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Old 04-04-2005, 11:48 AM   #1 (permalink)
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MotherBoard/Processor Upgrade Questions

I'm interested in upgrading my computer.
Specifically my motherboard/chip.
So my questions are along the lines of what do I need to know to find a board/chipset that will work for what I have?
Code:
Qty: 1   Aurora DDR
       ~ Case: Dragon Full-Tower Case (340-Watt PS) (Cyborg Green)
       ~ Processor: AMD Athlon XP 2100+ Processor 266Mhz FSB
       ~ Cooling Fan/Heatsink: Cooler Master DP5-7H53F High-Performance
HSF
       ~ Memory: 512MB DDR SDRAM PC-2100
       ~ Hard Drive One: 80GB Seagate Barracuda ATA IV 7200RPM 2MB Cache
       ~ Optical Drive One: 16/48x IDE DVD-ROM Drive w/Software MPEG-2
Decoder
       ~ Optical Drive Two: PlexWriter 40/12/40A CD-RW - IDE - White
       ~ Video Card: FREE UPGRADE - NVIDIA® GeForce4 Ti 4600 w/128MB Dual
Monitor
       ~ Video Cooling: KoolMaxx Video Cooling System (Conspiracy Blue)
       ~ Sound Card: SoundBlaster Audigy 5.1 w/1394
       ~ Modem: US Robotics V.90 56K Internal Voice/Fax/Data
       ~ Speakers: Creative Inspire™ 5.1 5300 Speakers - Black
       ~ Keyboard: 107-Enhanced Windows Keyboard (Space Black)
       ~ Mouse: Microsoft IntelliMouse Explorer USB (Cyborg Green)
       ~ Operating System: Microsoft® Windows® XP Professional
What I'm looking for out of this upgrade is better gaming performance.
I will probably look into a new video card as well.
Thanks for any help you can give.

Any advice on upgrading is helpful as well.
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Old 04-04-2005, 11:55 AM   #2 (permalink)
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You want a new motherboard, processor, video card, AND memory. The old memory will be too slow for the new system, and it will be a severe bottleneck.

Everything should be standard (just make sure you have enough slots for everything) with the possible exception of the cooling parts. Is the video cooler (I assume a fan) on a PCI slot? Or is it connected directly to the video card? You might not need a cooling system, depending on what the card you get comes with.

And the heatsink will most likely not work with a new processor/motherboard. You'll have to get a new one. I'm a big fan of Thermaltake, but there are others out there.
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Old 04-04-2005, 12:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
Tilted
 
Whoops! The parts listed in the first post were from the original purchase. Since the purchase the video Card has been upgraded to what was then the latest card (a year after purchase) and there's 1G of ram in the case from two cards of 512mb.

The "KoolMaxx Video Cooling System" is a single fan on the side of the case, cheap little thing actually. I've added a slot fan, but I think there is a fan on the card as well.
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Old 04-04-2005, 12:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Here's a list of a few items and some prices for this potential upgrade project of mine.

Motherboard & Processor Combo: (No price difference for buying them seperate from Tiger Direct)
• MSI 865PE NEO2-V Socket 478 ATX Motherboard
• Intel Pentium 4 3.4GHz Prescott Processor
Price: $359.99 US

Video Card:
• BFG GeForce 6800 Ultra / 256MB GDDR3 / AGP 8X / Dual DVI / TV Out / Video Card
Price: $399.99 US

Memory:
• Ultra 1024MB PC3200 DDR 400MHz Memory
Price: $119.99 US

TOTAL: $879.97 US

What do you think? Worth it? What am I missing/should I include/change?

—Ben
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Old 04-04-2005, 08:39 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Before you go off buying yourself new parts, ask yourself this question: What do I want to use the computer for?

If Multimedia (Movies, Pictures, etc) then go with Pentium 4. If gaming, go with AMD.

As for your hard drive, if you want a really fast system, a 2MB cache might be a bottleneck for your performance. Don't take my word since I'm not much of a hardware geek.
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Old 04-04-2005, 08:42 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Looks good! That'd be an extremely fast gaming PC. You wouldn't have to upgrade for a looong time. I applaud you for not going cheap on the videocard like most people do...then they wonder why their $400 processor with 2 GB of RAM is playing games like crap. The videocard matters more than your processor!

-Lasereth
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Old 04-05-2005, 12:39 AM   #7 (permalink)
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For a gaming system its a coin toss between and amd processor or intel. Unless you want to spend the jack on the new athlon 64. For a gaming system you want a good fast and stable system. Alot of guys around here like the nforce chipsets but the are always complaining of data curruption which if you are doing othings with the system curruption is not good.
If you plan on doing vid and photo work i would go the intel route, granted a mac is really the best for photos and vid imo.
The amd 3200 xp processor and a good kt880 mb will set you back about 200.00 bucks if you shop carefully. I have had real good results with the soyo dragon kt880 version2 mb and the xp3200. But i also do alot of overclocking to push the system to the max(just for fun)
The gfcard is good but to the best of my knowledge it is not dx9 ready. Personally i would go ati because you can get a 9800se card with 256 meg of vidmemory and it is dx9 ready for 140.00 at newegg.com.
Memory go with namebrand pc3200 ddr. Geil, coarsair, etc. I know newegg had a sale on the geil dual channel ddr 3200 1 gig for 100.00. Its good basic memory and if the mb you do get does support dual channel memory it will work with no problems.

Alot of the new mb/cpus they are bringing out is great but keep in mind that if the software you are using doesnt need that kind of power its real easy to go overkill and broke updating a system
Lastly you didnt say what mother board you have now. you might be abol to update the bios and just get another processor and memory and be done.
I hope i helped
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Old 04-05-2005, 04:15 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Location: San Francisco
If game performance or value is the most important factor, in my opinion AMD is the only way to go. Check out these Half-Life 2 benchmarks. Even the Athlon64 3200+ beats every Intel CPU in the test.

