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Thread: Upgrade advice




  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    Default Upgrade advice

    Hi,

    I'm stuck trying to consider what to do with my system. Currently running a 2500 Barton, 9800 Pro, 2x512mb PC3200. Mainly using the system at the moment for FS2004 and BF2 online.

    Not sure whether to upgrade vid card and keep processor, upgrade, processor and keep vid card, or go whole hog and upgrade everything. Then the question is, what gains I can expect to get?

    To be honest, I've just played BF2 online, medium settings, and looked ok but bit of lag. I'm assuming I could have an all dancing system and still have lag. As far as FS2004 goes, runs nicely on max settings, but it's AI traffic that kills it off.

    I know this is hard questions, but hope someone can advise.

  2. #2
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    Apr 2005
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    Default Re: Upgrade advice

    Upgrading your cpu and motherboard would be the first step. Although the new motherboards mostly come with PCI-E rather than AGP. You can still get an AGP board that supports the newer 64 bit cpu's but you won't have the Nforce 4 or all the latest chipsets. I had the same predicament as you did. I decided to get a board that supports agp, keep my video card, upgrade the processor, and later on when my agp isn't keeping up i will just upgrade the board and video card. The 9800 Pro is still going to hoss newer games pretty well. Upgrading your cpu and board will definately give you a boost in your games.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    7

    Default Re: Upgrade advice

    Thankyou. I'm guessing that is obviously going to be the cheaper option as well. I was thinking of going for a 3000 venice as I hear these are the best value and clock very well.

    I will probably buy a new case as well, as things seem to be cramp in mine, circulation is bad and therefore running hot, idles at 50/35. MY current heatsink is a Akasa 825 which I think is pants, and that along with my 2 80mm qtec case fans are constantly running at full whack and therfore noisy. Think I need to look at this as well.

    Just heard from a friend that he has upgraded to an X800 and unlocked it from 14 to pipes and still only running BF2 on medium settings. Think he is still running about a 2600XP though, so I'm assuming this is holding him back.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Upgrade advice

    I partially disagree with eat@jones.

    If you're going to upgrade to a new motherboard, don't bother unless you're going with a new PCI-E video card. A Barton 2500 is as much as you need for any game, even BF2. An Athlon 64 will perform better, but a high-end Barton need at least a 6800GT to bottleneck it. The old Bartons are still useful with existing and upcoming games. If your friend's 2600 is a Barton, then it probably isn't hurting him too much. I can tell you right now my 9800 Pro holds me back a lot more than my Barton. Overclocking it from 1.8Ghz to 2.4 GHz doesn't make as much difference in any games as overclocking the 9800 Pro to past 9800XT speeds. Most games are very GPU-bound, especially the newer first-person shooters. I honestly can't say that any of this applied to FS2004, but I can laundry-list 20 or so games made in the last two years that it does apply to, if you'd like.

    My suggestion is this:
    Your first option is to sell the 9800 Pro and get a 6800GT. They're not that expensive anymore, and anything that card can run will run on the Barton. It may give lower FPS, but for the most part you'll find the same settings playable as with a 6800GT and an Athlon 64.

    The more expensive, but better (IMHO) option, is to replace the motherboard, CPU, and video card altogether. A 3000 and a DFI nForce 4 Ultra board would be good, though Chaintech makes good, cheap boards if you need the price to go down. For a GPU, a 6800GT would be nice, though you may have to go with ATI for price purposes because they are more competitive in the mid range of PCI-E. Nvidia's 6800 and 6800GT/Ultra are good, but they are all bridged from AGP and cost more in PCI-E, while ATI's entire X800 line is PCI-E native and able to compete with nVidia very well in many cases. I'd go with nVidia just for Pixel Shader 3.0, but you may not have the money to.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    Default Re: Upgrade advice

    hmmmmmmm, now completely confused lol. When I first read your post I was thinking along the lines of purchasing just a new card, AGP and keep my system as is.

    Just been looking at TomsHardware interactive chart, and the 3000 seems on average to double the performance of my 2500.

    Only thing I'm worried about is that I made an upgrade about 12 months ago, selling off my 2400XP, GeForce 4800SE and 512mb ram and upgraded to my current system and noticed hardly any difference. Plan was to clock my 2500, but think I got a bad chip and can't get it past 2.1Ghz, but to be honest, haven't noticed any real benefit anyway. Therefore, I don't want to make the same mistake again.

    I'm thinking that if I were to buy just a card now, would prolly be a 6600GT as I keep hearing good things about these, but also keep hearing that the 9800 pro is still a good card.

    I'm looking at coming into some redundancy money soon, but not going to go crazy and splash out loads of money, just maybe a couple hundred. At least, I think I'm going to buy a proper case and some decent cooling, and just don't want to make any mistakes on what I buy

  6. #6
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    Jun 2005
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    Default Re: Upgrade advice

    Just seen an offer for a pair of used X800XT's, which I understand are good cards. One is an AGP model with an artic silencer for 190 and an PCI-Express one for 175.

    hmmmmmmm

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Upgrade advice

    Quote Originally Posted by stuarta
    hmmmmmmm, now completely confused lol. When I first read your post I was thinking along the lines of purchasing just a new card, AGP and keep my system as is.

    Just been looking at TomsHardware interactive chart, and the 3000 seems on average to double the performance of my 2500.
    Not in games. Maybe in video encoding or something, but certainly not in most games. THG is full of it if they say so (many people would say THG is full of it anyway). It should take a 6800 to see much improvement in most games from a faster CPU for your system, and a 6800GT for it to be anywhere close to doubling FPS.

    As for getting a new card, a 6600GT would be a big mistake. It's not that much better than the 9800 Pro. Spending around $150 USD (more for you) for a new card that doesn't increase performance by even 10% overall would be a waste of money IMO. A 6800 Would be a bigger step up, but IMO a 6800GT (or even some form of X800) would be the only option worth the money.

    A 300MHz OC isn't that bad for the 2500, and if you actually were CPU-limited, it would mean huge improvement. If you got a new 6800GT or something around there, you might appreciate that OC, but it won't do much in most games with your 9800 Pro.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Upgrade advice

    I'm right on the line of disagree/agree. I use to have a 2800 Barton with a 9800. I couldn't get most games to run on high resolutions and decent graphics. My board did have some problems but didn't affect performance too much. I put that 9800 in a 64 bit Athlon system and noticed a huge difference. Running the games at high res with high settings (4x AA 8x AF) is really nice now. I had the Barton oc'd to a 3200 and ran dual channel 2700. A non-oc'd Athlon 64 3000 Venice with dual channel 3200 runs so much better. That is, of course, my case. It could have very well been issues with my cpu or board, but I'm just telling everyone here that I noticed a big performance boost in FPS games with a better cpu and a better board.

    Also, reading your part about the AI. AI is highly dependent on CPU power. If you're going to play online I would just run your system you have now as long as you can and just upgrade everything later.

  9. #9
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    Jun 2005
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    Default Re: Upgrade advice

    Thanks guys. I think what I will probably do, is try and sell what I can of my bits as soon as I get another job and then go for board and gfx card, that way I SHOULD see a difference. I would hate to go for just one or the other for now and feel that I've wasted the money.

    Looking at a used X800XT

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