Upgrade video card or build new pc????????????

ok before i start this is my current setup...

An HP a520n

XP SP2
AMD Anthlon
160GB 7200rpm
1GB ram
Geforce 6200 OC (i know its not the best)

ok let me try and make this quick....i currently play CS:S and thats it!...not sure if i should just upgrade my video card to a X1900 XT and my ram to 2GB or should i build a new pc.

the thing w/the new pc is that my budget is $700 at the most, and thats not including the case since i already have the case. Here's the link to my current case i have purchased....

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811146029


can anybody let me know what processor can i upgrade by looking up my current model of pc i have. the model is listed on top of this thread. but im not sure if thats necessary if i upgrade my video card and ram.
i know most of you guys say new build...but would it really make a difference? i dont do much but play CS:S on it and browse the net...nothing like 3D rendering anything.

Thanks in Advance
37 answers Last reply
More about upgrade video card build
  1. Well.. An Athlon XP is going to hold back most card u can buy.
    But you may be happy with a 7600 GS which u can buy right now off of Newegg for 100$.

    Or you can just buy a whole new PC. 700$ can buy quite a bit.

    CPU - E4300 - 120$
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115013
    MB - MSI P6N SLI-FI - 110$
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130082
    RAM - G.Skill 2GB 6400C4 - 130$
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231065
    PSU - Antec SP500 - 70$
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817103937
    GPU - 8800 GTS 320 - 260$
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130082

    You can use the case and the HDD you already have.
    If you buy the Zalman CNPS 9700 and overclock your CPU above 3.2Ghz, then you will have one of the most powerful computers in the world.
  2. suspenz said:

    ok let me try and make this quick....i currently play CS:S and thats it!...


    Well if that's all you play or all you ever plan on playing (until the next CS version) then the CPU isn't really a major bottleneck, it's an old game. So if all you want to do is increase the graphics then don't bother wasting extra money, just get the best value card you can get (which IMO is not the GS). However if you are building for future titles you might play after tiring of CS:S then Track's PC's pretty good (although I'd change a piece or two it would mainly be cosmetic).

    For the single card solution off of NewEgg;

    This X1950Pro AGP for $140 is sweet. It's a nice HIS with awesome cooling HSF and stock overclock;
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161081

    Then the Sapphire X1950GT for $115;
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102093

    Which isn't as attractive as the X1950Pro IMO.

    Then this X1650Pro GDDR3 for $59;
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102057

    The GF7600GS and other X1650Pros would be more attractive if they were GDDR3, but those models are more expensive, which is the problem with the AGP GF7600GT. They just boost the price into other better options.

    Considering the cost of the X1650Pro it's even an option to test drive, because even reselling it on eBay you're unlikely to loose that much money and @ $60 it lets you see whether you like the improvement, and if not then you've only spent $60 more than building the whole new PC anyways, and now that old HP could be used for an HTPC or as a 'guest gaming rig' more so than with the GF6200.

    So if you were planning on playing some other new games then I'd say build a new PC, but considering it's only CS:S then you'd be OK with your current rig and just some more eye-candy. Of course a new PC would help as well, but I don't think the boost would be as significant as if you were looking to play Oblivion, or Fear, or Prey or Future games.
  3. It would be kind of stupid to buy a whole new graphics card just for a single game. Maybe this guy doesnt know about torrents..

    If he was to get a new card, I'm for the X1950GT for 115$. It's got the exact same performance as the X1950 Pro, but its cheaper. And and AGP version of the X1950GT for 115$ is amazing!
  4. Track said:
    It would be kind of stupid to buy a whole new graphics card just for a single game. Maybe this guy doesnt know about torrents..


    He probably already has CS:S and like many people they find a game they like and play it with their friends, and don't care what the rest of us play.

    Quote:
    If he was to get a new card, I'm for the X1950GT for 115$. It's got the exact same performance as the X1950 Pro, but its cheaper. And and AGP version of the X1950GT for 115$ is amazing!


    What are you talking about? The X1950GT is not the same performance as the X1950pro, while they are similar cores, they aren't clocked anywhere near the same, plus the memory on the X1950GT is much slower (not just clocked but rated) and so even when overclocking you're not going to get the GT near the X1950Pro speeds.

