wt the q9400, but hey it's cheap
  2. First check out these benchmarks showing CPU scaling with the HD4870x2 and the GTX 280. It will give you an idea of what CPU to pick in terms of performance and how overclocking can change that performance.

    cpu scaling with 4870x2

    cpu scaling with the GTX 280
  3. wow: "I did not know that" says Johny C
    the phenom 9950 does well for it's price.
    the x2s seem to be lacking even for their price tag
    E8400 or e8500 seem like really good options.
  4. Not to suggest that your current processor is good enough to get acceptable performance in today's games, but I think the GPU is what is hurting the most.
    Get a single HD4850 and put it in your current rig. See how it performs. If it is good enough, or almost good enough, get a P45 board and perhaps a Q6600, or Q9450 depending on your budget. If it is not anywhere near good enough, get a X48 board and another HD4850 for Crossfire.
  5. ASUS 20X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model DRW-2014L1T - Retail

    Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3500320AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM

    ASUS M3A79-T Deluxe AM2+/AM2 AMD 790FX ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail

    OCZ Platinum 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ2P10664GK - Retail

    AMD Phenom 9950 BLACK EDITION Agena 2.6GHz Socket AM2+ 140W Quad-Core Processor Model HD995ZFAGHBOX - Retail

    Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

    Antec Signature SG850 850W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply - Retail

    SAPPHIRE 100243-1GL Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail

    Shipping: $33.03 - UPS 3 Day
    Grand Total: $1,190.95

    There is only one mail in rebate which is nice that's from the ram, everything else is an instant rebate. Slightly over the 1k budget and the only thing I can think of is the motherboard and video card with the additional 512 ram. I picked that motherboard since the SB is 750. I don't ever seeing myself using raid 5, but the ACC maybe a nice tool to do small overclocking. The only motherboard listed above in the previous post with SB750 was the DFI with only one review, not enough to boost my confidence in it. I could always go with the 650w PSU to save $30, but I'm not sure if 650 would be enough for crossfire of another 4870. If I choose to not do crossfire then that MB is way overkill and something like GIGABYTE GA-MA78GM-S2H AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128090 would be wiser, if not be the best choice saving another $100.

    The hybrid graphics card on board should crossfire with the 4870 right? At least I could do that for some added improvement. Maybe i'm crazy in thinking of going this route.

    This is the 650w PSU
    Antec Signature SG650 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply - Retail

    Why would I want to stick to 790 chipset and not 780?
  6. If you have $1K to spend, you will get much better performance from an Intel system.
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