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What to upgrade first?

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December 17, 2010 2:35:24 AM

Hello,
My gaming rig I build a few years ago is starting to get a bit choppy with newer games. what would you recommend I upgrade, and to what? Budget is about 800-900 dollars, maybe a bit more. My current specs are as follows
cpu- Intel core 2 quad q6700 2.66ghz
gpu- nVidia 9800gx2
motherboard- ASUS republic of gamers striker 2 extreme
RAM- I actually don't have the comp here so I don't know the brand, but it's 4gb of ddr3
HDD-again, I don't know the brand, but there are 2 250gb drives (would the quality of the dries ever effect performance besides hdd vs ssd?)
Monitor- 23' 1680x1050
OS windows 7 64bit

More about : upgrade

December 17, 2010 4:14:36 AM

this newegg combo would be great while it lasts
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

a new CPU is prob. the thing bottlenecking your system the most, although its still a pretty decent rig.
a GPU w/ @ least 1gb of dedicated RAM is a must nowadays it seems.

A SSD seems to really help the most in load times.
I love my Crucial RealSSD C300 because Win7 boots crazy fast, as does every game.
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December 17, 2010 2:08:16 PM

konet said:
Hello,
My gaming rig I build a few years ago is starting to get a bit choppy with newer games. what would you recommend I upgrade, and to what? Budget is about 800-900 dollars, maybe a bit more. My current specs are as follows
cpu- Intel core 2 quad q6700 2.66ghz
gpu- nVidia 9800gx2
motherboard- ASUS republic of gamers striker 2 extreme
RAM- I actually don't have the comp here so I don't know the brand, but it's 4gb of ddr3
HDD-again, I don't know the brand, but there are 2 250gb drives (would the quality of the dries ever effect performance besides hdd vs ssd?)
Monitor- 23' 1680x1050
OS windows 7 64bit


With that card, and that smaller resolution, you are probably limited by the cpu. To clarify your options, run these two tests:

1) Run your games, but reduce the resolution and eye candy to a minimum. This will simulate what will happen if you upgrade to a stronger graphics card. If your FPS improves, it indicates that your cpu is capable of driving a stronger graphics card to higher levels of FPS.

2) Keeping your graphics resolution and settings the same, reduce your cpu power. Do this by removing the overclock, or by using windows power management to set a maximum cpu% of perhaps 70%. If your FPS drops significantly, it indicates that your current cpu is a limiting factor, and that a faster cpu would help.

If you upgrade your graphics card, make it a significant jump, perhaps to a GTX580. That will resolve any possible dual gpu issues. If you make a lesser jump, you may be disappointed by the results. You are looking at $500, less what your 9800Gx2 will sell for. Perhaps $100.

More likely, a cpu change is in order. In that case wait for a Jan 5 sandy bridge launch. You are looking at $500 for a cpu/mobo/ram.
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