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Thread: New video card or overhaul?




  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    8

    Question New video card or overhaul?

    Hello TweakTown, I have trolled the forums and read many of the excellent guides for a long time, and finally got around to creating an account. Well, I find myself in sort of a conundrum as to whether or not I should go ahead and upgrade my entire system, or solely my graphics card.

    Due to the new revolution of PCI Express, I am torn between solely upgrading my Video Card to a newer, faster AGP Model, or completely overhauling the system for the "new wave." This decision is a bit hairy though, in the sense that I spent a good two thousand dollars for it approximately 3.5 years ago, so it's certainly still comparable with some of the other models out there! (At least I'd like to think so ;D)

    IBM ThinkCentre
    3.00 gigahertz Intel Pentium 4
    8 kilobyte primary memory cache
    512 kilobyte secondary memory cache
    100 megahertz bus clock
    1.25gb PC2700 RAM
    120gb Maxtor HD
    NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700LE 256MB Video Card
    Creative SB Audigy Platinum EX Sound Card

    Okay...so do I spend the $200-$300 on a new graphics, or go for the overhaul? Your honest opinion would be most appreciated

    Thanks!
    Last edited by Blitzkrieg; 02-27-2006 at 01:27 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Central Alberta , Canada
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    Default Re: New video card or overhaul?

    The answer depends on what you do with your system and what you expect it to do. I am in the same position as you reguarding the upgrade path. (My decision revolves around getting a new CPU or starting over).So far I haven't found a program or game that I can't use properly but I do miss out on some of the latest and greatest eyecandy and I have to acccept the fact that some games are not going to run at 60fps.

    With your system a new video card could make a big difference but would it be a big enough difference to keep you happy for another year? If you are into bragging rights and benchmarking then you will need to go for the big upgrade. If you just want to play some games and surf the net then you might be satisfied. I guess the answer will depend on your finances and expectations.
    Antec 900 case (4 120mm and 1 200mm lighted fans + UFO flashing light set + 2 12" and 1 6" Mutant Mods meteor lights) - Aerogate ll thermal controller - Asus M2N-e SLI - AMD 64 X2 AM2 6400+ - Corsair TX650 PSU - MSI 450GTS Cyclone OC - 2 X 2GB Patriot Extreme Performance PC2 6400 RAM - SATA 320 GB Seagate HD, SATA 300GB Maxtor HD and IDE 80 GB Samsung HD - Floppy Drive/Card Reader Combo - LG SuperMulti Lightscribe 18x DVD RW - Plextor PX-716A DVD r/rw - Windows 7 Home Premium 64

    Crude but Effective ... it is a way of life.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    8

    Default Re: New video card or overhaul?

    Thanks for the response!

    Currently, this is my do-all PC: Gaming, Sound Recording/Editing, Surfing, Chatting, etc. etc.

    Indeed the Graphics Card would be primarily for the gaming aspect, as I can see that my current card is lagging behind. Financially speaking, to get a new PC would take a longer time that simply springing for a new card. Perhaps it would be better to gauge where the AGP 256mb graphics card will take me compared to a new PCI Express, over a year's time or so.

    Keep it comming!
    Thanks again.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: New video card or overhaul?

    Don't get hung up on the amount of RAM on a card. There are cards with 128mb of RAM the will outdo some others with 256mb. There are AGP cards with 512mb of RAM that may or may not beat those with 256mb. Clock speeds often mean more than quantity.
    Antec 900 case (4 120mm and 1 200mm lighted fans + UFO flashing light set + 2 12" and 1 6" Mutant Mods meteor lights) - Aerogate ll thermal controller - Asus M2N-e SLI - AMD 64 X2 AM2 6400+ - Corsair TX650 PSU - MSI 450GTS Cyclone OC - 2 X 2GB Patriot Extreme Performance PC2 6400 RAM - SATA 320 GB Seagate HD, SATA 300GB Maxtor HD and IDE 80 GB Samsung HD - Floppy Drive/Card Reader Combo - LG SuperMulti Lightscribe 18x DVD RW - Plextor PX-716A DVD r/rw - Windows 7 Home Premium 64

    Crude but Effective ... it is a way of life.

  5. #5
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    Apr 2005
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    Ontario, Canada
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    Default Re: New video card or overhaul?

    A great cheap AGP card is the 6800GS 256MB. It should unlock to 16 pipes and it is the best card for the money with AGP. Personally, I'd upgrade your whole system, but if you just want to get a new video card get that one. Most future proof AGP card available for under $200.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: New video card or overhaul?

    Since you've gotten by this long with a GeForce FX 5700LE video card in the system, I'd bet you could easily squeeze another year or so of life out of that system with a video card upgrade.
    If you do decide to get a 6800Gt video card at casecutter suggest, then I suggest you make sure your 3 and a half year old PSU is up to stuff to power that card. I think the new card would make almost every, and maybe all, video games to date playable on that system if thats your main goal.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Default Re: New video card or overhaul?

    Okay, thanks again for all the responses!

    I'm going to look into that graphics card, because if it's all its cracked up to be then that would be a great solution to prolonging the overall life of my PC. Might as well get as much (playable) life out of it as one can, heh.

    In regards to the power supply, would there be any recommended ways for determining if the system can handle it? Other than simply comparing the power supply to the demands of the current usage plus that of the new graphics card?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: New video card or overhaul?

    What is your current PSU? (Brand and model#, ect)

  9. #9
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    Default Re: New video card or overhaul?

    The OCZ Modstream 450W PSU would be a very good inexpensive power supply that would easily power the system with a 6800GS.

    Make sure you get a 6800GS not a 6800GT. The GT version is still expensive and the cheaper 6800GS can easily outperform it.
    GIgabyte GA-990FXA-UD3
    AMD FX8120 @ 4GHz
    Patriot 1866MHz EL series 2X4GB DDR3
    Powercolour HD 6970 2GB w/XFX 8800GT 512MB Hybrid PhysX
    Creative X-FI titanium HD w/Technics class A 300W amp and tower speakers
    PC P&C 500W PSU
    2TB Seagate
    Coolermaster 690II w/Corsair H100 tucked under the hood

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Default Re: New video card or overhaul?

    Quote Originally Posted by Spongebob
    What is your current PSU? (Brand and model#, ect)
    According to the now-Lenovo site,

    230 Watt Supply with variable speed fan
    110 Volt or 220 Volt operation controlled by a switch on the back of the unit
    APM 1.2 and ACPI 1.0b compliant


    Not sure what the brand would be: I'd assume that it's either IBM itself or an outsourced brand...I can take a look on the back of the unit if needed.

    Thanks again!
    Last edited by Blitzkrieg; 02-28-2006 at 12:50 AM.

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