Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Up the creek with my Socket 939...

Last response: in CPUs
Share
March 31, 2008 3:13:37 PM

I'm currently looking to upgrade my system, primarily to get better in-game performance (Dungeons & Dragons Online - a very graphics-intensive game). I was trying to figure out how best to make one upgrade deliver the most bang for the buck (IMPORTANT: at present, I have only in the range of $100 liquid cash available; everything else is already spoken for). On recommendation, I ran my Task Manager CPU usage function while in-game, and it was reading in the 80s and 90s percentiles!

First question: is this as sure a sign as my friend said that it's my CPU that most needs upgrading?

Second question: where the HECK are there any AMD socket 939 processors that are an improvement on my current one?!? This one is an Athlon 64 3700+ 2.2 GHz. I'd like to go dual-core, but I can't seem to FIND any Athlon dual-core socket 939 processors.

Help, please! :) 

More about : creek socket 939

a b à CPUs
March 31, 2008 3:48:03 PM

Opteron DC available here, but expensive. I just ordered the 4000+ single core San Diego for 39 bucks to troubleshoot with and eventually install on a system. Dual core processor will only help if the progrsam you are using utalizes two cores. DC helps with multitasking also. Socket 939 has been discontinued, so it's a dead end. No 3800X2's available anywhere I know of. If you have the bucks look to building a 775 or AM2 DC system instead of investing any real money into a discontinued 939. 39 bucks for 4000+ was a good deal. I have three 939 systems still running.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...
March 31, 2008 3:54:07 PM

Buy this Opteron 185 and overclock it: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... . With good cooling it will do 3Ghz. With regular cooling it will do 2.6 to 2.8Ghz. Unfortunately this is your best option for the money.

I'd strongly suggest just saving up some more and going to an AM2+ system or cheap (non-existent) performance Intel system. DDR2 Memory is ridiculously cheap (DDR2-800 4GB for under $70: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ). You can also get an AM2 5000+ Black Edition for $84!: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Pair all this with an affordable 780G motherboard which is brand new AND cheap and for ~$250 you have a completely new system that runs circles around your current one. Have a little patience and save your money for a little longer.
Related resources
March 31, 2008 3:54:40 PM

badge said:
Opteron DC available here, but expensive. I just ordered the 4000+ single core San Diego for 39 bucks to troubleshoot with and eventually install on a system. Dual core processor will only help if the progrsam you are using utalizes two cores. DC helps with multitasking also. Socket 939 has been discontinued, so it's a dead end. No 3800X2's available anywhere I know of. If you have the bucks look to building a 775 or AM2 DC system instead of investing any real money into a discontinued 939. 39 bucks for 4000+ was a good deal. I have three 939 systems still running.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...


Thanks for responding!

The problem/question I'm running into is this: as I said, my present processor is a 3700+ 2.2 GHz; will that 4000+ deliver a real improvement over my 3700+, or will it only be a slight incremental jump? I'm looking for something that will make a substantial upgrade to what I'm experiencing in-game.

*edit* I know absolutely nothing about the Opteron processor line. What's the deal with it?
March 31, 2008 4:19:37 PM

i got the sd 4000+ about a year ago for $60 and it's been great. i had it at 2.4 the whole time, but recently oc'd it to 2.7 and made big difference in a lot of games (orange box, coh, crysis demo and cod4 demo). the 300 mhz really smoothed out those games which would occasionally hitch. funny though, i have another thread going and am considering the opteron (basically server grade cpu) but not sure if my mobo will support it and $140 is steep price. the 4000+ was just about the best single core chip excluding the fx series which were way over priced. $40 for the 4000+ is hard to pass up...
March 31, 2008 4:21:38 PM

Realisticly, you're not going to be able to do much with $100. You may find a dual core 939 on ebay but the increase in games will be negligable. The advantage will be able to run multiple applications as long as your motherboard and bios support dual core. You might want to take a look at perhaps buying some more memory with that $100. It's so dirt cheap right now, that it's usually a cost effective upgrade.

