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300 Dollar Decision

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October 28, 2008 9:17:22 PM

Hello,

I am considering an upgrade to the computer that is in my signature. I have about 300 dollars to spend. I play games like Crysis and Oblivion (with texture enhancers) on a 22" monitor. I've been thinking about getting a 4870 with 1GB of memory for large texture enhancers on Oblivion. However, I would also like to upgrade my motherboard and processor. I've been thinking about an Intel E8400, because I know that would be MUCH better than my current Athlon X2 5200+.

I think it would be better to get the motherboard upgrade done first since it would be the most work. Then, later, when I've saved another 300, I can get a new GPU. What do you think?

More about : 300 dollar decision

a b B Homebuilt system
October 28, 2008 9:39:14 PM

I would say invest in a video card first.

AMD is coming out in a few weeks with their 45nm chips which are projected to be as fast or faster than the Core2Duos at the same clock speeds.

Also you got Nelheim coming out from Intel which will require a totally different motherboard.

If you invest in a motherboard now, it will be outdated in 1 month whenNelheim comes out.

If you buy a 4870 now or a GT200 you are still good because their replacements are not coming out until Summer of 2009.

BTW...on your signature. That SLI motherboard you have. Is that an AM2 board or an AM2+Plus?
October 28, 2008 9:47:51 PM

I agree with a video card first in this situation. The X2 5200 is no slouch, neither is the 8800 GTS but I think you gotta bit more head room with the 5200. You will see a bigger improvement over the 8800 GTS then with a better CPU.
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 28, 2008 9:52:45 PM

I agree with Nvidia's CEO Jen-Hsun Huang. The GPU is more important than the CPU. The CPU will increase fraps but not to the same degree as the GPU.
October 28, 2008 10:04:41 PM

I agree with the previous posters...a 4870 will definitely help out a ton (especially since they are dirt cheap)...if you can, try to squeeze out a little more performance out of that 5200+ by OCing it slightly (nothing major necessary).
I would definitely hold out on the CPU upgrade for now...
October 28, 2008 10:14:53 PM

no one mentioned the fact that RESOLUTION matters, not SIZE of the monitor....>=[

22" im guessing thats 1680x1050... a 1gb 4870 would do absolutely nothing for you[it might even slow you down], get a 512mb one, maybe a sapphire toxic edition?
October 28, 2008 10:19:19 PM

Thanks for the tips, everyone. I've really been considering the 4870 1GB, especially for the texture replacers for Oblivion. However, I came across this GTX 280:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It's $390 after MIR, and it comes with a copy of Far Cry 2 that I could sell (I already own a copy).

Would the GTX 280 be overkill for 1680x1050?

Finally, my motherboard has AM2. Is there a significant difference in performance on AM2+?

Thanks again.
October 28, 2008 10:23:26 PM

@ eklipz330 - I've considered the 4870 1GB, because texture replacers and additions in Oblivion can take up A LOT of VRAM.
October 28, 2008 10:47:00 PM

if you upgrade the GPU now you will not get the full effect because of your CPU/MOBO. I know nothing about the new 45nm AMD chips but LGA775 will be around for at least 2 more years so upgrading to a good P45 MOBO and e8400 will give you the greatest boost in performance. Your current GPU should be able to handle anything except crysis and crysis should run well at medium.
In two months the 48xx or GTX2xx will come down another 10%-20%. The CPU/MOBO's have already been reduced and are not expected to be again until late winter or spring of next year.
a b B Homebuilt system
October 28, 2008 11:42:21 PM

sebastian7 said:
Finally, my motherboard has AM2. Is there a significant difference in performance on AM2+?

Thanks again.
There is not a performance increase between boards. Boards normally do not increase performance. Some just have better Over Clocking capabilities than others.

The disadvantage with an AM2 is that you will not be able to use the new AMD 45nm chips coming out. They will only be supported by AM2+

October 31, 2008 4:41:51 AM

i do think the 280 will be overkill...even the 4870 will be overkill for ur 1680x1050 resolution...
!