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Old 01-02-2005, 11:37 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question most cost-effective upgrade?

I want to upgrade my 2002 Dell Dimension 8200 so that games like NFS Underground 2, Hitman Contracts, Deus Ex - Invisible War, etc. are nice and smooth; they're all fairly slow and choppy right now, even when I have all graphics on low resolution with minimum detail. Are they slow because of the advanced physics engines that the games use? Older games such as Hitman 2, Counter-Strike, XIII, The Sims, NFS Underground, and Grand Theft Auto III run beautifully with the graphics all maxed out.

Here are my specs:

2.0 GHz Pentium 4 (400 MHz FSB)
128 MB nVidea GeForce4 Ti 4600
19" viewable Trinitron CRT monitor
80 GB 7,200rpm hard drive (25% full)
4x DVD drive (I usually run games off this)
48x CD-RW drive
Windows XP Home

I appreciate any suggestions. Which upgrade(s) are the most cost effective? I'd like to spend no more than $300-$400. Thanks!

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Old 01-02-2005, 11:43 AM   #2 (permalink)
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if you want your gameplay to run more smoothly you might want a better proccesor, such as upgrading to a 2.8 pentium 4,if you do not know to install this.Buy it, and ask your local computer store to install it

Good Luck! For best proccesor prices go to

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Old 01-02-2005, 11:49 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I'd buy a new Video Card (6600gt or 9800XT) That'd be about $250. Then another stick of 512 Ram for about less than $100.

That might be better than buying a new processor. But I dont know how 2.0 Ghz compares to an AMD processor so I dont know how fast or slow that is. 2.0 on AMD is pretty fast though.
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Old 01-02-2005, 11:53 AM   #4 (permalink)
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First of all, sell that Ti 4600. You can get pretty good money for it since it is a rare piece. Then get yourself a GeForce 6600GT and spend the rest on a processor up grade, preferrably something with 533 FSB.
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Old 01-03-2005, 12:08 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the input! I have lots more questions now though:

Really? My Ti 4600 is rare? Cool .. it was the best graphics card that Dell offered at the time.

The problem with a RAM upgrade is that RDRAM is expensive - for a 256 Mb stick it's already $133 (I am afraid to get it anywhere other than from Dell - I've heard that Dells are picky about RAM).

Originally posted by beedubaya
X800 Pro vs. 6600GT = Toss up
X700 Pro vs. 6600GT = 6600 GT wins big
Sounds like the 6600GT is a really great card. Which of those companies would be best to buy it from (i.e. Leadtek)?

Is there much difference between a video card with 128MB and 256MB of memory?

What's all this about AGP and PCI-E? What do I have, and are PCI-E-compatible cards backward-compatible?

Also, what is the fastest FSB that's compatible with my motherboard, and how much does the FSB matter?

Thanks for all your guys' help!
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Old 01-03-2005, 12:15 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I have the 9600XT, its great, and only $160 on
I also just got a stick of Corsair XMS 512MB PC2700, its a great upgrade. And yes, also go to a P4 2.8 GHz, or 3.2 GHz CPU
XS RULES!!! I have officially referred you.
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Old 01-03-2005, 12:23 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Could I somehow use both my Ti 4600 and a new card together?

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