Need advice on Motherboard/CPU Upgrade for Gaming

Athlon X2 250
Asus M4N68T-M V2
8gb G.Skill Ram
Corsair Force 3 90gb SSD
GTX 560ti
Caviar Blue 500gb or Seagate Barracuda ES.2 500gb(Which one to use as storage?)
Corsair GS 600W
NZZT Gamma?(The big cheap one)

Current Windows Index.
CPU: 6.5
Memory: 7.2
Graphics: 7.7
Gaming Graphics: 7.7
Primary Hard Disc: 7.0 (will go up once it can run ACHI and SATA 6gb/s, only does about 100mb/s R/W)

Looking to upgrade my MOBO/CPU, just got the SSD, Ram, PSU and Card for the holiday and want to reduce the mobo/cpu bottleneck(Can't even ACHI with this mobo!). My main goal is a solid gaming cpu, USB 3 and SATA 6gb/s. Currently running a 20" @ max res of 1600x900. Keep in mind at most ill be getting a 22-24 1080, nothing bigger so I do not beleve I will need to SLI anytime soon(would have to replace PSU again as well) so 2 or 3 PCI.2 at 16x would be a nice bonus but not essential.

I tend to slowly update my system with cheaper last generation hardware and resell the old parts so future proofing is also not a huge concern and I do not mind not having state of the art features. I am looking for performance per value and future upgrading is a plus but again, will not stress if for instance the motherboard does not have things like PCIE 3.

One of the goals is to increase load performance for Total War: Shogun 2 and future Total War games. I also play Skyrim and other RPGS/FPS, but currently Skyrim runs exceptional fast on very high graphics.

Budget is ideally $220, but if none of the solutions put foward are as recommended as a I5-2500k I could swing around $300. I have a microcenter within 30 mi.

Im not huge on Overcloaking and unlocking but the bios and resources these days won't intimidate me from not doing it. However include in the solution the price of a heatsink as I do not have one.

My Solutions:
CPU: Phenom II 960T (will try to unlock and OC without voltage tweeks if possible using just air)
Motherboard: Biostar TA990FX

CPU: I3-2100k (Would upgrade to I5-2500k eventually)
Motherboard: Asrock Z68

Originally I was looking towards a AMD Phenom II Solution, but as I read more and more the intel options seem very attractive as well. I am trying to avoid FX chips and anything over 4 cores as I will only use this for gaming. But I am willing to be sold on a FX with a good arguement. Any tips, input and suggestions are really appreciated. Time is not a concern.

Looking for CPU/MOBO to run modern games at 1600x900 or 1080 in future with 22 or 24". Need to be SATA 6gb and USB 3. SLI is a +. Between $220-300. Does not need to be state of art. Looking for performance at value. Microcenter available.
10 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about need advice motherboard upgrade gaming
  1. Asrock and Intel
  2. I agree ASRock and i3. Better upgrade path and in games like skyrim and other cpu intensive games you'll be happy you got the i3. Phenom ii and FX cpu's can't give a minimum of 30 fps in skyrim when maxed out. Even with an OC you won't get more than 29fps in skyrim as the minimum frame rate on a phenom ii or FX.
  3. I'm not sure if that's a typo or something, but there is no such thing as a 2100k. The multiplier is locked on the i3, so you can't do any overclocking with it.
  4. The link leads to i3-2100 so it's just a typo. It becomes force of habit to put a k at the end if you talk about unlocked cpu's frequently.
  5. The PhII 960T is $110 in-store at MC and will werk just dandy.

    I like Biostar but have been burned a few times with poor BIOS support. For a 'load' of connectivity, take a look at the Giga-byte GA-990FXA-UD3 AM3+.

    That should handle things nicely. A CM Hyper TX3 or Hyper 212 Plus will handle your OC'ing needs if you are so inclined.
  6. Yep typo ment 2100. Funny enough Skyrim runs perfectly on this Athlon. Any other recommendations for a Z68 board, or any comparable options using a 990xa or FX. I hear bulldozers are terriblE though. Also the resale on the Intels is very high and I do eventually want the 2500k. Maybe I just kknew it all along.
  7. For storage which drive. The blue or barracuda ES.2. Not sure if the server HDD will outperform. Both 7200 but the ES.2 has power trim and a 32mb cache, rated 1.2 mil hours. I'll sell the other, the ES.2 resells $20 ish more.
  8. Best answer
    This intel is your best choice.. if pair it with a Z68 Motherboard it will allow you to stick there the upcoming Ivy-Bridge (basically a beefed sandy-bridge).

    So.. probably when you go for an upgrade you won't get the i5-2500k, but the ivy-bridge replacement for that CPU (it says it come at same price tag BTW, as they will discontinue the 2500k).

    Happy buy for you!
  9. Any news on the i3 and i5 price drops from the April and May ivy release? I know they dropped the price on the mobile editions.
  10. Best answer selected by kahleena.
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