New Graphics Card or New Computer

I am trying to improve my system performance. I do not use it for heavy gaming, but F.E.A.R. and COD2 run fine on it. The thing is that it is my media center as well so i often have video streaming to another television and a TV station recording. I am not sure if a new graphics card will help, but the current is 5 years old. Here are the system specs:

P4 3.2 Precott HT
1GB PC3200 DDR (2x512) (2 more open)
200GB + 250GB HD ( both are EIDE 7200 rpm. System could support SATA I)
Ti 4600 Graphics Card 128MB DDR with TV-out
Hauppauge PVR-150

That is the current system, to improve system performance would it make sense to replace the graphics card or just upgrade the entire system to a new computer?

Thanks, and i will take any advice you have on how to improve it...Andrew
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  1. Well, the video card would be most efficient upgrade. Since you're not a hardcore gamer, a whole new PC might be an overkill.

    What's the budget you are working with?
  2. Your system looks fine for the tasks you've set to it, but I would think the speed of the storage subsystem would help you best if you're primarily using it for recording/playing video. I would suggest taking a look at HDD performance.

    However, the video card IS a little old, a new one would really help you with gaming. If you only have an AGP slot, I would suggest the AGP version of the 6600GT or better, the 7600GT. I've used both (6600GT AGP, 7600GT PCI-e) and both have served me well.
  3. Thanks. I think I will go forward on a Video Card equivalent to x1600 or 7600 GS. or something in the mid 100 ball park.

    With regards to the hard drive you are probably correct there. They are IDE although the system supports SATA. If i upgrade the OS and app drive to a SATA and keep the storage as IDE will the system run slow....

    I could upgrade everything but once i upgrade the drives and the card i am already looking at 350 ish which would get me half way to a new system of a core 2 duo E6300 and i could probably pull in 300 for the current system as it is still under warranty and such...
  4. I see what you mean about spending too much. :/

    From what I've read it does look like the computer would benefit from a SATA OS/App drive, just anything coming off or going to the storage drive would be slowed down a bit. Everything done on the SATA though should be more responsive.

    From my experience and what I've read of others, that seems to be the general feeling. As always, your milage may vary.
  5. You for sure need to upgrade your vid card. Read Tom's articles for the best AGP cards for the money.
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