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Future upgrade ideas and input needed

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August 19, 2008 10:29:25 AM

I recently just built my first computer after tons of research and contemplating. What I built was not "Best bang for my buck" and it was this way for a good reason. I'm only 14 but I'm one of the "nerds" in school who knows stuff about computers. My parents bought computers for my brothers after getting through middle school and it came time for me to get mine. My brothers got laptops but I decided to be different and built my own pc. My parents didn't buy us computer for gaming, they bought them for school. I put together a computer that WASN"T the best on the market or the latest and greatest INTENTIONALLY. I know some of you may frown on this but I bought something that could run games and do what I need, NOT run games at as high a resolution known to man. However...(hehe) I made sure I would be able to upgrade it to what I previously stated :D  Christmas is around the corner and hopefully sale and price drops will be abundant this year :D  ... I'm looking for all of your input on what are the best ways to upgrade my current setup.

I'm currently running

q6600 (overclocked safely too 2.8 ghz)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

abit ix38 quadgt
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAPPHIRE 100225-1GL Radeon HD 3870 1GB 256-bit GDDR4 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ZEROtherm Nirvana NV120 120mm 2-ball UFO Bearing / Transparent CPU Cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 32-bit
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Western Digital Caviar SE WD5000AAJS 500GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

My monitor is an old peice of crap lcd 17 or 18 inch that has a nice little gash in the middle from my knife.. and upgrade of this is a must.

I had a 5.1 speaker system but found it a pain and pointless. It recently decided to stop working (wiring seems to be the problem) A nice 2.1 WIRELESS (Please... no more wires..) speaker system would be nice as well. For gaming I have this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I don't need speaker for gaming because the headset fits me fine but when my friends are over, we enjoy listening too music so the headset wont cut it for all my needs.

I bought the abit quadgt because it was FAST and it was an x38 which meens I will get the most power out of an xfire setup. The question is thought... would 2x3870's be better then one 4850 or would getting a 4850 at the same price and getting another later be better?

my mouse and keyboard are fine and I can't think of anything else to say. recommendations on monitors, speakers, cards, and any advice on what I could do to my system to make it any better would be great!

More about : future upgrade ideas input needed

August 19, 2008 4:54:33 PM

I'd be inclined to get the HD4850 instead of crossfiring another HD3870. The 3870s are going for about $110 right now and you can get a 4850 for about $150. It'll still be a nice boost in performance and keep the option of crossfiring the 4850 later.
August 19, 2008 5:26:14 PM

+1 on the 4850. will work great now and you can add another later.

what price range are you thinking for a monitor?

i personally have not heard wireless speakers that sound good. i haven't heard a ton of them but almost all have been crappy. you can get a good 2.1 system (that really isn't that much wires) that will sound great for music.

by the way don't put your system down. that was a nice build and still very usable today.

upgrading your graphics card and go 64-bit on your vista (don't even think that costs anything since you already have it but not sure), new monitor and speaks and you are pretty set for awhile.
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August 19, 2008 8:19:31 PM

Too upgrade from 32 to 64 it requires you to buy a whole new copy. Its pretty stupid but its vista... so a 64 bit version is an upgrade i will look into. I guess your right about wireless speakers not sounding good from some reviews I have read. Plus 3-4 wires isn't as bad as 7-8 that a 5.1 takes.

For the 4850 deal, I literally just got a video card and now i'm gonna retire it in like 4-5 months? thats my only problem with getting a 4850 but It still sounds like the smart thing to do going with the 4850. however... by the time i add another 4850 will it be worth it or would I just go buy a 4870x2 or something?!!?!? These kinda questions make me dizzy...

Oh and monitor size.. something above 19 inches hopefully. 24 is pretty big and unless its half off or something it will cost an arm and a leg aswell. like 20-22 inches range would be nice.
August 19, 2008 8:27:04 PM

really, for some reason i thought you could upgrade to 64 bit for cheap? i swear i saw that somewhere. hmm.

you don't have to upgrade right now. if you get a monitor and it is playing what you want the way you like it then don't upgrade. but if you do upgrade that is recommendation. 4850. The good news for you is that 20 inches is a resolution that you can play most games at high settings with the 4850. it is when you get into that 24 inch range that you can run into problems. but that is the way it works with graphics cards. there is always something better coming out. so rather than look at what is available look at what works with your system. and at your resolution, at least right now 4850 is plenty and if need be you can add another down the road when they are much cheaper if a game comes out that needs more beef. the other thing to consider is that the 3870 isn't that old so you could probably sell it to help pay for the 4850. 3870 is plenty for a lot of people. and it might even be plenty for you for awhile.
August 19, 2008 10:34:47 PM

I did some monitor browsing and came across this

Acer AL2216Wbd Black 22" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I thought that was a great deal at an awesome price. I wish I wasn't broke but I wanted your thoughts about this monitor.

And for the 4850 or 3870 issue. I could sell or give my 3870 to one of my brothers. My oldest brother does 3d modeling on the Flight Sim X and hes running on two old 7800gts at his house. I'm unsure about his mobo specs and if the 3870 would be good for him to replace his other cards with but yeah... I want to get a 4850 but I'm unsure of what order to upgrade my stuff. My upgrades are a new monitor, a 4850, vista 64bit and speakers.
August 20, 2008 2:43:41 AM

i know 2 people who have and like that monitor but that isn't a lot to go by. :)  i typically recommend going to a store and looking at it if you can. see if you like how the images look. if you like it then do a little research on teh web as far as reviews (taken with a grain of salt as nothing is as good or as bad as people tend to say. typically people are one extreme or the other. 'this is the best ever" or "nothing is worse than this"). that is 1680x1050 res i believe which leaves you with some options as far as gpu.

my personal recommendation is this:

decide on and get the monitor. see how your games run with the 3870, it should be pretty decent. based on how that works out then you can decide on whether to wait a little bit on the gpu and get the speakers etc or if gpu would be next on the list. but considering you have a pretty decent gpu you may as well try it out on your new monitor. because if it works out well then you can wait and prices will drop and/or something better may come along. Upgrading is only necessary when something isn't working as well as you want. my thoughts. :) 
August 20, 2008 4:57:08 AM

Thats about the same conclusion I have come too when I have been thinking about it. I have a headset with great sound and it soots me fine for gaming. I only need speakers when I have friends over so its no big deal. The gpu can wait till I find if the 3870 is fine or if i really should get the 4850. Thanks for your input. I've got a clear idea of what to do now. Quick question though. What would be some really cool case mods and stuff. Cus it would be cool to trick my case out for the fun of it.
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