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Should I upgrade my system?

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December 10, 2010 7:07:54 AM

Hi,

I bought my rig sometime last year and have been upgrading pieces here and there occasionally (when i get a decent deal). Anyways, figure it's holiday season and I can afford to spend another 200 to 300$ CAD (maybe more if it's on a cpu that needs a new mobo) on my computer parts while parts are potentially... cheaper. So I been wondering if I should be upgrading and if so what and any advice/opinions would much appreciated.

Here's my current build:

AMD Phenom II X2 545 Callisto @ 3.0GHz
Gigabyte GA-MA790GPT-UD3H
8GB DDR3 RAM @ 1333MHz
Sapphire Radeon HD 6870 1GB w/ Eyefinity
360GB WD Blue Drive + 2TB WD Green Drive purely for storage
OCZ StealthXStream 600W PSU
Monitor(s):
21' Samsung@1600x1050 + 32' Sony Bravia TV@1900x1080

Comments on current rig:
- I'm actually not 100% sure if the motherboard I have up there is the right one as my box is somewhere in the storage... but im 100% sure it's the 790 chipset. This one looked right from the picture color and layout and I knew I had a UD something at the end... so 90% sure it's right?
- My ram consists of 4GB of OCZ, 4GB of G.Skill Ripsaw, both rated for 1600MHz@7/7/7/24 timing, but I could only get it to that timing at 1333MHz... or else it failed Prime95. No clue why. As for why I have two different brand of memory sticks... well.. long story >.>
- I never got my 25$ on my OCZ PSU rebate, is this normal?
- Currently I am mostly using just my 21' Samsung due to physical space constraints (no space on my desk for my TV...). Ideally I'd like to use both at once, or at least my tv (cause it's bigger) if space permits. Hopefully this will all change in like 2 month when I move out.

Current usage:
- Games mostly involve SC2, that may change during Christmas break when I have more time for other games
- Otherwise a lot of 1080p movies + shows, sometimes a bit of Excel calculations (when our finance prof decides we need to work with like 20,000 stock price data...)
- Depending on the physical location of my TV (ie. when not hooked up to computer), I also use PS3 Media Server to stream stuff to my PS3 (realtime decoding + encoding, I got a gigabit router so no bottleneck there) Not sure how well it works with multicore thought, says it has support for it

Options:

CPU (+ maybe mobo if necessary):
my current idea is to upgrade my CPU seeing as that seems like the slowest part, especially since apparently SC2 is CPU limited. The options I'm considering right now is either AMD 1090T or i5. With I5 I will need a new motherboard, so I'm not too sure if that's a good idea (however, definitely open to advice, willing to buy new board if it is worth it). With 1090T, well I'm not too sure if this is a good time to be upgrading (price just dropped, but then there was all this stuff about Sandy Bridge or something?) Also I'm not sure if it's even that good. I'm ok with splurging a little even if it's not completely necessary as long as it's within that 200 to 300$ range (subject to flexibility)

2 new monitors:
my other potential idea was to get 2 monitors to take advantage of Eyefinity (looks really cool on youtube!) Not quite sure if 1 additional monitor will suffice (2 monitor Eyefinity?) and I don't think I can do 21' + 32' tv cause it looks really... weird (tried already)

SSD?:
I'm seeing a lot of suggestions about this one lately, not quite sure it's right for me as it seems to only affect load time? I'm honestly not too concerned about how fast my Windows boots as long currently and most of my videos are on my 2tb storage (slow) drive anyways. But I'm open to any advice/suggestions

Anyways, that's my situation. So the question is should I upgrade my CPU or other parts or at all? I'm indifferent to "when" if it's sometimes either now or in late january 2011. I'm open to any and all advice/suggestions/comments/opinions. Thanks in advance!

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a b B Homebuilt system
December 10, 2010 11:07:16 AM

Have you tried to unlock that CPU into a quad?
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December 11, 2010 1:10:21 PM

mosox said:
Have you tried to unlock that CPU into a quad?


I have no idea if I could, and if so how =/
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Best solution

a b B Homebuilt system
December 11, 2010 1:34:01 PM

Press Del when the PC boots and go in the BIOS.
Go to MB intelligent tweaker
Set EC firmware to hybrid
Advanced clock calibration to auto

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1n2v1fmC4JM&feature=rela...


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December 11, 2010 2:17:08 PM

What O.S. are you using?
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December 11, 2010 9:20:49 PM

I had a Phenom 2 X2 550 and it unlocked to a quad just fine so I would try what mosox suggests before doing anything else. That would save you from spending more $$ on a new cpu. However, it's not a guarantee the locked cores will be stable when unlocked. Mine weren't at first, but once I bumped up my vcore a tad the cpu ran great as a quad.
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December 18, 2010 11:58:43 PM

Best answer selected by gimmeabreak.
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