Merry Christmas Eve everyone!
I built my computer originally back in 2009, and have slowly upgraded as necessary. I like to have a near top of the line system, and although it would still be better than 90% of people out there, I feel like it lost a step somewhere. This is my current rig, please tell me what would be the most logical next step:
Intel Core i7-860 (1st Gen i7)
12GB DDR3 Kingston Memory
MSI Geforce 680 GTX
Intel Motherboard ATX (2009)
Intel SSD 128GB (2nd Gen)
850 Watt PSU
LG Blu-ray Player
27" Acer 120hz 3D Monitor
Would an upgrade to the processor give me the boost i'm looking for? Would a newer SSD do the trick?
The biggest problem is, a new processor means new motherboard and that is like opening a can of worms. Also, I'm running 32 bit Windows 8. Would a 64 bit system take advantage of additional memory better? I know it is a good system, i'm just not as impressed as I should be.
As noted above, "12GB DDR3 Kingston Memory" and "32 bit Windows 8" doesn't make sense. Verify that you are really 32-bit. Consider going to 64-bit. 32-bit windows ignores installed memory above about 3.4 GB. That forces you into paging/swapping if you have too many applications started. Symptom would be disk light flashing coinciding with pauses, especially when you were switching applications.
What do you use your PC for? Gaming needs different specs than transcoding. Your system seems nicely built for gaming. Your i7-860 is slower than an ivy bridge or sandy bridge CPU, but gaming seems much more sensitive to video and your gtx680 is a monster. Not sure how many games would show a frame rate advantage with new MB and CPU.
Suggest you pick a task you want to make better like (startup time) or (frame rate in game) or (streaming video playback) and ask people what to change to optimize it. " I know it is a good system, i'm just not as impressed as I should be." doesn't really give people much to work with. e.g. would a new gaming mouse really change the way you game? would a new monitor (or second monitor) add the pop you want? It depends on what you are trying to do.
I do alot of gaming, and video editing. I have found even with my monster video card, something is holding me back from getting ultimate performance. Something seems restrained, and I think switching to 64 bit seems to be what people keep on telling me. I dont know if a Sandy or Ivy CPU would make a drastic enough change.
My brother downclocked his ivy bridge cpu to 1.6ghz, he got a little over 50gflops. I got about 40 flops with my OCed i7 930. That is more powerful than your 930. An overclocked 3570k can easily surpass 110gflops. So based on that, you could easily be getting a cpu bottleneck. It may also be a ram bottleneck because you are only using 4gb of ram. Any bottleneck is probably minor.
Compare your frame rate to these ones. http://www.legitreviews.com/news/14479/
Are they relatively close? Also, use 310.54, the data will be off with other drivers.