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June '03 Built System: Which components to upgrade?

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October 3, 2006 6:37:07 PM

I built a system back in June 2003 and below are the components of the system:

CPU: Pentium 2.4Ghz-D, 800FSB

Mobo: Asus P4P800-Deluxe

RAM: 1GB - PC3200 Dual-Channel

SC: Turtle Beach Santa Cruz

VC: ATI Radeon 9500 - softmoded to 9700

HDD: Samsung 160 SATA (also have plenty room for backup with external (200GB) and backup computer (Athlon 2000) at 260GB (100/160).

- I don't think all else is too relevant.

My main concern: is the fact that the mobo has the AGP slot and it appears that PCI-E is the new wave. If I ONLY upgraded the video card (thinking Geforce 6800 GS w/GDDR3 technology) should this be enough to stretch out the life of this PC? More memory?

- The way I see it I got lucky when I bought these components because it was right at the new technology change and I love the mobo and its features.

Overall/To conclude: I am thinking that this (only video upgrade) should be enough to last me another two years before I dedicate this as the backup computer (or new media machine) and build a new system when needed... any ideas/concerns/suggestions???

Thank you!
October 3, 2006 7:12:32 PM

GPU is probably the thing to upgrade. What ever you decide to do, check the motherboards in this thread, they might give you a nice upgrade path without having to upgrade everything. At least I found a nice solution...

-Conroe + AGP + 4*DDR
October 3, 2006 7:14:57 PM

If you surf the web, listen music and use excel and word, don´t upgrade.

If u game a lot, buy a 7600gt agp. (look at the psu 8O )

If you do some serious (I mean really heavy) photoshop works, buy another gig of ram.
Related resources
October 3, 2006 7:18:01 PM

Quote:
GPU is probably the thing to upgrade. What ever you decide to do, check the motherboards in this thread, they might give you a nice upgrade path without having to upgrade everything. At least I found a nice solution...

-Conroe + AGP + 4*DDR


4 ddr or 4 ddr2 won´t fit :wink:
October 3, 2006 7:44:58 PM

Yes, the practical applications:

I game frequently enough on my PC (at least a few hours a week and upwards of maybe 10-15 hours / week) where solid graphics are good enough, but high-end isn't a huge deal.

I am usually into sports games (Madden and Fifa) but if a FPS or RTS is worthy (Far Cry, Half Life 2, Warcraft III, Starcraft) - I will want to be able to play it at medium graphics.

No editing for me, so I guess the memory is still good enough?

Thanks so far!
October 3, 2006 8:21:16 PM

Yeah, the GPU will be your cheapest upgrade. The 7600GS AGP is around $120 - $130 so that would be a good bet. Since you are fine with medium level graphics, I think it should extend the life of your PC by about 2 more years.
October 3, 2006 8:26:27 PM

Well, unless you go to Tom Clancy's G.R.A.W., 1 gig of ram it´s enough. (I can´t run it)

If you're into sports games, as fas as I know, they aren´t too elaborated to make a decent gfx card sweat.
But for FPS or RPG the Geforce 6800 GS will struggle to run some of them at medium/high settings. (little better than a 6600GT)

I really advise you to buy a 7600GT AGP from XFX (the regular or the XXX edition), because you´ll want to play one or two of the new (heavy) games.

But then again, it's your money... :roll:
October 3, 2006 8:49:19 PM

I don't see an AGP version of the 7600GT available?!?

It looks great for the extra cash increment over the 6-series cards or lower 7-series cards.

Will this eventually come, or is it just the continuance of the pushover in AGP cards?
October 3, 2006 9:09:17 PM

if you could find a 7600GT you should really get that over a 7600GS, there is a big difference in those two models.

also since your looking for an upgrade why not get another gb of ram? sounds like your gonna be keeping this computer around for a while so look into it long term. a new AGP card and an xtra gb of ram would step up your comp nice and you wont really have anything else to put money into after that.
October 3, 2006 10:59:55 PM

Have you considered the ATI X850Pro for $140 + $6 shipping?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

It's a good performer. The 7600GT AGP seems to be very elusive. You'll probably have to hit eBay to find one.

Maybe the 7600GT is only being sold to system integrators for now.
October 4, 2006 12:04:46 AM

That card looks pretty solid, but at the same price is this one I just found:

XFX nVidia GeForce 6800XTreme 256MB DDR3 2DVI/TV-out AGP Video Card

http://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?p=XFX-68XT25&c=fr&pid=74...

It looks to be a touch better at around the same price. I know nothing of the Geforce 6-series. I checked for benchmarks of how all current $150 cards matchup with one another and can't find a decisive answer except that the Geforce looks like it slightly outperforms ATI at the moment.
October 4, 2006 1:03:25 AM

ok, let´s see.

Here in Portugal I have access to the leadtek 7600gt agp (165€), xfx 7600gt agp (190€) and xfx 7600gt xxx edition agp (200€).
But on Portuguese eStores I can only find one: http://www.pcstation.com.pt/product_info.php?cPath=1_38...

And yes, those x850 series are great too. I didn´t mention them because they are hard to find.

To Leftfield: Stay away from the 6800xtreme :wink: I´m serious
October 4, 2006 8:09:58 AM

Quote:
GPU is probably the thing to upgrade. What ever you decide to do, check the motherboards in this thread, they might give you a nice upgrade path without having to upgrade everything. At least I found a nice solution...

-Conroe + AGP + 4*DDR


4 ddr or 4 ddr2 won´t fit :wink:

Yes, not in Asrock 775Dual-VSTA, which is otherwise better solution than Asrock ConRoe865PE (scroll down the post) which can handle 4*DDR (I can send photos :D )
October 4, 2006 9:39:36 AM

ok, my bad 8)
October 4, 2006 2:41:00 PM

Quote:
That card looks pretty solid, but at the same price is this one I just found:

XFX nVidia GeForce 6800XTreme 256MB DDR3 2DVI/TV-out AGP Video Card

http://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?p=XFX-68XT25&c=fr&pid=74...


Do not get the 6800XTreme, it is not even in the same class as the X850Pro.

Here's a list of how nVidia rates their GPUs from fastest to slowest:

GTX
GT
GS
Plain Vanilla version; just the model like 6600 or 6800
XT

Here's how ATI rates thier GPUs from fastest to slowest:

XTX
XT
GT
Pro
Plain Vanilla version; just the model like X1300
SE - No longer used I think
October 9, 2006 5:22:24 PM

Hey, thanks for the chart from fastest to slowest...

I think I am going with the X850 Pro from ATI (also appears mod-able as was my current 9500), it was either this one or the 7600 GS OC (512MB) from BFG.

The ATI appears to be the best all-around card, and since this card will eventually become a component of a media machine, ATI would be best suited for that purpose. They haven't let me down.

It would just mean that I need to build a new PC in roughly 2 years vs. 3 years with a nicer card. I'm just glad Moore's Law isn't really in effect anymore.

Thanks to everyone for their help and recommendations!
!