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upgrading 2 year old system for HL2

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Anonymous
November 5, 2004 12:42:11 PM

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

My system was purchased at an optimum price-point in early 2001.

WinXP Pro SP2
Athlon 1800xp+
Asus A7V333 mainboard
512mb ram (ddr 333mhz)
Radeon 7500 64mb
40gb WD harddrive, 5400rpm EIDE
SB Audigy Gamer soundcard
other junk

My current thinking is I'll try to swap in a used Athlon 2600xp+ 266
FSB into the motherboard, upsize my harddrive to 80gb+ 7200rpm, and
buy a new ATI video card.

Some questions:

One: Cards I'm looking at in my price range here in Canada: Sapphire
9600 Pro Advantage 256, Sapphire 9800 SE, or PowerColor Radeon 9600XT
Ultra 128MB. I've heard the 9600 Pro Advantage is nothing more than an
upsized 9600 LE and is not worth the investment, whereas i might be
able to unlock from 4 to 8 with a 9800 SE. I'm unfamiliar with
Powercolor, but on Tomshardware alot of benchmarks are roughly
equivalent between 9600XT and the 9800SE.

- Which card of the three will give me the best HL2 experience? I
think the 9800SE, but will that be sufficient?

Two: I want to run HL2 on a medium setting. Any stuttering or 640x480
I have no desire to play.

- Is upgrading my video card -- perhaps higher than 9800 SE if
necessary -- sufficient to play HL2? Or am I deluding myself regarding
my 1800+ rig? Is upgrading to a 2400/2600 Athlon xp important?

If I need a whole system replacement, i'll probably just wait another
year and get my feet wet late. But if I can upgrade my system for
$300-400 canadian between now and Christmas I'll do so. I see my video
card as the obvious weak point, but have concerns about the processor
too.

Thanks for your comments in advance.
Anonymous
November 5, 2004 10:14:10 PM

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

David J Burns:

> If I need a whole system replacement, i'll probably just wait another
> year and get my feet wet late. But if I can upgrade my system for
> $300-400 canadian between now and Christmas I'll do so. I see my video
> card as the obvious weak point, but have concerns about the processor
> too.

I would wait until HL2 is released. There should be some better deals
available right before Christmas, maybe right after.
--
Mac Cool
Anonymous
November 6, 2004 12:37:46 AM

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

Taking a moment's reflection, David J Burns mused:
|
| My current thinking is I'll try to swap in a used Athlon 2600xp+ 266
| FSB into the motherboard, upsize my harddrive to 80gb+ 7200rpm, and
| buy a new ATI video card.

Bear in mind that I ran Doom 3 at 1024x768 at High settings with
everything on except shadows on an AMD 1900+, nVidia GF4 Ti4400 (around an
ATi 9600 equiv.), and 1 GB memory (266 DDR) with no issues at all. Doom 3
ran and looked great! It also runs Counter-Strike: Source (built on the
HL2 engine) grand as well. Of course, I have since added an ATi 9800 Pro.

So, you might want to think about just upgrading your video card. I
cannot imagine that D3 and HL2 will have too much difference in spec with
regard to hardware requirements.
Related resources
November 6, 2004 1:07:02 AM

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

I have the Powercolor Ultra 9600XT (default 500/680mhz) and absolutely love
it.. You might want to look into overclocking that cpu, may save yourself
some dollars there..
Buy an aftermarket cpu cooler and clock up the cpu, some people are getting
the XP1800+ up to XP3000+ speeds here in AU, but you wouldnt need to go that
far, just bump it up a bit..
Some info on overclocking can be found here:
http://forums.overclockers.com.au/index.php?
I would buy the 9600XT Ultra (make sure it is the ultra Part# R96T-TC3) and
add another hard-drive and bump up that cpu if it was me....

