$300 tax return, what to buy?

I'm due to recieve $300 bucks back from the IRS just wondering what I should get.

My current system is:
AMD X2 4200
Enermax Noisetaker 485W
EVGA 7900 GT SC (currently giving me artifacts instead of games) :cry:
Soundblaster X-fi Xtreme Music
WD 250Gig
Viewsonic 19" CRT (Love CRT can't be beat in my eyes by LCD.)
Logitech Z-5500 speakers
Hauppauge PVR-150MCE

I would be willing to throw in another $200 from savings if its a big enough upgrade.
22 answers Last reply
More about return
  1. pawn that 7900gt and get urself a x1900xtx or another card for sli...btw u didnt mention what ram ur using
  2. If your GPU is giving you artifacts it is most likely overheating. Play a game with your case open and see if those artifacts appear or not. If you do not see artifacts then overheating is your problem.

    Either download ATI Tools to slow down your overclocked GPU (most 7xxx series are sold overclocked by default), or use $47 to buy a Zalman VF900Cu HSF. That's it.

    There really isn't anything else you can buy for $300 or less that will improve your system so you might as well save it. Or treat yourself and your girlfriend/wife to a good night on the town.



    I didn't read the part of the additional $200. If you do have an overheating issue then spend money on fixing that problem like a new case with better airflow in addition to the GPU HSF I mentioned.

    No point in getting a more powerful GPU if your current one is overheating in your case. BTW high end Radeons uses more power than hi end Geforces making them harder to cool.
  3. How's about a loaf of bread and a tank of gas ?
  4. If you are getting artifacts form your new card, then it is bound to still be under warranty...

    If it is artifacting at the first boot and launch of a game before overheating can be a concern, it is suffering from too high graphics mem clocks or crappy ram on the card...; EVGA might have been a little too agressive with their mem clocks on a few cards for some of the "SC" variants...

    Do you have it OC'd above stock core/mem clocks? (Not recomended!) IS the "SC" moniker on your card standing for "superclocked"? (You might downclock the cards mem clock by perhaps 10-15 MHz, an insignificant decrease, and see if that clears the artifacting....!)
  5. Beefier PSU?
  6. I'd probably get one of the following:

    Fix your existing issue:
    1) Do a warranty on the existing 7900GT if the one you have isn't experience the heat issue someone else mentioend.....I've got a 7900GT (the 500/1500, N563) from eVGA and it is great, no issues....but I'm also running at temps of 35C with my temp sensor normal, and it ramps up to 45C under gpu intense games on low fans. If I put my crossflow on high and my rear TT exhaust on high, the temps drop down to 41-42C during heavy loads.

    Then spend your refund check!!!!!!
    2) Get an Antec TPII-550watt PSU($85 w/rebate), and then pick up a 2nd matching 250GB drive ($100) and raid 0 it, plus pick up a raptor 36GB($105) (or 74GB($160) raptor (the 74 raptor will push you beyond 300 bucks though....I'm currently running about 25GB on my primary OS/Apps drive....so the 36 could be workable for you). I'd make the raptor your OS/Apps drive, and the Raided 250's your storage and data drives.

    You didn't mention your memory, so not sure if that would be a good way to spend the cash or not, assuming you've got 2GB, else you may want to get yourself up to 2GB....and do the above AND get more memory.
  7. save your money.
  8. Quote:
    save your money.

    Umm, did you read the post? His post text indicated he WAS going to buy it, and wanted advice on what to buy.....he didn't ask "should I buy something or save my money".


    Of course he should save his money if he doesn't htink he's getting worthwhile upgrades or he has bills to pay or whatever....the presumption of his post, however is that he IS SPENDING THE MONEY and wants to know where others think it would be best spent.

  9. I owe the IRS. Give me your money.
  10. IRS...Good guys...That audit they did on me last year was enjoyable
  11. how about save the $300?
  12. I would hold on to it until evga releases the 7900 GTX KO. Then you can stepup to that card effectively killing 2 birds with one stone (ditching your crapola card, and blowing 300 bones) It should be released sometime next month.
  13. Hmm. Here's a few suggestions:

    *Get a Raptor (36 or 74Gb will do) to use as a system HDD (Windows and frequently used games), using the 250Gb as a media and backup drive. Cost: $110-$160

    *Also, how much memory do you have? Get the system up to 2Gb, regardless of what you are presently running. Cost: each 1Gb is about $80

    *A new PSU wouldn't hurt (550w +), especially if you are going to use SLI or put in more HDD's (Raptors are power hungry). Cost: $80 or more

    *Artifacts on the screen are almost always heat related. The fan might be failing on the GPU, or the crappy factory thermal paste got all flaky and doesn't make good contact any more, can usually (don't quote me on that!!) be fixed with a new fan (try a Zalman) and some Artic Silver paste, and if you are realy anal, get the 2-part solvent to dissolve the old paste. Cost: about $40.

    Otherwise, nice rig ya' got there!!
  14. Invest your money in a penny stock. CIRT or MOBL maybe. I like MOBL. Then when you double your cash buy 7900GTX 512
  15. I have a Gygabyte Aurora case and to make sure it wasn't an overheating problem I went through the fallowing procedure I will quote from my EVGA tech support request, this is trying to play UT2004.

    "I tried the suggestion of opening the case and using a house fan to cool the card. Even at 640X480 with all 5 case fans, the pci slot fan,the 2 foot house fan, and a swamp cooler on full blast I still get artifacting."

    I exaggerated a little(the swamp cooler had to be turned down a little because the case was leening over dangerously at full blast) but I think I prooved conclusively that the card wasn't overheating.

    The power seems to be stable on the Enermax, 12v never dropping below 11.76 or above 11.79. If getting a beefier one would solve the problem I'm all for it. I'll also download the ATI Tools and see if that works, if not it's RMA time.

    I've got Corsair XMS 2GB(2X1GB) and I'm happy there.

    As for getting more HD's that's a definate yes although I'll prolly go for 3 more WD 250's for the mythical 1TB in RAID 0 and the Raptor 74.

    Thanks for the suggestions.
  16. the artifacting hes experiencing has nothing to do with overheating....its from a bios problem the early 7900s have. This information came directly from evga. Look into it.
  17. put it in a fidelity mutual fund.

    try emerging markets fund of latina american fund.

    your system is fine.

    or invest it in an outside hobby where you can enjoy the otudoors.

  18. This will certainly not spend all your money, but maybe get an excellent air CPU set up OR get water cooling and try experimenting with OC'ing...That 4200+ should get you 2.6 at minimum with great cooling. Water cooling be cool, though.

  19. I thought you shouldn't jump into watercooling with anything less than both feat. Would $300 to $500 be considered as both feat?

    I'M using this right now and I'm getting 2.5 stable.

    What kind of OC could I expect from a water cooling system in my price range?
  20. Oh, you didnt' mention you'd already OC'ed...Still, that is a pretty good OC. I'm sorry, what do you mean "...than both feat" ? What is [both] feat? Anyways, with overclocking, I'll throw maybe 2.8-3.0. Probably even 3.2, and if your really lucky 3.4.
  21. To jump in with both feet is a figure of speech that meens to fully commit.

    I had just heard that if you weren't ready to spend some serious money on water cooling you might as well just put the money into a part upgrade.
  22. lol, i *just* realized the spelling of feet/feat. Sorry, my bad, lolz. Yeah, your system is kick a$$, and water cooling could help. Or maybe the 10k HDD. Right now, you are way past the basics and dipping into the excessive, which is not nessesarily all bad, but...

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