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Author Topic:   Upgrade ?'s
wolfman
Member
posted January 15, 2003 09:50 PM            
Would like the gurus opinions on what would be the best upgrade. I have a 1.1 gz amd athlon, 256 mb ram, 16 mb Nvidia TNT2 M64 Pro Graphics Card with 60 gb hd. I have cable lol. I am wanting to increase the graphics card so that I can play games that require minimum of 32mb and I also want to be able to download movies from our video cam - came with the usb cables to transfer to the pc - dig 8 m mvp . Whatever that means. lol Serious replies please (not looking for a "flower" computer lol).

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wolfman
Member
posted January 15, 2003 09:54 PM            
Dohhhhh Forgot to add that I also want to be able to watch movies on my tv from my dvd player on the pc (connected by cable). Thanks JT

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=DNX= Matrix
Member
posted January 15, 2003 10:23 PM            
A GeForce2 GTS 64meg with TV out would appear to abe a decent upgrade path then. Costs in the region of $100

Failing that go for a much better graphics card and opt for a seperate tv out system that will take a split of your monitir signal and hurl it at the tv in compsite 16 bit mode **WARNING** the image isnt the greatest from dvd as you see colour banding, such units are meant for tv based presentations but they can be adapted for other purposes - typical max for tv out is 1024x768 which is far higher than a regular tv image anyway so you should be fine.

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BamZipPow
Member
posted January 15, 2003 10:28 PM            
How much are you looking to spend? You know I'll spend yer money...

Crucial has a special with their Radeon 9700 pro. If you buy a stick of PC2100 512MB, you get $40 off of their card. That drops the price down to around $311 and free shipping.

Fergot to ask...what's the make of the mobo? Is the RAM DDR or SDR? How good is yer power supply?

Can you upgrade to the new XP processors? NewEgg has the Thoroughbred B Athlon XP2100 for $101 and free shipping. That's a great deal!! People have been able to overclock that baby to 2.4 GHz!

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BamZipPow
Member
posted January 15, 2003 10:32 PM            
Fergot to add the NewEgg link...

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Irascible
Member
posted January 15, 2003 10:57 PM            
A good explanation of some of what Bam is talking about can be found here:
http://www.overclockers.com/tips00254/

As Bam mentioned, the 9700 pro is the best card on the planet right now. The 9500 pro, which should be available now or real soon, is the close second that is the card of choice for future proof value. It will probably cost around $180 and is DirectX 9 compliant. And it will blow any GeForce, including my Ti4200, out of the water. Good luck.

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BamZipPow
Member
posted January 15, 2003 11:42 PM            
NewEgg does have the 9500 pro in both 128MB and 64MB flavors. Prices range from $142 to $180 with free shipping. Of course you don't have to go with ATI. You can always wait fer the GeforceFX to come out and you can pick through the Geforce4 cards when the prices start dropping...

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A2597
Member
posted January 16, 2003 10:51 PM            
I have the GeForce 3 Ti200 @ 128MB VRAM. very nice card (TV out, etc)

However, I would reccomend the GeForce4 @128 megs VRAM, would be much faster. (Wait until the GeForceFX card is out though, for cheaper prices)

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wolfman
Member
posted January 16, 2003 11:21 PM            
Hi all - appreciate all the advice and suggestions. Have been trying to figure out the power supply on my system and I am getting nowhere fast lol How can I find this out? Thanks JT

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Irascible
Member
posted January 17, 2003 12:21 AM            
Figure out the power supply in what respect? Are you wondering about which one to get or what to do with your existing one?

If you're buying one, then buy Antec TruePower around 400 watts or higher. They're virtually silent 99 percent of the time. And they have dedicated output circuits so that when there's a big draw on one voltage the others aren't affected - improves stability.

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wolfman
Member
posted January 17, 2003 07:55 AM            
Dohhhhhhhhh Should of specified - i need to figure out how many watts my system is since the cards all require a minimum and i need to know. JT

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ARAGON
Member
posted January 17, 2003 08:02 AM            
Here is a link that may help out: http://www6.tomshardware.com/graphic/index.html

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mELON cRACKER
Member
posted January 19, 2003 04:52 AM            
Most power supplies have a sticker on them that tells how many watts they are.
I would also suggest the ATI Radeon 9xxx series of cards. I just got a Radeon 9000 on pricewatch.com, which is the low end of the line, and it still kicks a lot of butt. $63 and I rarely get under 60 fps with most of the effects turned up. Average about 75 fps with Athlon Tbird 1400 CPU. The card I have has TV out but not in.
[BWL] mELONcRACKER

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wolfman
Member
posted January 19, 2003 12:20 PM            
In other words the only way to find out is to take the case off? Thanks all JT

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Irascible
Member
posted January 19, 2003 02:44 PM            
You're going about it the hard way Wolf. It sounds like you're asking how to figure out how much power your various components use to figure out what size power supply you need. That's doable by someone, but it's definitely not worth effort.

IF you're going to have a reasonably powerful system then you absolutely must have a powerful and quality power supply. Buy a 400 to 500 watt supply from a respected maker like Antec or Enermax. Yes, it's probably a lot more power than you need and it's considerably more expensive than the nearly free power supplies they give you with the case. But it will last you for many years and through many upgrades of increasingly power hungry components (or until they change the ATX standard). Plus the good ones are quiet!

It was such an issue for Athlon systems a couple years ago that AMD put out a list of approved power supplies. The last thing you need is to have an unstable system due to a cheap power supply. I know because I went through it. It's a hard thing to figure out because it's the last component you'd normally suspect. And definitely don't trust the wattage rating of the supply as the sole measure of output. A high quality 250 watt supply is infinitely better than some lightweight piece of junk supposedly rated at 500 watts.

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Irascible
Member
posted January 19, 2003 03:17 PM            
This might be a good, though probably not as quiet as I would like, choice for a cheap AMD approved (P4 compatible too) power supply:
http://store.yahoo.com/dealsonic/pow40sinfana.html

You might be able to get it for around $20 shipped. I noticed it just now listed on TechBargains. They've got a coupon listed there as well under "Power Supply Deal":
http://www.techbargains.com

Personally I wouldn't think twice about spending four times as much on an Antec TruePower.

[This message has been edited by Irascible (edited January 19, 2003).]

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wolfman
Member
posted January 20, 2003 09:47 PM            
Just tryin to figure out what mine already has. If I need to add too many things will just wait for the tax check and get a whole new system and donate this one to Mom and Dad or my Sister in Portugal.

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