Gaming System with upgrade potential?


I am building my first system, and I would greatly appreciate any insight the members of this forum might be able to offer. The purpose of this system is primarily that of a gaming machine (specifically NWN2, and future CRPGs or MMORPGs). I am attempting to build a complete system while keeping the costs reasonable, with an eye towards upgrading in the future. There are three components (MB, PSU, and LCD) I am thinking are most important to purchase quality parts now, and the rest can be upgraded later. I am hoping for a system with a lifespan over 5 years with some upgrading.

$45 Case: Rosewill R5601-BK 0.8mm SECC Screw-less Dual 120mm Fans ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
$170 MB: MSI 975X Platinum Socket T (LGA 775) Intel 975X ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
$220 CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 Conroe 2.13GHz LGA 775 Processor Model BX80557E6400 - Retail
$120 ($15 mail-in rebate) PSU: OCZ GameXStream OCZ600GXSSLI ATX12V 600W Power Supply - Retail
$142 ($20 mail-in rebate) RAM: Patriot eXtreme Performance 1GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Desktop Memory Model PEP21G6400LL - Retail
$144 ($30 mail-in rebate) VGA: BFG Tech BFGR76256GTOCE Geforce 7600GT 256MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card - Retail
$57 HDD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 ST3160811AS 160GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
$23.50 CD/DVD: LG Combo Drive Black IDE Model GCC-4522BK - OEM
$37 Keyboard/Mouse: Microsoft FA6-00010 Black USB Wired Ergonomics Keyboard Mouse Included - OEM
$90 OS: Microsoft Windows XP Home With SP2B 1 Pack - OEM
$11 Modem: Apollo ENF656-GHW-INPR 56Kbps 56K V.92 PCI Fax Modem - Retail
$255 Monitor: ViewSonic VX922 Black/Silver 19" 2ms LCD Monitor - Retail

I will also getting some Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound, but my impression is that this CPU won't need a better heatsink until I start to OC it later on down the road.

Will I need an audio card, or will the MB audio be good enough?

Is there anything I can tweak to improve this build without spending too much extra?
Is there anything I can do to reduce the cost of this build?
With the rapidity of technical advances in hardware is it really worth worrying about the longevity of a system?

Thanks in advance for your help,
2 answers Last reply
More about gaming system upgrade potential
  1. Will DX10 make this system obsolete in relatively short order?
    Will DX10 video cards require a new MB?

    The plans I had for this system were:
    1- To add an additional 1GB stick of RAM as soon as possible.
    2- To go SLI with either a dupicate of the 7600 card, or to upgrade to two newer cards if finances permit.
    3- Add another 2GB of RAM (total of 4GB).
    4- Once the system starts to fall too far behind in speed I would start to OC the CPU and video cards.

    How long do you think it will be before this system will be unable to handle the system requirements of future games?
  2. Quote:
    Will DX10 make this system obsolete in relatively short order?
    Will DX10 video cards require a new MB?
    No to both questions. That system will handle Vista, DX10 hardware and games just fine.

    DX10 will require both a DX10 video card, a DX10 program/game AND Windows Vista installed. DX9 video cards will handle DX10 games just fine.
    SLI will only ever make real sense if you have very high resolution monitor such as 1920x1200.
    A high end video card could probably outperform 2 middle video cards in SLI - and probably cost less doing it. A 7900GTO should outpeform 2x7600GTs in SLI in 1280x1024 resolution.

    You will not need AS5 till you decide to install an aftermarket HSF.

    Its a good list - only suggestion I'd make is to spend an extra $20 and get the 250GB Seagate 7200.10 hard drive.
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