Hey everyone. I know this type of thread is common, and I've scanned the archives, but I can't seem to find any threads that are specific enough for me to get a solid idea about my machine. I'd just like to get some advice and feedback about my upgrade plan. Here's what my system will look like after I upgrade.
* = new component
Antec Lanboy aluminum case w/350w PSU*
MSI K7N2-L nForce2 motherboard*
AMD Athlon XP 2400+ (2.00GHz)*
512Mb (2x 256Mb) PC2100 DDR RAM
IBM 4OGXP 40GB hard drive
ATI Radeon 9500 Pro 128Mb*
Viewsonic E790B 19" monitor
UPGRADE COST: ~ $630
I was looking at the Barton 2500, but I've heard extremely mixed opinions of it, and I think it'd be best to play it safe and just stick with the 2400+. If I go with the Barton, I'll have to buy some PC2700 DDR, and the cost of my upgrades will go up about $130. Is the 66MHz FSB jump really worth the extra cash?
Basically what I'm aiming for is a rig that will run all of this year's games well at no less than 1024x768x32bpp, yet won't force me to start selling organs/drugs/souls to pay for it. However, I don't mind spending an extra $150 or so if it will yield a substantial and noticable performance increase that will delay my next upgrade several months.
So what do you guys think? Think anything needs to be tweaked, or am I good to go? Many thanks in advance for the feedback.
I would say that you're pretty set to go. However if you're looking for a gaming machine then maybe spending a little more on the video card would be a novel idea. Not that the 9500 Pro is bad, but you could up that to a 9700 Pro or even wait a few and get a 9800 Pro. Or heck, just wait a few and get a 9600 Pro if the 9700/9800 is too much for you.
<font color=blue><pre>If you don't give me accurate and complete system specs
then I can't give you an accurate and complete answer.</pre><p></font color=blue>
If you are running an Nforce2 motherboard, you really want to be running Dual DDR-RAM. Preferably a matched pair of 333MHz Corsair TWINX XMS Low Latency RAM. Humungo difference between that and plain jane PC2100 DDR RAM! When run with a 333MHz CPU it would run syncrhonous and would be a screamer.
Yeah, I'm not going to buy 333MHz RAM if I don't have a CPU with a matching FSB. Is it worth the extra cash though? I've got an AMD Thunderbird 1.4GHz right now, and I have no major qualms about the performance of Windows apps (including Photoshop), so my primary interest is going to be gaming. But I don't think that just another 10-15fps in UT2003 is worth an extra $130.
As for a video card; I'm still considering buying a faster Radeon than the 9500. The 9700 is out, because it's twice as much as the 9500, and only 10-20% faster. Not a good deal in my opinion. However, I an very interested in seeing what the 9600 has to offer. Fortunately, I won't be upgrading for at least another two weeks, and the word 'round the 'net is that the 9600 Pro will be available by then. It's definitely an option.
How's the rest of the stuff sound to you guys? I'm also wondering if maybe I should be an OEM CPU and get a third-party heatsink/fan combo. I won't be overclocking my CPU, that's for sure. Any suggestions? Thanks again.
The Lanboy case only has room for one 8cm fan at the front and one at the rear, but that's all I have in my case now, and my Thunderbird is running very stable at about 55 degrees Celsius. I've also heard that the Thoroughbred B runs much cooler than the Thunderbird. I'm also going to be swapping my Sunon fans for some Antec UV fans, and the Lanboy is an aluminum case, which should cool things down even further. Will this setup provide adequate cooling for a non-overclocked CPU?
What do you guys think of a Barton setup with some 333MHz DDR? Is it worth the extra cash? Thanks for all the responses so far, I really appreciate it.
I just upgraded my own system. I already was running a MSI kt3ultra-aru board. The board is about 8 months old, supports 333 ddr, but not on the fsb and not on all the ports.
I put in a xp2400, was already running 512 of ram, and moved it into an Antec SLK3700AMB case.
I would definitely suggest just buying the retail processor if you're not overclocking or planning to. My system runs at 40 c with only the stock 120 mm case fan from the antec case and the retail hsf.
You might look into an 8x agp ti4200, I'm not an ATI fan and biased to nVidia.
Checking Pricewatch can be your best friend. The 2400+ can be had at newegg (first reputable dealer I know going down the pricewatch list) for $136 retail, and the Barton 2500+ for $173 retail at googlegear (which is also fairly reputable as far as I know). Whether the 2500+ is worth an extra $37 is harder to tell, though. It's your decision there.
<font color=red>The all new GeForce FX-</font color=red>
<font color=blue>The only factory-overclocked vacuum cleaner, complete with upholstery attachment!!!</font color=blue>
slvr_phoenix: Nope, just some good ol' perpetuation.
Well, based on the feedback I've gotten from everyone, it sounds like I'm on the right track with my upgrade plan. I don't think I'll be going with the Barton setup, as it won't really net any significant performance increases over an Athlon XP 2400+ with PC2100 DDR. I suppose now, all I'm looking for is some benchmarks of the Radeon 9600 vs the 9500. Let us all hope we see those soon, hehe.
Thanks again for the feedback, guys. I really appreciate it.