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Two different upgrade paths. Which would show more gains?

Last response: in Systems
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March 27, 2012 4:35:15 AM

So I've come into a little bit of extra cash, and I'm looking to upgrade my PC build. I have two choices: Upgrade my HD 6870 to a GTX 680 or upgrade my G850 CPU (LGA 1155) to an i5-2500k and upgrade my HD 6870 to an HD 7850.

Either way, I'll wind up doing a Crossfire or SLI setup in the future, and so I know the HD 7850 limits my GPU potential greatly, especially when stacked up against the GTX 680--but part of me is wondering if two HD 7850 cards will actually do well enough in the long run.

The major drawback that I see with going for the HD 7850 + i5-2500k, is that the instant boost in performance won't be nearly what I would get by just picking up a GTX 680.

I've looked at tons of benchmarks, and so I know how the GTX 680 and HD 7850 stack up generally, but I can never find any benchmarks showing the improvement in gaming performance from upgrading your processor.

I don't know--what do you guys think? :/ 

Odds are the GTX 680 cards won't stock again until April sometime, but I won't have the money until then, anyway.
Tough decision.

Help a brotha out. =]

Peace,
D
March 27, 2012 5:50:05 AM

I doubt a 680 on a basic dual core is going to give you the performance boost you want either
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March 27, 2012 8:41:19 AM

Personally id go with the i5-2500k and the 7850. However it also depends what motherboard you have? If you don't have a Z68/P67 then you wont be able to overclock that i5-2500k so you may as well look at maybe i5-2400 and a 7870?

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March 27, 2012 10:13:34 AM

AdrianPerry said:
Personally id go with the i5-2500k and the 7850. However it also depends what motherboard you have? If you don't have a Z68/P67 then you wont be able to overclock that i5-2500k so you may as well look at maybe i5-2400 and a 7870?


I have an ECS Black P67 H2, which I think I paid way too much for--either that, or prices for P67 motherboards have dropped within the past month.

Yeah, I also thought about that. I'm just not sure how much overclocking the CPU means to me in the long run. An i5-2300 is $180, I think? That would save me $40 on a feature that I likely won't use. At the same time, I'm sure it would be enough to hold me over until the Ivy Bridge 1155s come out the second half of the year.

It makes sense for my situation, because as I'm upgrading parts from my PC, I'm upgrading my girlfriend's PC with the hand me downs.

Then again, I've been looking at the HD 7870 and HD 7950 cards as well. The HD 7870 cards seem like the better value between the HD 7850/70--and they're still only 1 Six-Pin connector. I was kind of awestruck at that. So they'd have just as much viability with a CF setup as the 7850, being that I wouldn't need to upgrade my power supply.

On that note, though, I might not need to upgrade for 2 HD 7950 cards, either. Decisions, decisions. This sucks, as always. Plus, I'm kind of the Jonah around these parts: the month after I buy something, the price takes a huge drop.
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March 27, 2012 10:20:58 AM

You could always grab a 7870 for now, and then upgrade your CPU when IvyBridge comes out?

You might not see many gains right away using your current CPU with the 7870, but then in a few months when you add the Ivybridge CPU you'll likely see a BIG performance increase.

Alternatively, if you really did want to upgrade your CPU....grab an i3-2100 or i3-2120 with a 7870. And then again, upgrade when IvyBridge comes.
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