I posted on this board a few days ago about upgrading my PC. My goal is to upgrade to get the best bang for my gaming buck.
Currently I have :
AMD +3800 X2 @ 2.0GHz
Asus A8N SLI Deluxe , socket 939
Nvidia 8800GTS @312mb
430W Thermaltake PSU
1680x1050 Resolution (I often have to play games lower than this due to performance issues)
The game that finally brought this computer to its knees was Battlefield Bad Company 2. As I stated in the other thread, I'd like to keep the GPU a little longer. Here's my question to "general" homebuilt: I was suggested a build by someone and I was looking to have someone confirm for me that the processor is good enough for gaming and that it will last me a couple years. Here's the upgrade I was suggested:
If all your doing is gaming, the X3 is perfect. Research has actually shown that adding the foruth core decreases gaming performance, assuming that's the only change to the CPU.
However, I would consider getting a Crossfire enabled board unless you're planning on spending $300+ on a GPU soon. The Gigabyte GA-790XTA-UD4 or Gigabyte GA-890GPA-UD3H are both really good boards. The 890GPA is a little more future proof, as it has the newest chipset, but it might not be available in Canada.
Thanks, I'm curious why you suggest I go SLi? Is that actually cheaper than buying one high-end gpu ?
edit: Or would you suggest simply adding a second 8800GTS in order to boost GPU perf?
The latter. Generally it's best to build a new system with one big graphics card, and then if you don't feel like buying a new big one when your performance starts to slide, get a 2nd and use SLI/CrossFire at that point to extend the life of your gaming relevance.
I think MadAdmiral is suggesting that while you may not need it right now, in another 6 months to a year, you may find that you want to spend $100 (or whatever) to upgrade your graphics by going SLI.
The thing is, I've bought SLI boards for a while now with exactly that plan in mind.. But then I end up finding that by the time I would upgrade my GPU I need a whole new socket for my processor.. Its always been a waste of money for me, even though I've always included it in my plan. I guess something I should have mentioned here, I'm a poor uni student.
I'm really glad to hear the X3 is good for gaming, because it strikes me as great value.
EDIT: coldsleep answered the basic question. Here's the reasoning behind the answer...
I'm not suggesting you do it now. I'm suggesting you do it for the future. I'm also not suggesting you need a new GPU, unless you don't get the gaming performance you need out of this upgrade. However, if you were to buy a new card, the following is the reason Crossfire would be good..
At your current resolution, a great performing GPU will cost about $150. If/when you upgrade the monitor to a 1920x1080, you'll need a bigger GPU to maintain performance. A powerful enough GPU for that resolution is going to cost you about $300. However, if you had Crossfire, you could add a second card to get the same or better performance. Instead of having to buy a $150 card followed by a $300 card to maintain performance levels (total of $450 spent), you could buy a $150 card and add a second one later (at most $300 spent). So by paying the extra $20-30 for a Crossfire board and an extra $10-20 for a bigger PSU ($30-50 total), you could save yourself $150.
Dual card solutions are not a good idea at the start of a build, but it's a good idea to have the ability to do it later in build's life.
The thing is, I've bought SLI boards for a while now with exactly that plan in mind.. But then I end up finding that by the time I would upgrade my GPU I need a whole new socket for my processor..
I've done pretty much the same thing. If you know that you just won't get around to doing it, then save money and don't get an SLI board. If you have the money to spare, then it's nice to leave the option open, but if you need to save the cash and historically you haven't been doing it, I'd say that you should pay attention to your history and not bother.