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Upgrade recommendations on a budget

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twinkie mcgee

New Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2002
Alright, I'm a long time reader, first time poster. Haven't paid too much attention to things in tech over the last year... kids do that to you. Any ways, I want to do my yearly upgrade of my game rig. Here's what I have now:

Soyo K7V Dragon Plus
512MB DDR 2100 Ram
Athlon xp 1600+
Geforce 3 Ti200

I plan to replace all of the above and put them in my family machine. Hard drives etc are fine, using IDE. What would give me the best bang for my buck assuming a $400 limit?

I eagerly await your opinions ;)
 

JaY_III

Senior of BX
Joined
Dec 17, 2000
I dont think you have the budget to replace all the above compenets...
As you said its a gaming rig, it looks pretty soild, but with $400 to blow, I would Grab a Faster Graphic card. Mabybe a faster CPU and some PC2700 RAM. But that system doesnt look to bad.
 

macklin01

Computational Oncologist / Biomathematician / Mode
Joined
Apr 3, 2002
Location
Bloomington, IN
Definitely! I would think a RAM and video upgrade would do the trick. The CPU should be able to keep up still. Is your system overclocked? If so, to what FSB? What are your RAM timings? (We need to identify your biggest bottlenecks.)

-- Paul
 
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twinkie mcgee

New Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2002
Actually, it's more of a question of HAVING to upgrade the family machine, which is running an old BH6 with an overclocked celery 566 and geforce 256 card. So the guts of my machine will go into theirs. $400 USD is kind of a round figure to set some limits... if needed, it could go a bit higher. My system isn't particularly friendly to overclocking... for some reason, it crashed out whenever I played with the fsb, no matter what voltage I gave the proc. At any rate, request for recommendations stands as it is... even if it's not a huge jump in power, what would you suggest? Vid card seems to me to be around the geforce4 4200 level, as a radeon 9700 is out of reach, and I want to do this upgrade in the next 2 weeks. And while I haven't done much overclocking lately, i'm not averse to doing some now with the right stuff (meaning air cooling). So.... Have at!
 

macklin01

Computational Oncologist / Biomathematician / Mode
Joined
Apr 3, 2002
Location
Bloomington, IN
First off, welcome to the forums! (Sorry I missed that before.)

A GF4 4200 is an excellent choice. I'm planning on looking for one in the new year. I would personally recommend some of the newer 128 MB units, as they're starting to increase the memory speeds in them, particularly in Asus cards, from what I remember. Should be able to get a good 4200 for roughly $120-$150.

As for chip and mobo, I guess you might instead look for a cheap upgrade mobo / chip combo for your family computer and keep yours where it is. (Just another idea.) If you found a cheap duron combo, you might not even have to upgrade the family comp's power supply.

Not sure what advice I can offer on the mobo and chip, though. Have fun, though! :) -- Paul
 

Jon

Just Another Retired Moderator
Joined
Dec 19, 2000
Location
Lawrenceville, GA
I'd have to agree with most others. Your system is still pretty solid and a new video card and possibly a faster CPU would be viable options if you're having trouble overclocking it.

Grabbing an ECS board and some memory, dropping that 1600 and GF3 in there and then upgrading around the guts of what you already have would keep you in the $400 range while giving the family PC a nice boost.

Another possibility would be some PC2700 and a KT333 board for yourself then drop that into the family PC...going to be cutting it close on the cash situation after all's said and done though.
 

Captain Slug

Helpful Senior Member
Joined
May 23, 2001
Location
Asteroid B-612
I can help you shop for parts if you need help. It looks as though you'd be better off keeping your current motherboard, CPU, and RAM. You currently have a nice motherboard that really wouldn't significantly benefit from an upgrade unless you're jumping to an nForce2 with PC3200 (which I I think you should wait another few months for since it's best to let boards mature a little while).

Just upgrade the family machine's CPU, Motherboard, and RAM. And save your money until you can afford: 512mb PC3200, nForce 2, and an NV30.

It would be a pretty tall order to upgrade from what's in YOUR rig for under $400 while leaving enough parts to upgrade the family machine. It really wouldn't be worth the comprimises involved.
 
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AxE

Registered
Joined
Mar 19, 2002
Location
CANADA!
Twinkie, your system is more then enough. Spending cash on a pointless upgrade is just a waist of hard earned money.

Do your family a favour and invest it instead!
 

macklin01

Computational Oncologist / Biomathematician / Mode
Joined
Apr 3, 2002
Location
Bloomington, IN
Well, I think he's trying to do his family a favor and upgrade the celery...

I think Cap'n Slug is right on, and that's what I was trying to get at earlier: Your computer is pretty good, and it would be much cheaper to upgrade the fam computer. CPU / mobo combo, a stick of RAM, and a power supply if necessary. And then for being so frugal, you can reward yourself with that 4200 anyway. ;)

-- Paul
 

Captain Slug

Helpful Senior Member
Joined
May 23, 2001
Location
Asteroid B-612
Okay. After re-reading your request I think it's in your best interest to...

