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Upgrading soon. CPU, Motherboard, RAM question/help

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December 7, 2011 6:29:24 PM

Hello. I'm having THE worst time with CPU's, Motherboards, and RAM.

First of all: I'm on a budget of a max of $600. I can try to go to $700 if needed but try to stay with $600.

I'm going to be upgrading my 2 year old PC very soon and need some help picking out a reliable CPU and Motherboard. I always see a lot of mixed reviews on Motherboards I have looked at on Newegg and I figured I'd rather ask people with a brain over here on Tom's Hardware for some suggestions. Once this upgrade is complete the PC will be used for playing Battlefield 3 and Star Wars: The Old Republic mainly. I don't HAVE to max out Battlefield 3 or anything. Just looking for a nice playable quality (medium/high).

My current setup:
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 running @ 3.00 GHz
CPU Cooler: Arctic Cooling Freezer Pro 7 Rev. 1
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P
RAM: G.Skill 4GB (2x2) DDR2 800
Graphics Card: ATI Radeon HD 4850 running with DirectX11
PSU: Corsair VX550W
Case: Lancool Dragonlord PC-K92
Resolution: 1440x900
Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

Parts being upgraded/what I'm upgrading to:
CPU: Need help
CPU Cooling: I plan on buying the Arctic Cooling Freezer Pro 7 Rev. 2 ($33) because the Rev. 1 has done wonders for temps
Motherboard: Need help
RAM: Need help (having trouble picking between 1333 and 1600)
Graphics Card: Most likely a Sapphire Radeon HD 6870 1GB ($180). Wanted to get a Nvidia 560 ti but I'm on a budget and I've had good experiences with ATI, hence my current card.
Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit ($100)

Total so far with shipping: $312.96
^This total is part of my UPGRADE BUDGET of $600 - $700

I'm looking for some suggestions for a GOOD and RELIABLE CPU, Motherboard, and RAM. Especially the Motherboard because the Gigabyte one I have currently has been GREAT but sadly it's very out of date for the newer CPU's that don't have a 775 socket like this one has. I'm on a budget of a max of $600 like stated above also. Also looking for thoughts on my upgrade, I feel it will do the job. If you need any more information, just ask.

Thank you.
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December 7, 2011 6:49:25 PM

a few questions

1. is your budget $600 -$313 (from the OS, gpu, coller) or is it $600 on top of the $313?

2. any plans to get a new monitor?

December 7, 2011 7:03:10 PM

1. Budget is $600 - $700 with the $313 already there. Probably should have added that, sorry. The $313 is just the total from that budget I have so far. My component upgrade budget is $600 - $700.

2. No, love my monitor until it literally explodes haha

EDIT: Still doing research on MB's and CPU's myself. Came across these:

CPU: Intel Core i5-2400 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz (3.4GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155. Quad Core.
Motherboard: ASRock P67 EXTREME4 GEN3 PCI-e 3.0 may be good to have later on down the line. Probably not this board though, I don't think the Radeon HD 6870 will even fit... So still looking.
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December 7, 2011 7:51:21 PM

xEcliptic93 said:
1. Budget is $600 - $700 with the $313 already there. Probably should have added that, sorry. The $313 is just the total from that budget I have so far. My component upgrade budget is $600 - $700.

2. No, love my monitor until it literally explodes haha

EDIT: Still doing research on MB's and CPU's myself. Came across these:

CPU: Intel Core i5-2400 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz (3.4GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155. Quad Core.
Motherboard: ASRock P67 EXTREME4 GEN3 PCI-e 3.0 may be good to have later on down the line. Probably not this board though, I don't think the Radeon HD 6870 will even fit... So still looking.


that combo is a fine, good board (will work fine the 6870) and the i5-2400 is a very good CPU for gaming (can handle any game out there)

one thing I would point out is the AMD 6870 is overkill for 1440x900 resolution, in fact the AMD 6850 would be over-kill also but at least its cheaper and would free up some extra cash. you would never notice the difference between the two GPUs at your resolution.

personally I would spend the $600 as such

i5-2500k (you can OC the chip as opposed to the i5-2400) $220
Z68 or P67 mobo from your favorite brand (gigabyte, asus, msi asrock, biostar) $ 150
4GB (or 8GB if you get a good deal) of 1333 or 1600mhz DDR3 RAM $40-60
new 22"+ monitor $160

December 7, 2011 8:14:08 PM

Hmm. That actually helps a bit. I wasn't sure how the 6870 would fair with my resolution. I'm don't really know how Video Cards and Monitors work together. Personally, I don't really want to get rid of this monitor just yet. May move up to an 2500k and move the video card down to a 6850.

Running at 1440x900 how should I go about video cards? I mean eventually some time down the line I will upgrade my monitor but not yet. Just need some more explaining on this overkill for the video card and resolution.
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December 7, 2011 9:12:15 PM

xEcliptic93 said:
Hmm. That actually helps a bit. I wasn't sure how the 6870 would fair with my resolution. I'm don't really know how Video Cards and Monitors work together. Personally, I don't really want to get rid of this monitor just yet. May move up to an 2500k and move the video card down to a 6850.

Running at 1440x900 how should I go about video cards? I mean eventually some time down the line I will upgrade my monitor but not yet. Just need some more explaining on this overkill for the video card and resolution.


60 Frames Per Second is considered the level where diminishing returns for gaming performance starts to kick in. you really can't tell the difference in performance as the FPS goes higher after 60.

lets say the 6850 plays game X at 80FPS while the 6870 plays game X at 90FPS, you won't be able to tell the difference in performance. Since the AMD 6850 can max out any game at 1440x900 then increasing performance won't really increase your gaming performance (it will just increase benchmarks)

as far as your new monitor, since you won't be making the upgrade for a while, stick with the AMD 6850 and then upgrade your GPU when you get the new monitor. the amd 6850 can handle plenty of games at 1920x1080.
December 7, 2011 9:32:05 PM

Thank you for this help on my parts and explaining the Monitor to Video Card thing! Makes a lot more sense now
December 9, 2011 7:48:31 PM

Question:

The ATI Radeon HD 6850 card is PCIe 2.1 and my Motherboard is 2x PCIe 3.0 (16x and 8x), will the card work in a PCIe 3.0 slot? I mean it fits but will it run?

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December 9, 2011 7:52:36 PM
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yes 3.0 is backwards compatible with 2.1, 2.0,1.1, 1.0
December 9, 2011 8:03:23 PM

Best answer selected by xEcliptic93.
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