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Author Topic: The Community "Upgrade or not to upgrade" PC threa  (Read 5158 times)
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Turtle
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« on: October 17, 2004, 12:52:26 AM »

Just thought I'd start a topic for this.  Back at Gone Gold I recall quite a few posts there with people asking the simple question of whether or not they should upgrade, then posted their computer specs.  I figured it'd be useful to everyone to have a consolidated version of this, where you can look in and if someone has a computer similar to yours, it answers your question without having to post another topic.

Here's a list of what you should post about your computer, if I'm missing something, let me know:
Processer brand and speed.
Motherboard (if known)
Memory amount and type
Video Card
Hard Drive
Sound Card

Also post what and why you want to upgrade.

I'll start with my computer:

AMD Athlon XP 2000+ (1.73ghz)
MSI motherboard (can't remember the type)
512MB PC2700 DDR memory
Radeon 9800 pro 128mb 256bit
30gb Seagate 7200 HD
Soundblaster Live card

I want to end up with a computer that's good for doing 3D animation and for gaming.  The latest stuff I don't need.  The closest game I want to play with Half-Life 2.

I'm thinking of buying a new motherboard and CPU, going for an Athlon 64 3000+.  I'm also going to need a lot more memory and hard drive space for 3D animation.

I want to do a raid drive for both speed and data safety (I've had way too many hard drive crashes over the years).

First though, I just want to run HL2 really, really well.  So, should I upgrade now and what should I upgrade?
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RookieCAF
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« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2004, 01:46:32 AM »

Pentium 4 2.53
ASUS P4T533-C Mainboard
512MB PC1066 RDRAM (Samsung)
ATi Radeon 9600 Pro 128MB
SB Live 5.1
30GB IBM Deskstar and WD 80GB (8mb Cache)

I'm looking to play some of the newer games (Mainly Pacific Fighters and Brothers In Arms) but don't need them to be full eye candy, even on Medium I'll be happy)

I would like to go to a GB of RAM if I can find some matching RAM at a reasonable price) and would like to replace the IBM Drive with another WD 80 or larger.
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Thin_J
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« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2004, 02:44:27 AM »

PC Specs:
Pentium 4 3.0Ghz with HT
1GB DDR400 Dual-Channel Ram
Geforce 6800 GT
Soundblaster Audigy 2 ZS
30GB WD Hard Drive

Really, the only thing I think I need is a bigger hard drive and a new case.

If you're looking at running HL2, I'd say the P4 2.5 system above is good enough for it, just not past say.. 800x600 resolution. If you're good with that, I'd say you're good to go. The biggest bottleneck I say you have is with your Radeon 9600. If you choose to upgrade just one or two things, I would go with a RAM upgrade first, and then a video card. It doesn't have to be a big upgrade, you could move to a 9800 Pro or XT and probably be perfectly happy with everything. Or you could wait and grab one of the new Geforce 6600 cards once the AGP models hit. I'd say you're golden either way.

Also, I didn't list the motherboard because it's a Dell, and it has some OEM thing in it. I have no idea who Dell gets the MOBO parts from.
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RookieCAF
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« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2004, 02:54:23 AM »

I had a chance at a really nice priced 9800 Pro but at the time the budget wouldn't shoulder the cost. I do like the card but I realize its not the fastest thing. Its not really let me down and I think its viable for a little while anyway. The DOOM3 Demo was definately playable at 1024 medium quality, and looked fantastic when it wasn't so damn dark slywink

Gotta get a monitor before anything tho, this one's days are numbered..
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Zarkon
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« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2004, 04:54:09 AM »

Athlon XP 2400+
ECS K7VTA3 motherboard
512 MB PC2700 DDR RAM
Geforce 4 Ti4200
Onboard sound
40 GB Maxtor HD and 120 GB WD HD.

