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  • Summer Upgrades

    Hey everyone! Considering how knowledgeable I consider the TG community to be, I've got a few questions. With my summer job, I've got some extra cash and am looking to perform an upgrade or two on my system. Here are the current specs:

    -Intel Core i7 920 @ 2.9Ghz
    -Zalman 9900 CNPS LED Heatsink
    -ASUS P6T Deluxe/OC Palm LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard
    -ATI Radeon HD 4870 1GB
    -Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5"
    -CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666)
    -Antec TPQ-850 850W Continuous Power ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE
    -SAMSUNG Toc T220HD Rose Black 22" 5ms HDMI Widescreen HDTV Monitor
    -Dell LCD 19" Standard Definition

    Right now I am considering a few upgrade paths:

    1. Add another ATI Radeon HD 4870 1GB graphics card and run Crossfire. The card I am linked to is the exact one I have. I know that the cost of the 4800 series is slated to drop. Would it be best to wait on this one? Will I see a considerable performance boost? Or is it better to wait another year or so and just replace it when it becomes outdated? For the sake of simplicity then, I would buy these Y split power cables to power both plugs on both cards.

    2. More RAM. I would just buy another set of these (same as I currently have) and pop them in. Does anyone know of any issues using all the RAM slots? Or would it be beneficial to instead of increasing capacity, to increase the speed and grab a faster clocked set of RAM. I wouldn't need/want the north bridge cooler.

    3. Another hard drive like the Western Digital VelociRaptor. Or should I wait for and SSD around Christmas and ask Santa?

    4. Nice set of speakers. I don't even know where to start there.

    Thanks for the input!
    Last edited by DrBeat; 06-24-2009, 01:21 AM. Reason: Added monitors + more input


  • #2
    Re: Summer Upgrades

    What size monitor are you using? SLI/Crossfire shines best with high-res displays, so if you're only using a 19/20" monitor, you really won't a crossfire setup (don't take this as 100% fact, maybe something has changed recently I completely missed, but my understanding and what I've seen for the last year suggested this).

    Unless you're feeling a drag with opening applications, or doing heavy video editing, more RAM isn't going to be a huge benefit to you.

    I'd recommend possibly moving your OS install and everything over to a RAID 0 array and using the 1 TB drive as backup/storage for things you can't possibly risk on a RAID 0 array. The load time for bootup, or loading a map when joining/starting a game is mind-numblingly fast using a RAID 0.

    Or just forgo the RAID and get a SSD.

    Or get a real nice monitor, a 2nd one to match your current one, or something else fun.

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    • #3
      Re: Summer Upgrades

      I was thinking, what more could you need? You just built it not too long ago.

      What about speakers?

      You know you could send me that 'extra' money! ;)

      On second thought you could get a GTX 285 and sell me that 4870 for cheap! :)

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      • #4
        Re: Summer Upgrades

        I would either a) save the money for a rainy day b) Get a large monitor (22" at least) or c) Either get another 4870 in crossfire but that would be only if you are playing some graphically intense games.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Summer Upgrades

          Originally posted by Global.Cooling View Post
          I was thinking, what more could you need? You just built it not too long ago.

          What about speakers?

          You know you could send me that 'extra' money! ;)

          On second thought you could get a GTX 285 and sell me that 4870 for cheap! :)
          lol. Unfortunately I'm stuck in the "must fiddle with computer" phase.

          I have a 22" Samsung ToC Monitor and an 19" non-widescreen Dell monitor. I use the Samsung for gaming and it is perfect. A replacement monitor is a thought, but I like the fullscreen for the second as the height is about the same as the widescreen. I also don't have that much more desk space for much more.

          As for the GTX 285, I'm too much of an ATI fan-girl.

          Speakers is thought, as when I built the rig I decided against them to keep costs low. Any recommendations for them on top of my other upgrade thoughts?

          If the general consensus is do nothing, don't be afraid to say that. I'll tuck the money away for another time.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Summer Upgrades

            Are there games that you play to warrant another graphics card though?

            Otherwise I would save for that Solid State Drive :)
            Or just save money :row__577:

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            • #7
              Re: Summer Upgrades

              I have these Logitech Z-4 and they are great!

              But then again you'd probably want some surround sound speakers. That way you can hear yourself knifing my entire squad in 5.1 sweetness.

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              • #8
                Re: Summer Upgrades

                Speakers are sorta hard to recommend without a budget. I've got a cheapo $50 5.1 system from Logitech that has put up with some extreme abuse from parties at school and moving them around a lot, and they still put out nice sound. There are other sets that are much pricier, and would be willing to guess sound a lot nicer.

                Working along the sound train of thought, ever think about getting a dedicated sound card? I'm assuming you're using onboard sound. If you listen to a lot of music, watch movies/etc (assuming you do, being in marching band I'd guess you like music), a sound card can really help out. X-Fi's are great, just the driver support is flaky and whatnot. The reason I went with a creative x-fi was that they have a very large hold on the gaming market, so a lot of the games I play use EAX, and all of their other crazy add-ons, so I know I can max out the sound in anything and hear all the tiny little noises.

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                • #9
                  Re: Summer Upgrades

                  well another 4870 will help frame rates on newer games but 2142 and CSS will get nothing out of another card

                  6GB of RAM should be enough for a few years

                  I would wait and get a SSD later this year, Jmicron is putting out a new controller soon and intel has its 2nd generation drives coming out soon as well

                  desktop speakers are optional for me (mainly because I can hook up right to my stereo now), but I did just get a new sound card for my rig and its a nice step up from the integrated sound, I got the Asus Xonar DX and I'm very happy with it so far but I'm mainly just glad that my sound doesn't break up all the time any more.
                  Reapator, overlord of ponies

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                  • #10
                    Re: Summer Upgrades

                    Buy some stocks.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Summer Upgrades

                      Did you upgrade the RAM in your netbook?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Summer Upgrades

                        I have an Creative X-Fi Xtreme Gamer sound card, but I had issues with output and have yet to sort it all through.

                        Originally posted by Sordavie
                        Buy some stocks.
                        I actually have. :)

                        Originally posted by Global.Cooling
                        Did you upgrade the RAM in your netbook?
                        No I have not. I have an ASUS Eee PC 1000HA.


                        Looks like as for the Crossfire, I'll throw that on the back burner.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Summer Upgrades

                          Greetings all. Grunt from the ARMA world checking in.

                          You've got a pretty hot system as it is. Have you thought about upgrading your headset/mic system to one of those fancy dancy multispeaker multi directional headphone/mic getups? If you are running with standard headphone this would be a huge improvement.
                          sigpic
                          |TG-1st|Grunt
                          ARMA Admin (retired)
                          Pathfinder-Spartan 5

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Summer Upgrades

                            Dictate's suggestion for speakers.
                            Alternatively, you could look into a nice headset. In that range, I usually recommend Sennheiser's PC151s or PC161s. I'd recommend the PC350s, but they seem to require a bit more power to sound good than what most sound cards can put out. So if you're fine with grabbing an amp as well, those would be great!
                            Of course, there are lots of other options out there, those are just a few listed.
                            Cheers,
                            It's Gaming
                            Proud to have been a member of the 55th Infantry Division!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Summer Upgrades

                              PCI express Sound card with a set of 7.1 surround speakers or 5.1 surround headset or both?

                              Comment

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