Hi all, this is my first post to Tomshardware.com, so be cool. I'm pretty computer illiterate but easily teachable.
I have a Dell Dimension XPS R350, w/a PII 350, 128 Mb SDRAM, and a Diamond Viper V770 Ultra 32 mb video card. These are the only upgrades I've made to the original computer.
I want to improve my GAMING!!!! I've talked to some people from the dell forums about this subject and I wanted to get some of your expert advice as well. It is obvious that I need a cpu upgrade. Which one I get will depend on you guys. My mobo can handle an upgrade to a PIII 1 GHz. Some people have been really big on the hard drive/controller card combo upgrade as well. This is pretty new to me. I have a generic 8.4 GB, 5400 rpm, 33 mbs speed drive now. Ancient, I know. Any ways, I want to know what you guys think.
My question is: In order of priorities, what should be my upgrade schedule to improve my gaming??? For example, one guy wrote me and said, 1) CPU, 2) Video card upgrade, and 3)Hard drive/controller card combo. Others are really big on the hard drive/controller card combo upgrade first. What do you guys think???
You order is good but more memory would also help! Make sure you buy a slot card with a jumper to force the FSB to 133 and then only buy a PIII 700. Most people can get 933 out of it. With a Dell who knows if you will but it will still be 2x faster. If your MB does not support 133 fsb you could get a Celeron 600 and OC to 900. I have done this one my self.
May 18, 2001 8:04:39 PM
I'd say the order is better like 1) Video card upgrade, 2) CPU, 3) Hard drive/controller. Although 1 and 2 cost about the same, usually you also have to upgrade the mobo and probably the memory with the CPU-- I'm having trouble believing you can take out your PII and slip in a PIII, what with voltage changes and bus speeds and all that.
I recently upgraded my video to an ATI Radeon (from a Voodoo2) for $200, and it makes a <b>world</b> of difference. My system is a PII-400, similar to yours. It plays Serious Sam smoothly now, and with better colors and detail. QuakeII I can play at 1600x1200 smoothly; I was surprised. I never got more than 800x600 before, a limitation of the Voodoo2.
The hard drive will make the most difference in load and save times but not much else. I have a SCSI subsystem, which makes for very fast load times, but that's probably more than you'll want to invest ($300 for controller, $500 for 36GB, etc.) You'll get snappier loads from a 7200RPM IDE drive, and you'll pay $300-500 for 60GB.
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May 19, 2001 11:45:03 PM
I'd say ditch the whole thing and keep the video card ...
Your video card( If I remember it correctly) is not that bad ...
The problem is in your motherboard and CPU and the whole d@mn system. First of all .. the 128 MB SDRAM .. On pentium2, SDrams only went as far as 66Mhz, you need to ditch that ... Moreover, with 128M of memory, you'll need a lot of drive access, so your hard drive will slow you down 80%of the time.
As for the CPU ... it's up to you, but I say you need to upgrade it also.