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Thread: A slow rebuild...




  1. #1
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    Question A slow rebuild...

    Alright, first of all, yeah I'm a total n00b... But please bare with me... This is my first system I built my self about 3 years ago. I made it on a 600 dollar budget so it obviously wasnt that great. It needs a ton of upgrades, Cooling being a huge one... But the thing is I only have about 200 dollars at the moment, and thats going to my Video Card. So I was wondering what I should be looking out for in the future upgrade wise. Heres my crap system specs... :D!


    • Case: >.>' I don't really care about the case, but right now its fine...

    • PSU: A new, 450w Coolmax, works just fine...

    • Memory: HOLY CRAP. I have 512mb of some Generic Samsung crap, I need a hell of a fix on this...

    • CPU: A 2.4 gig P4, yeah its not AMD, but i cant afford to switch over yet...

    • HD: Just a small, 40 gig Maxtor, its all I need storage wise, and is pretty quick..

    • Mobo:Brand New MSI mobo. MS-6728 865PE Neo2, works just fine :D!

    • Video Card: Im seriously embarassed... An old GeForce MX-440 8x... It is a 128mb card... and thats the only reason its worked for so long. Im ordering my new 6800 in the next few days :D!

    • Other Crap: Just the onboard sound, average keyboard, mouse, speakers, and the likes.
    Anyone wanna help me out on what to prioritize on my upgrade list, and please dont flame meh, I'm but a wee noob.

    P.S. Dont give me any crap about switching over to AMD and crap, I cant until I make alot more money, so I AM on a budget.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: A slow rebuild...

    A 6800 is good as you said, though I'd say just a 6800, not a 6800GT or Ultra. A 6800GT would need a high-end Athlon XP Barton, low-end Athlon 64 or Sempron, or a P4 around 3GHz to be taken advantage of, depending on the game in question. I'd say a regular 6800 would be a good choice for this system. Get a 6600GT if the 6800 is a little too expensive.

    Throw in another 512MB of RAM or sell that stuff and get dual 512MB sticks. With some of the newer games (particularly BF2), having 512MB is becoming more and more problematic. Make it PC3200 even if (I say if because you haven't specified the FSB) the CPU won't make use of it. PC3200 has literally no price premium over PC2700 and PC2100.

    I'd say after that your hard drive would be the next step. You say it's fine now, but I bet it'll be problematic soon enough.

    All your peripherals and the PSU are fine for this, so no worries there. After all the stuff I've mentioned, a new (or at least overclocked) CPU would be the next step. I'd say you should look into overclocking now since you are on such a tight budget. I certainly won't flame you for not having AMD. You don't need an AMD processor to play games well, it just makes a lot more sense if you're getting a new system, which you're not ATM.
    Last edited by Yawgm0th; 08-05-2005 at 08:21 PM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: A slow rebuild...

    Quote Originally Posted by SamaNanashi
    Alright, first of all, yeah I'm a total n00b... But please bare with me... This is my first system I built my self about 3 years ago. I made it on a 600 dollar budget so it obviously wasnt that great. It needs a ton of upgrades, Cooling being a huge one... But the thing is I only have about 200 dollars at the moment, and thats going to my Video Card. So I was wondering what I should be looking out for in the future upgrade wise. Heres my crap system specs... :D!

    CPU: A 2.4 gig P4, yeah its not AMD, but i cant afford to switch over yet...

    Memory: HOLY CRAP. I have 512mb of some Generic Samsung crap, I need a hell of a fix on this...

    P.S. Dont give me any crap about switching over to AMD and crap, I cant until I make alot more money, so I AM on a budget.
    Well for starters get some good fast PC3200 (or faster and a matched pair) and I take it that the P4 2.4 is of the non-HyperThreadeaded 100/133MHz FSB variety and if so go out and get a P4 3.0E (about $180us) and then you'll have some extra performance to push that new video card.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: A slow rebuild...

    If you have $200 burning a hole in your pocket and you already have the video card taken care of, do what wayout44 said and upgrade the CPU first since you already have a somewhat decent MB. Upgrade your system ram and hardrive when you get more cash or try to sell your old CPU, harddrive, Ram, and video card to get a little cash for a new harddrive and maybe help pay for new ram. Infact you could try to sell that whole system and upgrade the whole works at once, you really could get by with a little bit cheaper video card to dump more funds into another part of your new system.

    What makes you think you need new ram anyway?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: A slow rebuild...

    He doesn't need new RAM; he needs more RAM. IMO 512MB is a bigger gaming bottleneck than a P4 2.4, especially if he can overclock it at all on that motherboard. Unless you don't play newer first-person shooters. With other kinds of games the CPU may be a much bigger bottleneck.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: A slow rebuild...

    Quote Originally Posted by Yawgm0th
    He doesn't need new RAM; he needs more RAM. IMO 512MB is a bigger gaming bottleneck than a P4 2.4, especially if he can overclock it at all on that motherboard. Unless you don't play newer first-person shooters. With other kinds of games the CPU may be a much bigger bottleneck.

    512mb ram isn't the worst thing to have in an aging system in my opinion. Yeah more ram would be nice and better ram would be nicer for overclocking but a new video card and CPU would work better for him playing high end video games (IN MY OPINION) and then he could upgrade the ram when he can afford it, that is, unless he absolutly needs to run something that requires more than 512mb of system ram or is into overclocking and testing his system for stability. One word he mentioned in his original post made me beleive he's not an overclocker in any way shape or form.

