What to upgrade first?

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LFITQ
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What to upgrade first?

Post by LFITQ » Thu Dec 27, 2007 9:52 pm

looking at possibly upgrading my computer but just not sure what I should do first.

Here is what I have what are your suggestions?

Processor:
2.40 gigahertz AMD Athlon 64
128 kilobyte primary memory cache
512 kilobyte secondary memory cache

Board: ASUSTeK Computer INC. A8N-SLI DELUXE 1.XX
Bus Clock: 200 megahertz

RAM:
1024 Megabytes Installed Memory

Video Card:
NVIDIA GeForce 6600 GT [Display adapter]


Sound Card:
Creative SB Audigy 2 ZS (WDM)

This is primarily for games.

Thnx in advance.
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Post by BBBob » Fri Dec 28, 2007 1:56 am

http://www.ncix.com has some great sales on, fyi.
"Build" a pc here:
http://pc.ncix.com/pcbuilder/

You didn't say what PSU you have, that can be critical. Purchase a high quality PSU of at least 550 watts I would suggest.

Cooling is another consideration as is budget.

I would suggest an Intel Core 2 Duo - motherboard whatever you prefer, I prefer boards with a minimum of built in components as I prefer a separate audio, graphics and networking card.

Minimum of 2 gigs of RAM - 2 gigs oughta' do 'ya though.

Graphics card, I'm an Nvidia guy - I would recommend a 512 RAM card as some of the newer games require that to run smoothly (Dirt comes to mind). You could get a 8800 GT 512 under $300.

For Audio, a Creative XFi Xtreme Gamer would suffice nicely. I have the Xtreme Music version. I dunno if you need new headphones, but I can't say enough good things about Sennhesiser HD 555's - awesome for 3D sound in games and for music. I got them on sale at ncix for $130 - wait for a sale!

Let us know how it goes pal!


:beer:

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Post by ArgoDave » Tue Jan 22, 2008 6:08 pm

Right now some places have good deals on high end AGP nVidia cards since the hottest new cards are PCI-E cards.

For example this card would be a cheap but good upgrade to what you have now for just under $100: EVGA E-GEFORCE 7300GT 350MHZ 512MB 380MHZ 128BIT 533MHZ DDR2 AGP VGA DVI-I HDTV Out Video Card


Here

Another tip to get more mileage from an older comp, create another ''HardWare profile' using the 'Power User' setting on the Black Viper page:

http://www.blackviper.com/WinXP/servicecfg.htm

http://www.blackviper.com/WinXP/xpprofiles.htm

I was struggling to get much more than 20-30 FPS and getting loads of Graphical Slowdown in CQC on AA the last year or so, so I created a 'Gamer' profile that I boot into whenever I want to run the game.

(My CPU was pegged at 100% at all times when the game ran, even when nothing much was happening onscreen, so as you can imagine the lag I was getting in battle. People were shooting me before I even saw them. So I checked what was running in XP, 35 processes and about 1/3 of my RAM and a good chunk of my pagefile were taken even before AA loaded.)

I turned off just about everything I don't need, including of course AV and AS apps, and anything else that starts at bootup I don't absolutely need, and now I can get a peak of 80 FPS....yes, that high on certain Maps,with 40-60 FPS average being typical. Oh, and I followed the tips in the latest TweakTown guide for AA too. Amazing results for a tiny sacrifice in game texture details. Enough that I could even turn Shadows back on again, just 'Blob' tho.

Now I can kill people again! Sniping is fun again!

I guess my point is you may be able to get a big performance boost without swapping any hardware at all Ken, I did and now my Comp will do me until AA 3.0 comes out, and I hope by then I can afford my dream tower that BBBob helped me build on NCIX.
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Post by MulderS » Wed Jan 23, 2008 4:58 am

quick upgrade would be RAM, and change your mobo config to support it as duel channel, if not already. There is a noticeable speed increase.


Other than that you have almost the exact same setup i have (i got Gforce 7300GT)
i got 2 gigs of ram.

No mention of monitor. make sure it's a nice LCD and uses DVI cable ( i would assume)

Only Major upgrades i've done in the last 2 years are, Upgrade my videocard from ATI 9600XT to Gforce 7300. More Ram and More harddrive space. (up to 800 gigs)

Only reason is because i don't want to make the jump to PCI express, it means totally new system ram and me spending $400+ i don't want to spend. :)

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Post by ticatfan » Wed Jan 23, 2008 8:17 am

Hey Steve, can you clarify the following:

change your mobo config to support it as duel channel

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Post by greycupgarry » Thu Jan 24, 2008 4:26 am

ArgoDave wrote:Right now some places have good deals on high end AGP nVidia cards since the hottest new cards are PCI-E cards.

