I am looking to upgrade from an Athlon 64 3200, NForce4, 2GB RAM, Western Digital 80GB IDE HDD. I have an 8600GT DDR2 512 that I unfortunately can't afford to replace because its practically new (bought it when I didn't know the difference between DDR2 and DDR3).
At the moment I'm pretty sure I want to base my new system on the ECS 8200A. I am going to get a new 320GB HDD (and use SATA for the first time) and 2GB of OCZ Sysetm Elite (or maybe Kingston HyperX but its more expensive).
I am tossing up between an Athlon x2 7750 Black Edition and a Phenom x3 8450 (which is 40NZD more expensive). I don't know which would be better, I know that the 7750 is better for most games now but it will be a while before I upgrade again and I wonder if multithreading will become more important. I want to play COD5 a bit better as well as Crysis and Far Cry2 in the future.
Any thoughts? Is the 8450 worth it? My current 3200 goes at 2.1GHz so I'm sure I won't notice any increase in speed (at least in Windows) from the 8450 but would it be more future proof?
If anyone has any alternative thoughts it would be good to hear them.
One day I will go for a Phenom II, probably when the price comes down a bit. The reason I am comparing the 7750 BE and the 8450 is because they are both AM2+, and by using an AM2+ system I can one day put a Phenom II in. The difference in price in New Zealand is $139 for the 7750 BE, $177 for the 8450 and $380 for the PII x3 720 BE. I saw in a benchmark that the 8450 performs (slightly) better than the 7750 BE in Far Cry 2, I am wondering if this is likely to become more common with newer games as Far Cry 2 is apparently optimised well. For example my laptop has a Core 2 Duo T550 at 1.6GHz and the CPU is better for Oblivion than my Athlon 64 3200+. Is 4GB really the standard now - keep in mind I don't want to go anywhere near Vista.
A few games are becoming better optimized for multiple core configurations, but not very many, and not optimized well either, it will be a while before multithreaded games are common and really optomized will for tri/quad cores. The 8450 is not worth the extra money IMO. you will get better results with the 7750 or E5200 and buying a good cooler and OC'ing instead.
Any reason you are avoiding vista? Many horror stories floating around about it are all from before it recieved SP1, it is now a very good OS, much better than XP IMO. If you don't already own an OS, then you should go with vista, as XP and vista cost almost the same amount, and vista has good 64bit support and DX10 which makes your games look much better than DX9.
By the way the E5200 is a good suggestion but for some reason (and don't ask me why) I just like AMD more. Maybe it's the underdog factor... I don't know. So I guess one way of looking at it would be that by the time multi-threaded games are the norm (just as dual-threaded ones are now) the Phenom IIs will have dropped in price.
I'm avoiding Vista because A) I have a pretty good handle on XP B) My laptop is XP and I need maximum compatibility C) My work is XP and again I need compatibility D) My card is too crap to run DX10 decently E) I don't want to be using all my RAM running an operating system.
I have XP from the old computer, I think I can keep using it...