I'd like to get more memory, upgrade the video card, get a DVD+-RW drive, and get 2 200+ gig HDDs.  Later on, I want to get a -good- sound card and surround sound speakers.  Right now, I don't have room for it, though.
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Destructor
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« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2004, 07:27:01 PM »

Well, I'm one of those who believes in pretty much being at the top of the line (more or less), so here's the results if you spend lots of cash for a PC (ah, the joys of being single):

Althon AMD XP 3000+
ASUS...something. Don't crack the case often enough to check.
2x Crucial 512MB PC2700 DDR RAM
ATI X800XT (just upgraded from a 9700 Pro)
Onboard sound (Creative Labs can *bleep* off)
120GB WD and 80GB Maxtor HDs
Lite-on DVD Drive
Plextor DVD-R/CD-RW 4/2.4/8/32/16/48 (something like that)
WinXP

To answer your question: Another 512MB will make a world of difference, as WinXP (and other programs) just fly with that much in. That 9800 Pro is still going strong, although the processor is starting to lag.

Also, definitely pick up at least a 80GB drive and reinstall WinXP on that. Starting from scratch will give you a huge speed boost (as Knightshade Dragon keeps reminding me), especially if you've used WinXP for a long time.
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Storm Crow
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« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2004, 02:36:55 AM »

Welp here goes

Mobo: ASUS P4P800 deluxe
Proc: P4 2.8  HT 400 fsb
mem: 512 MB
Video: 9800 Pro
Sound Card: Sound blaster audigy 2
HD: western dig 80 gig
other: TDK cd burner, Sony DVD ROM

Next on the upgrade list , I'm thinking of adding another 512 mb of ram,  throwing in a DVD burner, and upgrading to an Audgiy 2 ZS.  this system ran DOOM 3 with out much of hitch at  1024x768 , high details, So I'm  thinking HL 2 will run with out much of a hitch.

On a related note, I was thinking about upgrading to an x600, but my wife took  look at the price on Newegg and asked if I was out of my F*(&((* mind.
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Hamsterball_Z
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« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2004, 05:22:46 AM »

This has been the year of the upgrade for me.  I've been buying bits and pieces every few months.  Here's where I'm at now:

- Athlon XP Mobile @ 2.42Ghz (3510+ according to Sisoft Sandra :shock: )
- Shuttle AN35 Ultra
- 1GB Corsair ValueSelect DDR 400 Cas2.5 @ 420Mhz  (512x2 Dual Channel)
- GeForce 6800GT @ 395/1.15
- 250GB Hitachi 7K250 Hard Drive
- M-Audio Revolution 7.1
- Enermax 420W EG425P-VE Power Supply

That last item is important, it got me from the 3250+ range to where I am now.  The Athlon is a 2400+ (1.6Ghz) 35W Mobile processor.  They're essentially normal socket A chips but they're qualified to run at high speeds at lower voltages than normal (1.35 vs 1.65).  They're also fully unlocked so no need to modify the chip for overclocking.

Not that I really need to upgrade any more but I'm thinking about a new heatsink.  I've got a Coolermaster HCC-001, one of the first to add heatpipes.  Works well enough but it's a few years old and some of the newer heatsinks could bring the temps down 10-15C.  I'm at 45-50C at idle and up to 68C at load (Prime95 running while playing Thief 3).  That's high but the mobile Athlons are rated to a max temp of 100C, 20 degrees higher than the normal XPs.  If I can dump some more heat I might be able to get to 3600+ or higher :twisted: .  After that there's really nothing else to upgrade except maybe a DVD burner.
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unbongwah
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« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2004, 06:39:42 PM »

Turtle: it'd help if you provided some more details, like how much you're willing to spend, how long you usually go between upgrades (and thus how long you want this machine to last), etc.  Obviously, what I'd recommend to someone willing to spend $200 is different from the fellow who'll spend $2,000.  Still, some general advice to point out:

With a 2-drive RAID setup, bear in mind you have the choice between the performance boost of striping (RAID 0) or the data integrity of mirroring (RAID 1) - not both!  If you want both, you either have to shell out for a 4-drive RAID 0+1 setup or a 3+ drive RAID-5 setup - which is more expensive and not available on every MB.  [Not aware of any MB which offers RAID 5 support, actually, but I would imagine someone does.]