Firthy


"David J Burns" <burnsdavidj@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:7dbae00d.0411050942.888a75e@posting.google.com...
> My system was purchased at an optimum price-point in early 2001.
>
> WinXP Pro SP2
> Athlon 1800xp+
> Asus A7V333 mainboard
> 512mb ram (ddr 333mhz)
> Radeon 7500 64mb
> 40gb WD harddrive, 5400rpm EIDE
> SB Audigy Gamer soundcard
> other junk
>
> My current thinking is I'll try to swap in a used Athlon 2600xp+ 266
> FSB into the motherboard, upsize my harddrive to 80gb+ 7200rpm, and
> buy a new ATI video card.
>
> Some questions:
>
> One: Cards I'm looking at in my price range here in Canada: Sapphire
> 9600 Pro Advantage 256, Sapphire 9800 SE, or PowerColor Radeon 9600XT
> Ultra 128MB. I've heard the 9600 Pro Advantage is nothing more than an
> upsized 9600 LE and is not worth the investment, whereas i might be
> able to unlock from 4 to 8 with a 9800 SE. I'm unfamiliar with
> Powercolor, but on Tomshardware alot of benchmarks are roughly
> equivalent between 9600XT and the 9800SE.
>
> - Which card of the three will give me the best HL2 experience? I
> think the 9800SE, but will that be sufficient?
>
> Two: I want to run HL2 on a medium setting. Any stuttering or 640x480
> I have no desire to play.
>
> - Is upgrading my video card -- perhaps higher than 9800 SE if
> necessary -- sufficient to play HL2? Or am I deluding myself regarding
> my 1800+ rig? Is upgrading to a 2400/2600 Athlon xp important?
>
> If I need a whole system replacement, i'll probably just wait another
> year and get my feet wet late. But if I can upgrade my system for
> $300-400 canadian between now and Christmas I'll do so. I see my video
> card as the obvious weak point, but have concerns about the processor
> too.
>
> Thanks for your comments in advance.
Anonymous
November 6, 2004 3:45:25 AM

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

In article <KoSid.301033$wV.106009@attbi_s54>, mhicaoidh says...

> So, you might want to think about just upgrading your video card. I
> cannot imagine that D3 and HL2 will have too much difference in spec with
> regard to hardware requirements.
>
Theinquirer.net did a recent test and got over 50FPS in the Video
Stress Test on an Athlon 2GHz with a Radeon 9800 Pro.


--
Conor

Opinions personal, facts suspect.
Anonymous
November 6, 2004 6:33:55 AM

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

On 11/5/2004 4:45 PM Conor brightened our day with:

>In article <KoSid.301033$wV.106009@attbi_s54>, mhicaoidh says...
>
>
>
>> So, you might want to think about just upgrading your video card. I
>>cannot imagine that D3 and HL2 will have too much difference in spec with
>>regard to hardware requirements.
>>
>>
>>
>Theinquirer.net did a recent test and got over 50FPS in the Video
>Stress Test on an Athlon 2GHz with a Radeon 9800 Pro.
>
>
>
>
What resolution? At 1280x1024 w/ no AA my Athlon 2.2 GHz w/ Radeon 9800
Pro gets 67.8 fps in the stress test.

--
Steve ¤»Inglo«¤
www.inglostadt.com
November 6, 2004 7:13:55 AM

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

> Buy an aftermarket cpu cooler and clock up the cpu, some people are
> getting the XP1800+ up to XP3000+ speeds here in AU, but you wouldnt need
> to go that far, just bump it up a bit..

Odds are if it's 2+ yrs old it's a Palomino core. They're not the best for
getting over 1800Mhz or so. A Tbred would have more headroom.
Anonymous
November 6, 2004 1:40:32 PM

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

"Augustus" <augustus@wrtt.net> wrote in message news:<7cYid.101122$9b.37405@edtnps84>...
> > Buy an aftermarket cpu cooler and clock up the cpu, some people are
> > getting the XP1800+ up to XP3000+ speeds here in AU, but you wouldnt need
> > to go that far, just bump it up a bit..
>
> Odds are if it's 2+ yrs old it's a Palomino core. They're not the best for
> getting over 1800Mhz or so. A Tbred would have more headroom.

