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Old 11-05-2006, 12:39 AM   #1
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Default Need computer upgrading advice... Page 3, rate my choices!

I would like to do a partial upgrade on my current system, and get the most performance I can out of this motherboard and processor. I have an MSI MS-6712 ATX Mainboard, which is in the KT4V series based on the VIA KT400 chipset. The processor is an AMD Athlon 2200+ XP, rated at ~1800 MHz. Here are some of the stats as listed in the motherboard user'* guide:

Chipset
VIA KT400 North Bridge
--Supports 200/266/333MHz front side bus
--Supports DDR200/266/333
--Supports AGP 4x and 8x

Main Memory
Supports six memory banks using three 184-pin DDR DIMMs
Supports up to 3GB PC1600/2100/2700/3200 DDR SDRAMs
Supports 2.5v DDR SDRAM
(Some recommended DDR400 modules are listed in the back of the manual. I can provide them if necessary.)

My current GPU is an nVidia GeForce 4 Ti 4800 8x AGP with 128Mb onboard memory. I have 768Mb of RAM (1 512Mb stick and one 256Mb stick, not sure what brand or speed) that is running at a CAS Latency of 2.5 (the 512 stick can go down to 2, but the 256 can only do 2.5). I have my GPU slightly overclocked, but my processor is cycling at factory clock frequency (which I can't remember).

My power supply is 350 watts, and I appear to have only 1 case fan in addition to fans on both the GPU and processor. Here'* a picture of the layout in my dirty, dusty case:



Like I said, I want to upgrade this system for a reasonable amount of money while retaining the same motherboard and processor. I think I would like to get a better GPU and more/better RAM, but I have no idea what to get. I'm not up on RAM speeds/types, so I have no idea what to buy, or if I should go for the maximum amount of RAM my board can take. I'm looking for suggestions on what to buy to make this thing keep up a little better with more modern systems. Also tell me any "tuning" tips or tricks I can do in BIOS or Windows to maximize the new components I buy. I'm not loyal to nVidia or ATI, so either one will do. And remember, there'* no PCI-E slot on this board, so AGP only!

Please let me know of any other information I can provide that would be helpful. Thanks!
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Old 11-05-2006, 02:53 AM   #2
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http://cgi.ebay.com/ATI-RADEON-9800-...em200044184173
anything more your probably cpu limited
I wouldnt waste any money on more ram it wont really help unless you get a newer system
im going to be honest with you you need a system upgrade youd be suprised how cheap an AMD 64 system can be had these days to be honest I would wait and do a whole system upgrade you cant expect parts from 2001 to to be upgradeable in 2006
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813135009 $53.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819103535 $68.50
then just a gfx card and use your ram until you can afford better
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Old 11-05-2006, 03:01 AM   #3
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Yeah the system I paid close to 1,000 bucks for is now only worth about 5-600 bucks. So you should be able to pick up some midgrade stuff for fairly cheap.
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Old 11-05-2006, 03:37 AM   #4
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1337ssei... I know what you're saying, but I still have to wonder if I can get more "oomph" out of this system for a small price. Aren't there any 256Mb GPUs that are compatible with my mobo? And why wouldn't it do me any better to get more RAM along with a better GPU? Are you thinking the bottleneck in my system is elsewhere? I'm thinking the processor I have, though old, is still sufficient enough to run many modern games/applications.

I was hoping someone would tell me that getting 2Gb of RAM and a high-end AGP card would boost my performance quite a bit. Am I hoping in vain?

EDIT: What about this GPU? Couldn't I throw this in my setup and see a boost in performance?

Or heck... this GPU looks like the next step up.

Unless I could essentially build a new system for a couple hundred bucks or less, I just don't have the cash to do major upgrades. I'm not looking to have the biggest, baddest machine out there. I just want to get the very most out of the mobo and processor I already own. If people think it would just be a huge waste of money to do a partial upgrade, I'll consider replacing mobo and processor along with everything else. Otherwise, I figure I can max out my current setup for relatively cheap, and have a pretty decent system when all is said and done.
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Old 11-05-2006, 10:50 AM   #5
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Well what sort of games and applications are you wanting to run? Either of those cards should provide a good increase, as well as upping the RAM to the fastest your mobo can handle and the most your wallet can handle.