PCI Express (PCIe) is the Next Big Thing in bus interfaces.  It's as big a leap over PCI as PCI was over ISA.  PCIe is not backwards-compatible with PCI (despite the name, it's a totally new interface); and many MBs with PCIe do not include PCI and/or AGP slots (since the whole point to PCIe is to move away from both).  PCIe isn't a must-have now, but it will be eventually - the question is whether you should make the leap now or later.

My advice?  Stick with your current system for the time being - maybe put in an extra 512MB of RAM, a 2nd HD, and/or a faster CPU if you really want some added oomph - and hold out for a PCIe system, once more PCIe MBs & peripherals (esp. video cards) are on the market.
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Jeff
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« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2004, 06:59:03 PM »

Here's one. Who's gone from a 9800 to either the 6800 or x800 line?

Is the jump significant enough to warrant the $300+ upgrade?

I have

Abit IS7-865
P4 2.8 ghz 800fsb
1 GB PC3200
9800 non-pro (but not the lame SE either)

I'm looking at this Evga board at newegg:


6800 at Newegg

From all the feedback, they are saying that it's basically an underclocked Ultra, for about half the price.
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Hamsterball_Z
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« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2004, 08:37:50 PM »

Don't do RAID, at least not for speed.  For a single user environment it's just a marketing gimick.  StorageReview has a good quote from one of their tests:
    Finally, we come to the SR Gaming DriveMark, a weighted average of the drive accesses generated by five popular PC games. The flat slopes indicate that gaming uses benefit least from both RAID and command queuing. In fact, at 677 I/Os per second, a 4 drive Cheetah array operating off of the Acceleraid 170
lags a single Raptor running on the "dumbest" of SATA controllers by a margin of 9%.[/list]

Anandtech's RAID-0 test reached the same conclusion:
    If you haven't gotten the hint by now, we'll spell it out for you: there is no place, and no need for a RAID-0 array on a desktop computer. The real world performance increases are negligible at best and the reduction in reliability, thanks to a halving of the mean time between failure, makes RAID-0 far from worth it on the desktop.

    Bottom line: RAID-0 arrays will win you just about any benchmark, but they'll deliver virtually nothing more than that for real world desktop performance. That's just the cold hard truth.
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« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2004, 09:00:11 PM »

Quote from: "Jeff Jones"
Here's one. Who's gone from a 9800 to either the 6800 or x800 line?

Is the jump significant enough to warrant the $300+ upgrade?

I have

Abit IS7-865
P4 2.8 ghz 800fsb
1 GB PC3200
9800 non-pro (but not the lame SE either)

I'm looking at this Evga board at newegg:


6800 at Newegg

From all the feedback, they are saying that it's basically an underclocked Ultra, for about half the price.


I'm curious about this one, myself.  Anyone?
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Turtle
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« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2004, 02:29:31 AM »

Thanks guys!  I'd heard of PCIe, but wasn't aware that things would be changing so much, so soon.

Looks like I'll just pickup a new hard drive, another stick of ram, and maybe a new processor that my motherboard supports (looks like an Athlon XP 2600+) I'll have to do a BIOS update.

I usually upgrade my computer every year or a year and half.   Usually spending around 200-400.  It's been a year already, but I'll wait another year to seriously upgrade.

Those little upgrades total around $300 already, so I'll just wait and buy an entirely new computer with PCIe.
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Gryndyl
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« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2004, 03:51:38 PM »

Just a helpful tip for those that might not know, the easiest way to get all of your system spec info is to go to Start-->Run and type 'dxdiag'. This will activate the DirectX diagnostic tool and will give you all kinds of info about your system and performance.
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unbongwah
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« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2004, 04:38:21 PM »

FYI, Anandtech has a recent preview of the nForce4, nVidia's next AMD64 MB chipet: link

Performance-wise, it's really only an incremental improvement over current MBs.  But some of its features - esp. native PCIe, improved SATA, and SLI support - sound pretty cool.  I was pretty impressed by the SLI benchmarks - it remains to be seen how much puttng together a system using it will cost, though.
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Turtle
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« Reply #15 on: October 25, 2004, 08:17:11 AM »

Anyone know if an upgrade from a 2000+ to a 2600+ Athlon XP would really do any good?
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unbongwah
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« Reply #16 on: October 25, 2004, 02:31:43 PM »

Quote from: "Turtle"
Anyone know if an upgrade from a 2000+ to a 2600+ Athlon XP would really do any good?


