So, i'm upgrading my computer to play DX10 enhanced titles such as BioShock and Crysis. I'm more interested in playing BioShock and everything after is a bonus, i have a Xbox360 but i really don't like FPS games on consoles. So here's my old rig and what i'm thinking on getting, i am also on a budget as i don't want to spend too much money (just enough for a high end experiance on BioShock via 1280 x 1024).
CPU: AMD athlon 64 X2 4200+ (not overclocked) > (overclocked to 3.0Ghz)
RAM: Kingston HyperX 2 x 1GB > is extra 2x1GB sticks necessary for a much greater efect???
Soundcard: Onboard > Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer
VideoCard: Geforce 7800 GT > XFX 8800 GTS 320mb
OS: windows XP SP2 > windows Vista home premium upgrade (dont worry we have other computers if we need to use windowsXP)
----no upgrades below--------
MOBO: ASUS A8N Sli deluxe > no change
PowerSupply: 680 watts PSU > no upgrade
Speakers: Logitech 5500z > no upgrade
Heatsink: Zalman > no upgrade
DVD drive: already gotten.
HDD: more than enough space.
So with all the upgrades i should be hitting around 500 dollars. Remember, i will be gaming at 1280 x 1024 resolution since i only have a 19 inch monitor. So what do you all think??? i do you all think i need 64bit window's vista (so expensive!) for a better experiance for is home premium enough?? How will my upgraded rig play BioShock at max DX10 settings on 1280 x 1024??? Am i forgeting anything else???
P.S. waiting for prices to drop is not an option....I'll be buying everything in the next day or so.
Well... since BioShock isn't out yet no one has played it on existing hardware so no one can really give you a sure answer (duh).
Anyhow, unless you are getting a 64-bit edition of Vista you won't be able to use most of the RAM upgrade to 4GB... you'll get somewhere between 2.5-3GB usable depending on your hardware. I'd recommend getting a 640MB GTS (~ $75-100 extra) over the extra system memory anyway because if the game is going to be using more memory its better that it be video memory on the card and not system memory. Also, I haven't really looked into it since I have neither Vista nor a X-Fi, but is there Vista support for those sound cards. I'm pretty sure that at least initially there wasn't. As for the benefits of a sound card in general, even a X-Fi, that's debatable. If you are an audiophile then I guess its important. You might even get a few more frames per second by offloading the audio to the card. But if you are just looking for a speed boost you'd be better off spending the money elsewhere. If you really want the nifty EAX features you might instead consider a lower end X-Fi. Also, what kind of CPU cooler are you going to use to hit 3.0GHz? Are you even sure you can hit that clockspeed? Even if you can't, as in the past, the GPU should still be more important (overall) than the CPU.
Got a similar spec pc(x2 at2.7,2gb's ram, 320 8800 gts on a 22"crt and same mobo). Dude you can play anything out there with that at full res anyway(world in conflict beta,oblivion at good fps,halo 2etc) so why upgrade before it comes out on a maybe.
Dont throw money at a good machine till ya know ya need to.
Um, no. I love System Shock 2 and it may well end up being the better game, but I'm playing BioShock right now (the full version, not a demo) and it's the best looking game I've seen in years. Amazing design by Irrational/2K.
Dude, I don't see much wrong with your existing system except maybe the video upgrade but if the game is written well you could probably run it fine with your existing system at 1024x768 and 1280x1024 with some minor bump downs on the visuals I would think.
If you are going to upgrade to Vista, I would personally just use the onboard sound until Creative releases it's next generation or refresh of the X-Fi for Vista 64. You can get the Open AL wrapper (driver) to make it work, but my understanding is that it's a bit kludgy, unreliable, and costs extra - although they may only be charging for the Audigy version and not the X-Fi, you'd have to look into that.