Upgrading a discontinued platform is allways a gamble. Most everything you put into it can't be transferred and every other component is also getting older and closer to the point of obsolesence. It's kind of like working on a junky car - you can spend money on a new muffler but you don't know what else is going to break next.

Opterons are server processors that are basically higher quality versions of consumer grade chips. If you want to play around with overclocking, Opterons usually have that ability. Just be aware that your motherboard and bios must have the ability to overclock.

March 31, 2008 4:40:40 PM

Agreed, your not going to do much with just $100. You can find fast dual core 939's on eBay but they still cost. I sold my X2 4800+ Toledo core on ebay just over a month ago. I got almost $300 for that, used the money to pay for my current motherboard and memory.
March 31, 2008 4:43:31 PM

Shecky said:
I'm currently looking to upgrade my system, primarily to get better in-game performance (Dungeons & Dragons Online - a very graphics-intensive game). I was trying to figure out how best to make one upgrade deliver the most bang for the buck (IMPORTANT: at present, I have only in the range of $100 liquid cash available; everything else is already spoken for). On recommendation, I ran my Task Manager CPU usage function while in-game, and it was reading in the 80s and 90s percentiles!

First question: is this as sure a sign as my friend said that it's my CPU that most needs upgrading?

Second question: where the HECK are there any AMD socket 939 processors that are an improvement on my current one?!? This one is an Athlon 64 3700+ 2.2 GHz. I'd like to go dual-core, but I can't seem to FIND any Athlon dual-core socket 939 processors.

Help, please! :) 



What are your system specs. Include your video card please.
a b à CPUs
March 31, 2008 4:56:54 PM

caamsa........ what he said. My first estimation would have been your video card also. But you're not going to get anything for $100 that will do any benefit.........
March 31, 2008 4:57:41 PM

Supply and demand. X2-4800 or FX-60 will be as high as you can go on 939 excluding the Opteron line. My X2-4400 OC'd to 2.6 Ghz without much drama... as will several of the Opterons. D&D Online ran like a dream on my X2 with a 7800 GTX... so what kind of video card are you using? If the game doesn't utilize dual core processors, I'm not sure what sort of benefit you'll get from an X2.
March 31, 2008 5:02:44 PM

caamsa said:
What are your system specs. Include your video card please.



Okay.

Computer: HP Pavilion a1330e.
Motherboard: ASUS A8AE-LE (Socket 939)
Processor: AMD Athlon 64 3700+ 2.2 GHz (single-core)
Video card: ATi Radeon X1300Pro PCIe
March 31, 2008 5:17:21 PM

2 quick things, folks:

I understand that the neighborhood of $100 isn't going to get me much. I got it. It's that "not much" that I AM looking for. Call me cheap if you want; I'm going entirely by what my bank account tells me, and it's going to be pretty closemouthed for a while (times are tough). If you do know of something in that range, I'd love to see it. If you don't know of something in that range... well, we already know that the pickin's are slim, don't we? :) 

Second: I've also heard a lot of initial reactions along the lines of "new video card is needed" (this is the latest in a string of places where I'm throwing the questions up in the air and seeing what's coming down). On the other hand, I've also been told unequivocally that no matter how hot-stuff the video card is, a pokey processor is going to turn that dream video card into a statue. It's entirely possible that I misunderstood this point, though, and if someone has sound reasoning that upgrading the video card while leaving the aforementioned processor in place WILL improve performance, I'd be happy to see that, too.
March 31, 2008 5:28:35 PM

Err Umm...

"Computer: HP Pavilion a1330e. "

Dang.. just save up some more money man. That isn't worth touching anymore, not to mention the people here are thinking you have a MB with overclocking features, which main brands don't offer.
March 31, 2008 5:28:53 PM

ATi Radeon X1300Pro PCIe ...

Is not the video card the problem. That CPU still has some overclocking room.
March 31, 2008 5:41:22 PM

Grimmy said:
Err Umm...

"Computer: HP Pavilion a1330e. "

Dang.. just save up some more money man. That isn't worth touching anymore, not to mention the people here are thinking you have a MB with overclocking features, which main brands don't offer.


