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recommendations for minimal pc upgrade

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Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
May 16, 2004 2:33:29 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.videocards.ati (More info?)

I am not a gamer but my teenage son certainly is.
However is PC seems to be a bit lame in player many of the
newer games. His current setup is

Motherboard Matsonic MS9317E+USB (4x AGP?)
P4 1.6 Ghz
512 Mb PC2700 RAM (333 mhz)
Radeon 9600 Game buster (8x AGP)

I would expect the RAM and video card are decent enough for gaming
but the motherboard and processor may be underpowered.

What would the gamers on this newsgroup recommend for an upgrade that would
not tax a meager budget? In other words how much would I expect to spend to
get an acceptable system for todays higher end PC games?

from a clueless father...
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
May 16, 2004 2:48:26 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.videocards.ati (More info?)

In all honesty, that doesn't seem to be too bad of a system, pretty
middle-of-the-road, so to speak. All your components are rather evenly
matched. Your CPU may be a little underpowered. Is it a true P4 or a
celeron? For about $150, you could try for a 2.8 GHz P4, that should fit
your board. Or you wanted to go for a whole MB/CPU upgrade, you could get a
decent Athlon MB for about $70 and a Athlon 2600+ Barton for another $90, or
so.

If, after one of those upgrades, you still don't feel like the machine is up
to par, I guess you could try a Radeon 9800 Pro (~$200). After than, then
you're looking at some serious $$, as you or your son is looking for some
serious hardware.

--
cK-Gunslinger


"dotnetman" <nobody@nowhere.net> wrote in message
news:A_OdncMEldhqTzvdRVn-hQ@adelphia.com...
> I am not a gamer but my teenage son certainly is.
> However is PC seems to be a bit lame in player many of the
> newer games. His current setup is
>
> Motherboard Matsonic MS9317E+USB (4x AGP?)
> P4 1.6 Ghz
> 512 Mb PC2700 RAM (333 mhz)
> Radeon 9600 Game buster (8x AGP)
>
> I would expect the RAM and video card are decent enough for gaming
> but the motherboard and processor may be underpowered.
>
> What would the gamers on this newsgroup recommend for an upgrade that
would
> not tax a meager budget? In other words how much would I expect to spend
to
> get an acceptable system for todays higher end PC games?
>
> from a clueless father...
>
>
May 16, 2004 8:31:31 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.videocards.ati (More info?)

> What would the gamers on this newsgroup recommend for an upgrade that
would
> not tax a meager budget? In other words how much would I expect to spend
to
> get an acceptable system for todays higher end PC games?

On your system, the only real problem is the slow 400fsbWillamette P4.
Luckily your m/b supports Northwood 533fsb processors. So get a 2.8Ghz
533fsb Northwood P4. Can be picked up for about $160. The improvement will
be dramatic. Bump the RAM up to 1 gig while you're at it. The 9600 Pro is
actually a decent DX9 card. No real need to upgrade it.
Related resources
May 16, 2004 8:37:09 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.videocards.ati (More info?)

> Your CPU may be a little underpowered.

I will take the opposite argument, that a faster videocard will make the
most difference. A Radeon X800pro at $400 will allow playing the same games
at considerably higher resolutions and detail, and with better framerates.

The typical FPS is graphics-heavy, not so much cpu-heavy. And keep in
mind that replacing the motherboard is a major effort, basically
disassembling the entire pc, and likely reinstalling the OS. Whereas a new
videocard is a 15minute operation.

rms
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
May 16, 2004 8:37:10 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.videocards.ati (More info?)

A Radeon X800 paired with a 1.7GHz P4 would be .. uh .. less than smart.
Akin to putting jet fuel in your Dodge neon. Don't under estimate the
importance of CPU speed in gaming performance. Check out this link for some
more info (somewhat dated, but still relevant):

http://www.tomshardware.com/cpu/20030217/index.html

(or, if you want to jump straight to the good parts:) 

http://www.tomshardware.com/cpu/20030217/cpu_charts-22....
http://www.tomshardware.com/cpu/20030217/cpu_charts-24....

