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What should I upgrade next?

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April 28, 2007 6:28:20 AM

I use my computer solely for gaming. I'm interested in making an upgrade, but I'm having trouble figuring out which computer component will give me that extra *BAM* to take it up a notch.

My Computer Specs:

EVGA nForce 680i
EVGA GeForce 8800GTX 768MB KO ACS3
C2D E6600 @ 3.6GHz, 1.4875V
Thermalright SI-128
CORSAIR XMS2 2GB DDR2 800
Thermaltake Toughpower 850W
2x WD Raptors 150GB in RAID 0
3ware 9500S-4LP
Creative SB X-Fi XtremeGamer
NZXT Zero Full Tower


Here are my choices that I can think of. (If you can think of anything that I missed, please add to the list. Thank you!)


1. Buy a Liquid Cooling System to OC my computer components even more than I have already with my current quality Air Cooling heatsinks & fans.

2. Buy a second EVGA GeForce 8800GTX 768MB KO ACS3 and give SLI a try.

3. Buy another 2GB of CORSAIR XMS2 DDR2 800, for a total of 4GB of DDR2 RAM.

4. Buy Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit.

5. Buy a 22" LCD Widescreen Monitor to replace my quality 19" Sony LCD.

6. Buy a Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700 Kentsfield 2.66GHz 2 x 4MB L2 Cache to replace my E6600 overclocked to 3.6GHz.


Thanks for any help or advice you have! I enjoy tinkering with my computer, but I don't know which direction I should go from here to add more "Wow" factor to my gaming rig.

More about : upgrade

April 28, 2007 6:39:36 AM

Lol
Well I think waiting for the new amd videocards is the first thing you should do.
And besides that, I am not sure. Prepare for K10 and buy an AM2 system maybe?
April 28, 2007 7:12:56 AM

Thank you for the quick replies! :D 

I will look into the 24" gateway, it looks very intriguing! Do you recommend buying another gig or 2 of ram? 2x 512MB DDR2 or 2x1GB DDR2 to make my total RAM 3GB or 4GB respectively? Currently using Vista 32-bit.

Thanks again! :p 
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April 28, 2007 7:38:26 AM

Quote:
I use my computer solely for gaming. I'm interested in making an upgrade, but I'm having trouble figuring out which computer component will give me that extra *BAM* to take it up a notch.

My Computer Specs:

EVGA nForce 680i
EVGA GeForce 8800GTX 768MB KO ACS3
C2D E6600 @ 3.6GHz, 1.4875V
Thermalright SI-128
CORSAIR XMS2 2GB DDR2 800
Thermaltake Toughpower 850W
2x WD Raptors 150GB in RAID 0
3ware 9500S-4LP
Creative SB X-Fi XtremeGamer
NZXT Zero Full Tower


Here are my choices that I can think of. (If you can think of anything that I missed, please add to the list. Thank you!)


1. Buy a Liquid Cooling System to OC my computer components even more than I have already with my current quality Air Cooling heatsinks & fans.

2. Buy a second EVGA GeForce 8800GTX 768MB KO ACS3 and give SLI a try.

3. Buy another 2GB of CORSAIR XMS2 DDR2 800, for a total of 4GB of DDR2 RAM.

4. Buy Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit.

5. Buy a 22" LCD Widescreen Monitor to replace my quality 19" Sony LCD.

6. Buy a Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700 Kentsfield 2.66GHz 2 x 4MB L2 Cache to replace my E6600 overclocked to 3.6GHz.


Thanks for any help or advice you have! I enjoy tinkering with my computer, but I don't know which direction I should go from here to add more "Wow" factor to my gaming rig.

your computer is basically equipped with top notch hardware. i really don't see why you need to make an upgrade again. you already have 2Gb or memory. getting another 2 is won't benefit you much. QX6700 will drop to $300 level in the fall, so you can save a lot of money just by simply waiting. as for Vista Ultimate 64bit, i really wouldn't recommend it. you won't see a lot of games in 64bit. since you're only going to use the computer for gaming, you won't need 64bit. i would recommend you going back to XP though. it is still the best gaming operating system out there.

my suggestion is that you should save the money for now, wait until Intel's Penryn or AMD's K10, and decide where you wanna go with it.

IMO, as a gaming machine, E6600 should be enough, if not redundant. if you really want to improve your computer further, getting another 8800GTX may be a good idea. depending on the game you're playing, you can even purchase an Ageia PhysX card, if you really want to get some extra eye candy.

other than that, you can also follow Jack's advice, getting a 24" LCD monitor. if you're into FPS, you can even try widescreen.

