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How to proceed. Upgrade? Swap? Console?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 5, 2012 4:04:07 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: I will finish my university courses around the end of April.

USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Gaming and Gaming

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: ATI Radeon HD 4870 and OCZ Gamestream 500W PSU

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS: Intel Pentium Dual Core E5700, Gigabyte P45 Motherboard Socket 775 DDR2, OCZ SLI DDR2-800MHz, Cheapie Case, WD Velociraptor 160Gb, WD Caviar Black 1TB

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: NCIX.Com or CanadaComputers.com (Canada... obviously lol)

PARTS PREFERENCES: Whatever

OVERCLOCKING: Sure SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Doubt I have the PSU required

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1366x768 (Sony Bravia KDSL-3000 720P)

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: So I start my MBA next Fall and I will have little (if any) time for gaming however for 5 blissful months I will be able game my butt off. I really want to be able to finish up the Mass Effect series with my original sheppard. I doubt my current system will be able to pull it off I don't want to spend more than $400 bucks (i.e. my wife doesn't want me to spend more than $400 bucks.) So the options I see that I have are....

A) Upgrade Motherboard, CPU, RAM to an i5-2400, Gigabyte Mobo and a 8MB DDR3-1600 RAM and keep the existing Radeon HD4870

B) Look for used used Quad Core, Core 2 LGA775 CPU, OC RAM to 1066MHz, buy a Radeon HD6850

C) Say goodbye to PC gaming and buy a Playstation 3

Any thoughts on which option would serve me best? "Sack up an put your wife in place" isn't an option :p 
January 5, 2012 4:23:26 PM

Say no to C...

Also, If you have $400 to spend, better get A, and then upgrade later when you get the money. Also monitor if you need 1080p.

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January 5, 2012 5:12:32 PM

grindymct said:

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1366x768 (Sony Bravia KDSL-3000 720P)

OVERCLOCKING: Sure SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Doubt I have the PSU required


Dude, with this resolution you will never need SLI or CrossFire, one modern GPU is more than enough.
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January 6, 2012 2:13:44 AM

Thanks for the replies guys. I will be sticking with 1366 x 768 as that's my flatscreen's native resolution. Daist if I upgrade my mobo processor and ram do you think the HD4870 would be enough for 2012 games?
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January 6, 2012 2:28:58 AM

I suggest you wait till the end of March to make a decision on this. Save up until then. There will probably be price cuts across the board by then.

i3 2100 + H61 board + 8GB RAM + HD7770 should give you better gameplay than a PS3 at that resolution. All that should cost less than $350 by April.
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January 9, 2012 3:56:46 PM

Hey Zero, thanks for the input. Do you think a dual core processor will cut it? Or are games still not optimized for quad core?

Also, you think the Radeon HD4870 won't cut it?
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January 9, 2012 4:26:48 PM

Considering the alternative of a PS3, the Core i3 2100 is more than sufficient for the job.

The HD4870 is now 3 generations old. In tech terms, it's a dinosaur. While it will give you decent framerates, you will lose one of the key factors that makes PC gaming superior, the visual quality.
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