I built my PC a little over 2 years ago with what I thought was a pretty nice build. I did it mostly on recommendations from others and am not up to speed on new components, so I'm flying blind when it comes to upgrading. I'd love some input as to whether any upgrades would make an appreciable difference for gaming, and if so which upgrades you'd suggest.
Intel i7 Processor 3.07 GHz
Gigabyte Ultra Durable 3 Motherboard (GA-X58A-UD3R)
GeForce GTX460 Video Card
Hitachi 1TB Hard Drive
Antex EA-650 power supply
HAF 912 Tower
Relevant to the discussion is the fact that I'm displaying this through a projector onto a 120" screen with full surround sound and high end speakers. Used for gaming mostly.
I was thinking a dedicated sound card might make sense and possibly an upgraded video card. Would either of those make an appreciable difference?
I'm a newbie on the forum so let me know if I'm missing any key info.
I think the best choice would be to upgrade your graphics card. Say a GTX 660ti or GTX 670, you didn't mention budget so I'm just tossing that out there. With these cards you also get HDMI output for sound and graphics which is perfect for your projector / surround system setup.
"For the sound, will the output from the card be of comparable quality to a stand alone sound card? Currently I've got sound coming off the motherboard to my receiver via an optical output cable. "
Yes it will be comparable quality. As long as you have an HDMI input to the receiver and your receiver has a decent DAC the sound will be high quality. You might even get better sound from this setup vs your current as the digital to optical conversion of onboard sound can be pretty bad(not usually though). With HDMI no digital to analog conversion is done except in you receiver via its DAC which is the big plus. I prefer HDMI because you have one cable ran from the PC to the receiver then an HDMI out to the TV which caries both the sound and video, makes for a clean / easy setup.
So far so good. Installation went smoothly and the 670 really seems to make the most of the 120" screen.
I do seem to have some more glitches in video performance than before though. Either freezing for a second or two or black screens and artifacts when loading certain programs. However, for the most part the performance has been impressive.
Nice to see it worked out. If you used the driver CD and didn't snag the latest drivers from Nvidia the new drivers may fix some of the odd freezing as there was a similar issue early on fixed by a driver update.