First I want to say thank you in advance for anyone that even takes the time to read this and extra thanks if you are able to help! I am getting out of the army on a medical separation after 6 years in. I am waiting on my severance check for the funds to buy this machine ( see purchase date ) the 500 is all I could squeeze out of my wife so I am limiting the parts I get to what will give me the biggest jump in performance here is what I currently have.
MSI K9A2 Platinum AM2+/AM2 AMD 790FX ATX AMD Motherboard
AMD Phenom 9950 Agena 2.6GHz Socket AM2+ 125W Quad-Core Black Edition Processor
1 x OCZ Reaper HPC 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500)
ASUS EAH4850 TOP/HTDI/512M Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready
Approximate Purchase Date:by the end of july ( I hope)
Budget Range: 400-500 After Shipping
System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming mostly then the rest of what a computer is used for. ( yep you guessed it porn )
Are you buying a monitor: No
Parts to Upgrade: the must for me to upgrade is cpu mobo and ram. I am running an old 9950 phenom rocking the AM2+
Do you need to buy OS: No
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg or amazon but I will check into suggestions sugestions
Location: Cincinnati Ohio
Parts Preferences: I want to start by saying I have been an AMD fan boy since my orginal 450mhz athlon ( even had one of those SLOT A CPUs) but Intel is beating amd rightn ow So unless some one has better info then I do on it AMD is out as CPU but as a result I know very little about Intel CPU and MoBos
Overclocking: Maybe ( will give up OCing for better price to get nicer stuff now.)
SLI or Crossfire: Maybe ( not now at all )
Your Monitor Resolution: 1920 1080
Additional Comments: I am going to be using my current case optical and hard drives. my PSU is antec EA-650 Video is an asus 4850 512mb that will be the next thing I pick up but the cpu mobo and ram are most important right now. also I am wanting 16 gigs of ram is it better to do 4 sticks of 4 or 2 sticks of 8 ? I am sory that these are rather basic questions but I have been out of the game for so long and add to that switching to Intell CPUS which I have never known anything about I am really in the dark ( ie the z77 p67 and so on .... no clue which one is best for me.)
Why Are You Upgrading: Did you see what CPU I said I have ? its time for the old girl to get some rest.
heres what i would get. its a intel system but is about as good as a AMD phenom II x4. the first thing if i were to change is the memory to 8gb gskill ripjaws x. then if you have more cash, id get a i3 2120 from intel. then it easily beats the Phenom X6
This is a bit more balanced. it can be upgraded with the CPU from above i also slightly "downgraded" the motherboard; you can still overclock with a Z75 motherboard; this one just does not have the better overclocking capability as the one above.
this might be the best overall. the i3 cpu is not a quad core but a dual core with hyperthreading but cannot be overclcoked (fyi only the K series intel can be overclocked by adjusting the multiplier with a P67, Z68, Z75 or Z77 motherboard) this also gets you a pretty decent graphics card.
now this is also assuming you will re-use your hard drive, which you can if it is a SATA. but if it is an IDE, uses big ribbon cable for data. you are going to have to replace that also for around ~$70 and depending on your copy of windows, it might not be activated when you change motherboards.
First Looniam, thank you for the support its people like you that make the sacrifices we make worth it!
now to the parts... I see all your picks were of 8 gigs ram, is that all that is really needed now because I was under the impression that 16 was the new standard for gaming rigs ?
this is what I had in my wishlist at new egg.
ASRock P67 EXTREME4 GEN3 LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard - $139
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL10D-16GBXL - $109
Intel Core i5-3550 Ivy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2500 BX80637I53550 - $209
happy to lend any support; did a few years in the navy myself and was TAD in beruit for 30 days during early '83 but i digress.
really anything more than 8 gigs of RAM is unnecessary unless you are video rendering, it just doesn't get used gaming. some folks may think to future proof 16 will be better much like a few years ago 4 gigs was the better over 2 gigs. but by the time 16 gigs become "standard" it will be DDR4 RAM making the choice worthless. so i really think you can make better use $50 by getting 8 gigs instead of 16 and apply that to a graphics card which will give you better performance gaming.
the P67 is not a bad chipset, but it is a bit obscure. it really came out as a "overclocker's" board because it can have a more stable overclock as it does not use the integrated graphics processor of an sandy bridge cpu. but then the Z68 motherboard came out which provide for overclocking and using the iGPU and that carried on to the Z77/75 chipsets with the ivy bridge release.
my point is if you are looking at getting a high, stable overclock than the P67 is a great choice. but if you do not desire to be "tweaking" that much; a Z68 or Z77/75 board would be a great performance choice.
also to make sure you realize:
"only the K series intel can be overclocked by adjusting the multiplier with a P67, Z68, Z75 or Z77 motherboard"
not saying its a bad choice, just letting you know what you are getting into and what options you have.
Well then thank you for serving... Squid or not .... ( teasing )
Ok then 8 gigs it is.
and yeah OCing for me is not a big thing I do. I did mess with it when I was younger but I am wanting just good solid performance I know my video card is a bit lacking but I know I will see much more of a gain in upgrading those 3 parts first and in another month or two pick up a new VC.
maybe give this a read about overclocking with the latest intel chips (ivy bridge) Undervolting and Overclocking on Ivy Bridge
even though it uses an i7 instead of an i5, it still provides some really good information.