Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

I'm getting that upgrade itch...

Last response: in Systems
Share
August 29, 2007 9:00:31 AM

Everytime I get a little bit of money I keep getting this itch to upgrade my system in some fashion and right now it's given me a rash.

I've been eyeing up graphics cards alot lately.... too much. I think there is a pool of saliva in my keyboard!

Anyway, I have thought about 3 possible scenario's. And no I cannot afford to upgrade my whole system....

My Current System is a Athlon X2 4200 (S939), Gigabyte GA-K8NF9 Ultra, 2GB Kingston DDR400, XFX 7900GTX (512MB), 2x 400GB Seagate Hard Drives (striped), XPP(32)/Vista Ult(32) Dual boot.


Option 1:
Upgrade my 7900GTX to either an 8800GTS or GTX - I know the card is just amezzing, but will my current system hold it back?

Option 2:
Upgrade Mobo, CPU and Memory to something on the C2D line and keep my current gfx, leaving me plenty of room to upgrade my gfx later on.

the only other thing I have been thinking is if I shoudl have a sound card - I am not sure if I would need one though - I only watch films and listen to music and play games, but most of my games I play using a USB headset anyway. Is my onboard sound more then enough for what I need? its onboard 7.1 and I have some oldish 5.1 logitech speakers (cant remember model, can find out later...). Should I maybe think about upgrading my speakers? My system sits in my bedroom atm with the 2 rear speakers sitting about a meter behind me propped against my bed.

I dont really want to spend anything more then the cost of a GTS or a GTX as where I do have a bit of money, I dont want to blow the boat atm as I'm hoping to move out (again) from my mums. Only moved back in a month ago while I'm looking for a new place...


Or would I be better waiting till the next nVidia range is out and buying a whole new system?

Games I play: CS:S, WoW, FM (thats more CPU though), Sims2, Civ4, Ive just bought Bioshock and GRAW2 but I havent had chance to install them yet.

And before anyone asks, my PSU is either 550W or 600W, I can never remember... It might even be 650W.

More about : upgrade itch

August 29, 2007 10:15:28 AM

Personally I wouldnt bother upgrading. You have a 7900GTX which plays everything really well anyway. If you need a little extra performance just overclock a little. Other than GRAW2 and Bioshock your games aren't taxing on the gpu. FM uses every resource it can other than gpu.

I would also wait for the 2nd generation of DX10 cards. They should do a much better job of DX10 than the current generation. Even though your current setup will bottleneck the newest cards it doesnt matter. Graphics cards are passed from system to system making the bottleneck irrelevent because the final system it will end in will probably be far more powerful than anything available when it was released. Therefore removing the bottleneck. And judging by your system you dont upgrade every 3 months like some of the ppl on here do.
August 29, 2007 10:32:37 AM

assuming you have the same amount of money to spend on any few parts:

addressing the sound card first. its always better to upgrade your speakers above other sound related things, as theyre what youll actually be listening to, and will easily have 'one' of the most profound impacts in how anything actually sounds. so, in the end a quality speaker setup may push your budget, depending on what youre looking for.

the gpu is going to depend on the games youre playing, most of the games you listed dont seem 'too' demanding, and your current gpu is pretty decent as it is.

it would seem the best choice to make, aside from upgrading your whole system, is to just upgrade your cpu, memory, and MB. a quad core is definetly worth going for above all else cpuwise, if you have the budget to fit both memory and a MB in also. especially since they can be had for as little as ~$266 now, for a Q6600.
Related resources
a b B Homebuilt system
August 29, 2007 10:45:27 AM

I would just stay with what you have, you have a nice system right now. Wait for the next batch of Dx10 GPU's and then spend on one of them. I would love to have your CPU/mobo/GPU right now, since I'm wanting to upgrade my son's old p4 3.2 prescott :(  but I don't have the money for the upgrade :( 
a b B Homebuilt system
August 29, 2007 10:53:23 AM

You could go with option #2 with these:
CPU = $205
Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 Conroe 2.66GHz 4M shared L2 Cache LGA 775 Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mobo = $101
GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3L LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM = $70 after the MIR
Crucial Ballistix 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total being = $376
If you wanted the Quad Core CPU just add about $60 or so.
August 29, 2007 10:57:24 AM

I agree the system you have now is more than enough, but... Your only weak spot would be your processer, if you did get an 8800GTX your 4200+ would really bottleneck it. When you do upgrade start with the CPU, mobo and ram. E6850 comes to mind, X38 for mobo and some Crucial Ballistix ram.
a b B Homebuilt system
August 29, 2007 11:14:21 AM

systemlord said:
I agree the system you have now is more than enough, but... Your only weak spot would be your processer, if you did get an 8800GTX your 4200+ would really bottleneck it. When you do upgrade start with the CPU, mobo and ram. E6850 comes to mind, X38 for mobo and some Crucial Ballistix ram.


