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Upgrading Computer for Gaming

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June 7, 2011 1:45:14 PM

Hey everyone, I'm looking to upgrade my MoBo to better suit my gaming habits. I'd like to stay under 200$ for the MoBo if I can. Can't post all the specs of what I'm running currently (at work) but I currently am running 8gb of DDR2 800, 1gb 9800gt and an E5200 CPU 2.5ghz dual core. I'm just looking for overclocking capabilities and just a solid motherboard for gaming. I recently got The Witcher 2 and it's driving me crazy! Oh, and currently on 64-bit Vista..

By the way, here's a link to my current MoBo.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

June 7, 2011 2:31:17 PM

Hmm, never ran AMD. Just worried what kind of changes would be in store if I did.. And if everything I have currently will be compatible. Granted, I know I'd need a new CPU.
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June 7, 2011 2:42:54 PM

I see that, the processor looks great. I'm just trying to maximize my game performance on a budget. Hopefully the 8gb of DDR2 800 can manage that..
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
June 7, 2011 2:53:00 PM

And Saje, remember that you have to factor in OS costs. With a motherboard switch, you have to do one of 2 things.
1. Call up microsoft for a new code. (retail version)
2. Reinstall OS with another copy. (OEM version)

Figure out which type you have and respond accordingly.
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 7, 2011 2:53:34 PM

As of now 4Gb is enough for games so your 8Gb is more then enough. The other thing is you wont see a peformance increase from ram unless you upgrade to DDR3. If you want to do that get these items:
AMD Phenom II x4 955 $115
ASRock M3A770DE mobo $60http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GSkill DDR3 1333mhz 4Gb (2x2Gb) ram $40 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I know its a little over budget but its just an idea.
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 7, 2011 2:54:55 PM

striker410 said:
And Saje, remember that you have to factor in OS costs. With a motherboard switch, you have to do one of 2 things.
1. Call up microsoft for a new code. (retail version)
2. Reinstall OS with another copy. (OEM version)

Figure out which type you have and respond accordingly.

If you have your product key you can just install the OS and use the key as it is good for up to three uses or three computers.
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June 7, 2011 2:58:28 PM

That gives me a lot to think about! Thanks a lot you guys!
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 7, 2011 3:02:14 PM

Sorry to not just say go for it and know you have to decide. Just like people to get the most for there money.
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June 7, 2011 4:25:19 PM

saje43 said:
Hmm, never ran AMD. Just worried what kind of changes would be in store if I did.. And if everything I have currently will be compatible. Granted, I know I'd need a new CPU.


amd will work just fine, its cheaper and you will see a performance boost from your last cpu and mobo
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 7, 2011 7:15:17 PM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... Or you could get this combe for $180 and use the GSKill ram I posted earlier and have a Sandy Bridge build that will out game the Phenom 955. Overbudgt by $20 then but better performance according to this article:http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-gaming-cpu-cor....
Sorry about trying to get you to spend more money but I am just trying to present all possible options. Then again you could upgrade the 9800gt and see if that helps but personally I would upgrade the cpu and save up for a new graphics card down the road (or ask for one during the Holidays if possible). Hope this helps
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June 8, 2011 1:14:07 PM

Man, here I was thinking my video card was great. :( 
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June 8, 2011 1:16:14 PM

So, color me inexperienced.. The i3 and the i processors are faster than the normal quad cores or?
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June 8, 2011 1:18:57 PM

Okay, looking at processors..I've decided I think I want to go with the http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=19-103-... . Now, I could use you guys experience to figure out the best MoBo I could get that coincides with the DDR2 800 I use now. I need four slots. And, just remember I want to game...Like a badass. Haha, but a badass on a budget.
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June 8, 2011 2:47:58 PM

I second either of those boards.

Actually, speaking of the x3 that might be a good idea. See, right now games run optimally on 2 to 3 cores. That's starting to change to quads, but tri cores are an excellent value especially if you can unlock them.
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June 8, 2011 2:48:54 PM

Hah, don't hate me.. But now I have more money available but only through Dell! So, I guess the goal for me now is to build an awesome gaming laptop and I'll pursue the desktop upgrades in time. So, now I'm fighting between an alienware or an xps..
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 8, 2011 3:08:33 PM

I really hate/love my gaming laptop. But if its going to work for you go with an Alienware, I like the m14's
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a b B Homebuilt system
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June 8, 2011 3:10:23 PM

I'd say XPS is for the win. The alienware line carries a huge premium. Can you spring for something like an MSI laptop, or is it ONLY Dell?
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June 8, 2011 3:14:46 PM

I guess the m14 wouldn't bother me, since I play on a 22in HD Monitor. But now I'm conflicted, as Striker says the Alienware's do carry a larger price tag. On the XPS I have built I'm looking at GeForce GT 555m and I think that's what I'm worried about. And yeah, striker it's just looking like Dell.
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June 8, 2011 3:22:16 PM

And the only reason I don't go with the dell desktop is because I already have a custom desktop (obviously) and I've needed/wanted a laptop for the longest time, so I figured why not make it a gaming rig. It would fulfill my needs for now, but I want it to be able to hold up for quite a few years too.
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June 8, 2011 3:50:53 PM

So, looking to you guys again.. I have a m14x set up for about 1900 dollars with the following specs.

