I built my first computer winter 09 and at the time, Core 2 Duos were the hot item. I built a decent midrange computer, and it has been wonderful. I feel though now my C2D is starting to get left behind, what with the new Intel chips, and DDR3 standard.
I am looking to upgrade this summer the guts of the PC, and am looking for some suggestions.
Here is the current setup I have:
G.Skill PI Black 4GB
WD 640GB HDD
HIS HD4870 [1440x900 resolution]
Id say the most demanding thing I do on my computer is gaming, so that would be my primary concern.
I have been out of the loop for the past couple months, so I am asking you guys here at Tom's what would be a good upgrade path, in regards to the CPU/MOBO/RAM.
Ideally I would like to spend around $400, so I think that rules out the i7-920. I guess my options are the i5, comparable AMD offering, or I could even just get a C2Q chip for half my budget and replace only my CPU. Looking for the best bang for the buck. My only real brand loyalty is Gigabyte motherboards.
What is the system not doing well that prompted you to upgrade? The reason I ask is that the CPU doesn't really have a large effect on gaming performance. That's mostly determined by the GPU, which in your case is plenty for your low resolution. I can certainly understand the upgrade bug, I'm just trying to understand a little more. An AMD upgrade fits your budget best. Here's both AMD and Intel upgrade suggestions:
Yes I will admit the upgrade bug is itching hard...heh, but I guess I was waiting for the right time to make the jump to quad-core computing, and this might be what I need to find out.
Theres also the option to overclock the CPU I have, but I have never really looked into that. I guess I am looking mainly for a gameplan for the next 6 months.
Thank you though for the suggestions, I had a feeling those would be the two main contenders. If I did go the AMD path, I would probably get the 965, as its not a whole lot more. I haven't looked into them, but do the new AMD X6 utilize the same AM3 socket?
Then just find one of the 8xx chipset line without it. If I were to buy a motherboard now it would be one of those. That chipset will be the first in line to get BIOS updates for any new CPU's that they come out with.
Would it be worthwhile to go with this motherboard instead? Its only about $20-30 more than the other Gigabyte one, but seems to be pretty popular and a good quality board, offering me a little more upgrade-ability with full crossfire support, and what looks to be better heatsinks and capacitors. If its worth it to get the better quality board, I don't mind spending the money.
Furthermore, the new G.Skill ECO series are lower voltage than the Ripjaws, is this necessary to have for greater system stability/overclocking potential, or is the only advantage lower heat generation?