Upgrade Questions

First time poster - got a few questions I hope I can get some help with. My system is pretty much for games and checking email.. that's all.

P4 2.26 533fsb
Intel d845EBG2L ddr 533fsb
768 pc2100 ddr
Geforce 4 4400ti AGP (8x?)
60 gig 7200 maxtor hdd

1. Is it of any benefit to add an IDE HDD to this system and install only games to that drive to improve speed and performance? Games I play are Halflife 2, Doom 3, World of Warcraft.

I have 2 IDE connectors on my MB. The primary IDE connector has only my primary HDD on it, but it has an empty connection on that cable so an IDE device could be added. The secondary IDE connector has only my CDrom on it and also has an empty connection on that cable so another IDE device could be added there as well.

If I get a 40 gig hdd for games only, how should I setup my IDE devices to benefit the faster data access? Do both HDDs need to be on one IDE cable, or seperate? Is there even a benefit? What about buffer size on the HDD? My current buffer is like 512k or something... Are the 2 mb buffer drives going to make that better of a difference?


2. I have been using the onboard sound on my MB since I built this PC and was wondering if getting a PCI soundcard would help game performance. A few people have said that it should free up the CPU a little bit. Any opinions on this? Might pickup a $30 SB card if that will help.


3. Also, I have 200-300 bucks to spend on as new video card. I am currently running a GeForce 4 4400ti on a P4 2.26 533fsb and 768mb 2100 ram. Are there any worthwhile cards in that price range that will give a noticable improvement to WoW and other 3d games as well... HL2? IF there are, can you recommend any manufacturers of cards? I do prefer the nvidia cards though.

I currently like the 6600GT AGP card. Around $225 and seems decent. Any thoughts?

Thanks in advance for your help.
8 answers Last reply
More about upgrade questions
  1. I would skip the hardrive, and go with an 865pe board. They're pretty cheap now, and have agp 8x support for a newer video card. Some are as low as $50. Check pricewatch.
  2. Ok.. checked stats and the 845 board only supports up to 4x agp... so yeah, an 865 board will be required for the video card. Will my ram and cpu transfer to the new board ok? And with the new board will there be any benefit to adding a hdd to run games off of?

  3. No, you don't need a new board to support an AGP8x video card, all are AGP4x compatable. Yes your old parts will fit a new board.

    If you don't plan on overclocking (ever) I suggest the Gigabyte GA-8ISXT-FS, it's an OEM board for Fujitsu-Seimens PC's that's top quality, full-featured, and dirt cheap (these boards are surplus, and all over the market, google them).

    I'd probably want to overclock that CPU though, so I'd get an Abit IS7.

    But you don't need either of those.

    <font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
    <font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
  4. Thanks for the answers.

    Why did the other person recommend a new MB? What is it going to do to benefit me? If I don't have to replace my MB I would rather not because of cost.... you know how it goes, a new MB will accept faster ram so I will feel compelled to upgrade that too. Replacing the MB, Sound card, video card and ram is just about like buying a new system.

    Will putting an 8xAGP card into the 4x slot decrease performance?
  5. You won't have to change memory to use the 865 board with your current cpu. My msi board has memory settings of 266, 333, and 400. I use 333 for overclocking. The newer board will give you more benefit than a newer hardrive, and will also give you sata support, in case you want to try one of the new sata drives. There's one version of the nvidia 6800 that's $249. I'll try to find the link.
  6. You could get a performance gain by going dual-channel, the cheap board I suggested would allow that but only if you have a matched pair of memory modules. There's a performance advantage, but it's not anything close to a "requirement", and probably not worth the money if you don't already have a matched pair of modules.

    As for the AGP8x card on a 4x slot, the performance difference there is too small to be noticable.

    <font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
    <font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
  7. If I decide not to change the MB (because that's more work than I want) which of these cards will work best?



    Thanks very much, folks.
  8. That 6800 really is a Lame Edition. Normally I would say get the gt, but I dont realy like chaintech graphics cards. Check with the guys in the graphics forum, they are pretty good.
    The big problem you have, is that your current setup is so well balanced, as soon as you change anything, you create a bottleneck.
    After you get the graphics card, you will need a new mobo. You may be able to rest there a while if you oc your chip, and ram.
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