PROCESSOR Intel® Core™ i7 2820QM 2.3GHz (3.4GHz w/Turbo Boost, 8MB Cache) edit
OPERATING SYSTEM Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium, 64bit, English edit
MEMORY 8GB Dual Channel DDR3 at 1600MHz edit
VIDEO CARD 3.0GB DDR3 NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 555M using NVIDIA Optimus™ technology edit
HARD DRIVE 500GB 7200RPM SATA 3Gb/s edit
LCD PANEL 14.0" High Def+ (900p/1600x900) with WLED backlight edit
WIRELESS CARDS Intel® Wireless-N WiFi Link 1000 a/g/n 1x2 edit
WIRELESSHD None edit
INTERNAL OPTICAL DRIVE 8x SuperMulti DVD±R/RW Slot Load Optical Drive edit
SOUND OPTIONS Soundblaster® X-Fi™ Hi Def Audio - Software Enabled edit
BLUETOOTH Internal Bluetooth 3.0
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June 8, 2011 4:30:29 PM

Alright, and here's my XPS build, although I have a processor question about it. This one is sitting at about 1800.

PROCESSOR 2nd generation Intel® Core™ i7-2820QM processor 2.30 GHz with Turbo Boost 2.0 up to 3.40 GHz edit
OPERATING SYSTEM Genuine Windows® Home Premium, 64-Bit, English edit
SERVICE PLAN 2 Year Home Express Service edit
HD DISPLAY 17.3" FHD (1080p) with 2.0MP HD Webcam & Facial Recognition edit
VIDEO CARD NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 555M 3GB graphics with Optimus edit
HARD DRIVE 1.0TB 500GB 7.2k HDD x 2 edit
OFFICE SOFTWARE Microsoft® Office Starter: reduced-functionality Word & Excel w/ ads. No PowerPoint or Outlook edit
SECURITY SOFTWARE McAfee Security Center with VirusScan, Firewall, Spyware Removal, 15-Months edit
INTERNAL OPTICAL DRIVE Tray Load Blu-ray Disc BD-Combo (Reads BD and Writes to DVD/CD) edit
WIRELESS + BLUETOOTH Intel® Centrino® Wireless-N 1030 and Bluetooth 3.0 edit
SOUND OPTIONS JBL 2.1 Speakers with Waves Maxx Audio 3 + Creative SoundBlaster X-FI MB 1.2 edit
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June 8, 2011 4:31:18 PM

And the memory.. MEMORY 8GB Shared Dual Channel DDR3 Memory
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June 8, 2011 4:33:34 PM

Now, my question is. Is there actually a 200$ difference between the i7-2820QM and the i7-2720QM? And is there a big difference between the two?
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a b B Homebuilt system
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June 8, 2011 4:38:22 PM

The difference is only .1GHz. I would say no, it's not worth paying $200 for. It would be like, 3 fps more probably. However, with such low clock rates that .1GHz could be slightly important.

My say? No. If you can, put the money into some better graphics.

Do they have Sandy Bridge in any of the dell laptops yet?
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June 8, 2011 4:54:39 PM

Not from what I can tell, unless you could tell otherwise. All the things I selected for that XPS are top of the choices. So, that vid card is the best being offered...Som you don't think that 2820 is enough of an improvement to pay for?
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a b B Homebuilt system
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June 8, 2011 4:56:15 PM

No, definitely not if it's a $200 gap. Others might not agree, but $200 for 100MHz is quite a bit of money even in the laptop arena.
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June 8, 2011 5:07:33 PM

Hmm, so where do you think you would fall between the XPS and the Alienware from what I've listed?
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a b B Homebuilt system
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June 8, 2011 5:15:55 PM

I would definitely go XPS. Here's my reasoning:

+The XPS has a full 17", 1080p screen.
+The XPS has double the storage capacity.
+The XPS has a Blu-ray drive.
+The XPS has a free webcam.
+The XPS has speakers.
+The XPS is $100 cheaper
- The XPS isn't near as sexy :/ 

I think it's pretty clear.
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June 8, 2011 5:19:56 PM

Man, that graphics card is worrying me though as I search the interwebz. -sigh-
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a b B Homebuilt system
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June 8, 2011 5:23:19 PM

I think it'll be ok. The deal is, you will NEVER get as powerful a gaming laptop as you will a desktop. Considering it can do 30 FPS on BFBC2 on high, you look to be in OK shape.
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June 8, 2011 5:32:16 PM

I'm getting confused though, from what I can see there is a 1.5gb 555m and a 3gb 555m. What are they gettign the specs from? Because the one in the XPS is the 3gb.
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June 8, 2011 5:37:48 PM

Idk. However, I can tell you that it doesn't matter which one lol. Get whichever is cheaper, you will NEVER use 3GB of vram at 1080p. NEVER.
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June 8, 2011 5:39:50 PM

Haha, thanks for all your help you've been awesome!
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July 5, 2011 1:05:56 PM

Well, I'm back again and have more questions. Looks like I've decided for now to just upgrade the Vid card on my desktop. So, suggestions?
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July 5, 2011 1:13:22 PM

Trying to stay under 200 bucks, and my main focus is still to be able to play Witcher 2 with no hiccups.
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July 12, 2011 1:49:48 AM

Bump, anyone?
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!