Go Back   Hardware Canucks > PC BUILDERS & TWEAKERS CORNER > New Builds

    
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old October 12, 2008, 08:55 AM
Top Prospect
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Montreal, Canada
Posts: 59
Default Taking suggestions for improving recent build

Hey guys,

So I'll be running into some money on Thursday, and was thinking, what better way of spending it than on my month and a half old build. There are a couple of improvements that I'm thinking of making, but was wondering what do you guys think? Here are my options and rationale:

1) Add another 4870 for crossfire: Not sure I want to do this yet because their price is still high, if not higher than when I bought mine in late August (Though buy.com canada has a VisionTek for $260 free shipping)

2) Sell my 4870, buy a 4870x2: Not a bad idea, though I would be losing some money.

3) Sell my Corsair DDR2-800 modules and replace them with some Redlines DDR2-1000: My current OC is 8.5X400=3.4ghz, if I bought better RAM I could probably get up to 3.6-3.8 since temps are good.

4) Buy a sound card (suggestions?): I'm pretty happy with my onboard sound since I don't have the best of speakers (old school Dell 5.1 speakers, they are decent), but I'd get slightly better performance in games due to less load on the MB.

5) Sell my 22' monitor and buy a 24': Strictly for higher resolutions (1900X1200), I enjoy my LG 22' monitor but this was meant to be a killer build and I feel I'm not getting everything I possibly can out of it.

Those are my suggestions, but I'd appreciate any input. My build is in my sig. Give me some more options if you have some in mind. I'm not doing anything drastic like sell case and buy a new case or sell the quad and get a dual core, just looking for minor improvements that will noticeably make games run better.

Albeit, the only games I've run are crysis, crysis:warhead, and Stalker: Clear sky, and these seem to tax my system pretty hard. I'm sure with other games I could run them maxed out.

JD
__________________
Case: Coolermaster Cosmos 1000
Mobo: Gigabyte X48-DS4
CPU: Intel Quad q9550
PSU: Corsair 750w
GPU: Diamond HD4870
RAM: 4gb Corsair XMS2 PC2-6400
HDD: 2 x 640gb WD Caviar
Audio: Auzentech Forte 7.1
OD: Pioneer DVR-216
OS: Vista Ultimate SP1
Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Old October 12, 2008, 08:58 AM
sswilson's Avatar
Moderator
F@H
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Moncton NB
Posts: 14,402

My System Specs

Default

Are you currently running 4 X 1G or 2 X 2G for your mem?

You should be able to push PC2 6400 mem up to at least 450, but 4 sticks of mem are generally a hell of a lot harder to deal with than 2.
__________________
MSI Z87I Gaming AC / i5 4670K / 2X 4G Gskill 1866 DDR3 / XFX XTR 750 / EVGA GTX 680 SC+ 2GB / Intel DC S3700 200G / random 160G Sata HDD
Inwin 904 / Swiftech MCP655-b / Alphacool NexXxos XT45 120 Rad / 2X Scythe GT AP-15 / EK Supreme HF / Dell UltraSharp U2412M

Asrock AM1H-ITX / AM1 Athlon 5350 / 2X4G Gskill PC3-14900 / Intel 6235 Wi-Fi / 90W Targus Power Brick / 320G Seagate Momentus / Mini-Box M350 / 1X 22" Dell IPS / 1X 22" HP
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old October 12, 2008, 09:14 AM
Top Prospect
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Montreal, Canada
Posts: 59
Default

I'm running 2X2gb. I'll try to go up to 450 on the RAM, but what I've read about the current RAM I have is that it does not OC well. 2 sticks are definitely easier.
__________________
Case: Coolermaster Cosmos 1000
Mobo: Gigabyte X48-DS4
CPU: Intel Quad q9550
PSU: Corsair 750w
GPU: Diamond HD4870
RAM: 4gb Corsair XMS2 PC2-6400
HDD: 2 x 640gb WD Caviar
Audio: Auzentech Forte 7.1
OD: Pioneer DVR-216
OS: Vista Ultimate SP1
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old October 14, 2008, 02:16 PM
Top Prospect
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Montreal, Canada
Posts: 59
Default

No one has any other suggestions?

Really?
__________________
Case: Coolermaster Cosmos 1000
Mobo: Gigabyte X48-DS4
CPU: Intel Quad q9550
PSU: Corsair 750w
GPU: Diamond HD4870
RAM: 4gb Corsair XMS2 PC2-6400
HDD: 2 x 640gb WD Caviar
Audio: Auzentech Forte 7.1
OD: Pioneer DVR-216
OS: Vista Ultimate SP1
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old October 14, 2008, 02:45 PM
cwestwell's Avatar
Allstar
F@H
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: NWT
Posts: 675
Default

I would look at CF the 4870's before selling and trading up to the 4870X2 I guess depending on your budget...If you have wads of cash then for sure get the X2 and save up for a second....the 24" Monitor is a solid upgrade you will need the extra size to get the benefit of CF 4870's and the Ram upgrade is a solid choice I might look at the Mushkin PC8500 kit though for the extra $15 it will cost you. that extra 33mhz in your FSB might come in handy...I did this upgrade just recently only I caved and bought the Buffalo Firestix 4GB PC8500 for $89 on NCIX sale I just couldn't help myself.

Did you have any monitors in mind there are a couple of Samsung's that are going for a decent price these days.
__________________
_______________________________________________

E8600 420x10 |Thermalright 120 Black | Maximus Formula | ATI 4870X2 | 4GB Buffalo FireStiX PC8500 | Corsair HX1000 | Lian Li V2010B | Vista Ultimate 64bit


Q6600 334x9 |Thermaltake Blu Orb | ASUS P5Q-PRO| ATI 2900XT | 6GB Corsair XMS2 PC6400 | Corsair HX520 | Lian Li V600B | Vista Home Premium 64bit

Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old October 14, 2008, 04:27 PM
MpG's Avatar
MpG MpG is offline
Hall Of Fame
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Kitchener, ON
Posts: 3,141
Default

While technically, discrete sound cards reduce CPU load, it's by a pretty negligible amount, which translates into very little game improvement. What's more, if you don't have decentd hardware to listen with, the quality improvements tend to be lost. So I'm thinking ixnay on the sound card.

Those Corsair modules might go past 400, you should try that first. Drop your multiplier a little, and see how much higher you can get those modules first. With a little voltage and slightly relaxed timings, you might not need higher-speced memory to get your CPU higher.

All three of those games you mentioned are heavily shader-intensive, so a second graphics card would show some improvements (nothing earth-shattering, though). Better to go with a second card than trading around for a 4870X2. You've got the power supply for it, certainly. At your point, I'd imagine that a second video card would net you the most dramatic gaming improvements, although at a 16x10 resolution, it might show mostly through additional levels of AA.
__________________
i7 2600K | ASUS Maximus IV GENE-Z | 580GTX | Corsair DDR3-2133
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes