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Looking for suggestions; upgrading to i5/i7

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Last response: in Systems
December 20, 2009 10:12:00 PM


BUDGET RANGE: 500-800ish before rebates (Mobo, CPU, Memory, CPU Cooler)


Current setup (Parts I have):
Case: Antec 900 Two
Power Supply: Corsair HX750
Motherboard: Gigabyte G31M-ES2L
CPU: Intel Core 2 E7500 (running @ 3.4Ghz 10 x 340FSB)
Ram: G.SKILL (2 x 2GB) DDR2 1066 - (PC2 8500) (running @ 3:2 1020Mhz)
GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 (running @ EVGA GTX 260 SSC speeds)
HDD: Win7 X64 - Samsung Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ - 1TB
OSx86 - Western Digital WD5000AAKS Caviar Blue Hard Drive - 500GB
Storage - Western digital WD10EAVS Caviar Green - 1TB
Monitor: LG 42lh30

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS (in order of preference):,, (Due to Newegg not offering much cashback via Bing)


PARTS PREFERENCES: I would like to build an i5/i7 system; Either an X58 or P55 Mobo (Preferably Gigabyte, because they offer the most compatibility for OSx86). Any kind of memory, maybe G.Skill? Cooling wise, either a Zalman cooler or Corsair's H50.


SLI OR CROSSFIRE: I'd love to run Dual SLI, but I always see posts here stating its a waste on 1680x1050, and its good for 1920x1200. Being that I'm running 1920x1080 I'd love to hear opinions on whether or not it'd be a nice option to have down the road.


ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I'm rather impressed with my current set up, but I'm tired of looking at an Matx board in this case lol (It was in an SFF case before). I play Aion a lot! I never play things like GTA4, Crysis, 1st persons, etc but do frequent games like Batman AA, James Cameron's Avatar, Civ 4, and probably the upcoming Divinity 2 and Assassin's Creed 2. I want everything maxed, such as AA, high settings, and all the other eyecandy.
I really want to just get the i5 and be done with it, but I keep over analyzing everything. I have no idea whether I should (A.) go with P55 and the single card I have OC'd to the EVGA GTX 260 SSC speeds, (B.) SLI/Crossfire on a P55 with the X8 restriction for 2 cards, or (C.) get and X58 and Sli/Crossfire, though I'm kinda guessing choice C. would totally be overkill for the kind of games I play.
Sometimes I even think I should jump up to a P55 board with a 3rd PCI-E slot for physx, but that would probably be foolish seeing as I could always use a second card as a PPU without the SLI. I'm also wondering if Clarkdale might be a better option as well, considering the games I play.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions. :) 

More about : suggestions upgrading

December 20, 2009 10:28:40 PM

by dual sli do you mean quad sli, or just normal sli. and look at this:

and nvidia is a bit behind now, so i would go ati, but if you need nvidia, then get this:

but this card beat 285 by 3%, so lets call them even. this is a comparison of 5850 vs 285

5850 trashes the 285, and dx11 isnt even big yet, so i wou;d go 5850. :)  clarkdale will be consumer level first, so no, go with i7 860, and it actually sometimes beats the i7 920, so that will work out very well, and it is a future proof gigabyte, like you wanted it. :D 
December 20, 2009 10:46:04 PM

Thank you Ares...
I just meant normal sli, but I don't plan on buying a second card right now or even anytime too soon, unless I see some cheap used 260 on craigslist or something. Thanks, I was totally thinking the UD4P so you've answered my question very well. My big issue was whether I'd see any benefit on my resolution with sli.

No offesne, but Tiger direct with cashback slaughters newegg combos, same with getting mobos on ewiz, which is why I listed Newegg last...

i5 @ Tiger direct for 189.99 - 12.8% Bing cashback = 165.68 +FS
i7 860 @ Tiger direct 279.99 - 12.8% Bing cashback = 244.16 + FS

GIGABYTE GA-P55A-UD4P @ Ewiz -5% Bing cashback = $187.99 -$15 dollar coupon = 172.99 - Bing = 164.34 - 15 dollar rebate = Final price $149.34 + FS

I'm really good at the money part, I just wasn't sure whether to go with an X58 sli, P55 sli, or P55 single card mobo considering my resolution, but I think your UD4P suggestion might be the way to go... Also, you really think the i7 860 over the i5 750 for the games I play? 80 bucks for HT?
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December 20, 2009 11:08:41 PM

ahh you know your stuff :)  well buy things where it is cheapest, but:

according to this place in real life, ht is helpful, in gaming...well not so much. so you could get the 750, and get the 5870, or save up for an ssd or other upgrades, but yea do all your wierd 12.8% and 5% and 3.786503739% off deals :lol:  and get the 750 over the 860.
December 21, 2009 1:31:16 AM

Ahahaha yeah I'm incredibly thrifty (my dad used to slide my sister and myself under vending machines for change when we were kids lol)!