Notice how a PC with a Radeon 9700 goes from 130 FPS in UT2003 with a P4 1.8
to over 200 FPS just by upgrading to a P4 2.8?

You don't want to create bottle necks via huge variations in components.
Chances are, he wouldn't see a bit of difference between that $400 X800 and
a $200 9800 Pro with his current CPU.

If he wants the fastest/cheapest/easiest upgrade route, he would go with a
new P4 CPU (~2.8GHz) first, then evaluate his performance. Next step would
be a 9800 Pro upgrade. I all but guarantee that combination would be faster
than just an X800 upgrade. Cheaper, too.

After that, then he might as well consider a whole new PC. Perhaps an
Athlon64 3000+ and an X800Pro.

--
cK-Gunslinger


"rms" <rsquires@flashREMOVE.net> wrote in message
news:VdCpc.3912$BD5.1432@newssvr15.news.prodigy.com...
> > Your CPU may be a little underpowered.
>
> I will take the opposite argument, that a faster videocard will make
the
> most difference. A Radeon X800pro at $400 will allow playing the same
games
> at considerably higher resolutions and detail, and with better framerates.
>
> The typical FPS is graphics-heavy, not so much cpu-heavy. And keep in
> mind that replacing the motherboard is a major effort, basically
> disassembling the entire pc, and likely reinstalling the OS. Whereas a
new
> videocard is a 15minute operation.
>
> rms
>
>
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
May 16, 2004 9:44:13 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.videocards.ati (More info?)

"dotnetman" <nobody@nowhere.net> wrote in message
news:A_OdncMEldhqTzvdRVn-hQ@adelphia.com...

" What would the gamers on this newsgroup recommend for an upgrade that
would not tax a meager budget? In other words how much would I expect to
spend to get an acceptable system for todays higher end PC games? "


If you stated the operating system (OS), the power supply unit (PSU), the
type of games he plays, any specific problems the system seems to be having,
and your definition of *meagre*, then it would be easier to recommend
solutions.

Sometimes all that is needed is a graphics driver update from
http://snipurl.com/6g6o , but it would seem that the system spec' does fall
short of satisfactorily running the most-demanding games, specifically that
P4 1.6Ghz.

As for hardware upgrades, if I was to assume that the PC is running Windows
XP and has a suitable PSU, and without upgrading the motherboard, then I
might recommend the following:

- Upgrade to a P4 3.06Ghz 533FSB CPU
($225, the fastest CPU the chipset can take)
- Upgrade to a Radeon 9800 Pro
($200, the best bang-for-buck performance card)
- Add another identical stick of RAM
($90, 2x512MB is fast-becoming *standard* for high-end gaming)
- Sell the P4 1.6Ghz and the Radeon 9600 on eBay.

You would need to flash the motherboard BIOS to the 031106 version for the
CPU upgrade. You can get the files here: http://snipurl.com/6g6k . You can
get your motherboard manual here if you need it: http://snipurl.com/6g6l

If you did decide to upgrade the motherboard, then the upgrade potential is
a little better. Athlon XP systems are more-often favoured for
gaming-systems, and they are also cheaper than equivalent P4 systems.
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
May 16, 2004 12:59:54 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.videocards.ati (More info?)

Mainly on the video card end.

For the past year I have been using this system I am on now no changes
here.

I am building (or re-building) an old computer of some of the
components I have lying around my house.

The system is going to inlcude:

An AMD 1900+

Either an Abit KR7A-133R or Asus A7V
512mb ram
80 gig hard drive
WIndows XP

Graphics card ?

This is going to be a non-gaming computer. This computer is mainly for
Image processing of avi's caputered with a webcam. Some Photoshop use
but not a program I will use often. Also I do some work with Autocad
Architectural Desktop.

Thanks,

Bill
May 16, 2004 9:54:24 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.videocards.ati (More info?)

