Do I need an upgrade?

About three years ago I built a gaming computer that was ran and continues to run very well with many games usuaully maxed out. Recently I have begun to notice my performance starting to taper off which is always inevitably in the computer gaming world. My current system can't take metro 2033 like I had hoped it would, I know most comps. chug with that game but mine can't quite muster it with all the bells and whistles on like I want. The recent mafia 2 demo which I am a huge fan of the series, tested my system. It may be to early to call it for mafia 2 considering most games gain performance after the release of a patch or driver or too.

Anyways let me cut straight to it... I have the following

Windows Vista 64bit home premium
ASROCK X58 deluxe mobo
Intel core i7 920 at 2.66 quad core
SLI'd EVGA nvidia gtx 260's (216 superclocked model)
OCZGXS 700 watt PSU
6gb of ram
10000 rpm raptor hdd

Now my big question is, performance wise, what is my biggest bottleneck/weakest of the above components in terms of gaming performance?

Is my PSU to underpowered for SLI'd 260s?
Is my CPU to weak?
Are my 260's getting too old?

Now what I have in mind is a upgrade that will allow me to achieve the most increased performance than what I have now.
Ihave had a few things in mind, 1.) would be to remove my SLI 260's and drop in a single highest end nvidia 480, (btw I am not an ATI fanboy)
2.) Would be to replace my PSU with a 1000 watt one which I think may be causing a bottleneck due to not enough voltage atm (probably wrong though)
and 3.) change out my processor (which I don't think is easy, nor is changing out a PSU) for a beefier i7 or what ever else is on the market.

I would prefer to keep my upgrade down to 1 component.

How would the highest end nvidia 480 (single) compare to gtx 260's , specifically the ones I have (216 core)? Would this be the bump I am looking for?

Anyways any opinions would be great. I know there are many reading this saying I am an idiot because I got more than enough comp. as it stands but I just want solid performance on some of the newest games I really love.

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  1. The only option that even makes sense out of those 3 is 1. The PSU isn't the best but it's probably not killing you.

    It's typically faster than 2x 260 core 216s, but isn't really a big upgrade (less than 20% at best). If the performance isn't killing you I'd wait for november at least for ATI to release the 6000 series.
  2. Quote:
    (btw I am not an ATI fanboy)
    Thanks for the response anyways, can anyone else share their opinion on this?
  3. the 700watt may be to small, but it should not be causing any bottleneck effect as far as I know. It may cause ur cards to fry however.

    nvidia just put some new drivers out that increase performance in some games...did ya get em?

    overall ur right, it doesnt get much better than what you have. I also can't wait for the 6k series cards from ATI. Hopin they put em on the 28nm chips.
  4. Appreciate the input thus far, can anyone else share their 2 cents.

    Should I up the PSU, how hard is it to change them out?

    would a single maxed out 480 tax my system more than the 2 260's I already have?

    I would like to gain a substantial boost in performance for the fewest parts changed.

    What I would "like" to do is swap my aging 700 watt for a 1000 watt and take out my sli'd 260s and replace it with a single top of the line 480.
  5. If you don't mind be making a another suggestion. Unless you're going to SLI another 480 GTX in the future go with 460 GTX in SLI. They are cooler use less power and can o.c great. a pair of good 460 with run you $460(EVGA protect your investment) on newegg plus shipping or your top of the line 480 would from from Zotac with its crazy cooler taking up 3 pci slots at 510 plus shipping or going liquid. Plus the 460 gtx have almost perfect scaling and just in case you haven't looked at any benchmark they will be faster than the 480(single). I bought two 470 gtx for SLI they oc really well and work like a champ, but I would of rather just of gone with the 460 GTX in SLI.
  6. Possibilities of upgrades :
    1. More juice (PSU) with better brands, if you keep the XFire/SLI. 700W is enough for a single GTX480.
    2. Replace the GTX260s with GTX460s or higher (don't forget the juice needed) (ATI alternatives : HD5850s or higher)
    3. SSD
    4. Win 7 HP x64 (Vista is a snail OS)
    5. Aftermarket cooler (here means OC, again don't forget the juice)

    You can choose any possibilities (in combination also good) there.
  7. I agree with the idea of 2 x GTX460, alternatively, you could try waiting and see if Nvidia bring out a 475/485 based on the GTX460 design, if they do, those cards would be pretty impressive.

    Also, an aftermarket cooler to OC your CPU would be a good idea especially if you upgrade your GPUs - it wont help with all games, but even at 1920 x 1080 resolution you would be surprised how many games can be bottlenecked by the CPU when you are SLIing
  8. How much of potential bottleneck is my 920? Shouldn't it be good enough with 460's or what have you performance wise, at least for now?

    2 460's sounds like a better route. Thanks alot for the advice guys, really appreciate it.
  9. You 920 will bottleneck the 460's in SLI, however you could overclock your cpu which should solve the problem. The i7 are very oc friendly and do not require a voltage increase to for the clock you will need. From what I have read the 920 @3.2-3.4 ghz should work wondering with the 460's. I have a c0 stepping 920 and it overclocks to 3.4 without any voltage increase. I'm posting a few results with vantage tonight for my 470's with my 920 oc at stock speed, 3ghz, 3.4ghz, and 3.8 ghz. I will also have my cards overclocked and at stock speed for each one of those clocks. This should give you an idea, but do not go by my results, since they will be based off the 470's.

    here is the link to my thread where I will post the results.
  10. how hard are core i7 cpu's to replace/swap out. Do I have to be a computer genius to do it?
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