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Core i5 2500k + 8800gt SLI...complete waste?

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April 8, 2011 3:19:28 AM

So I'm thinking this might be a stupid question, but here goes. I'm considering upgrading my current system, as I recently got approved for a real nice credit card offer that nets me $200 cash back on my first purchase. Of course, I have to take advantage of this within the next few months. I'm running a q6600 @ 3.0GHz and 2 8800gt's in SLI. I primarily use my computer for gaming, and I play at 1920x1200.

I want to change my motherboard. It's an abit 32x Max, and since abit went under there have been no more bios releases. I've had problems with it, and while I can get it to work, SLI doesn't function properly all the time and I can only OC my CPU to 3.0GHz before it becomes unstable. Also I've had problems with Windows 7. I don't really have the money to fully upgrade everything in my system, and I'm really only considering this because of the offer I got. Games run pretty well, BC2 lags a bit but it's manageable, but I do plan to play BF3 went it releases.

Anyway, I was thinking of just changing everything out and putting in an i5 2500k, which of course means new CPU, ram and heatsink. How wasteful would it be to pair such a powerful CPU with such dated cards? I figure since gaming is kind of catering to the console croud, high end graphics cards are becoming obsolete (for the moment) in favor of CPU optimization, since consoles are running very dated GFX cards. I've noticed this with BC2 and am worried BF3 will have the same issues.

Anyway, any input is appreciated, thanks for looking this over!
April 8, 2011 3:46:28 AM

If it's just BF3 you have in mind, then it's not a waste. DICE have said that they are developing Battlefield 3 for PC, and then porting it to consoles, instead of what we usually get (the other way around). So no, BF3 will be able to uti9lize all of the available hardware you have.
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April 8, 2011 3:49:05 AM

That sounds like a good idea. Although high end gaming cards are advancing every year, it means they are getting cheaper too. If the games you are playing are supported by the graphics cards you have now, they should do just as well in your upgraded configuration. Then, when you get some extra coin, you can decide to replace the video cards at that point.

If you could fill out some additional information, then that would help in finding the best fit. Here is a questionnaire: How To Ask For New Build Advice
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April 8, 2011 4:11:15 AM

Thanks for the replies. Sorry I wasn't more thorough in detailing my system or my budget, but it's because I was more concerned with just whether or not pairing the GT's with an i5 was a laughable waste or not.

I mean, as much as I want to switch out my old mobo, it does work. It just takes more time/effort than I'd like. One of the PCI-E slots hangs during boot if the card isn't sitting JUST right, so I had to Macgyver a solution using zip ties. Everything works with 7 (though it takes some time to get everything working with a fresh install) but I am concerned that things will just get progressively worse on the driver end as more time passes.

Anyway, I guess the point I'm trying to make is that an upgrade isn't completely necessary at this time, but I do have the opportunity. Another important factor is that I'm only going to be in the US for a short period of time (visiting) and will be returning to Europe in a couple of months, where everything is way more expensive and the selection isn't as good. I just get the feeling that if I'm going to bother upgrading, changing out the CPU and mobo is almost a waste of time if I'm going to bother pairing it with something like 2 8800gt's.
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April 8, 2011 5:06:17 AM

I do not think it is a waste of time at all. The 8800 GT's in SLI will be equivilent to a single GTX 460 1GB, which is a decent card that will play most games at acceptable levels. Of course you will expect the new cpu, motherboard and memory to last for several years. So jsut plan on upgrading the gaphics cards next year or maybe even the year after.

Do you have a Micro Center near where you are staying? They have very good prices on CPU's and often motherboards, too.


Motherboard: MSI P67A-GD55-B3 LGA 1155 P67 for $145 After Rebate

CPU: Core i5 2500K for $180

RAM: Kingston HyperX blu 4GB DDR3-1333 for $40 AR

Heat sink: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus Universal CPU Cooler for $23 AR


Total: $388, plus tax.

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April 8, 2011 5:25:33 AM

Thanks for the input. Unfortunately I don't have a Micro Center near me, but I have plenty of time to bargain hunt before I leave. I do wish I did though, because that is a sweet deal right there. Cheapest I could get for a similar build was at around $460 online before tax.

Sounds like I'll be milking my cards for a little bit longer.
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April 8, 2011 5:26:29 AM

Best answer selected by grandpamasaki.
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May 23, 2011 10:09:20 PM

Can I ask how the upgrade went? I have two evga 8800 GTS 512s that I'm going to do the same thing with. Getting an i5 2500K with an MSI P67A-GD65 (B3) and 8Gb of Corsair Vengeance. I've always had the GTS's running with a crappy AMD X2 6400
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