"Bill Davis Jr" <me@home.com> wrote in message
news:gsoea0lo9ee20bl7ijdg51qu66o7mot0u8@4ax.com...
> Mainly on the video card end.
>
> For the past year I have been using this system I am on now no changes
> here.
>
> I am building (or re-building) an old computer of some of the
> components I have lying around my house.
>
> The system is going to inlcude:
>
> An AMD 1900+
>
> Either an Abit KR7A-133R or Asus A7V
> 512mb ram
> 80 gig hard drive
> WIndows XP
>
> Graphics card ?
>
> This is going to be a non-gaming computer. This computer is mainly for
> Image processing of avi's caputered with a webcam. Some Photoshop use
> but not a program I will use often. Also I do some work with Autocad
> Architectural Desktop.
>
> Thanks,
>
> Bill

I put a 128Mb 9200SE in my spare. Its fanless so cuts down on the noise a
little, its also easy on the pocket and decent 2d image quality.

--
Les
AMD64 3200+
2x512 MB corsair platinum 3500
Gigabyte GA-K8VNXP
Herc 9700 Pro
SB Audigy
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
May 17, 2004 9:40:50 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.videocards.ati (More info?)

Thanks to those who responded to my question.
So it sounds like for approximately $160 I could purchase a 2.8 GHz P4
for the existing motherboard and no OS re-install.
Or for the same $$ I could get Athlon MB for about $70 and a Athlon 2600+ Barton
Given only these two changes to my existing system (actually my son's system)
which path would be faster/better or would they be so close in performance
to hardly notice the difference?


"cK-Gunslinger" <jrhodes007@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:10adpfgpiejkk3f@corp.supernews.com...
> In all honesty, that doesn't seem to be too bad of a system, pretty
> middle-of-the-road, so to speak. All your components are rather evenly
> matched. Your CPU may be a little underpowered. Is it a true P4 or a
> celeron? For about $150, you could try for a 2.8 GHz P4, that should fit
> your board. Or you wanted to go for a whole MB/CPU upgrade, you could get a
> decent Athlon MB for about $70 and a Athlon 2600+ Barton for another $90, or
> so.
>
> If, after one of those upgrades, you still don't feel like the machine is up
> to par, I guess you could try a Radeon 9800 Pro (~$200). After than, then
> you're looking at some serious $$, as you or your son is looking for some
> serious hardware.
>
> --
> cK-Gunslinger
>
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
May 18, 2004 8:47:07 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.videocards.ati (More info?)

My opinion: Get the 2.8 GHz P4 for ~$170. ( *
http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?descripti... )

I personally have an AMD bias, but it'd be far easier on you to take the
CPU-swap route. Performance would be nearly the same.

--
cK-Gunslinger


"dotnetman" <nobody@nowhere.net> wrote in message
news:o _OdnWOsmMj-rDTdRVn-ig@adelphia.com...
> Thanks to those who responded to my question.
> So it sounds like for approximately $160 I could purchase a 2.8 GHz P4
> for the existing motherboard and no OS re-install.
> Or for the same $$ I could get Athlon MB for about $70 and a Athlon 2600+
Barton
> Given only these two changes to my existing system (actually my son's
system)
> which path would be faster/better or would they be so close in performance
> to hardly notice the difference?
>
>
> "cK-Gunslinger" <jrhodes007@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> news:10adpfgpiejkk3f@corp.supernews.com...
> > In all honesty, that doesn't seem to be too bad of a system, pretty
> > middle-of-the-road, so to speak. All your components are rather evenly
> > matched. Your CPU may be a little underpowered. Is it a true P4 or a
> > celeron? For about $150, you could try for a 2.8 GHz P4, that should
fit
> > your board. Or you wanted to go for a whole MB/CPU upgrade, you could
get a
> > decent Athlon MB for about $70 and a Athlon 2600+ Barton for another
$90, or
> > so.
> >
> > If, after one of those upgrades, you still don't feel like the machine
is up
> > to par, I guess you could try a Radeon 9800 Pro (~$200). After than,
then
> > you're looking at some serious $$, as you or your son is looking for
some
> > serious hardware.
> >
> > --
> > cK-Gunslinger
> >
>
>
!