AMD Duron 1.2GHz
ABIT KG7 (AMD760 chipset)
512MB PC2100 DDR RAM
GeForce 2 Ti 64MB DDR
I'm thinking of upgrading my system right now, the primary reason being that I just bought the game Unreal Tournament 2003 and it isn't even playable, regardless of resolution. My benchmarks:
55fps flyby / 28fps botmatch
90fps flyby / 30fps botmatch
This seems like a CPU bottleneck problem to me since the botmatch results don't change hardly at all. I was almost set on buying a GeForce4 a few days ago, but I think I need a new CPU first now.
So the question is, how much is my AMD760-based chipset holding me back (as opposed to a KT266A or KT333)? I know it's slower, but how much slower than the newer VIA platforms? Is the chipset holding me back so much that it wouldn't even be worth investing in an XP1900+ or XP2000+?
I really want to just order an XP1900+ or XP2000+ right now, but if we're talking about a 15% or greater deficit in overall system performance because I'm running on an AMD760-based motherboard, it really isn't worth it.
I wouldn't upgrade unless you get a bargain. I recently picked up an msi kt266a board new with xp1700 retail boxed for only $99.95 at Fry's electronics. I built an extra system around it for a spare. I know it' not the latest and greatest, but for that price, I got a rig that overclocks to 1600 megahurtz and is almost as fast as my p4 at 2400. It's hard to tell the difference. My p4 rig is based on a refurbished asus p4s533 I found at newegg for $66 (bare board only). I've used the amd 760 chipset, and you will notice a difference running games. It's a reliable but slower chipset. The kt266a or kt333 boards are faster. I would also check newegg's refurbished section on Wed afternoon, when they usually get a new batch of bargains in.
The Abit KG7 is without doubt one of the fastest motherboards with the AMD 760 chipset, about as fast as (~6.5% slower) motherboards with the KT266A chipset. Though 6.5% may seem like a high number, it does not justify the purchase of a new socket A motherboard. That is to say, your motherboard is not the problem. Your system is hampered by two things, CPU and Video Card. Get the latest BIOS for your motherboard and get a AMD XP 1600+ ($55 at newegg.com). It can be overclocked quite easily (increase the FSB) to XP 2000+ speed. As for the graphics card, I would wait for the ATI 9500 but if ya must have a graphics card now, the Leadtek GeForce4 ti 4200 ($132 at newegg.com) can be overclocked (not difficult) to about GeForce4 ti 4600 speed, which represents nVidia's current top contender. If ya get GeForce4, get the latest nVidia Drivers.
First, try to overclock the mobo. This Duron will probably work fine at 1.3 - 1.4 GHz. Then test it again. If you see any difference, buy a new CPU. I'm not quite sure, but this chipset must support all XPs with 133/266 MHz bus. Only the newest ones XPs (PR2700+ and 2800+) might not run, but however if your bus supports 166MHz,... Nevermind, you should go to www.amd.com and there it is explained which CPU what chipset needs.
Unlock your Duron (fill in the L1 bridges) now, drop your multiplier to 9.0x and raise your FSB to 133MHz....raise the VCore a bit ONLY if needed for stability.....now ur CPU has a FSB of 133MHz (266MHz DDR, just like an Athlon XP) only difference now is u have a little less L2 Cache.....thats ok the game should still be a bit better now......after this....Buy yourself a brand shiny new GeForce 4 Ti4200 and OC it to Ti4600 Speeds....
Now all in all u just baught a new video...as opposed to a new Board...CPU AND video card......the game will definently be playable now.........try it out with ur current video card also....raising the FSB to 133Mhz after u dropped ur multiplier to 9.0x......
I unlocked the Duron CPU about two months ago, and I'm now running it at 1333MHz (133MHz FSB * 10 multiplier). However, the difference in UT2003 is negligible -- as far as the botmatch goes, it goes from ~27fps at 12*100 to ~30fps at 10*133. My PC2100 memory is running at CL2.
Does it seem like maybe the small cache is the limiting factor in the game? The fact that going from 12*100 all the way to 10*133 only gives me 3fps extra makes me wonder if getting an XP1800+ (11.5*133) would even help much.
I'm really stuck here -- it seems like the benchmarks I've seen online show a big advantage of running even a 1600 or 1700 over an Athlon 1.2GHz, yet when I overclock my Duron to 1500+ speeds, it still doesn't perform that well. My PCMark2002 CPU score overclocked at 1.33GHz is ~3500.
Forget all that overclocking crap man.... nothing will help your system play this game better than a new video card.... get yourself a Gforce 4 ti and enjoy. 1.2 Ghz CPU is more than enough to get the most out of the current games. RAM and Video Card effect the performance 10 fold in comparison.