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Thread: Need help for upgrading.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2004

    Default Need help for upgrading.

    Well, it seems my dinosaur is having some trouble running new games. I was wondering what some good upgrades would be, in the $200-$250 range for me.

    These are my specs as of now (yes I know, dont laugh too hard):

    Dell Dimension 4100
    P3 1ghz
    GeForce2 64mb GTS
    256mb RAM
    Windows ME
    40gig HD (not sure on brand/speed)
    No idea about the motherboard, its whatever came with the computer back in '99 or '00, i forget.
    Turtle Beach Santa Cruz Sound Card

    I was looking at either Video card or CPU upgrade, but I dont know anything about whats out there... so any help would be greatly appreciated!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2003

    Default Re: Need help for upgrading.

    Hey buddy, you and I bought almost the same setup years ago. Mine was a 1.0 Athlon, but everything else significant was the same. We stretched a lot of good gaming for our rigs, didn't we?

    Here were my improvements:

    - I started with 256MB RAM... I upgraded to 512 MB
    - I upgraded my vid card six months ago to a 9600 Pro for $136. It helped smooth out GTA:VC, SW:KotOR, and Call of Duty for me.

    That's it, and I've enjoyed five years of gaming goodness without turning into one of these power system enthusiasts. However, all good things come to an end. I'm now looking to get a new system for the next five years and it starts with getting something that can handle Doom 3 and Half-Life 2 very smoothly. Here's what I recommend:

    Get a video card first. Something you can carry over from the rig you have now into an eventual new one. The 9800Pros are your best and cheapest option to carry you for at least six months. From now until the New Year, you should concentrate on saving for your next system. $100 a month will get you 1/3rd of what you need if you build it yourself, depending on your extras.

    I'm looking to upgrade this month myself (my thread is here somewhere). I've got the $$$, and before it disappears I want to nail a great system. Good luck and I hope you find what you need.
    1.0 GHz Athlon AMD T-Bird 650-1.2G
    Gigabyte 761-686B 7DX REV. F1vb MC
    AMD 761 Chipset
    Hercules GeforcePro 64MB Det. 32.80
    2x256 MB Crucial DDR PC2100
    40 Gig HD
    250 MB Iomega Zip
    Creative Soundblaster Live Value
    Viewsonic 22" P220f [email protected]
    Earthlink Cable 768/128 kbps

    FSB 2x101 MHz
    AGP Bus 4x67 MHz
    PCI Bus 1/3x34 MHz
    LPC/ISA Bus 1/4x9 MHz (VIA)

    Temps: Board 25.4C, CPU 52C
    SiSoft ALU: 2824 MIPS, FPU 1467 MFLOPS
    3DMark2001: 3702

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Minnesota, United States

    Default Re: Need help for upgrading.

    Upgrading your video card will be great, especially for the future, but it isn't going to do anything now. With a Pentium 3 you will be way too CPU-limited to use much more than what you have now. Something you could try for more right-now results would be to get a new motherboard (an A7N8X-X or NF7 rev. 2) and a new CPU (Athlon XP Barton 2500). But your RAM is going to be an issue there, and so is money. At this point you can either get new RAM (dual 256MB PC3200 or PC3500 sticks) or get a new video card. Depending on what RAM you're using now (and if it's even DDR RAM), you may need new RAM to get much out of a new processor. If it's PC2100, you could get a Mobile Barton 2500 along with the new motherboard and a new video card (9600 or 9600 Pro).

    Basically, if you're going to use such a small budget you are either going to get a low-end system that, while being a huge improvement on your current setup, kills upgradability (and therefor wastes money) or just upgrade a current system so that it has use when you get more money but shows little improvement now. If you can increase the budget by maybe $100, you'll be in good shape.

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