Desktop upgrade

I am looking for advice on upgrade to my current desktop. Computer is going to be used for gaming, everyday use, some programming and compiling. My current specs are:

Gateway FX6801-01

CPU i7 950

Gateway TBGM-01 x58 motherboard,
The motherboard features a 4+1 phase CPU power circuit. It has two PCI-Express 2.0 x16 slots for ATI CrossFire, and a PCI-Express x4 slot. It has six DDR3 slots for 1333Mhz memory. This is SATA II only mobo with USB 2.0. Board is proprietary and has a permanent back plate for the cpu cooling fan and heat sink, so no aftermarket cooling systems unless I am willing to take a drill to the rivets.

GPU Nvidia GTX 285 1 Gb very good card, aged well. However it is getting “tired” and has no DirectX11 support.

Has 9Gb of DDR3 memory, 3x2gb and 3x1gb. I am not sure but I believe it is generic Samsung memory sticks, nothing fancy.

1Tb HDD, again a generic part. I believe Hitachi, even though this is 7200rpm drive I am getting the lowest scores on windows experience (not that it matters that much) on the Primary hard disc.

PSU is Delta 750W, I don’t remember the actual model.

The whole thing was bought pre build, everything is stock except for the case. I have a Maelstrom case, may not be a looker but it is a huge case, has lots of fans and bays.

So that is my computer what I am trying to do is upgrade it. Idea is to try and cannibalize as much from my current set up as possible.

My thoughts are:

  1. Upgrade CPU to i5 3570k get a different motherboard, buy new QUALITY RAM, upgrade GPU Gigabyte HD7870 and get a SSD something like OCZ Vertex 4. Get 212 Evo as my cpu cooler. Keep my current PSU and reuse my current HDD as a secondary storage.

  2. Upgrade just the motherboard, sticking with x58 socket. Maybe get a Sabertooth or Rampage III. Keep my cpu, upgrade memory to QUALITY RAM, upgrade GPU (HD 7870), get SSD get Cpu cooler.

  3. Wait, see what Haswell has to offer.

  4. Don’t touch Cpu or motherboard, just upgrade GPU and maybe get an SSD. Get QUALITY RAM.

So what I am looking for here is solid advice. If I go with option 2 my concern is I am spending money on the old technology, x58 are still pricey and I may have to go with the used motherboard. Another concern is PSU, is it safe to reuse it if I go with the option 1 or am I jeopardizing my whole build by cutting corners on the quality power supply unit. If I stay with my current motherboard and CPU what type of RAM would you guys recommend? Considering that gaming is the biggest part of the usage should I wait on the SSD, maybe see what the heat treated cells would do to the longevity and reliability of the device (there are report that frying the mem cells with current may extend the life of the cell). All the parts that I listed are not final, meaning I am open to suggestions. I am looking for best bang for the buck. Anything over $900 – $1000 is overkill. Sorry for a giant post, I’ve been pondering this for a while. Most of my options are here, if I missed one let me know .


number 2 get 7870 or better i would spend 300ish on a new gpu and nice ssd with 240gb and ram is also cheap but i dont think it will do much.

I wouldn't upgrade the motherboard and keep the same CPU. I don't see any benefit in doing that. And old motherboards tend to be more expensive than new ones and you'll still be limited to SATA2 ports, PCIe gen2, USB 2.0, and other old standards.

All your options have drastically different budgets, so it's hard for me to understand how much you want to spend. I would sell your old parts on Ebay and put the money towards all new stuff.