P.S. your E6600 is a little high on the voltage. have you tried lowering it a little bit?
April 28, 2007 10:22:54 AM

If you really wanted to go nuts, you could get a 30 inch monitor that can output 2560x1600. Then maybe a 2nd 8800GTX would be of value. I don't think any change to the CPU or memory would cause any improvements that would be easily noticeable. A good monitor might be the best investment, because it could last for a long time, whereas you seem like a person who is always going to want to upgrade their CPU/GPU as soon as there is anything available that is slightly faster than what you have.
April 28, 2007 11:14:58 AM

Well if you really want to up grade something,buy a second 8800GTX,and run SLI.You will be amazed at the performance level you get from SLI.My next up grade will be a complete system.And it will run dual 8800GTX'.Goodluck.

Dahak

AMD X2-4400+@2.6 TOLEDO
EVGA NF4 SLI MB
2X EVGA 7950GT KO IN SLI
4X 512MB CRUCIAL BALLISTIX DDR500
WD300GIG HD/SAMSUNG 250GIG HD
ACER 22IN WIDESCREEN LCD 1600X1200
THERMALTAKE TOUGHPOWER 850WATT PSU
COOLERMASTER MINI R120
3DMARK05 13,471
April 28, 2007 11:49:59 AM

Quote:
I use my computer solely for gaming. I'm interested in making an upgrade, but I'm having trouble figuring out which computer component will give me that extra *BAM* to take it up a notch.

My Computer Specs:

EVGA nForce 680i
EVGA GeForce 8800GTX 768MB KO ACS3
C2D E6600 @ 3.6GHz, 1.4875V
Thermalright SI-128
CORSAIR XMS2 2GB DDR2 800
Thermaltake Toughpower 850W
2x WD Raptors 150GB in RAID 0
3ware 9500S-4LP
Creative SB X-Fi XtremeGamer
NZXT Zero Full Tower


Here are my choices that I can think of. (If you can think of anything that I missed, please add to the list. Thank you!)


1. Buy a Liquid Cooling System to OC my computer components even more than I have already with my current quality Air Cooling heatsinks & fans.

2. Buy a second EVGA GeForce 8800GTX 768MB KO ACS3 and give SLI a try.

3. Buy another 2GB of CORSAIR XMS2 DDR2 800, for a total of 4GB of DDR2 RAM.

4. Buy Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit.

5. Buy a 22" LCD Widescreen Monitor to replace my quality 19" Sony LCD.

6. Buy a Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700 Kentsfield 2.66GHz 2 x 4MB L2 Cache to replace my E6600 overclocked to 3.6GHz.


Thanks for any help or advice you have! I enjoy tinkering with my computer, but I don't know which direction I should go from here to add more "Wow" factor to my gaming rig.


My current system is similar to yours: Abit IN9 32X Max (680i SLI), E6600, 2 x 1GB Crucial Ballistix DDR2 800, 1 x EVGA 8800GTX, Seasonic M12 700w, 1 x 150 GB Raptor X, 2 X 150 GB Raptor (RAID0), Lian Li case...

Like you I have a 19" monitor (ViewSonic VX922).

And finally, like you, I'm trying to decide on my next upgrade.

I'm sort of leaning towards a larger monitor and maybe some new speakers. So I guess that's what I'd recommend to another person in the same quandry.
April 29, 2007 2:55:14 AM

Thanks for all the informative replies. Before I started this post, I was leaning towards either a new monitor or more RAM. I added some other computer components to add to the flavor and see what sort of responses I get. Thankfully, a lot of people think a new monitor is the best choice for me at this point in time and I am very glad to hear that! Thank you!


Currently, I own a Sony SDM-HS93 19" LCD Monitor which cost me ~$900 when I first bought it back in the day.
Contrast Ratio: 700:1
Native (Recommended) Resolution: 1280 x 1024
Brightness: 250 cd/m²
Response Time: 25 ms
Dot Pitch: 0.3 mm
Other Features: Non-Glare • Anti Static


I plan on purchasing a new Monitor (The Best "Gaming" Monitor I'm able to find on Newegg) that meets the following criteria:

1. The Response Time has to be the lowest possible for a LCD Monitor. I want to see NO GHOSTING what-so-ever in any game I play.

