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Upgrading Gaming PC for Guild Wars 2 ($500)

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August 23, 2012 7:14:00 PM

I need some advice regarding upgrading my PC. Here is my current setup:

AMD Phenom x4 965 @ stock clocks, air-cooled with a 212+

Corsair SATA III SSD

8gb 10666 G-Skill RAM

MSI Twin Frozr II GTX 560ti 2gb GPU

Gigabyte 990fxa-UD3 PCB

Coolermaster HAF 922

I know my CPU is under-powered, but I only have in the realm of $500 for upgrades. I'm going to be playing a LOT of Guild Wars 2 in the upcoming months, as well as a few single player games. 

I'm wondering what the best set of upgrades is. 

If I get an i5 or i7, I'll need a new motherboard, and intel boards are still fairly pricy. That would probably keep me from getting a new GPU. 

On the other hand, it looks like I could get a FX-4170 and a nice 7950 for under $500. Or would it make more sense to wait for a Piledriver chip?

And as for the GPU, I know that the 7950s are coming down in price to match the 660ti, meaning performance wise I'm not looking at a big upgrade on the GPU unless I spend $100 to $150 more for a 670. I like the 670s, but right now AMD cards are out-performing nvidia in GW2. I do prefer nvidia, however. 

But if I get a 670, that will also tap out my budget. 

So is it better to stay with inferior architectures (FX-4170/7950) or piecemeal upgrade my GPU and CPU/MB? Are there likely price drops coming for Intel processors?

What is going to be the best bang for my $500 bucks?
August 23, 2012 7:18:31 PM

Forgot to add I have a Corsair 650w silver PSU.
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a b B Homebuilt system
August 24, 2012 9:11:42 AM

I would NOT consider the FX 4170 and real upgrade over a x4 965BE.

My advice is to get a GTX 660Ti and Overclock your 965BE. The 660ti should max out GW2 at 1080p.

wait for a Piledriver chip, it may actually be a viable upgrade for gaming.
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a b B Homebuilt system
August 24, 2012 9:39:18 AM

Wait for GW2 benchmarks ;) 
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August 24, 2012 10:28:05 AM

You are from Houston so you have a micro center. Put a 3570k and the asrock extreme 4 in the shopping cart and it will come to 300 bucks. Sell off the old CPU and Motherboard for about 100 -150 and you will be back up to 300-350 bucks to spend. That can get you another 560ti and a new psu to run it or you can look at it this way. Many of the gtx 670s are 400 bucks, however they are offering borderlands 2 free with it. If you planned on buy that its basically like buying a 670 for 360. I know this is at the top of your budget but just throwing out ideas.

I dont see a 660ti as a major upgrade to the 560ti. So I would A get a 670, B. get another 560ti ( it may run fine on a 650watt PSU but 560ti takes a bit of power and would do better on 750 or more) C. if you really want ATI then you could get a 7950 for around 330 now with the price cuts and try to overclock it to the level of a 670.

Good luck and maybe I will see you in game. I just ordered my 2nd 670 which is arriving tomorrow so I can have epic frames for GW2. (I want 60fps 24/7 even when recording ^_^)
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