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How would you spend 400$ with this system?

Last response: in Systems
November 30, 2010 9:32:37 PM

Hello everyone, its coming to my general time of buying something new for my PC. But this year it seems quite hard to decide on what would even be that big of an improvement to warrant spending money on a upgrade. I mainly only play video games (IE. Civ5, BFBC2, SC2, L4D1/2, Serious Sam1/2, EmpireTotalWar)

CPU: e8600 @ 4ghz (ive tried to OC higher but i cant even find a point to start working to get it stable, the mobo's options are to vague with "lowest low medium high highest very highest" setting for voltages)
GPU: 2x Sapphire hd4870 512mb
Monitor: SamsungT260 1920X1200
Ram: 2 x 2gb Gskill 10666 (i have another set of 2 x 2gb Gskill 10666 sitting on my desk. when i oc'ed i took out the one pair to get it stable and never felt like putting it back in)
PSU: hiper 880w
Sound: Soundblaster Audigy 4
HDD: 640gb WD 32mbcache and a 400gb WD storage drive.
Case: HAF 932
CPUC: Noctua NH-D14

I would like to improve my overall performance in my games. But with most games coming out now just being console ports, I am able to handle mostly all of my games in max quality. BFBC2 proves to be GPU driver problems as if i use any drivers past 10.5 my FPS drops severely ( from 60-80 to 20-40 -- from playable to unplayable :\ ) and Civ5 seems like it would do greatly with more CPU cores for loading all of the turns as does Empire.

My budget is around 400$

My question to everyone is, with 400$ and the system above, how would you spend it?

My ideas are:

-get the i7 950 from microcenter for 199$ then a 200$ mobo. (would OC of course)
-then splurge for some new ram if i cant jerry rig what i got now.

- get a phenom x6 and new mobo(OCing again)

- get a new GPU(s)

- get a ssd

* I was waiting for Bulldozer to come out, but that seems forever from now. I dont know if I can wait for that anymore. Also I was waiting for the 6970 to come out, but looks like thats going to be a 2011 product.

Any suggestion is welcome as I got cash in my pocket to burn on my hobby for Xmas, I just cant seem to decide What I want as my current system has only been slightly behind anything I throw at it.


More about : spend 400 system

November 30, 2010 10:57:17 PM

You can't make ddr2 run on a ddr3 board, so you'd have to add at least $50 to your cost of getting an i7 950.
Sandy Bridge comes out on January 5, 6970 should be out sometime in december.
I'd wait for one/both of those.
November 30, 2010 11:21:27 PM

Sorry i forgot that was a huge factor of me getting that board. its a DDR3 board. all my ram is DDR3 10666. well i have 2 DIMMS for ddr2 and 4 dimms for ddr3.
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November 30, 2010 11:42:35 PM

Ah yeah gotcha, the ddr3 will work fine with whatever motherboard you get then.
As most of the games you are playing look to be CPU heavy and xfire 4870 isn't that bad of a setup (around a 5870, depending on game), I'd probably go the i7 950 route, or hold off for a sandy bridge motherboard and processor, which in the future may or may not be upgradeable to 22nm (ivy bridge).
December 1, 2010 12:05:51 AM

Thanks for the reply. Appreciated.

The only problem with sandy bridge is that it wont be out for Xmas. (I'm buying my own present :p  )

Also from what i was reading, the first wave of Sandy Bridge is going to be all mainstream with gpu attatched, is that true or was i thinking of Bobcat?

maybe all im looking for is something to hold me over until bulldozer releases, or do you think the i7 950 will still be better?

its tough trying to make a decision on what would have the biggest impact on my system as no one is really pushing the PC gaming community to new heights.
December 1, 2010 12:17:11 AM

More I look at it, it seems if i went with a phenom x6 I would be sacrificing a little bit performance per core for more cores over my e8600. but could be a cheaper and easier way to get access to bulldozer when it drops.

if I go with i7 i have more expensive product, with performance increases across the board, just not as drastic as when i went from my AMD FX-60 to my e8600? making a sandy bridge upgrade a little more difficult and put it farther down the road. as it wouldnt make sense to get a i7 950 then get sandy bridge asap.
December 1, 2010 12:25:05 AM

I'd hardly call better performance than an i7-980X(in applications designed for 4 or less cores) mainstream, especially for a $200 processor:
They do have GPU attached. I've heard various rumors about bulldozer ranging from it equaling the 1366 performance to it being better than SB. I don't even know the release date.

Also, 80% sure that Bulldozer will require an AM3+ motherboard.