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Upgrade to Existing Gaming System - max $1500 budget

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November 5, 2009 5:55:29 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within a week

BUDGET RANGE: Maximum $1500 Canadian (Hard limit would like to coming in less)

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Internet, Movies, Office Applications, listening to music, and basic photo and video editing(using windows software)

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Case, Hard Drives, DVD drive, current power supply is Thermal Take 1000 watt modular supply. I will also be running Windows 7 Ultimate Edition 64 bit.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: www.memoryexpress.com (as I can pick the parts up)

PARTS PREFERENCES: Intel processor only and if possible a MOBO with Dolby Real time encoding.

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe (never done it but curious)

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes in future would like to get a second card. I currently have a eVGA 295 Co-op Edition 1792 mb

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920*1080 on 47" LG TV.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:
What I want to upgrade is the Processor, MOBO and memory. The machine is used for 80% gaming the rest is mixed.

I am currently running a Q6700, ASUS Striker Extreme and 8gig of memory don't remember type.

I am considering the following:
i7 920 -
www.memoryexpress.com/Products/PID-MX22588(ME).aspx

eVGA X58 SLI w/ TripleDDR3 1600+, 7.1 Audio, Dual Gigabit Lan, 1394, PCI-E, 3-way SLI
www.memoryexpress.com/Products/PID-MX25137(ME).aspx

and two
Patriot Extreme Performance Viper Series DDR3 6GB (3 x 2GB) PC3-10666 Enhanced Latency DIMM Kits
www.memoryexpress.com/Products/PID-MX22582(ME).aspx

I like to upgrade about every three years so I am looking at getting the most bang for my buck.

I currently have an ASUS Xonar D2/PM sound card which I am not very happy with but it does real time Dolby encoding to my home theater.

Is there a motherboard that would support that real time encoding so I can stop using that card.

I am open to any other parts combination's.

Thanks for the feedback
November 5, 2009 6:01:38 PM

Gaming, bang for the buck and i7-920 in one post?

The i5-750 outperforms the i7-920 for gaming, at a far lower cost. The i7-860 is even more superior. Unless you're in for extreme overclocking, the 920 offers poor value. The P55 chipset is a lot cheaper as well.

Do note that this requires you to change to 4GB of RAM, as P55 doesn't support tripple channel RAM. However, that's still more than enough for gaming.

That RAM isn't all that great. Look for 8-8-8-24 or even 7-7-7-20 timings. G.Skill has some nice sets, for example.

Can't help you with the sound card question, sorry.
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November 5, 2009 7:09:42 PM

And sticking with the i7 920, x58 platform will allow you to upgrade in 3 years without having to replace the motherboard, just the proc and add more memory if need be, vid card, etc.
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November 5, 2009 7:16:28 PM

It will allow upgrading to gulftown indeed, which is great. However, that will be horribly expensive (I've seen $700 as a retail price being suggested). Maybe you could consider AM3/965? The Thuban (amd 6-core) will be more affordable I guess.

To sum it up:

-i5-750 for extremely good gaming performance at a reasonable cost, but not upgradeable without changing the motherboard.
-i7-920 for the same gaming performance at a much higher cost and power consumption, but great upgradeability.
-AMD 965 for great gaming performance and great upgradeability at a moderate cost.

With upgrading in mind, I'd say:
AMD 965 for price/performance
i7-920 if price isn't an issue.
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November 11, 2009 11:30:15 PM

Thanks everyone for the advice. :D 


I am doing the upgrade this weekend and I will research all in stuff. I think I am leaning toward the i7-920 option.

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