This is an old article, but Tom's HW did a mammoth CPU comparison last year: link

Short answer: it's faster, but not necessarily by a huge amount - roughly 20% faster in games, presuming you have a good video card.  Whether or not it's "worth it" is entirely up to you...

Edit: This hopefully goes without saying, by make sure you buy the right 2600+ for your MB; it comes in both 266MHz and 333Mhz FSB versions.
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Fez
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« Reply #17 on: November 05, 2004, 04:06:21 PM »

Hi all.  I need some advice on whether I should upgrade my computer (and if so, what needs upgrading) or if I should just buy/build a new system.  If buying/building a new system is the choice, I'd appreciate any info on what I should buy!  Although I'm familiar with the equipment to get in a computer, I'm no longer familiar with what's good to buy as I haven't been in the market for a PC in a while.

My current system is 3 years old and has the following:

1.  Pentium 4 1.7 GHz
2.  512 MB of RDRAM?
3.  GeForce3 Titanium 200
4.  Creative Soundblaster Live Value card
5.  80 GB 7200 RPM hard drive
6.  Standard CD-ROM drive with burning capabilities (not sure on speed).

Any suggestions?  Thanks.
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unbongwah
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« Reply #18 on: November 05, 2004, 05:34:05 PM »

Fez: personally, I'd start from scratch.  Your system's old enough that it's not worth the bother of upgrading, IMHO.  As for what to get - well, it all depends on what your budget is and what you want to do with your system...
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Fez
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« Reply #19 on: November 05, 2004, 05:50:50 PM »

Thanks for the response.  I'm looking to play games like Everquest 2 and maybe WoW.  I'm not a fanatical first person gamer, but every now and then I find one I like.  I typically just buy through Dell for the value.  I take it that upgrading my graphics card won't help my system all that much?  Oh, and I'm using Windows XP HE.  My budget would be about $2000.

Oh, and any suggestions on a good monitor?  I'm not looking to spend more than a grand on a monitor most likely, so probably no widescreen PLasma for me here.  I'm thinking of 19" to 20", certainly less than 30", but are the LCD displays very good?
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Charlatan
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« Reply #20 on: November 05, 2004, 06:02:39 PM »

Quote from: "Fez"
Thanks for the response.  I'm looking to play games like Everquest 2 and maybe WoW.  I'm not a fanatical first person gamer, but every now and then I find one I like.  I typically just buy through Dell for the value.  I take it that upgrading my graphics card won't help my system all that much?  Oh, and I'm using Windows XP HE.  My budget would be about $2000.

Oh, and any suggestions on a good monitor?  I'm not looking to spend more than a grand on a monitor most likely, so probably no widescreen PLasma for me here.  I'm thinking of 19" to 20", certainly less than 30", but are the LCD displays very good?


Fez I just upgraded from a system similar to yours to this one via one of the periodic Dell deals:

3.2GHz PIV
1 MB RAM
160 MB SATA disk
16x DVD+/-RW dual layer
Sound Blaster Audigy2 audio
ATI X800SE video card
19" Flat Panel monitor (NOT the "high performance" ones)

And I'm extremely happy with it. My performance in the games you mention:

EQ2: using moderately high graphics settings, 20-40 FPS (if I turn off shadows I can consistently get 40-50)

WoW: no issues whatever.

This is playing at 1280x1024 in both, by the way.

Oh this system cost around $1300, included the monitor for free, and had free 2 day shipping. Keep checking www.gotapex.com if you're looking for Dell deals.

