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Upgrades - What next?

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December 11, 2009 5:19:28 PM

So I wanted to demo Modern Warfare 2 the other day but realized I didn't have the graphics card for it. So I went ahead and did a few upgrades and am just wondering what I should do next.

Current Setup
- Dell Inspirion 530
- Q6600 OC'ed to 3.0ghz
- 4gbs ddr2 800mhzx pc-6400 (I have another 2 gb's but it is only 600mhz)
- 300gb 5400 rpm sata drive
- OCZ 700w psu
- Arctic cooling pro 7
- Acer FX22 22" monitor
- M-audio USB fast track

I bought a 4870 the other day but it crapped out. I took it back and I am reconsidering buying a better or cheaper card.

What am I doing with it?
- Some gaming probably mostly Counter Strike: Source, a bonus would be to play MW2 and some newer games but that is NOT a priority
- Photo editing with photoshop
- Media streaming to ps3 on 47" tv
- Watching movies (debating on getting a 30" monitor)
- Some music production and playback. dj mixing/midi keys, guitar, serato, ableton live.

Budget
- Willing to spend $300 for just the vid card and HDD (ssd? Or get a 7200 and wait?)

More about : upgrades

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December 11, 2009 5:36:17 PM

The 4890 is a good card - but if you might want something different - just find your own sweet spot for price and peformance by looking at the THG recommended cards - showing the best in each budget range:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-310-5970,24...

And see if the increases or decreases in price are worth the difference by looking at the cards performance on these carts.

http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/gaming-graphics-card...

Since the 4890 is on the THG list in the first link, you mgiht start with it and see what changes in price and performance you get by moving up or down from it - here are some comparisons pulled off the second link above:

http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/gaming-graphics-card...

I am planning to get an SSD too but I don't think the prices are quite there yet and they are still making significant increases in speed - so best to wait a little longer. But since you only have a 5200 RPM drive, you could get a major speed boost from a new 7200 RPM drive - I suggest getting this one:

Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST31000528AS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive - $84.99 with free shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Then in six months to a year, get a small SSD for the OS and applications and use this for a fast storage drive.
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December 12, 2009 3:54:56 PM

get an HIS ATI Radeon 4890, it is probably going to boost your gaming more than upgrading anything else.

keep in mind it is a BIG card so make sure you have the room. its well worth the money

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December 12, 2009 3:56:44 PM

also forgot to mention, if your getting a big monitor for gaming and movies. get a 24"
they have the best resolution for gaming, especially counter-strike (my fav game)
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December 12, 2009 6:56:49 PM

cbeermann said:
get an HIS ATI Radeon 4890, it is probably going to boost your gaming more than upgrading anything else.

keep in mind it is a BIG card so make sure you have the room. its well worth the money


I'll have to check the dimensions. The visiontek 4870 BARELY fit in my case.


cbeermann said:
also forgot to mention, if your getting a big monitor for gaming and movies. get a 24"
they have the best resolution for gaming, especially counter-strike (my fav game)


Cool thanks I'll shoot for a 24" then.
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December 12, 2009 7:54:07 PM

yup 24" is the way to go, anything above that and the resolution will distort the picture quality a bit and it wont look quite as nice. quality > size, either way its a big monitor lol
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