I generally build a new computer roughly every 3 to 4 years. I built my last computer in 2007 and this year seems like a winner as far as major hardware releases go, so I will most likely be building a new PC by the end of the year. The following are a list of reason's why I am excited to upgrade from my current PC.
1. Intel's 2011 pin Sandy Bridge based Core i7 6- and 8-core CPUs -- I will be upgrading from a 3.16ghz Core 2 Duo to a 6 or 8 core CPU so I am certain I will see a generous performance increase in multitasking and CPU intensive activities. I am hopeful that AMD will release a Bulldozer-based equivalent CPU that will be on par w/ Intel's release, but I doubt that they will be able to release anything that will match in performance at my budget level. (budgeting ~$400-$450)
2. ATI Radeon HD 6990 -- (or nVidia dual GPU release) This thing is going to be a beast... my primary monitor is a 30" Dell Ultrasharp 3007WFP-HC and since I game at 2560x1600 and do digital imaging with large files I need to make sure that I have something that can move frames fast. (I currently am using a Radeon 4870 X2 and it is holding pace w/ everything I've thrown at it so far, so I might not have to upgrade in 2011...I will do my homework and look into SLI and Crossfire options and decide what options are best for me. If it looks like my performance is waning under the likes of Elder Scrolls V or if Direct X 11 requirements become a must have, I will budget money for a new card. (budgeting up to $500)
3. Moving away from DDR2 -- I will most likely upgrade from my current 4GB DDR2-800 to 8 or 16GB of DDR3-1600 w/ modest timings. Hopefully I will see a nice performance improvement(budgeting up to ~$250).
4. Using a Solid State Drive for my primary partition -- About a year ago I came really close to purchasing a 600GB WD Velociraptor drive to act as my primary Windows partition, at the time the price/performance was much more viable than the SSD selection at the time...but now that has all changed. I have been eyeing the 128GB MLC-based OCZ and Crucial SATA 6gb/s releases and they are performing well. I hope the trend continues so by the time I upgrade I can get something larger, faster, and cheaper (budgeting ~$250)
5. The year of 3.0 -- I'm excited for those that I don't have access to yet, like SATA III (6gb/s) support, USB 3.0 ports, and PCI-E 3.0 (hopefully)
New Motherboard -- a 2011 pin based motherboard (or potentially bulldozer-based) that has all the features I previously mentioned. I will stay away from doing SLI and go for the Dual GPU option if I can to save money on a motherboard...I usually don't get to fancy. (budgeting up to $200)
New Case -- It will also be nice to upgrade my case and to find something a tad quieter and more spacious. Nothing fancy.(budgeting up to $100).
New Power Supply -- I will probably need/want a 950W PSU. Corsair, Antec, or PC Power & Cooling. (budgeting ~$150)
A cheap Blu-ray combo drive -- I have only purchased a few Blu-ray movies so far, but it would be nice to be able to watch them on my new rig. (budgeting up to $50)
Thanks for reading my geeky post. If anyone has any comments please speak up, as I appreciate all input with my system builds.
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