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What to upgrade?

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November 7, 2005 6:12:17 PM

Hello, well my current PC is Ok, i guess, but it takes like literally 6 minutes to get pass the windows loading screen (maybe its a virus, not sure, i will format my hard drive soon to find out)

Anyhow, i am wanting to upgrade,
My current specs are,

AMD Athlon XP 3200+ 2.20GHz
AsRock K7VT6
512MB PC3200 DDR-SDRAM
ATI Radeon 9250SE 128 Mb (AGP)
Maxtor 120GB Hard drive
I already have a 19" CRT Monitor

I want the PC to be able to play games like BF2, CSS, HL2, Far Cry all with a reasonable FPS speed, and I have about £500/600 to spend,
What should i upgrade and what should/can i keep?

EDIT: I just checked my CPU Temperature on SiSoftware, and its at 53.5C, is it supposed to be that hot?

Any advice is appreciated.

More about : upgrade

November 7, 2005 6:31:15 PM

That temp is a little warm, but survivable. You might want to clean off all dust with some compressed dry air or something and see if it gets much better. Or try the old housefan on the open case to see if your case's airflow is bad. But if nothing is locking up you shouldn't really worry.

As for the system, I'd aim at doubling your RAM (if not quadrupling it, depending on how rich you are) and replacing the video card with something stronger.

If replacing the video card makes the system unstable you may need a new PSU too. You may not though, so unless you have money to burn, no need to upgrade that until you need it.

Other than that, you look fine to me.
November 7, 2005 6:31:36 PM

Personaly i would upgrade the mem to 1gig and buy a graphic card.

Could be the x850pro or other x800 card depending of the balance of the budget. (i am not familiar to the prices in pounds)

It would play these games greath.

I play these games with p4 3.0ghz mem, 1gig pc3200, geforce6600le (wich is a much slower budget card) and have resonnable frames per sec (appx 40fps doom3 high res.)
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November 7, 2005 6:33:07 PM

Hi turv and Welcome to the Forums!

Get a good AGP card (6800GT, x850XT PE, etc) with 256MB of vid ram and increase your system ram to at least a gig (2gigs might be better for BF2 from what I read). You'll be fine then.

That'll prolly be your last upgrade untill you're forced to get a new CPU & mobo as the AGP slot is being phased-out in favor of the PCIe slot.
November 7, 2005 6:41:53 PM

Sure, why not...

I'll weigh in with the same suggestion: Ram and video card.

Your CPU is still pretty good - especially if you're running it OC'd. You need at least 1gig of RAM and get yourself a good video card.

Mike.
November 7, 2005 7:01:15 PM

Thanks for the very quick replies,
I have not yet overclocked my CPU, but i am planning too, i want to get used to the BIOS more before i do anything like that, so that i dont screw up,

I will open up my Case tonight and make sure their isnt lots of dust in it, and buy a decent fan.

I have been looking at graphics card, and found a 6800GT for £230 inc VAT
http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/products/index.html?acti...
Does this look like a decent Graphics card that would do my job?

As for the memory, i hear its best to buy memory that runs at the same speed, should i get rid of my current 512 stick and buy 2 1GB sticks?
Can anyone recommend a brand for memory.

As for my motherboard, does it seem to be Ok? its not aload of crap is it? I was considering buying a new motherboard, but if it will do the Job their isnt any need.

Once again, thanks for the replies.
November 7, 2005 8:32:46 PM

Well, i just cleaned out my pc (Crap loads of dust),

i had an open slot on my PCI slots because it didnt come with any blank slides, but i managed to get one off my other PC and covered that up, I think that might have been messing with the wind tunnel in the case.

I currently have a fan on the side pannel of the case, a fan on the front, a fan on the cpu, and a fan in the PSU. I will upgrade the fan on my PSU to a decent one, and maybe the one on the side of the case. Hopefully it will keep it cool.

