One Last Upgrade, Or Wait To Build Completely New System?
My system used to be top of the line, but it's been performing "eh" lately in some of the newer titles (BF2, large-scale battles of over 6K troops in Rome Total War, etc)
MOTHERBOARD MSI 875P Neo2-FISR Motherboard
RAM 1GB (2x512MB) Kingston HyperX PC4000 500mhz DDR
CPU: P4 2.6C overclocked to 3.1Ghz on air
HARD DRIVE 1 Seagate 7200rpm 120GB 8mb Cache IDE
HARD DRIVE 2 Seagate 7200rpm 200GB 8mb Cache IDE
AUDIO Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2 Platinum
PSU PowerRight Modular 500W +3.3(30A) +5(50A) +12(25A)
HEATSINK Swiftech MCX478-V w/80mm Red LED fan & Artic Silver 5
GRAPHICS ATI Radeon 9700 Pro 128MB All-In-Wonder
Anyway, I was drooling over getting myself the following:
DFI LanParty SLI motherboard
AMD 3800+, 4000+ or FX-55
PC Power & Cooling SLI 510W PSU
Raided Western Digital Raptors 74GB each
New 256MB 16-pipe graphics card (Nvidia likely)
But, that's hella expensive!
I was considering that I might just upgrade the following:
CPU: Get a 3.0 or 3.2C and overlcock it
GRAPHICS: 6800GT or Ultra with 256MB
I figure the upgrade will be much more affordable. I understand that ATI is going to be releasing a number of new graphics cards in another month, including some with 512MB of onboard memory. I figure that will cause a huge drop in price on the existing nice models of graphics cards.
I had considered getting a 6600GT, but I really want 256MB for a bit of future-proofness, and the 6800GT and Ultra models should continue to drop in price with the introduction of the 7800 models and the new ATI offerings as well.
I can overclock my 2.6Ghz higher than where it's at right now, but have been unable to keep it stable. The temps haven't been an issue, just that the system would lock up over the 240FSB settings, regardless of whether I gave the cpu more volts (I won't go past 1.6V). It wouldn't lock up immediately, or all the time, just kinda randomly when in Windows, usually while playing a game.
With all the new stuff coming out, PCI-E, plus the dual-core processors, I'm thinking I might be better off getting a 3.0 or 3.2 CPU for my current system, waiting the month for a new graphics card and see how long I can make that system last.
I really had my heart set on building a completely new AMD rig, but the components I'm looking at would likely run me $1500-$2000, while an upgrade would be about 1/4 of that cost.
How much performance am I missing out on though, compared with the newly built system? I don't expect the newer system to provide a 100% increase in performance, right?
Also, I'm a little hesitant of the Western Digital drives, their reliability has been spotty in my experience, although I haven't used their Raptors, but read some bad reports. I LOVE my Seagates, perhaps if I raid two of their SATA drives I'll be getting a nice performance boost?
So, should I hold onto my cash and wait until I can build a completely new system, or would the upgrades I'm considering cover me another year and a half while game makers start to transition over to the dual-core and other technological offerings?