With some amazing games coming out this fall (Battlefield 3) and some various others , I feel my system may be getting a little outdated (especially my graphics card)
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU Q8200 @ 2.33GHz (4 CPUs)
Memory: 4GB RAM
Hard Drive: 1TB
Video Card: ATI Radeon HD 4850 Series (1GB)
Sound Card: Realtek HD Audio output
Operating System: Windows 7 Ultimate
Motherboard: Asus P5Q Pro
Computer Case: Antec 900
Any suggestions on upgrading graphics card and possibly my processor (seem to be having a very hard time trying to overclock it , doesnt want to do it =/) any links to very specfic guides on how to overclock would be useful.
My budget for a graphics card is £140 and roughly the same for a processor
Just upgraded from 2 x 4850s in CF to a single 6870 and there is some improvement in performance although not a huge amount. The largest single factor was an increase from 512 to 1gb in vram, but that's not an issue for you as you have a 1 gb 4850. You might be able to find a really good deal on a 4850 1gb (like say £30-40)i which case it is a much better deal than the 6870. I see you are in UK as quoting ebuyer, atm the cheapest 6870 is for sale currently a pixmania for £127 = free dirt 3 game - I know because its the one I bought and I have been looking for about 4 months at prices. Of course the prices always change, £123 is cheapest I have ever seen a 6870 and that was at overclockers.co.uk about 2 months ago.
As for CPU upgrade it will be very expensive for you, seeing as you will need a new mobo as well. I7 2500 is the best atm, but figure at least £270 for a new CPU and mobo. If you want a cheap upgrade I would check ebay for any Q9450,Q9550 or Q9650 cpus, make sure the seller has good feedback and don't spend more than £70
What is your PSU? For that system you're going to need something between 500 to 800 Watts depending on how many devices you want to hook up. You might need to be at the mid to higher end of that range if you decide to go with crossfire, esp. if you have a lot of additional devices.
good point Jkat, I use a 750W, but you could get away with a good 650W PSU, for the 4850 it is 1 x 6 pin PCI-E plug for each card and on the 6870 its 2 x 6 pin PCI-E. You need to make sure that the 12V rails can handle each card
I think i will look for a cheap 4850 , does it also have to be the exact same RAM and make etc , so for example can I have one from XFX and another one from Sapphire ?
Also my PSU is 750W.
Ahhhh be damned about having to get a new mobo , I think the cpu upgrade will have to wait , is it worth upgrading from a q8200 to a Q9650 ? and would that upgrade really help me play BF3 better ? maybe I should try to overclock instead ?
q8200 has a low multi and it is locked which means that you will reach an FSB wall very fast.
the higher the 8x00 or 9x00 number, generally the higher the multi so the better they are to overclock. The q8400 is much better overclocker than the q8200 and the likewise the q9650 is better than the q9450. Difference between the 8000 and 9000 series is the amount of L2 or L3 cache - i can't remember which but one has 8 mb and the other has 12 mb.
As for graphic card you want to pair it with another 1gb, otherwise both will be 512mb. Brand shouldn't matter but if you can find the same model it is always better
I think that really getting a second gfx card will help, althoguh I just want to check, this is your mobo right? http://www.pcplanetsystems.com/abc/product_details.php?...
If so then you have 2 x PCI-E 2.0 lanes that should give you 1 lane at 16 x or 2 at 8 x and then you will be fine running 2 ATI cards in CF.