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Old 08-30-2011, 08:54 PM   #1
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Lightbulb How does one go about upgrading Computer parts?

I've had my current computer for a little better over 9 months, and I've been thinking to myself lately: "MAN, I just KNOW my computer isn't going to be able to run The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim." I considered playing it on a console, then my brain overloaded and I drove over to my mothers' place and smacked her across the face.

I figured instead of dumping a couple grand into an Alienware, I should simply upgrade my tower. But as my name implies, I've very ignorant of computer hardware. My video card is old, thankfully not an integrated one, but really old. it's a Nvidia GEforce 8600(2008ish?) I'm running an AMD Athlon II x2 245 clocked at a mere 2.90 GHz, I have 4 gigs of ram, er not sure what type of motherboard I have; any help with how to find out is greatly appreciated.


Basically, I just want to be educated in the nuances of computer upgrading.
if someone could compile a list of the latest&greatest video cards, processors, cooling devices, memory upgrades- the whole nine yards. I want to be able to run Skyrim on the highest resolution, and settings. Oh, and I would appreciate a monitor that is HD with a 1980/1400 resolution.


and as an after thought, what are the pros/cons of running dual video cards?
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:42 PM   #2
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Default Re: How does one go about upgrading Computer parts?

Whats your budget?
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:52 PM   #3
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Default Re: How does one go about upgrading Computer parts?

Money isn't a problem.
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Old 08-31-2011, 02:41 AM   #4
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Default Re: How does one go about upgrading Computer parts?

Dual Video Cards are only useful if:

A) You're pairing two lower powered models to run at a relatively "normal" resolution (anything around 1680x1050)

B) You game on a monitor 30+ inches with a resolution of 2048x or higher

C) You don't care about spending the money and want to maximize the performance on any monitor you connect to it.

I currently run dual 5870's in CrossFire, and even on a 27" monitor rated for 2048x resolution, they keep up pretty well.

Right now the sweet spot, depending on games and their support of threading (ability to use more threads) you can do either an Intel i5 or i7 and really get a huge performance boost over what you have now. Yes, I have an AMD avatar, but the performance for the dollar with the i5's and i7 is really up there, especially on the i7 2600(k). It is just a screamer.

Ideally I would recommend:
Intel Z68 based motherboard
i7 2600 or 2600k if you intend to overclock
Hyper 212+ Heatsink for keeping the CPU chilly
Whatever case you like
8GB of G.Skill DDR3. They are just hitting on all cylinders these days

and then for storage, either a pair of OCZ Vortex 2 or 3's in RAID 0, or even just a single SSD for the OS and a few games and a large platter based drive of at least 1 TB for data storage duties.

Round it up with your choice of power supply (name brand) and you can get out the door with something as low as $800 (for an i7 based system) or as much as you want to blow.

I didn't link recommendations right now because I'm not sure what your true budget is, I try to match recommendations based on price, but others will surely come along and build on this post, so give us your honest opinion and we'll do our best to help.
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Old 08-31-2011, 07:04 AM   #5
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Default Re: How does one go about upgrading Computer parts?

Hm, alright. Let's say I have 1000$ in my budget. What are the highest preforming parts I could get with that. Would your prevoius recomendations stand? What would be the highest preforming card I could get, or what 2 cards should i get to run dual. I could live with a 21" screen, just as long as it supports 1980x

After all the parts are compiled, what power supply would I need ?
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Old 08-31-2011, 04:08 PM   #6
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Default Re: How does one go about upgrading Computer parts?

Actually, scratch that monitor. Please, let me know if using a HDTV as a monitor is a good idea. I was thinking of this:

46" Quattron 1080p 120HZ LED TV
  • 1080p resolution
  • Quadpixel technology with 4 color filter
  • 120hz fine motion enhanced
  • 4ms response time; built-in ATSC/QAM/NTSC tuners
  • Wide viewing angles (176║ h x 176║ v)
  • Ultra brilliant led system; high brightness
  • 4 HDMI
  • PC input
  • Energy star compliant
Is LED ok? or should I go with plasma to avoid image burning? Now with this in mind, what should i put in my tower? IF you wouldnt mind linking the parts I'd very much apperciate it. I want the best gaming experience that I could get without going over 1500. I'm going to be buying the parts piece by piece so Let me know what i should buy first, motherboard, Processor, RAM, video card? Keeep in mind i want to virtually upgrade every part. so feel free to link every possible upgrade for a computer.
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