For example this card would be a cheap but good upgrade to what you have now for just under $100: EVGA E-GEFORCE 7300GT 350MHZ 512MB 380MHZ 128BIT 533MHZ DDR2 AGP VGA DVI-I HDTV Out Video Card


Here

Another tip to get more mileage from an older comp, create another ''HardWare profile' using the 'Power User' setting on the Black Viper page:

http://www.blackviper.com/WinXP/servicecfg.htm

http://www.blackviper.com/WinXP/xpprofiles.htm

I was struggling to get much more than 20-30 FPS and getting loads of Graphical Slowdown in CQC on AA the last year or so, so I created a 'Gamer' profile that I boot into whenever I want to run the game.

(My CPU was pegged at 100% at all times when the game ran, even when nothing much was happening onscreen, so as you can imagine the lag I was getting in battle. People were shooting me before I even saw them. So I checked what was running in XP, 35 processes and about 1/3 of my RAM and a good chunk of my pagefile were taken even before AA loaded.)

I turned off just about everything I don't need, including of course AV and AS apps, and anything else that starts at bootup I don't absolutely need, and now I can get a peak of 80 FPS....yes, that high on certain Maps,with 40-60 FPS average being typical. Oh, and I followed the tips in the latest TweakTown guide for AA too. Amazing results for a tiny sacrifice in game texture details. Enough that I could even turn Shadows back on again, just 'Blob' tho.

Now I can kill people again! Sniping is fun again!

I guess my point is you may be able to get a big performance boost without swapping any hardware at all Ken, I did and now my Comp will do me until AA 3.0 comes out, and I hope by then I can afford my dream tower that BBBob helped me build on NCIX.
Last year my video card baffed on me and I replaced it with an old antiquated card I had from an old system in the basement.. Where are you getting these prices from for a new card. I'd just like to get a good card - no video needed and no gaming being done here, but I would like a good quality resolution.

My son, who is deaf uses the computer all the time to converse with his freinds on webcam in sign language and it seems there is too much lag and trails with this old card.
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Post by BBBob » Thu Jan 24, 2008 7:57 am

Garry, http://www.ncix.com rocks for computer parts.

If you need help selecting a graphics card, let me know what your budget is.

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Post by greycupgarry » Thu Jan 24, 2008 10:26 am

BBBob wrote:Garry, http://www.ncix.com rocks for computer parts.

If you need help selecting a graphics card, let me know what your budget is.
Just a good quality card - no games played, for webcam and clean internet graphics.

Possibly a used card dealer from gamers that have upgraded would do fine.
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Post by ArgoDave » Thu Jan 24, 2008 6:10 pm

greycupgarry wrote: Last year my video card baffed on me and I replaced it with an old antiquated card I had from an old system in the basement.. Where are you getting these prices from for a new card. I'd just like to get a good card - no video needed and no gaming being done here, but I would like a good quality resolution.

My son, who is deaf uses the computer all the time to converse with his freinds on webcam in sign language and it seems there is too much lag and trails with this old card.
Hey Garry, you could try NCIX like BBBob suggested (2 day delivery to this area from BC), or if you want something closer to home this would be a decent vid card that would be more than enough for what you want, for $40 at Future Shop.

BFG GeForce FX 5500OC 256MB AGP Video Card

It's an older card to be sure, obsolete for gaming but would run anything else fine. Webcam video doesn't require the power gaming does. I am assuming you want an AGP card and not a PCI or PCI-E card.

Normally they're not the best price but you could get it tomorrow if you want it. ( I checked Best Buy and Staples and a couple of other places local and they didn't have anything that good at that price, not even close ) Quite possibly the generic video drivers installed in Windows would be able to run it, or you could install the ones they give you on a disc. If you need any tips just ask.

Future Shop here
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Post by greycupgarry » Mon Jan 28, 2008 4:36 am

ArgoDave wrote:I am assuming you want an AGP card and not a PCI or PCI-E card.

Future Shop here
According to my hardware profiles I have a NVIDIA GForce3 TI-200 and the location is: PCI bus 1, device 0, function 0

Not sure what the heck AGP or PCI means. I assume the card you picked out does not fit my Dell Dimension 4600?
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Post by Shi Zi Mi » Mon Jan 28, 2008 9:22 am

greycupgarry wrote:
ArgoDave wrote:I am assuming you want an AGP card and not a PCI or PCI-E card.