    You could argue that the difference may be minimal to someone playing CS:S, but the X1950GT is neither the same performance as the Pro at stock, nor does it have the same overclock potential. The X1900GT shipped with better memory than all but the rarest of X1950GTs, and even they were below the X1950Pro in performance.
  5. TheGreatGrapeApe said:

    What are you talking about? The X1950GT is not the same performance as the X1950pro.
    While they are similar cores, they aren't clocked anywhere near the same.
    Plus the memory on the X1950GT is much slower (not just clocked but rated).
    And so even when overclocking you're not going to get the GT near the X1950Pro speeds.


    What in heavens name are talking about? :heink:

    The X1950GT and X1950Pro both have the same core. This means that they will both overclock to the EXACT same freaquency. And their clocks aren't clocked anywhere near the same?? It's a 75Mhz difference!
    As for the RAM, the X1950Pro may reach a 50Mhz higher overclock, which really doesn't mean very much.

    The X1950GT is the far better choice.
  6. forget the pro, buy an XT.
  7. Track said:
    What in heavens name are talking about? :heink:

    The X1950GT and X1950Pro both have the same core. This means that they will both overclock to the EXACT same freaquency. And their clocks aren't clocked anywhere near the same?? It's a 75Mhz difference!
    As for the RAM, the X1950Pro may reach a 50Mhz higher overclock, which really doesn't mean very much.

    The X1950GT is the far better choice.


    But the GT is more power hungry and gets hotter than the pro.

    Plus the pro does outperform it in most games i play. As an example, i would rather play oblivion at 27 fps (pro) than 23 (GT)

    but yeah, if budget is an issue, then the GT is cheaper.

    Though since the OP only playes CS, the GT would do him just fine.
  8. How great ape stated if you only plan on playing cs.s get only a new video board.

    I would recommend nvidia because valves games use open gl and nvidia card cope better with open gl then ati card(just look at doom3)
  9. blade85 said:
    But the GT is more power hungry and gets hotter than the pro.

    Plus the pro does outperform it in most games i play. As an example, i would rather play oblivion at 27 fps (pro) than 23 (GT)

    but yeah, if budget is an issue, then the GT is cheaper.

    Though since the OP only playes CS, the GT would do him just fine.


    It does not get more power hungry, that is completely absurd!

    It outperforms it because it's clocked higher. Something that can easily be done to the GT.
  10. ok well ive been looking at this card....

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150223

    and ive been thinking if my psu and i think i might new a new one since im not sure if i have a connector for that video card. most likely im gonna have to purchase a new one which kinda sucks since upgrading everything is not what im looking for if im not building a pc. is that video card (the link from above) better than a $100 pci-e video card?

    heres a link for one pci-e for under $100

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130021

    if so i would rather go w/a low budget build....what do you guys think?
  11. suspenz said:
    ok well ive been looking at this card....

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150223

    and ive been thinking if my psu and i think i might new a new one since im not sure if i have a connector for that video card. most likely im gonna have to purchase a new one which kinda sucks since upgrading everything is not what im looking for if im not building a pc. is that video card (the link from above) better than a $100 pci-e video card?

    heres a link for one pci-e for under $100

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130021

    if so i would rather go w/a low budget build....what do you guys think?


    Didnt u read what we wrote?

    Only buy this card - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102093
  12. @ suspenz whilst the 7950GT is nice for a few dollers more you can get http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130038 and for a hundred dollers less you can have one of these http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102067
  13. If the x1950pro has a better cooling solution (sounds like it) I'd go with grape ape's recommendation. Yeah it costs a little more, but it's a good investment to have better cooling and a little more clock speeds certainly don't hurt.

    my sapphire x1950pro AGP uses standard power connectors, nothing special that your power supply does not have. If you have more than one hard drive and a large number of cooling fans your power supply wattage could be low for this card but I doubt it.
  14. Im not an expert on gaming. But $270 is alot of money to spend on an GP card. The 1950gt in the above link for $146 is a much better deal. You might wanna just go for that new system, upgrading to a dual core system and 2gigs of ram will make everything run faster and more smoothly and youll be able to play pretty much any games you want. Heres an idea for a system thats less then $700. It would be perfect if your not planning on overclocking.. Intel is the better choice if you want to overclock, maybe an e4300 and Gigabyte p35-ds3 could be hd for a similar price. Good luck

    Asus m2n-e $105
    AMD 6000x2 $170
    2gig Corsair XMS $85($115-$30MIR)
    250g WD SE16 $65
    Sapphire 1950xt $160
    Antec EA430 psu $65

    Total $650
  15. Track said:
    What in heavens name are talking about? :heink:

    The X1950GT and X1950Pro both have the same core. This means that they will both overclock to the EXACT same freaquency/


    Not with the HSFs that are on there, which is why I point out those very things, and like I mentioned focus on the memory.

