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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been trying to figure out whether it would be in my best interest to upgrade my mother board and cpu as well as add some ram or to go with a EVGA GeForce 8800 GTX / 768MB graphics card and max my ram out at 2 gigs. As I currently cant afford to do both but which ever route I take I would like to have the best, so if I go with the vid card I would like to have the best and the same rule applies to the M board and cpu..


I am currently running a amd anthlon xp 3000+ cpu
512 mb of ram
w/ Nvidia Geforce 4 Mx...

Any suguestions as far as what would be best in regards to a game based pc would be greatly appreciated...

Thank you....
 

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Well, you may have to upgrade your CPU and mother board first, if you don't have I PCI-e slot. If you do, however, then by all means go for the graphics card and ram.

Also make sure that your PSU can handle the graphics card, as that 8800 is a power hog, or so I've heard.
 

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If your looking at a short-term solution to improve your gaming performance, I'd be looking for a video card first. But unless your going to upgrade your whole system, putting a 8800 in that system will probably be impossible. 8800's are only availabe in PCI-express format, and your current card is probably an AGP slot. If you want to bump up your system while you save for a new machine, a 6800GS or 7600GT would be a nice upgrade in performance, and not kill you on price.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
What about the BFG GeForce 7800 GS OC 256MB GDDR3, I havent been able to get much info about it but from what I understand it is the best agp money can buy for the time being?

Now it also looks like I will need to upgrade my atx300-12e psu but I am unsure of what I need to upgrade it with. Now I believe 300 wats would be enough but I cant find a connector that is long enough..


Thank you.
 

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That is the best AGP card out there right now. It's a bit pricey though. If you're going to have to upgrade your PSU as well, and you have the money to get the card and a decent PSU (which should cost you at least $60.00 for something stable, $100 for something really nice), then you might want to look into upgrading your whole system. That card alone runs about $300-350.

What budget are you willing/able to spend on your upgrades? If you have enough, we can probably configure a new system for you (not including monitor, keyboard, etc). Let us know, and we can recommend the best way to spend it and get the best performance for your money. :up:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have a budget of 2k for the time being, I would really prefer to keep my case atleast as I have grown attatched to it lol.. But none the less what would you recomend?

Make that 1.5k I need to get a new monitor as well..
 

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Yeah, you need to replace everything - most likely. What kind of case do you have? There are tons of newer cases on the market. I too have recently went from an AMD-XP 3000 to an AMD64 setup. YOu'd be throwing good money after bad.

I prefer AMD over Intel - but the Core2 is a bit faster for about $50~100 extra pricing (mobo, RAM requirements) and that doesn't include the overclocking.

What monitor are you planning to buy for $500? A full size 21"? Most 19~21" monitors are $300 nowadays.

For a case, click on link below (same site as this, to post #8)

Mobo: $80~150 (The differences are SLI and feature set and AMD or Intel)
For example, you can get a pretty good Gigabyte AM2/SLI board for $80~90.

CPU: Intel C2D 6400 or AMD x2 5000 = both are about $250. Check www.newegg.com

RAM: Get at least 2GB of DDR2 - 800Mhz (About $250)

Case + PSU (yes, get a new modern PSU) - lets say Antec P150 setup w/430watt PSU ($150)

DVD burner : Pioneer = $40 give or take (OEM version, newegg = $36)
Hard Drive : Maxtor / Seagate / WD = $120 for a 400mb SATA drive (Seagate = better 3 yr warranty)

Windows XP, Home OEM = $100
===========================
Total for above = $990 (AMD setup)

Newegg is selling 8800GTX = $585~600, before the $25~50 rebates. Check it out! IE: pay $585 - 25 rebate or $600 for BFG and get a $50 rebate.

Leaves $425 for a monitor: Which there are dozens to choose from at that price and below.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Upgrading my system wouldn't show much increase in performance? I am one of those people that hates to part with somthing that I have grown attatched to and me and my pc are pretty darn close, lol. None the less I really would hate to go out and buy a new pc when the one I got is running just fine for me atm. In another words I would much rather upgrade my pc as opposed to replace it. Now with that said If I was to lets say get the bfg geforce 7800, 2x 2 gig sticks of pc2700 ddr and ofcourse a new psu I wouldnt notice an improvment or perhaps have a pc comparable to some currently on the market in terms of gaming performance. I believe the only problem I currently have as far as this pc's inability to play modern pc games is the lack there of much ram and a very low performance video card. Now if Im wrong please correct me as I am not 100% familiar with the cpu's over all effects on gaming but I would like to believe that 2.17 ghz is more than enough for the time being?

