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Graphics Card or CPU? Which is a better upgrade...

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August 11, 2003 7:34:20 AM

Hello all,
I have a dilemma, i am a PC gamer and ever since i got Star Wars Galaxies my system has been having a hard time, i can make only one and one upgrade to my system and am not sure which has the best gain...
my core system specs...

Asus A7V-333 (266/333 MHz FSB speed)
Athlon XP 2000+ (266Mhz FSB speed)
768 MB PC2700 RAM (running at 266 MHz due to CPU)
GeForce 4 Ti4400

My motherboard can support upto Athlon XP 3200+ (Barton)...but what am i better off spending my money on? a faster CPU (i know that the 3200 is not the clock speed, just the simulated performance of what a 3.2 GHz processor can do) or a graphics card? I will also be playing Deus Ex 2 when it comes and it uses a heavily modified UT 2003 engine.

Thank you.
August 11, 2003 7:40:37 AM

If you can do a motherboard swap then do it. But i know you only want to choose between a cpu or video card.

Your cpu, i think is the one slowing the system. The gf4ti4400 is already fast. I prefer at least getting a barton 2800+ or higher, i know it's expensive tho.

<i>
"I'll Take A Quiet Life
-Handshake to Carbon Monoxide- Th.Yo."
</i>
August 11, 2003 9:51:56 AM

Jmecor's right. A processor upgrade would probably be your best bet, and at least a 256MB memory upgrade. SWG runs on several threads, so you should be able to see some benefits in several areas from the processor upgrade. You'll also benefit your existing memory.

And while 768MB is sufficient, the memory upgrade would also help you a bit more, especially within cities.

But make no mistake, the game is very demanding, so unless you do a complete overhaul, you won't see a lot of gains.

Getting a 3200+ processor isn't like running a 3.2GHz Pentium either mate :( , it's more like getting a 2.8GHZ, or maybe a 2.53GHz Pentium (as some in the CPU forums have stated).

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August 11, 2003 10:18:25 AM

1gb ram? not actually that helpful. But its useful for major video editing of very large files. Doom3 might benefit 1gb of ram.

<i>
"I'll Take A Quiet Life
-Handshake to Carbon Monoxide- Th.Yo."
</i>
August 11, 2003 10:54:42 AM

1GB of memory is actually quite helpful for SWG :) . Some players are in fact, moving up to 1.5GB & even +2GB for the game. Not really a surprise though, SWG is an MMORPG & they by nature do require a lot of memory. What would one expect when one could traverse kilometers of detailed landscaped & experience the pain of players/buildings/animals/etc.. coming into view (& the massive real-time loading that follows :D )?

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<A HREF="http://www.khmercity.com/city_music//Kerpal Comedy@@ kick my dog~ :-)/Jerky Boys - Kerpal - Airport Pakistani And Hindi Fight.mp3" target="_new">I'm going to get you, you bastard guy</A>.
a b U Graphics card
August 11, 2003 11:20:20 AM

Fist of all I don't think there is an XP 3200+ on the 333 fsb, I see only 3000+ (avalible both as 333/400) at <A HREF="http://www.amd.com/us-en/Processors/SellAMDProducts/0,,..." target="_new">AMD's website</A>.
So I'm not sure where you are getting the XP3200+ 333FSB right now.

Second, I'm not sure about your motherboard but most will allow you to run the memory out of synch with the FSB. And running 266/333 will likely give you the best results if you can. Unfortunately (for me) running 266/400 (I have Corsair XMS PC3200 CL2 memory) seems to be slower than 266/333 (which is what I run).
Increasing the memory speed should help, increaing the SIZE is likley to give less return than a new XP 3000+, however you may want to check and see if there are any benchmarks out there to see if the increased Cache ofthe Bartons does anything, otherwise an XP 2700+, or the like, might make a better choice if it's cheaper. Also try overclocking your CPU/FSB a little and see what results that gives you too.

A graphics card increase will likley give you only marginal returns and the CPU will likely do the most as it is likley not the graphics that are slowing you down. To be sure try reducing the resolution, thatshould maintain the CPU load but lighten the GPU load, and give you a better idea of what you need to upgrade.


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August 11, 2003 5:48:05 PM

Quote:
Getting a 3200+ processor isn't like running a 3.2GHz Pentium either mate :( , it's more like getting a 2.8GHZ, or maybe a 2.53GHz Pentium (as some in the CPU forums have stated).

No way a 2.53gHz P4B can touch a 3200+. I also doubt that upgrading from .75 to 1 gb will make a big difference. I'd upgrade the videocard. A Radeon 9800 Pro only requires an AMD 1800+ or so to warrant full performance.

These days, no matter what company you like, be it <b>nVidia, ATi, or whatever,</b> no matter how logical your reasons, you're labeled an <b>idiot</b> or a <b>fanboy</b>, or <b>both.</b>
!