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Help, Improve my system

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June 23, 2002 2:35:30 PM

I've got £350 ($520?) burning a hole in my pocket, and would appreciate suggestions about the best way to improve my system. Currently have an Athlon 1800XP in an Abit KR7A mobo (not interested in overclocking); Geforce MX400; 512 mb ram. Got a decent case (Lian Li P61); CD RW; Soundblaster Live 5.1; decent 19" monitor. Use the pc mainly for games and graphics (Photoshop etc). Should I concentrate on the graphics card, or split the money between that and a faster cpu? Help me spend this money before the wife finds out I've got it!

More about : improve system

June 23, 2002 2:42:57 PM

Get a better graphics card assuming it's a Gforce 2 MX400.

To start press any key. Where's the "any" key? --Homer Simpson.
June 23, 2002 2:47:35 PM

Should have pointed out that the graphics card is indeed a Geforce 2 MX400
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June 23, 2002 2:50:06 PM

By today's standards that card is poo. You would benefit the most with a graphics card upgrade. I would wait to see what the reviews of the Parhelia are like or even wait until the Fall for Nvidia and ATI's latest offerings.

To start press any key. Where's the "any" key? --Homer Simpson.
a c 103 à CPUs
June 23, 2002 3:03:50 PM

Consider moving up to the high end of graphics cards until you try one you won't believe the difference, and once you do you won't go back to the low end cards, no matter what brand it is, I'm using the Visiontek GForce4 TI4400 series right now, and its been so far an exceptional card. Happy shopping whatever you decide to get.
June 23, 2002 3:48:40 PM

Well I gotta say I got a R8500LE 128MB and I am not disappointed. These are my specs, not the best for this card but...

P4 1.4GHz Willamette 256KB L2 cache 423 Socket
256MB PC800 RDRAM
40GB Maxtor
SB Live! 5.1
Radeon 8500LE 128MB Retail

I used to have a RadeonAIW 32MB and I got ~3200 in the 3D Mark 2K1 SE. Now I get 6300. Not bad if you ask me... I haven't overclocked yet, cause I'm gonna see if my 250W PSU is enough to run it at stock speeds for now. I know that it's not the best card right now, but it's great for the price. Try and get the retail version if you get the 128MB cause you'll get either 3.6ns (which I got) or the even better 3.3ns RAM. Good for overclocking cause at 250MHz DDR RAM, it should only need 4ns RAM. The retail R8500LE 128MB goes for about $130-140USD online. Try not to get the OEM version, cause they're usually clocked lower and have lower quality RAM like 4ns or higher.

How much RAM do you have in your system? 512MB would be optimal. Also I don't think you really need to upgrade your CPU, if you really want to spend the money, get a better video card like a GF4 Ti4400.

What's the deal with lampshades, I mean it's a lamp, why would you want a shade? :smile:
June 23, 2002 5:29:46 PM

Thanks for the replies. New video card it is.
June 23, 2002 10:41:53 PM

Yep video card is the way to go everything else seems just fine

AMD XP 1900+
A7V-333
Geforce 3 TI 200
PC2100 512MB
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
June 24, 2002 7:17:27 AM

Radeon 8500LE 128MB Retail best than Geforce 3 TI 200.



if you know you don't know, the way could be more easy ...
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
June 24, 2002 7:21:25 AM

OOP - Object Oriented Programming.


if you know you don't know, the way could be more easy ...
June 24, 2002 8:33:10 AM

Quote:
Radeon 8500LE 128MB Retail best than Geforce 3 TI 200.


Gf4ti4200 better than 8500.



:wink: The Cash Left In My Pocket,The BEST Benchmark :wink:
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
June 24, 2002 9:37:30 AM

dog with false teeth.


if you know you don't know, the way could be more easy ...
June 25, 2002 1:00:46 AM

I would've have gone with the Ti4200, but unfortunately I only have a P4 1.4 so I wouldn't really use the power (plus the price is around $350CAD). Also, probably the more important reason is cause I can't get my hands on a GF4 Ti4200, only a Ti4600 and no I am not crazy enough to buy that yet.