Again - no room to "just save up some more money". I have to work with what I've got, and that cushion is tiny. It's "worth touching" to me, because it's all I've got and I don't have the spare cash (and won't have any spare until sometime next year; as I said, times are VERY tight).

I don't mean to sound dismissive, but the money issue is absolutely nonnegotiable, and I was looking for SOME improvement within those boundaries. I can't go beyond them.

And keep in mind that I am NOT looking for top-of-the-line, bleeding-edge or even cutting-edge - I'm looking for "good enough". I'm not running a 32" monitor. I don't need to see everything in excruciatingly complete detail from a mile away in the game. I just want to do something that will improve my framerate, cut down on CPU resource consumption, at least reduce the occasional stuttering and make the game more playable. I don't have to have the BEST, just something better than what I have, because it's causing issues and I want those issues to be diminished as much as possible, within the budget that is actually available to me.

If that can't be done to any significant degree, if the only visible improvement can come from spending more than that budget, then I'll just have to suck it up. But if there IS some way to make it run more smoothly and with less stuttering that will cost in that price range, then I'd like to see it.

That's all I'm asking for. I realize that I'm working with Stone-Age equipment in the middle of folks who have George Jetson gear. I can't afford the Jetsons - period. Is there at least something from the Bronze Age?
March 31, 2008 5:43:50 PM

Oh wow. An X1300?!? Think the OP is barking up the wrong tree if he thinks it's the CPU.
March 31, 2008 5:50:22 PM

rodney_ws said:
Oh wow. An X1300?!? Think the OP is barking up the wrong tree if he thinks it's the CPU.


Then please enlighten me. People are telling me that my CPU is a chokepoint. It's running at 80-100% capacity in the game. How would improving the video card not then be like switching from a Corvette to a Lamborghini on city streets?

I genuinely don't know and would appreciate it if people could explain what the problem is and why; I've already talked it over with a number of people in that game, and they told me that CPU usage that high points to the CPU as being the main chokepoint. Are they wrong and why?
March 31, 2008 5:52:16 PM

piratepast40 said:
That machine originally only came with 512 meg of RAM so that's one area.
This person was able to overclock to 2.2: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/190028-29-overclocking-a1330e.

Not sure what you're trying to achieve by asking.


I'm not sure either, other than asking what I've already asked: how can this system deliver better performance within my budget?

FYI, the RAM is at 2G (4 x 512M).
March 31, 2008 5:58:35 PM

At one time, I saw a good explanation from someone who was getting tired of hearing the terms "choke point" and "throttled" when talking about CPU/GPU matching. I can't find it but think it would be a great idea for someone who really has their act together to come up with that again and make it a sticky. It would really help when someone has a question like this and then they can look at actual numbers.
March 31, 2008 6:16:23 PM

piratepast40 said:
At one time, I saw a good explanation from someone who was getting tired of hearing the terms "choke point" and "throttled" when talking about CPU/GPU matching. I can't find it but think it would be a great idea for someone who really has their act together to come up with that again and make it a sticky. It would really help when someone has a question like this and then they can look at actual numbers.


Exactly! I know next to nothing about this kind of thing; the only way I can understand it is with numbers and explanation of those numbers. The only reason I even have THIS computer is that I needed something capable of even playing the game (times weren't tough two years ago when I started). Before that, I didn't need a computer capable of doing anything more than simply surfing the net for my news and messageboards. And the way I found this computer was that I looked at the minimum system requirements, then looked at the recommended system specs and found something that was adequate (i.e., above the minima but not at the top recommendations).

