Upgrade Advice - Time for a new system or not?



Alrighty guys, my mail goal here is gaming. I'm hooked on Battlefield Bad Company 2 right nao, and am determined that I need at least 3 monitors to play this game. My existing setup does amazingly well with max draw distance, at medium graphics on a single monitor, but I need some advice on what to upgrade here to get awesome 3 monitor performance, hopefully without breaking the bank. First upgrade is going to be windows 7 (I'm still using 32 bit xp) but the rest is dependant upon the advice I recieve here. Here's the existing box:

1 Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250310AS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

. 1 CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TWIN2X2048-6400C5DHX

1 ASUS 20X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model DRW-2014L1T LightScribe Support

1 Hanns·G HW-191DPB Black 19" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor

1 Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 Conroe 2.66GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80557E6750


1 RAIDMAX SMILODON ATX-612WBP Black 1.0mm SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Foldout MB Computer Case With 500W Power Supply

1 EVGA 512-P3-N801-AR GeForce 8800 GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

1 GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3L LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX All Solid Capacitor Intel Motherboard

Can I just get away with picking up some extra ram, a copy of windows 7 and a new ATI 5850 video card plus the three new 24 inch monitors? Or am I at the point I need to upgrade the whole machine?
You're breaking the bank.

You're pretty much going to have to replace all of that. You've got a lot of older components that you're not going to be able to find replacements for soon, like a LGA775 CPU (an older one at that), DDR2 and the 8800 GT. You've also got some poor quality parts that wouldn't be good to move to a new build like the Seagate 7200.10 and the 500W POS PSU. What you're looking at for a new build, capable of gaming with Eyefinity, is spending $1,500, with the OS, not including the ~$600 for three monitors.

If you're still interested in trying to do Eyefinity, here's what you need:

CPU: X4 955 $160
Mobo: Gigabyte GA-790XTA-UD4 $110 after rebate
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $110
GPU: HD 5970 $700
HDD: Seagate 7200.12 500 GB $55
PSU: Corsair 850W $130 after rebate
Case: HAF 922 $90
Optical: Cheap SATA DVD burner $20
OS: Windows 7 Home 64-bit OEM $100
Monitor: 3x Asus 23" 1080p $580 after rebate

Total: $2,055.

Now if you were just interested in playing games one a single monitor, you'd only need $900 with the OS, and it'd look like this:

CPU: X3 440 $75
Mobo/GPU: Gigabyte GA-790XTA-UD4 and HD 5850 $400 after rebate
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $110
HDD: Seagate 7200.12 500 GB $55
Case/PSU: Antec 300 Illusion and Earthwatts 650W $120
Optical: Cheap SATA DVD burner $20
OS: Windows 7 Home 64-bit OEM $100

Total: $880


I can't thank you enough for your advice. Ironically, I was piecing together a new system, and had made it as far as narrowing down to that motherboard; I'm a gigabyte fanboy. As it stands I'm doing my homework on your suggested build up there, for the three monitor system; It looks great offhand! Out of curiosity, what do you think of the new x6 core processor from amd?
Generally worthless, unless you're on a very strict budget for a productivity build. They perform just like the X4 955 in gaming, so for games they're absolutely worthless. For productivity, they perform worse than the i7-930 in several apps, so if you absolutely need to save $175 (the board and RAM), then it's an alright choice. So basically if you've got $800-900 for a productivity build, you're not looking at AMD.


While I mostly agree with MadAdmiral, especially about the need to replace pretty much everything, I suspect the lesser of those systems would be quite capable of running three 19" monitors; you'd get to keep the one you have and just add two more of the same resolution, which would save a LOT of money.
You might consider going to a HD5870 and/or Athlon II X4, but even those would not add too much to the cost.

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