I have a question about a upgrade. I have about 200 dollars to make a upgrade or two. I was looking at this Shuttle mb the AK32L, I wanted to know if my old pc133 ram would work ok with a XP cpu. This mb has 2 spots for sdram and 2 spots for ddr ram. Reason I ask this is because I wouldn't have enough money really to upgrade the ram along with the mb + cpu. Should I do this or just get a new video card like a G4 4200? which would make the biggest difference for gaming?
Asus A7V 1ghz tbird
512 crucial pc133 ram
Geforce 2 Pro 64megs
I would also argue that upgrading the motherboard/cpu is more generally beneficial, whereas upgrading the graphics card is a very specific upgrade.
Also, a little more contentiously (spelt correctly?), i'd feel that upgrading the motherboard/cpu would do you more good in the longer term, as the graphics card may be out of date a little quicker.
It does come down to
a) what do you have now, and therefore what is and what will become the bottleneck?
b) what do you want to do with your new machine?
Just re-read your post (i'm making a habit of not doing that first time!), i see you included your current specs. Arguably, your setup is pretty good already, and above what any new games minumum specs would require, however, to answer your original request about gaming, a new graphics card (i reckon the GF4 4200, and then a Gainward that can be overclocked) would make games look instantly better.
My personal rule about upgrades is not to buy anything that is 'top' of the range, as you pay top dollar for it, and also to upgrade to at least twice the performace that you currently have. By that logic, you'd need a 2Ghz CPU (or an XP 2000+), which are coming into that affordability bracket, but the GF4 4200 graphics card is already there.
Yep, the 128 Mb are expensive. But i've seen on Komplett.co.uk (so Europe only i'm afraid) they are selling the 128MB for 200 pounds but the 64MB, with the higher clock speeds, at 150. That makes it almost the same price as a Geforce 3 Ti 200, and and Geforce 4 MX 460, but oh, so much better....