Just goes to show that the old adage of "Those who can, do, while those who can't, teach" is 100% wrong - it takes something more than just skill to be able to EXPLAIN a thing to someone else so that they can not only use it but UNDERSTAND it. :) 
March 31, 2008 6:30:22 PM

OK, awhile back they tried using s939 to see what bottlenecks, or holding back a cpu would have on a graphics card. They used a FX60. It has the easy ability to overclock by using the multiplier. It comes as a 2.6 Ghz cpu, but can be slowed to whatever speed you desire. At the time, the 1900xtx was the best card out, they used different clock speeds. What they found was, that at 2.2 or higfher you really wouldnt see much advantage using a 1800xt or a 1900xtx. So, at 2.2 Ghz, the FX60 wasnt a bottleneck running at 2.2Ghz. Now your cpu runs at that speed. The ONLY difference is, you dont have anything near a 1900xtx nor a 1800xt for that matter. The best upgrade without a doubt would be a graphics card. Hope this helps
a c 87 à CPUs
March 31, 2008 6:40:49 PM

To figure out what you need to upgrade, you can change the settings and see what happens. (just looking at core usage isn't enough...)

Load your favorite game and using fraps, check what your frame rate is. Lets pretend that you get 60FPS at 1024x768. To see if its your CPU, drop the resolution, try running it at 800x600. Lets say you do this and the frame rate is now 65FPS. If the CPU was the bottleneck, then the frame rate should have gone up. While 65>60, it should have gone up more then this.

Next, go the other way. Try stressing the video card. Lets say you next try 1280x1024, and get 35FPS. Notice the much larger change in FPS? This put more stress on the video card, and the VC buckled. If you tested your system and got results similar to this, I would argue that you need a new video card in addition to your CPU.

As rodney suggested, you probably need a new video card. The 3500-4000+ (not counting the dual core 3800x2) are ok CPUs for gaming. (more like low end, but not there yet.) The x1300 is barely an entry level video card these days, and should not be used for any form of serious gaming. Getting a 3650 for ~$60-$75 would be a good use for your money.
March 31, 2008 6:42:29 PM

One of the problems is that there are so many variables that there probably isn't an equation that can cover everything. Yes you can increase performance, just remember, speed costs! In your case, you might be able to put a faster processor in but your board may not be able to power it. For example, an AMD 4000 is a 2.6ghz cpu and would definately increase your performance from your 2.0ghz chip but the board can only supply 1.4v (according to the above link) so you need to find out what the voltage ranges are for your proposed chip. I made that mistake myself with my laptop and found that without voltage adjustments in the bios I was very limited. It woulnd't run the 4000 that I bought because that stepping was a different voltage.

You've got a system that will only allow limited changes. It'll take quite a bit of work on your part to determine the components that will work and then to actually find those parts at a price you're willing to pay. That doesn't mean that it can't be done, but you've got one heck of a "pigs ear" to turn into a "silk purse".

March 31, 2008 6:51:30 PM

4745454b said:
To figure out what you need to upgrade, you can change the settings and see what happens. (just looking at core usage isn't enough...)

Load your favorite game and using fraps, check what your frame rate is. Lets pretend that you get 60FPS at 1024x768. To see if its your CPU, drop the resolution, try running it at 800x600. Lets say you do this and the frame rate is now 65FPS. If the CPU was the bottleneck, then the frame rate should have gone up. While 65>60, it should have gone up more then this.

Next, go the other way. Try stressing the video card. Lets say you next try 1280x1024, and get 35FPS. Notice the much larger change in FPS? This put more stress on the video card, and the VC buckled. If you tested your system and got results similar to this, I would argue that you need a new video card in addition to your CPU.

As rodney suggested, you probably need a new video card. The 3500-4000+ (not counting the dual core 3800x2) are ok CPUs for gaming. (more like low end, but not there yet.) The x1300 is barely an entry level video card these days, and should not be used for any form of serious gaming. Getting a 3650 for ~$60-$75 would be a good use for your money.


Actually, I've already tested it using a similar method. 1024x768 gets me anywhere from 20-60 fps; going up to 1280x1024 (my cheapo monitor's native resolution) drops that range by about 10. Going down is out of the question - the UI onscreen takes up too much space when I try 800x600. Does this info help?

Pirate, I don't want a silk purse. I want to turn my sow's ear into decent pork rinds LOL! But your expression points out exactly what I'm running up against - people seem to be thinking I want the silk purse (well, I DO, but I know I can't afford it any time soon at all), when all I want to do is to shore up that sow's ear.
March 31, 2008 7:02:49 PM

Heh.. I don't have bleeding edge system. I do have a decent system that can perform more then it was suppose ta.