2. The Contrast Ratio has to be higher than what I have now. 1000:1 or better.

3. It has to be bigger than my current 19" LCD Monitor. I don't care if its 22", 24", 30" or whatever.

4. The Dot Pitch has to be better than 0.3mm.

5. I want to spend less than $700 on the new LCD monitor.

6. The reviews must be very positive concerning the reviewer's gaming experience with the monitor they purchased. Anything negative towards their gaming experience will most likely make me not buy the monitor in question. I want to hear nothing of ghosting, etc.


So for the past couple days, I've been searching Newegg for my next big purchase. I've read hundreds of different reviews and compared monitor specs for hours. I've narrowed it down and finally selected my new Hardcore Gaming Monitor. So lets get right to it and list the specs.

I narrowed the search down to monitors with 2ms or better Response Time. I continued to narrow the search down with monitors with 1000:1 or better Contrast Ratio. I then read hundreds of reviews and removed any monitor with bad reviews concerning their gaming experience, ghosting problems, etc.

My New Monitor Specs:

Response Time: 2ms
Contrast Ratio: 2000:1
Brightness: 300 cd/m2
Recommended Resolution: 1680 x 1050
Monitor Size: 22"
Reviews: Excellent! Only saw good things concerning their gaming experience. In every other monitor review I read, so many negative reviews concerning ghosting, etc.

Price: ?? I expected to pay $600+ for a monitor with these specs. And I would have gladly paid! But to my astonishment, it only cost me $249.99! A bargain if I ever did see one. I almost bought 3!

So which monitor did I finally select? Its called the:

SCEPTRE X22WG-1080p Black 22" 2ms(GTG) DVI Widescreen LCD Monitor

I'm pretty confident that this will be a pleasant experience for me. The specs look great and so did the reviews! But I guess I'll have to wait and see.

Let me know what you think about this choice. I'm all ears! 8)
April 29, 2007 3:34:56 AM

Quote:
Lol
Well I think waiting for the new amd videocards is the first thing you should do.
And besides that, I am not sure. Prepare for K10 and buy an AM2 system maybe?


Dude, he has an 8800GTX already, and while I guess a downgrade in GPU performance would kinda be a 'wow' factor, just not the one the OP expected. :lol: 

Anyway, I would think a new LCD would be the go. The 24" and 30" widescreen Dells are getting pretty good reviews, though at such large sizes there is no way they have a 2ms response time. They are also quite expensive...

As you probably realise already 22" LCDs are probably the 'sweet spot' for LCDs atm - they are affordable and yet should be a fair bit bigger than what most people have used to in the past. As you get to 24" and over the price jumps up a lot - over double the price the last time I checked! :?

I'm not sure why there is a sudden price hike from an extra 2", maybe it's because most 24" are 1920x1200 whereas most 22" are 1680x1050.

I think the response times on LCDs are getting low enough nowadays (5ms is common) that its getting to the point of being negligible whether it's 2ms or not. I have an 8ms LCD and I don't really notice much ghosting TBH.
April 29, 2007 3:38:23 AM

I'd say that computer is good enough. Build another one, just like the first one, then get yourself a friend and play together. For example Diablo 2 was WAY more fun for me with two players with different types of characters cooperating against the AI crowd.
April 29, 2007 4:33:56 AM

I have a Sceptre 20.1" monitor right now, it's pretty good. The contrast is good, and the response times are also fast enough to have no ghosting.
April 30, 2007 4:49:37 AM

I was looking over some of the components I bought for my computer and I'm really curious if the hard drive set up I have is worth it.

The Facts: I spent over $3,000 on my new computer.


My Hard drive set up:

2 x Western Digital Raptor WD1500ADFD 150GB 10,000 RPM Serial ATA150 Hard Drives = $419.98
1 x 3ware 9500S-4LP 64-bit/66MHz PCI2.2 SATA Raid Controller Card = $299.99
2 x ZALMAN ZM-2HC2 NP(Noise Prevention) Heatpipe HDD Cooler = $49.98
2 x OKGEAR 36" SATA Cable Model GC36AKM12 = $7.98
Total: $767.93

For that Price, I could've bought a Second EVGA 768-P2-N837-AR GeForce 8800GTX 768MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 KO HDCP Video Card for $649.99 and still have money left over to pick up a decent hard drive.

The Question is, what's better: what I have now or 2 GeForce 8800GTX in SLI + a single decent HD.
April 30, 2007 5:18:19 AM

Quote:


The Question is, what's better: what I have now or 2 GeForce 8800GTX in SLI + a single decent HD.