I would recommend 1 GB of RAM at the minimum.

Oh, and the monitor works fine - it does not have a DVI input but I haven't had any ghosting or issues that make me reconsider getting it. The Dell 20.1" FP monitor is the one people always talk about in revered tones, that one is around $650 on sale, which it is now.
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« Reply #21 on: November 28, 2004, 03:02:49 AM »

My goal:  get the most out of Half Life 2 spending less than $200 on some relatively minor upgrades.

My current system:

Intel(R) D845PEBT2 system board
P4 2.40B GHz (Bus speed 533 MHz)
1 GB RAM (DDR 333)
128 MB GeForce4  TI 4200

I'm thinking a graphics card upgrade might be possible, but I'm not sure what card would fit in my budget and what the likely improvement would be.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
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« Reply #22 on: November 28, 2004, 08:52:45 PM »

Quote from: "Kurth"
My goal:  get the most out of Half Life 2 spending less than $200 on some relatively minor upgrades.

My current system:

Intel(R) D845PEBT2 system board
P4 2.40B GHz (Bus speed 533 MHz)
1 GB RAM (DDR 333)
128 MB GeForce4  TI 4200

I'm thinking a graphics card upgrade might be possible, but I'm not sure what card would fit in my budget and what the likely improvement would be.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated!


I think your graphics card officially falls into the "doorstop" category  biggrin

How about an ATI 9800 Pro? Here's one for $175 at Newegg.
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« Reply #23 on: November 28, 2004, 08:59:54 PM »

Just got my new system running last night and have the really important stuff (XP SP2 & HL2) runnning on it.

Old system:
2.4G P IV
512M RAM
Radeon 9700 Pro
60G HD

New system:
Shuttle XPC (very nice system)
3.6G P IV
1G RAM
Nvidia 6600 GT
160G SATA HD
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Buldrhm
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« Reply #24 on: November 29, 2004, 01:40:03 AM »

My PC is a HP 762C

2.26GHz
512 MB pc2100 DDR SDRAM
NVIDIA GeForce4 MX420
120 GB HD

I am thinking of going to 1G of memory, and a graphics card update?

Do I have to buy 1 G of memory, or 515M?
Can I use a "new" graphics card in this old machine?
Are these upgrades worth it?
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« Reply #25 on: November 30, 2004, 03:44:25 PM »

Quote from: "PaulBot"

New system:
Shuttle XPC (very nice system)
3.6G P IV
1G RAM
Nvidia 6600 GT
160G SATA HD


How's the noise on that case?  I'm intrigued by the Silent X feature.  Does it work well?  I'm looking to build a media PC for my living room but don't want a bunch of loud fans.
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« Reply #26 on: November 30, 2004, 07:00:59 PM »

Quote from: "Jancelot"
Quote from: "PaulBot"

New system:
Shuttle XPC (very nice system)
3.6G P IV
1G RAM
Nvidia 6600 GT
160G SATA HD


How's the noise on that case?  I'm intrigued by the Silent X feature.  Does it work well?  I'm looking to build a media PC for my living room but don't want a bunch of loud fans.


So far I've been working on it while it's sitting on the eat bar in my kitchen and I'm 2 feet away from it. It is very quiet, and that's one of the reasons I bought it. Luckily the graphics card I picked is quiet too. If you're looking for a media system that isn't going to do cutting edge games you can probably use the graphics on the motherboard and all you'll have is the one fan in the case, and it should be even quieter!
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PaulBot
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« Reply #27 on: November 30, 2004, 07:03:31 PM »

Quote from: "Buldrhm"
My PC is a HP 762C

2.26GHz
512 MB pc2100 DDR SDRAM
NVIDIA GeForce4 MX420
120 GB HD

I am thinking of going to 1G of memory, and a graphics card update?

Do I have to buy 1 G of memory, or 515M?
Can I use a "new" graphics card in this old machine?
Are these upgrades worth it?


You can use any AGP graphics card, and the hottest ones on the market (like the X800) have AGP versions.