At monarchcomputer.com, you can get an A64 3200+, a good nForce4 Ultra motherboard, plus a free copy of Farcry and HL2 for $326, and you can probably get even lower if you shop around. (I love Monarch because they're in Georgia so I don't get screwed with CA sales tax and they have free shipping on a lot of stuff, plus some of the lowest prices around.) You can also upgrade to a dual core processor later since it's socket 939, and future-proof for 64-bit Windows and apps.

Also, the 6800 Ultra is more DirectX 9 compatible than any ATI card so that's not an issue. If you spend a little more on an nForce 4 motherboard, you can get one that supports SLI, and drop in another card later for a nice performance boost. That is, if you get the PCI Express version of the card, which is more expensive, more money more money, yeah, it's not the end all be all of performance, and I personally did go the ATI route instead of worrying about that. Right now it seems that nVidia vs. ATI is more of a personal preference thing as they're pretty even at the same price points. I happened to get a good deal on my card so I went with it and I'm happy with it. Nvidia is making an Intel chipset that supports SLI but I don't think it's a shipping product yet.
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Last edited by n0nsensical; 04-05-2005 at 04:29 AM..
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Old 04-05-2005, 04:57 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Location: Winston-Salem, NC
Quote:
Originally Posted by cudaboy
The gfcard is good but to the best of my knowledge it is not dx9 ready. Personally i would go ati because you can get a 9800se card with 256 meg of vidmemory and it is dx9 ready for 140.00 at newegg.com.
The videocard he listed is basically the best on the market. The Radeon 9800 SE is a piece of shit, plain and simple. For gaming, that 9800 SE would bottleneck the computer by a large amount. Again, don't go cheap on the videocard!!

-Lasereth
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Old 04-05-2005, 06:15 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I appreciate all of the help. Here are a few answers to some common questions I'm reading.

The PC I'm upgrading is primarily for gaming.
I have a MAC that I use for my video/photo editing.(I'm an Art Director)

I'm not sure on the current Motherboard. I know it's an ASUS, but that's about it.
-----

...and Lasereth, your thread about Videocards should def. be a sticky. Thanks for the input everyone.
http://www.tfproject.org/tfp/showthr...ght=video+card

—Ben
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Old 04-05-2005, 05:54 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Location: NC
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lasereth
The videocard he listed is basically the best on the market. The Radeon 9800 SE is a piece of shit, plain and simple. For gaming, that 9800 SE would bottleneck the computer by a large amount. Again, don't go cheap on the videocard!!

-Lasereth
man i didn't mean to piss ya off about a video card. It was just a suggeation. Maby im one of the lucky ones, but ive had no problems with the 9800se ,it looks better and fps is the same as the gf6600 i gave to my wife for her computer.
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Old 04-05-2005, 07:27 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Ha ha I didn't get pissed off, I just go a little over the top in videocard discussions. They've been my main PC interest since about 4 years.

-Lasereth
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Old 04-06-2005, 04:54 AM   #13 (permalink)
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FWIW this idea that AMDs are lousy for photoshop or video editing is a myth. I routinely edit video on my AMD64 desktop and laptop, and it works great. I don't see any performance hits over my station's 2 month old pentium box.
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Old 04-06-2005, 09:37 AM   #14 (permalink)
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AMD's have in my case, rock-solid stability and reliability and the NVidia chipsets beat the problematic intel chipsets left and right.

I'm running a dual opteron and dual athlon mp servers here with uptimes over year without any glitch.

My home machine is now AMD64 (AthlonXP being phased out) with Asus A8N-E and zero problems whatever.

What I hear from the Intel guys is that you have to upgrade your motherboard almost every time they do an upgrade. Not mentioning all the fiascos and problems with the consumer chipsets. The best example being the new dual cores come out. If you have intel, yet another 'replace the motherboard and get a bug-ridden new chipset on the same go'. AMD, just upgrade your Socket939 bios and you're set.

No bias here, I used exclusively Intel until Athlon Thunderbirds came out, they just offered the better bang for the buck. And after Opterons came out, I just had no choice but to chase the Xeons out from the server housing since they were just no match for the Opterons.

Things are by the way bit less interesting on the server side now, intel is catching up. If they have better product, I have no qualms about buying their stuff again
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Old 04-06-2005, 09:42 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Location: Winston-Salem, NC
Quote:
Originally Posted by shakran
FWIW this idea that AMDs are lousy for photoshop or video editing is a myth. I routinely edit video on my AMD64 desktop and laptop, and it works great. I don't see any performance hits over my station's 2 month old pentium box.
No one is saying they're lousy, it's just a fact that more megahertz = faster computing when it comes to media creation. AMD's processors definitely get the job done but there's no denying Intel's lead in processor clock cycles.

-Lasereth
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Old 04-06-2005, 02:26 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lasereth
No one is saying they're lousy, it's just a fact that more megahertz = faster computing when it comes to media creation. AMD's processors definitely get the job done but there's no denying Intel's lead in processor clock cycles.

-Lasereth

True that, although once you're in the 2+ gig territory, ram and HD speed becomes more critical than processor speed.

I'm referring mainly to daily turn news story editing (i.e. very few if any dissolves/effects), although I've done longform pieces on both my system and the station's intel and still didn't see any performance hit. From a pure cost/benefit standpoint, I'd go AMD even for video editing. The MINOR hit you take in clock cycles isn't really noticible, and certainly isn't worth spending more money on the chip like you'd have to with Intel - I'd rather take that money and pump it into ram/HD.
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