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Incremental Upgrade Suggestions

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December 7, 2010 10:03:02 PM

This is the computer I built last year. I am looking to make incremental upgrades next year, and was wondering what upgrades would give me the most improvements for my money. My priorities are gaming, virtual computers, photoediting, etc. I am willing to spend a few hundred dollars over the course of the year for upgrades.

Also, I am using 32bit Windows 7, should I switch to 64? I definitely will switch monitors. I want to get mechanical keyboard (like razer blackwidow).


Case:
COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU:
OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ500MXSP 500W ATX12V V2.2
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU/Motherboard:
AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core
ASUS M4A78T-E AM3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Comb [...] mbo.205337

Memory:
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820231193

Graphics:
HIS H465FS512P Radeon HD 4650 512MB DDR2 PCIe
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard Drive:
WESTERN DIGITAL CAVIAR GREEN 750GB SERIAL ATA/300 32MB
http://www.frys.com/product/5954944

Optical:
SAMSUNG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner Black IDE Model SH-S222A - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Monitor:
Acer P191WD 19" Widescreen LCD Monitor - 5ms, 1440x900, WXGA+, 700:1, Black, (Refurbished)
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Keyboard:
Logitech Classic Keyboard 200 (USB)
http://www.frys.com/product/5300998?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN...

Wireless:
D-Link WDA-2320 IEEE 802.11b/g PCI Rangebooster G Desktop Adapter Up to 108Mbps Data Rates 64/128-Bit WEP, WPA
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


a b B Homebuilt system
December 8, 2010 1:20:49 AM

I'd go with x64. Support is right with x86 now, and with 4GB of DDR in there, you're losing out on things you paid for. :) 

I'd suggest a new GPU, but only if it's holding you back. You resolution is quite low, but I think even a 5770 would be a decent upgrade. How's the performance in heavy 3D?
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a b B Homebuilt system
December 8, 2010 1:50:11 AM

1) ^+1... A new GPU will be your biggest impact in gaming. I would look at the ATI 6850, since you plan a monitor upgrade.

2) A SSD (or a 500GB Platter based HDD) will impact your applications more. The Green series HDD's are not know for their speed & performance bit for their low power consumption (great storage drive). I would look to add a SSD to go along with your current HDD for an overall system speed boost.

3) I would look to move to the 64-bit system when you have the chance before or after working on the other two.
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December 8, 2010 7:39:14 PM

What is good monitor resolution/size to get?
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a b B Homebuilt system
December 8, 2010 8:43:39 PM

gheedsgreed said:
What is good monitor resolution/size to get?

21" to 24" at 1920x1080 is typically my recommendations.
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a b B Homebuilt system
December 8, 2010 9:35:26 PM

IMO you can live with 3.2GB of RAM or whatever the 32-bit OS can use. The monitor should be the first thing and the video card. Get a bigger one, 23 or 24".
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a b B Homebuilt system
December 8, 2010 10:24:44 PM

You can live with 3.2GB of RAM, but why? You paid for it, use it. It makes no sense to not go x64 these days. Hell, I got an x64 driver for a scanner I bought in 2004.

Monitors are monitors. People have their preferences, but I've never had an LCD die. Just hunt for a good 1920x1080, the higher the refresh rate the better. If you can, get a 120Hz :) 
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a b B Homebuilt system
December 8, 2010 10:38:47 PM

^Yep but a 64-bit OS costs about two thirds of what a monitor or good video card is. And he's gaining actually only 0.8GB with that. I still use a 32-bit OS and I have 4G of RAM like for always. I'm too lazy to even steal a 64-bit one from the Interentz.
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a b B Homebuilt system
December 8, 2010 10:57:15 PM

It will fit with no problem in your case!!
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a b B Homebuilt system
December 8, 2010 11:22:06 PM

It costs two thirds of a monitor, definitely. That is, unless you bought it, then you get x64 and x86. ;) 

And the 5770 will fit without a doubt. I'd go with the GTX460 if you can find a good deal on it though, it can be had for around the same price if you shop a bit, and outperforms the 5770 by a good bit.
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a b B Homebuilt system
December 9, 2010 2:19:38 AM

Are you saying the gtx 460 1 gb can be found for as much as the 5770? Or the 768mb?

I'm pretty sure you mean the 1 gb version just trying to clear it up.
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a c 91 B Homebuilt system
December 9, 2010 2:25:35 AM

^ Price wise, 5770 1gb = GTX 460 768mb. But performance numbers 460 768mb (before and after OC) > 5770 1gb (Before and after OC) The 460 is a great card since Nvidia now is dropping prices. XD Thanks to the AMD contest.
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a b B Homebuilt system
December 9, 2010 11:08:03 AM

For 30 dollars more, you can get the 1GB version of that ASUS 460. I've not looked into performance differences between 768 and 1, are they worth 30 bucks?
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December 9, 2010 5:47:13 PM

The EVGA one has better reviews and 2 customer awards. I'd rather go with reliability. After I switch video cards, I probably use my 4650 for a build for my parents, which is probably more than they need.

For harddrive, I'd rather just get faster HDD than get a SSD. Maybe a velociraptor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Another question: my parents are using a really old (like 8 years) 2wire router at home, and it freaks out when there are 3 or more computers connected. I think its time to get a new router; do you guys have any suggestions for an inexpensive wireless router/modem. It doesn't need extra functions like extra storage or software, just something more up-to-date and simple to use.

Thanks guys for all your help!
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a b B Homebuilt system
December 9, 2010 10:02:00 PM

Don't get a velociraptor it is not worth it, save your money for a SSD. The highest performance HDD for the money I would recommend is the samsung f3 1tb. Anything above that in HDD would be better spent on an SSD
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a b B Homebuilt system
December 9, 2010 10:21:58 PM

+1. Velociraptors aren't all that anymore, especially for the price. The best storage solution, IMO, is a medium sized quick SSD (~60GB), and a 7200 for storage.

I prefer my Windows to boot fast, I can wait 1/3 second for a video to start playing or an image to load.
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a b B Homebuilt system
December 10, 2010 1:09:21 AM

+1 for Adata SSD
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a c 91 B Homebuilt system
December 10, 2010 3:02:28 AM

^ Haha "if you ever" Hate OCZ. They never do return their rebates!
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a b B Homebuilt system
December 10, 2010 3:33:26 AM

I got one once, 7 months later. I've submitted 9.
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a c 91 B Homebuilt system
December 10, 2010 3:55:58 AM

^ Bahah, that made me chuckly.
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