Its that time again, where I spend 3 years in hiatus after building my last rig and now I know virtually nothing about what parts are good, whether amd or intel is the current leader, geforce or radeon so on and so forth...
Over the last few months of gaming I have started to notice my framerate get lower and lower. When Civ 5 is getting 10-14 fps its a discouraging sight. So I felt it time to visit the good people of this forum who have helped me in ages past. Especially since so many fantastic computer games are on the horizon!
I am obviously trying to do this as cheaply as possible and not neccessarily upgrading my whole system just a few parts to save some money.
This is my bad ass computer (circa 2006) that I originally spent 3k on.
Antec Nine Hundred Gaming Case
nForce 680i SLi Motherboard
Intel Core2 Duo Extreme X6800 2.94ghz Socket 775 (scythe cooler)
EVGA Geforce 275 GTX 768mb PCIe (used to use 2 but had sound issues in SLI so sold one of them)
Sound Blaster Fatality Xtreme Gamer Sound Card
Corsair Dominator (4 sticks 1 Gig each) PC28500 DDR2
Wester Digital Raptor 150gig 10k rpm & 2 75gig
PC Power Silencer 750w Quad Power Supply
Samsumg 24 LCD (runs 1900 x 1050 in natural resolution)
Oh and Windows Vista Ultimate - Windows 7 really much better?
I know its probably time to upgrade my cpu which means a new mobo, which means some new ram so I was thinking those mainly but I might as well get a more powerful gpu to go with it. If anybody has any recommendations I would be gladly appreciative!
Trying to stay around $400-$500, but might spend a little more or hopefully a little less
Thank you ahead of time my brilliant computer brethren
Also for graphics cards which brand has more bang for your buck around the geforce 470 range between radeon and geforce?
The best value graphics card at this time is the GTX 460. I would get a 1GB stock card (not overclocked) from EVGA or MSI. You'll get better performance than the 768MB card because it has more cores and more memory, and it's very easy to overclock (I use MSI Afterburner on two of these EVGA 460s in SLI; you just move some sliders and save a few $$ over the superclocked cards). Stick with EVGA or MSI because you'll get better build quality (and better warranties; those EVGA cards are the lifetime warranty version).
If you're on a tight budget, stick with AMD, but be aware that there are some chipset issues should you want to SLI in the future.
Windows 7 is just amazing, and I think you'll see some upgrades from Vista. Windows took a lot of pages from Apple's book, so the UI is much better, while still providing the standard Windows workstation. The DX11 is pretty cool, but realize you'll need to be playing more recent games for it to come into play (no pun intended).
You're only going to need a ~500W PSU, so your old 750W (if it doesn't die) should do the job fine.
You'll need at least 4GB of RAM. The AM3 socket supports triple channel memory, so you can get 3x2GB in triple channel or 2x2GB in dual channel. G.Skill is a great budget brand, and Kingston has a ValueRAM series that's also very good.
I have another desktop running W7 32bit on an AM2+ CPU with 4GB DDR2 and it still runs fine. I've used W7 on several netbooks with 1-2GB RAM, and it's still amazingly smooth. It's probably going to be the best OS in a long time.
Hmmm...your rig has about the same age as my rig..
If you are willing to wait...then wait a bit untill somewhere in sommer next year...until the Buldozer, Sandy bridge and/or the higher classed HD6000 is already on the market.
Upgrading to i7 1156s, AM3s, and lower classed i7 1366 is not really worth it and at this point the newer generations of hardwares will be soon on its way.
Upgrading to higher classed i7 1366 is good but still too expensive at this point of time.
I myself are planning to get one of the Buldozer next year and of course a new mobo and ram kit.
The only upgrade I would really recommend is to get a copy of a Win7 home premium x64.
But if you are not willing to wait you can go on buy the items with those USD500, but let me tell you this...nothing much will come out of those USD500 upgrades.
Waiting is the better option in my opinion.
I would like to wait but Im getting lots of slowdown on newer games which is irking me, where would you say the bottleneck in my system is? I think its the Processor because its the oldest thing on my system but I cant figure it out.
As far as waiting goes, by the time anything new comes out it will be out of my price range so im thinking Ill just go for it as I save the money. Im starting to realize that if I get what I want im straying from the $500 range now though but oh well i guess ill have to piece it togeather over the next few paychecks.
So far I think ill go this direction:
Windows 7 Home Premium 64 OEM
Gefoce 470 GTX (cheaper than 2 460's)
Intel i5 760 CPU (might do some small overclockin)
Now for memory, I like what i hear about the G.Skill Ripjaws series in the 4GB range. There are so many different types though, which should I go for?
Motherboards is by far the most confusing. I know I want one that has 8x - 8x so both graphics cards (eventually) are good speed. Aside from that Im at a total loss, any recommendations?
Also any good recomendations for a PSU cooler if the stock one isn't good enough?