I've owned my current computer for about 3 years now. I've been thinking of upgrading mostly due to sub-par performance in BFBC2. Mostly used for gaming, streaming to my XBOX360. My current specs are as follows:
Mainboard : Asus P5K Deluxe
Chipset : Intel P31/P35
PSU : Corsair HX620W
Processor : Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 @ 2400 MHz [Actually overclocked to 3000mhz]
Physical Memory : 4096 MB (2 x 2048 DDR2-SDRAM ) [OCZ2RPR10662G]
Video Card : BFG GeForce 8800 GTS
Hard Disk : ST3500630AS (500 GB)
Hard Disk : WDC (1000 GB)
Operating System : Windows 7 Professional Professional 6.01.7600 (x64)
DirectX : Version 11.00
Windows Performance Index : 5.7
I have a few reservations. For one I'm not sure I'll get any benefit from a new CPU within my budget, specifically I've been looking at either the i5-760 or i7-930. I'd be buying a good aftermarket cooler and overclocking either. One idea that occured to me was to just buy a better cooler for now and try stepping up my clock speed, though I'm not sure I'd be able to do that anyways. Frankly I'm not too educated in overclocking at the moment, which I hope to change.
As for my other parts, I'd be looking at a new case, video card, ram, and motherboard. The ram I'm not too certain about at the moment. For video card I was thinking maybe a radeon HD 6870 or possibly 6950. The motherboard would probably be whatever is usually bundled with the processor on NCIX.com, as long as it supports crossfire for the future.
I'd like to hang on to my PSU if it all possible, but I'm not really sure if the parts I'm looking will be too much for it.
Any advice would be appreciated. I've been trying to keep my ear to the ground but I don't have any idea if now is a good time for me to upgrade in terms of cost/benefit.
A quad core at 3.0 Ghz should be fast enough for whatever software is out there. Upgrading is not advisable for 2 weeks when the new Intel CPU's will be released. At the least it should adjust the current core i5/i7 [rices a bit.
The HD 6850 or 6870 is a good choice, as well as the GTX 460. They are good cards for the current titles available, and spending more will get diminishing returns. I plan on upgrading to an HD 6850 then adding a second one in crossfire. Good time to upgrade video cards, bad time for mobo and CPU. Plus if you're wondering, you won't gain much from upgrading to DDR3 right now.
I think you have an excellent PSU and 620 Watts will be fine for a single card setup, and even for modest dual card setups.
I agree with buzznut. I would suggest replacing only your GPU, at least until you see how much improvement you get. You can consider upgrading other parts if the GPU alone isn't enough. Get a 1GB GTX460 or HD6870. Your PSU will be enough. If you need further upgrades, you'll be able to take that GPU with you, so it won't be money wasted.
Thanks for the replies. So generally it's looking like my GPU is my bottleneck? Right now with BFBC2 I'm having to run it at sub-native resolutions (1600x900 on a 1920x1080 monitor) with all settings on low, which doesn't even keep it above 30 fps reliably.
As many have said, upgrading your CPU won't improve your FPS by much so it wouldn't be worth the $$$. However, your GPU is getting dated, upgrading to a GTX 460 or ATI 68650 or above would probably lend you noticeable improvement.
Is it reasonable to assume your GPU is plugged into the BLUE PCIE slot? The black one only runs at x4 rather than the full x16.
But yes, the GPU is the bottleneck.
Yep, blue. Thanks for the replies everyone. I've heard of the i5-760s being clocked up to 4ghz without much issue, I figured if I could do that then it would be worth the money. I'll look into getting a new gpu for now.