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Recommended $500 Upgrade

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a b B Homebuilt system
March 6, 2009 3:18:44 PM

In a couple of months I'll have roughly $500 burning in my pocket for an upgrade on my computer. I was looking for some recommendations on what, if any... upgrades people might have for me. My computer is a family used computer (Internet, Word, Excel... etc.) but the main usage is for games like COD4, COD WaW, Medal of Honor, Tiger Woods... etc. I have Crysis but never got that into it. I don't currently overclock my system, basically do to the true lack of knowledge of how to.

System:
Motherboard: MSI P7N SLI Platinum
CPU: Q6600 G0
CPU Cooler: Thermaltake V1
Hard Drive: WD Velicorator 300GB
GPU: 9800 GTX in SLI
Memory: OCZ DDR2 PC2-8500 / 1066MHz / Gold Edition / 4GB (2 x 2G) - Timings 5-6-6-18
PSU: Tagan 900 Watt
Case: Antec Twelve Hundred
Monitor: Soyo PEARL SERIES - 24" Wide TFT LCD Monitor
OS: Windows XP SP3, but I do have Vista 64bit available to be installed. I just haven't felt the need to jump to Vista at this time.

I want to stay with Nvidia video cards, if that is best thing for me to upgrade with my money. Thanks for any & all feedback in advance!!


March 6, 2009 3:27:48 PM

To be honest with you I'm not sure if i'd do an upgrade right now. I don't think you'll see much of an upgrade with $500 dollar budget. I guess if you can give us a little bit more info we might be able to find something, for example, what are you're current settings your playing games at, what do you want them to be ...ect.

If I'd suggest anything i'd say maybe pick up a HD for some extra storage, could also pick up a second monitor for a duel monitor setup, or try learning how to overclock that q6600.

I'd say your build overall is still pretty nice lol.
a b B Homebuilt system
March 6, 2009 6:47:26 PM

Kubes, thanks for your feedback. I play most of my games at 1680 x 1050 resolution. I'm not looking to really increase to 1900X1200 but would be a nice option. I have two externals for a total of 1TB, so adding another internal hard drive isn't a priority but is something I have thought about. 2nd montior would be nice but not an option due to current desk spacing limitation.

I guess my true question is would it be better to spend the $500 on...

Upgrading to a Q9650 or what others might feel is an upgrade to the Q6600. Keep in mind I would like a processor that I'll be able to keep for 2+ years (roughly) without running into it being my system bottle neck. I know Core I7 is the way to go but that is a completely new build.

or

Upgrading my Graphics cards. I would like to stay with SLI but I guess at $500 a Nvidia 295 is like two graphics cards. I'm hoping the 280 will drop enough in price, so I can afford two of them or even two nice 260 Core 216's.... I already know my graphics cards will have to be updated quicker than my processor but is 9800 GTX in SLI going to be good enough for a while?
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 6, 2009 7:16:25 PM

wait for gtx 300 / 5800 ati to come out, the high end cards are in 500 clams range so the best option is to wait......you could buy gtx295 and sell your current cards but i would wait. no its not worth getting new cpu, q6600 is a great overclocker. i have mine running on 3.6ghz and im not planning on upgrading until 32nm processors come out (q4 009)
a b B Homebuilt system
March 9, 2009 2:59:17 PM

alvine, thanks for your feedback.

I was at my local MicroCenter store and saw a 790I FTW motherboard for $189 and I thought about upgrading to the 790I with DDR3 memory. If I do that upgrade, I can look to buy a cheap Intel Dual Core for the old MSI board, throw in my old Nvidia 7600 card, 160GB OEM WD hard, decent lower watt PSU and build my 5 year old daughter a computer with my old Thermaltake M9 case. It would get her off of my computer for her "Frisher-Price" games and programs, which should still be around $500 or less. If it isn't worth going to the 790I with DDR3, than I'll wait to upgrade my video card(s) once the next round comes out or whatever is out at the time...

What are your thoughts there??
March 10, 2009 10:59:00 AM

I would reccomend agaisnt going with a nforce chipset motherboard. They are rather buggy and ddr3 for dual and quad cores is really not nessaray. The increase in preformance is extremely small for the huge price increase. The value just isn't there imo. The i7 is a different beast however. ITs architure takes much greater advantage of ram speed and timings and that's why it uses ddr3. For the i7 it has a built on memory controller were as the Qxxxx and the dual cores do not.

Tecmo, I must admit your one of the people that got their build right on the first try.
March 10, 2009 11:45:05 PM

I can't see a Q6600 and 9800GTX SLI not maxing out any games at 1920x1200... Are there any games that you feel that you are lagging in? Any issues? Because really, that should be more then enough right now?
a b B Homebuilt system
March 11, 2009 12:43:45 AM

kubes... thanks for your comments on my build. I'm happy with my build but I'm always looking to make it better when I get a chance to.

doomsdaydave11.... I'm not seeing any issues with games I'm playing now. I had some issues early on with a bad 9800GTX but once I RMA it, I haven't had any issues with game play of any kind. I'll hold off on putting major money into my computer for now. I wait until either prices really drop on the GTX 280 & higher cards or I get enough additional money to switch over to an i7 setup with my 9800GTX SLI.
!