Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Upgrade this AGP system or burn it all down?!?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
Share
October 11, 2006 8:33:08 PM

I am currently saddled with this system:

P4 2.4ghz Northwood
512mb DDR333
BFG Geforce 5900 agp
*500W FSP dual 12V rail PSU (I bought this thinking I would upgrade before now)

I like to game. I like FPS, and some strategy. Right now I'm not playing much but I do anticipate playing the new total war coming out.

I have been considering jumping up to a 7600gs AGP or possibly a 7600gt AGP if I can find it. And then putting an additional 1gig DDR 333 of memory in the system. I figure I can do that for about $260 plus some shipping.


Another option although less likely because of cost would be to get a new motherboard, cpu, ram, and gpu. The best I could do would be a AMD 64 3700+, 1gig DDR 400, MSI board, and a 7600gt pci-e. I figure that would be about $420 plus some shipping.

Now the obvious answer is to do the more expensive option when it is not your money. But the real question is: Is even the 2nd option worth it? Should I take option 3, do nothing to this current system and wait another year to two and then build again from scratch?
October 11, 2006 8:46:17 PM

You've been gaming on 512 RAM for how long? Upgrading to 1 gig RAM should have been done months ago. Memory is fairly cheap. If things are pretty stable with your rig and you don't go higher than 1024x768 your needs are few. A newer card would do wonders and has others have mentioned there are many cards out there under $200 that would significantly be better than your 5900FX.
October 11, 2006 9:20:06 PM

Considering you're posting here I'll assume you're not willing to wait any longer, and are probably trying to purchase something before christmas.

Personally I am waiting till about this time next year before I purchase a new system (mine's currently quite a bit more beefy, but I feel that will be the best time to get lasting technology).

My question is for you, what is your ultimate budget, and what games do you currently play, and what games do you plan to play in the near future, other than Total War?

Short term, as the previous poster noted, you'ld probably get the best bang for your short-buck by simply upgrading your ram/video card.

If you're willing to upgrade your cpu/ram/board/video card, I would suggest leaning towards a more future proof system that you could upgrade again in the future should you feel the need, ie, not 939 or older 775, rather go for AM2 or a newer 775 w/ddr2. I'm an ATI fan myself, but for a lower mid-range card, I highly recommend the 7600 line as you chose.

As for the obvious answer to your obvious question, it all depends on how much money you're willing to spend in the next few years as well as how much you expect out of your computer. I tend to replace every 3 years and upgrade every 18months, always purchasing about 6month old technology in the retail channels. Most people are happy with slower computers.
Related resources
October 12, 2006 2:10:08 PM

Quote:
My question is for you, what is your ultimate budget, and what games do you currently play, and what games do you plan to play in the near future, other than Total War?

Short term, as the previous poster noted, you'ld probably get the best bang for your short-buck by simply upgrading your ram/video card.

If you're willing to upgrade your cpu/ram/board/video card, I would suggest leaning towards a more future proof system that you could upgrade again in the future should you feel the need, ie, not 939 or older 775, rather go for AM2 or a newer 775 w/ddr2. I'm an ATI fan myself, but for a lower mid-range card, I highly recommend the 7600 line as you chose.

Currently I'm not playing much of anything. I played a Quake 4 most recently. I passed on F.E.A.R. as my system choked pretty hard on the demo. There is a handfull of games on the horizon that look interesting to me and I'd like to be able to enjoy them at a decent framerate with good visuals.

Ultimate budget? Well, there is no set budget. I just wanted to see if I could do an upgrade that makes sense for cheap. like 200-300. If I can not then I'll have to hold off for several months and then do a complete overhaul.

I have one more question for you guys. You would say that AM2 with DDR2and pci-e and 775 with DDR2 and pci-e are forward thinking options, right? So really just about any upgrade I do to my system is a waste unless I'm moving to either of the new socket types with DDR2 and pci-e, right?
October 12, 2006 2:32:43 PM

Burn that motha DOWNNN!!!! (I just wanted to say that)
-Harold and Kumar Go to Whitecastle
October 12, 2006 2:33:38 PM

Quote:
I am currently saddled with this system:

P4 2.4ghz Northwood
512mb DDR333
BFG Geforce 5900 agp
*500W FSP dual 12V rail PSU (I bought this thinking I would upgrade before now)

I like to game. I like FPS, and some strategy. Right now I'm not playing much but I do anticipate playing the new total war coming out.

