I have about $900 CDN to spend, and I would love your input on what to upgrade...
AMD Opteron 170 ~2.15GHz (can't seem to OC it more than 2.2)
4X512 OCZ 3-3-3-7 dual channel DDR
BFG 7900 GT OC @256 DDR3
Antec True Power II 500 Watt PSU (needs to be replaced)
ASUS A8V-E SE MB
ViewSonic VX924 19" LCD with 1 dead pixel (argh!)
Logitech Z5300 Speakers (good enough)
Regular Logitech KB
100GB Sata HDD (I don't want RAID)
As I said above, my PSU needs replacing, and I am not as happy as I would like to be with my sound card... or maybe I should buy an iPod video?
A8V-E ain't exactly an overclocking mobo. It may be your limiting factor. The best s939 overclocker would be DFI LAN-PARTY ULTRA-D. The other good overclockers are s939 nforce-4 flagship mobos from each major manufacturer.
You could just get a nf4 mobo & o/c this mofo to the max. If I'm not mistaken, the Opty is dual core. Oh yeah, get a known good aftermarket hsf such as Zalman, Thermalright, etc. & maybe a new case with 120mm intake & exhaust.
I have to admit that I am not looking for a new Mobo...but thanks for the suggestion. I am not too interested in overclocking beyond 2.2 Ghz.
As for the PSU, there must be something wrong.
Everytime I unplug the power cord from the wall, I have to plug it in and NOT turn on the PC for half an hour. Otherwise it does not start AT ALL.
Click, nothing. Click click click, nothing. I have moved the PC (as far as another province) and the same thing happened. This started when I got a new BFG 7900 GT OC...but the same happens with my old 6600 in it....
Anyway, I am selling my BFG 7900 GT OC on ebay...i am know as bornking2 on ebay, my first sale...yay.
Perhaps I will get an 8800 GTS 320MB? Is is worth it?
I can also grab a new PSU (700W), and maybe even a XFi.
Mind if I ask what you don't like about the Audigy 2? The X-FI's are nice, to be sure, but unless you have a set of speakers to match, and are big into audio in some way, I don't know if you're going to notice the difference. I have the exact same speakers hooked up to my Audigy 2 ZS and they sound as good as I imagine they will on an X-FI.
The Audigy 2 is a great card in general...no major complaints other than
some issues with clean installs of windows.
I don't like using the original disc and the original (outdated) drivers...and the creative website's drivers often do not work properly.
I have to say that my Audigy 2 is not a ZS model...in fact it is just called Audigy 2.
As for XFi I have to disagree. I heard both Audigy 2 and an XFi on my friends Logitech 5300e, and my cousins 5500 (wow), and there is a significant difference with music.
Although I am now leaning away from the sound card update.
My video card is at ~$130US on eBay now, I hope it goes as high as some of the 'Buy it Now' prices I have seen...(eg. BFG 7600 @ $400!!!)
Anyway thanks for the insight, you are right about the audigy 2...for my budget, and speakers.