If you have $100 bucks to spend, and you spend it on that HP.... Whelp then that's just $100 wasted. I remember I wanted to make my old gaming machine better. Wasted $90 bucks on a CPU, and another 200 bucks on the GPU. (P4 3.0 HT / 6800 GS agp)

I could have saved that 290 bucks on my newer system I have today, which can be upgraded to 8GB ram and Quad core CPU.
March 31, 2008 7:25:00 PM

I am no expert in the matter but I'll give you my advice nevertheless, RAM wise you should be ok as 2 gig is plenty enough for most games and day to day tasks.(specially if you use XP)

I would tend to agree with previous posters, you would certainly benefit from a more powerful graphic card. I am assuming that you graphic card is a PCI express. If that's the case than you could be looking for a 7600 GT or maybe a 2600 XT, if you can stretch your budget a bit than maybe a 1950 pro or a 8600 GTS. In any case, any of those GPU would prove to be a major improvement over what you're currently using. I would start there. As far as changing your CPU, socket 939 are hard to come by beside the optron family. Second hand market is probably you're best bet but high end 939 CPU are still sold for a steep price. Anyways the 3700 and 4000 San Diego are still decent CPU as they were top of the line single core CPU before the advent of multi core processor.



March 31, 2008 7:31:00 PM

Grimmy said:
Heh.. I don't have bleeding edge system. I do have a decent system that can perform more then it was suppose ta.

If you have $100 bucks to spend, and you spend it on that HP.... Whelp then that's just $100 wasted. I remember I wanted to make my old gaming machine better. Wasted $90 bucks on a CPU, and another 200 bucks on the GPU. (P4 3.0 HT / 6800 GS agp)

I could have saved that 290 bucks on my newer system I have today, which can be upgraded to 8GB ram and Quad core CPU.


But did your system perform better than it did before? If so, then judging by my needs in this thread, you succeeded.

The ONLY demanding use to which I intend to put this machine is to play DDO. And Turbine is working on REDUCING the game's demand on systems. I neither need nor want to be "future-proof" or anything like that; I only want to make it run this game better. Even if I had plenty of free-floating cash, I wouldn't waste it on something that's made to run something that MIGHT happen in the future - I just want to play THIS game. I've never played another PC game and have zero plans to play any other. Ever. So I don't need 8 gigs RAM. Nor a quad core. I need what I have now... plus something.

Lemme compare this to something else. My favorite car of all time was a 1980 Datsun 210. It was a loser by most people's standards, but the important part is that it did what I needed it to do (I'd probably still have it today if it hadn't been stolen and totaled by some jackhole who decided to take it offroading over railroad tracks LOL!). Whenever it had little problems, people would start railing at me, "Just get a new car! It's only money!" and suchlike. I neither wanted nor needed a new, different, bigger, badder car - I wanted that one, just running as well as it could.

And that's all I want to do with this computer - upgrade it a little bit, bringing it closer to my level of preference (which, again, seems to be a lot lower than people are suggesting it "should" be) within my means. Low expense, noticeable improvement, not higher expense and huge improvement - that's all.

Does this clear up my position? :) 
March 31, 2008 7:31:22 PM

Shecky said:
Actually, I've already tested it using a similar method. 1024x768 gets me anywhere from 20-60 fps; going up to 1280x1024 (my cheapo monitor's native resolution) drops that range by about 10. Going down is out of the question - the UI onscreen takes up too much space when I try 800x600. Does this info help?