Is your 512M memory consuming one or two slots? How many slots do you have? If you have an open slot, just buy a 512M stick of RAM.
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« Reply #28 on: December 01, 2004, 01:38:09 AM »

Quote from: "PaulBot"
Quote from: "Buldrhm"
My PC is a HP 762C

2.26GHz
512 MB pc2100 DDR SDRAM
NVIDIA GeForce4 MX420
120 GB HD

I am thinking of going to 1G of memory, and a graphics card update?

Do I have to buy 1 G of memory, or 515M?
Can I use a "new" graphics card in this old machine?
Are these upgrades worth it?


You can use any AGP graphics card, and the hottest ones on the market (like the X800) have AGP versions.

Is your 512M memory consuming one or two slots? How many slots do you have? If you have an open slot, just buy a 512M stick of RAM.



Thanx, but what is AGP 4X? 8X? Are these still compatible with this machine?
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Kurth
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« Reply #29 on: December 01, 2004, 09:08:27 PM »

Quote
I think your graphics card officially falls into the "doorstop" category  

How about an ATI 9800 Pro? Here's one for $175 at Newegg.


Yep.  Looking at some charts over at Tom's Hardware, my GeForce Ti 4200 is a dinosaur already.  But I'm still not sure what to upgrade to.  I checked out the ATI 9800 card you linked to, but I'm not sure that's a 9800 Pro - the memory configuration states "600MHz 256MB 128-bit DDR."  Looks like an SE chip to me (maybe not surprising for that price).

The 9800 Pro cards I found were all substantially over my $200 budget.  So . . . what do you think about a GeForce 5900XT card like this one from MSI:
http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=14-127-119&depa=1

That card is going for $188 at Newegg.  Think that would be a good match for my system?  If not, what would you choose in my place?

Intel(R) D845PEBT2 system board
P4 2.40B GHz (Bus speed 533 MHz)
1 GB RAM (DDR 333)
128 MB GeForce4 TI 4200

Thanks for the help!
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« Reply #30 on: December 02, 2004, 02:36:41 AM »

Here's my specs:

Athlon64 3000
Asus KV8 pro
1 GB of PC3200
ATI 9800 pro(overclocked)
Audigy 2 ZS
80 gig hard drive

I pretty happy with my setup but I'm thinking of upgrading to a Athlon64 3400 (the one with 1mb L2 cache) and maybe a video card in the next 6 months.
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Kurth
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« Reply #31 on: December 02, 2004, 03:05:03 AM »

Hmm.  Well, having just read through Anandtech's "Half-Life2 GPU shoot out," there's no question that the GeForce FX 5900XT is not the card I want.  Check this out:

Quote
Now that you've seen what improvements Half Life 2's DX9 path can give you, let's take a look at the price to pay for some of those impressive visual effects. In order to measure the impact of the DX9 path we did the following: ran benchmarks using both the DX8 and DX9 paths, then took the percentage decrease in performance seen by going to DX9. We then averaged the percentage decrease across all five of our custom Half Life 2 benchmarks, per card, per resolution. We will look at actual performance numbers shortly, but this is just to give you an idea of what's to come:

At 800 x 600 the game is mostly CPU bound on cards like the Radeon 9600XT, thus the performance drom from DX8 to DX9 is quite small. Even on cards like the X300 and the Radeon 9550 the performance hit isn't too bad at less than 20%. But here's the kicker, the GeForce 5900XT sees almost a 60% drop in performance by going to DX9 mode. This type of a performance drop should be relatively consistent across the entire NV3x line (e.g. FX 5900 Ultra, FX 5600, etc...).


http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=2281&p=3

So, it looks like an ATI card more suited to running DX9 is what I'm looking for.  Maybe a 9700 Pro will fit into my budget.
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unbongwah
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« Reply #32 on: December 02, 2004, 05:08:31 PM »

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Quote from: "sig20paramedic"
I pretty happy with my setup but I'm thinking of upgrading to a Athlon64 3400 (the one with 1mb L2 cache) and maybe a video card in the next 6 months.

