Upgrading my gaming PC

Last week, I went down to Sim Lim Square, a famous place in Singapore for computer hardware and other computer related stuff.

Bought everything at once. A new bigger case, Antec P180 (which ended up a little disappointing), an Intel Dual Core E6600, Gigabyte P965 DS4 rev.2, 2 sticks of 1GB cheap Corsair rams, MSI 8800GTS 320MB Overclocked version. Spent a total of SGD$1790 (USD$1179).

I had to carry all these back home myself! I took a cab of course.

The motherboard. I had the people at the shop install the CPU for me.

Notice the capacitors are solid capacitors. These are supposedly better and last longer than the normal capacitors. My old socket A motherboard’s capacitors leaked and some sort of orange crust formed on top. It’s still working though.

The PCIe graphics card. It uses solid capacitors too.

The new casing.

I’m not experienced in setting up a PC, thus I wanted a large one to make things easier.

But I ended up having a hard time putting everything together. It’s… cramped…

But it has good airflow I assume. 2 chambers, an upper chamber for the motherboard and stuff, and a lower chamber for the PSU and 4 harddisks.

A close up shot on the lower chamber, these are my SATA harddisks.
Notice how there’s very little space for the SATA cables?

Also, that’s actually a 120mm fan on the left side of this photo!

Some stuff I’ve learned: If you want to install RAID drivers during the setup of Windows XP, it does not detect USB floppy drives. I’m running RAID0 WD Raptors for performance.

As to how the gaming performance was, I bought Command and Conquer 3: Kane Edition, Nod version, and I can play the game at 1280*1024 with all graphic settings set to max and no lag at all!

Funny thing is when it comes to FFXI, graphics get a little choppy easily and the improvement over my previous setup was like only 15%? Either the drivers for my new card still needs more work or FFXI (A 3~4 year old game!) has really bad support for new cards.

There’s also a few graphical issues with FFXI with the new 8800 series cards. Bright menus is one of them. You can fix it by downloading a hacked beta driver for your 8800 card from the windower.net forums. There’s a stickied thread about it.

6 Replies to “Upgrading my gaming PC”

  1. My video card is a silent pipe GigaByte 7600GT. I’m quite happy with it. Once I set the .ini for widower to the proper widescreen setting and set the background to max res FFXI ran soooo beautifully.

    Then I quit and went to WoW… but still, the game looks nice in WoW too but it’s alot easier since it’s a very cartoony game.

  2. well.. good setup.. rams are damn cheap now man.. i bought 2 stick of 1 gb ram at $340!! my rig is a “budgeted” rig.. e6300, ds3, 1950pro.. and it cost more then wat u pay when i bought it few months ago.

  3. Mua hahahaha.

    The dual core works well for me. I was running FFXI and doing some video encoding in the background. No lag on FFXI.

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