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Upgrade Advice

I'm looking for some advice on upgrading my Alienware Area 51 Desktop. I don't know a ton about computers and am a little intimidated about going through with this process, not to mention I'm not really sure on all the bells and whistles available on different upgrades.

The point of these upgrades is really for gaming (specifically Final Fantasy IV, once it comes out at the end of September). My current PC has served me well (a 7 year old A-51), but it just isn't going to hack it for much longer.

I have done a lot of online research and looked at a ton of reviews, but thought some more advice would be good. I would like to keep my budget around $500 (give or take) if possible, so we aren't talking top of the line parts here.

I have a nice ACER monitor, Creative Soundblaster Audio, Mouse, Keyboard, and figured I would simply use my A-51 Case (I hope it's compatible) as well as my power supply, and an extra video card fan I bought a year ago in the new rig. I have searched Newegg exhaustively and have come to the conclusion that this looks like the best I can do as far as coming up with upgrades goes. Are these compatible? Are there better options for what I'm trying to do at a better price line? Am I WAY in over my head?


CPU: Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor BX80605I5750 ($194.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115215

MB: ASUS Maximus III GENE LGA 1156 Intel P55 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard ($149.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131599

GPU: SAPPHIRE 100297L Radeon HD 5830 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card w/ ATI Eyefinity ($199.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102878

RAM: CORSAIR XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMX4GX3M2A1600C9 ($99.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145260


I obviously went a bit over my budget, however a couple of the items combo at the moment to drop the price a little bit more, as well as some mail-in rebates. HELP!?
47 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about upgrade advice
  1. Heh. Well, good point. It is a new system, but in an old package I guess. I can post my current PC's stats if it would matter as well.
  2. lets have a look see @ your innards and the specs :)
  3. Are you sure? You might not like what you see. Here ya go:

    Intel Pentium 4 540 @ 3.20 GHz
    Intel 925XE-ICH6R PCI-e x16
    Micron Tech DDR2 Dual Channel RAM 2x 512 MB
    Radeon X850 XT 256 MB GPU

    Ugh.
  4. Also, let me stress that this is the very tip top of my price point (if not over, my wife may very well kill me). If I can get slightly less potent parts without sacrificing much quality while dropping the price significantly I would seriously consider it.
  5. Here are the currently announced system requirements for FFXIV as well. I would prefer that whatever I build would handle these requirements with relative ease.

    Windows XP/Vista/7
    Intel Core 2 Duo 2GHz or AMD Athlon X2 2GHz
    2GB of RAM
    15GB HDD space
    NVIDIA GeForce 9600 512MB or ATI Radeon HD 2900 512MB
    DirectX 9
  6. Best answer
    I actually think this is an interesting overhaul...and how'd you run this rig for sooo long?

    Firstly - your getting the same specs as i am for my lil bro, except i'm going for the Formula and a pair of OCZ's XMP modules.

    Your specs cost nearly $650 - thas close enuf for your wife to strangle you :P

    heres the brighter side - ditch the 5830 and pick up a 5770...you'll be better off with that card than get a 5830 (price point wise) but not sacrifice that much quality.

    choice 1 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102898&cm_re=sapphire_5770-_-14-102-898-_-Product

    choice 2 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102873&cm_re=sapphire_5770-_-14-102-873-_-Product

    *but a part of me wants to keep the 5830 :P,
    ques - how come your choosing a ROG board? You can get a cheaper board like this - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131604 but you sacrifice the lanes in your PCI slots when you crossfire

    as for your game req's - you can get a 4 series card from ati and pull it off. I managed to snag a good deal on a 4850 @ my microcenter :D

    sorry for the wall of text :P

    can you post a pic of your case innards? I;m finding it hard to find your OLD :P rig on the net
  7. I forgot to mention !!!!! WELCOME TO THE FORUMS , NEWCOMER!!!!!!
  8. Yes, I would be strangled I suppose. You know how it is. Kid in the candy shop effect. Anyway.

    It's really funny, I originally had the 5770 board you picked out originally(the second one...btw, what is the difference between the 2? I know one is 2.0 and one is 2.1...but is that a big deal?)

    As far as the ROG board is concerned...well, I don't know what that is actually. The board I picked got good ratings and I thought it was compatible, but if that's useless to me, then I don't want it. The PCI slots I'm not too worried about. I don't intend to add much down the road, expect maybe just to crossfire if it's a good idea.

    I'll work on the pic of my innards. My wife has the cam with her atm at her work. However, here is a link with a guy who's case looks very similar to mine. His is one year newer, but they may be near identical.

    http://www.originniche.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4467

    And thanks for the welcome!
  9. Just stumbled across this:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102834&cm_re=4850-_-14-102-834-_-Product

    The price is awesome...but why is it so much cheaper than the 2 you suggested and is it a huge leap down in quality? I don't want to simply get by on the system reqs for the game if I can stand it. I hope this is something that is easily upgradeable and lasts me for a while.
  10. the vaporX version is clocked higher than the reference/original card and in this case has a slight edge over the 5770 in option 2.

    PCI-E 2.0 and 2.1 are the same in essence but differ as the latter is the headway for PCI-E 3.0. PCI-E 2.1 are backwards compatible with PCI-E 2.0 slots. Read this.

    ROG stand for Republic of Gamers :D i own one and they are the cream of the crop as far as hardware are concerned! Bragging rights, if you will. That board (and all their boards in that matter) will look awesome in a clear window case. In your case, you cant be a hardcore gaming dad :D or can you?

    I own an Asus Rampage Extreme x48, its old but i loved everything in it! For your board, you can check the specs out here

    Your welcome for the welcome!

