Afternoon all, longtime reader, first time poster here at Tom's
I'm looking to do a bit of upgrading on my homebuilt PC, but I have a rather limited budget (all the coins I've saved in my Stay Puft piggy bank + some health benefit payouts. Whoo!). With a wedding to pay for in the summer, the budget falls in the $400-$500 range
Currently running the below -
Core2 Duo E6600 2.4ghz
Gigabyte 965P-DS3 MOBO
2 GB DDR2 Ram
GeForce 8800 GTS
Now, I know I want to go to Windows7 and 4GB of RAM. With an OEM version of Windows7 and the G.Skill RAM recommended in the $1000 build here at Tom's, that puts me at about $150 spent
The question then becomes, what do I spend the rest on? A new Mobo+CPU combo (the i5-2500k + ASUS P67 Pro MOBO) or a new video card (Gigabyte Radeon 6950)? Ideally I would do both, but I just don't think a $700 outlay is feasible.
So, which combo will provide the most bang for my buck. Any other suggestions?
It will be mostly used for gaming and the monitor can go to 1920x1200 at least. To be honest I've never tried to push it further.
The $150 is already spent, but I think going to W7 to unlock DX11 capabilities and more RAM are musts.
Going with the new processor + an older GPU is a good idea. I will have to dig in to the bench marks a bit more
If you had to choose between the Mobo/Proc combo and a new GPU, which would you go with? The other part will be upgraded as well, but that may by 6-9 months down the road
I would do the GPU first. Sandy Bridge (cougar point) MB's will drop price over the next few months once supply catches up with demand. that being said I would go for a decent GPU like a GTX560 Ti or at the minimum and GTX 460. I'm more of an Nvidia fan, they have better drivers and fix issues quicker.
these are my recommendations for GPU's they are 1. OverClocked & 2. quieter, since they have better heat sinks and fans on them: