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Where Do I Go From Here?

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April 24, 2011 1:08:11 AM

I wasn't really sure where to post this but here it goes. I kinda need to know what my next step is to upgrading my system. Here are my specs

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CPU - Athlon II X4 3.0 (3.4 O.C.)

Mobo - ASUS M4A88TD-V EVO

Ram - G.SKILL 8GB (4 x 2GB) DDR3 1333

PSU - Rosewill Green Series RG530-S12 530W

GPU - ASUS EAH6850 DCDirect Cooling

Monitor - Acer G205HV 1600x900 max
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Where can I go from here? I mean in terms of gaming and music production how far behind am I? Or am I right on that fine line of old/new? Thanks for any answers.

More about : question

April 24, 2011 1:18:34 AM

how about an external sound card, as you need perfect sound quality for music production. you have a very nice system, ehat hgave you got for hard drive?
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a b à CPUs
April 24, 2011 1:18:42 AM

that setup is pretty good. CPU wise you may consider upgrading, but it won't be a big upgrade even if you got the top chip. For better gaming, the cpu is just fine, if your board is xfire-able, get a second 6850 (good choice on the asus, that card is awesome). That would probably require a slightly bigger psu though.
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April 24, 2011 1:25:42 AM

To answer Rajaawad23 this is my HDD
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
And if you don't have time to check it out it is a Western Digital 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb
As for Festerovic I have thought about doing that but would it be wiser to upgrade to a single 6900 series GPU (or Nvidia of the same caliber) or just go x-fire? And if I did go with X-fire how far would I have to go with the PSU upgrade? I believe these babies use about 250w a piece at idle! Thanks!
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April 24, 2011 1:32:00 AM

SSD! SSD! SSD!
OS boot drive
will make a noticeable performance difference
if you OS isnt too big than just use something like Paragon Image Backup
to clone your os to ssd
for less than the price of another hd 6850 you would get better performance overall
CF GPUs are a hassle and only see difference in some games and apps

A ssd would be performance increase with anything you do

The HD is the slowest part of your system especially a mechanical
drive

probably a 128gb would be just right level of performance versus price
go with Intel or OCZ drives

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April 24, 2011 1:32:15 AM

the HDD is quite good, if you want you can go for xfire but you should be looking atleast 850 watts to ensure no trouble with 2 6850's and will max out any game with your resolutions.
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April 24, 2011 1:57:43 AM

i have a 750watt psu and am doing fine with powering to of the same 6850s. I think I could have had a 650 according to the kill-a-watt.

ssd will not make games get faster fps. It will decrease load times. It will make the system faster overall, its the slowest part in everyones' pc. As far as audio, it would be expensive to use ssd for working with large files.
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a b à CPUs
April 24, 2011 2:08:51 AM

factor the cost of a HD6850 plus upgraded psu @ 300 USD
300 USD can get a pretty decent quality and size SSD if he catches a good deal

really if he OCs the CPU and GPU how much more FPS does he need?!

also the OP states music production which if he is doing alot of tracks
and effects it would help

also in general system performance in EVERYTHING he does he
will notice a difference

Only in 3D applications will he notice a difference with CF
also factor in possible cost of better cooling and also power usage
the SSD is just logically the better upgrade

really read any modern review of SSDs and every reviewer raves about them

and by the way why would he want to deal with AMD/ATI drivers and Crossfire
all across the forums people are complaing about performace with CF and current drivers

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April 24, 2011 4:27:00 AM

Would an SSD be just for my OS? Just asking because I have over 300 Gigs of just game files from Steam.
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April 24, 2011 5:01:51 AM

If those are on the OS drive that would be problem
I dont use Steam so I am not sure how that works file wise
If those are executable program files which I think those are
then what I would try is picking a game file you dont really play or like anymore
and try transferring to either another hard drive or a seperate partition on your main with a different drive letter than C
it is real easy to make partition in Win7 with shrink/extend
If you need instructions let me know
transfer whole game file to secondary partition and create new shortcut from the EXE run file pointing at new partition
if you click on the shortcut and it works then you know that you could transfer to secondary hard drive (would be the drive you have now with new drive letter)

