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Which to upgfrade first (if anything?)

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October 27, 2009 1:15:04 AM

Hey all!


Have a homebuilt system with specs as follows:

- ASUS P6T WS PRO LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Core i7 / Xeon Intel Motherboard

- Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield 2.66GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor (aftermarket xigmatec HSF and it is the C0 revision if that matters)

- CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TR3X6G1600C9

- EVGA GeForce 9800 GX2 1GB (512MB per GPU) 512-bit (256-bit per GPU) GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card (bought used for $200.00 in Jan 09')

- Corsair 850X PSU SLI/crossfire ready (4 PCI-E plugs total)

- Cooler Master HAF 932 case

- WD cavair blue (7200 R.P.M) 640 gig

- Acer AL22W Monitor


Very happy with performance but a few games don't run ultra graphics. Graphics card would be the obvious choice but I like having a HDMI to hook up my 37" flat screen (could use DVI to HDMI but like having dedicated HDMI). Planning to either give my Mom the Acer and running newer dual monitors (I have desk space for dual 22" but that may be overkill). I have about 500 to spend on upgrades possibly 600, not including any money I could get back selling the GPU and RAM I have now if I were to upgrade them.

I am thinking video card and the dual monitor but I don't know if I can do that and stay within budget. Unless, I sell the card I have now for around $150.00 and run the older HD 3850 I have for a short bit. Think it would be worthwhile?

I think I could see notable improvement with an HD4850 or a 4870. I can't see spending a ton of cash on the GTX 295.

Also, I was wondering if anyone knows whether it would be worthwhile to run my OS (windows 7 pro 64, as soon as disc arrives!) on a muuch older 72gig raptor I have from a comp I built 5 years ago (possibly even longer) for a bit of a performance bump over the cavair?


Is the ram worthwhile to upgrade?

Still have 3 open DIMMs and I can get a nice set of gskill PC312800 for around $70.00 :p . Or is that overkill?


I really just am curious nothing is an emergency right now! I may even think about trying to sell this current setup (if I can get a good chunk of money) and build a new one from scratch!

thanks in advance for any replies!



More about : upgfrade

a b B Homebuilt system
October 27, 2009 8:12:45 AM

^+1. No the Caviar will be faster. No you have plenty of RAM. No don't sell it, it's a really nice system, especially after you upgrade the GPU.
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 27, 2009 12:48:59 PM

Wait a minute......he has a 9800GX2.
Unless I am missing something really big here, a GTX285 is about on par with what he has, and I have not seen many comparisons on the 5850 yet, but I am very, very skeptical if it by it's self is much faster than what he has. To get much improvement over what he has, or worth the money he is getting ready to spend, I think he would have to go with a multiple GPU setup.
Correct me please if I am wrong! But that 9800GX2.... though becoming a little dated, is no slouch. Am I thinking wrong here?
a b B Homebuilt system
October 27, 2009 2:14:22 PM

^ Yes, you are correct, I saw the 9 and assumed it was the 9800 gtx. Good catch. So it really isn't appropriate to upgrade any of the hardware. On the other hand, you could get a really nice 24" monitor and a SSD for under $600.
a b B Homebuilt system
October 27, 2009 2:41:29 PM

That needs upgrading?

What, did they come out with Crysis 10 and nobody told me?
October 27, 2009 4:18:32 PM

Go for a nice 24" or larger monitor. The 24" is typically a huge upgrade over a 22". Not only is it 2" bigger, it will run 1920x1200 or 1920x1080 instead of 1650x? and the quality of the panel is typically much better.

In addition you can buy the extra RAM.
October 27, 2009 6:40:09 PM

I had it in my head that a 22 was the way to go for now and a 24" would be a sacrifice in quality (more ghosting and lower frame rate).

What made me consider the upgrade was going over to play some games on my friends comp about a month ago who sold me the 9800GX2 which he replaced with a GTX295. He has a 24" and it was just flawless how games. Not like mine is unbearable just not the same caliber to em.

Funny thing is even though the system was top notch at the time (9800GX2 was best card available at the time) when he built his it's still inferior as far as mobo/chipset, ram and CPU..... Socket 775 Core 2 quad 3ghz clock (think its the q9650 but could be some other over clocked processor), 8 gigs DDR2 1066...

He also has a nice 24" monitor.... so err yeah (Im a dummy). Must've just been stuck in my head from my older AM2 system with an HD3850 that I didn't quite have the capability to mfully utilize a screen that size with such high resolution.

One other thing he sits a bit farther away from the monitor and the only thing I didn't like (picturing that monitor on my desk) is how it would be too close given the size. Which is why I thought about doing dual 22" since I have more room length ways then depth (I could wall mount). I do still want the second monitor. If I give my mom the one I have now get a 24 and take her 19" that would work I guess right?
October 27, 2009 6:48:48 PM

Are yall sure about the 9800 gX2 being almost as good as a GTX295? Ive heard it has nearly the same performance as a GTx 260... Maybe Ill wait for the next line of ATI cards and DirectX11.....I like ATI better than Nvidia but couldnt pass up that deal at the time (especially since I got to pay him over 6 weeks lol) :p 
a b B Homebuilt system
October 27, 2009 7:32:24 PM

It is about on par...according to the basic 3dMarks benchmark, with a GTX285.
I am sure if you went through the benchmarks in detail, you are going to find some things that are not an even match. It may be closer to a 260, but the point is...why spend several hundred on a card that is only maybe a little faster, or maybe even no better than what you have now. We are talking to make an upgrade worthwhile over what you have, you need to buy 2 5850's and put them in Crossfire, that is what I am thinking.
October 27, 2009 8:39:07 PM

Yeah, I don't think Ill replace until I at least see what the upcoming series is like...only thing is will the 9800GX2 be worth what is now in 4-6 mo.

I do have a spare HD3850, so really it might be wise to sell this 9800GX2 while it still may be worth what I paid (maybe more?) and just use the 3850 for a short bit (I'd live :p )

thanks again!
!