Pirate, I don't want a silk purse. I want to turn my sow's ear into decent pork rinds LOL! But your expression points out exactly what I'm running up against - people seem to be thinking I want the silk purse (well, I DO, but I know I can't afford it any time soon at all), when all I want to do is to shore up that sow's ear.
That just proves one thing. You need a better graphics card. The lower the resolution, the harder the cpu has to work. The gpu has less to do, being as there is less pixels to have to fill. The cpu, on the otherhand, has to work harder, as the gpu is working faster with such a light load. As you increase your resolution, it reverses, the gpu has more pixels, thus more work, slowing it down, and allowing much more time for your cpu to keep up. Get a better gpu
March 31, 2008 7:34:34 PM

Can someone actually explain to me why and how a video card upgrade would be more beneficial than a CPU upgrade? I'd really like to actually understand this.
March 31, 2008 7:38:05 PM

JAYDEEJOHN said:
That just proves one thing. You need a better graphics card. The lower the resolution, the harder the cpu has to work. The gpu has less to do, being as there is less pixels to have to fill. The cpu, on the otherhand, has to work harder, as the gpu is working faster with such a light load. As you increase your resolution, it reverses, the gpu has more pixels, thus more work, slowing it down, and allowing much more time for your cpu to keep up. Get a better gpu


That's... so freaking counterintuitive that I can't even start to understand the reasons. Truly, no offense to your response (and thanks loads for stepping up - to EVERYONE), but I can't begin to understand the why and wherefore of all that. It just seems bass-ackwards; would you mind explaining?
March 31, 2008 7:50:20 PM

Shecky said:
But did your system perform better than it did before? If so, then judging by my needs in this thread, you succeeded.


Nope... not for Quake 4, perhaps some older games, not to mention when I got my 6800 GS, the cd driver were beta, and stayed beta for over 4 months (one of the things I was disappointed by nvidia). The only other thing I did was us a Q4 mod that make it easier on the GPU. :lol: 

Anyhoo... yes a better GPU can do wonders. But, if you insist on a better CPU.. good luck. Better for you to find out yourself perhaps. Hard to say what your MB will be able to use for an upgrade, and I wouldn't count too much on OC to get more performance.
a b à CPUs
March 31, 2008 7:56:55 PM

from the poster above, and something for you to think about. Your motherboard might not support a dual core processor, and if it doesn't, you might not be able to get a bios update for it. I have a 3700, and a 3200 single core processor left. You can play a lot on both of them. It's not the processor.

Stop fighting it. Your graphics card is crap. Also, if you don't have enough memory in your system, that would be another thing to think about.
March 31, 2008 7:57:48 PM

OK, lets make this simple. If your graphics has 4 pixels to light up, itll do it easier than 8. Less work. Now, the cpu works together with the gpu, and has its own responses to deal with. OK, at 4, the cpu has the same amount of work as at 8, BUT, since the gpu works faster at 4 than at 8, being there is less to do, the cpu has to work faster to keep up with its responses. Gte it?
March 31, 2008 8:01:56 PM

Shecky,

I was in a similar boat to you a while back and believe me, the video card is the way to go. When I built my current rig back in '05 I started out with a 3700+, 2 gigs of DDR-400, and a 6600GT. Not too far off from where you are now. I later upgraded to an 4200+X2, which helped when multitasking (i.e. encoding a DVD while gaming) but did nothing as far as gaming performance. Later on I bought a used x1950Pro off of ebay for $65 and it made a HUGE difference in games. Even now I can still play all but the very latest games at decent settings. I would definately encourage you to take a similar route. There is no way your CPU is going to limit a GPU unless you are talking about one of the current high end GPUs, which would be outside of your price range anyways.

One thing I should mention though is that your current power supply probably won't be able to handle even a lower midrange video card. The power supplies included with OEM computers are typically of marginal quality at best. You may want to look at investing that $100 in a decent power supply in the 400-500W range. I know that won't help your performance now, but it will allow you to upgrade to a much better video card when you have that next $75-$100 saved up.
March 31, 2008 8:06:18 PM

Honestly, jay, no. I don't get it. By that reasoning, I would have BETTER performance at HIGHER resolutions. The logic just doesn't follow. What am I missing here?

Grimmy, I'm not "insisting". I'm trying to resolve absolutely conflicting advice from two different camps, which is why I'm asking people to explain - I can't learn until I understand, right?

