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$300-$350 for upgrade - how to spend

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Last response: in Systems
May 31, 2011 6:36:15 PM

Well, I have $300-$350 (CAD) to spend on an upgrade for my pc

current specs:

i7-930
Gigabyte x58a-udr3
2 TB + 1 TB hitachi deskstar 7200rpm
6 GB crosair ddr3 1066
xfx hd 5770
hooked up to 40" samsung tv (1080p)

I was thinking about getting a second monitor (to use for desktop gadgets etc, as well as for browsing while watching movies on the main display)
or a new graphics card. I don't really game a LOT but do game casually.
or an SSD The agility 3 is looking very inviting.

PC use includes: Watching HD movies, some moderate usage of VMware for school, casual to moderate gaming , lots of browsing, some video transcoding.

More about : 300 350 upgrade spend

a b B Homebuilt system
May 31, 2011 7:31:08 PM

beer.
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May 31, 2011 8:19:13 PM

wait and get a 7000 series card at the end of the year and maybe 1333mhz ram
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Best solution

a c 90 B Homebuilt system
May 31, 2011 9:12:01 PM

From a utilitarian point of view, a second monitor is one of the best upgrades.
If space allows, make it the same as your current monitor. It makes dragging windows from one to the other easier.

For performance, a SSD for the OS and frequently used apps will make everything feel much quicker.
Expect to pay about $2/gb.

If your gaming performance is OK with a 5770, there is no need to upgrade it for a second monitor.
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June 1, 2011 12:44:24 AM

Mosox: Beer is a good suggestion, I will keep that in mind if I have some left over cash ;) 

mjmjpfaff: By the end of the year, I probably will get a new gpu.But this money is for now. so if I did, it would be a 6xxx. Most likely a 6950. Faster RAM is a good suggestion though, and maybe bumping it up to 12GB for when I have a few VM' open.

geofelt:I too am leaning towards the second monitor. I don't really NEED another 40" screen though. lol So I was thinking about maybe a 19-22" monitor. I would like one that can rotate so I can have it in portriat mode.

The inner geek in me really wants to throw an SSD in my rig though. I've had my eye on the Agility 3 120 GB
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June 1, 2011 2:37:46 AM

6 gb 1333mhz ram
6950 1gb
that is a good upgrade
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a c 90 B Homebuilt system
June 1, 2011 3:31:14 AM

rb420 said:
Mosox: Beer is a good suggestion, I will keep that in mind if I have some left over cash ;) 

mjmjpfaff: By the end of the year, I probably will get a new gpu.But this money is for now. so if I did, it would be a 6xxx. Most likely a 6950. Faster RAM is a good suggestion though, and maybe bumping it up to 12GB for when I have a few VM' open.

geofelt:I too am leaning towards the second monitor. I don't really NEED another 40" screen though. lol So I was thinking about maybe a 19-22" monitor. I would like one that can rotate so I can have it in portriat mode.

The inner geek in me really wants to throw an SSD in my rig though. I've had my eye on the Agility 3 120 GB


On the SSD, I would look at the Intel 320 80 or 160gb.
They are priced right, and I don't think you can tell in actual usage which ssd is better. They are all good. I have had both the Intel 510 120gb, and the X25-m 160gb. not much real difference.
There is a lot of marketing hype based on sequential benchmarks which are mostly irrelevant to normal desktop usage.

Don't get faster ram. The nehalem and sandy cpu's have excellent ram controllers. They can keep the cpu fed with data from any speed or latency ram.
Actual performance of applications or FPS may improve by 1-3%. Not worth it to me.
Synthetic benchmarks will shine, but that is not what we do. Fancy heat spreaders are hype also.
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June 8, 2011 12:00:07 AM

Best answer selected by rb420.
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