I don't have a set amount of money to spent yet. Just looking around. I do some game. Just to Medieval II Total War. It plays alright at low-medium graphics setting. I crappy thing is, I still have to get AGP which are really limiting, and sometime pricy.
I agree with friend Prozac, 1024MB memory is lots and it's not your big problem. You should get the best vidcard you can find for it, I think a GeForce 7600GS or maybe a Radeon X1650Pro. They will not be too expensive, or see what you can get for $100 bucks or whatever.
I had an AGP X1600Pro and it was just okay - but the new X1650 is supposed to be much improved.
Your CPU is still good and - you will be happy to know - was pretty well top-o'-the-line Northwood in its day.
Its day was 133MHz FSB (533QDR) also known as FSB533.
The CPU is Socket478, 130nm, 1.550V, 512KB L2 and has an incredible locked multiplier of I believe 23x So 133MHz x 23 = 3066MHz
This runs synchronously with Rambus memory at 533MHz, and 1024MB is a lot of that old memory, trust me you don't even want to price getting more.
Later Northwoods switched to 200MHz (FSB800) with DDR400 memory, but yours is the last of its 133MHz FSB era...
Note: Athlons went 100MHz > 133 > 166 > eventually 200MHz FSB, but Intel jumped right from 133 to 200MHz FSB.
This makes overclocking different for you because unlike AMD your CPU is unlikely to POST at the next higher OEM FSB speed, and I have no idea how your memory would react.
But it's a nice old rig, put in a newer vidcard and it should still fly.
the problem is that the motherboard doesn't take SATA so I would also have to get a PCI SATA adapter. I got 2 of the maxtors..should I raid 0 it? I just want to find the biggest bottleneck right now... they are all too old lol.
The 7200.7 is not a bad drive considering its age. In fact the seeks on it are relatively speedy which in many cases can be more important than raw transfer rate, let alone interface bandwidth. As for PATA being "too slow"... ok :roll:
If you're looking for more gaming performance then the way to go would be a new video card, but whether the cost/performance gain is worth it is personal preference. Unfortunately, to get serious improvements across the board you'd need a relatively complete overhaul. Personally I'd save up for a while and build another computer on a newer platform (this way you'd have two ) but this will be significantly more costly. For this same reason I'm hoping that my current system can last me a few more years...
The 7800GS is by far teh best card and also cost the most. The X800 is better than the 7600GS but also costs more and doesnt have SM3.0. The 7600GS is the cheapest and performs the worst here but it does have SM3.0. But as far as I know there is only like one game out that requires a SM3.0 card.
Be careful about recommending this, because as of late, many X850Pro models have been produced using R481 cores instead of the original R480, which in turn means that instead of having bios locked pipes, they're in fact laser cut instead which makes bios flashing irrelevant. When your talking about a 200$ investment, it's quite a bit of money to take the chance...
Hard disk's a hard disk, not much impact (apart from size differences).
ATA133 was invented by Maxtor and was never officially endorsed by motherboard makers or WD or Seagate. Only UltraDMA Mode5, which is 100MB/s is official.
You will find a bigger difference in performance between an IDE drive with 16MB cache and a SATA with only 8MB cache - the IDE might seem faster.
Anyway his HDs could be bigger (and therefore newer and faster) but I would not single that out as his bottleneck,