    AH!!!Your case is ATX. You can get a ATX board instead of a mATX board.
  11. utktrumpet22 said:
    Just stumbled across this:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102834&cm_re=4850-_-14-102-834-_-Product

    The price is awesome...but why is it so much cheaper than the 2 you suggested and is it a huge leap down in quality? I don't want to simply get by on the system reqs for the game if I can stand it. I hope this is something that is easily upgradeable and lasts me for a while.


    THAT,my friend, is the exact same card as my bro's but his is by XFX HD-485X-YDFC. Its cheaper cos Ati have announced that the 4 series are out of production. And to put in perspective, a 5830 is a die shrunk 4850 512MB w/ 512MB of more ram :D. Get my drift ?

    2 thumbs up for the find! I missed out on buying the same card for my bro and ended up with the xfx :(

    unless you PLAY every title that comes out, your 4850 will last you a while :) on lower settings ofcourse (for future games)
  12. You know, i overlooked one important factor! What is your Acer's monitor size? and what wattage,Power supply you have right now ?
  13. I really don't play every title that comes out, but I am a huge Final Fantasy fanboy. This game will (as FFXI has been) be my spare time...and some of my not spare time. My wife and I will play it together virtually every night that we can. I would call myself a hardcore gamer, but I really play more PS3 than PC games. However, I want to get FFXIV for the PC, plus it needed an update anyway, so I figured 'what the hey.'

    If i get a PCI-e 2.0 card I'm just blocking myself from 3.0 later down the road then? Other than that we aren't talking huge differences in performance?

    If it were you in my position, what would you go for taking into consideration everything we have discussed thus far?
  14. My monitor is 21" if I recall correctly...as far as PSU wattage....uh...um...idk.
  15. :) i'd go for all the above and the 4850 you found. Get the Gene and you find yourself a $100 lighter than before.

    Everyone of my pals own a console - Wii - PS3 - Xbox360(i have the controller on my bro's PC :D) so PC's are um...idk, kinda looking ominous...cos you get the whole deal with a console. Moral of this - your new parts will last you quite a while.

    The 4850 can handle a 21"LCD with med/high AA settings :)

    now PSU is a crucial factor...you'll need at least um...here you do the math :D
  16. Quote:
    If i get a PCI-e 2.0 card I'm just blocking myself from 3.0 later down the road then? Other than that we aren't talking huge differences in performance?



    a few years down the road you wont be interested in them, as you'll probably own a console...maybe. but the parts should last you a few more years *lol* you made an alienware desktop last for 7 years :P
  17. The gene?
  18. oh wait, the other mobo is also a good route :P i lost track :S

    now your budget is $510...you can get a good quality PSU with the extra cash
  19. Oh, and, (heheh) crossfiring the 4850 down the road...a good idea? Would be comparable to...? 5770? Better perhaps? You like-a da sauce?
  20. crossfiring 2 x 4850 are like a 487o... for now you need to understand if you can squeeze the cash for the 5770 and a PSU as well as i'm sure the old PSU cant handle the wattage needed.

    A 600-650W PSU will be good for you(in case you want to crossfire)

    yeaaaaaaaaaaaaas - i like-a da meat-a ball-a too!
  21. So i have to decide between the video cards effectively...hmm...IDK!!!

    Apparently VRAM is going to be a must for this game. Is there a difference in the two? I can't find one.

    PSU calculations with this setup in my current case would is appx. 350 apparently. I wonder if my PSU would work? Guess I'm gonna have to crack the case...
  22. Read this
    Quote:
    And to put in perspective, a 5830 is a die shrunk 4850 512MB w/ 512MB of more ram :D. Get my drift ?


    & the 4850 is a direct x10.1 card while the 5770 is direct x11

    with your budget in mind, this is as far as you can mash up. get the 5770 for future proofing :P if your wallet holds..
  23. Aha! Ok.
  24. All of them?
  25. oops sorry!!!!!!

    try this
  26. I think again that is the wrong link. Hehehe.
  27. lol, idk whats wrong... find this Item#:N82E16817341017
  28. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341017


    bloody address extensions...i hope this works!!!
  29. Finally!
  30. So all of these items are compatible and will work efficiently with one another I assume?

    You have been a huge help, by the way. Thank you.
  31. Problem is with that PSU and the 5770 we are back to $650 LOL.
  32. Best answer selected by utktrumpet22.
  33. hmmm yeah, you need to understand if you want to crossfire or not. If your going to CF in the near fututre its best to stick with whats new. If you get a 5770 now, prices will fall once the 6 series come out. then you can buy it off cheap and crossfire them :)
  34. And thank You for the vote! SO we're all set?
  35. I'd certainly be interested in it, but it won't be an option for a while.
  36. I believe we are. Again, thank you so much. You were a huge help!
  37. so your sticking with the 4850?
  38. For future reference with this setup...splurge on more RAM, or a second 5770 for the crossfire first?
  39. I'm gonna leave it to my wife. If she is in a good mood I'll end up with the 5770...if not it will be the 4850, and if she is pissed, we just wasted a lot of time and effort and I apologize to you, kind sir.
  40. 4GB is MORE than enough for gaming/crossfiring let alone everyday use. Get the second 5770!
  41. Aye aye!
  42. Post back here & lemme know how your build goes, cheers!

    Quote:
    You have been a huge help, by the way. Thank you.


    We're here to help!
  43. utktrumpet22 said:
    I'm gonna leave it to my wife. If she is in a good mood I'll end up with the 5770...if not it will be the 4850, and if she is pissed, we just wasted a lot of time and effort and I apologize to you, kind sir.



    c'est la vie!
  44. I'll get back to you, but it will prolly be a few days at least before I make the buy. I'm trying not to be impulsive so I am going to let it roll around in the noggin for a few days first.
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