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New CPU/MOBO or New Video Cards?

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Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
July 22, 2010 5:25:20 PM

I am getting a small bonus at work today and I was able to convince my wife that I should be able to use this money to finally upgrade my gaming PC.

My current set up:

EVGA 750i SLI FTW Mobo
Q6600 Intel Processor
8GB DDR2
BFG 1000W Power Supply
2x 8800GT in SLI (512MB each)

My question is this: Will I get more performance by upgrading my two 8800GT's to the new GTX 460 (1GB) cards that came out recently, or would I see more of a boost upgrading the Q6600 to the cheapest i7 processor I can find? With the money I am getting I could afford a new motherboard and the processor, however I could probably only pick up 4GB of RAM at first, with plans to upgrade to the full 16GB the motherboard I want handles at a later date

So if you were in my shoes, what would you upgrade? I am strictly a gamer, and do no video editing or encoding.

More about : cpu mobo video cards

a c 84 B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
July 22, 2010 5:50:16 PM

Definitely the video card. The CPU and RAM won't really do that much in terms of gaming.

I would also consider looking at the HD 5850 and 5870. They're both more powerful than the 460, so it might be worthwhile to consider those as well.
July 22, 2010 5:59:05 PM

At what resolution do you game?
A Q6600, though old, still has plenty of juice. Even at stock, it should handle all of today's games.
At high resolutions, games are always GPU dependent. Hence getting a better one will always result in increase in performance with respect to frames per seconds.
Also having 8 GB RAM is very good, although having DDR2 will be slower than DDR3, but the difference in performance will be small.
So you have a decent processor & RAM, & a motherboard which will accept any of today's modern gfx card.
Imo, just get a new graphics card. With the expense of getting a new cpu-mobo-ram saved, you could get a high end card like Gtx 470. It will increase gaming performance exponentially.
The whole combo should last you atleast for the next two years. Plus you could save some $, keeping the wife happy in the process :D 

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a c 84 B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
July 22, 2010 6:04:04 PM

Don't get the GTX 470 or 480. They're not good cards. They're overly expensive, run extremely hot, require a massive amount of power and simply don't perform that well.

Really, the only nVidia card that's even an option right now is the 460. If you need something more powerful than that, you're looking at ATI cards.
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
July 22, 2010 6:35:16 PM

A pair of 460's is what I am eyeing right now. It is an nforce mobo and does not support crossfire. Since I always run multi-gpu, the 460 would be the best for my current set up.

I appreciate the information, you've made my decision easier. I am using two monitors, a 24" Acer at 1920x1200, and a 19" Sony monitor.

Everything runs fine, but the 8800GT's are starting to show their age. I skipped the 9000 and 200 series because the mid range cards I can afford were just rehashed 8800's, but the new 400 series has me pretty excited.

!