Okay well let me start with what my current hardware is:
Windows 7 64 bit
MSI K9A2 Platinum Motherboard
AMD Phenom II X6 1090T OC @ 4.05 GHz
8 GB (2Gb X 4) 800 MHz Ram
3 XFX HD 4890 in trifire
Noctua NH-D14 Cpu cooler
2 Maxor 250Gb HDD
XFX PRO850W XXX Edition 80 Plus Silver Certified Power Supply
Azza Hurrican 2000R
I get pretty okay performance in games but I'm just not quite satisfied anymore. It's time to upgrade and I have an opportunity to switch from AMD to Intel so I definitely want to do that. My budget needs to stay under $675 for Motherboard, CPU, and Ram. then in a couple months (maybe shortly before Christmas if i'm lucky) I will be spending a little more on a graphics card probably to the effect of about $300 MAYBE $400 if i'm lucky on a GPU so when I'm done it will basically be a completely new computer but the same Case and PSU.
The parts I'm looking at getting are an Intel Core i7-3770K CPU (I plan on using my noctua NH-D14 with it to OC)
The Mobo I'm looking at is the GIGABYTE G1.Sniper 3 I like it because in a few years I plan on getting a second card or even third if I get a KILLER deal of what ever GPU I buy now to keep this rig going longer and this MOBO seems good for that versus the others that i've seen.
and I plan on using G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3 1600 Ram I do a lot of audio production and record bands on this PC and with all of the extra plugins I very regularly am using all of my current ram so i'm probably on of the few cases where this much ram is actually necessary haha
I don't really know what GPU to try to go for. what I do know is that I want an Nvidia GPU unless there is a steal of a deal on an AMD card. If I can manage to get up $400 then I think I can manage to snag a used GTX 680 and if thats the case then problem solved but if I only have $300 then Idk what I should look at. this is where you guys come in. What would you recommend for a GPU ?
Bonus question: what kind of performace increase would I be looking at before the GPU upgrade?
Well the way I was seeing it is that I have the money I might as well but that was back when I was only gonna be getting a new Cpu,mobo,ram I just never considered otherwise (I just figured I was decided on a cpu and never gave it another thought) Now that I am getting a new GPU and after reading that Nuendo/cubase do NOT like hyperthreading AT ALL I will most likely do just that.
i've been reading and I was not aware that the heat issue with the Ivy bridge processors was such a major thing, But on the other hand my cpu cooler is one of the best air coolers you can get so I'm sure that helps out quite a bit. What I want is a 24/7 overclock of at LEAST 4.5GHz with my Noctua NH-D14 and from what I've seen up to 4.6GHz is very reachable, possibly more with the i5 processor if I'm lucky and I bet the lack of HT will help a bit with heat too.
I'm am gonna try to sell 2 of my HD4890's in the hope of putting me at enough money to get the MSI GTX 680 Twin Frozr with 4GB of vram
As simple (and common) as your advise was it helped so thanks. The way my mind works when I am decided on something I pretty much move on and that's what I had done (Despite dozens of people online suggesting the same as you) it just never clicked because I was so distracted on everything else, plus I want this build to last me a while so I was over thinking EVERYTHING. Me having an over-analytical brain is a blessing but a curse at the same time lol.