    Quote:
    And their clocks aren't clocked anywhere near the same?? It's a 75Mhz difference!


    Actually it's a 95mhz difference and it favours the HIS X1950Pro at 590mhz versus the Sapphire GT's 500mhz

    Quote:
    As for the RAM, the X1950Pro may reach a 50Mhz higher overclock, which really doesn't mean very much.


    Actually most X1950GTs barely reach 700(1400), while the X1950Pro start at 770(1540) and overclocks well into the 800mhz range from there, so from a stock near 200(400)MHZ difference to an OC difference of over 100mhz, The X1950Pro is far better, and not having to rely on a guess at what your overclocking is. Out of the box the X1950Pro is much faser on the core and memory, so your statement doesn't hold up.

    Quote:
    The X1950GT is the far better choice.


    Perhaps it is for value, but you statement of equal and cheaper is wrong either stock or overclocked. Without better memory it's never going to equal it.
  16. cristip60 said:

    I would recommend nvidia because valves games use open gl and nvidia card cope better with open gl then ati card(just look at doom3)


    Huh?

    I think you're confused. Valve's games are almost exclusively Direct3D, Id is the one that prefer OpenGL, which is the minority of games.

    For CS:S ATi cards from that generation outplay nVidia cards, easily.
  17. suspenz said:
    ok well ive been looking at this card....

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150223


    That card will get outperformed in CS:S byt the X1950Pro. The GF7950 is a nice card, but it's twice the price for no benefit in CS:S.

    Quote:
    most likely im gonna have to purchase a new one which kinda sucks since upgrading everything is not what im looking for if im not building a pc. is that video card (the link from above) better than a $100 pci-e video card?

    heres a link for one pci-e for under $100

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130021


    Now way, once again a PCIe X1950Pro would blwo that out of the water, andif it's exclusively for CS:S then the X1650Pro or X1650XT would beat the GF7600GS for less than that $100.

    Don't get confused by what cristip wrote, CS:S is not OGL, so get the best X16xx or X19xx cards you can get. If anything valve has an affinity for ATi over nVidia. If you can find a Gf7800 or GF7900 for under $100 then consider it, otherwise look at the X1650 or X1950 series cards.
  18. Sry ape, i was thinking of cs 1.6 wich is an open gl game and it runs better on nvidia cards.
    I didn't really see it was about cs source.
  19. cristip60 said:
    Sry ape, i was thinking of cs 1.6 wich is an open gl game and it runs better on nvidia cards.
    I didn't really see it was about cs source.


    No worries man, that's like the OGL versions of UT2K4, they work very well but aren't the standard.
  20. well check this setup and you guys let me know what you think for a low budget build

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6814130021 video card
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130095 mobo
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136039 hard drive (not sure which is best ...retail or oem)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115003 cpu (if i get this cpu it'll be after the price drop to $186 on july 22nd)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231098 2GB of ram
    http://shop4.outpost.com/product/5016605?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN_RSLT_PG 700W for my psu
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827151145 dvd-rom w/lightscribe
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136059 cd burner

    Total comes out to $772 w/out purchasing Vista yet...not sure if i should stay w/XP.

    let me know what you guys think.
  21. hey ape, have you ever gone off on someone for something they have said?
  22. @Suspenz, Your video card link doesn't work.
  23. sorry guys but im at work and my comp is hella slow and i can only refresh it every hour since im busy. sorry for the late response. '

    :(
  24. realibrad said:
    hey ape, have you ever gone off on someone for something they have said?


    Yeah, but I try to avoid that, but sometimes it's really difficult. :whistle:
  25. so who took down the thred by track?
  26. suspenz said:
    well check this setup and you guys let me know what you think for a low budget build

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6814130021 video card
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130095 mobo
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136039 hard drive (not sure which is best ...retail or oem)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115003 cpu (if i get this cpu it'll be after the price drop to $186 on july 22nd)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231098 2GB of ram
    http://shop4.outpost.com/product/5016605?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN_RSLT_PG 700W for my psu
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827151145 dvd-rom w/lightscribe
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136059 cd burner

    Total comes out to $772 w/out purchasing Vista yet...not sure if i should stay w/XP.

    let me know what you guys think.


