I am about to upgrade many parts of my PC, but I am hung up on a good motherboard that is cost friendly, stable (reliable), and has room to grow if desired later. I am a gamer, and would like to have flexibility.
So, my question is this... I know the selected motherboard is good. But is there a motherboard (atx) that does similar but is a little less expensive? As you can see, I am trying to stay in and around the $500 mark, so a little over is fine, but if I can save some $$ and put it else where, that is, of course, fine with me.
Also, any other input on price savings etc would be appreciated. Thank you all.
Yes. The ASRock 870 Extreme3. It's easily the best value for a board out there. After that, the Asus M4A89GTD PRO/USB3, GIGABYTE GA-890GPA-UD3H, ASUS M4A89GTD PRO (if in a combo) are all just as good options at lower prices.
I am currently going to stick with my GTS 250 1gig. I only have a 1280x1024 monitor, so I didn't see the need to go crazy yet. Once I get a new monitor, I do (hopefully) intend to crossfire. But... I did have the same intentions with my current 4+ year old board and it never happened... lol.
You can't "Crossfire" with what you have, you could SLI. However, AMD doesn't natively support SLI, so you really can't. I'd suggest just replacing the old GPU when you need to upgrade. Pick an ATI (AMD now I guess) card big enough to handle the current demands and leave yourself room to Crossfire later.
Also remember about PSU when selecting GPU's for near future. If u r gona upgrade ur GPU to 6850 then a 650w would be enough for 2x6850's, if its a 6870 then 750w would be required for crossfire and so on.
I think I am going to go with a ASRock 870 Etreme3 and a Athlon II x3 Rana 455. After grabbing an OS and some RAM, I am going to get a new monitor to replace my fossil. With Sandy Bridge coming out and possible decrease in AMD pricing, figure I get a decent processor now, then seeing the effects of Sandy Bridge, get an even better processor/psu/and vid card(s) at that point.
Sounds like a complete rebuild to me.
You are keeping only a GTS250, and the case.
For gaming, the graphics card is, by far, the most important component, yet you are not changing that out.
Unless your current cpu is really slow, a graphics card upgrade might give you more improvement than a cpu change.
Try this test:
Run your games, but reduce the resolution and eye candy to a minimum. This will simulate what will happen if you upgrade to a stronger graphics card. If your FPS improves, it indicates that your cpu is capable of driving a stronger graphics card to higher levels of FPS.
For most games, a dual core @3.0 or better will drive any single graphics card well enough for good gaming.
What is your current system?
As new cpu's are developed, they require new chipsets to run them. Most people do not upgrade their processors. For gamers, though, the options are good. It is easy to sell your old card and replace it with the next best thing.
Proc: e6600 C2D @ 2.4ghz
MoBo: 680i XFX
RAM: DDR (whatever the standard is for that mobo.. can't recall)
Video: GTS 250 1gig
PSI: 550w (has 3 12v rails, but only 18 amps per) SLI certified. I want to say its an older antec.
Sorry, i am a bit fuzzy on details as I am at work. =)