Comprehensive Gaming PC/Laptop Buying Guide

Games, Gaming and Hardware
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or do i even need one? can i still be able to hear stuff without one?
nevermind, i figured it out, never knew motherboards had built on audio
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.
No, at least not mid to high-end cards
I wouldn't worry about it, those massive cities bring about FPS fluctuations occasionally even with pretty beefy systems.
To take advantage of dual-channel feature, RAM must be same size and speed
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.

Audio driver
Intel Rapid Storage Tech driver


Your PC will run any game pretty well for any foreseeable future
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;

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?
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.
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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