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Author Topic: Buy a new computer or upgrade what I have?  (Read 1963 times)
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spatzi
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« on: October 20, 2004, 05:44:25 PM »

With HL2 coming, I'm finally going to go for an upgrade. Question is: do I upgrade what I have, or just buy a new computer? Currently I have an Athlon xp1600, ecs k7s5a mb, over 1 gig 2700 ddr ram, sb audigy 2 soundcard, Radeon 9700 pro. This worked fine for games (even farcry) until doom 3 brought me down to 8-10fps when two creatures were in the same room. Unplayable. Even Morrowind won't give me more than 5fps in Balmora. Just pathetic.

My first idea was to just upgrade this system with an Athlon64 3500+ cpu, a new motherboard (which one works best for this cpu I have no idea) and a gig of the fastest ram. The 9700 pro is still good enough in this setup. Problem is, I have so many programs installed over the last 5 years, I really do not want to reinstall everything again. My present lame mb can be upgraded to 2.0 cpu, so that's pointless. I get different opinions about how well the system will function if I only replace the cpu and mb without doing a fresh install. Some say it could work fine, others say it will be slow or a lot of things won't work properly. Basically a crap shoot.

The other option is just to buy a new gaming only rig, and have a second computer. This will cost about triple (around $2000 CAD) than just upgrading the mb and cpu on my present system.  If I buy a new rig, it would have an nvidia 6800gt, 3500+ athlon64 cpu, 200 gig hd, new sound card, 1 gig ram, and I would run it on win2000. I have no idea if xp is better for games, but I haven't heard good things compared to win2000.

The other question I have is that I will either be playing HL2 on my 50inch LCD TV, with a refresh rate of 60hz, or my 19 inch viewsonic LCD, also with a refresh rate of 60. Maybe my idea of a new power rig is pointless if the most fps I'm ever going to see is 60. But I really do not want to go back to CRT.
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Jancelot
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« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2004, 08:52:04 PM »

If you've got the cash then go for it.  The new video slots will be coming in to their own soon, but probably not soon enough for HL2.  Then again there's always something better around the corner.

Quote
I have no idea if xp is better for games, but I haven't heard good things compared to win2000.


I don't understand this statement.  Where ever it is you heard this from you should never trust them again. smile  Not that Win2000 isn't a good OS, but XP with SP2 runs great and is compatible with a much wider range of hardware.  It's essentially 2000 on steroids as they are based on the same kernal.
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spatzi
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« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2004, 09:58:45 PM »

I heard this from various tech people in computer stores. xp is supposed to be much more cpu intensive, resource hog, etc. So you're saying that if you had a choice with a new OS install that is going to be primarily for gaming from HL2 and onward for the next 2 years, install XP?
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Destructor
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« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2004, 10:41:47 PM »

Quote from: "spatzi"
I heard this from various tech people in computer stores. xp is supposed to be much more cpu intensive, resource hog, etc. So you're saying that if you had a choice with a new OS install that is going to be primarily for gaming from HL2 and onward for the next 2 years, install XP?

There are exactly two OS's you should choose between when building a computer system (especially if you want to play any games):

Windows 98 and Windows XP.

And Windoes 98 isn't supported by Microsoft (or pretty much anybody, for that matter) anymore, so the choice is pretty easy.
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Jeff
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« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2004, 10:56:42 PM »

Quote from: "spatzi"
I heard this from various tech people in computer stores. xp is supposed to be much more cpu intensive, resource hog, etc. So you're saying that if you had a choice with a new OS install that is going to be primarily for gaming from HL2 and onward for the next 2 years, install XP?


I would install XP in a heartbeat. It's the best OS Microsoft has ever released.  Put it this way: game developers develop their products specifically for WindowsXP first, everything else is secondary.  

XP is based on the same NT kernel as Win2000, but with much more focus put into gaming and multimedia functions. Win2000 is an OS designed for the business/work enviroment. I'm not saying it's bad, mind you, but it's actually less game-friendly by it's nature than XP.

And btw, from "tech guys in computer stores" is about the last place you want to get valid PC tech information from smile
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Hamsterball_Z
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« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2004, 11:11:35 PM »

Quote from: "spatzi"
I heard this from various tech people in computer stores. xp is supposed to be much more cpu intensive, resource hog, etc.

"Much more" is an extreme eggageration.  Yes, of course it is using more resources, it's doing a lot more.  Is it enough to be noticable?  Not at all.  You could make the same comparison for 98 vs 2000 but you're not going to run 98 because of that are you?  There are enough advantages to XP to make the switch worthwhile.

If you go the motherboard upgrade route the issues you're going to have are with chipset drivers.  If you can get those cleaned out you could probably boot from your old hard drive.  The one to watch out for in particular is the IDE drivers.  Switch those to the generic Microsoft driver and you should be fine.  Do this before you start to upgrade, while you're still on the old motherboard.
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spatzi
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« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2004, 01:37:12 AM »

Thanks for the clarification on OS. Looks like I'm going to go for a new system. My first computer came along just after HL1, so the timing is right. What do you guys recommend as the best/fastest mb for the athlon64 3500 cpu?
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