Upgrade dilemma

Yoblad

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jul 24, 2000
Messages
1,060
[H]ello,

Looking for some opinions. I've gotten a mixed bag from just searching around. The canned questions don't really apply to my situation. Please move if this is the wrong place. I'm trying to decide if going SLI will improve my gaming or if a sandy bridge build is in order. After pricing them out on newegg it's almost exactly the same. I don't want to drop $400 for a small gain because then I might as well wait a year and do a full new build.

My current rig:

E8400 @ 4Ghz
EVGA GTX460 superclocked
Asus P5Q Pro
4GB Corsair Dominator
500watt PSU
2TB Raid-0 array
Win 7
CM Centurion Case

If I get a second 460 I'd have to upgrade my PSU. It's currently the oldest thing in the case. How much of a bottleneck is my CPU? Would upgrading to an i5-2500 be worth the hassle of new ram and board? I realize in the tests an i5 run circles around a 775 chip but I'm talking about actual gaming performance.

Any thoughts from the [H] community are welcome!
 

tiraides

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jan 8, 2004
Messages
11,066
Actually, those "canned questions" would help us answer yours:

-- What resolution are you using for gaming?
-- Which games are you playing? Which upcoming games do you plan on playing?
-- What is the specific brand and model of your PSU? Your Centurion case?
-- How much, at most, are you willing to spend on these upgrades?

(For the curious, the above questions are variations of sticky questions 7, 1, 5, and 2, respectively.)

We ask a lot of questions here, through the sticky as well as after the fact, to ensure that our recommendations best fit your needs without bursting your budget. I could go a dozen different ways to solve your immediate problem, but you may not be able (or willing) to take advantage of all of my recommendations.
 

Yoblad

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jul 24, 2000
Messages
1,060
Thanks for taking the time to reply.

If it helps:

1) 1920x1080

2) WoW, Crysis 2, Battlefield 2, CoD:BO, Portal 2. Will be getting BF3, The Old Republic, Duke Nukem, CoD:MW3, Diablo 3, F.E.A.R.3

3) Here is the exact PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817171018
Here is the exact case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119068

4) Around $400 is my budget.

What I want to do is get a new case (Specifically This) and a new PSU (Specifically This) and slap a second 460 in here. I'm hoping that could last until next year when I swap CPU/Mobo/RAM. My concern is that upgrade would not be all it can be with my old CPU and might be a waste of money. I'm hoping someone with similar upgrade experience can share some insight.

At the minimum I could upgrade PSU and get a second 460 but I'm not sure if my case can really handle it. With my ridiculous cooler and fans it's kinda cramped in there. Add a second monster heat source might make OCing this chip a bit hard.
 

DJ Big T

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
May 15, 2011
Messages
1,506
I would go SLI. I can recommend couple PSUs on sale: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371031
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817256072
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139005

If you can afford that much for a PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...e=pc_power_and_cooling-_-17-703-028-_-Product

And I would get a similar case, but slightly bigger with a better window: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811112239

Honestly back in the day I went SLI and it drastically improved frame rates in games, I could run everything highest settings and best resolution. I was running two 7800 GTX's, and back in the day Battlefield 2 was the game. I could run it at 1900x1200 (if I remember correctly) with settings completely maxed out and high anti aliasing. You can always upgrade the CPU a bit down the line, when prices drop a bit more.
 
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tiraides

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jan 8, 2004
Messages
11,066
With those games, you'll see a more noticeable increase with a video card upgrade, though there is the risk of the processor becoming the new performance bottleneck. But that risk is more due to the fact that the E8400 is a dual-core processor, and more games are being "optimized" for use with quad-cores, than the speed it's currently at.

You can buy the same GTX 460 you currently have (if not the exact same model) along with the case and PSU you're considering, but you'll go a bit above your $400 limit
 

draken24

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 12, 2007
Messages
138
Haf922 is an amazing case... I use it for builds for people that dont have the money for an expensive case... But if they can spend $100 its am awesome case w good airflow... Dont need to go bigger with a better window unless u wanna spend more... However woth the bigger u will get more airflow
 

noteworthy

Gawd
Joined
Jun 6, 2004
Messages
523
My only concern would be the CPU bottleneck. I once had three gtx260s on a e8400. They actually performed worse than an i7 920 with two gtx260s. Framerates with the newer mobo/cpu made 2 cards pull 40fps more than three cards on a dualcore system. Was using a triplehead2go on three 19" 4:3 monitors 3840x1024.
 

tiraides

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jan 8, 2004
Messages
11,066
The CPU bottlenecking is a concern, but you aren't going to get high frame rates with most of those games with only one GTX 460. As it stands right now, Intel currently has the better SLI boards, but the OP isn't able to upgrade his core platform and his video card at the same time.
 
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