I have an Alienware Aurora I purchased in December 2009 (!), with the following build:
- Intel Core i7 920 (2.66Ghz, 8mb cache);
- 3GB Triple Chanel 1067Mhz DDR3;
- Dual 1GB NVidia GeForce GTS 240 - SLI Enabled graphics cards; and
- 1 TB SATA-II, 7,200 RPM, 32MB Cache Hard Drive.
I was pricing out a new system, but upon looking at Alienware’s website there doesn’t seem to be a massive difference in the technical specs. This seemed odd, as I would have thought two and a half years was the end of a computer's life now a days. Admittedly, I am behind the times with my hardware knowledge.
My question: does it make sense to replace the whole system to get a 3rd generation CPU? Or should I simply upgrade the attached (presumably more ram and possibly new video cards)? This is purely a gaming computer.
For your money, a GeForce GTX 670 + 12GB of tri channel RAM will be like night and day for you. Any power supply that could run dual GTS 240's shoudn't have much trouble with the GTX 670 given how efficient it is.
To help squeeze even more out of it, look at investing in a new CPU cooler, and overclock the i7 920 to 3.7GHz or more even. If you do all that your system will be a monster.
Agree with everything above CPU is still fine but amount of ram and those GPU's in SLI no longer cuts it. If you have 64 bit OS on there I would buy a 12GB kit (3x4GB) and upgrade the GPU to something like GTX560Ti, HD6950 or HD7850.
The single most important part in a gaming computer is the video card , even though you have two gts 240's those cards are not very powerful and as said by Azathoth 3gb of ram is not good.
The best part of the computer is the i7-920 , when the Gulftowns were released the 920 became very popular for it's overclocking ability and people would buy it rather then spend a lot more on the higher models because they were getting good performance from it.
I would take out the ram and the video cards and replace them with 6gb ram and a GTX 560Ti. You could then add a second 560Ti later on for SLI. If you had a good amount for a budget you could get a GTX 570.
Another thing that would spice up your Pc is a SSD for the OS drive.