Better for what? If it's gaming, then 8800GTX SLI would totally rock your world, but only if you upgrade the monitor also. A single 19" LCD doesn't do justice to a 8800GTX SLI setup, 24" minimum, 30" recommended! 8)
April 30, 2007 5:33:21 AM

Gift me your computer, mail it to India :) 

ill pay for the courier Fedex it :lol: 

then no more dilemma on what to upgrade :D  everyone is happy 8)
April 30, 2007 6:01:05 AM

Quote:
I was looking over some of the components I bought for my computer and I'm really curious if the hard drive set up I have is worth it.

The Facts: I spent over $3,000 on my new computer.


My Hard drive set up:

2 x Western Digital Raptor WD1500ADFD 150GB 10,000 RPM Serial ATA150 Hard Drives = $419.98
1 x 3ware 9500S-4LP 64-bit/66MHz PCI2.2 SATA Raid Controller Card = $299.99
2 x ZALMAN ZM-2HC2 NP(Noise Prevention) Heatpipe HDD Cooler = $49.98
2 x OKGEAR 36" SATA Cable Model GC36AKM12 = $7.98
Total: $767.93

For that Price, I could've bought a Second EVGA 768-P2-N837-AR GeForce 8800GTX 768MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 KO HDCP Video Card for $649.99 and still have money left over to pick up a decent hard drive.

The Question is, what's better: what I have now or 2 GeForce 8800GTX in SLI + a single decent HD.


Do you PvP online? If so, the HDD setup was probably a better investment. Being able to load areas even a little faster than your competition is a huge advantage imho. The 8800GTX would've given you better fps. Doesn't translate to much in terms of gaming if you are already getting 70+ fps.
April 30, 2007 6:16:08 AM

I would think a single 10kRPM HDD would be faster than 99% of what online gamers would have anyway, considering almost everyone is still running 7200rpm drives!

TBH the OP already has an absolutely kickass system, I think he is just too rich for his own good. :lol: 
a b à CPUs
April 30, 2007 12:20:45 PM

Your system is pretty top notch for all current games and anything released this Year I am willing to bet.

Get the 22" widescreen. I went from a 17" to a 22"widescreen and I love it. It gives you a much better view of things in certain games and more playing field on RTS's. I am bettingy our 19" is 1280x1024 and the 22" would be 1680x1050. It would give you a higher resolution to see more.

I vote. LCD.. you could probably also reclaim some of the money if you have a friend who's interested in teh 19" maybe one of those gamers who still think that CRT is awesome because of the response time. :lol: 
April 30, 2007 12:37:57 PM

The screen is a good upgrade, but you should have gone to 24" minimum to get the higher resolutions and true 1080 HD.

If you blowing more money in the future, get a solid staet drive - that will make a big difference to your overall PC speed.
a b à CPUs
April 30, 2007 1:25:24 PM

The monitor is a must, your wasting your 8800GTX right now with what you have, Christ my X1900XTX would be wasted on that monitor. Also you mentioned water cooling, but I would recommend a better air cooler. Something like a Tuniq tower or Thermalright's new Ultra 120 Extreme (it's dead sexy). A good water cooling setup would be better, but with the Thermalright, you'll get near the same performance without the hassle or the worries. Just my two cents, now get outa here and spend your two cents.
a c 125 à CPUs
April 30, 2007 2:02:55 PM

My vote goes to the bigger screen.

The system is WAY more than powerful enough.
April 30, 2007 3:19:36 PM

Not to put too fine of a point on it but given the level of your setup...have you consider an operator upgrade? :) 
April 30, 2007 3:26:21 PM

With a rig like that, the upgrade I'd try for now is only to buy and try more games. (Along with the new monitor you plan on.)

But, if you are running Vista, you could consider doubling your RAM to 4GB, since RAM prices are in a cheap moment for now, and it won't stay that way later in the year I think.
April 30, 2007 9:36:55 PM

If you have some guts, get a Bluray, HD-DVD player, burner for PC, get a 22", 24" Screen and enjoy :-). Or you can taste the power of a QX6700. I dunno what are your speaker but i have a Logitech Z-5500 and its pretty bad ass for all, i never went more then 50% it was too loud, you already have the sound card. I can tell you, good sound make game better playing. ( I played f.e.a.r with EAX with those speaker pretty much loud) I am scared to play the expension because the sound bring you into the game.
!