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What would you do in my situation

zenden

Standard Member
Current system

XP2800+

512meg RAM (PC2700)

Geforce fx5600 256meg

160gig

350w psu

------

This system has done me well over the last 2 years but there is one or two games thats coming out soon that will stuggle on my pc with medium settings @ 1024 x 748. Mainly COD2 / Quake 4 / FEAR

My pc plays CSS quite well at 30-70fps @ 1024 x 748 med settings but its time for an upgrade.


I am at a cross roads.... I have £400 max to spend, this will not be enough to buy a new system and change to pci-e cause i will need cpu/mboard/2gigram/psu/cooling,

So im thinking about spending £150-200 and sticking with AGP for the time being(save the money i would save from the £400 and build a pci-e A64 bit system in 2 years time)

Question is will my system be good enough for the next 2 years of gaming

Im looking at making my system into a

Xp2800+
1 GIG ram
Leadtek 6800nu

or would you not bothering upgrading my system and stuggle like f00k for the next year with my current setup while i save more money for a pci-e system?
People have told me the above system will not be good enough to run cod2/quake4 etc but then others have said the 6800 and 1 gig of ram will be good enough, just the CPU will struggle in a years time?????!?!?!!??!

What would you do if you were me?

Gonna order the gfx card and ram tonight so someone advise be before i regret buying it!
 

stegalv

Active Member
i doubt you are going to get another two years out of your set up, shop around. 64bit 3200 oem 100 quid/939 motherboard 70 quid/1gig ram 66 quid/6600gt pci card 105 quid,thats 350 quid for your main components,sell your existing pc or use the bits that you need for the rest. this should run those games at 1024x748 and you are then set up to upgrade to faster stuff as your finances allow.
 

zenden

Standard Member
So these A64 3200+ are much better than an XP2800+

To me i look at it and see only 400mhz difference? but how much faster is the A64 3200 over my cpu.

But the 6600gt pci will be slower than a 6800nu agp?
 

zenden

Standard Member
panny300 said:
i doubt you are going to get another two years out of your set up, shop
do you mean for another 2 years with high quality?

I am not expecting high quality for the next 2 years.

Im talking about 800x600 - 1024 x 748 with med settings for the next 2 years..

Still not possible?
 

InsertNameHere

Novice Member
Before buying anything, have you download any of the demos (for Call of Duty 2, FEAR etc) to see how they run yourself? You say people have recommended that you need an upgrade for them to run but I guess it depends on what resolution and settings you’re happy with and what YOU consider to be acceptable performance – it will differ from person to person. To be honest, you’ll probably find the RAM is a bit on the small size but sticking another 512MB in your system won’t break the bank and it should smooth things out. Graphics wise, I can’t tell you how well your FX5600 will perform (I haven’t played any of the games myself) so unless you’ve seen some benchmarks, I’d recommend downloading a couple of demos as suggested to see first-hand. Buying a graphics card for your system in order to prolong it’s life for another two years might be optimistic so splashing out £170 is debatable. It should certainly last a year though (with a 6800GT anyway)... maybe a bit longer.

I have a similar pc spec to you at the moment but I’m trying to postpone any upgrade for another year. However, I’m happy with its performance at the moment and I’ll only upgrade when this becomes an issue. I also want to wait for the next line of processors to debut and a few other technology 'enhancements'.

Like you say £400 for a new system is out of the question (for a gaming rig anyway) but if you have no problem with pre-built systems, I’ve seen Dell’s selling cheaply (depending on the weekly deal). You’ll probably need to buy a graphics card to put in it but people have recently got a:

3.0Ghz processor
2GB of DDR2 RAM
160GB HDD
CD-RW / DVD-ROM
19” TFT monitor
along with the usual (keyboard, mouse, OS etc.)

for under £600. Something to think about – remember you’ll get some cash from selling your current system.

Alex
 

AML

Well-known Member
If you already have a copy of windows, and a monitor and case with optical drives/floppy, then all you need to get is a new mother board, memory, CPU and graphics card.

A new PSU would also be a good idea. and propper ventilation.

I think you can get a good mother board for less than 100 quid which will last you a couple years.

You can start with 1gb memory and leave space for future upgrades. Lets say 50 quid for PC3200 memory.

CPU can be cheap or expensive. Its up to you.
Same for graphics card.

PSU wont cost more than 50quid for a good one.

HDD, I recomend you get a 120 or 160gb SATA drive. Not that expensive. less than 50quid.

If you already have a good keyboard/mouse then no need to spend money on that.

All together thats about 400 or 500.
 

Miyazaki

Novice Member
Sell it and buy an xbox 360 on launch. **** over any pc from a great height and for a tiny fraction of the cost.
 

AML

Well-known Member
I agree with Guru that the 360 is more powerfull than a cutting edge PC and at a fraction of the cost, but you can only use the 360 for games.

A PC has more functions and apps. It also depends on what kind of games you plan to play. If RTS and FPS are your kind of games then the PC would be better.

If you play other types of games like Racing or RPG's then the 360 would be best.

