My current system:
512 MB Nanya pc2100
Visiontek GF3 TI200
SB Live value
40 Gig ata100 7200 rpm maxtor HD
Lite on 16X dvd
Lite on 32X burner
I have a bad case of the upgrades and I want some advice. Should I upgrade the CPU to a 2000+ or should I replace the mobo with something that has onboard RAID? I hear different things about running RAID 0..... Some people say it has huge effects on performance and some say it has none. Also would I notice a difference if I replace the CPU? Or should I just say screw it and wait until the next generation CPU's (Opteron) and Video cards come out this fall? I can't justify going to GF4 right now.
You only need raid if you do lots of hard drive intensive applications. For instance if you want to capture video, you might want to consider raid-0. Or if you play a lot of games and want them to load marginally faster. There is something to be wary of though, and thats the crashing raid-0 array. If you run 2 hard drives in raid-0 the data is "striped" between the two drives, so while one reads/writes data the other is getting ready to read/write so when called upon the reading/writing is faster and more uniform (confused yet?) so if one of your drives fails, goes bad, has a catastrophic error then everything on that raid array is gone. I have an 80 gig raid-0 array for video/audio capture and video games and loosing that array once was enough for me to go buy a 60 gig 5400 rpm hard drive to back all my stuff up to it.
In my experience raid-0 is pretty nice, things load faster, if you capture video theres significantly less chance for dropped frames, and its cheaper than scsi.
Your system is plenty fast so depending on what you want to run faster you do/don't need to upgrade. With a Ti200 I guess that you play some games so if this is the case wait for the Thorougbreds to come out and push Athlon XP prices down and then get a newer CPU then, everything else in your system looks fast enough for the time being. 512 megs of ram is plenty, if you can't justify getting Geforce 4 Ti then your video card is fast enough for you.
Right now Geforce 4 is for people that want their games to simply have higher quality. Its good for running higher resolutions and actually utilizing Anti Aliasing, and maybe anisotropic filtering depending on what resolution they run.
Right now no one knows how much Opteron will cost so waiting for that might not work out, just look at what you do with your computer, and what you want to be faster and then decide. And if you do just buy a PCI raid card get something based off of Highpoint, their raid controllers are becoming far better than Promisetech ones. My friend has a Promisetech and he looses his array ALL the time, several times a day no matter what he does. My friends and I have tried everything we can think of and it still happens. Good luck.
If my response is brief and vague its because the info you provided is too!
Your computer is pretty solid (though I question anything with the brand name of "ECS", that's another issue entirely). I'd hold off on upgrades for another year or so.. lots of things like serial ATA, 8x AGP, and 64 bit processors (I hope) are just beginning to be realized - once those come out you could get some serious powah.
If you're really that desperate to spend money, I'll be happy to take any.
You should definitly wait. Only sick people could possibly upgrade a system that is able to do anything you want in acceptable performance. I have an XP1600+ and a Ti200 OCed, so I know that there is little benefit from changing the processor, or the vid card as both are very good players in today's games and video apps.
My advice, do like me, wait for ClawHammers of next year, which will be around PR4400, then go buy a GF 5 or whatever Nvidia calls them. They are expected to be like GF3, revolutionary products. Most likely fully programmable GPUs will debut on them, which means gaming at its best!
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