I am having trouble finding memory though, with my motherboard i only have 2 slots for memory so i want to make the most of them, preferebly 1x1024mb memory stick, or 2x1024mb memory sticks (might add the second one at a later date)
Anyhow, i dont know what to look for when buying memory, anyone got any advice?

I also am willing to spend a fair bit on a decent graphics card, seen as the AGP are phasing out, i want a decent one that will last me as long as possible. Anyone have any recomendations?
I have been looking at the 6800GT (recomended earlier) which costs around £230.
I have also seen this one,
http://www.cclonline.com/product-info.asp?product_id=29...
The Sapphire 256MB X800XL VIVO AGP

PS. Sorry for the double post
November 7, 2005 10:10:57 PM

To find out if you do have a virus, google for "housecall" Trend micro has a good program that will do a free remote check of your system.
I'm going to go way out there, and say upgrade your mobo and chip. Not that xp chips are that bad, just A64s are that much better. I also am not too impressed with via's 600 chipset, nor the performance of that board.
Why hang onto agp, when you could be moving up to nforce4.
Get yourself an Abit AN8 board, an A64 3500, 512 more ram, and an x800XL. You will see a major improvement in perf.
You can also cut 37 secs from your boot time, by going to run typing in msconfig, then clicking on boot ini and reducing the time you have to choose OS, from 30 secs to 3. While you are there, check in the startup, to see if you really need all those programs loaded before windows opens. I generally unclick everything, except antivirus and anti-spyyware, but then you may want to keep IM.
November 8, 2005 3:37:02 AM

i'd just stick with board and CPU cause im running a step below you and i run tons of big apps very smooth...


i'd say deff going with 1GB and something in the nVidia 6--- range... maybe like a chaintech 6600 or something around there.
November 8, 2005 11:40:04 AM

Thanks for the responses,
I have heard from a few people that my CPU is still 'Ok', so at the moment i think i will stick with the CPU and Mobo, and upgrade sometime in the future with a new PCI-e graphics card.

Out of the two AGP Graphics cards above that i mentioned the Sapphire 256MB X800XL VIVO, and the XFX GeForce 6800 GT AGP 256MB DDR3 Dual.
( http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/products/index.html?acti... )
( http://www.cclonline.com/product-info.asp?product_id=29... )

Which of those would you recommend?
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November 8, 2005 1:40:07 PM

your CPU is a very good CPU! don't let anyone tell you otherwise

I would still recommend a 3200+ to people who want the most bang for the buck. it's a strong and modern CPU with full support for everything today. it shuold last you a few years. sure it's not Dual core, but dualcore isnt always the way to go, Keep that CPU as it will bide you well

but the temp is way too warm. my 3700+ only runs at 32c idle and 45c under load. check your fan speeds or thermal paste. sometimes after a bit it needs to be replaced..I recommend Arctic Silver paste it truly made a difference to mine by several degrees.

the ONLY things yo need is ram and video card... try getting a good dual channel kit and you'll be set with 1gig ram.

and video card there are a LOT of options. the x800xl is a GREAT card, but i personally recommend the Geforce 6800GT (6800GS is a good option that just came out). Avoid any LE version video card!!!!
November 8, 2005 3:02:04 PM

he has an xp3200, not a64. still, that cpu is fast enough to not warrant an upgrade.
November 8, 2005 3:36:50 PM

I think I'd go with the GeForce card too. I still generally prefer nVidia over ATI. Just a personal preference though. I've used both. No complaints from either. I mean it's not like they're Matrox or something. :lol: 
November 8, 2005 3:52:26 PM

Ok, i have decided to go for the GeForce 6800 GT AGP. Along with a 250GB Maxtor HD (7,200 rpm).
I will buy a new fan for my CPU, and a fan for inside my case (side pannel)

I havnt decided on what memory to go for next (dont know anything at all about memory) but i will keep looking.

Thanks for the help.
!