Are the X38's out yet?
August 29, 2007 11:33:32 AM

Don't listen to people on the CPU front, I have an 8800GTS-640 on a single core 4000+ and it absolutely flies, the CPU you have now is more than enough for gaming, a GPU upgrade would give you a huge boost to performance,

if you know someone you could likely sell it on to when the 9800's come out I would suggest getting an 8800GTS now and then a 9800 later and then search for 9800/Crysis benchmarks with something close to your CPU to see if you need to upgrade your processor then

on board sound is pretty damn good these days, I'd not bother with getting a seperate sound card
August 29, 2007 1:03:41 PM

andybird123 said:
Don't listen to people on the CPU front, I have an 8800GTS-640 on a single core 4000+ and it absolutely flies


Just because it flys on a 4000+ doesn't mean that its not still bottlenecked by the CPU. I had a 3800+ single core with a 7800GTX and I was still BN, after I got my E6600 that changed bigtime. Did you know if you have an E6600 @2.8GHz thats just enough not to bottleneck an 8800GTX.
August 29, 2007 2:11:54 PM

I used to have a 7900GT which was running games with visible stutter (BF2142 was getting down to 15fps in places), I upgraded to a GTS an now I get 80+FPS with never less than 60FPS, my friend has a E6300 OC'd to 3.2ghz and he gets the same FPS as me with the same graphics card on the same game on the same settings.

Tell me my CPU is bottlenecking my graphics card, go on, please.

The OP is asking if he NEEDS to upgrade his processor to take advantage of a GTS or GTX... the answer to GTS is NO, the answer to GTX is a little more blurred but I'd still say no on an X2 4200 judging by this article;
http://www.legionhardware.com/document.php?id=672&p=11
August 29, 2007 3:32:25 PM

The new stuff is going to be here in like 2 months, surely you can keep your wallet shut for that long... :) 
a b B Homebuilt system
August 29, 2007 4:09:56 PM

If something specific has given you the upgrade itch, what is it? Perhaps that one thing will tell you what needs to be improved. If you have a general feeling of malaise, perhaps it's just time for some cleanup and optimization. Otherwise, that's a pretty nice rig as it is. Hold on to it until the new parts come out. Build a new one, and sell that one to lunyone for his son :lol:  .
August 29, 2007 8:03:08 PM

well its just that everyone in my CS clan has been upgrading their systems lately and seeing them all talk about it makes me wanna join in...

My system is pretty optimum atm as I just reformatted over the weekend when i moved from a mirrored to a striped setup.

I am agreeing with all you are saying guys, cheers for your input :)  I might look into getting some new speakers... Is there actually any point in 7.1 speakers?

And speaker sets which have wireless options... are they any good sound quality wise?
August 29, 2007 8:44:09 PM

Get some 7.1 headphones.
a b B Homebuilt system
August 29, 2007 9:35:15 PM

Onus said:
If something specific has given you the upgrade itch, what is it? Perhaps that one thing will tell you what needs to be improved. If you have a general feeling of malaise, perhaps it's just time for some cleanup and optimization. Otherwise, that's a pretty nice rig as it is. Hold on to it until the new parts come out. Build a new one, and sell that one to lunyone for his son :lol:  .

I"m liking your thought!!!! :D 
August 29, 2007 11:35:26 PM

I've got that itch to... but I don't have any money for a big upgrade
August 30, 2007 8:17:30 AM

andybird123 said:
I used to have a 7900GT which was running games with visible stutter (BF2142 was getting down to 15fps in places), I upgraded to a GTS an now I get 80+FPS with never less than 60FPS, my friend has a E6300 OC'd to 3.2ghz and he gets the same FPS as me with the same graphics card on the same game on the same settings.

Tell me my CPU is bottlenecking my graphics card, go on, please.

The OP is asking if he NEEDS to upgrade his processor to take advantage of a GTS or GTX... the answer to GTS is NO, the answer to GTX is a little more blurred but I'd still say no on an X2 4200 judging by this article;
http://www.legionhardware.com/document.php?id=672&p=11


Really, what res did you run at and did you use a CRT or LCD?
August 30, 2007 8:47:27 AM

in case it matters, I use dual 1280*1024 17" LCD monitors...
August 30, 2007 8:52:30 AM

chilli said:
in case it matters, I use dual 1280*1024 17" LCD monitors...


