Intel Core 2 Duo E7400
G.SKILL 4GB DDR2 F2-8500CL5D-4GBPK
SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 4850 512MB
It seems to be running fine for now, although he's starting to use it more heavily for gaming, mostly FPS and RPGs. Is it worth considering a CPU upgrade at some point, or, given the limited options for LGA775, would the benefit be minimal? Would a GPU upgrade be better value, or will the E7400 hold him back?
Just trying to determine where any upgrade money should be spent, if at all.
I believe what your son has right now should be just fine for gaming, I have a less powerful system all around and I can play the most demanding FPS very well still.
And I will have to agree with you that your limited options for a LGA775 socket upgrade and the usually very high costs of discontinued chips will make an upgrade now or later in the future far too costly to justify the performance you will get out of it and buying old technology.
The best thing to do right now money wise, is to hold out at least for Intel's new CPU's to release on Jan. 9, 2011. These chips will help bring current gen CPU's prices down further and if you so chose to go with the new hardware it will be quite powerful and an improvement over even the last generation Intel's.
All in all IMHO, I would say hold out as long as you can with this PC until your son starts having problems playing his games at the detail level he likes and then go for a whole new PC build. Doing it this way will get you the best performance to price and that keeps your wallet happy too.
Agreed on waiting for SB. Actually, I'm looking at upgrading my own system first, I'm just curious whether his system is at the end of the line or worth upgrading. I'd love to wait until Bulldozer comes out for myself, but it's just too far down the road and with no clear advantage. Will want to see more definite SB benchmarks, however, although Anand's "preview" was interesting.
without researching let me say that yours is all dependent on your motherboard and the best upgrade cpu it can run
with checking for important BIOS updates..
I'm leaning towards a complete mobo/CPU/memory upgrade, probably to SB. Everything else will transfer over, although I picked up a Seasonic X750 Gold and an Asus VW246H yesterday with some excellent discounts.