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Old 01-23-2005, 03:58 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Upgrade advice

I was just looking for some upgrade advice for gaming performance. Here are my specs: MSI K7n2 mobo, amd xp 2500+, 1 GB 2700 ram (512x2), xfx 128mb 5200, sb16 sound, onboard lan, Microsoft Intellimouse optical, Zboard. WD 80 Gb HD 8mb cache, XP pro, Cable internet.

First off I know my soundcard is junk, I usually play when the wifey is asleep and dont listen very loud so I never bought a good card. I usually set my sound quality to low settings in game. Prolly going to buy SB live card or cheap audigy on ebay because it may be causing critical errors in Americas Army. Everyone seems to get those in that game though. I also know my video card is junk too but have been waiting till last minute when bf2 comes out to upgrade. I was going to build a new pc soon with good mobo and AMD 64. I realized that by the time I get all that, good matched pair of ram, SATA drive(s) (2 eventually for Raid 0) I would be spending a pretty penny. Then you throw a good video card on top of that and I cant really afford it. So here's what I was thinking please tell me what u think. I am obviously going to get a video card soon but dont want to buy something right before new stuff drops or when current stuff gets a price drop. Most interested in 6800gt. Anybody know about scheduled price drop or when new cards come out? The next thing I was gonna do is get a good water cooled case. I figured I'd need it for my AMD 64 when I do that down the line anyway so it would be a good investment. Also it would allow me to overclock my current setup and I hear ppl have much success overclocking with my setup. Hopefully water cooling should get cheaper real soon since everyone will need it with AMD 64. After that maybe a matched pair of Dual Channel Low Latency 3200 ram. How long do u suppose it will be before 1GB is not enough and I gotta chuck that stuff? Also my mobo will run a SATA drive so thats on the list. Eventually I'd prolly get two and run Raid 0. Once thats all done hopefully this time next year I can get new mobo and AMD64. Then I should be able to still use new ram, case, drives, vid card. The only thing I'm wondering about is if I get the vid card first I'd have to get AGP and I know PCIexpress is out. People seem to be having probs with PCIexpress so maybe its smart to wait anyways. Basically what I'm looking for is advice on which order to do this all in and if my thinking is correct. I think vid card would make the biggest diff 1st but should I do SATA drives next or RAM or case so i can overclock. Money is a concern with me so doing this in an economical way is important. Sorry for the huge post thanks for your adivce in advance.
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Old 01-23-2005, 04:01 AM   #2 (permalink)
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you should use paragraphs more to make it easier to read your post

and how much are you going to spend initially?
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Old 01-23-2005, 04:13 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Sorry about the paragraphs, bad habit. lol.

Well I'm planning on doing everything on the list. I guess how soon depends on how soon I get a job! I dont have a set initial spending limit or anything but would prolly be doing 1 piece at a time until I get the AMD 64 and mobo due to costs. Case, Ram, SATA drives will prolly all run 200. Unless I use my current case and get a water cooling kit. Anybody have advice on that? Also forgot to mention I have 450w power supply.

If I could save money by holding off on a certain piece for a few weeks or months I'm all for that. I would just do something else first.
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Old 01-23-2005, 04:21 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Also, how much of a gaming performance would I notice with the 2 SATA drives? I was going to get a new mouse as well soon, looking at mx510. I knew it made a difference but not until I was doing some marksmanship training with my friends junky dell wireless mouse he had and we switched it to same mouse I have. Big difference. How much of a diff would I get with mx510 over Microsoft Intellimouse optical? Worth the money?
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Old 01-23-2005, 04:34 AM   #5 (permalink)
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the 6800's won't drop in price for a wile, so your best bet on a video card is probabbly a 6600 GT, which can be found for under $200

for a mouse, I would suggest the MX500, not MX510
there is little difference between the 2 except for the colours, and the price

I would suggest for starters get an Abit AV8, and an Athlon 64 3000 or 3200+ in socket 939 (they are pretty overclockable)

and for RAM, lower latencies don't make a very big difference. there is about a 4% performance difference between 3-3-3-8 PC3200 and 2-2-2-5
Kingmax and OCZ make good PC4000 memory, Kingmax being probbably best for value
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Old 01-23-2005, 04:46 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Definately going with the 939 pin when I do upgrade. They should price drop at the end of the year from what I hear. Thats about when I plan on getting it. As for the board I'll wait to see what they have out by that time.

Saving $200 by getting the 6600 gt might not be a bad idea.

You say the lower latency on ram doesn't make a huge diff. Thats good to know so I dont pay big for a small perf increase. What about having the 3200 matched pair over my unmatched 2700 chips. Is it worth the upgrade? Especially considering I'd prolly get 2 GB in a year or so when matched pairs are cheaper.
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Old 01-23-2005, 05:04 AM   #7 (permalink)
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PC3200 definately does have an edge over PC2700, and PC3200 is probabbly best for price verses performance currently.

if you're going to get 2GB in a year, it's probabbly best to get a 1GB stick now, then a matching 1GB stick later so you can run them in dual channel
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Old 01-23-2005, 05:55 AM   #8 (permalink)
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cool, how much of a perf decrease for not having the matched pair?
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