Current specs are in my system specs. I tend to upgrade slowly, and preferring graphics card updates over cpu ones, since I always manage to oc the hell out of a cpu much better than oc'ing graphics... So far my games always ran great. Oblivion when I had an E4300 @ 3Ghz (from 1.86Ghz) then I upgraded from 8600GTS to 8800GT, using 1680x1050 resolution. Then later I upgraded to E8400 which I oc'd to 4Ghz (from 3Ghz), bought a new 850W PSU, and a 5970. And a 2560x1440 monitor. Fallout New Vegas still ran fine @ 60 fps maxed out @ 2560x1440 though there were still areas which dropped to the high 30's.. but that never bothered me since the game was still ok-ish........ Today I tried Alice Madness Returns. Full 2560x1440 resolution, no AA, all other settings maxed except shadows. Fps was 30 max all throughout the game , and then it dropped to 14. ___________________________________ Correct me if I'm wrong, but it's my cpu which is stifling performance, isn't it? ___________________________________ I play the same game at a lower resolution on a laptop with a single 8800M GTX and it renders better. The laptop's got a Q9450 at stock though.. Which means that a quad at 2.67Ghz nowadays is better than a dual @ 4Ghz right? Can I be sure that it's the cpu in my main rig which is throttling the 5970? Or am I missing something out here and a core 2 duo @ 4Ghz is enough to make a 5970 get its full power? ___________________________________ Now that I'm in the market for a new CPU (and motherboard and ram...) what would you suggest? I've got nothing against AMD (in fact I prefer AMD graphics)... but regards CPU's an Intel would be more familiar, especially since I plan to oc the chip to the max, on air-cooling. I'm more confident working with Intel cpu's when overclocking. ___________________________________ What are your suggestions? Just tell me everything. I'll decide on what to budget for it later I've lost my touch somehow lately. I know that in both eras of the E4300 and the E8400 there were chips which performed better at stock than either of them. But which when overclocked, the cpu's beat the better chips hands-down. I'm looking for a good, overclockable cpu which is good value for money and gives great performance to last a couple of years or more.