8GB CORSAIR XMS3 1333MHZ DDR3 INTEL CORE2QUAD 8200 MOBO ASUS P5G41TM_LX CM Storm Enforcer Case 750W CORSAIR TX - 2 PSU
What games do you plan on playing and at what resolution?
Also re-read my previous post.
1680x1050 Resolution. Games like COD MW3, BLACK OPS. . Flight Simulator . BF3..
Counter Strike, Team Fortress 2.
Pretty much those popular online multi player games.
Well your CPU will be lacking in BF3 but you should easily be able to play all the old Source games and the MW franchise maxed out with 100+fps.
Were you planning on upgrading your CPU anytime soon?
No I am not. I had this CPU lying around in my closet so I decided to build my own computer instead of using my old really bad Acer computer.
So I built the PC mentioned above last weekend.
Oh alright then.Well as I mentioned above any CPU demanding games like BF3 will really be slowed down by that CPU but if you plan on playing the older games it should fare pretty well.
So you bought everything else expect for the CPU?
I bought Everything except my CPU, HDD (which is pretty new), Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, Speakers.
Passmark CPU lookup:
Core2Quad 8200: 3,273 Intel i7-860: 5,618
I posted this because my CPU is an i7-860, however I've never reached 50% CPU usage in any game when paired with an HD5870 (CPU usage goes up with a better graphics card until it hits 100% where it becomes the bottleneck).
I've oversimplified the issue, but the bottom line is that your bottleneck probably won't hit until you spend close to $500 on a graphics card (especially with an overclocked CPU).
If you don't have a non-stock heatsink for the CPU you should get one and overclock it (Google for safe overclock values).
Which graphics card? Simple. Decide on how much you wish to spend and look at the benchmarks. You may wish to wait for the NVidia GTX6xx series to release to see how that shakes up prices.
I personally recommend one of the HD7xxx series that meets your price/benchmark needs or an HD6xxx if the value is significant over the HD7xxx but the HD7xxx are a fairly big step forward.
Overclocking CPU and RAM: You need to make sure you don't accidentally overclock your RAM as well. They usually share the same base clock so people overclock the base clock by say, 20%, and overclock the RAM and CPU at the same time often resulting in instabilities.
Depending on your motherboard, overclocking may go like this: 1) increase the base clock (say 20%) 2) decrease the RAM multiplier so that the final MHz is close to normal.
TESTING: #1. run MEMTEST, then #2. run Prime95 multi-core or a similar stress test
CPU: Run the Task Manager before a game, then close out the game and look at "performance" to see where your CPU is at.
If your not hitting 100% there should be no need to overclock the CPU (for that game).
It's also a rough indicator of how much BETTER a graphics card you can get than your current one. If CPU usage is about 50% you MAY be able to buy a card that performs at 2x in the benchmarks. (It also depends on how good the game is at multi-tasking. If it can only use a single core and you had maxed-out that core then a better graphics card won't value).
SUMMARY: Buy the card you want. I doubt CPU overclocking will matter with card you mention but it's possible.
Oh just FYI I have a Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO CPU Cooler/Heatsink
Best answer selected by imtiax.
I have the 2GB XFX 6950, and it overclocks well for me at 880 clock, and 1350 memory with stock fan.