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Upgrade advice

voltage

Active Member
I've got an average spec PC, and I think its in need of an upgrade.

These days I don't play any games, its mainly used for surfing the net, but I do the odd video editing and graphics work but the main thing I'd like it to do is output to my TV (Samsung LE40M86BD) at full HD or near resolutions.
At the moment I have the PC connected via S-video which is a fairly poor conenction on such a big screen, it wasn't such a big issue on the 26" we had.

Currect spec:
P4 2.8ghz, 800mhz FSB
~300gb HD space
500mb (or could be 1GB) RAM
GeForce 4 420MX GFX card - AGP
on board sound
Samsung 17" LCD monitor

What parts would you recommend changing? Budget is not huge, hopfully no more than £100.. depends what parts need changing really.
 

Naaktgeboren

Distinguished Member
Yeah as already said, a new video card and a DVI>HDMI lead, this will give you the best video connection possible.

Once you have these basics in place you can add to them as and when.
 

voltage

Active Member
Will I be able to run my current monitor as its a VGA connection?
Or will those GFX cards mentioned have DVI and VGA outputs?

I was hoping it would be just a GFX card, I may add a bit more RAM as well.
 

Croatoan

Active Member
Will I be able to run my current monitor as its a VGA connection?
Or will those GFX cards mentioned have DVI and VGA outputs?

I was hoping it would be just a GFX card, I may add a bit more RAM as well.

You need a new graphics card. I have an M86 40" and have mine connected DVI to HDMI at 1920x1080.

You really dont know what you are missing...................

If moneys tight check to make sure you have 1gb ram, if not buy 2gb and a 2600 card. If not the 1950pro agp.

Really with the processor and possibly the ram, 1080p windows looks superb on the samsung. Dont get any ideas about 1080p gaming though, thats way out of your spec.

Although some older games will be possible at this res on the 1950.
 

voltage

Active Member
If moneys tight check to make sure you have 1gb ram, if not buy 2gb and a 2600 card. If not the 1950pro agp.

Really with the processor and possibly the ram, 1080p windows looks superb on the samsung. Dont get any ideas about 1080p gaming though, thats way out of your spec.


It wont be for gaming.. I have a 360 and Wii for that. I lost interest in PC games a few years back. The constant need to upgrade hacked me off.

I have checked and I have 512mb RAM (2x256mb), so I will upgrade this. I think its DDR 400, so should be pretty cheap now.
Total spend with gfx card, RAM and the adapters needed for monitor and TV should hopfully stay within or around £100.

Thanks people.
 

Zarch

Well-known Member
The 2400XT will be good enough to give you hardware acceleration on all hd-dvd and blue-ray discs through powerdvd although you won't get any extra "ooomf" out of it (oe any fancy HD card) when playing back file based wmv's and h264 encodes in mkv containers, that sadly is all down to CPU power. (There are exceptions on the h264 front, but at the moment there aren't worth detailed here, although i have in my performance thread: http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=666171)

So seeing as you have a 2.8ghz P4 you are really going to struggle to play any type of HD file with that processor, even 720p material.

Most new graphics cards come with both VGA and DVI connections. With that later you can get a DVI to HDMI cable which will give you the best picture (imho) and only for about a fiver.

Memory wise you'll get away with 1gb for any HD playback, especially if your OS is XP.

Personally, i'd hold you horses on the graphics card, cos if your CPU aint upto the job of decoding HD video, whats the point of the graphics card?

Oh, and due to you having only an AGP slot, the ATi 2x00 series are notoriously flaky when trying to hardware accelerate anything HD video at the moment, although there is "supposed" to be a driver fix soon. I'd do a search on that one!!

If you JUST want to display a desktop at 1920x1080, then i'd say any recent graphics card with DVI out (and subsequent DVI-HDMI cable) should do the trick.

Do you want to play HD video files?
 

voltage

Active Member
I just want to get a good output picture to the TV really.
Most files will be SD, but I'd imagine I'll get a few HD files if I can.

Is it worth getting a new sound card? The on-board sound supposidly does 7.1, but I've never been able to get Dolby Digital 5.1 to the amp.
 

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