I have been considering jumping up to a 7600gs AGP or possibly a 7600gt AGP if I can find it. And then putting an additional 1gig DDR 333 of memory in the system. I figure I can do that for about $260 plus some shipping.


Another option although less likely because of cost would be to get a new motherboard, cpu, ram, and gpu. The best I could do would be a AMD 64 3700+, 1gig DDR 400, MSI board, and a 7600gt pci-e. I figure that would be about $420 plus some shipping.

Now the obvious answer is to do the more expensive option when it is not your money. But the real question is: Is even the 2nd option worth it? Should I take option 3, do nothing to this current system and wait another year to two and then build again from scratch?


I'd get a c2d if I were you. If you're on a tight budget get an E6300 and an Asrock 775 dual vsta mobo. It costs like $55 and will take your old ram and video card.
October 12, 2006 2:43:04 PM

Yea C2D is the way to go right now
October 12, 2006 3:00:42 PM

id say stick with teh upgrade of the video card and ram, if you can find a 7600GT in agp you wont be missing out on anything if you were to upgrade you whole computer with that setup you picked.

i would go with the cheaper upgrade and then save your money for a nice gaming rig down the line.

and guys once again, he asked for the better of two options, we all know the C2D's are great, but not everyone is going with them.
October 12, 2006 3:56:41 PM

Quote:
id say stick with teh upgrade of the video card and ram, if you can find a 7600GT in agp you wont be missing out on anything if you were to upgrade you whole computer with that setup you picked.

i would go with the cheaper upgrade and then save your money for a nice gaming rig down the line.

and guys once again, he asked for the better of two options, we all know the C2D's are great, but not everyone is going with them.


That's very true. Indeed, with the propsed new PCIe 2.0 standards being released and if you don't need to go the extreme route of swapping a mobo/CPU, (which would then suggest swapping out all your parts; HD, DVDR/CD, etc) I would do the simple upgrades now (RAM and video) and wait a year to see how things pan out. Even six months from now I would guess that we all could get a sweet AM2 or Conroe 2 system for $500.

Speed is always relative given the measuring benchmark. As earlier noted there are a few games (its always games isn't it) that really put the screws to a system.
October 12, 2006 4:01:19 PM

SAVE it. I'm still using an Athlon XP 2700+ Thoroughbred B, and while it is starting to show its age, it's still plenty to get you by. And it's proven that if you have a fast video card, you really don't need a CPU that's all that and a bucket of chicken. Most stuff won't even take advantage of 64-Bit addressing or dual cores for over a year. And you can still find very compeditive video cards for AGP.

This is what I'd recommend for a CPU assuming you have a mPGA-478 board that will run with an 800MHz FSB:

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

Or if you're limited to a 533MHz FSB and/or your board isn't Prescott compatible:

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

And as for your video card this should do a smashing job...

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

This should be within your budget. Don't forget to upgrade to 1GB of RAM too, otherwise getting all of this crap is wasting your time.
October 12, 2006 4:25:33 PM

Don't UPGRADE!!!

If you're on a budget you should buy parts every month or so...
October 12, 2006 5:22:53 PM

Quote:
SAVE it. I'm still using an Athlon XP 2700+ Thoroughbred B, and while it is starting to show its age, it's still plenty to get you by. And it's proven that if you have a fast video card, you really don't need a CPU that's all that and a bucket of chicken. Most stuff won't even take advantage of 64-Bit addressing or dual cores for over a year. And you can still find very compeditive video cards for AGP.

This is what I'd recommend for a CPU assuming you have a mPGA-478 board that will run with an 800MHz FSB:

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

Or if you're limited to a 533MHz FSB and/or your board isn't Prescott compatible:

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

And as for your video card this should do a smashing job...