If it doesnt than SSD would probably be out of the question
A 256gb SSD is expensive enough much less one bigger than that
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April 24, 2011 5:06:12 AM

another nice upgrade though not performace wise directly
would be a bigger higher resolution monitor
Asus, Samsung, Viewsonic and others make some nice ones as you
probably know and
going from 20.5 (?)1600x900 to something like 1920x1200 24 or better
would be a nice upgrade for total system
also by having higher res you would take some workload off of CPU
and use more of the HD6850 power

also could use your original as secondary display
which I really like especially for monitoring programs,email programs etc
which are nice to have up all the time but not take up primary monitor "real estate"
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a b à CPUs
April 24, 2011 5:24:04 AM

1. An SSD boot drive is appropriate in a build like this.

2. Monitor -- move to LED and 1080p or higher.
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a c 123 à CPUs
April 24, 2011 5:39:40 AM

as king says add a hd monitor i did and it makes a world of difference work load wise. you can just get more done with a bigger desktop, especially when doing multimedia.
as your into tunes i would plump for a sound card too. make sure you go for 1 that offloads from the cpu as not all do (especially cheaper 1s).

as fo ssd to boot your o.s it doesn't make that much of a difference especialy if you only get a small 1 in real terms you want 1 with about 300gig for a boot so you can install your apps on it too not just the o.s. or you will have a system that boots fast but is actually no faster when it comes to actual usage.

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a b à CPUs
April 24, 2011 6:25:46 AM

"as fo ssd to boot your o.s it doesn't make that much of a difference especialy if you only get a small 1 in real terms you want 1 with about 300gig for a boot so you can install your apps on it too not just the o.s. or you will have a system that boots fast but is actually no faster when it comes to actual usage." - HEXit

while there is some truth to that statement
and yes having your apps on the SSD is good especially ones that do
alot of read/writes

BUT
having your actual OS files on the SSD is good too
remember your OS is doing many,many,many small writes and reads
constantly so your Explorer will be much snappier

With all your game files plus other apps plus OS I dont know
if doing a SSD right now is a great idea
Performance vs cost factor just isnt there

While I hope this doesnt happen if you have to do a reinstall of OS due to HD failure
or viruses then at that time getting a SSD would be a good idea since you have to reinstall anyway
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a c 88 à CPUs
April 24, 2011 7:01:42 AM

First, steam is awesome. Everything is kept internal to the steam folder. This means you can drag that steam folder around your system all you want, just update the correct location in the short cut and it will load. And because the game files are kept in the steam/apps folder, no problems.

SSD might be a good idea, more so if your music program uses the disk a lot. I would think it would load things into ram so I'm not sure how much an SSD would help. Check your software. The L3 cache found on a Phenom 2 might make it a better option.
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April 24, 2011 7:05:08 AM

^+1 4745454b great help
with being able to move the steam files to your secondary (former os drive)
you can probably use a 256gb ssd
just keep music,picture and data files that your not working on the secondary
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April 24, 2011 4:34:33 PM

btw you can set programs to install on other drives by default through windows.
64GB should be enough for OS, you can spli the drive you have in two partitions one for programs and other for data
getting phenom with L3 will make a difference specially as you do media editing (4 or 6 cores though)
a descent sound card for your work
no need for a larger screen yours is fine but a nice surround or speakers would be great
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April 24, 2011 10:58:51 PM

Thanks to all who posted! I apprectiate all of your inputs! At least now I have an idea of where to go from here! I didn't realize that a bigger rez would take pressure off the CPU load. Great to know! And I am looking into getting an SSD but there so damn expensive! LOL thanks again! Happy trails to you!
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April 24, 2011 11:20:30 PM

Very welcome
actually if you have Newegg available suscribe to their email mailings
I have seen some nice weekend deals on SSDs in there
really for the price of a video card you can
get a decent ssd
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April 25, 2011 9:41:59 PM

Best answer selected by bigtrev85.
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a b à CPUs
April 25, 2011 10:20:33 PM

Thank you for selecting me as Best Answer

Good luck with your upgrades

And of course if later on after the ssd and monitor
a second video card in CF would be cool :) 
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