Future Shop here
According to my hardware profiles I have a NVIDIA GForce3 TI-200 and the location is: PCI bus 1, device 0, function 0

Not sure what the heck AGP or PCI means. I assume the card you picked out does not fit my Dell Dimension 4600?
That video card is AGP technology and your PC is fairly old (built in 2003 is fairly old in computer terms.......I wouldn't recommend upgrading). I have the Dell Dimension 5100 that is better than 2 1/2 years old and has the newer PCI Express technology for video.

Another reason not to upgrade that PC:

http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,12985 ... ticle.html

Sorry about that Garry...........
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Post by MulderS » Mon Jan 28, 2008 12:09 pm

ticatfan wrote:Hey Steve, can you clarify the following:

change your mobo config to support it as duel channel
It's usually colour coded on the board. Basically getting 2 of the exact same RAM chips and put them in. It Theoreticly doubles data going to the memory controller.

It's more effective for applications then games. And some computers you won't notice the difference. But when i upgraded from 768 RAM to a gig (one 512 one 256) i was upset about the small increase until i moved the chip over to match the colour coding.


I did some quick benchmarking myself and my ram was almost 2X better with duel channel setup.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dual-channel_architecture

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Post by greycupgarry » Mon Jan 28, 2008 1:23 pm

Shi Zi Mi wrote:
greycupgarry wrote:
ArgoDave wrote:I am assuming you want an AGP card and not a PCI or PCI-E card.

Future Shop here
According to my hardware profiles I have a NVIDIA GForce3 TI-200 and the location is: PCI bus 1, device 0, function 0

Not sure what the heck AGP or PCI means. I assume the card you picked out does not fit my Dell Dimension 4600?
That video card is AGP technology and your PC is fairly old (built in 2003 is fairly old in computer terms.......I wouldn't recommend upgrading). I have the Dell Dimension 5100 that is better than 2 1/2 years old and has the newer PCI Express technology for video.

Another reason not to upgrade that PC:

http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,12985 ... ticle.html

Sorry about that Garry...........
Thanks for the info Lloyd. I guess I'll upgrade to a new computer then.
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Post by ArgoDave » Mon Jan 28, 2008 4:11 pm

greycupgarry wrote:
Shi Zi Mi wrote:
greycupgarry wrote:
ArgoDave wrote:I am assuming you want an AGP card and not a PCI or PCI-E card.

Future Shop here
According to my hardware profiles I have a NVIDIA GForce3 TI-200 and the location is: PCI bus 1, device 0, function 0

Not sure what the heck AGP or PCI means. I assume the card you picked out does not fit my Dell Dimension 4600?
That video card is AGP technology and your PC is fairly old (built in 2003 is fairly old in computer terms.......I wouldn't recommend upgrading). I have the Dell Dimension 5100 that is better than 2 1/2 years old and has the newer PCI Express technology for video.

Another reason not to upgrade that PC:

http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,12985 ... ticle.html

Sorry about that Garry...........
Thanks for the info Lloyd. I guess I'll upgrade to a new computer then.
Probably for the best Garry. However that card you mentioned was an AGP card, my first nVidia card was a similar GeForce 3 too. So yes that card I showed you would work, if you really want to put the money into an old box.

My comp is of similar vintage as yours and I stopped upgrading it a couple of years ago, I really can't get any more horsepower out of this old box, but it's still good for many things so I'll keep it running as long as I can.
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Post by BBBob » Mon Jan 28, 2008 4:23 pm

greycupgarry wrote:
Shi Zi Mi wrote:
greycupgarry wrote:
ArgoDave wrote:I am assuming you want an AGP card and not a PCI or PCI-E card.

Future Shop here
According to my hardware profiles I have a NVIDIA GForce3 TI-200 and the location is: PCI bus 1, device 0, function 0

Not sure what the heck AGP or PCI means. I assume the card you picked out does not fit my Dell Dimension 4600?
That video card is AGP technology and your PC is fairly old (built in 2003 is fairly old in computer terms.......I wouldn't recommend upgrading). I have the Dell Dimension 5100 that is better than 2 1/2 years old and has the newer PCI Express technology for video.

Another reason not to upgrade that PC:

http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,12985 ... ticle.html

Sorry about that Garry...........
Thanks for the info Lloyd. I guess I'll upgrade to a new computer then.
When it's time to upgrade, you always configure a custom PC to fit your needs and budget easily here:
http://pc.ncix.com/pcbuilder/

Need any help just let us know!

As for your existing computer - why do you feel that you need to change the video card? Problems or any specific need?

Maybe you just need to clean up old driver fragments and (re)install the latest driver for that card. I can help with this if need be.

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