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Worth Upgrading?

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July 20, 2004 12:53:23 AM

Hi,

I've got a growing old 1.333GHZ Athlon XP in a GA-DX7 motherboard. I don't have much money to spend (College ;)  ) but have 100 bucks lying around for a cheap upgrade. My motherboard supports up to the XP 2600+ (266MHZ FSB) which I can grab for about 70 bucks. Any opinions on wether or not this is worth it? I do a lot of gaming and I realize Doom 3 won't leave me either way, but I play mostly RPG's anyway. I've got a 1024 RAM so not worth buying any more of that. Thanks!

More about : worth upgrading

July 20, 2004 1:22:31 AM

I personally don't think so. I went from a 1000tbird to a 2400+, but I didn't really notice too much of a difference. It might help a bit with AI in some of the FPS games but that's it.

If I remember correctly NWN is solely GPU dependent.

<i><font color=blue>Edited by Scamtron on 10/11/01 09:58 PM
July 20, 2004 2:25:07 AM

Yeah I was thinking it might just push past the playable/unplayable border for games like World of Warcraft.. hopefully in a year or so I can get a whole new rig ;) 
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July 20, 2004 4:48:44 AM

I went from an xp1800+ to an xp2400+ and saw a lot of difference in Jedi 2. Looks like a great upgrade to me.
July 20, 2004 6:56:23 AM

What’s your video card?

I personally would go with an XP-M chip. With your next system you could use the same chip, overclock the hell out of it and get something in the range of a 3200 (pretty much garenteeed. Only a few chips don’t). If you wanted to overclock.

2500 XP-M 45 watt oem
88

2600 XP-M 45 watt oem
95

both at newegg. And I do believe that you would get a nice performance difference.

The free way out.
update all of your drives (if you don’t all ready)
Check for hard disk errors (chkdsk)
Delete everything in your temp directories
Check for spyware (adware, spybot)
And defrag

Doing that will give you some performance increase


Main System Specs
AMD Athlon64 3200
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ATI Radeon 9800XT
Kingston Hyperx 1GB
SB Audigy
SATA150 TX2plus
WD740GD
Samsung 172X
July 20, 2004 4:13:19 PM

I have a GeForce3 (64mb)... while certainly it could use an upgrade I think for the 100 dollar range the CPU upgrade would do more then a video card, can't get much for 100 in terms of video cards.

I'm pretty sure my motherboard (GA-7DX) doesn't support an XP-M although I could certainly be wrong?

The other question I have is that websites keep saying if your upgrading from an old XP model you should get a new fan and heatsint or you might have heating issues. Is this just them trying to sell me stuff or is this good advice?

Thanks!
July 20, 2004 5:25:32 PM

Quote:
I'm pretty sure my motherboard (GA-7DX) doesn't support an XP-M although I could certainly be wrong?

If your MB supports Barton core, it will support XP-M. The Athlon XP-M are exactly the same as normal XP except they need less power and they are unlocked. You can manually change your multiplier via the BIOS.

Quote:
The other question I have is that websites keep saying if your upgrading
from an old XP model you should get a new fan and heatsint or you might have heating issues. Is this just them trying to sell me stuff or is this good advice?

If you get a BOXED Athlon XP, it comes with a decent heatsink and fan, so you don't have to worry unless you overclock like mad! The stock heatsink/fan is enough for moederate overclocking.

--
It's tricky to use words like <b><font color=green>AMD</font color=green></b> or <b><font color=blue>Intel</font color=blue></b> in a signature some users could think your are biased.
July 20, 2004 6:04:45 PM

I'd do it.. sounds like a worthwhile upgrade to me. You'd be nearly doubling cpu performance which should really make a difference, especially with RPG's. Save up another $50 or so and add the remainder of your cpu budget to buy a Radeon 9600 class GPU later on, and you should be able to play just about any game if you do not insist on highest graphic resolutions/detail settings. A good game should be fun at 800x600 with medium settings as well, otherwise, it aint a good game. But very few games are fun at 5 FPS :) 


= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
July 20, 2004 8:16:08 PM

At the risk of sounding completly foolish there's a couple other questions that I have. On my motherboards website that lists compatability

<A HREF="http://www.giga-byte.com/Motherboard/Support/CPUSupport... " target="_new">http://www.giga-byte.com/Motherboard/Support/CPUSupport... </A>

They simply say AthlonXP 2600 XP+ OK! However I've heard there are multiple versions of the 2600 XP+. For example on NewEgg

<A HREF="http:// http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?descripti... " target="_new">http:// http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?descripti... </A>

There is a mobile version listed as the Barton chipset. Newegg also has a "retail" version which from the post above I assume is the same thing just not unlocked. In contrast other websites

<A HREF="http:// http://www.smksuperstore.com/catalog/viewitem.asp?ID=73... " target="_new">http:// http://www.smksuperstore.com/catalog/viewitem.asp?ID=73... </A>

List the "QuantiSpeed" architecture and have no mention of Barton. Is this just a fancy word for the Barton chipset? Also, does anyone familiar with NewEgg know if that above link would be considered "boxed" and include a fan/heat sink?

EDIT: I found a website that listed the Barton core and "Quantispeed Architecture" so that appears to answer my question in that they are not mutually exclusive and these are probably the same chip.



Thanks Alot


<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Niroth on 07/20/04 04:39 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
July 20, 2004 9:21:09 PM

>They simply say AthlonXP 2600 XP+ OK! However I've heard
>there are multiple versions of the 2600 XP+

Yes, you need one with a 266 FSB, but there are also 333 Mhz FSB versions (most are I think) XP 2600+ /266 MHz FSB is not Barton however, if I'm not mistaken that is a Tbred (someone else correct me if I'm wrong). Most are 2600+ 2.083 GHz, 333 MHz FSB, 256Kb, Tbred *I think*. You may have a hard time finding a 266 one.. (what clock does it run anyway ?)

A mobile barton is unlocked, so you can choose whatever mulitplier and FSB you like, and it will most likely work in your board. I've not heard of (m)any cases where a Barton didnt work and a Tbred did for other reasons than FSB speed. An issue might be the maximum multiplier though.. If your board is limited to 12.5 (very well possible), you'd not get beyond 1.66 GHz, which is more like a 2200+ or something.

I guess I'm not much help.. look for a 2600+/266 if you can find one, otherwise, I'll let someone else help ya :) 

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
July 21, 2004 2:47:43 AM

Hmm you could be right, its probably thuroughbred... I know the XP-M's are listed at Barton but then again, those could all have the 333 FSB. I've found the 266 at a few places on pricewatch (one of which a friend has ordered from before, so i'll go with that one ;)  ) and the 266 FSB runs at 2.13GH, just an FYI.
!