How much of an upgrade should I go for?

Alright, here's a little background. I pretty much only use my rig for gaming and photoshop. I'm pondering whether or not I should upgrade my processor/mobo because I need to upgrade my video card. I don't have a PCI-Express slot which is why I need to upgrade my mobo either way if I want a new Videocard.

Here's what I currently have:

Pentium 4 3.0gz 800mhz
MSI PT880 NEO-LSR VIA Mobo -Dual Channel Memory
2gig memory 3200
Radeon 9800pro 128meg Video Card

Now I don't want to spend a fortune upgrading my PC, so I would only be upgrading my Mobo/Processor and Video Card.

What do you think I should shoot for to upgrade if I don't want to spend a lot of money?

With this upgrade will it have a notable increase?

Thank you in advance, let me know if you need more information.
15 answers Last reply
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  1. You have to upgrade Ram as well and possibly a new PSU depending on what you got right now.

    The performance difference should be noticeable as this PC is 3 years old, you will get much more performance.

    What is you budget and the rest of your PC(case and PSU...)
  2. So I can't use the 2gb of DDR400 RAM I have with my new mobo/processor?

    I was thinking about spending roughly 200 on a PCI-E video card and about 250-300 on a mobo processor combo.

    I currently have a newer case and a 550W Power Supply
  3. You can use your ram if you want but you'll have to either get a S939 AMD (complete lack of upgradablity) or an ASRock 775Dual-VSTA board for a C2D. These might be good options at you price range. 300 for mobo/proc/ram is not really enough for much of an upgrade..
  4. Your memory doesn't have to go to waste, but....if you want to re-use your DDR1 you will have to go for a 939 AMD. And those are already being phased out so it's not my pick for a system that will be in use for 1-2 years.
  5. So basically I should just count on getting a complete upgrade for my computer?

    Do you think my current setup will allow me to run the new games decently for the next year or so?

    Also, do you know of a a mobo I could get that has a PCI-Express slot to just upgrade my video card instead?

    Currently my system runs games pretty well, HL2, WoW, BF2. The only limitation being my video card.
  6. I think an entire new system would be best. I would save up until I could buy at least:

    Asus P5B ~150 usd
    C2D 6300 ~180 usd
    1Gb DD2-800 ~140 usd (one module with hopes that prices drop)
    X1950 Pro ~200 usd

    total: 670 (not too much over 500)
  7. Whoops!
  8. But his CPU has pin under will it fit :lol:

    Joke aside, that he's got a socket 478 CPU.

    I'd try to sell my entire setup to a friend/cousin whatever, makes a great system to browse the web/light gaming.

    And go for kmjohnso recommendation...

    ram is expensive ATM...=(
  9. Thanks for the the suggestions, I really appreciate it. Another quick question:

    What if I just picked C2D 6300 or 6400, pickup the following board, and used my old memory. Would the performance decrease from not using DDR2 RAM be that noticable?

    View Pic ECS P4M890T-M2 (V1.0B) Socket T (LGA 775) VIA P4M890 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

    CPU Type: Intel Core 2 Duo/Pentium D/Pentium 4/Celeron D
    DDR Standard: DDR 400 (PC 3200)
    DDR2 Standard: DDR2 533
    FSB: 1066/800MHz
    Maximum Memory Supported: DDR support up to 2 GB DDR2 support up to 4 GB
    Number of DDR Slots: 2x 184pin DDR
    Number of DDR2 Slots: 2x 240pin DDR2
    PCI Express x16: 1
    South Bridge: VIA VT8237R Plus
    Supported CPU Technologies: Hyper-Threading Technology

    That way I could save money on the Mobo and wouldn't have to drop another $150 on RAM.

    Any opinions?
  10. Any suggestions?
  11. Anand take on it

    it seems to work better then I expected!
  12. There is the ASRock Dual board for the C2D which supports both DDR and DDR2 but the PCI-Express slot is only x4 and not x16. I wouldn't buy it because of this.

    The ASRock Dual board for socket 939 does have PCI-Express x16 but doesn't have support for DDR2. Which, to me, makes this mobo another dead end.

    Save an extra 200 dollars for some DDR2 memory. You are already upgrading 3 main components why not a 4th to make your upgrade complete.

    You're limiting yourself with the DDR 400 memory. I'd try and sell it on Ebay to recoupe some of your costs. I'll bet you can easily get 100 or more for it since memory is currently so expensive.

    That way, your memory upgrade will only be 100 bucks. Well worth the wait.


    CPU: E6300 - $183
    Mobo: Gigabyte GA-965P-S3 - $122
    Video Card: Any X1950Pro at zipzoomfly for $199. This is currently the best bang for the buck. Pick your favorite manufacturer.
    Memory: PQI Power Series - $195

    Happy Upgrading.

    EDIT: Just noticed the ECS P4M890T-M2 posted supporting DDR, DDR2 (but only 533) and PCI-Express x16. For 58 bucks, go for it. That way when you want to officially move up to DDR2, I'd throw this mobo away and get a better one. ASUS P5B-E, ABIT AB9-Pro or the Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3 would be 3 to look at.

    Comment on ECS. I bought a mobo of theirs several years ago for my XP system. Their service to me sucked and one of the USB ports died which only left me with one port. Maybe it's my bad luck, but I'd stay away from ECS. But for 58 bucks, to me, it's a throw away board to begin with.
  13. Thanks for the suggestions, not sure what to do yet, but I think I have enough information to put me on the right path :D
  14. You can go that way but that board is sort of a throw away (well you may have to knowing ECS). Maybe not at first, but you'll eventually want to overclock you 6300 (given the 1+Ghz standard overclocks), and I wouldn't put too much faith in that board. You simply have to ask yourself "Do I need this now?" If you do that board is fine, otherwise wait prices will lower as you raise the money.
  15. It also depends if you want to say pay or pay laters. What I mean about by that is as other have suggested you would have to replace CPU/video/ram toss in a HD and case/PSU (which would be less that 200 I believe for both) and you have your self a 2nd computer.

    If I was in your shoes and just wanted to say have this computer as a viable gameing system for the next year or so I would just upgrade your video card. I would shoot for a x850pro or better class AGP card basicaly any thing under or around 150. You can even wait to see what the prices on the new AGP 1950 that are coming out but I would expect to see those prices around $50 more than the PCIe so I would expect the $300ish.

    I'm personaly using the x850 so I know it a good card however 7600GT should be good as well but a little more costly however you also have sm 3.0 if that important to you. Personaly with dx10 around the corner I personal wouldn't worry about it and go for the cheaper x850pro (you maybe able to find both cards cheaper just too lazy to look).
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