Hows that a 17" LCD has a native resolution of 1024x768, and a 19" has a native resolution of 1280x1024??
August 30, 2007 9:53:56 AM

no 2x 17's
August 30, 2007 1:43:23 PM

chilli said:
no 2x 17's


Then whats 1280*1024 mean?
a b B Homebuilt system
August 30, 2007 2:14:33 PM

systemlord said:
I agree the system you have now is more than enough, but... Your only weak spot would be your processer, if you did get an 8800GTX your 4200+ would really bottleneck it. When you do upgrade start with the CPU, mobo and ram. E6850 comes to mind, X38 for mobo and some Crucial Ballistix ram.


I don't really agree that the 4200+ will "really" bottleneck a 8800gtx. It won't keep up with a fast core duo for sure, but the difference is pretty small. The frame rate difference playing FEAR for instance, which everyone declares is a little more CPU bound than a lot of games, is only like 1-2 fps (4400+ gets 73fps, e6700 gets 74fps @1920x1200 running a 8800gtx)

Bottom line, the X2 CPUs while not a the top of list, are still strong performing CPUs. However, this is an enthusiast board, and if you feel the need to upgrade that already strong system, you'll have to do a lot more than just pop in an 8800gtx to get that "wow" effect when you light it up.
Not that the 8800gtx is not a good upgrade for you, but I don't think it will give enough of a plus to feel like it was money well spent, right now at this stage of things.
August 30, 2007 2:14:59 PM

chilli said:
Everytime I get a little bit of money I keep getting this itch to upgrade my system in some fashion and right now it's given me a rash.

I've been eyeing up graphics cards alot lately.... too much. I think there is a pool of saliva in my keyboard!

Anyway, I have thought about 3 possible scenario's. And no I cannot afford to upgrade my whole system....

My Current System is a Athlon X2 4200 (S939), Gigabyte GA-K8NF9 Ultra, 2GB Kingston DDR400, XFX 7900GTX (512MB), 2x 400GB Seagate Hard Drives (striped), XPP(32)/Vista Ult(32) Dual boot.


Option 1:
Upgrade my 7900GTX to either an 8800GTS or GTX - I know the card is just amezzing, but will my current system hold it back?

Option 2:
Upgrade Mobo, CPU and Memory to something on the C2D line and keep my current gfx, leaving me plenty of room to upgrade my gfx later on.

the only other thing I have been thinking is if I shoudl have a sound card - I am not sure if I would need one though - I only watch films and listen to music and play games, but most of my games I play using a USB headset anyway. Is my onboard sound more then enough for what I need? its onboard 7.1 and I have some oldish 5.1 logitech speakers (cant remember model, can find out later...). Should I maybe think about upgrading my speakers? My system sits in my bedroom atm with the 2 rear speakers sitting about a meter behind me propped against my bed.

I dont really want to spend anything more then the cost of a GTS or a GTX as where I do have a bit of money, I dont want to blow the boat atm as I'm hoping to move out (again) from my mums. Only moved back in a month ago while I'm looking for a new place...


Or would I be better waiting till the next nVidia range is out and buying a whole new system?

Games I play: CS:S, WoW, FM (thats more CPU though), Sims2, Civ4, Ive just bought Bioshock and GRAW2 but I havent had chance to install them yet.

And before anyone asks, my PSU is either 550W or 600W, I can never remember... It might even be 650W.

you could get a AMD Opteron 170, AMD Opteron 175, AMD Opteron 180, or a AMD Opteron 185 cpu and do some over clocking or just oc what you have right now.
Also the look at the XFI sound cards
August 30, 2007 2:33:44 PM

systemlord said:
Then whats 1280*1024 mean?


thats what each monitor runs at

Im now toying with the idea now of upgrading my primary monitor to a 22" widescreen and maybe my speakers. That way I will definately have an upgrade that will pass through to my next system.

If i can find a suitable adaptor, I may go for a tri-monitor setup, depends on if i can fit them on my desk...

Had a quick look at an asus monitor that seemed alright, going to look around more though as around £200 is alot...
August 30, 2007 3:18:47 PM

systemlord said:
Just because it flys on a 4000+ doesn't mean that its not still bottlenecked by the CPU. I had a 3800+ single core with a 7800GTX and I was still BN, after I got my E6600 that changed bigtime. Did you know if you have an E6600 @2.8GHz thats just enough not to bottleneck an 8800GTX.


Wow, so you mean to tell me that you got a faster processor and your games ran better? Wow, who knew that better processors actually *perform* better.

I mean, duh! Even if you still have an x850xt, the e6600 is going to perform better then a 3800+ in games. Bottleneck is a bad word. Not everyone can afford/ or are willing to spend the dough for an 8800GTX and a q6600 etc. Does that mean he should get a lesser video card with his CPU?

Furthermore, CPU botlenecks really only occur at low resolutions. Who in the world buys an e6600 and an 8800GTX to play at 1024x768? Thats just not smart. Look at any charts you want... of course better CPUs are going to perform better, but it is only at low resolutions that there are TRUE bottlenecks.
!