The brand spankin newest games will put a hurtin' on equipment even superior to yours. For example I cant run The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion http://www.elderscrolls.com/games/oblivion_overview.htm cranked to the max without some SERIOUS performance loss, it gets incredibly choppy, to the point its not even playable, and its a newer game, hasnt been out very long at all, and im running:

AMD Athlon 64 +3000
MSI K8N-Neo4F mobo with 1GB Dual-Channel Memory
Western Digital SATA HD with an 8mb cache
and heres the kicker....an Nvidia 7600 GT PCI Express video card.

Thats still a fairly beefy system IMO, and Im having trouble with the latest and greatest games. Think about that
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Old 11-05-2006, 11:29 AM   #6
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what im saying is your processor is the bottle neck however almost any processor you put in there would be. Take a look at those parts I showed you, add a gfx card and thats all you need..
You'll see an increase but in the end I dont think it'll be that good...those gfx cards you are looking at are nice howerver, I still think your processor is a bottleneck
maybee try on of these http://cgi.ebay.com/AMD-ATHLON-XP-30...em190047538617
I still think for that price just go amd 64 itll prolly save you money in the end
IVe got an AMD 64 3700 @ 2.8 GHz, ASUS A8R-MVP Deluxe crossfire, 2 gb of OCZ ddr 433, 2 x 360 gb seagates 16 mb cache in a RAID 0, and an x1800 XT UI havent found a game yet I cant play
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Old 11-05-2006, 01:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1337ssei
what im saying is your processor is the bottle neck
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1337ssei
IVe got an AMD 64 3700 @ 2.8 GHz, ASUS A8R-MVP Deluxe crossfire, 2 gb of OCZ ddr 433, 2 x 360 gb seagates 16 mb cache in a RAID 0, and an x1800 XT UI havent found a game yet I cant play
From the little I know about computers and demanding applications, I would think it'* your 2Gb of RAM and x1800 that really give you the performance, not your processor. I have always been under the impression that processor speed is overrated, and that people who want extra performance need to focus on their RAM and GPU first and foremost. Would my 32bit 1.8GHz processor really be holding me up that much? I'm not saying you're wrong; I would just like some explanation to make sure of thinking of this stuff properly.

And even if I got a new processor and mobo, wouldn't I need to drop a couple hundred on some new, faster RAM? My stuff might only be DDR266. At the most it'* DDR333.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleHoov
Well what sort of games and applications are you wanting to run?
I play Halflife 2 and Counterstrike Source, and I also need to run a flight sim to help supplement my training. I would love to be able to run the new MS Flight Simulator X, but if I have to settle for FS 2004 it won't kill me.


Also, would either of those GPUs I linked work with my mobo? They're 8x AGP, but is there anything about them that wouldn't work with my setup?
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Old 11-05-2006, 02:45 PM   #8
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If theyre AGP they should work fine, I played all the way through HL2 with an X800XL and never had any major troubles with it, there were a few places where it got a tad choppy, but not unplayable. That was a PCI-Express card though.

Ive always heard that the GPU should probably be the most expensive component in your PC if youre into gaming, and to this day that still holds true for me.

For the games youre wanting to play, I personally think your GPU is holding you back more than anything. At least if you want all the visual goodies that is.
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Old 11-05-2006, 02:54 PM   #9
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well I can show you why first a 133 bus compared to a 2 ghz bus....
its not the 64 bit thats important its the architecture...
you do need nice video card and atleast 1 gb of also...but this will do nothing without even a decent processor
you can use your 266 mhz ram for a while until you can afford to get faster...you'll have to buy new ram anyways if you want 2 gigs in that computer...
your whole system is outdated and needs upgraded...yes you dont need the fastest processor but you atleast should get into the newer achitechture
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Old 11-05-2006, 04:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1337ssei
yes you dont need the fastest processor but you atleast should get into the newer achitechture
Gotcha... that makes more sense to me. The idea of having a newer mobo and processor in addition to more RAM and better GPU are very enticing. The only problem is that I would want to drop about $500 just to get into halfway decent equipment. I priced some stuff at NewEgg, including the mobo and processor you linked me to in your first post. I figure I would need the mobo, processor, GPU, and probably 1Gb of new RAM. It would also be nice to get a new HD, as mine is only 80Gb. However, I'm sure I could just check out Ebay for some components.

1337ssei... any reason you suggested that mobo and processor? What other suggestions do you have for a GPU and RAM? I'm not necessarily buying yet, but I want to get an idea of the costs involved. If this is too cost prohibitive, I might just get a new GPU and RAM for this old box. I want to look for RAM with low timing numbers, right?
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