Big tax return

I just got a nice tax return, and I am considering an upgrade. I don't do that much, but I have a few things that might benefit from a big upgrade. Mostly, I play WoW, STO, and Spider Solitaire. However, I also rip CDs, DVDs, and BluRays to files to play on my Galaxy Tab. I currently have a Core i7 920, overclocked to 3.5GHz, and 12GB of memory. I actually have a 16GB quad channel memory kit, because it was really cheap at the time, but I only use 3 of the 4 DIMMs. I also have dual GTX470 video cards running in SLi and a LSI 9750 SATA raid controller. For storage, I have 2 Vertex 2 SSDs and 4 1TB drives in RAID 5 for file storage.

So, I've been looking at getting one of three upgrades:

Core i7 2600k, Asus P8Z68-V Pro - ($485 at Microcenter) this would be the cheapest option, but I would have to use 2 DIMMs per channel, which would affect the latency and performance of the memory. The platform may also affect the performance of my raid controller and video cards a bit due to the PCIe restrictions. I know, many people have shown a nearly imperceptible difference between dual x8 slots and dual x16 slots, but I don't like the reduction much. I also don't like the idea of using the raid controller with a desktop chipset. it may have issues. This would, however, save me enough money where I could cancel my contract early with AT&T and get a better phone, cheaper service, and better customer service

Core i7 3820, Asus P9X79 Pro - ($615 at Newegg, probably)This is a bit more expensive, but would allow for much better memory performance and full PCIe bandwidth to my video cards and raid controller. This is also the config I'm leaning toward, but I would have to live with my AT&T phone for a while longer. I could, however, upgrade to the 6 core in another year or so. Also, It's not much faster than the 2600k without overclocking, and the 2600k tends to overclock better, making it a little faster at times. There is also the little matter that I would have to wait a bit longer for this chip, as it is not yet released.

Core i7 3930K, Asus P9X79 Pro - ($940 at Tiger Direct) This is the high end. it would be a little bit of a strain, but I could do it. Fast and heck, 6 cores, unlocked, etc. I would not have to upgrade for probably 2-3 years, and when I do it will enable me to have a pretty nice setup for a server to work on my certs for virtualization. I'd be able to run so many virtual machines on something like this. I'd be updating my MCITP-VA right around then, too.

What do you guys think? Should spend the extra $325 for the high end, save $130 for the low end, or go with the one I'm leaning toward already?
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  1. or wait for 5-6 weeks and see what ivb brings
  2. The upgrades all look to be pointless for what you are doing. I guess you can cut your rips by a bit but you already have overkill stuff for playing mmos and spider solitaire.
  3. Have you thought about a getting laptop or tablet?
  4. meh, laptops don't interest me. I have my main machine. if I get a laptop, I'd either let it sit and rust or frustratingly try to run games on it.

    I do have a Galaxy Tab 10.1 already. I even got the 32Gb version. I use it to watch Netflix and videos ripped from DVDs, or sometimes to read news on the internet when I'm at my parents house for a holiday.

    as for being overkill, yeah, they probably are. My current system gets 80fps+ in WoW even in the most crowded areas. Not like I'd see any difference between 80fps and 120fps. Still, if I hadn't upgraded when I got this i7 920, my system (would be taxed with the current version of WoW. So, I'd prefer to keep ahead of the curve. I also have Diablo 3 coming, so there's that.

    There's also the "hot rod" factor. Although I can't use all that power in what I regularly do, I do get a bit of pleasure just from having a fast system. Just like most hot rod owners can't drive their cars fast on the roads, and wouldn't be willing to risk it in a real race, they still love owning a fast car. :)
  5. Keep the 920 for the next few weeks, or get much better cooling.
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