    Stay with XP, and try to spend more on the video card, I know people aren't used to do it, but for games it's best investing a lot more (about 2x to 3x more) on the video card than the CPU, people usually pair those E6600 that you listed with HD2900XT, 8800GTX, and 8800GTS, not 7600GS. To have a fairly balanced system you have 2 choices, keep that CPU and spend a whole lot more on the GPU (at least a 8800GTS) or spend less on the CPU (Probably along the lines of X2 3800+/E4300) and more on the GPU (X1950XT).
  27. I'm sure it lacks maturity (yes, I'm 47), but I just can't help feeling absolutely gleeful when the Ape totally owns a drone like T***k with facts.
    I know some regulars have left recently, but I hope the Ape does not abandon us too. The other site got blocked just today at my job.
  28. it is quite funny. so far, the only thing ive seen him talk about is the 2900. he will usually test the water and see if they are a fan boy or they want to learn. im just waiting for someone to really get under his skin and him to just go off.
  29. Track said:
    Well.. An Athlon XP is going to hold back most card u can buy.
    But you may be happy with a 7600 GS which u can buy right now off of Newegg for 100$.

    Or you can just buy a whole new PC. 700$ can buy quite a bit.

    CPU - E4300 - 120$
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115013
    MB - MSI P6N SLI-FI - 110$
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130082
    RAM - G.Skill 2GB 6400C4 - 130$
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231065
    PSU - Antec SP500 - 70$
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817103937
    GPU - 8800 GTS 320 - 260$
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130082

    You can use the case and the HDD you already have.
    If you buy the Zalman CNPS 9700 and overclock your CPU above 3.2Ghz, then you will have one of the most powerful computers in the world.


    that will defintantly be a great pc, but not even close to "one of the most powerful computers in the world" :pfff:
    if all you play is source, just upgrade the video card. 1gb of ram should be fine unless you want to upgrade you can :)
  30. Mousemonkey said:
    @Suspenz, Your video card link doesn't work.


    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130017


    heres the link for the video card...
  31. Well the GF7600GT is ok for your needs, but I would personally spend the extra to move yourself to a GF7900GS for $105 or the X1950Pro for $115 if you're going to go through the trouble of a whole new build.
  32. ok heres the thing also i have my credit card from best buy...and i have $1200 to spend on it...either purchase a new comp from there or just build a comp but only thing is i have to purchase part by part every month...and to think of the warranty er returns ...within 30days ...and by the time i get all the parts it;ll prolly be october or november...

    or once again...stick w/my current setup and just upgrade the video card. (which im getting alot from you guys) which is something i might do...but i just thought i'd let ya know bout the best buy thing. :D
  33. whatever you do
    DONT BUY THE PARTS MONTH BY MONTH!!!!
    and best buy is expenseive...
    just save till you can afford a new pc and build it
    or get a x1950pro
  34. suspenz said:

    or once again...stick w/my current setup and just upgrade the video card. (which im getting alot from you guys) which is something i might do...but i just thought i'd let ya know bout the best buy thing. :D


    So I return to my original suggestion.
    If all you're playing is CS:S and there's little else you need faster parts for (like video editing or something) then get that cheap X1650Pro and wait until you truely NEED a better computer, and then you can spend all the money you saved on an even better computer than you would buy now, and also know better what you need for that game you end up wanting to play in the future. That'd be my Reco.
  35. I would agree, dont buy a whole new pc now. you dont really need it. buy a new graphics card for like $120, save your money until the end of the year.

    penryn will be out, barcelona will be out, vista sp1 will be out. and new graphics cards.

    the unfortunate decision you face is, do I throw away money now (because you are upgrading as a temporary solution) or do I buy new, but possibly get less than I could later on this year? now, the thing is, new cards and cpus are always coming, you just need to decide on a breakpoint, where you are going to commit your cash to technology.
  36. Having played CS:S a lot myself, I know that it's heavily dependant on the CPU for the physics engine. You're going to notice this most on maps with lots of other players.

    If you buy a really good card now, it'll be bottle-necked by the rest of your system so some degree, but you WILL see a performance increase overall. But then again, if you buy a cheap card, it won't be able to keep up when you eventually upgrade.

    In balance, I'd say buy the best you can now, and see it as a long-term upgrade for when you upgrade the rest of your PC. To get a rough idea of different cards, look at the VGA charts - Dark Messiah is on it, which is built essentially from the same engine. Any card that can handle this well will be more than good enough at Counter-Strike.

    P.S. the X1950 Pro is totally savage at CS:S.
  37. Well mcneillm is righ.
    As for reference do exactly what he sais dark mesiah is much more dependent on the system then cs.s so if it behaves good in dark mesiah it should behave better in cs.s.
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