I was able to bump my upgrade schedule ahead. My wife wanted a Ninja blender
and a rice cooker, so I was able to upgrade early. Yay!
I got the following parts from my local retailer Memory Express. Prices are in Canadian dollars. The Canadian dollar is worth a little more then the American Dollar right now:AMD FX-4170 Processor
- $122 (after 125% price difference beat against Directcanada.comAsus M5A97 R2.0 AMD 970 Motherboard
- $96.82 (after 125% price difference beat against Directcanada.comKingston HyperX blu 8GB DDR3-1600MHz CL9 Dual Channel Kit (2 x 4GB)
- $29.99 (sale price, got it a week ago today before sale ended)
I also splurged and paid $26 for a 2 year instant in-store replacement warranty. I know most of the time this is a waste of money, you can RMA the parts yourself and you get extended warranties with credit card purchases, but I bought it mostly for convenience and piece of mind. Given the cost of the parts, $26 seemed a reasonable price for this.
The shop puts the board, cpu, and memory together and does a basic function test for free when you buy all three parts together, so that simplified things for me
I swapped in the new parts over the weekend, and now Battlefield 3 runs very well, albeit on lower settings. I was able to run on ultra, but the frame rate was a bit choppy with my old 8800 GT. Still, I had a lot of fun and am very happy to run it. I stuck with playing 64 player team death match on foot, and enjoyed the novelty of actually seeing who was shooting me and who I was shooting at
Using the Windows 7 Sysprep tool
, I was able to put the system in out-of-box mode prior to swapping the hardware. This saved me the trouble of doing an OS wipe and program reinstallation. I still backed up my user profiles and my other critical files. I'll probably do an OS wipe later, but I just wanted to worry the hardware this time.
I was able to get an old case, power supply, DVD burner, and video card from my work. I combined the above components with my old motherboard, CPU, RAM, and my old IDE drives (now unusable without an adapter with my new board) into a backup/spare machine. I even had an old XP installation on one of the IDE drives, and with a video card driver update and installation of the driver for the onboard sound driver, I had a machine read to go
I know Piledriver
is coming, but the upgrade had to come now, and within a $250 budget. Also, the FX-4320 specs wise doesn't look much better then the 4170, and even if the FX-8350 were available today, I doubt it would be in my budget. Budget also precluded me getting a quad-core intel chip, as the least expensive quad core is is $179.99 for just the chip
! I also thought about getting an FM2 processor, but the onboard video is still inferior to my GPU, and the processor and full atx motherboard were both more expensive with a slower clock speed. I could have gotten a 990 board, but that would again be more money, and I'm not planning on crossfiring/sliing in the near future (are those word? you know what i mean
To get back to the original point of this thread, I probably will still perform a graphics upgrade at some point in the future. I'm thinking I'll see what the price of a Geforce 650 TI or Radeon 7770 are fetching around boxing day. Actually, I can think about a 7850 or 660 if the price is right, now that I know I have a 550 watt power supply
Thanks again everyone for your help and advice in my upgrade odyssey. As this thread has changed from a video card upgrade, if an admin feels it should be moved to a different section of the forum, please feel free to do so. Thanks again!