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Thread: Planned upgrade of a gaming rig - with an eye on future Vista use

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    Planned upgrade of a gaming rig - with an eye on future Vista use

    I'm getting an itch to upgrade my mid-level gaming rig, with an eye on gaming future requirements and dual-booting Vista within the next couple of months. But I don't want to spend loads!

    My dilemma is that I'm hesitant to plough a lot of money into making upgrades on a Socket 939 system - and wondering whether it makes more sense to hold off now, and build a better mid-level Core 2 Duo or AMD AM2 system later this year.

    If I stick with my A8N-SLI, then I'd be looking to make the following upgrades:

    2x1Gb PC3200. Getting hard to find lower latency modules these days - but then I read about how folks are getting 5,2,2,2 at PC3200 using Crucial's Ballistix kits (great price, considering - £130 for 2x1Gb PC4000).

    Get an 8800GTS - probably the Palit from Scan.

    Upgrade to AMD X2 939 (also getting rare - maybe the 4800, or at least a 4200).

    Or do I just stay patient, and build a Core 2 Duo or AM2 system later this year, with 2Gb DDR2 and whatever is the best GPU around £200-250 at the time? This would of course cost more!

    Anyone else in the same position - or have an opinion? Thanks!
    Last edited by timread; 24-01-2007 at 01:11 PM.

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    Forgot to mention - games are currently HL2, UT2004 and Oblivion...

    I like gaming at 1680x1050 (native res of my Dell 2005FPW), with as much eye candy as performance will allow - hence the need for plenty of GPU and CPU grunt.

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    I would save and wait. With ATI and the mid range 8000 series due for release pricing will change. Also I think investing in 939 would be a bad move since you are throwing money away on older technology, albeit good technology.

    DX10 mainstrean games wil not be with us for a while, with the exception of a couple ie Crysis for one which now appears delayed till late spring, Vista is a pointless exercise for gamers atm. Just my opinion.
    Last edited by DratUK; 24-01-2007 at 05:41 PM.

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    It's probably better to build a new system based on the newer CPUs - for AMD that'd be AM2 - as it'll last longer. Depends on your budget tho - if you want a 939 system it's probably a better bet second hand from someone else upgrading (hey, it could be me before long if I get bored with my rig!) rather than paying retail for older tech. The top dog CPU is definitely the Core2 right now.

    The truth is, right now, that for the resolutions your gaming at CPU speed isn't that important versus graphic card power (i game at 1600x1200) so an older dual core setup (like mine) will work plenty well for the forseeable future (we'll only see games this year that make good use of the other core and you're definitely not CPU limited from my experience). For similar reasons i'm sticking with my x1900xt - as basically there's nothing (yet) that makes it chug in-game but I will probably go with either an nVidia or ATI card once the R600 comes to market in a month or two. This will make a big difference to my gaming experience whereas a new AM2 or Core2 system would feel pretty much the same.
    Last edited by dangel; 24-01-2007 at 06:15 PM.
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    Id wait and see what R600 is like, and it's lower spec'd cards.

    I wouldn't upgrade to a X2 either. If you wanna build a gaming machine, id go with a Core 2 Duo, they really are awesome CPU's.

    Supreme Commander is extremely CPU dependent, due out next month.

    CPU bottleneck's are becoming more apparent, with the 8800's series.

    Saying all that though, you' get more performance for cheaper on the whole, if you got say a 4800+ and a 8800GTS.

    All depends on you, and how much you wanna spend.

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    Well according to what I've read about Supreme Commander we should all go quad core Looks like the limitation there is computing the movement of 100's of units?
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    Can't you just stick a 8800gts in there with some more ram?

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    Thanks for the input everyone, very helpful!

    I priced out my various options, and it would cost an extra £200 to go dual core at this point (Intel or AMD), and like you say, money spent on upgrading Socket 939 is partly wasted (tempting though it is to upgrade to 2Gb, it's hardly worth spending more money on DDR1 PC3200/PC4000 right now).

    I guess I can wait until R600, then see how it stacks against the 8800GTS. Then save the rest for C2D or AM2+.

    It's a shame both Intel and AMD have churned the socket formats so much in the last 2-3 years. Not to mention the ramping of DDR2 speed grades!

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    Yes it's tricky isn't it - more so when DDR3 comes in later this year (?). I think I remember AMD saying their AM2 socket would be forwards compatible with their next CPU. OTOH Core2 is just much better than AM2 right now you'd be hard pressed to ignore it.
    I think i'll probably skip DDR2 entirely and wait for DDR3 if that's the case..
    System 001: Maximus VII Formula, 4790k i7, RTX 2080ti FE (incoming), 16GIG Corsair Vengence DDR3 RAM CL9, Corsair HX1000, ROG SWIFT PG278Q , SSDs, Antec 1200 case, All watercooled. [main]
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  10. #10
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    So much for my resolve.

    I realised that the Crucial PC4000 pricing I was seeing (2x1Gb Ballistix PC4000 8,4,4,3 for £130.37) was an automatic discount on my Crucial account, because we've ordered lots of Crucial RAM for work. I was getting an automatic discount from the standard price of £173.89 for these modules. By shopping via greasypalm link/login, I got a further 5% discount, plus a 3.5% discount.

    So now I've got 2x1Gb Ballistix on their way to me for £123.85. Sweet

    Just hope they'll do 5,2,2,2 at 2.9v... or overclock nicely, which will keep me going for the moment.

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