Swifty, see above.
March 31, 2008 8:09:45 PM

Just_An_Engineer said:
Shecky,

I was in a similar boat to you a while back and believe me, the video card is the way to go. When I built my current rig back in '05 I started out with a 3700+, 2 gigs of DDR-400, and a 6600GT. Not too far off from where you are now. I later upgraded to an 4200+X2, which helped when multitasking (i.e. encoding a DVD while gaming) but did nothing as far as gaming performance. Later on I bought a used x1950Pro off of ebay for $65 and it made a HUGE difference in games. Even now I can still play all but the very latest games at decent settings. I would definately encourage you to take a similar route. There is no way your CPU is going to limit a GPU unless you are talking about one of the current high end GPUs, which would be outside of your price range anyways.

One thing I should mention though is that your current power supply probably won't be able to handle even a lower midrange video card. The power supplies included with OEM computers are typically of marginal quality at best. You may want to look at investing that $100 in a decent power supply in the 400-500W range. I know that won't help your performance now, but it will allow you to upgrade to a much better video card when you have that next $75-$100 saved up.


Thanks for the informative, friendly response!

FYI, I've got a 600W power supply in there - had to upgrade when I got the video card to replace the integrated one.
March 31, 2008 8:16:51 PM

Shecky said:
Honestly, jay, no. I don't get it. By that reasoning, I would have BETTER performance at HIGHER resolutions. The logic just doesn't follow. What am I missing here?

Grimmy, I'm not "insisting". I'm trying to resolve absolutely conflicting advice from two different camps, which is why I'm asking people to explain - I can't learn until I understand, right?

Swifty, see above.
Only if your gpu could keep up. 8 being greater than 4 etc. The cpus load doesnt increase, only the gpus. So, by lowering your resolution, youre effectively putting more stress on the cpu, as the gpus load is less and produces more frames per second. The cpu has as much to do as always, just less time to do it in. When you increase the resolution, the gpu has much more of a load, slowing it down, while the cpu has an easy time keeping up with it, being its slowed down
March 31, 2008 8:20:02 PM

Quote:
Thanks for the informative, friendly response!

FYI, I've got a 600W power supply in there - had to upgrade when I got the video card to replace the integrated one.


You should be good then. You can pick up one of the previous generation cards (i.e 7800GT, x1950Pro, x1950xt) for less than $100 off of ebay. This will be a huge improvement, believe me. I used to encounter stuttering with my 6600GT whenever I played above 1024x768 but with the x1950Pro I can play most games at 1280x1040 and high settings without a problem. (caveat: most of my games are 1+ years old)

I'm only using a 480W PSU and it is able to power my x1950Pro as well as my memory an 4 HD's without any problem so your 600W PSU should have no problems providing that the 12V rail amperage is sufficient. I think the recommended amperage for the x1950Pro is 30A. Not sure about the other cards I mentioned but they are probably in the same ballpark.

Good luck!
March 31, 2008 8:55:10 PM

What jaydeejohn is saying is basically true, though hes not necessarily explaining as clearly as it could be. Basically, increasing the resolution makes more work for your video card, but the cpu workload hardly changes. Seeing big fps drops when moving up in resolution is a sign that you're limited by your card.

On the other hand, if you could go from 800x600 to 1024x768 with no/minor fps changes that would mean your video card can finish rendering a frame so quickly, that it has to wait for the cpu to give it the data needed to render the next one.
March 31, 2008 9:22:17 PM

What I would do to help you visually see what a better video card can do is. Call a friend that has a better PCIe video card than you and ask him if you can try it out on your computer.

Try it out if you dont like the performance increase then you are pretty much stuck.

Just a thought.
March 31, 2008 9:23:22 PM

Graphics card is the way to go... I had the a64 3700+ with a 9800 pro then went to the x800pro and was unhappy with that then went to the 7800gt which I still have with a X2 5200 am2, 2gigs of ram. I can run most everything with my native res of 1440x900

when I added the 7800gt to the 3700 I saw some nice fps...

