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Old 01-06-2007, 03:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Limited Budget Gaming Upgrade

So my rig is nearly two years old now, and I'm starting to run into major problems. My mobo only supports socket 754 and AGP Graphics, and my CPU and GFX are becoming outdated, at least for the newer, more demanding games. Here are the specs:

I will have probably ~$300 to spend to upgrade my rig I built from Newegg. The only things I've really upgraded in the past two years are a Nvidia GeForce 6800 Ultra from a Radeon 9800PRO and +1GB of additional RAM onto the 1 GB I had from the beginning. Specs are:

AMD Athlon 64 3000+ "Newcastle" 2.0GHz Socket 754 Processor
2.00GB DDR 400 SDRAM
NVidia GeForce 6800 Ultra 256-bit 256MB DDR3
Windows XP

I'm pretty limited and I understand that it's a pretty old rig, but I can't really afford a complete upgrade... I'm eyeing the ATI X1950PRO 512MB graphics card ( but I'm not sure which is more necessary - a processor upgrade or a graphics upgrade, especially for V:SOH, which forces me to run on lowest settings. Any advice?

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Old 01-06-2007, 04:24 PM   #2 (permalink)
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well if you want to up ur CPU to something more modern you are going to have to get a new mobo and ram. So a new graphics card would definitely be the way to go.

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Old 01-06-2007, 04:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Your CPU is close to being at the top of the chart for socket 754 (at least on Newegg), so I'd focus on a video card upgrade first. This is a quick comparison between the top AGP cards right now:

As you can see, it's a 63% improvement over the 6800 Ultra, and the card you suggested has VIVO, which is nice (the link didn't work so I'm assuming it's this card).

However, you'd burn the $300 right away. Have you considered changing the motherboard instead? Maybe you can find a decent combo deal that'll be better than your Athlon64 3000+. I'll look into it later on.

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Old 01-06-2007, 04:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
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one question, do you have a frys electronics near your house, because every friday, they have great motherboard+cpu deals that are cheaper than newegg.

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Old 01-06-2007, 05:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Nope, I don't Thanks for the help with this guys, I really appreciate it. By today's standards and in comparison to the best today, how bad is my CPU? I'm just curious, and I'm not too good at comparing.
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Old 01-06-2007, 05:26 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Honestly, compared to the newer Core 2 Duos and newer AMD processors, it's old, outdated, and pretty much worthless IMO. The socket is pretty much gone and it's only single core.

That's just my honest opinion. I'm not trying to be mean or anything. Until I get the comp. in my sig, I'm playing on a frickin iMac G4 w/ 256mb ram and an fx5200 w/ 64mb ram or a sh**y a** 6 year old HP Pavilion that has a TNT2 and a 900mHz amd cpu w/ 128mb ram. I definitely know how it feels to lag on just about every game in the world. Heh.

Anyways, sorry for that, I would try and save up more and upgrade your mobo, cpu, and gpu when prices drop a bit on the current 775 socket or whatever is out by the time you have more money.

Good Luck on whatever you do.
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Old 01-06-2007, 05:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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the best today, it is pretty bad. it isnt junk but definately dated.

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Old 01-06-2007, 05:55 PM   #8 (permalink)
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you can also upgrade to a socket 939 opty (opteron) dual core and mobo.


or look at the other mobos i have read this is a good one for the money. the combination above would be well under $300. 245.12 including shipping.
you will still be able to use your ram.
an opty would give better performance, certainly while gaming. later if you want to upgrade your ram you would be able to get major overclocks on it.
the only problem i may see here is that your video card is agp?
evga 7600gt:
you can get it for 129.99 +5.64 shipping.
adding them together you're looking at 380.75
or buy the cpu/mobo and save a little more money for vid card if you can't swing all that. or wait till you have 80 more bones to order it all.
i wouldn't suggest buying a $300 videocard for your system.
for one thing it would be agp=not nearly as good as pci-e. for another, your socket 754 is going to get pretty hard to do anything with, i e upgrade.
i don't agree with ferrari that it is useless at all, but it is about time to upgrade some things.
an opty aand new mobo with the 7600gt will give you a tremendous upgrade from your current system.
when you need to upgrade video cards, you will have the pci-e slot that you need and a processor that can keep up with it.
good luck!
p.s.. don't be fooled by the numbers on the opterons.
the 165 is the best BY FAR if you are going to overclock. even better than the more expensive optys. if you aren't going to (trust me you will want to), you still have a great rig.
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Old 01-06-2007, 06:10 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally posted by twalc6
By today's standards and in comparison to the best today, how bad is my CPU? I'm just curious, and I'm not too good at comparing.
I disagree with some of the past comments. It's not that bad. It still lets you play most modern games. Your system is still very usable, so don't feel bad about it.

Ok, let's explore an alternative to the lone video card upgrade:

Athlon 64 3200+ Venice 2.0GHz - $59.00
ASUS A8N-E Socket 939 nForce4 - $79.99
eVGA GeForce 7950GT 256MB - $215.99 ($200.99 after $15.00 Mail-In Rebate)
Total: $355 ($340 after the rebate)

I know this goes $55 above your budget, but you could probably cover that by selling your 6800 Ultra. The 3200+ represents a 10.5% upgrade over your current processor, which is not much, but socket 939 allows us to pick a PCIe card. I suggested an eVGA 7950GT because I believe it outperforms an X1950Pro.

With this alternative, you still get a large GPU upgrade and a small CPU upgrade, plus the added benefits of having socket 939 (which will still live for the months to come): the possibility to upgrade to pretty much any video card that'll come up in the near future (because of the PCIe slot), and also a possible CPU upgrade if you save more money later on (a high-end Athlon64 or an AthlonX2 - the latter would take your system to the mid-high range).

The Opteron option twalc6 suggests is also another alternative to contemplate: large CPU upgrade with moderate GPU upgrade. In both cases you can complete the upgrade later on when you save more money.

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Old 01-06-2007, 06:19 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Your vid card is stiff half decent so you can skip that untill later,Grab your self a decent cpu and a Asrock 939Dual-VSTA,The Asrock has both agp and pci-e so you can update to a better vid card when you have more cash

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