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Author Topic:   UPGRADES!!! UPGRADES!!! UPGRADES!!!
THETAXI
Member
posted November 01, 2004 10:25 AM            
Hello! It's me and my greedy nature again!!! THough this time I'm flat broke. However, that doesn't stop me from dreaming of an upgrade!!! (AHHhhh, the single life!).

This is my system as of right now...

Amd Athlon 2600+ 1.92Ghz
1.26Gb Ram PC2100
Asus A7N8X-X (max FSB=400, socket A)
GeForce 6800oc (the cheap one)

I was playing FarCry last night and I can't get it to work right. I have to cut back on the detail I HATE CUTTING BACK! So... UPGRADE TIME!!!


What should one consider when upgrading a gaming rig? Should I upgrade the CPU to a 3200+ ? Should I upgrade the RAM? Is it true that when you have a 400FSB CPU I have to have PC3200 400Mhz RAM in order to avoid bottlenecking?

I've also read that there's currently no point in upgrading an Athlon XP-based system since the new line of procesors is the "64" version.

So... should I just take my computer to the county recycle center and start building a new system? Asus is already making AMD MoBos with 2,000 FSB!!! An Athlon 64 would require a new MoBo as well. What do I do?! Is there ever and end to upgrading?! When will it stop?!!

thank you for your help. I know I SHOULD post this type of stuff elsewhere, but I value the judgment and opinion of my TM peers.

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=CAT=PABLITO
Member
posted November 01, 2004 12:15 PM            
I think you have enough pc for any game out there... I would look into what's running on the background... some programs may leak your memory and cpu. (either that or check your video plug-ins are up to date). If you put faster ram chips not design for 400bus, it won't any faster).
I wouldn't recommend upgrading... if you want something better, sell yours while still turning on/off and get a new one... building it?... if you have the time... personally I'm not that "single"...
Dell's refurnished site is a great place to look... i got a dell xps, p4 2.8 Ghz, 800mhz bus, 512 mem for $1,200

[This message has been edited by =CAT=PABLITO (edited November 01, 2004).]

[This message has been edited by =CAT=PABLITO (edited November 01, 2004).]

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coaxs
Member
posted November 01, 2004 01:41 PM            
I started from scratch recently. I'm now running off a 3.4Gz pentium and now using the new DDR2 2x1Gig sticks actually. Every game I buy plays very nicely on it.

------------------
Tread Marks Ladders

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Irascible
Member
posted November 01, 2004 02:17 PM            
Did you get the latest patch for FarCry? There were some Nvidia related bugs with FarCry that was fixed with a patch.

I agree with Pab. I would live with what you have. The next logical upgrade will cost you way more than the vid card and net you considerably smaller increase in frames per second than you got out of the vid card upgrade.

But if you insist, then get an Athlon64 system. That's NOT because it's 64 bit. Right now and for a long time 64 bit is going to be relatively meaningless. The reason is that the Athlon64 also crunches 32 bit code and does so, at least when it comes to gaming, better than any other chip on the planet. It smokes both the P4 and your old Athlon. To do so you'll need new memory and a new motherboard. You might even need a new power supply if the one you have now is marginal.

A64 3200 = $204
Asus motherboard = $129 (That's 200 FSB not 2000 )
1 GB Corsair XMS XLL PC3200 = $255

Is twice the money ($588 or more) you spent on the vid card worth half as many (or LESS) extra frames per second as the vid card upgrade gave you? Of course, my guess as to the increase in FPS could be wrong. You may get more than that. But it's very unlikely. You could do it cheaper than the above. But then the increase in FPS would be even less and the upgrade would be even more meaningless.

Patch the game and live with what you have. I thought the vid card upgrade was a good one. It's just not quite time to upgrade the rest IMO.

