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Last response: in Systems
August 7, 2011 10:07:31 AM

Purchase date: near future.

Budget: around 600.00

From online: Newegg etc.

Uses: Gaming, Photo editing, Internet

Hardware I already have:

Antec 902 Gaming Case

Thermaltake 850W PSU


PNY GTX 560 O.C.

1 TB 7200rpm Western digital HDD

Standard 16X dvd RW Opitcal drive.

foxconn h rs880 motherboard *

8Gb (4 2Gb) 665Mhz RAM*

Stock CPU Cooler*

Ok, so basically this PC was a prebuilt HP two years ago I have slowly started upgrading it as I got more comfortable working on the hardware. So now I am at a point where the only hardware left of the original HP is the Motherboard, RAM, Hard Drive, and optical drive. I would like to finish this upgrade off. (Want to replace parts with * next to it) These are the parts I am looking.

ASRock 990fx Extreme4 MoBo (future proof for bulldozer chips, also for Sli since I already have one 560 gtx and would like to add another for best gaming at standard resolution.)

Another 560 GTX as stated above.

4x 2Gb Team extreem Dark Series DDR3 1600 RAM

AMD X4 970 B.E. (I have a 945 but not a B.E. I am noob at O.C. CPU so not sure if this upgrade would be worth the money.) Looking for best bang for buck and best

Cooler Master hyper 212 CPU cooler. (To allow for O.C. of CPU)

So this is about 620.00 total I would like any feed back on how to improve on this to make the best gaming computer I can. Was considering a SSD but cant aford the extra 120.00 on top of all this. If anything is over-kill for maxing standard resolution gaming on games like Empire and Shogun 2 total war please let me know.

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August 7, 2011 4:38:27 PM

I say focus on the Cpu and mother board first. the AMD 945 is not going to serve you well much longer. AMD doesn't stack up well against Intel in terms of performance.
Check out this chart and benches to give you an idea of where you stand now.

I would find the cpu that best meets your price point then leverage it against you performance goals and proceed on planning a build from there.

I hope this can set you on the right path.
August 8, 2011 12:59:08 AM

I am really stuck on decision. The i7 outperforms the X4 and X6 however there are no stats on the new bulldozer chips will they outperform the i7??? I was thinking the x4 970 so I can O.C. it to a point where it will perform well enough to last until The bulldozer chips are out for a while. But what if the bulldozer chips are not much better then chips like the i7 2600k? And how dependent on other factors is this benchmark. I am concerned most with games. I think four fast cores are better for my gaming then 6 or 8 slower ones. I really just want to know what processor will allow max gaming for Total War games around 200 dollars.
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August 8, 2011 1:57:09 AM

If you really want to stay with AMD I'd say the AMD Phenom II X6 1100T would be your best bet @ $200.00 and it right up there with the core i7 960.

above that it's all intel territory especially under $500. The next AMD chip with higher performance is almost $1000.00
August 8, 2011 2:07:43 AM

Really second guessing myself. I am thinking more now going with a Gigabyte GA Z68XP. And a i5 2500k. My concern then would be how upgradable with this motherboard be? will I be able to upgrade to the new CPU's intel has coming out next year? the i5 2500k outperforms the X6 1100T at the same price. So the only question now is, the AMD option will allow me to upgrade with the new bulldozer chips later. Will the Z68 MoBo allow me to upgrade with the next generation Intel chips later? The intel route is 25 dollars more but the performance gain seems worth it.
August 8, 2011 5:27:51 AM

So it seems neither the z68 board or the p67 will support the next gen intel CPU's, I do not plan on using the HD caching since when I upgrade to a SSD it will be 120Gb or bigger so I can put OS and games on it. And I would only use quicksynching for movie ripping every once in a great while. I am willing to pay an extra 30 or 40 bucks for the added feature. However I am concerned though that the integrated GPU of the z68 will hurt my gaming performance? And if I decide to do a 3 way SLI later is there a z68 board that will support that? Any advise on board selection for gaming with a i5 2500k would be very helpful.