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New [Upgrade] Build Questions?

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October 19, 2011 2:18:33 AM

Currently, I am a rising senior, and I plan to game a decent amount in college. I am going to build/upgrade my new rig around June-ish ... And yes, I'm going to bring my desktop to college, and buy a new laptop.

Right now, I have this rig I built about 3-4 years ago:

Cooler Master Scout
Intel Core i7 920 OC to 3.2 GHz
XFX 4870 1GB
G. Skill 6gb (3x2GB) Tri-Channel DDR3 1600 MHz Ram
Corsair 750W PSU (The orange one, the non-modular one)
640 GB WD Caviar Black HDD
EVGA SLI LE Motherboard
Scythe Mugen CPU Cooler

So in June, should I fork out another 1.2k and build a completely new desktop? And get a mediocre laptop ($400-$600)

Or should I spend $300 for a new graphics card, and like $100 for another HDD? And save the money, and probably buy a decent gaming laptop for the move? ($800-$1100)

I'm not sure if my i7 920 will bottleneck or not ... it's the oldest i7.

And I could get an SSD, but I don't feel like spending that much. I will wait the extra 20 seconds or so, it won't kill me.
a b B Homebuilt system
October 19, 2011 2:50:41 AM

I assume you are running a 1920 screen. If you are experiencing fps issues, your cpu can certainly handle a gpu upgrade. The rest of your rig is certainly fine for excellent gaming at that resolution.

Buy a laptop - if you wish. It doesn't have to be a gaming laptop unless you need 2 game-capable rigs. You may find something smaller and lighter is better for general college use.

And in any case, save your money if you can. There's plenty of other fun things to spend it on in college :) 
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 19, 2011 2:55:51 AM

Yes, you'd be fine with just a new GPU. I think you'll be OK up to around 570/6970 level (the 570's better).
An SSD would be pretty badass. If you're considering dropping $1200 on a desktop, you can probably afford $110 for an M4 64gb for your OS and a couple of apps. Go run WinDirStat and tell us about the data distribution on your HDD at the moment.
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October 20, 2011 3:02:34 AM

Yep I'm running at 1920x1080. It's good to hear that my i7 isn't too old yet, haha.
And I think saving money to spend in college is a great idea :p 

I'm not sure what's going to be available in the next 9 months, but hopefully there will be more price drops or something.

Instead of the 64gb SSD, do you think getting this is a pretty decent alternative?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I also don't feel like reinstalling my OS :p 
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 20, 2011 3:15:27 AM

You should be able to clone the OS to the SSD without a reinstall. WinDirStat! What's making up the bulk of your data, and how much data do you have in total?
Why would you need a new drive if you've got one?
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 20, 2011 4:56:13 AM

Seagate, like most HD mfgers, provides cloning software to make it easy to replace your "C" drive, or any other. More frequently now they are using a special version of Acronis software. Check this link and skip to page 8:

http://www.seagate.com/support/discwizard/dw_ug.en.pdf

So if you bought the Seagte, np swapping out your HD.

Personally, I think a gamer gains the most pop for the buck with a ~120GB SD so that OS and games can use the drive. And I'm just not sure the hybrid drive provides enough pop to make it worthwhile:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/3734/seagates-momentus-xt...

With limited funds - or better uses for some of it lol - the gpu, maybe cpu, and then the SSD would be my vote. YMMV.
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 20, 2011 10:51:07 PM

Yes, a 120 would probably be ideal, but 64 would cut it for the OS if the money is important enough.
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