New Gaming Build, Where to spend extra $100 !

Thanks for any help, Thanks to reviewing this forum I have priced a nice mid range computer build for gaming. The final build will depend somewhat on sales prices in 3 weeks.

Prices have dropped in the last month and I can spend about $100 more on my build below. I am going stir crazy waiting for my IRS rebate and at a complete loss on where to upgrade.

1. Add another HD and use Raid 0?
2. Upgrade my MB for SLI or future compatibility?
3. Upgrade my CPU to a Q9300 or?
4. Upgrade to 8 gig of ram?
5. Upgrade power supply to 750 watts+ for future compatiblility?
6. Other ideas?

I will be using this build for 4 years+ and will probably not overclock unless games start lagging on medium to low settings in the future. I can do upgrades as needed for video cards, additional ram, etc. over time. Here is my build. Your opinions are appreciated!

CPU - E8400 w/ aftermarket cooler (Possibly quad, but not the real question)
MB - Gig P-35 DSL3
Ram - 2x2 ddr2 800 corsair DHX
Case - Antec Nine Hundred
HD - Seagate 500 7200.11
CD/DVD - Will be sata.
PSU - Looking at 550 watts plus or minus and will be one of the good power supplies recommended in this and other forums.
Video Card - 8800GTS
OS - Vista 64 Bit

I will be checking back on this thread and will add information/input as needed.
6 answers Last reply
More about gaming build spend extra
  1. don't upgrade ram... not yet...

    either upgrade to q9450 (about 40 $ more then q9300)

    or wait 3 weeks and pay 100 more for either the new 4870 from ATI...

    or wait for price drops from the new incoming series from nvidia
  2. Thanks thogrom, good ideas. Anyone else with advice please? I don't need bells and whistles, but, would an extra hundred dollars get a different mb that might still be compatible with newer hardware in 4 years?
  3. If you can't wait and are eager to buy some sweet gaming rig...
    Soundcard maybe? Every one says that once you're having an sound card.. you will never want to go back to intergrated....
  4. its true... you don't want to go back to integrated after you have a sound card.. but other hardware comes first...

    and the MB question... I highly doubt you'll find a MB that will be compatible with technology in 4 years... any motherboard you buy today won't be compatible with technology in like 6 months... because when nehalem comes out... they're changing the socket type so then you won't be able to use older processors in that socket type... yeah sure ddr3 probably won't change and what not... but I highly doubt anything you buy today in a MB will work in several years
  5. Thanks, I am thinking my budget will be able to sqeeze in the Q9450 CPU upgrade. The 8800 GTS should work until the next generation of cards are cheaper.

    I hadn't even thought about a sound card. I've always used onboard sound, but, I am sure I would notice the difference. I'll wait on the sound card since I can add that later withou;t replacing any of my current build.

    I'll still check back occasionally if anyone else has input.
  6. Quote:
    . Add another HD and use Raid 0?

    I believe the motherboard you have selected does not support on board Raid. You would have to go with this one from Gigabyte to do raid.

    GIGABYTE GA-EP35-DS3R LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Dynamic Energy Saver Ultra Durable II Intel Motherboard - Retail $119.99

    But then again you run into another problem. When using a Sata DVD Burner on Raid setup using Sata HDD's. You will not see the Raid Array.

    So the other option is get this Sata II Raid Controller card below.

    Rosewill RC-211 Silicon Image 2 port SATA II PCI Express Host Controller Card(RAID 0/1/JBOD) - Retail $26.99

    It uses a PCI Express 1X slot and has Vista 32&64bit using Silicom Image drivers, that you might not need to install before adding OS. Since Vista has them installed with SP1 version of OS.

    Good Luck on your build.
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