I'm thinking about doing an upgrade on my computer. The max I want to spend is $300. I use my computer mainly for browsing the internet, video encoding, and LIGHT gaming (like the original UT, or new games on low settings).
Here are my current specs:
Athlon XP 2200 rev.A throughbred
Asus A7V333 (via kt333)
512MB DDR333 Corsair XMS memory
Leadtek GeForce4 Ti4600
Enermax 350Watt Power Supply
NEC-3500a DVD burner
Creative Audigy XGamer
3Com Ethernet Adapter Card
Leadtek TV2000 Expert Tv Tuner
2 * Maxtor DiamondMax Plus D740X 60 GB Hard Drive
So...the system is kind of aging, and I thought now might be a good time to start upgrading with the prices that are out there (what do you think?).
Since it seems like every part of my computer is obsolete (processor, platform, gfx interface), I was thinking about doing the following, then saving up monies for a better graphics card in a year or two from now:
You are really going to get nailed on that graphics card.
I would rate it on par with a 4200. Suffer a little longer, until you can afford at least a 6600GT. (maybe an x700pro if they are a lot cheaper where you live)
You will probably get worse framerates than you are getting now.
Any of the 300 series graphics cards are only good enough for 2D stuff. They are fine for word or excel, but to go from a 4600? I sure wouldn't.
The 6600GT was originally released at $400+. The prices seem to have come down a bit already. The lowest you should ever consider going is the <A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681..." target="_new">x600pro</A>. Dont believe me though, just check in the graphics forum. Those guys know graphics cards.
Your second choice is even worse. It has a 64 bit memory bus instead of the 128 bit bus.
Your 4600 is a better card than both of the 2 you have mentioned. They are newer and DX9 compatable. But at the same time are too slow to show the DX9 effects at reasonable frame rates. So they would be slower than the 4600 in almost all games.
A good mobo and CPU won't let you enough money to buy the video card, try to save a little more money, because I would say to get a socket 939 mobo for upgradeability but then you'll have to buy the PCIe card if you buy one of the good mobos, (DFI, Epox nforce 4 ultra chipset).
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I would go for the eVGA card but if you are a very light gamer the 9800pro is great for you and saves you some dough to save up for the more expsensive upgrade to socket939 and such.
This isn't the greatest setup of all time but the upgraded CPU and GPU should carry you on lowest settings on everything for a year or two.
As a side note, if you go with the 9800pro, get a 512dimm of PC2700 RAM to throw in there. It will help with surfing speed greatly and it wont hurt in games either.
It's $307shipped....and this will be faster then what i listed above. If you have this and then in a couple months save up 80bucks for 1GB value RAM this will be way faster then what you have now. and also with this, you have a lot more upgrade options then keeping your Socket A board......Granted you have limited options for upgrades for GPU and CPU which to most of us seems weird to go this route and limit yourself. but you can always get to the 3700+ for CPU and a 850XT PE and with those two upgrades you could run all games at highest res settings. So you do have options down the road with this setup and you can keep that low-end websurfing and light gaming computer rockin for another 2-3years with minor upgrades.
I'm really just doing fine with my current graphics card (geforce4 ti4600), performance-wise in the games I play. (Though the fan is getting noisy and might be dying). I use my computer more for video encoding than for game playing.
My motivation to upgrade now was that I thought prices were relatively low for the new platform (939) on the motherboard and processor front, and at the moment I have saved up some money. Please correct me if you think I might be able to get a better value at some point before the end of this summer!
With that said, I'm not sure I really want to upgrade to 754 or really need graphics on the 6600gt order. I'm just looking to upgrade the processor while retaining the same level of graphics performance and getting better future-proofing. I've looked into the ATI integrated graphics option, and I think the southbridge is a little lacking compared to nforce4 ultra.
What would you guys think of the Ati X600Pro? I've read that it has about the same performance as a 9600xt, which is better than my current card. I'm finding it for about $80~85, which would bring my total to about $310 @zipzoom (10 dollars over-budget. not bad.):
X600 Pro is OK. Should be about the same performance as your current card, but with DX9 features. And the rest of the system will be faster.
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