Quick one here - I have a file server that I built up, with a M4A88T-M mobo, Athlon II X2 250 CPU and 4 gigs of RAM. Windows 7 64-bit, 4 X 2TB hard drives and a main 320 GB hard drive. I was thinking of re-organizing my computers, and of combining the file server with a HTPC/gaming computer I had intended on building eventually, in my main theater room (projector, full 5.2 sound, etc.). I will do the vast majority of my gaming on my PS3, but I do play RTS games on the computer. I will be playing C&C 3 (both), C&C Red Alert, and Starcraft 2. The latter is the most demanding of the three, so if I run that, I'll be fine with the other two, obviously. I was thinking of upgrading only the processor and GPU, since I figure that's all I'll really need. My questions :
1. With my mobo (socket AM3), what is the best processor and GPU to get, to be able to run Starcraft 2 (even with fairly busy scenarios), with the most playability, and at 1920X1080, highest settings possible? Money is not really an object, but I also don't want to spend money I don't need to;
2. The other consideration is power useage. Noise is not really an issue as I have tons of other fairly noisy equipment (my mains, center and subs are driven by pro amps) but my plan was to leave this computer on 24/7 as a file server as well. Would something like a quad- or hex-core Phenom or something, use a ton more power when at idle or light file-server-like loads?
Problem is most bench marks I can find are based on the beta so I would imagine AMD have tweaked there drivers since but the benchmarks I can find do favour Nvidia they also show its fairly CPU dependant. If you are on a budget a 555BE & a 460 could be your best bet especially if you overclock it.