#1 Posted by Remedy25 (131 posts) -

I'm looking to upgrade my system as I just pre-orderd Guild Wars 2 and I'd love to play it above the minimal settings.

I believe the weakest component in my machine is the CPU, shortly followed by the graphics card. I'm running an old LGA775 socket (Asus P5N-E SLI), with a Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 (2.4Ghz), along with The Zalman 9500 cooler, 4GB of Corsair ram and a Nvidia GTX 260. I was thinking of upgrading to the Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 (2.4Ghz), which is can pickup unused for roughly £120. I haven't kept up with the advances in technology, but I was wondering if I should buy the Q6600, or if I could pickup a new motherboard, upgrade to either the Core i3 or i5 and have increased power over the Q6600? I have roughly a max budget of £300 to spend and any suggestions on affordable CPUs and GPUs would greatly be appreciated.

#2 Posted by NegativeForce (7 posts) -

A friend of mine was in the same situation as you last week. He ended up buying this bundle: http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=BU-080-OE

If you went for something like that I'd suggest looking to upgrade your graphics card next to a GTX460 or if you have the extra cash a 560ti

#3 Edited by Bollard (5202 posts) -

@Remedy25: Why would you buy a Core 2 Quad? They're just as old as the Core 2 Duo. You would be much better off with an i5 which is totally the same price more or less new:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0030DL3FU/ref=asc_df_B0030DL3FU9255615?smid=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&tag=googlecouk06-21&linkCode=asn&creative=22206&creativeASIN=B0030DL3FU

The Guild Wars betas have been quite CPU bound so it will probably benefit you more (although they are supposed to have optimised it better now). Your 260 is still a decent enough card I reckon, and given that the newer cheaper cards around like the 550 Ti are more or less on par with your card you would have to break your budget to get anything more impressive. (High End GPU chart for reference: http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/high_end_gpus.html)

Personally I'd say go for that i5 and a new mobo (should be another ~£100) and you'll be okay. But definitely check what other people suggest too, that's the best way to know.

(You could blow all your budget on something like a 660 Ti but I'd think you would be bottlenecked hard by your CPU).

@NegativeForce said:

A friend of mine was in the same situation as you last week. He ended up buying this bundle: http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=BU-080-OE

If you went for something like that I'd suggest looking to upgrade your graphics card next to a GTX460 or if you have the extra cash a 560ti

Just for the record, I had a really super shitty long arduous process with OC UK over a pre-built machine, which eventually ended with me finally getting my money back. They might be okay for buying components from, but do not touch their PC's like the plague. Also, yeah a 460 gives great bang for buck. Those things in SLI were faster and cheaper than the 480 at the time which was crazy.

#4 Posted by VarrosAnon (48 posts) -

I'm just going to claim that the i5 2500k is great. Doesn't overheat, works just as great as an i7 generally, and is priced perfectly. Go i5, hardcore. As for graphics, if you want it to look really nice you're going to want a 400 or 500 series gtx, but those might go out of your budget range. The 560ti is a great card, but yeah, the 480 will work fine, especially with an i5 as they're at about the same performance level and will complement each other well.

#5 Edited by Rohok (553 posts) -

I don't understand why that current build isn't getting you higher graphics, honestly.

I doubt GW2 is very CPU intensive. What gets me is I have the same build except with a Q6600 quad and I can't run the game with shadows maxed. But I can run Skyrim on high, Crysis 2 on max, Crysis 1 on high with DX10. It just doesn't make any sense to me. GW2 doesn't even look /that/ great on high.

I'm personally upgrading to an i5 and a new motherboard so I can run ArmA 3 on high settings and from what I've read, heard, and seen myself the i5 is the best bang for the buck. That 2500k I hear a lot of good things about.

#6 Posted by LethalKi11ler (1405 posts) -

@Remedy25: That build already should get you more than lower settings but if you're upgrading, I'd recommend changing the MB and just getting in the i5 series. Changing from a Core 2 Duo to a Core 2 Quad is like going from Lowest to Low, but switching to an i5 puts you up there with the higher settings. Either way hope you find a way to play Guild Wars 2, game looks great :)

#7 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

@Remedy25: As @Chavtheworld: said above, that CPU Upgrade would be bordering on pointless. Two more cores won't help gaming much at all, and probably not at all with that game. (insert crazy moon bucks symbol here)300 isn't much for replacing a CPU (which'll need a new mobo if you make a meaningful upgrade) as well as your GPU. I'd go with an i5 and a mobo that supports it, and then later down the road upgrade your video card to something like a 560ti or a 660ti.

I'd disagree that your video card is decent though. A 560ti, a fairly cheap gaming video card, will give MUCH better performance, especially in more recent games. Just look at Crysis, which runs at about 20-35 fps on a 260, and about 45-50 on a 560ti, using a modern system (basically he'd need to upgrade his CPU). And a 660ti later down the road would be a great investment if you don't care much about having top of the line stuff and want your card to last. Save up another 200 queen dollars after the mobo/cpu upgrade and boom, 660ti. I know a lot of people will encourage you to go for a couple generations ago like a 460, but I can't speak against this enough. Buy something in the last generation or the current generation if you can go for it. The card will live longer and perform better, so you won't end up needing to replace it any where near as soon.

#8 Posted by Bollard (5202 posts) -

@Rohok said:

I doubt GW2 is very CPU intensive.

The betas were heavily CPU bound interestingly enough, so much so I struggled with an i7. It should be better optimised by now but it's still niggling away at me.

@MordeaniisChaos: I agree his GPU could do with an upgrade, but with a budget of £300 the CPU makes more sense, and his old GPU will at least cope. And once you have a good base with a new mobo/CPU then saving up for a 660 will do wonders for him. (Particularly something like this: http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=952&Itemid=72&limit=1&limitstart=13 and he could even look to SLI it down the line to give the system even more life).