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mELON cRACKER
Member
posted November 02, 2004 12:12 AM            
Taxi,
It is absolutely true that you have to have PC3200 to run at 400MHz FSB. Your computer's FSB is now running (unless you are overclocking the bus and RAM) at 266 MHz. It is kind of defeating the purpose of your 400MHz FSB capable CPU and board if you are not running them that fast (or maybe a tick faster). I am sure that your video card is sufficient for just about anything you want to do, especially if it is this one: http://www.bjorn3d.com/read.php?cID=687
RAM is also fairly cheap right now, so depending on how much you get, it could be the least expensive upgrade you could make.
I don't really think you should put out the cash for an Athlon 64 board yet. The longer you wait, the cheaper it will be, and to me, that technology has not hit a sweet price point yet.
An ideal situation would be if you could sell your current RAM to finance some new RAM. But that would be up to you.
For another potential source of performance, you would want to make sure you balance the RAM between the two memory banks that the NForce chipset has. One has one socket, and the other two. I have seen some conflicting data on how much of a boost you get, but I have not seen anything that advises against it.
I have a similar system as what you have, but some parts of it are over a year old. In my case, the cost of upgrading it (anymore) piecemeal is too much. I am waiting until the Athlon 64/FX hardware gets cheaper, and I will upgrade to that, then.
[BWL]mELONcRACKER

BTW, I built my computer myself piece by piece. Here's my system specs:
MSI K7N420Pro (Nforce 1/MCP-D)
AMD Athlon XP2400+
Thermaltake Volcano 6cu+
512 MB Kingston ValueRam DDR400 CL 2.5, (2 x 256) Slots 1 and 3
ATI Radeon 9700 Pro w/ramsinks
Adaptec 19160 Ultra 160 SCSI controller
Seagate Cheetah 72 GB Ultra320 SCSI hard drive
32x TEAC IDE CDROM
8x Optorite IDE DVD+RW
Creative SBLive! Value
3Com 3c905 Fast Etherlink XL
3Com 3cp5610a Performance Pro 56k modem
1.44 floppy
Powmax case
Antec SmartPower 350 power supply

Tri-boot Windows98SE/Mandrake 10/Windows XP Pro

P.S. My RAM is 400 capable, but only running at 266 due to board and CPU. I bought it in case I upgraded to 400FSB Athlon XP.

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BamZipPow
Member
posted November 02, 2004 03:15 AM            
Just so you don't wait too long...

XMas season is right around the corner. Expect prices to go up a bit fer the season...so don't cry if you don't make up yer mind quick enough...

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Random Chaos
Member
posted November 02, 2004 09:21 AM            
Well...lets see...my current system (built myself) is as follows:

ASUS A7N8X-Deluxe mobo
- Onboard 5.1 sound (nForce Soundstorm)
- Onboard dual 100baseT Lan controlers
- Onboard Firewire
- Onboard triple USB controllers
- 2 ATA controllers, 1 SATA controller (2 channel, RAID 0/1 support)
AMD 3000+ (400MHz FSB) Barton core Athlon processor
1GB (2x512) pc3200 DDR mem (dual channel on mobo, 512 in each)
nVidia geForce 4 TI 4200 64mb ram
ATI TV Wonder VE (TV Tuner)
Some stupid modem that I almost never use (uploads cause connection drops on it)
60GB 5400 RPM ATA
80GB 7200 RPM ATA
160GB 7200 RPM SATA (want a 2nd for RAID mirroring for backup)
DVD drive (ATA) (not positive brand)
Optorite DVD-/+RW 4x (ATA)
Enermax 460 Watt power supply (with 80mm exhaust fan)
Enermax fan control unit (front panel) with temp sensors
4 80mm chassis fans
1 90mm chassis fan
1 60mm chassis fan
Cheiftec BX-03 case - black with silver front trim; side window
3.5" Floppy Drive
Dieing speakers (Cambridge Soundworks low end 2 speaker)
Logitec "Premium Desktop" keyboard and mouse (mouse is wireless and optical; keyboard is wireless reciever and doesn't have those stupid F-keys that do special functions; black with silver trim)
NEC LCD1700V monitor (17" LCD; black)

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THETAXI
Member
posted November 02, 2004 02:08 PM            
The upgrade from PC2100 to PC3200 is going to cost around 20 or $25. (Sell the PC2100 and buy PC3200).

RC, did your ATI TV capture work fine? I'm also forced to sell mine (ATI TV Remote wonder) b/c it requires that your video card be ATI as well. It's not working right anymore, but if I plug in the ATI Radeon 9200 it works alright (according to the ATI Website). I tried playing with the drivers and downloading a bunch of junk... but in the end it still doesn't work right.

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THETAXI
Member
posted November 02, 2004 02:12 PM            
BTW... why do you need 99 fans on the computer? all I have are 3 (Power supply, cpu, and one that came with the case), of course... in addition to the room A/C and a couple of regular fans. Do computers work better if they're used inside a freezer?

