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Time to upgrade?

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October 21, 2012 6:55:23 PM

I'm currently running a system with an old Core i7 920, stock 2.66 ghz, usually overclocked to around 3.2 ghz on a Gigabyte ultra durable x58 mobo. Currently the processor is being cooled with a corsair h80 enclosed "liquid cooling" solution. (No hate please, it was more of a stylistic choice than anything.)

I was wondering, if I have a $500 budget for a new mobo and cpu, is it worth upgrading at this point? If so, what cpu and mobo would you all suggest? I definitely have a preference towards Intel chips at this point, considering how long this i7 has lasted me. As for the mobo, I think I would prefer to try out an Asus board at this point, but I'm open to other options.

Thanks in advance!
Andrew

Edit: I plan to use the computer mainly for gaming. Other activities will include browsing the web, word processing, occasional modeling software.

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a c 109 à CPUs
October 21, 2012 7:18:16 PM

I think you shouldn't upgrade yet, that i7 can last for a few more years, especially when overclocked.

Maybe you can upgrade your GPU?
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a c 135 à CPUs
October 21, 2012 7:18:39 PM

Without more details about what you use your PC for, the default recommendation would be i5-3570k or i7-3770k with a z77 motherboard from your preferred manufacturer.

Edit: if it is only 'occasional modeling' then i5-3570k is probably as high as it might be worth going. The i5 at stock clock would be around 20% faster than your overclocked i7-920. If that does not sound good enough to you (it certainly doesn't to me), then you might want to hold off until Haswell.
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October 21, 2012 7:19:32 PM

Perhaps, I'm running an ATI Radeon 6870 right now...it seems to handle everything I can throw at it on 1680x1050, my max resolution.
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a c 109 à CPUs
October 21, 2012 7:23:25 PM

Well you could keep everything until you see your system getting slower in newer games.

Just overclocking the CPU more would be enough.
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October 21, 2012 7:24:11 PM

Thanks Invalid, I'll do some research into the Haswell chip and take that into account.
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October 21, 2012 7:24:44 PM

wrathofcow said:
Perhaps, I'm running an ATI Radeon 6870 right now...it seems to handle everything I can throw at it on 1680x1050, my max resolution.

In that case you should try to get a 7970 or a GTX670. They both go for under 400$ with most models, and would be a noticable upgrade from the 6870, far more so than upgrading the CPU.
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a c 478 à CPUs
October 21, 2012 8:46:29 PM

The time to upgrade is when you decide your current PC no longer provides the performance you want. However, that is also dependent on if there are any current products capable of providing that performance.

Generally speaking and assuming the same clockspeed, 3rd gen Core i3/i5/i7 are about on average 16% - 18% more power than 1st gen Core i3/i5/i7. It is unknown what performance increase Haswell will provide at this point in time.

I generally do not upgrade the CPU until I can get at least a 25% increase in average performance. Therefore, I will likely upgrade from my Q9450 to Haswell when it is released next year.
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October 21, 2012 9:45:26 PM

Thanks everyone for their input. I think I am going to hold off on the Mobo and CPU upgrade for now. In response to UnlimitedBanana's comment, since I already have a 6870, would it not make more sense to just grab another one and throw it in crossfire? They are pretty cheap these days, and the 1300 watt cooler master hybrid series PSU I am getting on Monday should more than cover the wattage pull. I understand that there will be some degree of micro stuttering, but I honestly don't think it will bother me that much. Any thoughts?
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a c 80 à CPUs
October 21, 2012 10:09:44 PM

have you got an SSD, given what you have got it is your biggest performance boost.

why are you getting a 1300W PSU? 3-way sli/xfire? thats the only use, get a bigger monitor!
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October 21, 2012 10:31:24 PM

13th Monkey,
I have a 60 gb ocz agility boot drive and a 128 gb vertex 4 drive for my favorite games and applications. I got the 1300 W PSU because I wanted to future proof my system. It came with a 10 year warranty, is 80+ gold certified, and it's fully modular. As far as I can tell, I won't need another power supply for quite some time. As more technology comes out, it seems like you need more and more power.

As far as the bigger monitor, you're going to think I'm crazy, but if I'm playing a competitive game such as LoL or WoW arena, I don't like having a humongous screen and 22 inches does just fine. Maybe I'll upgrade to a 3 monitor setup in the future, tax returns are just around the corner.

Thanks again everyone for your input.
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October 21, 2012 10:37:14 PM

Best answer selected by wrathofcow.
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a c 80 à CPUs
October 22, 2012 6:23:53 AM

well then, there is nothing to buy that will give you a significant benefit. all your arguments make sense.
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October 22, 2012 12:14:02 PM

wrathofcow said:
Thanks everyone for their input. I think I am going to hold off on the Mobo and CPU upgrade for now. In response to UnlimitedBanana's comment, since I already have a 6870, would it not make more sense to just grab another one and throw it in crossfire? They are pretty cheap these days, and the 1300 watt cooler master hybrid series PSU I am getting on Monday should more than cover the wattage pull. I understand that there will be some degree of micro stuttering, but I honestly don't think it will bother me that much. Any thoughts?

Well since you are getting a PSU like that, hell yeah just smack a second 6870. That 1GB frame buffer won't be a problem and you'll still get similar performance to a 7950 or a 660TI :) 
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