I might go with the 860 over the 750, and I totally have the gpu thing under control ie; buy a used 260, upgrade to 5870, wait for Fermi, etc.

Thank you for your recommendation of the UD4P, but the problem is that I'm still being OCD about one thing. From above "I always see posts here stating its [SLI] a waste on 1680x1050, and its good for 1920x1200. " Would getting a GA-P55A-UD4P for the SLI/Crossfire option vs a GA-P55A-UD3 (single card) be a waste at my resolution (1920x1080p) if I want games I listed above with maxed AA, maxed settings, and all the other eyecandy down the road?
December 21, 2009 1:48:40 AM

a 4890 (what i had) could handle just about everything pretty high up ther at 1680x1050, and even 1920x1080 until i upgrade. 260<4890<285<...<5850. therefore, i think a 5850 can handle it. the ud4p can do ati and nvidia which is nice. the main question of waste is kinda misleading. crossfire/sli for normal life thru mid level gaming at 1920x1080 is a waste (depending on what card you are using, but lets just suppose its 2 260s.) if the 5850 cant handle what you throw at it (it will) then you can always upgrade later, but 1 5850 is plenty for 1920x1080. the 5xxx series has future proofing, as does the ud4p, and ati is better with AA, and eyefinity will bring some eyecandy later. i wouldnt spend the extra 100$ for the 5870, as it doesnt give 100$ worth of extra performance. but 5850+750 = 6600 and mega ponage.
December 21, 2009 2:08:42 AM

An upgrade from the GTX260 to something like a 5870 would do the job and be the most cost effective thing you could do. Your E7500@ 3.4 will be able to drive it at your resolution. I would suggest that you try that first. It will fit your 902 nicely. (even a 5970 will fit)

That said, when you get the itch, scratch it. A i5/i7 will not give you much more FPS but will give you better multitasking. The problem is, that most people do not multitask while gaming. To answer your question, I would go with the single card approach. Unless your monitor is 2560 x 1600, you will not need sli since there are very strong single video cards available. If you plan on running a cpu limited game that can take advantage of multiple cores like FSX then the i7 is better than i5 because the i7 has hyperthreading .
December 22, 2009 8:58:14 PM

No no no hehe, and I do appreciate all the suggestions to upgrade my card, and I even agree...
I plan on giving my sister the G31M-ES2L/E7500 along with a leftover 9500GT I have, so me upgrading to i5/i7 is totally happening.
I guess I should have just asked whether or not to get Gigabyte's P55A-UD3P or P55A-UD4P, aka could I use potential SLI/Crossfire down the road, but for 25 dollars more ares is right and I'd be foolish to not get it for the price difference.

I do multitask while gaming, via forums, messengers, vent etc, but your point about a single vid card makes total sense. Thanks Geofelt :)  I'd just rather have versatility I suppose in case I see a ridiculous deal on local craigslist for a card or even 2, which does happen from time to time. Also, I can't just get any card... I should have mentioned this before, but not every card is compatible with running mac os, though some 5k series are as of Nov. with proper EFI loader and the right kexts (Must be dual DVI, and lacking HDMI as well ). Its a big part of the reason I bought a GTX 260 last spring. This is why I may have come across as obstinate or ignoring mentions of ATI cards...

Anyway, I think my first paragraph kinda sums up the decision problem I was having, and I'll either be going with the P55A-UD4P or wait to see what new boards get release in Jan. Thanks again to both of you! :) 
December 22, 2009 9:13:28 PM

yea get the future proofing of the ud4p.

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December 22, 2009 9:22:27 PM

you could look into the msi p55 gd65 board
December 22, 2009 9:55:22 PM

OMG thanks Obsidian!! I was looking at it yesterday for 165.99, but Tiger must have just dropped it to 149.99 today, which makes it 130.80ish after 12.8% cashback from Bing. Just purchased it, thanks so much.
Hey Ares, thanks so much for knocking the dual PCIe X8 futureproofing into my head :) 
December 22, 2009 10:13:39 PM

you are very welcome! however, the ud4p or the ud3p are better than it:

after 12.8% it is 130.80$, however the one at newegg for 184.99 is by far the best. sata 6, usb 3, and 2 pci 2 x16 make it far better, and much more future proof.
December 24, 2009 6:44:46 AM

usb 3 wont totally take over and we haven got and true sata 6 devices yet so she is set for a while
January 5, 2010 1:42:15 AM

Sorry for bumping this, but I just wanted to let Ares know I actually wound up canceling the GD65 order, waited a week and picked up the P55A-UD4P!
I only paid $142 @ Ewiz with coupon and AR! :D