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Upgrade now or wait

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November 28, 2010 11:43:38 PM

I'm trying to decide whether to upgrade now or wait. I'm looking to upgrade Processor, mobo, and RAM. Currently running an E8400 intel @3.0 core 2 duo with an MSI motherboard and 4 gig of DDR2 pc6400 memory.

I'm trying to keep the upgrade to between 400 and 500 dollars as possible. Going by price points and reviews, I can achieve this by getting the following from New Egg: Intel I5-750, 8gig of DDR3 Ripjaw (on special now), and a variety of middle to better mobos and come in under $450.

The question is, for gaming purposes, is this a large enough upgrade to warrant the cash or should I wait longer. Would I see a real gaming improvement?

I understand AMD has a new "Bulldozer chip" coming out next year which may be a real powerhouse but don't know if it is going to be an expensive proposition and give me good bang for the buck.

I also looked into an AMD build with the Phenom 970 3.5g BE processor which would come out a bit cheaper than the intel build but also comes with a slight performance decrease...hence I'm leaning towards the I5-750.

I'm also wondering if now is a good time to Jump to an I7 series (not the $1K extreme edition) but the I7-950 ish. Moneys tight but don't mind spending it if there is a real bonus to performance or longevity. I think the I7 will add another 125 dollars or so to my original $450 I5 idea.

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a b à CPUs
November 29, 2010 1:23:04 AM

Understood. Personally I would wait...and scratch for some more cash if I could.
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a b à CPUs
November 29, 2010 1:39:39 AM

The i5 750/760 is the sweet spot for gaming performance. For gamers at 1920 resolution, there's not much need for going to the 950. However . . .

Wait until 1/5/11 for the new Intel Sandy Bridge cpus. 20% more performance is expected for roughly the same price as today's 750/760. Even if the price expectation doesn't come through, prices for 750 and AMD cpus should drop a bit. So its a win-win either way.
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a b à CPUs
November 29, 2010 1:40:00 AM

If your games run fine don't bother with upgrading now. If they don't it may be the video card - it's much more important than the CPU in gaming.
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a b à CPUs
November 29, 2010 5:33:22 AM

Hi Ripthruster, Welcome to THW.

I would say at least wait until the SandyBridge CPU's are released in early Jan. 2011. Then you can decide if you want to go for the new CPU's or take advantage of the last gen. CPU's price drops. Your PC seems to be well suited for gaming still, what GPU are you currently using?

Here is the latest price estimates on SandyBridge:

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November 29, 2010 6:20:40 AM

Thanks for the advice. I'll look into sandybridge and see. Currently, I've only had issues with the last 2 games I've purchased...Civ 5 and CoD3 Black Ops.
Civ5 takes forever to run through the AI players turns and Cod3 doesn't run very smoothly. Going through the forums for these games, the general consensus is the long turns are a cpu issue and CoD3 doesn't use your graphics card to its full potential and relies heavily on the CPU...Dual cores especially noticeable.
Both of these may be programming flaws but again this is the first time I've ever had issues and it happened with the last 2 titles.
E8400 has been a real workhorse for me. It really sold me on Intel being worth the extra cash over AMD, which I had always opted for in the past.
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a b à CPUs
November 29, 2010 6:23:24 AM

You can tell if its a cpu issue by watching your cpu utilization (Task Manager) while playing. The graphs will show both cores at 100%. If not, there's a different problem.
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a b à CPUs
November 29, 2010 6:38:48 AM

A mild OC should get you what you want. Jump up to something like 3.4 if still on stock cooling, see what that does for you.
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November 29, 2010 12:48:08 PM

No upgrade will get you fast AI players turns in Civ V as no upgrade will get you fast AI players turns in Heroes V. Those games just have poor coding, that only a super fast processor (5.0+ GHz) can negate.

Your processor overclocks easy, and overclocks well, so I suggest to try a big overclock.
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a c 131 à CPUs
November 29, 2010 1:47:45 PM

Ripthruster said:
Thanks for the advice. I'll look into sandybridge and see. Currently, I've only had issues with the last 2 games I've purchased...Civ 5 and CoD3 Black Ops.
Civ5 takes forever to run through the AI players turns and Cod3 doesn't run very smoothly. Going through the forums for these games, the general consensus is the long turns are a cpu issue and CoD3 doesn't use your graphics card to its full potential and relies heavily on the CPU...Dual cores especially noticeable.
Both of these may be programming flaws but again this is the first time I've ever had issues and it happened with the last 2 titles.
E8400 has been a real workhorse for me. It really sold me on Intel being worth the extra cash over AMD, which I had always opted for in the past.

Cod 3 was a WWI game for console only and the only one to feature a Canadian mission. The first modern warefare was COD4. Black ops is COD7. Black ops can use more than 2 CPU cores but Your CPU should be sufficient for max settings. What video card do you have?
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November 29, 2010 3:59:32 PM

Right now gpu is a 260 GTS 1gig.
I'm going to go ahead and try the overclock and try and hold out for the newer chips coming in January as previous posters have suggested. This should buy me more than enough time to find a good deal without feeling pressured to do something immediately.
I just hope when SB comes out there won't be another cpu just looming ahead.
Thechief73-Thanks for posting that chart. any idea how soon we'll see mainboards rolling out for these new Sandybridge socket configs?
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a b à CPUs
November 29, 2010 5:20:48 PM

Ripthruster said:
Thechief73-Thanks for posting that chart. any idea how soon we'll see mainboards rolling out for these new Sandybridge socket configs?
Well... Asus and Gigabyte have already announced and posted specs on several of there Socket LGA1155 SandyBridge boards, a quick google will give you all the information that is available on them as of now, and those are really the only two brands I would recommend anyhow. As for being able to purchase them, maybe a week or so before SandyBridge if were lucky but expect them to be around the same day as SandyBridge official release at CES on or around Jan,9.

As for the other CPU looming ahead, its less than a year away. The Socket LGA2011 is coming in Q3 or Q4 of 2011. That will be the platform of the "High End and Extream" SandyBridge and will have more cores and quad-channel memory, as well as other improvements.
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December 8, 2010 11:56:53 PM

Best answer selected by ripthruster.
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