How To Best Spend $250 on Upgrading Your Rig

Test Setup Details

Test System
CPU AMD 2000+
FSB 266 MHz
Motherboard DFI LANParty NFII Ultra B
Memory Generic at 166 MHz 512 MB PC2700 @ PC2100
1 GB - 2x Kingston HyperX at 200 MHz 512 MB
HDD Western Digital 7,200rpm 80 GB SATA (8 MB)
Power Supply Fortron Source 300W
CPU Cooler Speeze
Drivers & Configuration
Graphics ATI Catalyst v5.6
NVIDIA v77.62
Chipset nForce 2 Ultra
OS Windows XP Prof. SP2
DirectX DirectX 9.0c
Graphic cards used in this article
ATI Radeon 9800 Pro 256 (ATI)
NVIDIA GeForce 4 Ti4200 (Gainward)
Doom3 Timedemo: Demo1
Half-Life 2 Custom Demo: MW_Coast1
UT2004 Custom Demo: Assult-Fallen City


We used Kingston HyperX modules because we had the redily available in the LAB. They are more expensive but when running at slower clock speeds you should be able to get similar results compared to what cheaper RAM components offer. You should go with a value RAM solution and obtain similar results.

Regarding the graphics card, you could use a 128 MB version of the card and get similar results. You can choose an NVIDIA GeForce 6 series AGP card. You can get similar results for about the same price. You can go with either, the choice is yours, however, it is necessary to make sure that the memory interface is 256-bit and not anything narrower unless you go with 6600GTs which are 128-bit but are still just as fast.

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