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#1
ADNoland

ADNoland

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I built a computer last year with the help of some folks here, I greatly appreciated that and it's run great and provided me many many hours of gaming enjoyment. :)

Now, I'd like to just bump it up a notch. So, first I'll start off with the equipment I do have:

Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.4Ghz
OCZ DDR2 800 2x1GB
BFG Tech GeForce 8800GTS 512MB
EVGA nForce 780i
Corsair 750TX PSU
Cooler Master Cosmos 1000
Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 500GB
Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 300GB
Western Digital Caviar SE 200GB
Operating System: Windows XP Pro SP3

I wanted to upgrade my RAM to 4GB, Tiger has some nice rebates currently on memory but I'm reading that if I want to use it fully I'm going to need a 64bit OS and that windows only recognizes, at most, 3.20GB of ram as a standard. As a gamer, would I see much improvement by upgrading anymore? I was thinking of making the switch to 64bit when Windows 7 is released. Would I see much of a difference switching between 32 to 64bit? I could get a copy of vista 64 for $100~. I know practically none of my old games would run but in general would I have a lot of problems (hardware drivers/software) or would I mostly see performance gains?

Next, I was wanting to upgrade the video card. I was wondering if I should get another 8800GTS for SLI (assuming I can find one TD and NE don't carry it anymore) or would I see more performance gains upgrading to one of the newer released nvidia video cards? If you have a suggestion I welcome it, but I buy only BFG Tech :) I don't think I'll be spending 500 dollars on a new card, unless this is the only upgrade I do :)

And last, I'm curious about water cooling. Honestly, it terrifies me, but running SETI@Home constantly on a quad core puts out a lot of heat, and when the door is closed to the computer room, it gets hellaciously hot quick in the summer :) Are there any noobie friendly water coolers but good water coolers you guys might recommend? I've love something that I can't possible screw up haha. I'm assuming this will help me with my ambient temp inside and outside the case as well as help keep the CPU abit cooler.

Thanks!

Edited by ADNoland, 13 March 2009 - 06:03 PM.

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#2
ADNoland

ADNoland

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Sooo quiet, was it something I said, do I smell, is there something in my teeth? :-P
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#3
stettybet0

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It was the smell... Probably caused by that thing stuck in your teeth... :)

I wanted to upgrade my RAM to 4GB, Tiger has some nice rebates currently on memory but I'm reading that if I want to use it fully I'm going to need a 64bit OS and that windows only recognizes, at most, 3.20GB of ram as a standard. As a gamer, would I see much improvement by upgrading anymore?

Since you're using XP, most games won't see any benefit from having more than 2GB of RAM. However, since you can get 4GB of RAM for $10 these days (see here), it wouldn't hurt to grab some especially being that you are planning on upgrading to 64-bit soon.

I was thinking of making the switch to 64bit when Windows 7 is released. Would I see much of a difference switching between 32 to 64bit? I could get a copy of vista 64 for $100~. I know practically none of my old games would run but in general would I have a lot of problems (hardware drivers/software) or would I mostly see performance gains?

You won't see too much of a difference in gaming between 32-bit and 64-bit, as not many games are optimized for 64-bit yet. However, that is sure to change within a year or two, as the majority of computers sold now have 64-bit Vista on them. Also, I don't know what you consider "old", but most old games work on 64-bit Vista just fine. I'm talking about games like Starcraft and Diablo, which are both 10+ years old. Now, your 16-bit DOS games won't run, but most everything else will. I wouldn't grab Vista now though, I'd wait for Windows 7.

Next, I was wanting to upgrade the video card. I was wondering if I should get another 8800GTS for SLI (assuming I can find one TD and NE don't carry it anymore) or would I see more performance gains upgrading to one of the newer released nvidia video cards? If you have a suggestion I welcome it, but I buy only BFG Tech :) I don't think I'll be spending 500 dollars on a new card, unless this is the only upgrade I do :)

I have SLIed 8800GTS 512MB cards in my rig, and the performance is pretty good. I can run just about every game I have maxed out with anti-aliasing at 1920x1080, with the exception of Crysis (which I can run maxed out, but with no anti-aliasing). However, the newer NVIDIA cards (GTX 260 Core 126, GTX 280, GTX 285, GTX 295) all have better performance, so I'd get those if possible. Honestly, I would spend big bucks on a new video card, even if it's your only upgrade. You can't overstate the importance of a GPU in a gaming build, and the rest of your build is pretty solid. I'd have a look at a GTX 285.

And last, I'm curious about water cooling. Honestly, it terrifies me, but running SETI@Home constantly on a quad core puts out a lot of heat, and when the door is closed to the computer room, it gets hellaciously hot quick in the summer :) Are there any noobie friendly water coolers but good water coolers you guys might recommend? I've love something that I can't possible screw up haha. I'm assuming this will help me with my ambient temp inside and outside the case as well as help keep the CPU abit cooler.

The only water cooler that you can't screw up is no water cooler at all. I'm not a big fan of water cooling. Unless you are doing serious overclocking, there is really no need for water cooling. A CPU heatsink and fan is all you need. And those cheap water coolers can actually perform worse than air cooling...
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#4
ADNoland

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Well I own a *ton* of games, I have enough trouble getting some to run in Windows XP so I assumed it'd be even worse in 64bit :) I have alot of games most are ten years old up to now, not much past the ten year mark so it's good to hear they should mostly work. I've been using the Windows 7 beta on my laptop and it's been very nice, easy to use, few annoyances so I do think it'd be the best time to make the switch to 64bit, then I'll finally have access to DX10. :)

I've been trying to decide between the 285 and the 295. It's just a 100-150 dollars difference between some of the 285 cards compared to the 295. I guess I could get the 295 now, and then when it drops in price pick up a second one for an added boost. I think I'll keep a watch on it, I'm not desperate for a new one right now, but definitely planning on one soon. Hopefully there will be some sort of deal, price drop, rebate, free shipping, something :)
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