bottleneck on 2 year old system?

i built a custom system 2 years ago and wondering what bottlenecks i have. i know i don't have dual channel because my shuttle xpc doesn't support it. but other than that, should i buy a new system? or wait for conroe? i play half life 2, star wars empire at war, f.e.a.r., and call of duty 2.

shuttle xpc limited edition SS56L
intel pentium 4 2.8GHz northwood core 800FSB HT
2x512MB mushkin DDR400 (single channel)
200GB maxtor ATA133
8x emprex DVD+-R
sapphire radeon x700 128MB 8x AGP

one other thing. my dvd burner can't burn at 8x. i get toasters. i'm maxed out at 6x. is this a dvd+r problem? or bottleneck in my system?
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  1. I agree. Your vid card first. And then if you play games, more RAM wouldn't hurt.
  2. After the video card. I said the vid card first, and then more RAM wouldn't hurt if he does any gaming.
  3. oh okay. thanks guys. i appreciate the input. it's just that i'm afraid that my shuttle xpc with a 240w mini power supply will not be able to handle the new video cards with 300-400w power supply requirements. the radeon x700 works, without crashing or slowing down my system.

    it'll cost me more changing the 240w mini power supply because it's customed made at shuttle and the max would be a 300w mini powersupply. so i don't see the point in changing the powersupply.

    any other inputs?
  4. What brand DVD blanks do you buy? Cheap ones don't go well burning fast, best speed for best quality is 1/4 of your burners top speed.

    Buy a top end AGP gaphics card and you will be happy for a while, thats your main bottleneck at this point.
  5. well. i usually buy Fujifilm 8x DVD+R discs, but when those are out. i buy GQ Quality 8x DVD+R discs. i tried other brands, but they didn't work well with my burner.

    as for a high end video card. do you think a 240w power supply can use a geforce 6800GS AGP? i won't be able to upgrade the power supply.

    remember. i have a mini-size computer. not a mid-size or full-size computer.
  6. I like Verbatim disc's, Taiyo Yuden is another top brand, very hard to find here.

    Yeah, that 240w PSU unit is a problem, that's your bottleneck there. Have you priced a new micro atx PSU to suit you case. One around 350 - 400 watts if available.
  7. Honestly, when do you plan on building a new system??

    Your machine seems ok. Yes the video card is the lagging area but your choices are limited with that power supply and case. Most 6800GSs are fair sized and require about a 350W PSU and are over $200.00. You might be able to get by with your current PSU, then again you might not. As for the size, contact the Manufacturers directly and get some dimensions of their cards.


    Get a 6600GT/X1600PRO and eBay the X700. The savings on the video card plus the sale of the old one might justify the cost of getting a new PSU if needed and you won't spend an arm and a leg for the upgrade. Then hold out for the AM2 and Conroe stuff to get out (and tested), then build your new system.

    On the DVD drive, is there a firmware update?? You made need to update your firmware in order to support more media brands. I'm not very familiar with the brand Emprex, but the do sound like they could be a "value" (no offense) brand which may not offer the best of performance. Also being an 8X drive means it is older, a firmware update may definately help with supporting today's media.
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