$800 Gaming PC Upgrade

I am looking for some advice on upgrading my PC. My current specs are:

Monitor: ASUS VH242H Black 23.6" 5ms HDMI Full 1080P LCD @ 1920x1080
Case: Nzxt Guardian 921 Gaming Tower Case
MB: MSI K9A2 CF-F AMD 790X CrossFire Chipset
CPU: AMD Phenom X4 9950 Black Edition Quad-Core CPU @ 2.6GHz
Cooling: Thermaltake V1 CPU Cooling Fan System Kit
RAM: 4 GB [1 GB X4] DDR2-800 PC6400
GPU: ATI Radeon 4850 1GB
PSU: CaseGears Eco-Element 650W High Efficiency Power Supply PSU-ECO650
SSD: OCZ OCZSSD2-1VTXPL120G Vertex Plus 2.5" Solid State Drive - 120GB, SATA II
External HD: Western Digital 500GB My Passport Essential (USB 3.0 + USB 2.0)
CD/DVD, Media Card Reader, Etc

Date to purchase: SOON! (BF3 coming)

Crossfire/SLI: Not now, but will in the future with whatever card I buy now

Overclock: I have never done it, but am interested in trying (will my current cooling system be fine?)

I am looking to spend around $800-1000 and am mainly focusing on the MB, CPU, GPU, and RAM. I am looking to play games like SC2, Battlefield 3, and Diablo 3 (and any others that catch my eye) at full high/max graphics. My thoughts were:

MB: GIGABYTE GA-Z68XP-UD4 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
$185 ($165 with rebate I may never send in)

CPU: Core i7 2600k

GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX 570 Superclocked 1280 MB
$340 ($325 after rebate I may never send in)

RAM: Corsair Vengeance 8 GB ( 2 x 4 GB ) DDR3 1600 MHz (PC3 12800)

TOTAL: $857 ($822 after rebates)

I am open to any suggestions! I was initially holding out for Bulldozer but saw how the 2600k owns it, so I figured switching to Intel (and that GeForce works with Blizzard games best). What do you guys think? Worth upping the graphics card to GTX 580 to make it around $1000? Should I wait a bit longer for Ivy (although I want to play BF3 soon)?

I also have a 40" LCD which I may hook up at some point, although it's not 100%. Does that change the graphics card debate?
8 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. Don't bother doing a complete rebuild. Overclock that processor it still has untapped potential, when you OC it it should be somewhat comparable to the newer CPUs in terms of FPS while gaming. Another words it won't be your bottleneck for now.

    CM hyper 212+ heatsink (for overclocking)

    For cooling that is what you should need from a quick glance it looks like your case should have adequate cooling from the pictures i saw.

    Your motherboard supports up to 8gb of ram if you feel the need to up it that much. But all you really need is a new videocard of your choice and to overclock that CPU. And with your budget it be easy to do and get the performance you want.
  2. Best answer
    Honestly, I'd only try keeping the SSD, Case and HDD and that's about it.
    Check out this Build, the i7 2600K isn't really necessary when the 2500K holds 98% in gaming against the 2600K. Defiantly doesn't justify $100. Also, Nvidia cards defiantly aren't mainly biased in Blizzard games, I find AMD cards just fine. But mainly just preference. Games are more GPU dependent rather than CPU. So no need for ivy. Anyway here's a new build that'll let you SLI in the future for a cheaper price than you already have.
  3. OK, so to redo my upgrades (keeping the RAM the same):

    MB: ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 LGA 1155

    CPU: Core i5 2500k
    $205 (if I buy before 10/19)

    CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 120mm
    $26 (is this even needed given my current cooling? the V1 is kind of big...)

    RAM: Corsair Vengeance 8 GB ( 2 x 4 GB ) DDR3 1600 MHz (PC3 12800)

    GPU: Sapphire Radeon HD 6970 2 GB
    $300 (after $30 rebate)

    TOTAL: $707

    What do you guys think of the above instead? Is a new PSU necessary if i have a 650watt one and am not Crossfiring yet? Btw I switched to the HD 6970 bc my friend has one and when he upgrades I'll just buy it off of him for cheap to Crossfire.

    Thanks for any advice!
  4. Also, how significant is the loss of opportunity performance by using a Radeon GPU instead of Nvidia for an Intel processor?
  5. If you choose to buy an AMD radeon GPU the fastest you can get is the 6970 which is comparable to the GTX 570. If you were going to buy the GTX 570 from NVidia anyway (and not the GTX 580) then you will not sacrifice any performance by going AMD.
  6. I don't know why people think Nvidia has to be with Intel or AMD has to be with Radeon. That's a myth.

    The 6970 is good, but not really worth the cost. Rather buy a 6950 and save. But if you are just going to get another one when he drops it, sure why not.

    Just stick with your current PSU until you Crossfire. When yuo do though I'd recommend getting at least the 850 Lepa I suggested.

    Get the Hyper 212+, it'll be better than the V1. This is also a valid substitute.
  7. Since you are running a PI 9950 I'll assume your motherboard is V2 and supports 125w CPUs ... like this:

    That means it also supports Phenom II X4 Denebs (which will push that HD 69702GB 'just dandy')

    Unlocking the shaders on a dual-BIOS reference HD69502GB will perform at and beyond the level of the GTX570/HD 69702GB and possibly save you another $30-$40

    Not sure about your PSU -- if it is an 80+ with clean power you should be fine ...

  8. Best answer selected by yozay123.
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