My rig now:
E6600 core 2 duo @ stock 2.4 Ghz
8800 GTS 320mb stock
Win XP pro 32bit
So, here's my dilemma. I have been eagerly anticipating Bad Company 2. Knowing my current system is a bit long in the tooth, I am concerned that I will not be able to run the game at an enjoyable setting and frame rates. As always, I have done my research and see that some folks who play the beta of BC2 can run the game at decent fps on mid settings (which I'd be happy with) on dual core processors but with better gpu's than the one I currently have.
Initially, I had anticipated on putting together a new rig more or less just to get the full enjoyment out of BC2 - in other words, crank it up. This new system would consist of an i7 920, 5870, etc... and a $1400 price tag. Not that I'm hurting in the pocket book, but I'm thinking a more frugal path would be to get a 4XXX series ATI card for my current system.
I know I'll eventually have to build a new system, but if I can squeeze a few more years of gaming on my current rig with a gpu upgrade, i think that would be my preference. I guess what I'm really asking is, is that possible? I know it would be foolish to invest more than $100 in upgrading my current system, which is why i'm thinking 4850.
--Do I just buy a 4850 for my current system, turn the eye-candy down, and save the $1300 for the i7 build when prices come down a bit. Or...
--Go for the full i7 build.
I'd buy a Radeon HD 5750 or 5770, personally (I actually bought a 5750 lol). Was in the same boat you're in, except I upgraded from a Radeon HD4670. Vast improvement in frame rates in EVERY game.
AMD Phenom II X3 720 BE
3 GB DDR2-667
Antec BP550 Power supply
Vista Home Premium 32-bit
Extra gig a RAM should be disregarded for comparative purposes (that 1GB is there for Vista and nothing else)
By upgrading to the 5750, I went from Low settings @ 1440x900 in Crysis to HIGH @ 1440x900, and could probably even get away with turning up a few of the details while getting very playable frames.
Think that speaks for itself. Hope this helps.
Get the 5750 or 5770 for now, then when you're building up a new system, get a second of the same card and run it in Crossfire. Watch the framerate go through the roof. Smile, and change pants.
Hmm. But could I run a 5750 or 5770 on my current rig with XP pro 32 bit AND DirectX 9 or 10 or would I need to upgrade my OS? I think because of my current OS I'd have to choose a card that can run with DirectX 9 or 10 only. I see you have a triple core, but my rig is only dual core.
I would wait on the build. In a year, maybe a year point something AMD will have the eight core "BULLDOZER" out. Next gen cards will be in full swing. SSD drives will be at a higher value price point. SATA and USB three point oh will be inexpensive in more boards.
Man BC2 eats dual cores up. I was running an E8400 @ 4.0 with a GTX285 and still had the chop. I was averaging 35 fps with dips into the teens @1900x1200 on low. I recently moved to an I5-750 and my frames jumped to 90 + on the same settings. You will be able to play but to truly enjoy the eye candy you need a quad.
Also , unless you do heavy video editing go with an I5-750 as it offers a better price/perf ratio for gaming.Going that route will also give you some extra cash for something else.. Games do not utilize the HT technology on the I7.
It depends on what resolution you wanna play at. If you're lookin at 1920x1200 then you're current config + new card proly won't be enough. I was in the beta so I got a chance to try out BC2, and I got decent frames (>35) with my rig (look at sig below) at full settings + 2xAA... But just for the sake of testing, I tried out my CPU at stock speeds (quad core @ 2.4) and the game really slowed down! ...So I'm guessing ur dual core might have a bit of trouble keeping up
If you're looking to go bellow 1080p res + new GPU, and you don't want to max out graphics, it's proly going to be OK... But then whats the point in buying the game if you can't max everything out and enjoy the eyecandy...
Although if you wanna buy the i7 and 5870 only for this game, thats a bit overkill...I mean look up BC2 eyefinity on youtube --> they're running 3 1080p monitors settings maxed out and still getting over 40 frames with that config.
I guess it all comes down to what you want, but in any case I suggest you wait until Nvidia's new Fermi launch next month, maybe they'll be at a competitive price point compared to the 5870, or ATI could do a price cut, or even launch a new 5890.
Thank you all for the replies and advice, which have given me more clarity on the path I think I may ultimately take.
As of now, I'm considering a new build based around a AMD Phenom II X 955 black edition 3.2Ghz quad core and a 5870 or 5850. Seems l ike the 955 has similar performace in games as the i7 chips for about half the price. For my needs (gaming), I think that will do me fine.
As gellert suggested, I'm tempted to wait for the Fermi release in hopes that it would drop the prices on the ATI cards, but I think we've all played this waiting game and know that eventually, at some point, you just have to take the plunge. I know whatever I get now will devalue drastically over the next 6 months, but I have to make a choice. I'm just trying to get something that won't need to be replaced in 2 years.
I took the plunge and built an i7 920 and 5870 rig. Cost a bit more than I was comfortable with, but now that I have everything up and running with Bad Company 2, I have NO regrets!! Thank you all for your advice, and see you on the battlefield.