My upgrade cycle has gone a little something like this: 486/66, pentium 133, celeron 300a, amd900, amd 1.4ghz to the current athlon 64 3000. I am ready to move away from my long loved AGP also and so I am looking to upgrade. Problem is, I haven't kept up with hardware very well in the past couple of years. My rig will be used for gaming(rF, HL2, CS:S mostly), encoding/decoding video, media server capable of handling HD content(mkv etc...). My buget is 1K CAD(no newegg for this poor bastard). Parts listed below are the parts I need. I've got the dvd drive, mouse, keyboard, floppy(you can pry it out of my cold dead hands!). I don't plan on overclocking much of anything.
Big questions are the mobo and vid card. Should I go PCIe2.0? From looking at prices, mobo's that are 2.0 are quite up there, is there a slightly lower priced 2.0 mobo? I don't need bells and whistles, I don't do RAID. I picked the Q6600 because of the price/performance ratio. I don't need the best of the best, I need the best bang for the buck, well maybe a bit more. (had a 9800pro, have an x1950pro, I like bang for buck).
So yeah, where have I hampered myself, what should I consider, gimme what you got guys and girls. I will be checking other online and B&M sources so pricing shown is not too too important, it's more to show what I was looking at. I'll be scouring ncix, tigerdirect, pccanada, oemexpress, microbytes and B&M stores when the time comes.
RAID capability is not important at all. The DS3R has 2 more USB ports(6 is plenty in my case) and apart from that I do not see a difference. Am I missing something or is the DS3L really only "crippled" in this way(RAID and 2 fewer USB ports)?
With the DS3L, I am actually under what I was expecting. Let's say I wanted another 75 or 100 of goodness, what woudl you recommend?
The DS3R has 8 SATA ports (as in, 6 hard disks and 2 burners), while the DS3L has only 4. TBH that's the only difference I consider serious.
Check out the aBit IP35 Pro and GA-EX38-DS4. They cost more than the DS3L but have a ton more features. The question is, do you need the extra features or are you just wasting money. You decide. Both have two PCI-E x16 slots i.e you can have two cards i.e. 3 or 4 monitors. Both come with 4 cables and have FireWire and eSATA. The X38 is better for Crossfire (you don't care, with your nVidia card).
If you remain with the DS3L, and you really want to spend the rest of the cash, upgrade to Q6700 or add a Xigmatek HDT-S1283 cooler and overclock. Or do both, if you can.
I placed the order as above and with the extra money, got some audiofx headphones(the 50$ model, not the 70$ model) and it's gotten me started on saving up for a flatscreen monitor(22" or 24"). Went for Canada Direct, cheaper than NCIX and free shipping. Thanks for the help these past few days