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Upgrade to Current Gaming PC - Experts Help Wanted!

Last response: in Systems
May 26, 2009 6:11:18 PM

Hello All,

I spent a truck load of money (about $3K) on my current PC a few years ago and im starting to see some slow down on high end games like GTA4 and Empire Total War and Fallout 3 just barely cutting the mustard (no clue what that means).

Anywho-ter-doo-dol I think its time for an upgrade and I wanted to ask you fine people if what I currently have can be salvaged and upgraded or if I can find out where the bottleneck in my system is and what I can do to get up on the new games hopefully without a full rebuild and hopefully as cheaply as possible. I used to be a bleeding edge enthusiast but I realized after 3000 dollars that nothing lasts as long as you expect.

On to my parts list:

Antec Nine Hundred Gaming Case
nForce 680i SLi Motherboard
Intel Core2 Duo Extreme X6800 2.94ghz Socket 775 (scythe cooler)
EVGA Geforce 8800 GTX 768mb PCIe (used to use 2 but had sound issues in SLI so sold one of them)
Sound Blaster Fatality Xtreme Gamer Sound Card
Corsair Dominator (4 sticks 1 Gig each) PC28500 DDR2
Wester Digital Raptor 150gig 10k rpm & 2 75gig
PC Power Silencer 750w Quad Power Supply
Dell 21inch LCD (runs 1600x1200 in natural resolution) - Any suggestions for a nice inexpensive upgrade?

I started thinking about upgrading just my graphics card to see if I can stretch the use out of my system as it still runs extremely well on current games that are not using cutting edge graphics and still runs all brand new games on low to medium settings with around 20fps, but I fear having to go to a lower resolution soon which will pretty much make my gaming experience s-u-c-k.

Will a new graphics card do the trick or is there something else in my system causing the new games to not run so well?

Thanks for the help ahead of time :) 
May 26, 2009 6:54:57 PM

Just get a better graphics card.
Go in for the EVGA GTX275 probably. Rest seems sufficient.
May 26, 2009 6:59:21 PM

Depending on ur budget I would probably get a C2Quad and a GTX 250 or something like that.

Core 2 Quads are better for gaming

And GTXs are plain good
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May 26, 2009 7:18:53 PM

Pesky SLI issues ^_^. I think you would have been better off just using the onboard sound and keeping the two GTXs in SLI. Anyway, you could overclock your CPU to get some more millage out of it. You could go with a single GTX275 for the GPU as that would be a significant upgrade to your current single 8800GTX. Going with two GTX 275s would be nice, but your CPU would hold it back a little. Overclocking would help of course, but 680i goods are generally not good overclockers. While you can probably upgrade your CPU to a newer quad core you'll first have to find BIOS updates from your board manufacturer to see what it can support.

Basically I suggest going with two GTX275s in SLI and overclocking your CPU. If you get sound issues perhaps go with onboard sound or switch to an Asus Xonar sound card ^_^.
May 26, 2009 7:37:44 PM

Thx for the advice!

Anybody know a good brand for the GTX 275 and a good place to buy them for cheapest? Also whats a decently priced quad core I should look into, not going bleeding edge but something that might clock well?

Also Im thinking about a new LCD, can anybody recommend a decent inexpensive widescreen 21"-24" ?

Sorry for all the questions, its been a while since Ive done any part shopping.
May 26, 2009 8:00:13 PM

From what I hear, quads don't overclock well on 680i motherboards. I'd stick with megamanx00's advice and just oc your current cpu and get a better gpu(s).
May 26, 2009 8:05:00 PM


1) XFX are generally good, as are BFG.

2) try the 940 BE by AMD or the Q8400 by Intel.