Motherboard and Chip Upgrade - Your Thoughts - ASUS P5VDC-X

I am a gamer, specifically I play C&C Generals and other RTS games. When I play online and unit counts get high, my system gets sluggish. I play a few FPS games like BF2.

My current setup is:
ASUS A7V333
Athlon XP 2100+ (OC to 2.0 Ghz)
1GB Ram pc 3200 DDR (512 Crucial, 512 Kingston Value)
D-Link NIC (circa 1998)
EVGA 6800 128mb VRAM (AGP)
Pioneer CD/DVD drive
WD 80 Gig @7200 RPM
Soundblaster Audigy
Antec Smartblue power 350 watt

I am considering this motherboard:
ASUS P5VDC-X for $58.99
Link to MOBO
I chose this motherboard because it will allow a gentle upgrade path i.e. it runs both AGP and PCI-Express, it will also run DDR and DDR2. This means I don't need new RAM - yet, and I think my 6800 still has some life left in it.

With this motherboard I would pair a Pentium D 805 ($111) and do a mild overclock - if any.


I will probably upgrade my videocard when the DX10 cards and Crysis are released.

I have no loyalty to any brand. I appreciate your feedback and perspective. My budget is $250, but am willing to go to $300 if the extra $50 would give me a compelling preformance boost.


THANK YOU!!
6 answers Last reply
More about motherboard chip upgrade thoughts asus p5vdc
  1. I was where you are a month ago, thanks to a dead drive - and in short, that chipset is a dead-end. Worthless.

    Why? Because it runs the PCI at 2X and the AGP at 8X, and the chipset is horribly unstable compared to newer ones. It's not a BAD board, but the fact is - you gotta jump to PCI-E or not.

    Your current rig is actually quite fine - wwhat's the goal of your upgrade?
  2. Since you're on a budget, go for the following:

    CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+

    Mobo: Asus A8N5X

    Video: eVGA Geforce 7600GT

    BIG NOTE!!!!!!

    Don't buy these until AFTER July 24th. In case you hadn't been reading before you posted, AMD is planning massive price cuts to their CPU's in order to compete with Intel after the release of the Core 2 Duo chips. You will be able to save a lot of money on the CPU this way....

    I know you said you wanted to keep the AGP card, but Plekto is right. Either you stick it out with AGP for awhile longer, or you jump into the deep end of the PCI-Express pool. Boards that offer both so you can slowly transition, tend to really suck, especially if this is a gaming system we are dealing with here.
  3. Thank you for your comments. I went to Asus' website last night and noticed that the PCI-E port is only 4X - so you are definatly right -its all or nothing agp or pci-e, but no combo.

    The reason I want to upgrade is to have a better experiance playing my games online. For example I often play C&C generals with another player, and two computer oppenents. As the unit count gets high (i.e. lots of tanks and planes) my system stutters. I think my GPU has plenty of power on tap, so in my estimation my CPU just isn't keeping up.

    Another question I have is my MOBO is AGP 4X but I have a 6800, do you thing my AGP bus is saturated and therefore a bottleneck?

    Finally when the monster network card comes out (the one for games with 64megs of ram) I was thinking of purchasing it too. Again the reason would be to smooth the online experiance and reduce stutter/lag.
  4. Thanks for the feedback. Thats not a bad system and I am seriously considering it as an option. I will be sure to wait for the price cuts - hopefully the MOBOs will get a pricecut too!

    I expect I could sell my 6800 for maybe $100 on ebay to get up to the 7 series.
  5. I also think you should take the plunge and go with AMD for budget after Core2duo is released.

    As to the network card, if you have a decent cpu and enough ram that card will not improve performance that much.
  6. One minor note. :)

    ASUS *says* the board is PCI-E 4x, but the chipset itself shares the PCI bus with all of the other PCI slots, so it really funstions closer to 2x(!) if you have a NIC or a sound card installed.

    OTOH... Your current system is fine, actually. The problem is that the CPU and video and memory are just *almost* there. BF2 is a huge memory hog, though. I have to turn off most of the effects and set the imagine to speed in the control panel/settings.
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