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Advice on Building new gaming rig or keeping what I have for now

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August 6, 2009 9:35:09 PM

I am looking for advice and opinions on what to do. I have a computer that is capable of running all of the games I like (Mostly Call of Duty type FPS) but I have caught an ich to upgrade. I have considered to nothing more than upgradding the Video Cards to doing a complete rebuild.

Thanks in advance for your input!

XS

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within the next week

BUDGET RANGE: $1000 - $1500

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Watching movies, Surfing the Web

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor(s), Power Supply (Roswell 950W)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: www.newegg.com

PARTS PREFERENCES: I have been leaning towards the Intel i7-920 processor and 2 NVIDIA Graphics Card in SLI. I have Radeons now and wouldn't be against using new Radeon Graphics Card

OVERCLOCKING: Yes, but not right off the start. I want to give it the normal break in period

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes

MONITOR RESOLUTION: I'm not sure about this one. I have a 25" and a 22" monitor that I use with my Gaming Rig. I think they can both handle fairly good resolutions.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I have included the following information on the system I am considering and the system I have. Any improvements or advice would be great. I have built systems before so I am fairly up to speed on the process. That doesn't mean I didn't overlook something.

**NEW NVIDIA Based PC
- Motherboard: EVGA E758-TR 3-Way SLI (x16/x16/x8) LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail -- Processor: Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor
- Memory CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit
- Graphics EVGA 896-P3-1257-AR GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 Superclocked Edition 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
- Hard Drive: Western Digital RE3 WD7502ABYS 750GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5"
(IN RAID 0 ??)
- Optical: PLEXTOR Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 24X DVD/CD Writer LightScribe Support - OEM
- Operating System: Vista with upgrade to Windows 7.0 C
- Power Supply (Existing): Rosswell 950W
- CPU Cooler: Xigmatek Dark Knight S1283

**Existing PC
- Motherboard: ASUS - Maximus Formula
- Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600; Kentsfield @2.40GHz
- Memory: 2X2Gb - OCZ P1066 (PC2-6400)
- Graphics : 2 X Radeon HD 3870 w/528 in Crossfire
- Hard Drive: Western Digital - 150Gb Raptor
- Optical: Run of the mill DVD Reader / CD Burner
- Operating System: Windows XP Pro
- Power: Rosswell 950W
- CPU Cooler: Big ARSE Tower Air Cooler



August 6, 2009 9:47:13 PM

your board selection is good but rosswell actually scares me a bit on the memory ocz an g skill should have compareble kits at a better price an that 260 gonna be a bit of a let down on your screens in 3 months an to get the best out of an i7 duel graphics seems to be the best
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August 6, 2009 9:51:53 PM

For the size screens you are running you want a GTX275 or an HD4890. Dont spend the extra on the plextor drives, they are super expensive and i doubt you will see any noticiable difference between a plextor drive and a lite on drive.

I also agree with obsidian about the rosewill PSU, get a corsair 750TX so you can SLI in the future if you want, rosewills dont have a good reputation
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August 6, 2009 10:08:13 PM

I have had that 950W PSU since 2007 and I am running my Radeons in Crossfire. I haven't had any problems but I have heard of others having problems in the past.

If I wasn't clear I planned to run whatever Videocards in SLI or Crossfire.
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August 6, 2009 10:08:53 PM

In my opinion, I would not go with two gpus right off the bat. DX11 cards are right around the corner. So what you could do is get the EVGA brand gtx 275 for now. They have a step up program so then once they release their DX11 cards you could upgrade to one of those.
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August 6, 2009 10:16:18 PM

is evega also gonna release ati? cuz if not mistaken nvidia dx11 cards 1q 2010 but ati dx11 this yr we hope well thats seems to be general consensus
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August 6, 2009 10:40:25 PM

At 1920 x 1200 you will get very good performance with a single GTX275 or 4890. I would try that first, you could always add a second one later. Only if you had a 30" monitor at 2560 x 1600 would you need much more.

Don't pay much extra for a X58 motherboard to be capable of 3 way sli. 3 way is not very productive if you have any sort of a budget at all.

Plextor used to have the reputation, but I found Samsung to be quieter and cheaper.

i7-920 is as good as you can get today, and will run any vga configuration well; probably for some time to come.
With the cooler you picked, you can overclock easily. I consider 3.3 with no voltage increases to be very safe. That is what the same chip in i7- 975 form does at stock.
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August 6, 2009 10:53:19 PM

I'm going to take a different approach... I would not upgrade at this time your whole system. I was in your same boat and the general feedback I received was learn to OC the Q6600 to 3.2 or so and that should last you until the next gen Core i processors are released next year (6 & 8 cores). The only things you need to upgrade is GPU's for performance boost. I would recommend getting the GTX 260 Core 216's you listed. They will have no issues in SLI at your res. This will be your best bang for the buck with your current system.

Why do you want to upgrade any ways? What can't you do anymore with your system?

FYI... I updated my Q6600 only because my stupid MSI MOBO died and took my CPU & PSU with it... ;( which gave me reason to upgrade!!
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August 6, 2009 11:55:06 PM

Since you can run all the games you want, why waste money and upgrade now - especially with the new cards soon to come out - and maybe with SSD's slowly to drop in price - and maybe SATA 3 to finally come out (althought maybe you don't care since have Raptor?

Instead I would spend the next 6 months asking myself, and analyzing, and planning on how you can best increase your gaming experience. What is available that you have not tried - different games?, online? better graphics settings, huge or multiple monitors, sound? controls? gaming environment? Talk with some gamers at gaming forums. What really would make the gaming experience better? Then take some time to figure out how to do it - and do it right - the best way. Then create the ideal gamining scenario for you.

That I think would be much better than starting to build a new rig you really don't need.

Someday I will build the perfect flight simulator - very realistic with three monitors and my little cockpit - and will learn to fly all kinds of planes. Just don't have the time to focus on it yet.
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August 7, 2009 12:10:40 AM

Thanks everyone for the input!

Why do I want to upgrade? Why does anyone want to drive a Corvette when their Toyota does the speed limit? I really don't need to upgrade but I started looking around to see how much better things have gotten since my last build in December of 2007. I started out considering just changing out the Motherboard and RAM. I haven't done the research yet to prove to myself that DDR3 is that much better than the DDR2 Memory I already have. I mentioned something to my wife about possibly upgrading my gaming rig and she gave the unusual answer "Do what ever makes you happy!". So naturally, I started thinking about all the other stuff I could/would do. I know that the Q6600 is still a solid gaming processor and the i7 doesn't appear to be worth the bang for the buck by itself. The GPU seems to be my weak link in my current system.

I have been out of the "system building" game for a while do to graduate school. That is why I haven't rushed out and bought anything. I wasn't even aware that DX11 was coming out. I am still running everything in DX9. I think I will take the advice of some on here and play around with getting more out of what I have. I haven't really played with the overclocking abilities of my current machine. What is the worse that could happen? I fry my CPU or MB and then I have a reason to buy a new system!

Thanks again everyone. This type of feedback and support is why I come to Tom's when I want to do some research.
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