I am in complete agreement with Yogi
wants his comp to be able to handle the 120hz even in 3D without a problem for of course more than a year on top game settings.
Two problems with that:
1) You don't get 120Hz 3D. It's either 120Hz in 2D, or 60Hz per eye, to give you 3D.
2) Some current
games like BF3 won't even run at 120fps with a thousand-dollar i7-3960x. Oh no, you have to overclock that thousand-dollar CPU
to 4.6Ghz to hit an average of 125fps.
So, if there are some six-month-old games that can't run at the desired framerates on top settings, what hope do you have of building a machine capable of running future games even more smoothly? - Especially now that more developers are finally
starting to push PC graphics beyond just a texture-pack for a console port.So, upgrade options:
Assuming he doesn't have the budget to blow on a massive processor upgrade and a GTX690, my suggestion is to slap in an SSD, double the RAM and get an HD7950.
I wouldn't bother with a more powerful GPU unless he's prepared to boost the processor too, since even the 7950 is going to be occasionally limited by that old Clarkdale processor.
In the unlikely even that he has a couple of grand kicking around, the GTX690 is the best of the dual-gpu solutions because it doesn't suffer from microstuttering the same way as a pair of cards communicating over the PCI-e bus would. TR's review of the 690 makes this abundantly clear
, and in my opinion the microstuttering completely defeats the purpose of a dual-gpu solution and should be minimised at all costs. There's absolutely no point in buying a GTX690 without a decent subsystem to go with it, and I suspect a 4GHz quad-core is the minimum investment to not waste the potential in a GTX690. Overclocking is required, but it's a no-brainer for Ivy/Sandy and you ought to get decent performance/noise-levels from a closed-loop watercooler like an H100. Getting either an i5-2500K or i5-3570K to 4.2GHz is practically guaranteed at stock voltage, but if you're investing in a good cooler, you can boost the voltage slightly and 4.5GHz is likely to be a very stable, conservative overclock.