Upgrade or not... is the question

My first post here. So hi to all! (The preferred format is at the bottom.) Thanks for all the help!

I have been a PC gamer since the 90s. I have built several rigs but lately I just have no time to research or keep up like I used to, due to work. I have read a lot today especially about PCI express 3.0, but it just made me realize how much behind I am.

Primary use is PC gaming on a 27" monitor or on a 40" HDTV. I have a budget of up to $1k if I go with a new build. I would also very much like to see some comments about what else could I do that would improve my current system with only a few $100s... so I can delay the new build. I am scratching my head about win8. That could be one reason to delay a new build. If I don't get 30% or more of a performance increase I would not want to spend the $1k right now. If I could just spend a little here or there, I would rather do that and have a new build in 6 months to a year.

My current build from late 2009 is this (just replaced a GTX275 with the GTX670):

Case (I will keep this... love it):
COOLER MASTER Storm Sniper SGC-6000-KXN1-GP Black Steel, ABS Plastic, Mesh bezel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

OS (need a new copy... or wait for win8?... ouch win8):
Win 7 Home Premium 64x OEM.

Motherboard (I love this board but only 3GB/sec and no SLI):

CPU (Can I put in a FX-4170? AM3 vs AM3+?):
AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core

Memory (May be 2x4 would be better... very cheap upgrade):
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Dual Channel Kit

Video Card (This will stay):
GIGABYTE GV-N670OC-2GD GeForce GTX 670 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported

Sound Card (Will need to go. I will use onboard and get rid of my surround. Too many cables.):
Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic 7.1 Channels 24-bit 96KHz PCI Interface Sound Card

PSU (This will stay until I buy another 670 for SLI):
CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX750 V2 750W ATX12V v2.31/ EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC High Performance Power Supply

Hard drive (I would like to get this upgraded but I can live with it for another year...):
(I have 3 of these but none in RAID) Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

Monitor (This will stay... I love it):
SAMSUNG P2770FH ToC Rose Black 27" 1ms Full HD HDMI LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 DC 70,000:1 (1,000:1)
(Also a 40" Samsung HDTV on HDMI... mostly used for F1 2011)

... So after spending some time reading Tom's, Newegg, and other sites my dilemma is this:

I just bought a GTX670 because the GTX275 was starting to run into problems. My monitor native is 1920x1080 and with that resolution I could not max out any new games. I needed that. With the Borderlands 2 for free promo, it was a nobrainer. So I have that. So do I really need a new build? Should I just buy a better AMD CPU, then up the RAM to 8 gig, and forget about the mobo and Hard Drive.

The rest of the system is still decent, the only thing that got me thinking was load times. I have been thinking about buying this Raptor for a long time:

Western Digital VelociRaptor WD6000HLHX 600GB 10000 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

... BUT my current motherboard is not 6.0Gb/s!!! It makes no sense without getting a new motherboard. BUT that means another Win7 when Win8 is around the corner. But if I do all that, I might as well just buy a new CPU as well... So now we are talking about a new build.

It seems my current CPU compared to most AMDs is not a ton behind, so I figured IF I do a new build I would have to go Intel this time or else I am not getting a significant improvement. Am I right? Please comment.

So my new build would be this:

ASUS SABERTOOTH Z77 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel

Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I53570K
(also considering Intel Core i7-3770K Ivy Bridge 3.5GHz)

I would upgrade the RAM as well not sure which to get. The GTX670, PSU, Case would stay. I would buy the Velociraptor. I would also get rid of the creative sound card and just use built in audio.

All that above is about $850-1000 depending on the CPU and RAM.

So what do you think?

>>>>>> to follow the preferred format >>>>>>

Approximate Purchase Date: e.g.: this week

Budget Range: &800-1000 After Shipping

System Usage from Most to Least Important: (e.g.: gaming, surfing the internet, home office)

Are you buying a monitor: No

Parts to Upgrade: (e.g.: CPU, mobo, RAM?, Hard Drive)

Do you need to buy OS: Yes

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:

Location: West Palm Beach, FL, USA

Parts Preferences: by brand or type (e.g.: I like ASUS but I will consider ohers for mobo, I like both AMD and Intel for CPU)

Overclocking: Probably not but I have done it before. I just don' have the time lately.

SLI or Crossfire: Yes... eventually

Your Monitor Resolution: (1920x1080)

Additional Comments: (e.g.: All new games are a go. Looking forward to Xcom, Dishonored, FarCry 3, Metro Light or whatever, COD Black Ops 2, Civ V I play a lot, Skyrim, etc... I HATE NOISE! Parts that are quiet are a must.)

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: I am upgrading only if I can see a significant performance boost in gaming. My current rig feels still pretty solid, except for load times.
5 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about upgrade question
  1. Get a SSD for the system, get an Intel processor and a new motherboard like Asus P8Z68-V/GEN3.

    You'll feel the power.
  2. i have just what you need on the first thread in my signature.
  3. Best answer
    I just checked the supported cpu list for your mobo and you cannot put an FX on the board.

    If you are wanting to wait a little while before doing a new build, you could overclock the 955. Get a decent heatsink like
    COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 "Heatpipe Direct Contact" Long Life Sleeve 120mm CPU Cooler - $30

    and try to get that baby to 3.8 - 4Ghz. That would be more than sufficient to last you until Intel Haswell comes out next year or to see what AMD Piledriver brings to the table.

    Otherwise, the rest of your build is solid. You could upgrade the RAM to 8GB, but would not really notice it in games.
  4. Best answer selected by HUncowboy.
  5. After posting this my GTX 670 arrived. To my pleasure it seems I am maxing out whatever I have installed. So I think I will go with maui67's adivce and just OC the 955. It is a black edition anyways so it should be easy. Thanks for the link on the heatsink.

    However that SSD advice was good as well. After watching some comparison videos it seems hands down SSD wins vs Velociraptor. It is definitely worth the extra 100-200 for the SSD. However my mobo will bottleneck it once again. So I will wait until December and probably build my intel system that I have above, with an SSD.

    Thanks for the help all of you!
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