Comprehensive Gaming PC/Laptop Buying Guide

71 Night Elf Mage
595
or do i even need one? can i still be able to hear stuff without one?
71 Night Elf Mage
595
nevermind, i figured it out, never knew motherboards had built on audio
90 Blood Elf Paladin
8895
Yeah, sound cards used to be 'must' a decade or two ago. Now they are more or less not required as integrated audio has come a long way.

Ethernet card too. No longer necessary.
90 Blood Elf Paladin
8895
No, at least not mid to high-end cards
90 Blood Elf Paladin
8895
I wouldn't worry about it, those massive cities bring about FPS fluctuations occasionally even with pretty beefy systems.
90 Blood Elf Paladin
8895
To take advantage of dual-channel feature, RAM must be same size and speed
90 Blood Elf Paladin
8895
You can simply buy another set of 8GB (2x 4GB) set with same DDR3 speed as current RAM set, assuming you have 4 RAM slots.

Cores has no relations to this.
90 Blood Elf Paladin
8895
Corave:

Audio driver
Intel Rapid Storage Tech driver

Breadisfunny:

Your PC will run any game pretty well for any foreseeable future
90 Blood Elf Paladin
8895
Doesn't matter. Unless it uses something on the level of Frostbite 2 (like Battlefield 3), it's not going to bring your system down.
thanks a lot for this detailed guide. i know my current cpu falls below the When do I upgrade CPU / GPU?. i think it is close though.

I currently have this;

Q9650
GTX470
Intel SSD 520

Considering upgrading from the Q9650 to i5 3570k, of course this would be with new ram and an asrock z77, and I can keep the GTX 470 & Intel SSD. it would not cost me that much, and the Q9650 is reselling quite well on ebay. But, is it really worth it?

Just tempted due to marginal testing on the MoP beta, and want a strong box in September. Granted this is beta and flooded with corpses in some areas etc, but still just curious. Seeing low fps around folks and wondering if it is worth it to update my system.

Worth it or hold out for next year's Haswell?
Edited by Strac on 8/3/2012 2:53 PM PDT
90 Blood Elf Paladin
8895
Well, if you "hold out" for something better in PC world, you'll wait forever as there'll always be something better just around the corner.

That said, for games like WoW, cities / raid FPS will improve noticeably with i5-3570k over Q9650. You may have to reinstall Windows -- I recommend you do, fresh start, fresh state, maximum performance.
i agree Kal...i was thinking the same re: holding out. haswell is a long way off anyway.

yep, i do fresh installs throughout the year. thanks again man for your hard work on this thread. it is very well organized.
85 Undead Death Knight
8680
Just played Crysis 2's multiplayer. Pretty fun but I could tell it was giving my card hell on some of the maps...

Besides an SSD what do you think would be better to upgrade? The i3-2120 or the Radeon 6950?
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