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Old 03-15-2006, 03:34 PM   #21 (permalink)
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the compaq youre looking at sounds like the sr1620zx which actually has a sempron 3400+@ 2.0ghz.. good pc fast and reliable. id def. upgrade the onboard ati x200.
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Old 03-15-2006, 04:19 PM   #22 (permalink)
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No problem

There are three main components any decent - high-end gaming rig needs:

-Memory
-Processor
-Video Card

I will touch on each a bit, starting with the processor. The Semprons CPU (shorthand for processor), are actually quite fast for what you payed for it, but for better performance I'd suggest an upgrade. Before I can reccomend an upgrade, I will need to know the socket that your current CPU utilizes. I have done some quick research via google and all sources have said that your Sempron 3500+ is Socket 939. However, it could be a Socket 754 too. So please identify which socket it is, because if I don't know which socket your CPU uses, I can't reccomend a compatible CPU. For a solid, mid-ranged CPU, you will need to spend $150-200.
I'd reccomend the Athlon 64 3200+ or the Athlon 64 3700+ (leave the Athlon 64 3500+ alone!)

Also, to answer your immeadiate question, the Sempron 3500+ competes with any Celeron D CPU that is in the range of 3.4-3.6ghz.

Memory ... it's important for any good system to run fast, efficiently and can also help during gaming and multi-tasking. At the moment, 512mb is definitely a minimum, because most OS (operating systems, yours is probably Windows XP) use 300mb right off the bat, and that excludes any other applications or games. But 1Gb can really help take the strain off your computer in games and most multi-tasking situations. What makes upgrading your memory a pain in the *** is that your current setup is 2x256mb. If you wanted to upgrade and continue using the dual channel technology, then you'll need to buy 2x256mb memory sticks. The thing is, 4x256mb will run slower than 2x512mb, so I'd honestly reccomend buying 1Gb of memory (2x512mb) of Corsair value select, taking the old memory out and then popping this new stuff in. Chances are the Corsair is faster too. This shouldn't cost you anymore than $100, and the Corsair Value Select 1Gb (2x512mb) costs only $65.

Video cards, probably the most underestimated, confusing, yet important part of any gaming computer. Luckily, you have a PCI-e x16 (e stands for express) slot. This allows you to choose from any recently released video card that uses PCI-e technology. There are a ton of options, however, I will reccomend a video card that holds excellent performance for what you pay, and one that will not bottleneck (bottlenecking in computer terms means that a certain computer component cannot perform at optimal performance due to other components being to slow). Here are your best options:

eVGA 7600GT - $200
Sapphire X1800GTO (not yet released, but will be before the end of the month) - $250

The X1800GTO will most likely better than the 7600GT, but both cards are excellent performers for what you pay. You can shoot for lower end video cards, but if you can pay the extra $50 and get these cards, you will get a huge performance jump. Here are your lower-end gaming cards:

eVGA 6800GS - $150
Sapphire X1600XT - $150

Again, really try to shoot for the X1800GTO and 7600GT, you will be glad you did.

Last component that I didn't mention before, but still holds great value in your system, the PSU (Power Supply Unit).

The PSU is responsible for obviously providing enough power to your entire system. For a system like that, I'd reccomend nothing lower than a 450w PSU of a solid brand (OCZ, Antec, FSP Group Norton). This will cost you anywhere from $50-$100, depending on the brand you buy. The more expensive ones tend to be more efficient, and carry an extra fan or two to keep your case nice and cool.

I hope this helps you out. Remember, you don't have to upgrade everything, but it would be most logical because if you don't, certain components may bottleneck and therefore not be worth buying if you don't buy all those components together. This is the order in which I'd consider upgrading though in terms of priorities:

-Video Card (then you must upgrade your PSU as well)
-Memory
-Processor

This upgrade will cost you $400 at a minimum for everything, and shouldn't cost you more than $550-600 at the most. If you want me to post links to the brands of certain components I have reccomended just let me know. If you have any questions feel free to ask.
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Old 03-15-2006, 04:34 PM   #23 (permalink)
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his SR1720NX is for sure socket 939 I have upgraded another sr series compaq with no issues. The psu from compaq are standard off the shelf I used a antec tpII 480 2 gigs of ram and an evga 7800gt and its a great budget gamer. Did mine complete for under 700 and I havent had a problem with any game yet link to my even cheaper lower sempron

http://www.techist.com/showthread.ph...007#post660007
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Old 03-15-2006, 04:45 PM   #24 (permalink)
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A 7800GT will not perform at optimal performance because the Sempron 3500+, although it has a high clock rate, it suffers from a halved L2 cache and 4/5 the FSB it's Athlon 64 equivalent.

Athlon 64 3500+ ~ $200
2.2Ghz
512k L2 cache
1Ghz HT

Sempron 3500+ ~$150
2.2Ghz
256 L2 cache
800mhz HT

That loss in L2 cache and HT really hurt in gaming, therefore why I'm going to reccomend at least the Athlon 64 3200+ ($160) CPU or the Athlon 64 3700+ ($230).
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Old 03-15-2006, 05:07 PM   #25 (permalink)
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I think his dad and him are going to buy a prebuilt system and upgrade it. and as far as seeing a huge difference because of the sempron l2 cache .... I dont notice too much from my x2 4200 ( I know it has the small L2 of the x2's) from the sempron with identical upgrades (7800gt's and 2 gigs ram) bf2 cod2 seem to play the same on both
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Old 03-15-2006, 06:18 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by macdude425
I THINK the Sempron numbering system (2800+, 3000+, etc) is compared to the Pentium 4 family, but I really don't know.

As for which of those games could run smoothly under max out of that list? Probably none, with those specs.
Actually the Sempron model number system shows performance relative to an intel celeron not pentium.
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Old 03-15-2006, 10:14 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Alright guys, this helps a TON. Just one more question I want to ask, and i will be all set. Are there nay high performance video cards out there that I can use on this system that won't require a change to the power system?

BTW, this system is going to be prebuilt not built. So, the pieces will be added over time. Thanks for prioritizing what i need, so I can buy it as I get the money.

EDIT: Okay, shopping around at a store which i have local access to (Staples business depot, same place we plan on purchasing the computer from), I soon found out they do in fact carry the 7800GT. Little did I know, they are $720 Canadian! This is waaay more than the computer alone is going to cost me.

Here's a link to what they have:

http://www.staples.ca/ENG/Catalog/ca...d+Cards&Page=1

Can anyone make some LOWER budget suggestions on the topic?

Also, I can't decypher the RAM on this site. No clue what exactly they are talking about. Help?

Link:

http://www.staples.ca/ENG/Catalog/ca...%5FCL%5FMemory

I have a few other options to check out, but this is an easy place to get to. I don't like ordering online, so I would count that out...
Help? lol
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Old 03-15-2006, 11:35 PM   #28 (permalink)
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By the way, why "leave the Athlon 64 3500+ ALONE"?
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Old 03-16-2006, 12:50 AM   #29 (permalink)
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So what do you guys think about video cards? I don't have a ton of money here, and I'm not looking to spend really anymore thna $150 (Canadian) I can get Sapphire Cards, ATI, eVGA etc. locally. So, suggestions? This is budget gaming here, lol.
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Old 03-16-2006, 01:25 AM   #30 (permalink)
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http://search.ncix.com/displayproduc...nufacture=eVGA

It's a buck over your budget, save up some money hehehe.
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