Help with Upgrade

Hello fellow system builders.

Wow its been awhile since I have bought anything new for my computer but I am looking to upgrade. Since I have been out of the loop for quite some time I need some advice. I don't have too much money to spend, so I am debating on if I should upgrade my GPU or just build a whole new system. I want to get a GTX 560 but I am not sure if I will be bottle necking with my current setup. If that is the case and I need to build anew, what are my best options for a budget of $1k. Here is my current setup:

Mobo: EVGA LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 750i SLI FTW ATX Intel Motherboard
CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 2.33GHz LGA 775 95W Quad-Core Processor
GPU: EVGA Geforce GTX 260
Memory: CORSAIR XMS2 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM 1066 Dual Channel Kit
PSU: CORSAIR HX Series CMPSU-620HX 620W ATX12V v2.2 and EPS12V 2.91
OS: Microsoft Windows XP Professional With SP2B 1 Pack - OEM
LCD: ASUS VW224U Black 22" 2ms(GTG) Widescreen LCD Monitor (resolution 1680X1050)

I usually go Intel but willing to check out AMD if the performance is good vs price. I also was wondering if SSD cards will increase game performance or just load times and are they worth the money. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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  1. Greetings.

    With your budget, theres no reason to stray from Intel. If you ask me, the current CPU Hiarchy for gaming systems is i5>Phenom II >i3-21xx, you can certainly fit the best into your budget, especially since its already your preferred brand.

    You can reuse your power supply in all probability, also your computer case, but for best results you're looking at a massive overhaul.

    CPU- 2500K- 220

    Motherboard- Asrock Z68 Gen 3 $122

    RAM- 8GB DDR3- $47

    Video Card- 560 TI EVGA- $250

    OS- Windows7 $100 -Yes, I'm sorry to say its time to ditch XP, Keeping XP will severely limit your performance.

    As far as SSDs, they increase the load time of games, this includes the time in between the loading of cutscenes and levels, so all around, yes you will see a nice little bump in performance. I would get one that is at least 120GB, a 64GB is kinda tiny for a boot drive, since Windows is going to take up almost a 4th of the space, and some games can take 10GB each themselves.
  2. Nekulturney's suggestion is good. +1. But if you want to max out your 1k, I suggest getting either the Radeon 7950 (400) and Asrock z77 Extreme 4 (150). If you get the 7950+Extreme 4, your total would be about 920 before taxes. Or, you could get the Radeon 7870, Extreme 4 MoBo, and a nice 128 Gb SSD. Both options should be about 1k.
  3. Thanks for the answers guys. I think I am just going to build a new pc and put this one aside. I have been just dying to build a PC :D . I thought about doing PCI 3.0 but do I really need it? I definitely want this new rig to be up-gradable in the future, but, are we even getting the full use out of 2.0? last I read its not really even used to its full capacity. Also, I only really need 1 GPU. My last 3 mobos that I bought I made sure to get SLI ready but I never end up using it. I always just build a new comp. Is this still the case or should I look at getting 3.0?
  4. PCI 3.0, not really going to notice a difference, maybe one day. Unfortunately its looking like for Intel the final CPU generation is the new Ivy Bridge for LGA1155 socket, (which is not much of an upgrade as ivy bridge is as theres a good case to suggest that Ivy isn't even as good as Sandy) so the board you buy today won't have an upgrade path in say 3 or 4 years most likely. It sucks, but if you want to take up PC building as a hobby, welcome to the club.

    As far as SLi/Crossfire, my opinion is that they aren't all they're cracked up to be. As you found out, you never ended up using it. Generally a single newer card is indeed going to perform better than bootstrapping together an outdated card with another outdated card of the same type (assuming by the time you need the upgrade you can find one). If you're going to SLi/Crossfire, my opinion is to do it on day one of your build or not at all.

    There are a few exceptions to that. For example GTX 460s paired together work very well.
  5. Alright well here's what I have decided. I usually buy ASUS motherboards with the exception of my last mobo, but I have read good things about AsRock so I think i will try it out. I figured Id just buy a whole new system and spend the extra money instead of using my old parts. Then I can mess around with Ocing this old comp I got. Here's the new system build. Let me know what you guys think...

    Mobo: ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
    CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core
    GPU: EVGA SuperClocked 01G-P3-1563-AR GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express
    Ram: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory
    Cooler: ZALMAN CNPS9500 AT 2 Ball CPU Cooling Fan/Heatsink
    PSU: CORSAIR 750W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Power Supply (to save on electric bill)
    SSD: Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
    Case: COOLER MASTER HAF 932 Advanced RC-932-KKN5-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case
    OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM

    I may also get a 64gb SSD for my OS and non game programs. This puts it at $1,286. Now a question. The Intel Core i5-3550 Ivy Bridge 3.3GHz is the same price as the 2500K sandy. Should I get the Ivy instead? What do you guys think?
  6. i5-3550 is not an overclockable CPU (does not have the "K" which indicates unlocked multipliers). That being said, on stock speeds, that IB CPU will perform better than the 2500K. If you want to get the IB CPU, it would be best if you get a z77 MoBo. They were made to be together.
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