Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Advice for upgrading old Alienware Area 51

Last response: in Systems
Share
July 10, 2011 10:36:49 PM

Hi all, I'm new to this forum and figured I should ask this simple question here as the advice you receive here seems better than everywhere else I have looked.
I have an older Area 51 model (late 2009-2010 with the newer case) that I would like to upgrade a bit, but being that this is my first gaming machine, I'm not sure where to start or what would be beneficial. I'm working with the following:

Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad Core 9450 (3.2GHz/12MB cache OC ) with a closed circuit liquid cooling
MOBO: GIGABYTE GA-EP43-DS3L
RAM: 6GB Kingston HyperX (up to 16 GB)
Videocard: Ati Radeon HD 5870
Storage: Samsung Spinpoint 1000GB (1.TB) /32MB cache hard drive
Optical Lite-On 24X Dual-Layer Burner (DVD±RW)
POWER SUPPLY Alienware 1100Watt Multi-GPU Approved
Windows® 7 Ultimate 64-Bit
Case/PSU Alienware Area 51


I will be using this mostly for work (live securities trading), music and video streaming and I hope to start gaming as well (have only been using consoles for quite a while). So any advice you guys can give on updating anything would be great and I appreciate your help and I'm sure you'll be seeing more of me on these forums going forward.

Thanks!
July 11, 2011 12:30:13 AM

Welcome!
Well, you already have a pretty good gaming rig that appears more than you really need for day trading. The HD 5870 is a powerful card, but I can see the convenience of console gaming. I use my PC a heck of a lot more than my PS3, but to each his own i reckon.

But if its an upgrade you seek, we'll be glad to help. I would consider a core i5/ z68 motherboard combo. The ram would be fine. The one area where you could improve significantly would be a boot drive SSD. Not just for gaming, but a boost to overall system responsiveness. I'd recommend the 128Gb OCZ Vertex3, unless you think you could afford the 256GB version.

The HD 5870 is overkill for someone who doesn't game. Replacing it with something more powerful would be a waste of money, unless you're serious about gaming at high resolutions. BTW, its always a good idea to mention your resolution as it affects what we can recommend as a good graphics card for you.

I'm posting a link to thje "Best Graphics Cards.." article for July so you can see in the hierarchy chart, there isn't much north of the HD 5870. And those cards are running $500 or better.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-graphics-card,...

So the bottom line is, for now it may be a bit soon for an upgrade for your purposes. The i5 would be a good upgrade to your platform, but mostly I see an SSD in your future.
m
0
l
July 11, 2011 12:50:31 AM

Thanks buzznut, that was very helpful and I see what you mean about the HD 5870 being plenty for my intentions for the time being. I just recently got this system - thus my lack of console gaming (never had a gaming machine before).

I will look into your core/mobo combo though and i was already thinking about the SSD, so I think that part is a no-brainer. Also, thanks for that link and I will keep the resolution mentioning in mind for future posts.

At least I've found a new home here for questions/answers as these type of forums are hard to come by and are extremely helpful.

Thanks again for taking the time out to give advice, I really appreciate it.
m
0
l
July 11, 2011 12:55:02 AM

jikenda said:
Thanks buzznut, that was very helpful and I see what you mean about the HD 5870 being plenty for my intentions for the time being. I just recently got this system - thus my lack of console gaming (never had a gaming machine before).

I will look into your core/mobo combo though and i was already thinking about the SSD, so I think that part is a no-brainer. Also, thanks for that link and I will keep the resolution mentioning in mind for future posts.

At least I've found a new home here for questions/answers as these type of forums are hard to come by and are extremely helpful.

Thanks again for taking the time out to give advice, I really appreciate it.


np GL!
m
0
l
!