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Need Advice about Updating PC

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Last response: in Systems
July 21, 2007 11:43:31 PM

I would like to update my pc. My budget is $1200, but would really like to be under that, if possible. My sound card is not working and my video card cannot handle the rpg games that I play. I play: Elder Scrolls (Oblivion, Morrowind), Gothic 3, NWN 2 and I would like to be able to play any new high end rpg games that come out.

I would like to use the same case I have if possible. I don't need a monitor, keyboard, mouse, printer, speakers or printer.

This is what I have now:
Motherboard - Gigabyte P4 Titan 865PE - FSB800/Dual Channel DDR400/AGP8X
Processor - Intel Pentium 4 2.8GHz 512K L2 Cache 533MHz FSB
Ram - 2Gig PNY Optima DDR - PC3200, DDR-400
Hard Drive - Ide Maxtor 250GB
External Hard Drive - Seagate 160GB USB
Graphics - ATI Radeon X850 - AGP
DVD 16X Lite-On (player)
CD-RW Lite-On 48/24/48
Soundblaster Audigy 2 Platinum 6.1
1394 Net Adapter
Intel Pro/100 S Desktop Adapter
1.44MB Floppy Drive
340 Watt Power Supply
Klipsch Promedia 4.1THX Speakers with subwoofer
22" Wide Screen ViewSonic Monitor
APC Battery Backup
Motorola Modem - Comcast Internet
Linksys Wireless G 2.4GHz w/speed booster
Canon Pixma iP1600 Inket Printer
Alienware Dragon Full Tower ATX Case
Microsoft Wireless Comfort Keyboard 1.0A
Microsoft Wireless Optical Mouse 2.0
Microsoft Windows XP Home Vers. 2002, SP2 (have installation disk that came with Alienware pc)
Direct X9.0c

I'm not sure about overclocking since I am not familiar with how this works. I do not know how to build a pc myself. I would be purchasing parts, most likely at CompUSA and having them do the upgrade.

This is what I'm thinking about upgrading to:
ASUS Striker Extreme "Republic of Gamers" Series ATX Socket LGA775 Motherboard (overkill?)$349.00
or BFG Nvidia nForce680i SLI Socket 778 Intel ATX Motherboard $279.99
Processor - Core 2 Duo E6600 2.40GHz 1066MHz Socket LGA 775 Boxed - $259
Antec TruePower Trio 550W ATX $69.99 (will this handle graphics card?)
PNY GeForce 8800GTS PCI Express 320MB GDDR3 $329.99
or BFG GeForce 8800GTS OC PCI Express x16, 640MB GDDR3 $449.99
Corsair Xtreme Performance TwinX Matched 2GB 2 x 1GB PC2-6400 800MHz 240 pin DDR2 DIMM Memory Kit $119.99
Soundblaster X-Fi ExtremeGamer Fata1ty Pro Series Sound Card $149.99
or Soundblaster X-Fi XtremeGamer Sound Card $99.99
Maxtor SATA-150 300GB, 7200RPM, 16MB Hard Drive - $79.99
Memorex 20x Multi Format LightScribe DL DVD+/-RW Drive, ATA $69.99

I have 2 cooling fans inside my case and not sure if I would need any additional cooling.

As you can see, if I use the lower options, I'm still at around $1300 and I'm not sure how much CompUSA would charge to put this all together. And assuming I can use my same case and be able to use my Alienware Windows XP CD (My mobo was replaced a couple years ago and they were able to use the cd)

Any suggestions/advice would be greatly appreciated. I would like this updated pc to take me at least 3 years in the future without having to replace the video card if possible and still keep up with the latest rpg games. Thank you.

More about : advice updating

July 22, 2007 1:09:08 AM

Seriously, take the half hour and learn to put the pieces together yourself. Order online and save yourself, oh, I'd say about $400 (or put that extra $$$ into better parts).

Really, it is NOT hard to put the parts you order together. Overclocking also is not that difficult (at least in my experience, if you're not pushing the limits).

Personally, I'd go with a midrange p35 chipset. Right there you save just about enough to move up to an 8800GTX.
a b B Homebuilt system
July 22, 2007 1:40:16 AM

1. OK, let's start with the obvious: "budget" and "Striker Extreme" in the same post, no, no. Get a Gigabyte P35C-DS3R motherboard instead, or something from the same family.

2. E6600 for $259 - no, get an E6850 for $266 instead, or E6750 if necessary.

3. The sound card is not necessary for RPGs, onboard audio is good enough. Why don't you trust me on this one, and if I'm wrong you can always add the sound card in 6 months or whenever you have saved more money. Use the savings to get an 8800 GTX.

4. SATA-150, 300 GB for $80 sounds like a bad deal. You can get a SATA 2 disk (i.e. faster) with 500 GB for that money or a bit more if you look. I'd get a Seagate 7200.10 disk, either 320 GB or 500 GB.

If you do go with the GTX you will need to make sure it fits in your case, and I'd get a Corsair 620W PSU. If you go with the GTS then the PSU you picked is fine.

Good luck :lol: 

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July 22, 2007 3:29:03 AM

If you are not going to build it yourself, why not buy a prebuilt system? It will probably cost a lot less than buying the parts and paying someone to assemble it.
Also, if you do go ahead, are you sure it is worth it to ravage your old system when so few of the parts will be usuable in the new one? Why not keep it for backup - or sell or give it to another - instead of having a lot of left over parts.
Finally, if you do go ahead, given your budget contraints I would suggest going with a Gigabyte P35 MB and saving about $200 over what you list - you could use it to pay for a good new case and OS.
July 22, 2007 1:38:06 PM

Thank you all for your opinions/suggestions/advice. I have thought about a pre-built system, but after checking around, I don't think I can get a really good gaming machine for the same price as putting together a system.

Are any of these any good?

I will definitely checking into a P35 Gigabyte mobo and the E6850 or E6750.

Is a SATA-300 hard drive the same as SATA 2? If so, I can get a Maxtor 500GB SATA-300 for about $99.

It seems that you all agree that a GTX video card is worth the extra month than getting a GTS. Is this correct?

I really appreciate your comments here.
a b B Homebuilt system
July 22, 2007 3:32:07 PM

For your 22 inch wide screen, I would say go with the GTX over the GTS.
July 22, 2007 5:24:50 PM

Lady Avalon said:

Is a SATA-300 hard drive the same as SATA 2? If so, I can get a Maxtor 500GB SATA-300 for about $99.

Yes SATA 300 and SATA 2 are the same - SATA 300 is the preferred designation. It refers to the transfer speed as compared to "2" which refers to the second version of SATA.

I recommend Seagate drives over Maxtor - especially with the new perpendicular technology. You can get a Seagate OEM 500GB drive for $99 too - on sale at Tiger Direct. Sku=TSD-500AS4&AffiliateID=Es5Ekr9eEBk-0mJMAsDlWgWyg2dSnwqqUQ

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