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Switching monitors, what else would I "NEED to upgrade?

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September 23, 2008 1:51:09 AM

Since my roommate was thinking of getting a 22" monitor for his laptop, I decided to sell him my current monitor and get a bigger one.

Samsung 226BW 22" @ 1680*1050
Intel Core 2 Duo E6550 @ 2.33ghz w/ Cooler Master Hyper TX2
ECS P35T-A Intel P35 ATX
EVGA Geforce 8800GT 512mb @ 650 mhz core and 1900 mhz memory*
Seagate 7200.11 500GB
Hitachi Deskstar T7k500 500GB
A-data Extreme Edition DDR2 800 (4 * 1GB) clocked 4-4-4-11
Asus 18x DVD Burner SATA
OCZ StealthXstream 600W
Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 4
Raidmax Smilodon ATX Mid Tower
Logitech Cordless Wave Keyboard and Mouse
Windows XP PRO SP3

I was considering buying this 27.5" monitor from Hanns'G http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... or the 25.5" from Samsung http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... .

I was thinking about spending somewhere in the neighborhood of $300-600 for the new monitor. Is there any better options out there? Size of the monitor only means as much if the color quality and response time is good, considering I watch HD movies and play FPS titles like TF2 and COD4.

At the 1920*1200 resolutions, I know I'll probably need to buy a new graphics card such as a HD4870 to keep up with the demands (but I'm pretty sure my current 8800GT will hold for any game other than the Crysis).

I would overclock my CPU, problem is when I went for a budget build, I picked a board that didn't overclock (it probably could, waiting on ECS's techsupport response).

Any thoughts on what else I should change? Beside the video card.
September 23, 2008 1:36:25 PM

I don't know much about monitors larger than 24" so I am not going to answer that part.

What I wanted to say is your 8800gt will be fine for COD4 and TF2. Neither of those games really require a lot and you should be able to max out Cod 4 at 50fps with an 8800gt (possibly CPU bottleknecked though). Crysis is another story but you know that.

I think that mobo will let you OC, but it won't get you very far. If you wanted to you could upgrade the mobo and OC your cpu, but it is a 65nm proc with a low multi so I don't think you will get very far 3.0ghz or so (max), not sure if that is really worth $150 plus. You would probably be better off just getting a faster stock clocked cpu.
September 24, 2008 1:23:11 AM

8800gt will be fine for most games, but you won't be able to crank up the quality settings on some newer ones.

I think you would be better off upgrading everything if you have the money than trying to overclock on an ECS board.
Related resources
September 24, 2008 1:51:31 AM

Here are charts showing how many fps you'd get at 1920x1200:
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=14
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=15
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=16
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=17
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=18
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=19

For Crysis, first bar graph shows smaller resolution, see second chart for 1920x1200.
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=13

8800gt is still usable in most games, if only barely. Usually, 35 fps is the cut off point for smooth gameplay. Below that, it'll look visibly choppy.

With Crysis included, your only choice for decent fps on single card is 9800gx2, which gets 39.9fps at 1920x1200 (High settings, with Shader on Very High), which is barely playable. The next in line, gtx280, gets 34 fps, which can look choppy at times.

9800gx2 is priced at $270-280 range.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If not counting Crysis, a lower performing 4870 or above is enough. It's priced at $270-290 level, although as low as $245 with mail in rebate included.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

There's also 4870x2, which is the first place performer on market. But it'll cost $530-550:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
September 24, 2008 3:50:04 AM

MM. Thanks for the feedback. Anything on the monitors though?

Regarding the graphics card, since I usually don't tune up AA and AF that much, my 8800GT will hold (I don't really care about Crysis) for the time being. I'm planning to get the next generation cards once they're out, I've already put out a budget for that.

Yeah, I probably won't overclock my CPU with this board (I'll just leave it alone, it works fine). At that resolution, I believe the CPU will bottleneck games a lot less (most GPU's are the bottleneck). So I probably will keep my setup until it stops running.
!