Personaly I would choose both!
 

pragmatic

Well-known Member
Get yourself some new ram, some cheap branded stuff as it's unlikely you'll be able to take normal DDR with you when you upgrrade again in 1-2 years. Bring yourself up to 1 GB.

Get a 6800GT will play games very well, only your cpu may hold you back but as you say your on abudget, and although you could get a new base system you'd probably have to skimp on the gfx and so wouldn'd be much better than what you have already.

Your PSU would probably strugle so i would advise you to buy a nice powerful one you can take with you in the future this is one area that should be future proof. New standards have just come out (ATX 2?) and there is a move to bring the power consumption of most components down, or atleast power/watt to a sensible level.

The gfx, mem and psu shouldn't cost you more than 400, and any spair you can use else where.

This does mean that in the 1-2 year period when you do upgrade your gonna have to preverbaly 'chuck' the entire system (except for the psu) but as any gfx card would be out dated by then its not exactly as bad as it might seem as the rest of your system is already beond an upgrade path (dam them keep changing the motherboards!!!).

~£50 for memory
~£200 for 6800 GT
~£50-80 for psu

say £310
for comparision stakes with a mobo upgrade ect you'd have to pay
~£80-100 for mobo
~£100-150 for cpu
~£50-80 for psu (you'll need one even more probably)
~£10-200 for gfx card
~£50 for memory (your still gonna benifit from the extra 512)
~£10-20 for a decent cooler (although the athlon 64 venice one is ment to be decent)

~nearer 500 to see a decent improvement over what you already have/could have with a 'patch' job, moving to a 2800 or 3000 athlon 64 is probably not gonna be much of an advantage. Although athlon 64 mhz are better than athlon xp ones, the margin is never going to be worth the extra money, at least in my opinion.
 

Miyazaki

Novice Member
I'd get a second-hand half decent laptop for £250 and an xbxo 360.

A gaming pc wouldn't be on my agenda for at least 9 months to a year, until they sort out dual core cpus and gpus and get them working properly.
 

Uridium

Well-known Member
OK, not wanting to Hijack Zenden's post I'm in the same boat, Had my machine in it's current guise for a couple of years now and starting to think it's time to throw a bit of cash at it again. Current setup is:

XP2500+
Gigabyte Matx Mobo (can't remember the model afraid)
1Gb Crucial 3200 DDR
Abit Radeon 9600Pro 256Mb
Audigy2
2x 80Gb 7200 IDE disks, one system, one just used for Storing/Streaming MP3
new 550watt PSU and decent case with plenty of cooling

I only play games in 1024x768 due to 15" TFT but want to be able to play COD2 etc.. without any slowdown or choppyness when it arrives.

Dislike consoles so not interested in Xbox 360 and like Zenden have about £300-£400 to spend.

What does everyone reckon my best upgrade options are? I get the impression that my MOBO is a bit of a bottleneck at the moment so will definitley be binning that first, would like to avoid ASUS boards if possible due to several bad experiences with them in the past though! and would prefer a board with minimal on-board stuff.

Suggestions?
 

Uridium

Well-known Member
My current system board doesn't have PCI-E though, only AGP8x, recommend a decent MOBO?

I was thinking a new system board and upgrade to a XP3200+ until Dual core X64 chips are a sensible price?

Is my current VGA card that bad or is it still useable?

3dMark2001 score is 8170 (currently downloading 3DMark2005)
 

pragmatic

Well-known Member
There was never much of a difference between the 2500 and the 3200, wouldn't be worth the money about 5-8% for £50-80 and thats just for the chip. your two options are save up a little bit more and go the whole hog and get a new system, or get a 6800GT will run all games at that res for ages to come, the 6800GT should be about 4x the gfx card you have now and except for the games that are cpu limited (mainly UT) it'll keep you going for about another year.

Unfortunitly it'll probably be dead end time then as there will be very few agp gfx boards about and your cpu and memory will be old news.

So either take the plunge now or in a year 16 months time. 1024x768 is easily done by the 6800GT though, as most people run things at 1280x1024 due to tft max res.

I'm currently running an Abit(a64) and chaintech(aXP) motherboard and they both seem good, friends who have had asus and msi have always had good experiences. Gigabyte always seemed a bit bare bones and gave the least possible in features, options and accessories i.e. everything but that might have changed since my 700 duron ;) .

Stay away from ECS if i were you, they make budget boards but they seem to lack stability :eek: just not acceptable :nono:

What was so bad with the asus' you had in the past?
 

Joe Pineapples

Well-known Member
My current system board doesn't have PCI-E though, only AGP8x, recommend a decent MOBO?
i would go for the ASRock 939Dual-SATA2 board. It will use any of the existing components** you have, but also has the advantage of fully supporting PCI-E too. Have a look on here at the Anandtech review, then you could order it from here for around £50. I've been doing a bit of research on this board myself for a friend, and even the picky people on OcUk forum seem to like it. The only fly in the ointment for you would be that 'Asrock' is made by Asus.

