So I bought a Gateway 2 years ago I think, the Gateway FX6800-o1e, which at the time was boasting the i7-920 and a Radeon 4850 HD, and I used it mostly for gaming. Needless to say both the HDD and Video Card have moved on to better pastures and since then I've installed a 150 GB WDC Raptor with Windows 7, added 3 GB of 1066 memory (which apparently the stock memory is PC3-10700H (667 MHz) 1333? according to CPU-Z, when buying it, specs said it had 1066 to begin with), and have been using a friends 9800 GT. With the upcoming release of Cataclysm I've been thinking about making some changes, that and my northbridge, which I thought was the 4850 on Sisoft Sandra, as well as SpeedFan(and I believe the reason the 4850 might have croaked early might have been partly the NB's fault), is clocking in over 100C, and its been doing that for who knows how long, but as far as I can tell it hasn't really affected performance and the rest of the board/surrounding devices aren't hot to the touch like my NB heatsink is. After finally updated the bios for the first time, I tried disabling smart fan and noticed significantly better temperatures, and its been running idle at 68C. I have read that early X58 NBs can run pretty hot, that and I don't believe the case is providing adequate air flow. I have never really messed with overclocking before, except for video cards, which even then I normally use the Card Software to do so. Currently with the stock mobo I cannot overclock anything, other than to turn on turbo features after bios update. That said, from what I understand the i7 920 should still be a decent CPU so my goal is to use the one I have and build around that and probably still use the Raptor.
My current budget is 700-1000, the cheaper the better. My goal is to have a decent solution to build off of but not go too overboard. I have a 22 inch LCD that I run games on at 1680 x 1050 usually and before losing the 4850 was able to run Crysis at the 2nd highest setting with decent frame rates. I'm not even sure if I should stick with the 920 but it seems like the best choice due to availability. I don't really keep up with hardware changes and stuff like that so any advice/help would be much appreciated.
Long story short: Should I upgrade using my 920 to build around or grab something new? Which is basically what I would be doing anyway but yea.
This is what I have on my "wishlist" atm on newegg and its running me up to 900 but I did splurge on a few things.
Yes I would be using my current 920, also which speed memory should I be looking at? This is what I'm currently using according to Cpu-Z:
Currently have 6 GB installed.
I've also read that the 920 is limited unless you overclock it but I'm not sure about that. Appreciate the response! The gigabyte I chose after reading a Tom's Hardware review, I was previously looking at last years review winner:
ASRock X58 Extreme LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157163
But I will look into your recommendation, thank you! I am hoping to pick something that will be easily upgradable should I decide to move to a better i7 Processor and have adequate room to run SLI preferably 460GTX cards.
As for video card, the 460GTX seems like the way I want to go and I have read that EVGA are the best cards out there, and this one seems beastly but I'm open to cheaper alternatives:
EVGA 01G-P3-1373-AR GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) Superclocked EE 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130568
That case is awesome, thanks! I suppose the absence of a side fan is not a big deal and I really like the way you can mount a mobo. As far as the cards go, I'm not a card expert so I cant really compare to 460GTX, I don't really know how to read benchmark graphs but the 6850's appear to be slightly better than the 460's but also are a little more expensive. http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/high_end_gpus.html What I looked at to compare.
*Have to change CPU cooler from what I've read Gateway cooler wont work on other motherboards.
Currently at 820 Dollars, planning to use current CPU. 120 Dollars good for a 60GB SSD? Was planning on using SSD as boot drive that would have games on it and converting my WDC Raptor to storage. Performance upgrade worth it? Or maybe add another hard drive for storage instead of SSD to cut costs?
If you really want a side fan, you can find side panels from Lian Li that have mounts for 2x 140mm fans and window/no window.
I would use the i7 920, it's still a great CPU. SSD will really decrease start times for everything on it, it's a nice upgrade. For a motherboard, I like the ASUS P6X58D-E, it's basically the same thing as the Gigabyte UD3R but there have been some problems reported with the gigabyte motherboard. For $210 over $185, I would also prefer it over the ASRock motherboard.
After looking around and playing with a few things this is what I've come up with so far. I've managed to drop the price down to 700. I thought about trying SSD but chose to go with a WDC drive. I wanted to go with the 1 gig 460 GTX but since I mostly play way I don't think the 768 MB version will be that much of a difference, and its cheaper. I also when with a lower grade PSU as I don't think I need a 750 Watt Psu even if I did want to SLI 2 460's. I opted for the 912 after checking various reviews and figured it was the best case for the price. Still not sure if I need 1333 memory or if I should just downgrade to 1066 to save a bit more. I like having 6GB of memory but I don't think I'll ever come close to utilizing the full amount. As for the cooler it seems to be getting good reviews and also seems like an ok price.
Motherboard: ASUS P6X58D-E LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Case: COOLER MASTER HAF 912
VGA: EVGA 768-P3-1360-TR GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) 768MB 192-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W
Memory: G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 1333
New Boot Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black 640GB SATA 6.0Gb
CPU Cooler: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212
I feel the 912 case is the way to go for price although would prefer having a full tower to work with. Would I notice a big difference between the 1GB 460 and the 768 MB 460? If I did manage to run SLI is 650Watts good for dual 460's? Also which memory should I look at? And I've had a hard time trying to figure out which mobo I would like, I've just heard really good things about the P6 and bad things about lower cost boards even though the ASRock and Gigabyte are more appealing cost wise, I would prefer to have something to work with for future upgrades. I originally intended spending more than 700 but felt it was unnecessary for what the type of gaming I do as well as general uses. At this point I'm getting a pretty good idea of what I'd like to go with just looking for any extra advice people might have regarding performance/cost/alternatives.