Motherboard/processor combo for ~300$. Intel vs AMD - any suggestions?

Hi there and thanks for visiting this thread. I'm currently in the process of upgrading my computer and am looking for suggestions which motherboard and processor would you recommend for up to 300$. I am a novice overclocker and as such would like the board to have O/C options in BIOS as well as O/C-capable processor. Also, from what I know a chipset on motherboard is also important, but I have no experience in that matter and would welcome any opinions. My current config is as follows:


Processor Intel Core 2 Duo E7300 2.66GHz (overclocked to 3GHz)
Cooler ARCTIC COOLING FREEZER 7 PRO PWM
Mainboard Gigabyte GA-G31M-S2L
Memory Kingston 2x2GB 800MHz DDR2 Non-ECC CL5 DIMM
Video Card Asus Radeon HD 5770 1GB RAM 128bit
HDD Samsung HD502IJ 500GB SATA 3GB/s 16MB DRAM
Sound Card Sound Blaster Audigy Player
Power Supply Corsair CMPSU-550VX


In your opinion, should I upgrade any of the components if I'd like not to touch my PC (upgrade-wise) for the next 3-4 years? Are there any significant bottlenecks and should I bother at all with upgrade at the moment or wait for some time? I heard some good thing about Intel i5 processors, but I would really prefer to hear opinion from somebody who knows what is what:) I would appreciate any suggestions and opinions on processors and mainboards available in the ~300$ price bracket. Thank you!
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  1. If you upgrade, I would try selling off your old board, cpu, and ram first. If you get no decent offers, I would leave it alone. The cost of ddr3 is high, and unless you're a hardcore gamer, you won't gain much by upgrading to the i5. I got my i3 up to 4.07, but the Intel heatsink couldn't handle the extra heat, and some applications wouldn't work with such a high overclock. I live near frys electronics, which gives you the motherboard for almost free with some combo specials. Better than newegg.
  2. I'd recommend this:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103727
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130265
    That 965 black edition would overclock like mad on that board, and it supports the memory you already have, plus more. Additionally, it gives you two x16 PCIe slots for future expansion, and that board is just downright awesome looking. :) Oh, and from what I've read, it supports CrossFire so that you can get a second 5770 (will need a bigger PSU) in the future if you feel the need. It's even a good deal under your budget. For your upgrade path, the CPU should serve you well for many years to come, especially if you OC it. You can get a second 5770 when you need more graphics power, and it has 4 RAM slots for extra RAM when and if you ever need it.
  3. Quote:
    Hi there and thanks for visiting this thread. I'm currently in the process of upgrading my computer and am looking for suggestions which motherboard and processor would you recommend for up to 300$. I am a novice overclocker and as such would like the board to have O/C options in BIOS as well as O/C-capable processor. Also, from what I know a chipset on motherboard is also important, but I have no experience in that matter and would welcome any opinions. My current config is as follows:


    Processor Intel Core 2 Duo E7300 2.66GHz (overclocked to 3GHz)
    Cooler ARCTIC COOLING FREEZER 7 PRO PWM
    Mainboard Gigabyte GA-G31M-S2L
    Memory Kingston 2x2GB 800MHz DDR2 Non-ECC CL5 DIMM
    Video Card Asus Radeon HD 5770 1GB RAM 128bit
    HDD Samsung HD502IJ 500GB SATA 3GB/s 16MB DRAM
    Sound Card Sound Blaster Audigy Player
    Power Supply Corsair CMPSU-550VX


    In your opinion, should I upgrade any of the components if I'd like not to touch my PC (upgrade-wise) for the next 3-4 years? Are there any significant bottlenecks and should I bother at all with upgrade at the moment or wait for some time? I heard some good thing about Intel i5 processors, but I would really prefer to hear opinion from somebody who knows what is what:) I would appreciate any suggestions and opinions on processors and mainboards available in the ~300$ price bracket. Thank you!

    I would advice just to keep your current system since it is very decent and already in good balance. You may OC your E7300 further since you have a decent CPU cooler already.
    I can not see anything else that will be worth upgrading on your PC. If you still do not have a 1920x1080 monitor, then I would suggest to buy it to maximize the use of your CPU and GPU.
  4. randomkid just gave you best advice.
  5. thank you kindly for all your answers. After some consideration I will keep my system as it is right now and maybe make another leap once new generation of video cards will come out (nVidia w/physx & DX11), at a reasonable price though. I will change my processor, motherboard, memory and gfx card all at once. Thanks once again!
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