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Stick with current rig, or build a new one ($2500 buget)?

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March 8, 2010 6:04:27 AM

I built my current rig in Nov of 2007 and lately have been getting the itch to upgrade. I used to be a pretty heavy gamer (FPS's and MMORPGs) but these days only play the occasional game with my buddies. I do want to make sure I'm able to try out the latest titles (although perfect frame rates at the highest resolution are not a requirement). I probably won't overclock or SLI but like to choose components that preserve the option. I value stability, fast speed for general computing (browsing), and it would be nice to keep system quiet.

My primary use on the rig is video editing with Sony Vegas Pro and Adobe Creative Suite. My rig has been fine for that application, until I recently upgraded my camera from a HDV to a AVCHD (Sony AX-2000). The 25 mbit/sec AVCHD takes quite a bit more CPU to edit or even transcode than the older HDV format did.

The PS on my current riq recently died, and my super premium ChillTec Thermo Electric CPU Cooler (http://www.ultrax3.com/product_details.php?cPath=17&pPa...) is now failing. So I'm trying to decide if I should repair or just move to a new rig. I'd also use the excuse to use a 64 bit OS for the first time.

Current Rig:

ASUS P5N32-E SLI QUAD 680I 775
INTEL QUAD CORE Q6700 2.66 GHZ
WD RAPTOR 150GB 10,000 RPM SATAII (System drive)
7200 RPM 1TB DATA II data drive, and 8TB's on fileshares
4X1GB CORSAIR DDR2 6400 XMS2 EXTREME
SILVER CM STACKER 831 W/WINS NO Case
TAGAN 1100WATT QUAD SLI READY
BFG GTX 260 2304MB (originally a EVGA GF8800 GTX 768 MB)
ULTRA CHILLTEC THERMO CPU COOLER

I'm running 2 1920x1200 LCD's. (LG2446LP)

Option 1:
Replace the failing Chilltec and maybe upgrade to the best CPU that fits in the ASUS 775 socket. (Maybe an E8600) Approx $270 plus cooler.

Option 2:
Get a new rig w/o a new graphics card or SSD. Plan to upgrade video card and to SSD down the road when it makes sense. Approx $1500


Case: CoolerMaster Elite 310 Mid-Tower Case with See-Thru Side Panel
Extra Case Fan
Sound Absorbing Foam on Side, Top And Bottom panels
Power Supply Gasket
Anti-Vibration Fan Mounts
CPU: Intel® Core™ i7-930 2.80 GHz 8M L3 Cache LGA1366
Cooling Fan: * CoolerMaster V8 Gaming CPU Cooling Fan
Motherboard: (3-Way SLI Support) GigaByte GA-X58A-UD3R
Memory: 6GB (2GBx3) DDR3/1600MHz Triple Channel Memory Module (Corsair Dominator)
Corsair Power Supply (* 750 Watts CMPSU-750TX - Quad SLI Ready)
Optical Drive: LG BH08-LS20K 8X Internal Super Multi Blu-Ray Rewriter
WD RAPTOR 150GB 10,000 RPM SATAII (from old system)
BFG GTX 260 2304MB (from old system)

Option 3:
Get a new rig with a new graphics card or SSD, and be done with it. Approx $2500

Same build as Option 2, with the addition of:
Video Card: ATI Radeon HD 5870 1GB DDR5 16X PCIe Video Card [DirectX 11 Support]
Hard Drive: Single Hard Drive (160 GB Intel X25-M 2.5 inch SATA Gaming MLC Solid State Disk)

Any thoughts about which is the best option given my use-case and the current market? I'm not super price conscious (I can afford the $2500), but don't want to waste money. Or any thoughts about the specific components in the above build? (I'd probably buy it from CyberPowerPC to save time, so it's based on components they offer).

Thanks much for any thoughts!

Jason aka retailgeek
March 8, 2010 7:03:47 AM

^ Option 1 is the best, but instead of changing the CPU, change the graphics card to say HD 5850/ HD 5870...
Why not try overclock the C2Q...At 3-3.2GHz, they still have a lot of life left in them...
For gaming, IMO there wont be any significant improvement going from C2Q to i7(But certainly in other tasks it will excel but for gaming I doubt)...

The next best would be Option 2...
Reason - 1. Nvidia will be launching their cards by March end or by April start...
So for now stick with your graphics card and later on when they launch their cards, am sure there will be price drops from both the sides(Nvidia and ATI) within a few months...
2. SSD prices will always fall and newer SSDs with SATA 6GB/s interface are starting to appear...So later on when the price is right, get them...
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Anonymous
March 8, 2010 2:09:49 PM

Difficult, the I7 930 will increase the performance on the main thing you do on your PC, so question is, do you have the money just sitting there waiting to be spent or can it be spent on something else around the house.

Your q6700 has plent of legroom with the Asus board, you can get it to 3.4ghz easy and that will speed up your transcoding greatly, all for the price of a cooler!

I would go option 1 at the moment and overclock and wait till 6 core Intel or Amd arrive, then decide as these will eat Transcode alive!
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March 8, 2010 2:36:31 PM

From the way you listed your options, it sounds like you configured your PC on cyberpowerinc / ibuypower (same company) ... I looked into those sites in the past as well, and found way too many horror stories. I'd advise against them.
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