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Upgrade Question: torn between a new processor or video card

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August 16, 2007 5:12:57 PM

I just got a paycheck the other week and decided it was time to beef up the current system I have. The first thing that I bought was memory which was badly needed. Now I have $200 dollars left and I am wondering if I should upgrade my cpu or video card. My system is almost a year old and this is what I have in it right now.

CPU: AMD Athlon 64 3800+ (orleans core)
MOBO: ABIT KN9S
Memory: 2 GB of Corsair DDR 800
Video Card: eVga Geforce 7600 GT
HDD: 1 250 Gb Sata drive and 1 160 Gb IDE drive
OS: windows XP

I was planning on swapping either an Athlon X2 5200+ for the cpu or a X1950XT for the video card.

Anybody have an Idea
August 16, 2007 5:32:38 PM

get the x1950xt, if you are more into gaming, as the graphics will only benfit gaming by a huge margin. but if you are not into gaming then get a 5200+ as you will see a difference in everyday usage
August 16, 2007 7:00:11 PM

i vote for the dual core, but i play mostly high cpu use games (sup com etc..)
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August 16, 2007 7:29:03 PM

Rapier587 said:
Anybody have an Idea


Overclock the 3800+ and get the 1950 XT video card. Then you have a faster cpu and a more powerful gpu.
August 16, 2007 7:48:46 PM

Another vote for the graphics card - if you play games a lot then it will make more of a difference to your experience.
August 16, 2007 8:01:49 PM

aye dual core. You will get 3x the power by going that route. And it will only cost you $120. To get 3x the grpahics power of a 7600GT, you'd have to spend more than $120. Probably need a new psu too...
August 16, 2007 8:12:09 PM

I'd get a new CPU first, as far as I know the x2 6000+ is under $200. Then maybe in a couple weeks you can upgrade your graphics card. Hopefully you're not using socket 939 and agp (like me).
August 16, 2007 8:28:11 PM

Quote:
Were talking about agp here right? Im not sure Id sink money into a AGP card right now, I mean save the $200 and upgrade your system later. Im still running a 7600gt and it does it for me.


When the OP mentioned a X2 5600+ as a possible replacement cpu, I know I assumed that the video card would be PCI-e. Probably others assumed the same. I think you're right, if this is an AGP card that he's talking about, the money would be better saved for a new build.
August 16, 2007 8:32:52 PM

No the Abit KN9S board I have only uses PCI-e ports so I'd be looking to get a PCI-e version of the X1950XT sorry that I didn't mention that at the beginning. My bad.

Edit: As for how I use my computer I'd say its 50% gaming and 50% work and other stuff. When i'm not playing WOW i'm usually web surfing, watching videos or doing stuff in Maple 10 or AutoCAD. I'm also interested in probably getting a copy of BioShock when it comes out.
a b B Homebuilt system
a c 143 U Graphics card
a b à CPUs
August 16, 2007 8:33:44 PM

You may need a new PSU too for the x1950xt.

Another vote for just saving for a new build.
August 16, 2007 9:19:29 PM

Rapier587 said:
I just got a paycheck the other week and decided it was time to beef up the current system I have. The first thing that I bought was memory which was badly needed. Now I have $200 dollars left and I am wondering if I should upgrade my cpu or video card. My system is almost a year old and this is what I have in it right now.

CPU: AMD Athlon 64 3800+ (orleans core)
MOBO: ABIT KN9S
Memory: 2 GB of Corsair DDR 800
Video Card: eVga Geforce 7600 GT
HDD: 1 250 Gb Sata drive and 1 160 Gb IDE drive
OS: windows XP

I was planning on swapping either an Athlon X2 5200+ for the cpu or a X1950XT for the video card.

Anybody have an Idea

The X1950XT is a good card and good choice. IF you want to play "real" DX10 games, want for the next-gen DX10 cards (early next year). For games, the video card will make the biggest difference.
The X2 is also a good CPU and you will see a speed increase in all apps (even if the app is only 1 thread). Less waiting time.
Other posts suggest checking your PSU - good idea.

Simple answer. If you are playing at high-res (1600x1080) or higher, get the x1950XT and PSU (if you need a PSU)
otherwise, the video card won't help as much at lower-res. (can't tell a difference between 80fps and 300fps)
The rest of your PC looks good.

After you upgrade the CPU and Video-Card, your build seems MAXed out and time for new everything if you want more performance. In that case, get a REALLY GOOD PSU when you can. It will fit nicely in your next PC.
August 16, 2007 9:27:28 PM

You could upgrade to an X2 CPU and a 1950pro for around $200. A X2 in 3800 or 4000 flavor will OC nicely on your board and you will have a very playable and work ready set-up.
August 16, 2007 9:45:59 PM

Righto, I agree with enewmen. Buying a 1950XT ain't worth it if you play at 1280X1024 cause your cpu will bottleneck it. I vote on the cpu, then later on a good DX10 card.
August 16, 2007 10:24:37 PM

Quote:
You could upgrade to an X2 CPU and a 1950pro for around $200. A X2 in 3800 or 4000 flavor will OC nicely on your board and you will have a very playable and work ready set-up.

Bingo! This is exactly what you should do. If you're gaming at 1280x1024, you want an X1950Pro. It's definately a noticeble upgrade to a 7600GT. If you OC your CPU a little you'll be fine. I say graphics now because most games are bottlenecked by graphics, not CPU power. So its better to have a more powerful GPU than CPU. Get X1950Pro now, and X2 5200 whenever. BTW, what PSU do you have?
August 16, 2007 10:52:18 PM

As of Right now I have a Coolmax Cp-500T 500 watt power supply. I am starting to lean toward what angelkiller, evilonigirl, crabex and enewman said about getting a X2 3800 or 4000 with a 1950 pro. still haven't completely decided yet. Too many good choices damnit. Most of the time when I play games I have them run at either 1024x768 or 1280x1024 resolution. I don't really care about the highest resolution I can get....I just want the damn game to run smoothly at decent settings.
August 16, 2007 11:25:46 PM

The pro and xt are only within a few dollars of each other lately on Newegg and the xt is faster.
August 17, 2007 12:14:09 AM

I say Opty 170 or the 165 thier about $100 now, OC the crap out of it and keep the GPU. The new steppings are gettin 2.9 easy! Or get both CPU & GPU!:) 
Opps Sorry just realized ...AM2 board....Anyway same advise ..Get an Opteron!
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