What's the deal with lampshades, I mean it's a lamp, why would you want a shade? :smile:
June 25, 2002 1:03:59 AM

Quote:

Gf4ti4200 better than 8500.


That's a bold bold claim after seeing HarpOCP's Catalyst review. :wink:

How do you define better anyway? :tongue:



:wink: <b><i>"A penny saved is a penny earned!"</i></b> :wink:
June 25, 2002 5:53:28 AM

Quote:
That's a bold bold claim after seeing HarpOCP's Catalyst review.

How do you define better anyway?


the ti4200 performs better@ stock unless you turn aniso all the way up, and the ti4200 has more room to overclock.

:wink: The Cash Left In My Pocket,The BEST Benchmark :wink:
June 25, 2002 8:53:32 AM

Btw, heres my justification.

<A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.html?i=1643&p=1" target="_new">http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.html?i=1643&p=1&...;/A>



Quote:
Competition from ATI has been relatively non-existant, with the Radeon 8500LE unable to hold a candle to the Ti 4200. Soon enough we'll see the introduction of the RV250 core from ATI which will be targeting the same market as the Ti 4200 although we're expecting performance to be equivalent at best at this point. From what we heard at Computex a couple of weeks back, a 300MHz RV250 should offer performance that's marginally better than the stock Radeon 8500. Looking back to our last review that compared the two GPUs, that should put the RV250 pretty close to the Ti 4200.


YOu can taut your new driver package and your cheat "high performance" mode all you like, but all the benchmark suites I have seen put the 8500 ~ the ti500 region, period.

:wink: The Cash Left In My Pocket,The BEST Benchmark :wink:
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
June 25, 2002 11:08:29 AM

it is true the gf4 4200 is 5 to 10% faster than the 8500.
but there is just a little gap i would like to fill up.

here is the CPU Scaling.
<A HREF="http://www.tomshardware.com/graphic/02q2/020409/geforce..." target="_new">http://www.tomshardware.com/graphic/02q2/020409/geforce...;/A>

& here is the THG comment on this test
Quote:
In Quake 3 and Max Payne, all cards showed a significant performance increase when used with a faster CPU. Aquanox, however, uses the pixel and vertex shaders provided, which means that it is less dependent on the CPU.

sorry to point out this but Quak, Max P, SC, doom-like games, etc.. are all old games created to use them with ancient graphics cards but it is a non-sense to promote those games with top notch graphics cards. (eg how does those games use the GPU & all or at least a part of its features, 150-180fps are reached because those games don't use the capacity of the GPU. moreover they haven't high graphics at all. [IMO they are even ugly])

now as you can see Aquanox (which is a less old game) uses really the GPU (pixel and vertex shaders).
& then what does this involve on the Aquanox benchmark:
- a drop of the fps number with an average of 50-60fps.
- an approximation of the performances between those different graphics cards.

thus, is there a conclusion?


<i>if you know you don't know, the way could be more easy ...</i>
June 25, 2002 12:19:10 PM

Without getting into a piss match about video cards seeing how this is a CPU section of the forum. My I suggest upgrading you Mobo. If you truly want to improve your gamming abilities, then moving into the K333, the P533 chipsets will allow a resonably good graphics card to functions better with the convience of high voltage settings, and faster bus speeds, IE AGP 8x, keep in mind that on the pentium boards and any 8x interface, there is no backwards campatiblity. Without out going out and spending 300 on a new Video card, Wait until the Gforce cards come out in the next month, then the (still awsome) older modles will come down in prive, match that with a amd mobo, and you would have killed two bottle necks with one stone. boards that do have over clocking features will allow you to tweek the ddr ram on the agp and system ram.

-Just a suggestion.

-Tim

It seems that every time I reboot my wallet get smaller.
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