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Birthday

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Which Parts of my PC should I upgrade

Total: 34 votes (10 blank votes)

  • None, Save it for later
  • 25 %
  • Get Vista!
  • 14 %
  • New processer!
  • 14 %
  • New GFX card!
  • 3 %
  • New powersupply!
  • 0 %
  • New Motherboard!
  • 0 %
  • New Case!
  • 0 %
  • More Fans!
  • 3 %
  • New/More RAM!
  • 28 %
  • New Soundcard!
  • 14 %
August 30, 2007 5:12:59 PM

I already have a fairly good gaming PC, however my birthday is coming up soon and I'm planning to reward myself with a little upgrade.
Current specs:
CPU: E6600 @ 3.24 Ghz Idles 38 Loads 50
GPU: BFG 8800 GTX OCE 600/900 Idles 57 Loads 75
Mobo: Asus Striker Extreme
PSU: Thermaltake Toughpower 750w
Case: NZXT Apollo
Fans: 120mm fan in back of the case, Arctic Freeze 7 Pro, and 2 extra 5000 rpm fans blowing on my 8800 GTX
HDD: 250GB Seagate
CD/DVD: LG 18x DVD with lightsrcribe
RAM: 2GB Kingston 677 mhz
OS: Windows XP SP2 32bit
Sound: SoundMAX hd audio (onboard with Mobo)
Please vote on the poll for 2 options and give your advice on which specific model. I'm trying it keep it under $300

More about : birthday

August 30, 2007 5:35:40 PM

You could definitely use faster RAM to run it at a 1:1 memory ratio. Other than that one issue it is a very nice machine.
August 30, 2007 6:15:41 PM

Hard drive wasn't listed, but a Raptor might be nice.
Related resources
August 30, 2007 6:19:14 PM

A Raptor? I read alot reviews they said it was n't much or a improvement from normal 7200rpm. Does 1:1 ratio improve performance vs my current i think 1:1.6 ratio on auto
August 30, 2007 6:23:56 PM

Well if you really want to then upgrade your memory. Or if you really need it, upgrade to a soundcard
a b B Homebuilt system
August 30, 2007 6:26:00 PM

5000 RPM fans? Do you have a wireless card installed so your PC can request clearance for takeoff? Maybe add a better GPU cooler, or lower the OC so you can slow down the fans for some peace and quiet.
August 30, 2007 7:08:43 PM

It's interesting that no one suggested to upgrade to Vista. haha take that microsoft!

I'd say get a new hard drive, possibly faster speed ram....
what do you have for a monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers? any of those might also be a considerable upgrade.
August 30, 2007 7:16:23 PM

I didn't OC my graphics card on stock it idles at 65-70 loads at 80 and i dont like it. I have wireless mouse and keyboard from Logitech. The ocassion randomly looking at the ground and spinning at 600 rpm is worth the comfort of my bed. i have 17" screen dont really wana upgrade. i'm currently looking at this cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductReview.aspx?Item=N...
August 30, 2007 8:07:17 PM

Whadabaudabigamonitor?
a b B Homebuilt system
August 30, 2007 8:15:02 PM

The HR-03 is a good cooler.

17" screen for an overclocked 8800 GTX, and you DON'T want to upgrade it? Honestly I don't get it. I have a 20" widescreen and think it's an insult to my 8800 GTX OC2. I'd get a 24" 1920x1200 right now if I had any cash left... You could get a 20" widescreen under $300, no problem.

Maybe some speakers? If your current speakers are bad there's no point in buying a sound card.

A bunch of games?

An mp3 player?
August 30, 2007 8:20:35 PM

i really dont like widescreen idk why and i dont think 3" is worth the $200 somthing i might get speakers and soundcard but currently only the HR-03 interests me
August 30, 2007 8:21:11 PM

Besides the ram being kinda slow, I see no reason to upgrade your system. Spend the money on something else, or get a new monitor.
August 30, 2007 8:21:47 PM

MoBiggaMoBettaFoDaMaka
August 30, 2007 11:31:05 PM

Wow i wish i had your parents...
August 30, 2007 11:59:47 PM

second vote for a raptor for the OS hdd (and move your current hdd to being just storage). most things you could upgrade in your system will only have about as much of an improvement, such as faster ram, etc.