    I have some video games that are recommending a P4 2.5 GHz CPU on the box cover, maybe some require more by now, since I don't need to read box specs much anymore, on the other hand I can't think of any video game that recommend's more ram than 512mb of system ram. If he's into video editing more than games things might equal out some but then again I never really did much of that on my old P4 2.4 GHz (non HP) systems with the low end ram, on the other hand I had tested just about every mainstream video game title on them that was available right up until the time I sold the systems late last year and then upgraded to the bigger P4's that I use today.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: A slow rebuild...

    Wow people actually replied lol... Thanks everyone for your input and such, I really appreciate it. As of right now my plans are... Buy the regular 6800 ASAP, which is what I planned on doing from the start. Then some RAM would be my next priority once I get enough money. I was looking at some 90-100 dollar Mushkin, it's not redline, but it is a gig of PC3200, which is more than I can say for this piece... Well aside from all that, I also need to find a new HD as you said, and here and there I'll pick up a few fans for my case, and an aftermarket Proc. Heatsink, just because I have a feeling cooling will start to become a problem soon. In the future Ill probably switch over to a new, bigger case and such. Also, I've got another question. Alot of people have recommended the Arctic Cooling NV 5, I think thats what it is, but its a VGA cooler which I'm sure most of you have heard of. I was going to ask if you guy s had any opinions on me buying one of those units. I figured that with some of their super fancy silver cooling compound, I could keep my new card pretty cool.

    P.S. Games wise, I really only play FFXI alot, (Level 63 aw yeah!), but I would like to play compy intensive games such as BF2, not specifically or anything. But this current system is holding me back. BF2 doesnt even support the crap MX series right out of the box so I'm screwed in that department until I get my new card. In short, I do plan on playing some of the newer games, as well as unlocking and OCing my new card...

  8. #8
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    Default Re: A slow rebuild...

    BF2, and probably some of the newer, more-intensive first-person shooters will really need more RAM to take advantage of the video card. I don't know about FFXI, but for games like BF2 RAM is your best bet after the video card.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: A slow rebuild...

    Quote Originally Posted by SamaNanashi
    P.S. Games wise, I really only play FFXI alot, (Level 63 aw yeah!), but I would like to play compy intensive games such as BF2, not specifically or anything. But this current system is holding me back. BF2 doesnt even support the crap MX series right out of the box so I'm screwed in that department until I get my new card. In short, I do plan on playing some of the newer games, as well as unlocking and OCing my new card...

    Battlefield 2 is ‘raising the bar’ in what is required and recommended for a gaming PC, I’m afraid,,, fortunatly I beleive it's the only game on the mainsteam market right now that has that high system ram and video card ram recomendation as well as a 2.66GHz CPU but I'm sure there will be more to come later in the year/early next year. A faster CPU will also work much better with your high end video card so that is still the way to go in my opinion if you can't afford both a CPU and system ram all at once.

    I'll have to test BF2 game on my system that has only 512mb ram on it, I've only played the game on a system with 1 GB or ram and a higher end video card but I haven't heard my tenant complain when he played it on my oldest system downstairs that has 512mb ram and an ATI Radeon 9800 (128mb) non-pro video card as of yet. I'm guessing it works fine just not with all the bells and whistles cranked up very high.


    BF2
    Target Minimum Specification Machine

    * 1.7 GHz CPU
    * 512M of RAM
    * 128M video card (must support 1.4 shaders)


    Recommended Specification Machine

    * 2.66 GHz CPU
    * 1024M of RAM
    * 256M video card


    I also have my figures crossed that your PSU is stable enough to run all your new stuff smoothly, overclocking might become a big problem if you do happen to decide to do that when you get your new ram. I guess trying it to see how it works is your best bet and upgrade it if you need better.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: A slow rebuild...

    Well I've got a little update, I just recently purchased a floor ticket for the System of a Down concert in Pensacola... so I'm out fifty bucks, which means I'll have to wait a few days on that card, but no big deal. As for the RAM or CPU situation... I agree with both of you. So right now the plan is to: Get the card, leave it stock until more cooling is acquired.Next would be a new gig of some Mushkin, and leave the cpu until i get some more money. Ill either upgrade to a 3.2 or so, or just make the switch to AMD entirely. But my question now is... Would it be a good idea to invest in some cooling. I was contemplating changing my set up to... Two 80mm fans in the back, the 120mm on my psu, an aftermarket heatsink on my cpu, and a new heatsink for my card, coupled with Arctic Silver on everything that can take it. Now I was wondering if you guys think that all that would allow me to Unlock and OC the Card, and maybe OC the proc to AT LEAST 2.6 or 2.8...<!-- After checking out my system more carefully... Ive discovered this RAM is alot better than I thought. But I have a problem... I think that this particular stick isn't made anymore, which means my plans have changed yet again. Heres what I'm thinking about doing... Getting the video card, and keeping it stock until later. Then, buying a new gig of Mushkin (They seem reliable, and cheap for what I want to do), and getting a new CPU later, or just making the total switch to AMD. Not too sure on that one, but there WILL be a CPU change within the next few months. I was wondering though... Would it be a good idea to invest in some cooling for my system, because with what I've looked at, I could get excellent cooling for my Card, two 80mm fans for the back of my case, as opposed to none, some Arctic Silver 5, plus a new proc heatsink. With this I was thinking that I would have room to Unlock and OC the Card, as well as my processor. Tell me what you guys think, oh and by the way... Theres no way in hell im touching water cooling... =D</body-->
    Last edited by SamaNanashi; 08-07-2005 at 04:28 AM.

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