Hello, I'm currently running:
nVidia GTX 260
Intel Core 2 Duo E6850 3.00 GHz
4 GB RAM (not important to the question)
1 TB Hard drive (Also not important)
Soundblaster X-Fi Fata1ity (needs a PCI express slot)
I'm looking to upgrade my PC because black ops runs terribly (probably not even my PC's fault, but I've been looking to join the quad core bandwagon anyway) and something about the holiday season has made my father want a computer upgrade.
Instead of having him suffer the trials and tribulations of a $600 dell, I was thinking was that I would give him my tried + true components + a harddrive and Nvidia 8800 GTS I have from a couple years back and upgrade my system to my ever-evolving needs (and hopefully have him chip in). There's just a few things I'm unclear about and I haven't been component-literate since I was building a PC for Crysis a few years back.
It's been heralded as an amazing value and I want to go quad-core, however the Intels seem to be ridiculously expensive, especially compared to the AMDs.
Now- this presents an issue. I have now set foot into uncharted territory as up to this point I've been an Intel+Nvidia loyalist. I'm probably going to keep my GTX 260. I bought it recently and it's still a very, very fine graphics card that doesn't really warrant replacing. Will I run into issues with an AMD motherboard? This brings me to my next question:
What motherboard is the best value? I'm not looking for a super-$300-MB that will aid me in ways I won't notice, I'm not even an overclocker (yet). I'm just an avid gamer and have been one for 8 years. I'd like to have a couple PCI-E slots, so I don't want a stripped down MB that does only the bare minimum either.
Finally a blanket question that gets asked thousands of times every day- For a gaming enthusiast: what is the best value RAM when starting from scratch? I'm going to give my 4 GB to my father because it was a rather generic brand and I'd like to upgrade it anyway. I've browsed lots of RAM and it seems like when it comes to value pricing you trade small amounts with nice timings to absurd amounts with lousy timings. I'd like to find simply The-Best-Value of price erformance for RAM. I'm running Win 7 64 bit so quantities greater than 4 GB are acceptable. I just want RAM that doesn't suck, and I find myself getting overwhelmed with contradictory reviews/opinions when doing the research myself.
Overall I'd like to keep this whole upgrade (CPU+MB+RAM) below $500, but it has a teensy amount of wiggle-room. I'm most anxious regarding compatibility with my GTX260 because I am completely uninformed about ATI cards and it seems unnecessary to get an equivalent card for a couple hundred bucks just to match the MB chipset.
Any help would be greatly appreciated, I trust Tom's Hardware more than any other site and it seemed the best community to which I should bring my questions. Thanks for your time, happy new year!
If Black Ops plays terribly now, and you then spend $500-$700 for new CPU/mainboard/DDR3 combo and stick the same video card in it to see an improvement from 19 to 21 fps at high res, you are likely going to be disappointed.
YOu want a GTX460-1 GB, minimum....
Stick with Intel; the i5 cpu, and the i5/750 in particular, outframes all of the X4/X6 offerings quite handily...