** except the CPU - doh!

BTW - for the xbox 360 power to £ ratio, i personally agree that the console makes the most sense in value for money terms, but what i have seen little mention of, is the fact that the games appear (so far), to be at a minimum cost of £39.99 each - and this is on play.com (probably one of the cheapest). I just hope those games have longevity.

By comparison, i have Toca 3 on pre-order from play, for £17.99 - bargain
 

Uridium

Well-known Member
gazbarber said:
There was never much of a difference between the 2500 and the 3200, wouldn't be worth the money about 5-8% for £50-80 and thats just for the chip. your two options are save up a little bit more and go the whole hog and get a new system, or get a 6800GT will run all games at that res for ages to come, the 6800GT should be about 4x the gfx card you have now and except for the games that are cpu limited (mainly UT) it'll keep you going for about another year.

Unfortunitly it'll probably be dead end time then as there will be very few agp gfx boards about and your cpu and memory will be old news.

So either take the plunge now or in a year 16 months time. 1024x768 is easily done by the 6800GT though, as most people run things at 1280x1024 due to tft max res.

I'm currently running an Abit(a64) and chaintech(aXP) motherboard and they both seem good, friends who have had asus and msi have always had good experiences. Gigabyte always seemed a bit bare bones and gave the least possible in features, options and accessories i.e. everything but that might have changed since my 700 duron ;) .

Stay away from ECS if i were you, they make budget boards but they seem to lack stability :eek: just not acceptable :nono:

What was so bad with the asus' you had in the past?[/QUOTE]


Not fussed about the board not having OB VGA/LAN/SOUND etc..as I never use any of it and Gigabyte boards have always had good Quality control, something that is widely acknowledge as a problem with ASUS, I know you can send it back if it's DOA but it's just more hassle, had three dead boards in the past from ASUS via Ebuyer.

Noticed that Ebuyer are knocking out an PNY 7800GT for £199, Any good?

If so one of those and a New board to pop my XP2500X on would seem a good option (If You can still buy a decent SocketA board that is!
 
Also bare in mind for those raving about the power of the consoles .... they are currently not available yet .... so comparissons on processing power don't stand up as we are not comparing like for like.

You will get an awful lot of bang for your buck .... but they will be superceeded in power by PC's quite quickly .... and it will be a simple matter of unplugging a gfx card and slotting in another for the PC rather than having to buy a whole new PC.


.... for gamers, if you want to play online on the biggest games and environments ... the PC is king.

Ps ... I have recollections of these conversations every time a new generation of consoles have come out ... repeatedly over the last 20 odd years ( SNES, Playstation, N64 , PS2, Xbox etc etc )
 

pragmatic

Well-known Member
Unfortunity you can't get a socket a with a PCI-X, so it'll have to be new cpu and mobo, but you could take everything else with you (unless you went intel ...)

Not sure about PNY but they have been about for a while and £200 is an amazing price for an amazing card.
 

Digger

Novice Member
Uridium. Have you downloaded COD2 demo and tried it. I have same video card but XP1800+ and 768MB RAM. It is playable for me at 1024*768. Give it a go and you may as well download some others whilst your at it . My favourite location is www.filefront.com ...very good d/l speeds.
 

pragmatic

Well-known Member
Digger said:
Uridium. Have you downloaded COD2 demo and tried it. I have same video card but 1800XP and 768MB. It is playable for me at 1024*768. Give it a go and you may as well download some others whilst your at it . My favourite location is www.filefront.com ...very good d/l speeds.
Whe i first read that i thought you ment you had the new ATI gfx card with 768MB of ram :eek:
 

InsertNameHere

Novice Member

iZombine

Novice Member
He was quoting the price without VAT. Lots of people forget that when looking at ebuyer.

Does look like at a great card even though it is the poorest out of the 7800 range. The problem is it's over half of his budget.

Don't bother getting a xbox 360 not yet! I'm waiting till next year to see if they bring out any decent games for that.


Got a 3d Mark 05 score yet?
 

pragmatic

Well-known Member
Its not that at far off a 7800GTX and I have one, for the price of a new mothboard and processor it maybe worth it, may streach the budget by say £50 or slightly more which wouldn't be worth it for a 6800GT but the performance from the 7800GT is probably worth it.

If zenden went this route and more money comes availible upgrade the ram, although the psu would most likey needed to be upgraded as a 7800GT and new mobo and cpu may draw more power than the 350watter can put out.
 

Uridium

Well-known Member
OK my Rad 9600Pro has just died so my hand is forced now!

Have decided on a 3500+ Venice CPU and a Gigabyte GA-K8N Ultra-9 Mobo.

What PCI-E graphics card do I buy then?

Must admit i was disappointed with the 9600Pro so am swayed back towards Nvidia again. Budget of about £100-£150 for a card, appreciate this isn't a huge amount but as I only play games in 1024*768 it should be more than enough.

Suggestions please?
 

pragmatic

Well-known Member
ATI Radeon X800 GTO seems to be the best at that price at the mo, you maybe able to get a 6800GT if yout lucky otherwise a 6600Gt if you have to nvidia.

The x800GT/O are ment to be very good and give the 6800GT more than a run for its money performance wise (being cheaper too helps).
 

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