I built this computer a little ways back

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($279.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: NZXT Kraken X60 98.3 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($125.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: MSI Z87-G41 PC Mate ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($109.99 @ Microcenter)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($135.00 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung EVO 1TB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($581.95 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card
Case: Rosewill PATRIOT ATX Mid Tower Case ($75.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 750W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($95.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS95 DVD/CD Writer ($21.98 @ OutletPC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 (OEM) (64-bit) ($97.98 @ OutletPC)
Monitor: Hannspree HE245DPB 60Hz 23.6" Monitor ($129.99 @ TigerDirect)
Monitor: Hannspree HE245DPB 60Hz 23.6" Monitor ($129.99 @ TigerDirect)
Monitor: Hannspree HE245DPB 60Hz 23.6" Monitor ($129.99 @ TigerDirect)
Keyboard: Rosewill RK-9000BR Wired Standard Keyboard ($81.98 @ Newegg)
Other: 320gb 5400RPM laptop harddrive (Purchased)
Other: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) (Purchased)
Total: $2029.41
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-01-01 11:48 EST-0500)

Now I've made some money from trading doge and christmas and am looking to upgrade it. I got a liquid cooler and an SSD, but I can get more(I have about $400 more). What else would most benefit my computer? I mainly use it for gaming and programming(run a few VM's sometimes). If there are no really great upgrades I'll probably just save the money.

I was told that a sound card might be a nice addition and this looked like a good one http://pcpartpicker.com/part/creative-labs-sound-card-70sb151000000 I don't know much about them though. One thing I think it might be good to note is that I don't have the best speakers(using ones built into my monitors and a cheap($Cool set right now) and my headphones are Logitech G930's which are wireless 7.1 and I believe they have a sound card built into the usb dongle they use. Would it be worth much to add a sound card without buying new headphones? I don't really want to have to buy new headphones right now so I probably won't do it if it doesn't help much(I compose music occasionally though)

What other upgrades might be worthwhile? If I go with the sound card I still have over $200
I would ask first, can any of these items be returned? I'm specifically wondering about the RAM, the SSD, and the HDD, as those are three items that I would most consider changing. My suggestions below are really only worthwhile if you can return your existing parts.

First, I would upgrade the RAM, currently 1866MHz for $135, for higher clocked modules. Here's 2400MHz for only $15 more, which seems like a no-brainer to me if the return can be made for the original RAM. Or here's a bit more of an extension, $65 more for 2666MHz.

Second, I don't know how many games and programs you plan to have installed at once, but a 1GB SSD seems excessive and an inefficient allocation of money. I would recommend downgrading, perhaps to a 500GB to save yourself $257. If you're a little wary about downgrading that far, you can downgrade to 750GB to save $172. Or if you can be good about space management, keeping data on the HDD and uninstalling programs and games you don't use any more, downgrade to a 250GB to save $421.

Added in an edit:

Thirdly, how much data do you plan on keeping around? Because if it's going to be more than 1TB down the road (the common culprit is large video files, whether they be movies, TV shows, recorded gameplay, or whatever), might as well return that and upgrade to 2TB for $24 or 3TB for $50.
Runer112 wrote:
Second, I don't know how many games and programs you plan to have installed at once, but a 1GB SSD seems excessive and an inefficient allocation of money. I would recommend downgrading, perhaps to a 500GB to save yourself $257. If you're a little wary about downgrading that far, you can downgrade to 750GB to save $172. Or if you can be good about space management, keeping data on the HDD and uninstalling programs and games you don't use any more, downgrade to a 250GB to save $421.
I'd recommend at most a 256GB SSD for boot and programs (and games), and as Runer112 says, use the HDD for documents and media, for which the sequential access speeds on spinning media is more than enough.

As far as the sound card, your motherboard does indeed only have 2.0-channel sound output rather than the 7.1 of slightly higher-end motherboards. But do you have a 5.1 or 7.1 speaker system? If not, there's really no sense in getting a sound card, especially a $200 one.

Edit: To address Runer112's edits, I have a 256GB SSD for my boot drive and two mirrored 2TB HDDs for documents and media, and that serves me very well.
I have a stereo speaker system that was really cheap. I didn't think I'd need a sound card for now. Eventually I might get nice headphones/speakers that would need them.

The RAM is nonreturnable(everything except the SSD and cooler was purchased 2 or 3 months ago so it nonreturnable).

For the SSD I figured that 1tb should be good for the future and I'll find good uses for it(I have ~400gb of games currently and I thought it might help with VM's).

