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To Upgrade or start over... What is your opinion?

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February 5, 2007 12:54:35 AM

Hello all,

I have a computer that I only use for gaming and everything is at stock settings. I have never messed with any OC setting and typically have always left my computers stock out of the box (A man has to know his limitations :)  ). I currently play WOW and I need to make some upgrades for a couple games that will release this year, namely Lord of the Rings online and Pirates of the Burning Sea online. They have anounced a graghic ability requirement that supports Shader 3.0

I am trying to decide if I should by a new AGP card like the Sapphire 1950Pro for $240 or the Bfg 7800GS OC for $160 ( I have it in the box right now - it was on sale at Fry's today), or should I just abandon my old setup and go new. Here is what I currently have:

Case: Codegen Briza
MB: Asus A7N8X-E Deluxe
CPU: AMD Athlon 2800+ Barton
Memory: 1 Gb (512x2) DDR Kingston HyperX 3200
HD: Seagate 80 GB SATA 8MB Cache 7200
PS: Wintech WIN-400PS (1 +12V rail at 15A)
Graphic Card: Asus V8460 Ultra Deluxe (GeForce 4 Ti4600 128MB DDR)
CD: Asus CDRW

Needless to say my graphics card is way out of date. I hate to just toss my complete old system to go with PCIexpress and have to buy a new CPU and memory, but if it is stupid to spend ~$200 on a new AGP graphics card that is not going to give me much of a graphics boost over what I am currently seeing, I guess I will do it.

Timing is also an issue, should I buy a bandaid AGP graphic solution now and wait for DX10 PCIexpress later this year or just dive in now?

I need your guidance... Should I upgrade my power supply and stick with AGP for another year or so, or should I make the switch to PCI express now and just re-use my case, CDRW and HD.

Whatever your opinion, suggestions of parts would be greatly appreciated.

Budget for a new PCIexpress solution would around $800 to $1000 US dollars. I don't mind spending a little extra for quality parts, but I don't need to spend extra cash on bells and whistles that I will never use. I'm not much of a tweeker.... I just want a dependable machine.

Thank you for your insight,

Steve

More about : upgrade start opinion

February 5, 2007 1:32:26 AM

I would go with the new card now and wait for the new cards to update the whole computer. What you have will work fine, all of it except the vid card is better than my current gamer. You have nothing to lose, the PSU is ok for the card.
February 5, 2007 1:53:44 AM

I have a similiar system... except I have a 2700+ instead (because it was cheaper in 2003 when I built it)

Power Supply should be fine. I'm running a Geforce 6600GT with 1.5 GB of DDR400 OCZ performance ram. I also have a X-FI Fatal1ty card, those things added later.

Kjace, you're exactly in the same boat as me... my feeling is that the system will last a bit longer. They have a 7900GS AGP card out there... upgrade to that and maybe stick another 1 GB of ram in the system so how it runs. I see the limits to my processor right now with Battlefield 2 and Battlefield 2142, but its bearable with the 6600 GT and Fatal1ty giving plenty of performance.
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February 5, 2007 12:32:59 PM

Thank you for the input.

The reason I believe I need to upgrade my power supply (PS) is because the BFG 7800GS box states the listed minumum specs for the PS is +12 @ 20A. My Wintech WIN-400SP label states the +12 rail is only 15A.

I will be the first to admit I am pretty clueless about the magical workings of the PS and all the different connectors leading out of it, I just want to make sure I minimize any chance of problems by using an underpowered PS. My current AGP graphics card doesn't need to be plugged into extra power so I'm not even sure which PS connector I will need to connect to a new AGP card :) 

The AGP card I bought yesterday at Fry's is the BFG 7800GS OC. With rebate the card was on sale for $160, so I picked it up knowing I could return it if I decided to go another direction.

I've been reading some of the BFG 7800's have a "cold bug" problem. Do you think it wise to return the BFG card and just step up to the Sapphire ATI 1950 PRO for the extra $80 to aviod potential BFG temperature problems and for the increased performance?

Thanks again for your time,

Steve
February 5, 2007 1:51:26 PM

No problem buddy...

Personally, I'd stick with the nVidia card. I've known so many that have issues with their ATI drivers... nVidia has been pretty good about releasing stable drivers and the card does what it says it'll do.

Plug it in and see if you have enough power. I think you do... if you don't, it won't hurt to upgrade... You'll know if the power supply blows hot air.

If you decide to upgrade, you can get one of those silent power supplies. Just an FYI, I did upgrade my power supply twice over two computers-- , original was a Antec 350 watt (from 6 yrs ago) and I wanted something quieter. First went with a Raidmax 400 watt (4 yrs ago)... now I have a Coolermaster 500 watt (1 yr ago).
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