Nearly five years ago I spent quite a lot on a fairly high end PC. A couple of days ago the graphics card decided to die on me, so I'm at a crossroads on whether to go for a new a new build or just replace the GPU for now.
The current specs are:
Intel Quad Q9450 2.6 GHz (Previously clocked to 3,6 GHz, but I think I need new thermal paste to keep the temps down)
Evga 9800 GX2 (dead)
Evga 790i Ultra Sli
Kingston HyperX DDR3 1375 Mhz - CL7
CoolerMaster 850w PSU
CoolerMaster Stacker 832 PC Case
WD Velociraptor X 150 GB
Samsung 750 GB HDD
WD 1,5 TB HDD
Samsung 2493HM Monitor (also dead, ordered a Korea Crossover 27-Q P monitor)
Went ahead and ordered a Evga GTX 670 FTW and Samsung 840 PRO SSD 128 GB to get the PC up and running again, for now. I guess I'll see how the rest PC holds up with the new GPU when it arrives in the mail.
The death of my GPU has got me looking at new components. I'm drooling at an upgrade in January, when I have the cash. I'm not exactly sure if its worth it, or if I should wait until summer or late 2013 for new Intel processors. I really want a PC that will be able to run GTA V decently (if its released PC), and of course GTA IV and other newer games
What I have looked at:
Intel 3570k (I figure the 3770k is not worth the extra cash?)
Evga GTX 670 FTW (Already on the way)
AsRock Extreme 4 Motherboard
Patriot Viper 16 GB 2133 MHz CL11 RAM
Noctua NH D14 (PROS: quiet and high performance. CONS: Huge and ugly)
or Zalman 9900MAX (PROS: Good design and size, pretty decent performance. CONS: According to reviews it is not to silent)
Fractal Design Define R4 (Tired of the huge CM Stacker)
SSD (Already on the way)
So basically the question is: Should I be happy with a new GPU and SSD for now, or is this upgrade worth the cash?
GTA IV sucks PC-wise. It doesn't matter how good your PC is, it's just plain bad coding. If it is really that important to you, as much as I hate to tell you this, get a PS3.
GTA V might be better, but I wouldn't get my hopes up, considering LA Noire suffers from the same flaws on the PC. Rockstar Games sucks at PC coding, and they couldn't care less about it.
You could hang on to your stuff for now since the SSD and GPU will definitely bring the most impact. A CPU upgrade would bring noticeable performance gain, though.
As for your new build, it looks pretty good. I don't think the NH D14 is defensible, its too big and will make you pc hard to work on. I am very partial about high-end RAM, since my personal experience tells me it brings near-zero gains and causes issues a lot more frequently than standard frequency RAM. Also, 2x8GB is more reliable than 4x4GB, so go with that.
You are right, 3770k is not worth the extra dough, and the VGA is a good choice.
I did the same thing as you. I had the video card in my q9650 750i mobo die about 3 years ago. So i got a gtx470. That system played any game you can think of at high. Later i added a ssd and a second gtx470 for sli. I used it like thar for cod, bf, me3 and lots of other games for like 2 years.
Then about 6 months ago i got the asrock extreme 4 and a i7 3770k. The systems runs great.
My advice is to look at what you need the system to do. Most games right now are gpu bound, so a new CPU will not help much. In a few months or a year you can always get the new mobo cpu and ram and then reuse all your other parts.
One thing to look at with the nvidia motherboard and the ssd is sata drivers and trim. I was unable to get trim to work on my 750i motherboard. I made a point to leave the computer on and at the log in screen a lot hoping the ssds garbage collection function would take care of it. After about a year or so I had noticeable slow down on write speed. Read speed never changed. I tried all kinds of work around and drivers, but never got it to work.
The best reason to upgrade is to get off the nvidia mother board. I had 2 nvidia boards, an evga 690i and asus p5n-d 750i. I was never really happy with the performance or reliability of either.