Need some upgrade advice!

Leykis

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 9, 2005
Messages
394
So I got some money for Christmas and was going to use that towards upgrading certain components of my PC. Trouble is, I don't know where I should start first. A couple of things you should know -- 1) I primarily use this computer for gaming and 2) I have a Dell sp2309w monitor which has a resolution of 2048x1152. Here's a list of what I got going on now:

Intel Core 2 Duo E8500
Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3R Motherboard
8GB DDR2 800 memory
EVGA GTX 460 1GB video card
WD Raptor 10k 150gb hard drive

Right now when I play a game like Star Wars: The Old Republic I'm getting 20-25 FPS on high settings and it lowers considerably when I'm in a higher populated zone. I'm guessing that may be more of an issue with my CPU than GPU and maybe the higher resolution I'm running the game at? Anyways, I have roughly $500-700 to work with but should I start with my CPU, MB and RAM first? Then would you leave the video card as is or upgrade it too? I was thinking of going for a GTX 560 Ti card. Thanks for any help you can provide.

1) What will you be doing with this PC? Gaming & Web browsing
2) What's your budget? $500-700
3) Which country do you live in? USA Seattle, WA
4) What exact parts do you need for that budget? CPU, RAM, MB, Video Card
5) If reusing any parts, what parts will you be reusing? Antec 1200 case, Corsair 750w PSU, WD Raptor 10k 150GB hard drive, ASUS Xonar DX sound card, Toshiba DVD drive
6) Will you be overclocking? No
7) What is the max resolution of your monitor? What size is it? Dell sp2309w 23" 2048x1152
8) When do you plan on building/buying the PC? Now
9) What features do you need in a motherboard? USB 3.0, SATA 6Gb/s, eSATA, etc. No need for SLI or RAID.
10) Do you already have a legit and reusable/transferable OS key/license? If yes, what OS? Yes, Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
 
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kjdocs

n00b
Joined
Sep 12, 2008
Messages
18
in order for the experts in here to point you in the right direction...you need to answer the questions in the sticky.
 

Leykis

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 9, 2005
Messages
394
Well I answered most of the questions in my original post but I'll edit it with answers to the questions from the sticky.
 

Zepher

[H]ipster Replacement
Joined
Sep 29, 2001
Messages
18,581
I would sell your old parts to someone so that you can increase your budget or offset your costs.
with what you have now, I would get a new proc, mobo, and ram.
i5 2500, mobo, and 8GB DDR3. cost you maybe $300
Sell your old mobo, cpu, ram for $150-200 and you are down to $100-150 for your upgrade.
Sell your old card for $80-100 and you'll have a 560ti for about $100-125.
 

Forceman

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Aug 7, 2005
Messages
9,243
You could drop a Q9550 or similar into that board, but considering their high cost still, I'd do what Zepher said and pick up a 2500K ($200), a decent mid-range P67 motherboard ($120), 8GB of DDR3-1600 ($40), and then pick up a GTX 560 Ti ($250).

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115072 $204 Intel 2500K
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130582 $115 MSI P67A-G45 (B3)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231416 $43 G.SKILL Sniper 8GB DDR3-1600
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130604 $249 EVGA GTX 560 Ti (lifetime warranty version)

With rebates, that's $561. Normally I'd say just get the i5-2400 if you aren't overclocking, but with the promo code on the 2500K the extra $15 is worth it. You could even pick up a CoolerMaster Hyper 212+ for $20 from Amazon, and easily overclock to 4.2 with the click of the mouse.
 

Leykis

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 9, 2005
Messages
394
Thanks for the suggestions!!

Zepher - Yeah, I would probably sell off my old parts so that def. helps with the upgrade.

Forceman - That build looks like just what I want to go for. What do you think about this video card for $20 more?

LINK
 

Forceman

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Aug 7, 2005
Messages
9,243
Thanks for the suggestions!!

Zepher - Yeah, I would probably sell off my old parts so that def. helps with the upgrade.

Forceman - That build looks like just what I want to go for. What do you think about this video card for $20 more?

LINK

The Twin Frozr cards are real popular, only reason I linked the EVGA was because it has a lifetime warranty and a $20 rebate. The MSI is fine though, just be aware that it will exhaust more of the heat inside the case.

I would add that, at $269, you are starting to edge into 6970 territory, which would give you significantly better performance at that resolution. For example, this XFX card is only $299 after rebate:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150517

Here's a performance comparison:
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/NVIDIA/GeForce_GTX_560_Ti/27.html
 
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Leykis

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 9, 2005
Messages
394
The Twin Frozr cards are real popular, only reason I linked the EVGA was because it has a lifetime warranty and a $20 rebate. The MSI is fine though, just be aware that it will exhaust more of the heat inside the case.

I would add that, at $269, you are starting to edge into 6970 territory, which would give you significantly better performance at that resolution. For example, this XFX card is only $299 after rebate:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150517

Here's a performance comparison:
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/NVIDIA/GeForce_GTX_560_Ti/27.html

I guess I could get something like this....

LINK

and then just unlock it to a 6970 like people have been doing. Save myself $70.

My only concern is going to ATI. It's been years since I've had one and didn't have good luck with the last one I owned. In the past they've had shitty driver support, has this changed at all?
 

tiraides

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jan 8, 2004
Messages
11,066
A growing number of the newer model 6950s can't be softmodded into 6970s. If that's your goal, you'll need to perform some research beforehand.

Many of the newer games (e.g. Skyrim, BF3) seem to perform better on Nvidia cards than AMD (formerly ATI). The overall driver support for AMD cards are generally better than they have been in the past, but it still takes a while for AMD to produce decent (performance-enhancing) drivers for the more recently released games.
 
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