I'm upgrading my pc and I need advice regarding the best choice of Processor, Mobo, hard drive and Memory.
Basically my initial 3 yr-old build consisted of a Core 2 quad Q8200, MSI P45 Neo3-FR motherboard, 4gb Ram DDR2 PC2 6400, HD4870 512mb VGA card, 250gb Hard drive, gigabyte 720W power supply all boxed in a NZXT casing.
I recently sold the HD4870 and replaced it with a HD6970 2Gb Card, which took a huge chunk out my budget but I wanted it bad enough. I also added a 512gb hard drive with7200rpm last year.
I'm holding on to my power supply and maybe the casing.
I use my home pc to play games, only to play games. All my work stays in my office (including social networking) and I'm not the sort to overclock or tinker with the bios of my hardware but I am on a budget. I'm planning to buy Skyrim, NFS Run and Arkham City as soon as they release so that's gonna also take its toll on the budget.
So back to my question: Should I go for an i5 2500k or an i7 2600? an i5 2500 or an i7 2600k? Do I really need a Mobo with 2 or 3 PCI-e x16 slots or will just the one be enough? Do I need a new hard drive which runs at 6gb/s? For the memory whats the optimum speed I should be looking for and much memory do I really need?
I'm looking to keep the next build for the next 18 months at the least! Your views are much appreciated