I need some suggestions on what or how I can best spend my very limited budget of $500.
I use my pc mostly for gaming (AOE3, WOW) and the occasional music cd and dvd movie. However, I've noticed that there are the occasional lockups and slowdown in WOW and I'm sure thats because of my inferior system since the lag meter reading is fine.
I'd like to try and salvage as much of my previous hardware as much as possible. This is what I have so far :
AMD XP 1800+
ECS K7S5A MB (4x AGP only)
2x512 MB PC-2700 (333) - total 1gig of RAM.
ATI 9600XT 256MB
500Watt Generic ATX PSU (only 6mos old - my original died after 2 years)
I'm looking for the best gaming upgrade I can get for my $500 - and please dont make fun of me.. I know I'm poor I've slowly added and upgraded to my existing system. Just 3mos ago, I was still using a GEFORCE4 MMX400 64MB videocard!
Also, if I upgrade to a pc3200 only MB, will my pc-2700 ram still work on it?
If you're able to play the games you want, then I'd save up a few hundred more. The upgrade to PCI-E is a huge performance jump, and well worth it, but CPU, Board, Memory, and Card will likely be out of reach for $500.
Of course, you could always simply buy something like this, and keep or sell your old system. This will upgrade everything, and the only real hit you take is a drop in system memory.
I think you'd better get right now a mobo(130$ at most) a good CPU (230~AMD 3700 ) and spend the remaining 140 $ on 2 standard 2 GB memory sticks(PC 3200 2.5 CL). The video card will suffice for now. It is kinda old but it should still play games with most things turned on. You can OC it if you want(and mind you that this card is better than a FX5900 that was the best Nvidia card some years ago :wink: ).
After that,during the next months you can save 180$ for a 6800gt or 280 $ on a 7800 GT or 300 $ on a 1800 XL.
That way you'll end up with a mid-high end PC which should run with no problem current apps..
It has both AGP and PCIE slots. Its attractive since I can do what you said.... use my existing video card now and it still leaves me room to upgrade later when I have the money without having to buy a new mb!
Any truth to the fact that mb's w/ both agp and pcie are slower? Like the PCIE is basically an agp architecture with the pcie adapter?
EDIT : Oh yea also the MB is only $69.99 ! Its so cheap... is it a bad MB? ASROCK MB
It's great not to mention that it supports RAID 0. You can put you 2 40 GB HDDs into work. 70$? That's cheap. As Rock always came up with neat price/performance mobos though sometimes they had major flaws( 1 PCI for example).
In my opinion it's good enough though you should wait for other people's opinions as well.