Should i upgrade or start again? advice for gaming

  Cat1982 12:09 08 Jun 2008


so let me start by saying i am an absolute beginner when it comes to upgrading/building PCs and so thats why i'm here :) Also i apologise if this is a wall of text, bare with me :S

what i have at the moment bought from Alienware is:
Motherboard: NVIDIA nForce 590 SLI
Processor: AMD AthlonT 64 FX-62 Dual Core
Memory: 2GB DDR2 PC-6400 SDRAM at 800MHz - 2 x 1024MB
Video Card: 1024MB NVIDIA® GeForceT 7950 GX2
Physics Processing Unit : AGEIA PhysXT Physics Processing Unit
System Drive: Single Drive Configuration - 250 GB Serial ATA 3Gb/s, 7,200 rpm with 8MB Cache
Optical Drive One: 16x Dual Layer DVD±R/W Recorder
Sound Card: Creative Sound Blaster® X-Fi XtremeMusic
Network Card: Integrated High Performance Gigabit Ethernet Adapter (DSL-ready)
Monitor: 19" Dell UltraSharp 1907FP Black Flat Panel LCD Monitor

this was all bought about 2 years ago and havent had any problems with it at all, however it really couldnt handle AoC (age of conan) and i'm starting to read more in to components and things and feeling like i could do with a new system. I feel my memory is lacking, video card could do with upgrading and also want a blu-ray drive. I will be mainly using the comp for playing MMOs all guns blazing and multi-tasking, burning dvds etc not animating shrek 4 from scratch but dont want to be underpowered, money isnt a factor but value for money is. I dont want to pay through the nose for things that are just not worth it or i can get cheaper elsewhere.

So really my question is can i salvage things from what i have? Alienware's top high performance gaming rig is around the 4000-5000 pound mark which is just too intense. Looking on i can buy all the same components for 2500 or so i'm just not sure i have the confidence to put it all together and troubleshoot it but paying 3000 for alienware to do that for me stings (not to mention buying vista again)

also on another point does the AGEIA PhysXT Physics Processing Unit actually make much diff? i mean do only a few games take advantage of it (like SLi i have read is just overkill atm) and the same question as regards to the Killer K1 Gaming Network Interface Card which alienware are offering as an extra, does this make a real difference? is it worth sticking in for the future?

again apologies for the maybe long post but as i say i am a beginner and not really sure where to turn and who to talk to :)



  Jim_F 12:41 08 Jun 2008

I'd advise you to try the free version of 3dmark click here
as this will give you a pretty good idea of what others are getting.

The Core 2 dual processor and 8800 series gpu are current performance options but I don't see too much wrong with what you have now !

  crosstrainer 15:38 08 Jun 2008

You are right about the graphics, will that board take a Quad core Phenom cpu (check your manual or the web site)

If so, you could stick with it, get your new CPU and blue ray drive. Add an 8800GTX card (check your PSU for the correct connectors as theis card requires extra power)

WOuld save buying a whole new system. If the motherboard will not support a Quad Core have a look here:

click here

And for CPU:

click here

Your exisiting memory is fine.

Graphics cards:

click here

You could go for a cheaper graphics card and still get a big boost.

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