Looking To Upgrade PC and Switch to Vista (Help?)

Hi everyone. I've got a pretty solid computer (as listed in sig) and It's been great for a few months.

I want to upgrade though. I'm looking currently at this for upgrades:

2x2gb G.skill kit at new egg, only $90

Antec 900 Case (I have high temps as it is and I want to OC) only $100 on newegg

Arctic Freezer 7 (should be able to get 3.0 out of my Q with this don't you think?) $26.99

Arctic Cooling mx-2 thermal compound $6.99 (supposed to be better than AS 5)

That's about it for now. The rest is just some questions I have.

1. I may also look into the 8800gts 512 (g92) but wanted to find out if it has significant performance increase over the 8800gts 640 I already have.

2. Another thought I had was to get a 250gb seagate drive and install vista on that... not really sure if that's feasible or not though, I thought of dual booting XP & Vista 64, but not sure how that would work etiher.

3. How hard is it to set up a RAID? do I need the hard drives to be the same size/type?

4. Can I still run Starcraft or Warcraft 3 on vista 64?

5. Why does everyone hate the 8600 series GPU's so much for gaming? Is there a better card for around the 100-120 dollar price range? I've been trying to figure what card to upgrade my brother to, but so much hate on the 8600 has me a little confused.

6. I've heard you can add a side fan to the Antec 900, is that even necessary or is it just overkill at that point?

Thanks in advance for any help and advice, it's always a pleasure asking questions here.
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  1. 8600 series is probably ok, but spend a little more, like 50 bucks more, you can a LOT more card for your money from what I've been reading, wanting to make the jump to a newer card myself in a few months.
  2. my comment is for the gpu upgrade. i say wait till the 9800gtx and gx2 come out and grab one of those cards. seeing how ya already got the gts 640mb card it should hold ya 1-2 more months for the rest of the 9000series to hit tha shelves.

    and as for the 8600 love-HATE deal is the low 128bit when it should have been 256bit. especially when you can get a ATI hd3850 (around the same price) that has 256bitmem interface. at the very least nvidia should have made the 8600gts with 256bit as that would have made that card much better.

    as you can see now that nvidia saw this and made the new 9600gt with 256bit and that card can beat the ati 3850!

    i think this would be a great card to go for if ya spend a little more: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130328
  3. Thanks for replies.

    @ ohiou_grad_06 -- I'm starting to think the same thing.

    @ doubletake33 -- I understand about waiting for the 9800, probably not a bad idea (: Thanks for clearing up my confusion on the 8600 situation. How would my GTS 640 hold up against the 9600gt?

    Still looking for some info on switching to vista 64... is it difficult? Are there any important driver issues I should be worried about. Literally all I do on my PC is game and browse... Occasionally watch an AVI movie file or play around in Photoshop CS2... but if PS doesn't work on Vista 64 I won't be too heart broken.
  4. RE: Vista. You are an ideal match for Vista and for 64. You have hardware which is both compatible and powerful enough and you have no need for software which is off the beaten path.

    CS2 supposedly has some minor issues with Vista - it did at first at least and Adobe announced that for FULL support you would need to go to CS3 - but from what I hear CS2 will install and run on Vista but may just have some minor issues.

    64 Vista has very few issues and will work with everything you are likely to throw at it. Most apps will not need a special 64 bit version as they will simply run in 32 bit mode. Some apps will need a 64 bit version - security apps typically do, and things like Daemon tools for ex. But most of these products are available in 64 bit vers. now. There are many of us here and elsewhere using it and liking it. It is sort of becoming the 'in thing' and probably for good reason though it may be a little overhyped.

    If you go to 64 you may as well attempt to run 6 gig of RAM by keeping your old sticks and just adding the 2 x 2. That worked fine for me - though I recently went to 8 gig since RAM is so cheap. But if you do be sure to match the voltages of the new and old sticks and try to get the timings as close as possible.
  5. Looking at your rig now, I don't know that you'd be that much ahead. Might want to consider holding onto what you have, go Vista 64, some more memory, then save up, and get a 9800 gx2 when those come in. Maybe a little overclocking while your at it.
  6. @ notherdude -- thanks for the info on vista, sounds like a good option for me (: are there multiple kinds of vista 64? like business vs personal or anything like that? Should I know a particular one to buy?

    @ ohiou_grad -- Vista 64 + memory is primarily what I'm looking at. But my idle temps are 55/55/50/50 on my CPU right now, so I'm also going to have to get a new case/HSF. I like the idea of waiting on the graphics like you suggest and think I'll do that. As for OC that's something I have in mind too, once I get it into the new case and running nice and cool I'll probably shoot for 3.0ghz or so.


    I do have a question... I read at a couple spots the AF7 cooler won't cool my north bridge like the stock intel cooler does... how much of a problem do you think that would be in the antec 900? should I look into a north bridge cooler? or maybe just a different HSF?

    Thanks again for so much good advice :D
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