Upgrade Issue :)

Hello, people!
My system goes something like this:
AMD Sempron 3000+
Integrated GeForce 6100 nForce 405 with shared video memory
I have a little money to spend on upgrading my machine, but the problem is that I can't decide what is better for me. The two alternatives that I thought about are another 1GB of RAM on the one hand, and on the other is a new graphics card (because people say that integrated chips are a great bottleneck). So what do you guys think is better? The video card I am thinking of buying is an nVidia Geforce 8400GS 256 MB. It would surely be better than the integrated 6100 with only 64 MB shared memory (I shared only 64MB, because that way I am left with 708MB of RAM and if I share more for video, my RAM will be left too low). If I take another 1GB of RAM on the other hand, I could share some more (say 256MB), but that again, if the integrated video is that much of a "great bottleneck" as people say, then why not change it now. I'm open to suggestions :) Thank you!
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  1. If you're upgrading to game better, the graphics card will show you WORLDS of improvement. You probably wouldn't notice any improvement from the memory - maybe slightly quicker level load times, but the frames-per-second would still be dismal.

    You should skip the 8400 GS though. As a minimum for good gaming, try the 2600 PRO. That should do the job for $70 or so, MUCH MUCH more powerful than the 8400 GS.
  2. Thank you very much, I also think that my bottleneck is the video chip. The computer still doesn't run as it should do.
    Yes, as a matter of fact, I am upgrading for gaming. Not high-end gaming, but yet I would like to be able to play games (like the upcoming GTA sequel) with no problems. It may not be on the highest detail level possible, but the game should run fluently. Right now, even The Sims 2 runs with a low FPS rate. Anybody knows anything about the GeForce 6100 graphics chip from experience? Is it really that bad? Because I spoke to people with GeForce 6600 (dedicated card) on their machines and they say that it is very good and I do not need to change it. However, in a forum I read this the other day: "The comp will run at the full capabilities of its slowest component,Intergrated video is as big a bottleneck as you could possibly inflict upon a user" - sounds mighty convincing to me...any comments on this one? :)
  3. What skt is the board? 939, oe AM2

    if 939: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103222
    (will show a more noticible diff than just a vid upgrade for $55)

    If AM2: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103775
    (similar to above but $1 cheaper)

    The 2600 Pro, or even the 8600 should be the extreme low end GFX (anything less is only slightly better than onboard)
  4. After the CPU, and Vid would be RAM (2 gig optimal for XP)

    If a Skt 939 board: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820609058
    (DDR 400 is getting expensive $87)

    If AM2: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820211165
    (DDR2 800 for $42)
  5. So basically you think that there will be no actual difference between an integrated GeForce 6100 and a dedicated GeForce 8400GS?
  6. The 8400GS would be a little better and take a load off of memory.
  7. ^yeah, very little. i agree with pple saying "The 2600 Pro, or even the 8600 should be the extreme low end GFX (anything less is only slightly better than onboard)"

    ur problem is ur gpu. n yes, u r bottlenecked with that onboard gpu.
  8. Thanks! Maybe you are right! I will consider the alternatives then :)
  9. night_wolf_in said:
    (anything less is only slightly better than onboard)"

    This is the key.

    An 8400 GS will give you a gaming boost, but for a few dollars more you could get a MASSIVE gaming boost.

    If the reason you're upgrading is to play games, then you're doing yourself a disservice by upgrading to anything less than a 2600 PRO.

    There are certain games - like Crysis, for example - that the 8400 GS will run quite dismally. But the 2600 PRO should handle them passably (with some lowered detail of course).
  10. Yes, please take the advice and don't buy the 8400GS. Everyone so far has been telling you the truth.

    Check this out: 8400GS vs. 6600GT - http://www23.tomshardware.com/graphics_2007.html?modelx=33&model1=722&model2=1059&chart=275

    The 8400GS actually does worse than the 6600GT. Now, your 6100 is going to be worse than the 6600GT... so you may see the exact same or slightly better performance on the 8400GS just because it will use less system memory.

    The 2600Pro will net you probably 50-100%+ better performance. If you want to go a little better and get a 2600XT, you can expect 80-140%+ increase in gaming performance. (2600XT vs. 6600GT - http://www23.tomshardware.com/graphics_2007.html?modelx=33&model1=722&model2=1064&chart=275 )
  11. Yeah, I guess it does sound logical...
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