the other recommendation was a sound card, but again, only worth it if you have speakers that are worth upgrading for (such as if they cost hundreds by themselves). whichcase, even just upgrading your speakers instead of anything else may be the way to go then, if a sound card isnt yet.
August 31, 2007 2:27:03 AM

Rabidpeanut said:
Wow i wish i had your parents...

i WORKED for this machine and i have $300 now that's why i'm asking my parent would NOT buy me this i worked 2 summers straight. I have decided either on the HR-03 cooling or a X-fi XtremeGamer 7.1 soundcard with better speakers. Cause my sound sucks and the microphone jack doesn't work... not nice when I'm a Battlefield 2 commander have to type all the time. I don't think Ill need a raptor I only use 70GB of music movies . I have a backup external HD with all the files onto it. in case my internal HD gets destroyed. Rest of space is for games
August 31, 2007 2:33:24 AM

Rabidpeanut said:
Wow i wish i had your parents...

how did you even know i was 15?
August 31, 2007 3:18:15 AM

I vote for the X-FI soundcard. It will make your speakers, such as they are, sound better and it will offload the cpu so that you'll pick up a few frames in gameplay. After that, look for some really good speakers. In my experience, a 5.1 set will sound every bit as good as a 7.1 set, and for the same money spent, you can get a better, more powerful 5.1 set
a b B Homebuilt system
August 31, 2007 3:20:04 AM

A bit off-topic, is there a noticeable difference between Z-5300 and Z-5500? I have a birthday coming up too :) 
August 31, 2007 3:36:02 AM

As I recall, the Z-5300 has 280wts power with 100wts RMS and the Z-5500 has 505wts with 180wts Rms. That means the 5500's can not only give you more sound, but also give a clearer sound across the full range. The 5300s are THX rated, while the 5500s are not, but THX is not as well supported now as it was years ago. In other things teh 5300s have a signal to noise ratio of 85% while the 5500s are 93.5% (teh higher number being better), and the 5300s have a frequency response of 35hz-20khz while the 5500s have a range of 33hz to 20khz (the wider range of the 5500s is better).

So depending on your hearing, the 5500s have the ability to give a much clearer sound over a wider range of sound, as well as causing your neighbors to complain about the noise if if crank them up. Of course, this also explains why the 5500s are a lot more expensive. Oh yeah, I really like 500+ wts of sound, though my speakers are a Klipsch 5.1 500wt set with THX sound. If I was to buy new speakers, it would be the 5500s. And I don't care if the neighbors complain a bit.
a b B Homebuilt system
August 31, 2007 3:43:01 AM

Thanks!
August 31, 2007 4:13:56 AM

Other than the more expensive 5.1 logitech speakers, the lower end models aren't crap either. I own a set of the x-530's and have loved them ever since I hooked them up to my computer. I came from a 2 cheap speaker setup and the x-530's are MUCH better (duh!). They only costed me like $60 bucks on newegg. IMO the x540's (newer version) aren't worth the price difference. These are great starter speakers, unless of course you have more than $60 bucks to drop. Personally, next time I go for a speakers setup, I want one with more features than they x-530's offer. It's just a basic volume knob, but a control pod would be cool. But, they get the job done well for the price, so I'm not going to be nit-picky.

So, if you are going for speakers, then I suggest a minimum of the x-530's from logitech, or something equivilant.
August 31, 2007 5:13:37 AM

one advice i can give u is to get a quad core, like a q6600, as crysis is coming and it will benefit highly with the extra two cores. get some more hdd. thats all. Hope i helped.
August 31, 2007 5:48:58 AM

Quad core and faster RAM. Other than that, you got a pretty sweet system.
August 31, 2007 6:17:40 AM

Ditto on the quad and faster RAM
August 31, 2007 7:01:01 AM

itotallybelieveyou said:
A Raptor? I read alot reviews they said it was n't much or a improvement from normal 7200rpm. Does 1:1 ratio improve performance vs my current i think 1:1.6 ratio on auto


I have to disagree on that one. When I replaced my Maxtor HDD with my Raptor 150 ADFD 10k, Windows loads so fast that I never see that blue welcome screen before getting to Desktop. From pushing my power button to useable computer is 29 seconds. My old maxtor took for ever to load to Windows. Its one thing to have a fast Raptor and its another to have your computers essesive background programs still running. One must know how to trim the fat (too much pagefiling) off you PC. If you don't believe me check out Tom's "HDD charts".

