hello! i'm thinking of upgrading my current computer and then swapping some of the components into a new machine that i plan on obtaining in spring and swapping the old components back into the old machine, thus having 2 fully functional computers later on. my current goal is to get decent performance in starcraft 2. i realize that my cpu is a bottleneck, that's why i want to get components that i can swap into a new machine later.
this is what I have right now (+ means that i want to swap it into a new machine later):
"Dell Inspiron 531"
-Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 4400+ 2.31GHz (socket AM2, not compatible with AM2+ since this Dell doesn't support it)
-2 gigs ram DDR2 667 (PC-5300) (2x1gig, 2 slots empty, 4gig max capacity)
-GeForce 8600 GT 256mb DDR3 (PCI-E 16x)
+Creative SB Audigy 4 sound card
-Built-in sound card
-some generic 300watt PSU (i'm guessing, since it's a Dell)
I'm thinking of adding an extra 2 gigs of ram, GeForce 460 GTX, and a new PSU to handle a possible future SLI setup (2x 460 GTX).
this is what i'm thinking about getting right now:
I had almost the exact same setup a while ago.
i had the dell inspiron 531
with a 8800gt
4 gig of 800mhz ddr2 ram
and the same processor as you.
my problem occured when i purchased a gtx 460, Sc2 SEVERELY bottlenecked and it actually ran a bit slower then the 8800gt i had previously.
I just built a whole new comp., because the cpu couldn't be upgraded because of old am2 tech on the mobo.
Soo, i would suggest building a whole new comp.
yea i'm still undecided on SSD... is it worth it? how much better is it than a fast 10k rpm hard drive like this one? what does it change exactly, is it only boot and loading times? i would like my games to load faster (especially sc2, it takes soo long!), but isn't that mostly ram? i don't need more than 300gigs internal because i have a lot of external storage for music and video.
btw, probably gonna go with intel then, those i7 cpu's look pretty sweet. i'll make a new thread when i'm ready to buy anyway.
I've never used the 10k RPM hard drives, bu with a good SSD like the OCZ Vertex series and Crucial C300s, you'll get better read rates than a hard drive, which will decrease loading times for your OS (the most noticeable), other programs like Office and Photoshop, and maybe games (can't speak from experience there; I just have my OS and Office suite on my SSD).
300GB is still going to be really expensive for a SSD. If you end up getting one, I would go with a 32-64GB model to put the OS and programs you use a lot, and then have another HDD store documents, downloads, etc. SSDs have a "lifespan," so to speak. Eventually the controller will sort of wear out (from repeated writes) and you won't be able to write to the drive, but you can read from it.
I didn't mean it's going to die within a year or two; some people just believe they're invincible. They'll last for 100,000-ish WRITES to each cell, but even this is virtually impossible in a SSD (and will outlast a HDD; unless you write data all the time). You'll still be able to read data that has been written to it though (installed programs and such).