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Advice for upgrading my current system.

Last response: in Systems
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July 2, 2011 10:41:45 AM

I really apologize if I'm posting in the wrong area. Please move the topic if there's a better section, It's past 6am and I'm tired with a headache and can't sleep so I'm a bit loopy.

So to the topic, I'm looking to upgrade sometime "soon", and don't know what I should go after at this point. My previous motherboard (an ancient OEM MSI P6N SLI-Platnium) decided to die on me a few months back and I ended up upgrading it and my RAM quite a bit ahead of my other parts, bottlenecking me severely. At this point, I'm just trying to find out what would give me the most performance increase for my buck so that I can enjoy Crysis2 at more than 20 FPS at 1280x1024 resolution.

My parts list with a CPUZ link (if applicable) and newegg product page.
CPU: PentD stock speed 2.8ghz 200x14 (OC'd to 3.276ghz 234x14 when gaming)
Mobo: ASRock P43DE3 (newegg)
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaw series DDR3-1600 (newegg)
GPU: Gigabyte Radeon HD 4850 512mb
PSU: "Fatal1ty" series OCZ modular 550w (newegg)

My original intention was actually to buy another kit of the RAM and move to W7 64bit instead of 32, but with my processor so lacking, I think that would do more harm than good. My PSU isn't exactly amazing either, but I build on a budget and it seemed to be the best I could get for what I could afford. OCCT tests show it to be more than sufficient for powering my current system under load anyway.

My usage is primarily gaming. I like to record videos as well while playing, but It's getting hard to do it with such drastic drops in framerate and drastic increases in input latency when recording. The question is, which part would be best thrown out in favor of an affordable alternative (affordable as in <150$) for my uses?

As always, I appreciate the response. Thank you.

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a c 104 B Homebuilt system
July 2, 2011 1:32:36 PM

A CPU upgrade will give you the biggest boost http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Your motherboard supports all LGA775 CPU's http://www.asrock.com/mb/cpu.asp?Model=P43DE3
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July 2, 2011 10:16:30 PM

Well considering the age of the processor, how large of a jump in performance would I be looking at upgrading to an E66/E68? Would it be worth it to invest an extra mile and get a Core2duo instead? I really don't want to buy a processor, only to find out I could'a pulled off 5 more FPS by investing an extra 25$ or something. You know what I mean? Not to mention the FSB, investing in something a bit stronger but another notch up on the FSB scale would get a lot more out of my RAM, being 1600 by itself.
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a c 84 B Homebuilt system
July 2, 2011 11:40:36 PM

To help clarify your options, run these two tests:

1) Run your games, but lower your resolution and eye candy.
If your FPS increases, it indicates that your cpu is strong enough to drive a better graphics configuration.

2) Limit your cpu, either by reducing the OC, or, in windows power management, limit the maximum cpu% to something like 70%.
If your FPS drops significantly, it is an indicator that your cpu is the limiting factor, and a cpu upgrade is in order.

It is possible that both tests are positive, indicating that you have a well balanced system, and both cpu and gpu need to be upgraded to get better gaming FPS.

I don't think I would invest more in your current cpu/mobo/ram; it is obsolete, and getting more so.

A graphics update can be carried forward to a cpu upgrade later.
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a c 104 B Homebuilt system
July 3, 2011 12:40:59 AM

MGSmaster101 said:
Well considering the age of the processor, how large of a jump in performance would I be looking at upgrading to an E66/E68? Would it be worth it to invest an extra mile and get a Core2duo instead? I really don't want to buy a processor, only to find out I could'a pulled off 5 more FPS by investing an extra 25$ or something. You know what I mean? Not to mention the FSB, investing in something a bit stronger but another notch up on the FSB scale would get a lot more out of my RAM, being 1600 by itself.

My recommendation are simply based on performance/price as here http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-gaming-cpu,295...
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July 3, 2011 1:27:23 AM

Best answer selected by MGSmaster101.
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July 3, 2011 1:37:05 AM

@Geo, using Crysis2 as a benchmark, the difference between the lowest and highest graphical setting was literally 1 FPS on the scene (21 to 22 FPS). When underclocking my processor to 75% (150x14), I was in the low-teens for framerate. That was very effective and I will definitely use that method in the future.

Benchmark scene used was the start of the campaign "Sudden Impact" looking up at the hole in the building (after event).
rolli59 said:
My recommendation are simply based on performance/price as here http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-gaming-cpu,295...

Thank you very much. I've marked your post as a best answer, since I'm currently placing my order now for this CPU. Looking at that previous chart, my current PentD 820 is the lowest possible pentium D, and that will be a huge upgrade to move to the highest non-Core2 series. Not to mention going from a 90nm to a 45nm will allow me to overclock so much better on a motherboard already fantastic for overclocking. Thank you very much.
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