I'm in the same boat (have a S754 A64 3000+).  Personally, I wouldn't bother with the 3400+ - the performance boost over the 3000+ is pretty negligible relative to the CPU's cost:
http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=2038&p=3

I'd count my pennies until I could afford to upgrade to, say, an S939 A64 4000+ or the like.  [Which, obviously, requires a new MB too, so it'd be a while before I could afford it.]  A new video card makes more sense, IMHO.  Aim for something at the 6800GT level or higher.

Quote from: "Kurth"
So, it looks like an ATI card more suited to running DX9 is what I'm looking for.  Maybe a 9700 Pro will fit into my budget.

Actually, you need to look at a broader array of benchmarks.  The ATI cards have the advantage in HL2; but in other DX9 titles, the latest nVidia cards usually win.  And nVidia remains the winner in OpenGL titles too.
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=2277

For anyone looking for a new AGP video card in the $200 range, I'd recommend the 6600GT.  Prices are a little high right now ($230 - $250), but I expect those to come down.
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sig20paramedic
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« Reply #33 on: December 03, 2004, 05:46:52 AM »

Quote from: "unbongwah"
I'd count my pennies until I could afford to upgrade to, say, an S939 A64 4000+ or the like.  [Which, obviously, requires a new MB too, so it'd be a while before I could afford it.]  A new video card makes more sense, IMHO.  Aim for something at the 6800GT level or higher.

 
I'm going to have this setup for at least another year so would upgrading processor now be worth it in the long run(how long do you think my A64 3000 will be viable for?).  Also will there be a noticable difference between 512 mb L2 cache vs 1 mb L2 cache??  If my A64 3000 can last me another year than I'll put my Christmas money towards a new video card(god I wish the prices of the 6800GTs would drop frown ).
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unbongwah
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« Reply #34 on: December 03, 2004, 06:04:56 PM »

Quote from: "sig20paramedic"
I'm going to have this setup for at least another year so would upgrading processor now be worth it in the long run(how long do you think my A64 3000 will be viable for?).  Also will there be a noticable difference between 512 mb L2 cache vs 1 mb L2 cache??

Read the benchmarks, dude.  smile

Gandhi: Numbers don't lie, man.
Number 4: I'm the number 5!

In business-y apps, the difference between the A64 3400+ vs 3000+ is usually 10% or less.  In games, the difference ranges from negligible to maybe 15%, depending on how CPU-dependent the game is.  The difference narrows further as resolution and detail settings are cranked up, when your game performance will become much more GPU-dependent.  Considering the 3400+ is over $200, that's not enough of a performance boost to be worth it, IMHO.

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If my A64 3000 can last me another year than I'll put my Christmas money towards a new video card(god I wish the prices of the 6800GTs would drop frown ).

I definitely think you'll benefit a lot more from a video card upgrade than from a CPU upgrade, especially for newer DX9 games.  I went from a Radeon 9800XT to a GeForce 6800GT and there was a definite improvement.

Not that the 9800 Pro is a bad card - it should be up to running anything you throw at it, just not as well as something faster.  Duh. slywink
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Kurth
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« Reply #35 on: December 04, 2004, 03:41:46 AM »

Just an update:  I found a refurbished ATI 9800 Pro for $175 shipped and pulled the trigger.  The price seemed pretty attractive, and given my rigs aging components, I couldn't justify dropping the extra money to get the cheapest 6600GT I could find, which was selling for $230.

I hope I'm not shooting myself in the foot buying a refurbished card!  :roll:
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« Reply #36 on: December 09, 2004, 01:22:05 AM »

Quote from: "Jancelot"
How's the noise on that case?  I'm intrigued by the Silent X feature.  Does it work well?  I'm looking to build a media PC for my living room but don't want a bunch of loud fans.


Update: I've had the PC in its final resting place for over a week now, and it is QUIET!! I have it under my desk sitting on my subwoofer (sitting it on the floor is too far away for a lazybutt like me). It emits a slight whirr like a happy kitten  biggrin
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