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Upgrade CPU or 3D-Acc ??

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October 9, 2001 1:03:51 PM

Hi,

I have an antique PentiumPro 180, Gateway/Intel VS440FX motherboard, 96MB and a Voodoo2 12MB 3D card running Win95.

I’m considering upgrading, but in first instance not the motherboard. At the moment achieving very poor frame rates in Q3A:
about 12 FPS (demo001) and 7.6 FPS (demo002) very consistently across several resolutions (800x600, 640x480, 512x384) with all Q3A video options set to maximum. No difference in frame rate whatsoever between 16- and 32-bit textures setting.

When I yank every spec completely down, frame rate gets up to a still poor 26 FPS (identical for 3 resolutions tested, and both demos now showing virtually identical FPS), but this of course is visually very poor.

I don’t really know whether to upgrade CPU or 3D accelerator first. Q: what is the main bottleneck here, is it PPro 180 or Voodoo2? Are the Celeron-II 766’s of e.g. PowerLeap, Hypertec and Evergreen possible solutions, what kind of frame rate increase can I expect roughly?

I'd very much appreciate any help on this. Thanks very much in advance!

More about : upgrade cpu acc

October 9, 2001 1:41:21 PM

I would have to say the cpu is your bottleneck, but your voodoo 2 is equally pathetic, im surprised you can even run Q3. I would get a MB that supports petium 3 and celeron cpus and an agp slot. Some of the guys here strongly recommend the ASUS CL2 board and a pentium 3 700e which you can run at 933> the cost for the 2 is about 175.00. You should be able to get a nice radeon or geforce2 card for about a 100 bucks now.

If you harbor my enemy, You are my enemy.
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October 9, 2001 7:56:21 PM

Your entire system is so outdated that you would have to upgrade everything in order to make it work. Tiger Direct sells a complete Duron 800 system for $289 with a 40GB hard drive and a buch of cheap parts. You would probably get decnt results that way. Or you could get the ECS K7S5A for around $60, a Duron 800 for around $40, a GeForce2 GTS for around $100, and some DDR memory for around $89, for even better performance at the same price using your old hard drive, floppy, CD, etc.

Back to you Tom...
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October 9, 2001 9:09:49 PM

Well look at a new system.

1.2ghz Athlon
235mb DDR-SDRAM
ECS K7S5A (SiS 735)
40gb ATA100 harddrive
Radeon 8500 (Have been seen in the $250 range)

you have a killer system that will last as long as your Ppro did.

Nice Nvidia and ATi users get a Cookie.... :smile: Yummy :smile:
October 9, 2001 9:50:58 PM

You are long overdue for an upgrade. Everything is way cheaper and faster and better then when you bought your 180. Your MB only goes to 200MHz according to Intel. This means you are looking at a minimum of a new MB, CPU, memory (cause your simms won't fit),ATX PS and case just to upgrade your CPU. About the only thing you could easily do with the old system is upgrade the video card and that is not going to help much.

You likely paid around $2k for your 180MHz and nowadays you can get a 1.4GHz system for around $700.00. Even for around $300.00 you could buy fast enough stuff to smoke your old system.

Remember if you ain't Muslim you ain't Shiite.
October 9, 2001 9:50:58 PM

You are long overdue for an upgrade. Everything is way cheaper and faster and better then when you bought your 180. Your MB only goes to 200MHz according to Intel. This means you are looking at a minimum of a new MB, CPU, memory (cause your simms won't fit),ATX PS and case just to upgrade your CPU. About the only thing you could easily do with the old system is upgrade the video card and that is not going to help much.

You likely paid around $2k for your 180MHz and nowadays you can get a 1.4GHz system for around $700.00. Even for around $300.00 you could buy fast enough stuff to smoke your old system.

Remember if you ain't Muslim you ain't Shiite.
Anonymous
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October 9, 2001 10:10:54 PM

Hmm, you probably want to upgrade both.
How about an nForce (has an GeForce MX similar GPU) with a Thunderbird? Well, okay, it's not out yet.

Otherwise the ECS SIS 735 with an el cheapo graphics card may give you good results too.

Upgrading just one will not get rid of your bottleneck.
October 10, 2001 1:48:52 AM

A new motherboard won't even be compatible with your case. Get a new case with PSU, ECS K7S5A motherboard, Duron 800, 128MB DDR RAM, a GeForce 2 MX-400 and you're off to the races!

AMD technology + Intel technology = Intel/AMD Pentathlon IV; the <b>ULTIMATE</b> PC processor
October 10, 2001 5:16:52 AM

I think it's safe to say that you are NOT using your PC for anything overly exciting. Therefore I think it is also safe to say that you don't need to spend $250 for a top of the line graphics card, or even worry about getting too much above 1 Ghz. Nonetheless you really should upgrade since those framerates are not even good for your eyes. While we're at it, you should buy a new monitor probably as well. That I'll leave up to you to decide of course, but I am a big believer in a 19"+ monitor for today's PC's. Forget 17" even. You really should try to enjoy your games at a MINIMUM of 800x600 and if you buy a new monitor you will be able to reach 1600x1200 on a 19" quite nicely.

You also should try to enjoy the A/V aspect of a pc as well. You're missing out on a lot that a computer can offer you.

Here is a good suggestion:

1.4ghz Athlon T-bird 266 FSB Retail $120 ($90 for 1 Ghz)
256MB DDR Memory $35
ECS K7S5A Motherboard $65, has built in sound and LAN (for a network)
40GB IBM ATA100 harddrive $100
GeForce2 Pro $135 (run games nicely at 1024x768-1280x960)
Case/Power supply $100

Try crucial.com for the memory and newegg.com for the rest.

There are the basics for only $555. Spend a good $400 on a nice monitor and get yourself a CD-RW or a DVD drive and you're good to go for around $1000. (depending on if you add a modem, speakers, etc...)

If you choose to just buy a part for your pc as a solution, it's really not going to happen. I wouldn't even bother with it. Donate it to a charity and write it off your taxes.

<font color=red>God</font color=red> <font color=blue>Bless</font color=blue> <font color=red>America!</font color=red>
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