I'm sure if you added the ati 3650 you would see some great improvement

Usually with each cpu I have. I would go through like 3 gpu upgrades before I would get a new cpu

Get the gpu cause you can take that to a new system if you ever get the spare cash to get a new setup

also the pcie 2.0 is backwards compatible with pcie 1 so if the card is 2.0 able its can also use the old pcie too :sol: 
March 31, 2008 10:18:46 PM

To the OP: In your post you state: "(Dungeons & Dragons Online - a very graphics-intensive game)." Your own statement should give you some clue that you need a better video card! These articles show that you can get substantial gains with a good video card upgrade even if you have an older system with AGP (this also applies to PCIe):
part 1
http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/01/10/agp-platform-ana...
part2
http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/02/01/agp-platform-ana...
March 31, 2008 10:42:18 PM

upgrading to 3850 might require an upgrade to PSU, don't forget. Need to check that. X1300s don't use PCI-E connectors so the new PSU might not have one.

a b à CPUs
March 31, 2008 11:04:11 PM

Basically, your CPU is near max, however I can almost guarantee your GPU is @ 150%. I have the X1400 in my laptop (basically the same as yours) and it gets beaten by today's integrated.

Your 3700+ isn't the issue. I used my 3800+ @2.6 for many games more intensive than that and it worked fine. I hope everything works out for you.
April 1, 2008 12:13:32 AM

Recommended System Requirements: For Dungeons and Dragons online.
---
Processor: Intel Pentium 4 3.0 GHz or compatible (must support SSE)
Video: Geforce FX or Radeon 9800 or better with 128MB
RAM: 1 GB or more
Disk Space: 3GB, 5GB for High Resoultion
DirectX: DX9c+
OS: Windows XP

High Res System Specs Processor: Intel Pentium 4 3.0 GHz or compatible (must support SSE)
Video: Radeon X800 or GeForce 6 6800 GT
RAM: 1 GB or more
Disk Space: 5GB DirectX: DX9c+ OS: Windows XP Home and Pro


Looks to me that your are lacking in the GPU department like most people have been saying.


This card is $120.00 after rebate. That is a steal. And it will still be a decent video card when you decide to do your next upgrade. Just make sure you have a pci express slot and a power supply that can handle it.


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If not the ATI 3850 256mb cards are going for right around 100-110 bucks.

You also have to make sure the video card will fit in the case ie (is there enough room) not sure how big your case is.
April 1, 2008 1:12:04 AM

JAYDEEJOHN said:
Only if your gpu could keep up. 8 being greater than 4 etc. The cpus load doesnt increase, only the gpus. So, by lowering your resolution, youre effectively putting more stress on the cpu, as the gpus load is less and produces more frames per second. The cpu has as much to do as always, just less time to do it in. When you increase the resolution, the gpu has much more of a load, slowing it down, while the cpu has an easy time keeping up with it, being its slowed down


Ahh, I think I get it now! Thanks for the explanation!

Let me see if I have this right: a better GPU handles higher resolutions well AND takes load off the CPU. One question, though - if a better GPU handles more intensive resolutions better, it'll produce more frames per second, right? And wouldn't that require a better CPU to handle the increased stress on it? In other words, it takes both together to raise performance? I just want to be clear so I can make an informed decision; if upgrading one and not the other runs the risk of throwing an investment away, where's the breaking point (i.e., how far CAN I upgrade one before we hit the point of diminishing returns)?

I'm beginning to see where you guys are coming from in pushing the GPU, and thanks again for bearing with me this far. Further suggestions on what PCIe card would fit the bill would be appreciated. :) 
April 1, 2008 1:20:37 AM

Okay, I didn't see the second page - holy crap, is the help pouring out or what???

Got my suggestions before I even asked for 'em. :) 

One more question before I surrender... As I said, to minimize my own personal confusion, I'd prefer to stick with ATi GPUs (one thing I've been told definitively is that HPs are generally made to work best with ATis - correct this if it's wrong, please). What can you tell me about the advantages/disadvantages of the different ATi GPU product lines (e.g., x1k, HD 2k, HD 3k, etc.)? How do they compare to each other and which one comes out with the best bang for the buck?

Damn glad I came by here!
!