A couple years ago I bought a new PC from Tiger Direct because my Gaming Laptop "let the smoke out". Over the last couple of years I've basically replaced everything except the case. Never having a lot of money to spare I bought things that read as solid components within my price ranges.
MSI P45 MB
6 GB DDR2 RAM (The MB does not support DDR3 )
Intel P4 3.3 GHz Quad Core
NVidia GeForce GTX 260
600-700 Watt Power Supply (would need to crack the case to verify)
My Primary Display is 3840x1024 (3 1280x1024 Monitors on a TripleHead2Go)
Things I run on this screen
- Main OS Interface
- Utility applications
- Battlefield Bad Company 2
- Final Fantasy XIV (FFXIV)
- Sins of a Solar Empire
- Any other games that support the res, and have a playable interface at that res.
My secondary display is a 32 inch 720p HD TV at 1786x994 (This is only on when I need it)
Things I run on this screen
- Borderlands (PoV is skewed on the wide screen)
My rig is currently running games nicely at high qualities, but heavy particle effects seem to bog me down occasionally (like Smoke in BF BC2).
In FFXIV things can get laggy with higher video settings (any time I have more than x2 AA), and my video card fan certainly spins into high gear frequently, so I am starting to consider that my card may be the current upgrade target.
That said I wanted to consult some people more experienced at evaluating this type of system to make sure that's where the true bottleneck lies, and not somewhere like the Mainboard.
I'm looking for an upgrade that's going to make the most difference per dollar spent.
I have SSDs only for boot right now. I install my games on a raid setup or my Raptor drive. Currently I own a 80GB Intel X-25M G2. It's awesome. I also have a 60GB Muskin Callisto in my laptop. That is awesome too. I heard a lot of mixed reviews about OCZ SSDs. If I were to recommend one, I'd have to say the Intel one. They are releasing new ones shortly, so you can wait on those. They're suppose to come in faster speeds with more storage space. But if you can't wait, then get the G2 version. Kingston's SSDs are the same as Intel's. But which ever one you get, I would get one that is at least 60GB. Windows Vista and 7 take up a lot of space.
My laptop is a core i3 350M with 4GB ram. It had a 320 5200RPM HDD before. It was slow and sluggish. After I put in the Callisto, I now boot up in 15 seconds. Programs open in 1-2 seconds. It was only $120 after rebate, but it was well worth it. With a full install of Windows 7 and Office 2010 and some other small apps. I still have 18GB left of free space. I don't store stuff on the laptop or play games so that's plenty of space left for me.
After I told the president of my company about SSDs. He had me switch out all of our HDD to SSDs (Intel X-25 80GB).
Cool thanks for the added info about SSDs. As far as the comments about my CPU - it's a Quad core - should I be looking at getting a multi physical CPU MB? (Not an option for the moment, but maybe in a couple years). I don't remember the exact model, and the box is somewhere in the garage.
I'm thinking about also upgrading the video card - just for any small boost I might get out of it in my gaming. I'm not sure how much the HDD issue is affecting my gaming since when I do lag there don't seem to be any HDD spikes. Best Buy has a 14 day no questions asked return policy.