To build new or upgrade current gaming rig

By EvilPeppard ยท 11 replies
Jul 16, 2007
  1. I have some cash to build a new gaming rig. My current rig is just about three years old right now. I mainly play WoW, but am on the lookout for potential new games when they come out, i.e. Warhammer or whatever else may be a viable alternate to WoW.
    I am trying to decide whether to spend $3300 on building a new gaming rig right now with a quad core (trying to be future proof), or just upgrade the video card and monitor in my current rig. My current rig plays WoW fine, but chugged significantly when I played LOTRO. I had to turn the graphics down to medium to get somewhat smooth performance.

    Please let me know your thoughts.

    Here are my current gaming rig specs:

    -Mobo: ASUS P5AD2 Deluxe
    -CPU: Intel 3.4GHz, 800FSB with HT
    -RAM: 3GB of matched Corsair: 1GB of DDR2 PC5400 chips and 2GB of PC6400 running in dual channel mode. TWIN2X2048-6400C4
    -HD: dual WD 74GB 10,000 RPM Raptors in RAID 0 config using SATA
    -Video: eVGA GeForce 6800 GT PCI Express card with 256MB memory
    -Monitor: 19" ViewSonic VP210b LCD with 12ms response time
    -Sound: Creative Blaster X-Fi Fatal1ty FPS

    Besides the video card, I think the next weakest link is the CPU. Is a P4 3.4GHz still adequate for gaming, or will it be too weak for upcoming games?

    Thanks for all your feedback.
  2. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    In general, if you're going to spend more than $300 in upgrades, it's better to get a newer system.
  3. Cinders

    Cinders TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 872   +12

    You currently have an excellent computer. The only thing holding you back is your older video card. Take a gander at a GeForce 8800 GTS or GTX and you should be fine for a few more years.
  4. nickslick74

    nickslick74 TS Booster Posts: 575

    Take a look at THG cpu charts for a true test of the difference between the QX6700 and the P4 650 (3.4 gig). There is a rather large difference between the two, especially in 3D Mark 06.
  5. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    If you get an 8800GTS, your CPU will bottleneck the card very significantly. A cheap Core 2 Duo like the E6320 will help things along considerably. If you can't afford an 8800GTS (even the 320MB version), the next best thing would be to get an X1950XT/PRO. Those will run any game out there. As for future-proofing, don't bother. DX10 games run horribly unless you have an 8800GTX/Ultra, and even those cards barely manage to give more than 30FPS consistently. A multi-core CPU is the norm though, especially since future games and apps will be taking advantage of all the cores. A good current example of such a game would be Supreme Commander. But keep in mind that you will need a new motherboard since your current one only supports Pentium 4 CPUs. I suggest sticking with it for now and getting an X1950XT. Later, when the Penryn releases, you can upgrade to that or a Core 2 Duo/Extreme, which will have become dirt cheap by then.
  6. Cinders

    Cinders TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 872   +12

    Now lets take a look at the benchmarks with the processor he's likely to buy running software he might actually use. Are you really willing to pay a whole bunch more for 20 frames per second extra when your computer will provide more than playable frame rates?
  7. nickslick74

    nickslick74 TS Booster Posts: 575

    Ah, but what you need to take into account is the demands of new games such as Crysis and such. FEAR doesn't take advantage of dual or quad core like the new gen of games will.
    I do agree that if all Evil wants to play is FEAR or CSS then his current setup, with the addition of a new gpu, will be just fine.
  8. Cinders

    Cinders TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 872   +12

    You do have a good point Nick, but just a new video card now will allow him to play LOTRO, and he'll still be able to choose a new chipset and processor in the future when he really needs it. It's not like a GTS or a GTX is gonna become a piece of unusable junk in the next six months to a year.

    Don't jump into the watern' hole with both feet unless you have to.
  9. EvilPeppard

    EvilPeppard TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 36

    Hey all, thank you for the replies. I sincerely appreciate it.

    Even though I have a 775 cpu chipset, even with the latest BIOS, I cannot use a Core Duo. I've confirmed this with ASUS.

    I am going to keep my current system for now, squeeze a couple more years out of it, and just upgrade a few things.

    This is what I purchased:

    ViewSonic 28" HDMI monitor with 3ms response time.
    eVGA GeForece 8800 Ultra, 768MB Video Card
    Corsair 620W power supply
    Corsair Nautilus 500 water cooling kit for socket 775 (and others)

    Parts should be here in a few days.
  10. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    I told you, that was a bad idea. The 8800 Ultra will be severely bottlenecked by your CPU. You'll have to OC the latter to remove some of (but not all) the bottleneck. Is that what the w\cooling kit is for? But I doubt it will help. Pentium 4 CPUs are good upto the level of a 79xx series card, beyond that they bottleneck video cards horribly. The 8800GTX requires an E6600 so as not to be bottlenecked, and the E6600 is a top-of-the-line processor today, besides the fact that it is dual core, which are the two main things missing in your PC. I'd rather you return the card and get an X1950PRO or a 7950GT instead.
  11. EvilPeppard

    EvilPeppard TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 36

    Part of my thinking was, just get the absolute best card I could now, so when I did build a new PC, I wouldn't have to worry about that component. If I build a new PC in two years, I would *hope* an 8800 Ultra, 720MB card would still be a viable card.

    As for the water cooling, my current P4 runs really hot, like around 70+ celsius, even with several different name brand air coolers. I figure the $150 I'm spending for the well reated Corair water cooling will prolong the life of my current CPU, as well as let me overclock it a little.
  12. EvilPeppard

    EvilPeppard TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 36

    Amiable point, but if I'm gonna spend money on a card, why not get a really good one now that may still work in two years?

    I already took my 8800GTS, 320MB card I bought from eVGA and used their Step-up program for the 8800ULtra, 720MB card.
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