Remember half your load time is durring POST, so optimse your bios to.
August 31, 2007 8:25:11 AM

Raid some raptors...you would not believe the snap it brings to your machine...gl
August 31, 2007 8:37:48 AM

Ninjaz7 said:
Raid some raptors...you would not believe the snap it brings to your machine...gl


I can't imagine it being any faster :ouch:  , but I plan on going raid.
August 31, 2007 1:12:26 PM

systemlord said:
I have to disagree on that one. When I replaced my Maxtor HDD with my Raptor 150 ADFD 10k, Windows loads so fast that I never see that blue welcome screen before getting to Desktop. From pushing my power button to useable computer is 29 seconds. My old maxtor took for ever to load to Windows. Its one thing to have a fast Raptor and its another to have your computers essesive background programs still running. One must know how to trim the fat (too much pagefiling) off you PC. If you don't believe me check out Tom's "HDD charts".

Remember half your load time is durring POST, so optimse your bios to.

well... spending 139.99 on 20 seconds of load time isn't exactly worth it. Is there any other example of improvment in performance
August 31, 2007 11:20:07 PM

itotallybelieveyou said:
well... spending 139.99 on 20 seconds of load time isn't exactly worth it. Is there any other example of improvment in performance


In Oblivion after I switch to the Raptor the trees didn't pop-up into view late anymore, where with my old drive trees would pop-up into view late. This is because of the "access times", the Raptor has an average access time of 4.6ms and is very fast. Of corse what do you expect when you have drive A running at 10,000 rpm's compared to drive B running at 7200 rpm's. Thats why Raptors are use in servers, just think if you can load into Windows in 29 seconds think of how fast your apps will run. You will notice that you computer is much more responsive with a Raptor.

Just look at Tom's HDD charts.
August 31, 2007 11:50:22 PM

heard it's notoriously loud how loud is it really?
September 1, 2007 1:53:05 AM

faster ram and a xfi sound card.
September 1, 2007 3:48:42 AM

CPU/RAM

1. Q6600 2.4Ghz with G0 Stepping

2. G.Skill makes some real nice ram, DDR2 800 or higher I'd recommend.
September 1, 2007 4:00:05 AM

itotallybelieveyou said:
heard it's notoriously loud how loud is it really?


I have a 150GB Raptor and I can't notice its noise above that of the video card. One thing I did do which might make a difference is that I used plastic washers between the drive and the cage, thereby isolating the drive and reducing any vibration induced noise. The Raptor in my computer makes no noticable increase in noise over the Seagate that's next to it. Can't say everyone will have the same experience, only relate what mine has been.
September 1, 2007 2:29:12 PM

So it's down to DR 800 RAM, Xfi Xtreme Gamer soundcard, HR-03 cooler, and a Raptor harddrive... I have questions for each of those:
Howmuch improvement in OCing will the DDR2 800 RAM show vs my current 667?
Do 7.1 soundcard on work with 7.1 speakers?
Anyone here have a HR-03 cooler and can tell me it's performance.
Finally how big of a raptor do i really need?
September 1, 2007 6:18:17 PM

since you will probably only be using the raptor to store games, I wouldn't say you need more than 70 gb's
September 1, 2007 6:32:24 PM

itotallybelieveyou said:
Finally how big of a raptor do i really need?


A 150gb Raptor isn't a lot more expensive than a 74 gb one, so I would go for that. Given that it will run both the OS and the games, I personally find the 150 size good.

As to your other questions, DDR2 800 should give you faster performance, but I can't say exactly how fast. There's too many variables in different machines to pin it down. Generally speaking, I'd look to a 2-5% increase in speed.

Yes, a 7.1 soundcard should work with 7.1 speakers. That's why its called a 7.1 soundcard.

Tom's just did an article on the H3-03 and the new H3-03 Plus. It looks like the plus does better at cooling. Read the article for details.
September 1, 2007 8:46:03 PM

ok if i go with raptor it's gonna be 150 gb.
DDR2 800 is only 5% increase i dont think ill be getting that
I meant so say do 7.1 soundcard ONLY work with 7.1 speakers
Uhhh... Screw HR-03 my current cooling is fine... idles at 59 loads 75 max
September 1, 2007 9:23:28 PM

On the soundcard, a 7.1 soundcard means its capable of using 7.1 speakers, but it will work with 5.1, 2.1 or other sets as well.
!