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

This should be within your budget. Don't forget to upgrade to 1GB of RAM too, otherwise getting all of this crap is wasting your time.


um, lemme get this straight, your recomending a 478 PRESCOTT core? yikes! i would urge you to stay away from all prescotts, ive got one and wouldnt recomend it to anyone. unless you like water cooling a stock cpu.
he's looking at a 7 series nVidia and you recomend a 6 class? did you read his post at all?

by the way hes not upgrading his cpu, lol.
October 12, 2006 6:37:28 PM

Quote:
id say stick with teh upgrade of the video card and ram, if you can find a 7600GT in agp you wont be missing out on anything if you were to upgrade you whole computer with that setup you picked.

i would go with the cheaper upgrade and then save your money for a nice gaming rig down the line.

and guys once again, he asked for the better of two options, we all know the C2D's are great, but not everyone is going with them.


Spend even more money on an agp video card and DDR1 ram?
Wow what crap advice.. Thats already outdated tech that wont fit hardly any new motherboard he might buy later.
October 12, 2006 6:40:09 PM

Quote:
Quote:

>> you don't need to go the extreme route of swapping a mobo/CPU, (which would then suggest swapping out all your parts; HD, DVDR/CD, etc)


Why would he need to swap out his HD and CD/DVD because he bought a new mobo? thats just nonsense.

Also if he bought an asrock 775 dual vsta mobo he could get a C2D cpu and still use his existing ram and gpu, and upgrade those later when he wanted.
October 12, 2006 7:41:48 PM

I went with the ASRock 775Dual-VSTA and E6600, carried over my old 266 DDR (1GB) and 6800 GS AGP, and have been happy. It is a good mobo, just can't overclock by much (10-12%), which I don't think is a deal breaker with the C2D's for a budget system.

I would upgrade to this mobo, E6300 or E6400, and sit on your RAM and graphics card for a couple/few months until prices come down. I suspect there will be a lot of people wanting to unload quality cards after DX10's come out. RAM prices right now are ridiculous anyways, wait until after Christmas. I can't in good conscience suggest you buy more DDR 333 when you are looking to upgrade. Add 1 or 2 gigs of at least DDR2 533 in January, then get a graphics card to follow. Didn't notice if you had one or not, but new SATA drives add noticable speed from what I've witnessed. (Seagate 7200 rpm 16mb buffer PERPENDICULAR WRITING)
October 12, 2006 7:58:05 PM

You'll see your biggest performance increase by upgrading your GPU and adding more RAM. I suggest this

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

or this

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

I recommend the 7600GT, but if you want to go a bit cheaper, that X850pro cannot be beat "new" for that price. If you don't want to afford the 7600GT, then leave sm3.0 out of the equation. IMO anything less than a 7600GT (NOT GS) is not worth buying just for that feature (sm3.0).
October 12, 2006 8:09:03 PM

You'd be surprised just how much you can get out of the 775Dual-Vsta.
October 12, 2006 8:45:50 PM

First off dont put my name on quotes i didnt say.
Quote:
Quote:

>> you don't need to go the extreme route of swapping a mobo/CPU, (which would then suggest swapping out all your parts; HD, DVDR/CD, etc)


Why would he need to swap out his HD and CD/DVD because he bought a new mobo? thats just nonsense.

Also if he bought an asrock 775 dual vsta mobo he could get a C2D cpu and still use his existing ram and gpu, and upgrade those later when he wanted.

Second,

And to your reply, yes, i was anwsering his question, if you would have read the OP, you would know that he was asking for advice between 2 choices. not on advice which cpu/mobo to buy. HE ALREADY HAD ONE PICKED OUT! why he picked it, thats his choice. Im sure unless the OP has been living in a cave that he knows core 2's are the bomb right now and everyone is drooling over them. its obvious.

and how can my advice be crap if im telling him not to buy an outdated AMD system right now? it seems you may be trying to stick up for someone but are actually just sticking your own foot in your mouth. ill try to word a post so that you can understand it without reading the rest of the thread. :D 