EDIT: in repsonse to runer's edit I keep about 500gb of data around locally(I have another tb and a half I host on a home server) so I don't really need more storage for now. The hard drive is nonreturnable anyways so I'd have to buy a completely new one.
ruler501 wrote:
I have a stereo speaker system that was really cheap. I didn't think I'd need a sound card for now. Eventually I might get nice headphones/speakers that would need them.
In all honesty, you're not going to hear the difference in high-end headphones/speakers between the motherboard audio and a sound card. I'd consider that a pretty nonnegotiable waste of money. Smile

Quote:
The RAM is nonreturnable(everything except the SSD and cooler was purchased 2 or 3 months ago so it nonreturnable).

For the SSD I figured that 1tb should be good for the future and I'll find good uses for it(I have ~400gb of games currently and I thought it might help with VM's).
It'll help the loading speed of games and VMs for sure, but do you actually actively play all 400GB of games?
I would suggest that you ask yourself, how many of those 400GB of games (plus programs) have you used for at least an hour in the last six months? If the answer is all of them, then the large SSD may be a good investment, although I might still suggest downgrading to 750GB for pretty decent savings. However, I'd be much more inclined to predict that the answer is in the range of 20GB-150GB, in which case you could really get away with only a 250GB SSD, or if you really wanted to be safe, a 500GB SSD.

Regarding the VM's, I don't know what you use them for so I can't comment much on that. Personally when I use a VM, it's not for intensive operations and I'd be totally fine sticking it on an HDD.
Currently I only play 150-200gb of them regularly. They take forever to redownload though so I keep all of them around.

EDIT: A lot of the newer games are 20gb or more(BF4 is 24gb) so half my game library by space is about 1/10 of it by titles.
wow. 20GB for a single game? i'm glad i don't play whatever you do. i couldn't fit 1 game on this dinoware of mine.

depending on how often you use them, you could get a media card reader. i just bought one on Barnes and Noble so I can play games on a floppy, besides access my camera. if you don't use these, though, then never mind.

i think, with 2 terabytes of space, you don't *really* need to worry about space too too much. but, with those games you play, i'm not sure. i would buy more space only on demand, unless i anticipate lots of needed space in the near future.

some people like to have programmable buttons on their mice and Keyboards, and some games support a game pad. a nice one I recently bought from GameStop is the SteelSeries 3GC Game Controller. nice, responsive buttons and a comfortable design, its hard to beat.

a sound card isn't too much of an increase to your computer's power, and I wouldn't get one unless its an HTPC or the desktop will be rigged with a nice sound system. however, I read in a CPU magazine that sound cards may actually lag the audio, but i'm not sure if this is true, old, or what.

If you have any PCI slots available, you could always throw in an Ethernet card, seeing as you don't have one based on that list. a second video card could also be tossed in, but i'm doubting you need it.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008KEPWMY/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 I got that card reader(It actually goes nicely with the design of my case). It'll arrive Monday.
yeah the new games are insane for space requirements. I should have plenty of space now though.
I was thinking about maybe getting a nicer keyboard or mouse, but it seems they are a large price for not too much advantage. http://www.amazon.com/ROCCAT-Mechanical-Keyboard-Per-Key-Illumination/dp/B00FB4BUMW is the keyboard I was looking at.
Yeah I'll forget about the sound card for now. At least until I get a nice speaker system.
The ethernet in the motherboard is fine so I don't see a need for an ethernet card(maybe a wireless card though). If I get a second video card I'll be pushing the edges of my PSU and that would be an expensive upgrade to get a new PSU and card.
Honestly I don't think there is much else for me to do right now. Eventually I might decide to get some of the stuff, but none of it is really worth it for now I think.
That keyboard is a mechanical switch keyboard, which while nice are more of an acquired taste. You can get nicer keyboards for cheaper. That said I'd say mice are more important for gaming, most USB keyboards are good enough. You'll notice more of an improvement with a mouse such as http://gaming.logitech.com/en-us/product/g400s-optical-gaming-mouse and for keyboards I'd try out a minor upgrade and go from there, no point in spending >$100 unless you know you will actually see a difference.
I'm pretty fine with my keyboard(same kind of switches as that one) so I'll leave that for now. Still not sure about a mouse though. How big an upgrade are they usually?
As long as you have a mouse that is comfortable, accurate, and has a working scrollbar, I think there's not a lot more you can get from a mouse. Maybe side buttons, if you care about that sort of thing, but I'd say that's about it.
  
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