A) either be happy with what you have

OR

B) save up some more money to allow you to upgrade to something worth spending the money on (nforce 2, PC3200, NV30, XP1900+ or higher).

Right now it's just not going to be worth your while to spend $400 on such a small improvement.


If you want to upgrade the family machine I'd first like to know what speed and capacity or RAM it already has. If it's already using PC133 (or PC100) all it would need is a new CPU (maybe motherboard).
 
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Jawsome

Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2002
Location
Maple Grove, Minnesota
keep the mobo and ram in yours, maybe grab another stick of 512/256 ddr (there is an sizable difference between 512/768 for me) Buy a cheap Socket A board for your family and throw the 1600 in that with your TI 200. Then go grab an athlon 2400 and a nice TI 4200. Thats what I would do.

256 ddr = 70
Athlon 2400 OEM = 185
TI 4200 = 125-140
New Socket A board for your Family Comp = 50

It comes to a little over 400 but you can sell those extra Celly parts and even out the difference. It a pretty damn big upgrade.
 

Captain Slug

Helpful Senior Member
Joined
May 23, 2001
Location
Asteroid B-612
Jawsome said:
keep the mobo and ram in yours, maybe grab another stick of 512/256 ddr (there is an sizable difference between 512/768 for me) Buy a cheap Socket A board for your family and throw the 1600 in that with your TI 200. Then go grab an athlon 2400 and a nice TI 4200. Thats what I would do.

256 ddr = 70
Athlon 2400 OEM = 185
TI 4200 = 125-140
New Socket A board for your Family Comp = 50

It comes to a little over 400 but you can sell those extra Celly parts and even out the difference. It a pretty damn big upgrade.

If the celery motherboard is using PC66 RAM he won't be able to upgrade to a Socket A board without buying more RAM. I need more info to work with before recommending specific parts.

I also need to know the wattage of the power supply in the family PC. AND what heatsink he's using in his main rig.
 
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macklin01

Computational Oncologist / Biomathematician / Mode
Joined
Apr 3, 2002
Location
Bloomington, IN
The PSU there was my concern, too. Between RAM and PSU, I would think that a duron combo could be a good upgrade ...

But you're absolutely right: a lot of this depends on what's in that celeron machine. -- Paul
 
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twinkie mcgee

New Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2002
More Details

Ok, here's a few more details about the faimly rig:

Case/PSU is a 400 watt sparkle AMD/Pentium Certified PS in a basic Enlight minitower. Upgraded the PS when the old one died this year. The CDRW is a 48x I put in when I got tired of 4x burning. The BH6 is the original deal, like rev 1.1, with a celery 566 Socket CPU on an adapter overclocked to 850. The memory is pc 100 SDram. HD is plenty big for my purposes, a 40 GB WD drive.

Been thinking about the setup quoted in the October Sharkyextreme Value rig. Here's what I'd probably buy:

CPU: Pentium 4-1.8A GHz Retail - $129
Cooling: included Retail HSF - $0
Motherboard: EPoX EP-4SDA5+ - $110
Memory: 256 MB PC2700 DDR - $53 ( I'd get 2)
Video Card: MSI GeForce4 Ti 4200 - $127

Anyone have any experience clocking that mobo and CPU combo up?

BTW, thanks all for the great input so far.
 

macklin01

Computational Oncologist / Biomathematician / Mode
Joined
Apr 3, 2002
Location
Bloomington, IN
Well, that's good to hear that the PSU is more than sufficient ... If my memory serves me correctly, the P4 1.xA are supposed to be good overclockers. And even if it's not, this would be a definite improvement over the current celeron family rig. You could move the GF3 to the family comp and keep the 4200 for yourself. ;)

Good idea on getting 2 x 256 memory. What OS are you going to use on each computer? -- Paul
 
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twinkie mcgee

New Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2002
XP Pro on each rig in the house (3rd machine is a laptop).

Do you think the Epox/P4 setup, (Assuming a marginal OC, say to 2.0-2.2 Ghz) would outperform my current Soyo/XP 1600+ setup? or would the performance be essentially the same?
 

macklin01

Computational Oncologist / Biomathematician / Mode
Joined
Apr 3, 2002
Location
Bloomington, IN
Hmmm .

BTW, Since you're going with XP Pro, 512MB is definitely the amount of RAM to go with ; good choice.

I don't know much about that particular mobo and chip, but in teh main page's cpu database, I see different 4sda5 variants doing quite well with the 1.8A (northwood)

As for performance, Hmm, I would think that it would outdo the 1600+, even at stock speed. After all, their rating system is suppose to mean that it's equivalent to a PIV 1600, so even if we're generous to the 1600+ and say it's equivalent to an PIV 1800, it looks equal at best.

Looks liek you have a new rig for yourself. :)

-- Paul
 
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twinkie mcgee

New Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2002
/Rawr

Cheers.


Now to find a dealer who sells all 4 at the closest price to the ones Sharky quotes... so I don't get killed on shipping.

Thanks all for the help.

And feel free to make other recommendations too, I'll keep looking at this thread for a while...