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  • $550 upgrade

    Tax refund time!

    Right now I have a:
    AthlonXP 1800
    Epox 8KHA+
    256M PC2100 (no idea on the latency, it's Mushkin brand)
    GF3 Ti500
    SB Live!
    60G Maxtor Diamond Max 7200rpm, ata100, 2M buffer

    What should I upgrade? I may also be able to spend another $400 in a couple of months.

    Would I get a bigger immediate gaming performance increase if I upgrade MB/CPU/RAM right now? Or if I get the graphics board right now? I wasn't planning on upgrading my HDD, but perhaps it is a performance bottleneck? (I sure wouldn't mind a bit more storage, anyway...)

    So, how should I best spend my $550?
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  • #2
    Re: $550 upgrade

    If you aren't having any problems with your current set up and your current games, i would prepare for the incoming games..... (hl2.. and uhh the other big ones, doom3?) Well thats if you are going to get them. More ram is always nice, and that gfx card is a little old.

    As long as you are happy with what your getting out of your machine now, i'd save the money, unless you want to prepare for the bigger games. But if you may be getting another 400$ you could save the 550 and wait and make a killer box.

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    • #3
      Re: $550 upgrade

      ATI9800xt 256mb now to supplement your current "ok" system.

      AMD A64 3700+ socket 939 in a couple of months when you have another $400 (plus whats left over from the first upgrade)


      oh, and about the HDD's 8mb cache HDD's are a little bit faster... and when it comes to HDD's, any % faster is GOOD...since HDD's are so slow........
      From Adam Webb

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      • #4
        Re: $550 upgrade

        Originally posted by Overlag
        ATI9800xt 256mb now to supplement your current "ok" system.

        AMD A64 3700+ socket 939 in a couple of months when you have another $400 (plus whats left over from the first upgrade)


        oh, and about the HDD's 8mb cache HDD's are a little bit faster... and when it comes to HDD's, any % faster is GOOD...since HDD's are so slow........
        That's what I was thinking... What about SATA? Are the amazing speeds being seen? I seem to remember reading something saying that performance was disappointingly similar to ATA150. Would it be worth it to hold off on the HDD until I get a new mainboard so that I can go Sata or not?
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        • #5
          Re: $550 upgrade

          Sata is nothing special, but as i said before, ANY improvement to HDD's is a good. Harddrives are messured in MS.....while everything else computer wise in NS....

          id wait till you get a whole MB/CPU/Ram upgrade then get sata
          From Adam Webb

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          • #6
            Re: $550 upgrade

            Overlag is on the money with the video call but the cards are relatively still expensive... you will see more performance for your money with a CPU/MB/RAM upgrade at the moment. I actually just priced out a ~$550 A64 upgrade package for En4cement in his thread HERE. This also gives you the SATA interface so you can upgrade your harddrives later on. SATA just gained size capacity in their high RPM models as well (~72 GB @ 10k RPM). They (they being pretty much every computer technology information resource I frequent) say that a SATA RAID setup with those 10k RPM drives is well nigh the equal of a U160 SCSI RAID if not better and MUCH cheaper.
            Last edited by L0GiCaL1; 03-03-2004, 01:08 PM.
            Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job. - Douglas Adams

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            • #7
              Re: $550 upgrade

              Originally posted by L0GiCaL1
              Overlag is on the money with the video call but the cards are relatively still expensive... you will see more performance for your money with a CPU/MB/RAM upgrade at the moment.
              So, you're saying that you expect the vid card to drop in price more than the cpu/mb/ram combo in the next couple of months?
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              • #8
                Re: $550 upgrade

                well, if you get an A64 system now, and upgrade to the new gen Gfx cards later...........but atm A64 boards are "first gen" the next gen comes out in april/may (hopefully....AMD are like the royal mail when it comes to delivering targets)

                new ATI/Nvidia cards will be June/July i guess......
                From Adam Webb

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                • #9
                  Re: $550 upgrade

                  forgot to say...that an A64/P4 system, with a Geforce 3 will not be any better than what you currently have.... atm its a nicely "balanced" system imo
                  From Adam Webb

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                  • #10
                    Re: $550 upgrade

                    OK.

                    Any real difference between these cards? If nothing major, then I'm just going to go with either ATI or Asus brand card... I figure that with the exception of the fan/HS, the differences are mostly cosmetic.

                    Provided there's not a better vid card, here's what I plan on eventually getting: http://secure.newegg.com/app/WishR.asp?ID=613638
                    Last edited by CingularDuality; 03-04-2004, 12:25 AM.
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                    • #11
                      Re: $550 upgrade

                      Bad link Cing.

                      As for the graphics card... it is not the performance bottleneck of your system. I would focus more on processor, memory and data storage for a "faster" machine. If you want eye pleasure then get the graphics card. The processor will do more for your video than Overlag is giving it credit for. In the next few months if you free up the $400 you mentioned earlier, you can spend $200 on SATA harddrive(s) and $200 on Video (with next generation video ALWAYS around the corner, prices rarely hold more than 6 months and these prices are already falling drastically). That will totally balance your system.

                      Of course this is what I would do, not what you WILL do. The choice is ultimately yours as to what, where and how much you buy. If the money isn't going to burn a hole in your pocket, save it and wait until you have the extra $400 to spend and do it all at once. You would probably feel the speed increase more because it would be a drastic change vs a gradual one.
                      Last edited by L0GiCaL1; 03-04-2004, 12:32 AM.
                      Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job. - Douglas Adams

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                      • #12
                        Re: $550 upgrade

                        Originally posted by CingularDuality
                        OK.

                        Any real difference between these cards? If nothing major, then I'm just going to go with either ATI or Asus brand card... I figure that with the exception of the fan/HS, the differences are mostly cosmetic.

                        Provided there's not a better vid card, here's what I plan on eventually getting: http://secure.newegg.com/app/WishR.asp?ID=613638
                        Fixed.

                        And added a link to my entire wish list.
                        Become a supporting member!
                        Buy a Tactical Duck!
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                        • #13
                          Re: $550 upgrade

                          Of all those cards, the only one that is any different is the ASUS. It includes VIVO capabilities, and would definitely be the better of the 2 you mentioned as your favorites for the 4 dollar difference. Personally, I cannot justify the cost of a motherboard and processor for a video card. That is highway robbery. I've seen professional CAD/CAM video cards in that price range (QuadroFX and FireGL chipset based stuff).
                          Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job. - Douglas Adams

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                          • #14
                            Re: $550 upgrade

                            What about the 9800 Pro 256Mb? Those are $100 cheaper and provide almost the same performance as the XTs for most games. As for VIVO, you can save even more by getting the cheaper cards that only have TV-out. You might not need the video-in.

                            - It's who you game with.

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                            • #15
                              Re: $550 upgrade

                              very true sarc.......
                              From Adam Webb

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