To the OP (original poster):
buy what you want man, the AMD system you picked out isnt the best for the money, upgrading the graphix and ram now is the most sensible choice (that you have given us) to game now, letting you save your money to upgrade to a new computer when prices fall on all this hardware out now. A "CORE 2 DUO" would be the best bet since it is the newest technology out right now, and yes it would include upgrading to a new socket and processor class. you have 2 choices really if you want a gaming upgrade. either update your graphix and ram now, or get an entirely new computer.
October 12, 2006 9:09:16 PM

Get more RAM and a new video card like a 6600GT or a x800GTO that dang AGP 7600GT is over priced. The 6800GS is also an option. Does not seem like you are a hard core gamer so it should last you for another year then save you pennies and go for broke next holiday 2007!

Looking at a AMD 64 3200+ for $70 a new mother board for $70 a video card for about $110 and memory for about $110 that would total for about $363 which is a big chunk of money for someone on a budget! Good luck :wink:
October 12, 2006 10:54:01 PM

Quote:
Quote:

>> you don't need to go the extreme route of swapping a mobo/CPU, (which would then suggest swapping out all your parts; HD, DVDR/CD, etc)


Why would he need to swap out his HD and CD/DVD because he bought a new mobo? thats just nonsense.

Also if he bought an asrock 775 dual vsta mobo he could get a C2D cpu and still use his existing ram and gpu, and upgrade those later when he wanted.

Fisrst off, you should identify the quotes to the person clearly.

Second, I was mearly pointing out that the urge to upgrade doesn't end with just a mobo/cpu swap (which isn't a simple matter ) If your system still has a slow 5400rpm HD or non-SATA in addtion to maybe a slow CDR burner or no-DVD unit, then a person might go on with additional patchwork upgrades.
October 12, 2006 11:01:16 PM

Quote:
Get more RAM and a new video card like a 6600GT or a x800GTO that dang AGP 7600GT is over priced. The 6800GS is also an option. Does not seem like you are a hard core gamer so it should last you for another year then save you pennies and go for broke next holiday 2007!


You can find 6800GS cards for under $150. Mine handles duties quite nicely until I get my next desktop system.
October 12, 2006 11:12:58 PM

It's not worth upgrading IMO. Save up more money for a better system.

Don't burn the PC down! Use it for Folding :D 
October 13, 2006 12:07:39 AM

1st priority: Better graphics card
2nd priority: More memory

I don't really understand the advice to buy a new processor and motherboard and keep the graphics card and memory.

I would eather spend big and get a totally new computer or upgrade with 512MB ddr and a cheap agp graphics card to last you for a year.

If you don't think you can wait for a year for a major upgrade, you better start saving instead of upgrading.
October 13, 2006 12:57:22 AM

I'd forget upgrading what you have. It just isn't worth the money spent on a machine that's already heading for the stone ages. Save some more money and look toward a AM2 system. They got new cpu's coming out and give good performace overall. Sure C2D is a little faster at the moment, but the motherboards eat up some of what you save on the cpu's. In the end, its really your choice though.

If you do decide to upgrade what you have, an X800 GTO is a good card, and some more ram won't hurt anything. Still, I'd save for a better future machine.
October 13, 2006 1:58:24 AM

yes! burn it ALL down! :p  like i did with my northwood, DDR 400 1GB and msi 875P neo FIS2R. It's simply not worth the money upgrading from there. just soup it up a little and make it retire to the living room or something for less intensive duties. 8)
October 13, 2006 3:43:28 AM

Quote:
yes! burn it ALL down!

Actually, that would be bad. The toxic fumes would not be good for you. :(  I would hate to see someone listed in the DarwinAwards for lighting their old rig on fire and passing out from the fumes. ;) 
October 13, 2006 4:03:11 AM

take everything out and separate the different elements and sell them! i'm sure there's a bit of gold in there. and ALOT of silicon. :lol: 
October 13, 2006 9:36:10 PM

Quote:
take everything out and separate the different elements and sell them! i'm sure there's a bit of gold in there. and ALOT of silicon. :lol: 


Gold?! I ought to crack open my old 386 midtower case and check. 8O
!