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Upgrade a prebuilt or build from scratch?

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April 28, 2012 6:15:23 AM

I currently own a Gateway FX6840-03e. It's alright but I am having issues running modern games and doing heavy video editing (small youtube clips are alright, but long 1080p clips start to bog it down fast.)

I'd also like to get into recording gameplay with FRAPS and maybe livestream.

Is it even worth upgrading this computer or should I just start from scratch?


Link to Specs(sorry its a weird sales site): http://www.aztekcomputers.com/FX684003EFBR-GATEWAY-2466...
April 28, 2012 4:10:58 PM

Kazvon said:
I currently own a Gateway FX6840-03e.

Is it even worth upgrading this computer or should I just start from scratch?


Based on the link, it looks like you have the core of a decent computer. What things (if any) have you already done? If the link is correct it looks like the easiest thing to do would be to just upgrade the video card to cover most of what you are looking at. A core i7 should have plenty of horsepower to handle both the video editing and the gameplay. Memory might be an issue if you haven't already maxed it out. Of course a faster HD might help the gaming as well. For the video editing I would probably look at a fast, large external drive to hold the raw and final files, and then just keep the working files internal so there is plenty of space for writes to occur.

Starting from scratch is great if you are planning to repurpose this computer, and have the money, as well as the time and desire to build your own. However it looks like you would be looking at $1000 for a good comparable scratch system (with upgraded graphics) versus spending about $200 to just upgrade your graphics.

Of course if you just feel like you want to build from scratch, that's another story. I've built my own and bought pre-built. Usually I see a slight edgs in the build-my-own for performance, although nothing that is all that significant most of the time. My own boxes tend to last a LOT longer however since my quality control is tighter, and I tend not to go with the cheapest vendor for components.
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April 28, 2012 9:06:56 PM

I am really itching to built from scratch but really cannot afford it.

I haven't upgraded anything in it yet, the only thing I did was remove the DVD drive because it was shorting out the computer and causing it to shut down unexpectedly; so if anything I downgraded :>

It has a lot of HDD bays in the front of the case and I was looking into getting a 1TB Caviar Black for a dedicated FRAPS drive and then maybe a second one to replace the stock HDD (it's pretty slow). Then use the stock one as a scratch drive.

I am worried about upgrading the video because my PS is only 500w. Is that enough for say a decent Nvidia like a 560 on top of the extra drives or would that be pushing it?
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April 28, 2012 9:11:37 PM

As a compromise consider a new graphics card . If you buy a Radeon 7850 for a round the $250 mark you ca expect much better gaming performance

and if you do build from scratch you could take that card in to the new build
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April 28, 2012 11:48:57 PM

I like the idea of getting the 7850 and then later i can crossfire a 2nd one in a new rig.
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