I am going to hopefully upgrade my computer soon. The timing is nearly perfect as I have been having troubles with my video card and RAM with my current computer. The v/c and RAM are some of the main components and if I was to upgrade them, the components would be limited by my crappy out-of-date CPU and motherboard and yet account for about a third of the cost of a new computer. Also I have to keep deleting files ecause of limited hard disk space.
I have been trying to figure out the best bang for buck system. For example, CPU choice based on basically fastest CPU without spending too much, and not considering DDR3 RAM or mobo because it is too expensive.
Also I am taking into account the eventual obsolescence of technology so framing it in terms of an investment of at least 2 years of computer (rather than the computer being an object per se).
I have posted to the whirlpool forums asking advice but I have carried out a few hours research which is quite substantial if you already have some idea about what components to get.
Below is a spec list with links to shop I will be buying it from:
CPU Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 (2.66GHz) LGA775 (Condition Apply, need to be bought with case below) 215.00
Desktop DDR2 Ram Corsair-Performance 2GB (2×1024) 800MHz XMS2 TWINX2 MATCHED (TWIN2X2048-6400) 5-5-5-12 176.00
Video Card PCI-e (nV) 8800GTS 320MB Leadtek (500/800MHz/1600Mhz) 407.00
MotherBoard Intel S775 Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3R 176.00
3.5″ HDD SATA-300 320GB 16MB Seagate 98.00
ATX Case ANTEC Sonata 3 (III) Black with Antec EarthWatts 500w PSU 185.00
I am also contemplating upgrading to Vista 64 and the new Office, but I’ll see how I go. Vista 64 needs more RAM than the 32 bit version, but I’ll probably get the 2 sticks of 1GB ram as above and see if I actually need more RAM for the 64 bit version if I get it.
I have also been looking at other funky things like RAM disks and the like, as that is definitely where things are headed, i.e. RAM disks for programs and conventional drives for media files.
Ars Technica’s August “Hot Rod” recommended system has pretty much the same components. In fact, in terms of comparing the bare bones system, they are exactly the same, except they recommend the more expensive 640mb video card. I’ve read that the video card memory will not make a difference except for situations requiring the large processing of video files, such as editing and the like. For gaming there will be no perceptible difference.