I am about to upgrade with a very modest budget, but can't choose between the following two options:
Intel i5 3550
G-Skill Ripjaws F3-12800 8GB (2x 4GB)
Seagate Barracuda 1TB HDD ST1000DM003
Asus DRW-24B3ST DVD writer (current one is borked)
Asus Radeon HD7770-DC-1GD5 DirectCU
This retails for $1010 NZD ($1 NZD = ~ $0.759 USD as of tonight)
Option 1 has me skimping on the hard drive setup and motherboard so I can get a decent graphics card.
Intel i5 3570K
Corsair Vengeance DDR3-1600 8GB (2x 4GB)
Asus DRW-24B3ST DVD writer (mandatory)
OCZ Agility 3 Series 60GB SSD
Western Digital Corsair Green 2TB HDD (think it was WD20EARX)
This setup retails for $1008.99 NZD, so pretty much exactly the same.
Option 2 has me switching RAM and dropping the graphics card altogether to get the HDD setup I actually want as well as the ability to overclock the CPU. Was planning to use the SSD and 2TB HDD with Intel's SRT. And of course, this motherboard has the mSATA port which the other doesn't.
I currently only play Diablo 3 (had to overclock my venerable X2 4200+ to play it) and the SWGEmu. But I am planning to play Planetside 2 as soon as the beta is opened as well. Other than that I work from home at times but the apps I use are pretty sedate.
My current video card is a GT 240 1GB (DDR3) and it is, well, just ok. I know I can live with my current card if necessary and look at an upgrade when I can convince 'she who must be obeyed' that it's time to waste more money.
I really would like some advice as to which way the community thinks I should go. The way I see it is that I am looking at two very different options, 1 = gaming performance, 2 = system performance and better future proofing at the behest of some awesome gaming tech. I would very much appreciate some insight and reasons for your thoughts too.
Don't suppose you have any real world experience with the Intel SRT technology? I know option 2 will definitely isolate my GFX card as the bottleneck, which is a little exciting to see what it can actually do without having my current setup as the bottleneck to that distinctly average card (albeit likely not a lot haha).
1) Ditch the WD Green drive. It has a very high "dissatisfation" rate (1/2 egg recommendations - 32%) - ouch!! By HDDs of choice are pretty much limited to Samsung F3 and WD Black HDDs. Newegg just had a sale on the 1 TB F3 drive for $80 which is close to Pre-flood pricing.
2) SRT, Not a fanboy of. I'd save the mony on the caching SSD and apply it toward a "real" SSD used for OS + Programs. With SRT, you can pretty much quess that the OS will be cached, But for programes and assosiated file loadfs it is a Hit or miss proposition. Over all it's indicated that SRT config provides about 2x to 4x performance boost over a HDD. A dedicated SSD provides 20 -> 40 X performance boost for what is on the HDD. All recommendations I've read have indicated dedicated SSD over an SRT config.
Agillity III SSDs - They have worked most of the Bugs out (maybe all of them) that plagued the drive for the first 8 Months of it's existance. It is Not one of the better SATA III SSDs and Not sure if it will hold up very well as an SRT cache Drive (No Trim). Performance wise it is really a SATA II drive dressed up (packaged) as a SATA III SSD. I have two 128 gig Agility III's. Much prefer my Samsung 830 and my Curcial M4 SSDs.