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Upgrading

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June 13, 2011 5:32:53 AM

Current Specs:

Mobo: Msi p55-g55a

CPU: Intel i3 530

GPU: Visiontek radeon 5750

Memory: GSkill Ripjaw Series 4GB(2x2) pc 12800

Case: NZXT apollo

HDD: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 7200 RPM

DVD: Light-On 24x DVD RW

Power Supply: CoolerMaster 650W GX

The upgrades I'm going to buy are:

CPU: i5 2500k

Mobo: MSI P67A-gd55-b3

GPU: http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

CPU heatsink: undecided

Preffered store will be microcenter or newegg.

I currently run all games fairly well at 1920x1080 but I'm upgrading now because I won't have the funds the next three years while I finish school. I know what I want to get but I still have some questions. If I bought the i5 760 to save money not only on the processor but a motherboard as well and not having to buy windows again (I read that windows detects the motherboard once installed and I have the non-transferable OEM version) would I still be okay for the next several years? I don't currently do any overclocking, but I plan to get some better cooling and start once I upgrade. I'm going to be in Dallas this weekend and plan to go to microcenter and at least buy the processor, whether it's the 760 or 2500k, because the price difference compared to newegg is unbeatable. The rest of the upgrades I'm not so sure are worth it though. I've heard microcenter will check to make sure each component works before you leave the store but that is only hearsay and that's where my questions come in. I can get both the motherboard listed above and graphics card listed above for significantly cheaper on newegg but is it worth it if microcenter will test them before I leave the store (if the hearsay is correct)? Also, I could get a 2gb 6950 with slightly faster clocks (HIS IceQ turbo) than the one I've picked off microcenters website for cheaper than the one I've picked or another brand/card entirely. I also am curious as to which heatsink I should get if I'll be overclocking because I know nothing about heatsinks. So in short I would like to know if I got the 760, even though the 2500k will run circles around it, and overclock it to save money would it be worth the while and I'm deadset on getting a 2gb 6950 and unlocking/overclocking it but if I should stick to newegg and pick out a different one. Sorry for the long post, I'm just trying to gather as much info as possible and make the right decision before I start throwing all the money around. Thanks for all the help I get on this.

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a b B Homebuilt system
June 13, 2011 5:45:04 AM

First thing that catches eye: Paragraphs are your friend!
Haha, on to the advice.

I would get the 2500k, even if you have to get a new version of windows 7. I have a few reasons for this
-The 2500k is an OC beast.
-the i5-760 is OLD OLD OLD
-Getting windows 7 with a .edu email is considerably cheaper I believe
-the 2500k will last you much longer.

I think those points speak for themselves a bit. I just think 2500k is the way to go.

For the GPU, it's a good deal. Keep in mind it WILL NOT flash as it has nonstandard bios. You'd be better off getting the iceQ and overclocking like a madman.

Btw, how old is your PSU?
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June 13, 2011 6:43:27 AM

Sorry about the one giant paragraph, I just finished a long work/school week and wasn't thinking much about it. The PSU is not even a year old yet. I bought my entire setup at the end of July last year.
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a c 136 B Homebuilt system
June 13, 2011 8:33:24 AM

2500K + mb + windows

or

760

and since a 760 will game really well with a 6950 then keep in mind you are not going to be getting much more of an improved experience by spending a whole lot more
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June 13, 2011 6:25:49 PM

You have to consider its easier to sell a used cpu with a matching board than a lone cpu. You also have the card to sell, so the cpu, board and offering a matching card would be easier than just the cpu/card.
If you could sell the cpu/board/card for something like $120-$150, then that would pay for the new board with crossfire/sli.

It leaves the option open to get a second 6950 later.

I would sell the board/cpu/card first while its in a system and can be sold as a working system pull. People will want to see it working first because it's used.
You could sell your hdd too and used os system and get a faster 1tb drive too.

Just upgrading the card is another option, the i3-530 can be overclocked a bit and they do ok in gaming. Pairing that fast dual core with the hd-6950 would still play games well and be a big upgrade from the slower 5750. The hd-6870 is a better match but the 6950 is priced so close its not worth the downgrade to the 6870.
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June 17, 2011 4:51:22 AM

Well, right now it's looking like I'll be buying the i5 2500k and MSI p67-gd65 mobo this weekend at microcenter but I think I'm gonna hold off on the GPU and just order it on newegg seeing as how it'll be much cheaper there. Any ideas of which to get? After researching it a bit, I see the unlockable reference cards are hard to come by now so that leaves me a little lost as to which one to get. I do plan to do some overclocking on the GPU if it matters.
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 17, 2011 5:09:46 AM

Well, your options look to be 6950 vs GTX 560 Ti. The 6950 has the edge when stock, but the 560 Ti is a clear winner when overclocked. I can't link right now, but there is a $235 EVGA 560 Ti with a lifetime warranty, and a $230 XFX 6950 with a lifetime. I would go 560 TI if overclocking.
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June 17, 2011 8:02:35 AM

Well, microcenter has the EVGA 560 ti superclocked for 265 with a $35 rebate and 10 year warranty but is that worth it? I'd like to have the option for eyefinity but, I don't think I'll ever have the funds for two more monitors. At least not for a while. If I get a 6950 reference card though and can unlock + overclock is the 560 still the better choice?
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 17, 2011 8:07:43 AM

Actually, I think it has been confirmed that they have stopped producing the unlockable cards, and are sold out at all popular sites (Newegg, amazon, tigerdirect etc) So you won't really be able to unlock. And if the Microcenter rebate is instant, get it. If it's a MIR, buy it from newegg.

I actually don't know who would win, OC'd 560 Ti or OC'd 6950.
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June 20, 2011 6:17:41 AM

Well I picked up the i5 2500k and MSI P67-GD65 at microcenter over the weekend for 320 + tax which I thought was a really good deal. I'm going to order an HAF 922 from newegg and I'm still stuck on the GPU. The 6950 even without the unlock will outperform the 560 from what I've seen. I just don't know if the price for performance ratio is worth it.

Also, I'm gonna be shooting for about a 4ghz OC on the i5. Will I need to get an aftermarker heatsink for that or will the stock one be okay?
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 20, 2011 6:23:37 AM

Umm, hard to say. A coolermaster Hyper 212+ is only $30 on amazon, and it can get to 4.5 easily. You should be able to get to 3.8-4 on stock. No guarantee though.

And it's up to you. The 560 Ti is an overclocking beast, can easily get to GTX 570 levels, sometimes even hit 1GHz core with a good cooler. The 6950 does perform better at stock, but it's more noisy. Either way, it's a good choice.
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June 20, 2011 7:09:08 PM

Best answer selected by morrise001.
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June 20, 2011 7:11:28 PM

Thanks for all the help! I ended up getting the MSI gtx 560 twin frozr II OC.
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June 20, 2011 7:36:35 PM

I discovered one final question. I noticed the windows 7 for students is the upgrade version, will that be okay to use when changing the motherboard and CPU or will I need to get the full version?
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 21, 2011 3:04:46 AM

It should be fine. And is it upgrade, or retail? Either way, it should work if you have an OS on the HDD.
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June 21, 2011 5:10:02 AM

The student one is upgrade. I currently have the OEM version.
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