You're right, its a Palomino. I have little ability to upgrade, aside
from pushing the FSB ahead a few mhz.

I'm keeping an eye on eBay for a Thoroughbred 'B' core 266mhz FSB
chip. Best I can hope for is a 2600, more likely a 2400. But 2400
overclocked to say 2600+ is still a 50% improvement on my Palomino.
Anonymous
November 6, 2004 1:49:52 PM

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

Conor <conor.turton@gmail.com> wrote in message news:<MPG.1bf62f014547efa5989a1a@news.giganews.com>...
> In article <KoSid.301033$wV.106009@attbi_s54>, mhicaoidh says...
>
> > So, you might want to think about just upgrading your video card. I
> > cannot imagine that D3 and HL2 will have too much difference in spec with
> > regard to hardware requirements.
> >
> Theinquirer.net did a recent test and got over 50FPS in the Video
> Stress Test on an Athlon 2GHz with a Radeon 9800 Pro.

This is all good news for me. I struck on eBay and bought a new 9700
Pro (256bit) for $120 USD...worked out to be about $180 Canadian in
total and a huge bargain given price in stores here in Toronto. Best
Buy and Futureshop have the 9600 XT for $299 ~without~ the HL2 coupon.
9800 Pro retail is about $350. OEMs are a different story, but local
ma'n'pa shops have limited stock (everyone I call is sold out) and
I've read some nasty stories of people buying 9800 Pros that are
actually 128 bit (Sapphires, specifically).

I figure that although I can't run mind-blowing FPS and resolution, a
reasonable 1024x768 @ 50 FPS+ is good for me. I figure HL2 will have
tons of replayability down the road, so ~2 years from now when I build
another system from scratch it will still be fresh.

I can't see Valve releasing a game that 90% of the computers on the
market can't play. Its all a matter of what's tolerable, and I was
afraid that I was on the low end. Everyone's comments here indicate
that if I upgrade my videocard alone I should be fine. :) 
Anonymous
November 6, 2004 6:05:27 PM

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

Conor <conor.turton@gmail.com> wrote in message news:<MPG.1bf62f014547efa5989a1a@news.giganews.com>...
> In article <KoSid.301033$wV.106009@attbi_s54>, mhicaoidh says...
>
> > So, you might want to think about just upgrading your video card. I
> > cannot imagine that D3 and HL2 will have too much difference in spec with
> > regard to hardware requirements.
> >
> Theinquirer.net did a recent test and got over 50FPS in the Video
> Stress Test on an Athlon 2GHz with a Radeon 9800 Pro.

Actually, it was ~exactly~ an Athlon 1800+ that they tested with.
Thanks for the heads-up about theinquirer.net!

http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=19405

Looks like they recommended an 9800pro, whereas I got a 9700pro. I'm
still probably going to boost my ram (512 -> 1gb) and swap out a
processor for a 2400/2600+ though, so I think I'm set for another two
years.

Looks like Doom3 is the tougher of the two games on your home rig.
Between HalfLife2 and CounterStrike:Source I think I'll be set for
quite awhile. :) 
Anonymous
November 10, 2004 5:05:08 AM

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

Take the below w/a huge grain of salt. I've got a Athlon 2800 overclocked to
2350Mhz w/a gig of PC3200 and a 9800 Pro and I CANNOT run Doom3 at high detail,
2xAA, 8xAF, everything on at 1024x768 unless I want to play a stuttering mess.
No issues at all my ass.

> Bear in mind that I ran Doom 3 at 1024x768 at High settings with
>everything on except shadows on an AMD 1900+, nVidia GF4 Ti4400 (around an
>ATi 9600 equiv.), and 1 GB memory (266 DDR) with no issues at all. Doom 3
>ran and looked great! It also runs Counter-Strike: Source (built on the
>HL2 engine) grand as well. Of course, I have since added an ATi 9800 Pro.


-Bill (remove "botizer" to reply via email)
!