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Almost 4 year old computer. What should I upgrade?

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  • Gaming
  • Components
  • Computers
  • Graphics Cards
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Last response: in Components
February 16, 2014 10:29:25 PM

4 years ago I dropped a good deal of cash on a really good machine trying to pick the best components I could find at the time. I wasn't yet much into gaming, but I have since become more active in FLight simulation and Racing sims.
I have updated my rig a few times since the original built, adding a Video card and (the best thing I ever did) installing an SSD.

My machine is still working very well as far as my daily job (I am a developer) but it is starting to show its age in gaming.

The first thing I know I have to buy is a new video card. Preferably one that will let me have a 3 screen setup and that will not send me in the poorhouse.
However, I don't want to spend a fortune in video cards if other components I have should be upgraded first. FOr instance Motherboard. CPU and RAM.

In other words is it worth it to spend money on the card or is it going to get bottlenecked by something else?
What other upgrades do you suggest?

Here are my specs as of today (I do have a few more internal and external HD but I did not list them)

OS: Windows 7 Pro 64 bit
Processor : Intel Core i7 970 3200MHz - (OC to: 3502.34MHz)
Number of Core : 6
Motherboard Name: Asus P6X58D-E
BIOS Type: AMI
Chipset: Intel Tylersburg X58,Intel Westmere
Physical Memory : 12279 MB (6 x 2048 DDR3-SDRAM)Corsair
Video Card : NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 X2
Audio Adapter Realtek ALC889 @Intel 82801JB ICH10
Hard Disk : SAMSUNG SSD 830 Series ATA 238 GB
Hard Disk : Seagate ST32000542AS ATA (2TB)
DVD-Rom Drive : Optiarc DVDRW AD-7260S
Monitor Type : E246W-1080P - 23" 1920x1050
Case: CoolerMaster HAF 932 Full Tower 1000 Watt PS

Thank you very much for your kind advice.

PS: As far as cards, I would like to keep my choices in the nVidia campo and at a reasonable price. I know what to choose if I had $700 to $1000 budget for a new card, but I don't. I am looking more in the $300 range.

I am also looking for good gaming triple screens if anyone has budget oriented suggestions.

More about : year computer upgrade

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a b 4 Gaming
a c 104 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
February 16, 2014 11:05:19 PM

Your computer is fine except for the card. Get a cooler master hyper 212 cpu cooler though and overclock.

For a GPU, since you're looking at going triple monitor, I'd say get a 760 4gb card and SLI it down the road as any single GPU at $300 won't max most games at that resolution. If you feel like going for a single card then the 770 is the other option.
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February 16, 2014 11:21:48 PM

woltej1 said:
Your computer is fine except for the card. Get a cooler master hyper 212 cpu cooler though and overclock.

For a GPU, since you're looking at going triple monitor, I'd say get a 760 4gb card and SLI it down the road as any single GPU at $300 won't max most games at that resolution. If you feel like going for a single card then the 770 is the other option.


Thanks for the replay. I already have very good cooling for my CPU.
Copying from, my spcs : Asetek 550LC Liquid CPU Cooling System (Intel) - Enermax Dual Silent High Performance Fan Upgrade (Push-Pull Airflow)

May not be as good as the Cooler Master but my CPU has always run really cool.

I was actually overclocked at some point, but it kept failing and finally I left it as is, but I can probably flash the Mobo with the new firmware and overclock it again. I was considering that anyway.

The 760 with 4GB is exactly what I have been looking at. I did not mention it as not to color the responses. I am actually thinking of something a bit more powerful if I can get my clients to pay :) 

One thing to consider is that I also use my workstation for work every day. I need it to be reliable or easily fixed since I no longer buy powerful laptops as a spare (my wife kept breaking them and now I have iPads, netbooks, etc. FOr email and such while on the road).

A couple of years ago I fried one of my cards and I was really glad I was running it in SLI because I was able to simply run off one card. Had it happened before I went in SLI, I would have been stuck.

However, I will keep my GTX 460 as a fall back emergency plan ans when the prices of the newer card go down in a year or so, I will probably go SLI, but for now a single card is all I can afford if I want a chance at the 3 monitors as well.

Speaking of which, and I am brain farting here, would it be possible to run 2 monitors on the new GTX 760 (or whatever I get) and one monitor on one of the 460? Is there any advantage?
In the kind of gaming I do, the side monitors don;t need to be as good as the center one. They are peripheral vision. I won;t be looking to shoot anyone or similar.

Anyway, thank you for the suggestion. It tells me I am going in the right direction and also that I was right 4 years ago to look at my system as an investment. Previously I'd buy cheaper components and they only would last me a couple of year before I had to upgrade.

PS: If you don;t mind, I'd love to have a few more suggestions before I pick a solution. But I'll keep into consideration you were the first and your suggestion was right on the money.
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a b 4 Gaming
a c 104 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
February 16, 2014 11:26:31 PM

you cannot run a set up like that with the some screens on one card and others on a different card and run the same application. Also you can't make the graphics on the side screens worse compared to the middle, it's the same across the board.
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a c 590 4 Gaming
a c 197 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
February 16, 2014 11:30:12 PM

Yep GTX760 is the obvious choice unless you can save up a little more for a GTX770.
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February 17, 2014 12:11:45 AM

woltej1 said:
you cannot run a set up like that with the some screens on one card and others on a different card and run the same application. Also you can't make the graphics on the side screens worse compared to the middle, it's the same across the board.


Thank you again. I suspected that was the case, since no one ever discussed a rig with those type of specs, but I figure I asked anyway.

I guess one could save a few $$$ by buying a really great center screen and a couple of somewhat cheaper ones on the side, as long as their specs were the same. I know guys that Have a 27" center screen and run smaller screens on the sides (I could never get used to that).
But I can see how the Vcards would be problematic.

Well, I can always keep my 460s in reserve in case I fry the main one. That at least will give me some pace of mind.

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