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What should I upgrade next?

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June 13, 2006 12:27:47 PM

My system currently stands at:

AMD Dual-Core 3800+
DFI Lanparty UT NF4 SLI-D m/b
2x PC3200 512mb
2x160Gb SATA Raided (striped)
2xnVidia 6600Gt 128mb g/cards SLI'd

The board (as far as I understand it) will only run the fastest memory in the two slots I've already used so I'd probably have to replace the RAM altogether to upgrade to 2Gb.

I've been looking at buying 2x nVidia 7600GTs (probably Sparkle as, although I prefer XFX they are sometimes difficult to get).

Nothing is, as yet, overclocked although the m/b is designed and ideally set up for it.

What would people suggest for my next upgrade?

More about : upgrade

June 13, 2006 12:47:43 PM

Quote:
My system currently stands at:

AMD Dual-Core 3800+
DFI Lanparty UT NF4 SLI-D m/b
2x PC3200 512mb
2x160Gb SATA Raided (striped)
2xnVidia 6600Gt 128mb g/cards SLI'd

The board (as far as I understand it) will only run the fastest memory in the two slots I've already used so I'd probably have to replace the RAM altogether to upgrade to 2Gb.

I've been looking at buying 2x nVidia 7600GTs (probably Sparkle as, although I prefer XFX they are sometimes difficult to get).

Nothing is, as yet, overclocked although the m/b is designed and ideally set up for it.

What would people suggest for my next upgrade?


-No such thing as a board that runs different speed memory in different slots. All the slots will run the same speed memory.
-You could find a single card solution that will outperform both your 6600gt's. Although unless your unhappy with their performance in the games you play, I really see no reason to put more money into AGP cards.
-X2's are dropping in price, but really dont think your going to see much performance difference gaming wise going from a 3800 to say a 4400.

I would add another 512 mb of memory. If you want a faster system, then start saving for a new platform. Mobo, PCI-e video, ddr2, new cpu, etc. Otherwise your system should perform well for another year at least.
June 13, 2006 1:06:21 PM

Your best bet is to upgrade your graphics cards, but I wouldn't bother with 2 7600's in SLI. A single 7900 or X1900 will do better, and cost less, than 2 7600's. Another gig of ram wouldn't hurt either, but also wouldn't give as much benefit as upgrading your graphics cards.
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June 13, 2006 4:43:05 PM

I've got to say I've never really been interseted in case modding, I'm the only person who looks at it and I could spend money on making it faster than prettier :roll:

Umm, somethings to think about.

As an aside, is there such a thing as a comparative spec page? So if you were looking at building a system with a certain processor, what g/card, ram, HDD etc would be appropriate to go with them so the system would take full advantage of the hardware, avoiding bottlenecks or idle time in parts of the system?
June 13, 2006 4:48:06 PM

Forgot to mention, they are PCI-E 6600GTs. Not sure if that'd make any difference to the advice tho :?
June 13, 2006 10:11:28 PM

Quote:
As an aside, is there such a thing as a comparative spec page? So if you were looking at building a system with a certain processor, what g/card, ram, HDD etc would be appropriate to go with them so the system would take full advantage of the hardware, avoiding bottlenecks or idle time in parts of the system?


The closest you'll find is something like THG's CPU, VGA, and HHD Charts. They are not exactly what you asked for (ie. the cpu charts are all benchmarked with the same high end graphics card, the vga charts are all on the same high end CPU). What they can show you is relatively how each product will compare.

The short answer to your question is that there really is no way to tell precisely which components will prove to be a bottleneck for your system ahead of time. In general though, your graphics card will bottleneck gaming, your cpu will bottleneck when multitasking or encoding audio/video (or most any non-gaming task), and memory will bottleneck everything unless you have at least 1 gig (2 to be safe) of the appropriate speed for your MB/CPU.
June 13, 2006 11:40:31 PM

Quote:
Forgot to mention, they are PCI-E 6600GTs. Not sure if that'd make any difference to the advice tho :?


They would have to be PCI-e, otherwise you wouldn't be able to do SLI.

As it has been mentioned before, simply upgrade your GPU to a 7900GT. Or get a X1900XT if that's in your budget, and your power supply is at least 450w. 500w if the power supply if a generic brand.

Also, RAID-0 doesn't really provide that much increase in performance. But if either one of your hard drive fails, you loose all you data.
June 17, 2006 5:37:55 PM

Well, thank you all for your help. I've gone for the 7900GT (XFX as a personal preference) and 2GB of Corsair 2-3-3-6.

After blowing a Antec 550W power supply :oops:  (thankfully nothing else though) through shear idiocy I've got the system up and running again and have decided that I'm probably going to leave the machine alone for a while.

It should stand the test of time (for a couple of years with any luck).

Thanks again :wink:
!