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Upgrade, which cpu/video?

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May 9, 2004 9:31:42 AM

So, I have an amd athlon 1.4 with an asus a7v133a and 1gig sdram. I have the cpu clocked to 1540/140fsb. It runs pretty good, except the only thing I want from an upgrade is much better fps in battlefield: vietnam and other games in general (usually around 30-90 with the minimum dip being 25, average being around 40-50). I have a radeon 8500 64. For games I guess the easiest thing would be to just upgrade my video card on this system, but will the sdram, 1540 proc. hinder performance of say a 9600/9700? Getting a new mobo/cpu/ram is really last resort as I'll have to reinstall everything, transfer everything, one big pain in the ass (lots of progs), with a vid. card I can just replace. If it's another ATI card I don't even have to reinstall the drivers correct? How much of an increase would I see going from the 8500 to a more current ati card? I'm on a tight college budget... what would people here reccomend?

More about : upgrade cpu video

May 9, 2004 2:06:47 PM

I think 9800se is the right choice.
May 9, 2004 2:13:11 PM

9800SEs don't have a good performance/price ratio, and the 9600XT and Pro will probably perform better.

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May 9, 2004 10:41:39 PM

9800SE is nearly never the right choice. The officially standard card is slower than the 9600 Pro, consumes more power, and cost more. Boom bang bling, negatives on all fronts. The Power Color vesion is a bit better with it's non-official 256-bit memory bus, but not enough to validate the card as a great choice. A HACKED Power Color card would be elite, but the hack usually results in a card with rendering glitches.

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May 10, 2004 3:38:00 AM

Going to a 9600 pro will help alot in some games, and little or none in others. It depends on what game and what settings you play at as to if it is more CPU limited or gpu limited. Old test, but look at <A HREF="http://www20.tomshardware.com/graphic/20030120/vgachart..." target="_new">Tom's VGA chart II</A>, some games like jedi knight, the R8500 scores just as well as a R9700pro when on a slower system, in others like UT2003, there is a bigger difference. I think it will be a nice improvement for you overall, just don't expect too much in all games. You will also be getting a DX9 card, although your system might not let you fully enjoy the extra eye candy.



ABIT IS7, P4 2.6C, 512MB Corsair TwinX PC3200LL, Radeon 9800 Pro, Santa Cruz, TruePower 430watt
May 10, 2004 4:42:11 AM

Many people see 1400 and think xp1400+. What you are running is at least an xp1800+. The cpu will be less of a bottleneck than they think. Sure, you will take a hit in halo, but who doesn't.
Get a 9800np or pro. They are great performers, at a resonable price. Just dont get xt cards or the 256meg cards. True, you will have a cpu bottleneck in some games, but then you can still get some nice eyecandy.
May 10, 2004 7:06:02 AM

>Many people see 1400 and think xp1400+. What you are
>running is at least an xp1800+

Have to disagree here. An XP1500+ really was faster than a 1400 Tbird in spite of its lower clock. His cpu wouldnt perform like a 1800+ in any app. It doesnt have the prefetch, nor SSE. Confusing TB 1400 with a "1400+" really isnt much of a mistake. For many apps (especially games using SSE) it would in fact be closer to a XP 1300+ or 1200+.

I would advice against a GPU only upgrade, and consider a faster a cpu if his board allows it (XP2400+ or something) as well as a GPU (9600XT/Pro) is he can spare the cash. I doubt upgrading his GPU only will yield significant ROI.

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
May 10, 2004 10:51:16 AM

Well, Tbird maybe will be on par with equal or even higher versions of XP+ versions, but here also the memory/chipset are playing a role, not helping at all.

But as everyone say, IMO a 1540Mhz Tbird should be able to benefit with a new 9600Pro/XT for sure. ATI 8500 was a good card, but it's showing its age.


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May 10, 2004 11:05:52 AM

I went from a Tbird 1000 @ 1400 on KT133A to a XP1800+ on nForce1. I assure you the difference was rather big in games, and that was with a GF2 Pro.

Anyway, to the original poster: try running your games in 640x480 (eliminating the GPU as bottleneck). If they are fluent, go ahead and upgrade your videocard. If they are not (what I assume), don't bother without upgrading your cpu (mb/memory) as well, cause you'd be throwing money in the water. If they are just as slow as on 1024x786 or whatever res you play, consider keeping the GPU, and just upgrading cpu (+motherboard&DDR)

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
May 12, 2004 2:07:59 AM

Just bought a 9700 pro, should be more than happy.
!