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Random Chaos
Member
posted November 02, 2004 03:18 PM            
To keep it cool

As for the ATI TV Wonder...well...it is finicy sometimes. I can help you since I have fought it on a lot of systems.

It will work with non-ATI cards (as long as they have Overlay support). TV capture has a bug if you have late Version 7 MMC. It will not record to a hard drive that is not the same format as your boot drive. (So if your boot drive is FAT32 and your data drive is NTFS, you have to record to the FAT32 drive.) This is fixed in version 8 MMC - but...you have to BUY version 8...you can't UPGRADE from version 7. Stupid ATI.

As for installing:
- what OS do you have?
- what other PCI cards do you have?

I have found that it often doesn't like the PCI slot it is in - move it arround until it works if you have to.

As for Win2k - I have never had a problem with the drivers in this OS.

As for WinME - it is almost impossible to get it to work - but I can help you through if you need it.

Oh - and one other bug it seems to have - it is half the time incompatible with dual monitor systems. (As in half the times I set up my system for dual monitor it worked, the other half it didn't - exact same settings, mobo, vid card, etc all times!)

Overall - drivers and firmware for the ATI TV tuners suck...but you can get the card itself working. Oh yeah - on my install disk it had the autorun file set with links to non-existant files...becuase they updated the install disk and didn't update the autorun. This is about the worst driver disk I have ever seen! I've had this card for 4 years now - nothing but annoyances. When it's working, it tends to work well...but getting it working is a pain. Oh - and ATI MMC 7 tends to hang when you exit it - have to drop into task manager to really exit it about 65% of the time.

If you do replace it, I have heard good things from people that have the LeadTek TV tuners.

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Random Chaos
Member
posted November 02, 2004 03:21 PM            
Thought of another thing:

Latest drivers for it co-require late version MMC 7. If you have one and not the other, you will have problems.

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THETAXI
Member
posted November 02, 2004 03:45 PM            
This is the exact card that I was talking about. I used to have a Radeon 9200, I still have it actually. If I plug it in instead of my nVidia card, the TV tuner card works perfectly fine. As soon as I put in the Nvidia card... the picture quality and some applications (like blended window) start failing. If I RMA it they'll charge $11 plus shipping (another $5.00). So I'll end up losing 15 or $16. I might as well sell it and buy a neutral card from MSI.

Other PCI Card that I have are:

Sould Blaster Live! 5.1
nVidia GeForce 6800oc

that's it!

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THETAXI
Member
posted November 02, 2004 07:52 PM            
You're the first to hear it!!

Great products for sale!!!

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Random Chaos
Member
posted November 03, 2004 03:56 PM            
How about this link instead - the one you gave points to a view only you can see - this one does a search for your user name.

Past all 3 lines (as 1 line) into your URL query...it is too long for the URL tag to handle it seems!
search.ebay.com/_W0QQsofocusZbsQQsofocusZbsQQsacategoryZ-1Q26catrefQ3DC6QQsaslopZ1QQsaslZten0ri0QQsolocationselectorZ1QQsalocatedincountryZ1QQsolocationselectorZ1QQsaav ailabletocountryZ1QQsacqtyopZgeQQsosortpropertyZ1Q26sosortorderQ3D1QQsorecordsperpageZ50QQnojsprZyQQnojsprZyQQsspagenameZhQ3AhQ3AadvsearchQ3AUSQQsofocusZbsQQsofocusZbsQQcatrefZC6QQ fromZR6QQnojsprZyQQnojsprZyQQpfidZ0

[This message has been edited by Random Chaos (edited November 03, 2004).]

[This message has been edited by Random Chaos (edited November 03, 2004).]

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mELON cRACKER
Member
posted November 04, 2004 03:58 PM            
Actually, the VIA K8T800Pro and the Nvidia NForce4 Ultra chipsets do have a 2000MHz system bus. It is really 2 1000MHz HyperTransport buses, but if Intel can call 4 100Mhz buses a 400 MHz bus, then I figure AMD is entitled to do the same kind of thing.
http://www.abit-usa.com/products/mb/techspec.php?categories=1&model=201
http://usa.asus.com/products/mb/socket939/a8v-d/overview.htm

Also, the memory controllers are built into the CPUs now, so they run at CPU frequency, not chipset frequency.

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THETAXI
Member
posted November 05, 2004 03:07 PM            
MSI TV Tuners SUCKs B*lls. Software sucks real bad. Don't buy. I'm still waiting for the nVidia NVTV to come out.

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