What should I upgrade?!? Soundcard? Videocard?

So, for the last week I have been giving it some thought and I want to upgrade a few parts. Here are my stats:

6600 Core 2 Duo @ 3.2ghz
eVGA 680i Motherboard
600watt Kingwin Modular Power Supply
eVGA 7900GT KO
1 gig of Patriot Extreme Performance
2 x 250gb HD is Raid Strip
Samsung DVD Burner w/ LightScribe
Windows XP

I know the most obvious upgrade is to get another gig of ram, and I plan on doing that. My question for you guys is that would you upgrade the video card or wait? How about a sound card? I want to go DirectX10 and I don't feel like waiting 6 months to see what AMD/ATI is going to do. I am seriously considering getting an 8800 series card. But, I keep hearing about how crappy Realtek sound is on my motherboard. Does anyone think I would really notice the difference. Oh, and yes I do play Battlefield 2142 so I know it would help. I am going to wait to go to Vista for a few months. I am really not interested in that can of problems right now. I do have a limited budget so I am either going to get a video card or get a sound card and wait for prices to drop on 8800 series cards. Well If anyone has any suggestions please send them my way!
10 answers Last reply
More about what upgrade soundcard videocard
  1. If you have the upgrade bug, get an extra gig of RAM, and maybe an Audigy.

    The RAM will make your levels load a bit faster (and the battlefield games like RAM), plus the Audigy will give you nice EAX acceleration.
  2. Sound card won't do you much good.

    I would suggesting in upgrading to 2gb of RAM. BF2 and BF2142 benefit from more RAM.

    If you can go for 2gb of RAM, and a 8800 go for it.

    Also, I wouldn't suggest upgrading your video card if it still plays fine. This means, you would have to wait for R600...
  3. Definently go for another 1GB of RAM and if possible a better graphic card.
  4. Quote:
    Sound card won't do you much good.

    I don't mean to contradict one of the senior members here, but I've noticed significant benefits to using an add-in sound card as opposed to onboard sound, and I'm talking framerates...

    When I took my Audigy 2 ZS out of my system and went with my onboard 7.1 Surround sound (on my DFI LANParty UT nf3 250Gb), my average framerates in UT2K4 dropped from ~ 60FPS to ~30FPS.. unfortunately, I had already sold the card before I realized this would happen..

    I popped in a sound blaster live 24-bit, but it didn't help (and I don't know hy)... I changed the in-game settings to every possible sound/driver EAX/No EAX etc etc combination to no avail... my framerates sucked :(

    So I got my grubby paws around an older Audigy 2, popped it in, and my average framerate went back up to ~60...

    if anyone can disprove that the soundcard was not the cause of this, please feel free to be my guest >,>

    gig of ram and sound card... video card later... sound cards cost the same for months and months and months... video card will drop in price the longer you wait.. sound card now, video card later

  5. A discrete soundcard should give you a slight framerate boost, but I've never heard of it halving framerates.

    From what I've seen an Audigy should only give you maybe 5 fps over an integreted sound board, maximum... maybe there was a driver issue with your integrated sound or something.
  6. I defiantly plan on getting the extra gig of memory. I am just unsure of the benefits of a sound card. I also heard that there might be problems with X-FI and vista... but I have hardly researched it and I am clueless to that situation. Where I stand I think I am going to wait on the video card... 8800 series rocks DX9 games but so does my 7900GT. So, I am going to wait for NVidia to drop prices.... but I don't know why they would since AMD/ATI is late to the game and they have no competition. I am still considering the sound card... anyone have a favorite X-FI card?
  7. When you removed the Audigy 2 ZS from the system, did you remove the drivers and software that went with it?
  8. Quote:
    When you removed the Audigy 2 ZS from the system, did you remove the drivers and software that went with it?

    yes, and I made sure all the drivers were up to date for the mobo's onboard... nothing helped... UT2K4 is supposed to utilize EAX and all the other great crap that the SBAudigy supports, but removing the sound card at such a high Framerate cost is ridiculous... i, also, believe that there's something else amiss... I'm just not sure what it is or why it was happening, so I'll just blame my soundcard... or lack thereof :thumbsup:

    PS - not trying to hijack this thread :P
  9. Personally i would suggest going down the lines of getting another Gig of RAM and getting a nice soundcard, i went for the X-Fi Xtreme Gamer soundcard and it is soooooo much better than onboard! much much better sound quality, supports EAX 5.0, 128 Voices etc etc its brilliant and i would definately recomend getting one of those and another Gig of RAM, honestly.... you wont be dissapointed with that choice! :D
  10. Thanks a lot guys, this is what I think I am going to go with:

    Another gig of ram

    Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer Fatal1ty Professional Series Sound Card

    Logitech Z-2300 200 watts RMS 2.1 Speaker System

    I am upgrading from my crappy 32 watt 5.1 speaker system. I don't have room for 5.1 so I want a solid 2.1 system. I am going to order tomorrow. So if anyone else has any suggestions or think that the speakers I am going to buy are crap please let me know! Thanks again everyone! I really appreciate people letting me know their experience with sound cards because I have always thought they were worthless when you had on board 5.1.... hopefully I will hear the difference and I am looking forward to REAL EAX!
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