Now I am not saying that I wont eventualy upgrade my Mobo and cpu but I will ofcourse try to find a way to keep my current atx case when I begin to persue this endeaver. I do realize the importance of the upgrading the cpu but this is somthing I would like to put off as long as possible and I believe my current cpu has a couple more years ahead of it before this becomes somthing that I will need to do.

With these upgrades mentioned above and ofcourse my current set up listed on my first post, what kind of performance increase would I possibly see? I know that it would be much better than what I currently have but I am just curius. Would this comp be capable of playing games like fear and so on?
 

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We don't know what kind of case you have. But keep in mind, todays cases are a lot QUIETER (better airflow design) than older ones - execpt for the cheap cases of course.

My main PC about 4 months ago was an AMD-XP3000 w/ ATI9800Pro, which totally murders the GF4-mx. (About 10x faster). You posted about wanting the performance of the top end 8800GTX which has more memory than your desktop. But this is not possible, period. The AGP version of the 7800 is quite a bit slower than the PCI version, and cost more than the 7900 PCIe card. The ONLY top-end AGP card worth getting is the X1950Pro as its just as fast as the PCIe version.

But either of those cards are hampered by the AMD-32bit CPU.

You're trying to build a race-car here. Some parts require other parts to work properly.
Lets say your building a NASCAR, but you put on street tires (like the power supply) it'll roll - but once the preassure is on - it'll blow. If the transmission (GPU) isn't getting the power from the engine (CPU) then the car will only go so fast and that works both ways. Same with the memory...

Parts that effect performance (In order of importance)
1 - CPU
2 - GPU
3 - RAM
4 - Motherboard
5 - Hard Drive

And the PSU of today has 24pins, not the 20pins of older motherboards.

Check out the following chart: I have it set for an AMD64-5000 (a top-end AMD) vs. AMD64 2800 Newcastle (Simular performance to an AMD-XP 3000)

http://www23.tomshardware.com/cpu.html?modelx=33&model1=505&model2=465&chart=166

While this test doesn't say which GPU is used, it shows that NO amount of memory or GPU is going to get your systems performance up. But figure the card to be a 7900 class.

Throw some multitasking: http://www23.tomshardware.com/cpu.html?modelx=33&model1=505&model2=465&chart=192

If you raise the resolution higher (I don't know your goals) - then the performance numbers drops.

If youre looking at playing UT2007, Rainbow6:Vegas or other games of 2007 and want the best experince - then a system upgrade is required.

If you're looking at playing older games (2005 and older) - then add 512mb of RAM and get the best ATI AGP card you can. X1950Pro is out mid-January or a X1600PRO ($150) today... both will be faster than your CPU can pump data, so save $75 and get the X1600. 2GB of RAM isn't worth the cost - and you could always sell your old system for $150.

The parts you buy today to upgrade your system (about $200) are not usable in modern system.

Depending on your current PSU (How many watts?) you may need to replace it for a new card. Have at least a 350watt. And almost any AGP card today is better than the GF4-mx (blah) card. Those were always a joke, they are actually faster-running GF2 cards, nothing more.

Good luck.

PS: If you want a more modest upgrade in costs, use my list, and get an AMD64-4200 or 4600 and the 8800GTS... The price/performance between the GTS and GTX is pretty long.
Oblivion - 100 vs 110 fps. But cost is $400 vs. $600...

That'll save $300~400 off the $1600 I quoted ya.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Now Im not really too worried about cost, if I needed I would be willing to toss in another 1,000 or so but I am concerned about keeping the over all look of my pc and from what I have been hearing the best or should I say only option is to keep the mobo I currently have which kind of puts a halt to upgrading the cpu..

http://images.pcworld.com/reviews/graphics/114557-23012_op.jpg

http://images.pcworld.com/reviews/graphics/114557-23012_fr.jpg

Now I know that may appear to be odd but it's just what I am hoping to do. Now yes I did realize that I made a mistake on my first post by saying the EVGA GeForce 8800 GTX but I did later change that to the bfg geforce 7800 which indeed is a agp slot GPU. My psu is a 350 wat which yes would need to be upgraded to even begin to support the 7800.

Now if you know a mobo that I can use to upgrade to a 64 bit cpu then by all means I will jump on it?

Also what would be the cost and the modifactions I would be required to make on my older atx case
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I would also be willing to toss a new gpu in a new Emachine pc that looks simular to mine, however I havent seen any that appears to be worth my time.. Maybe I have checked out the wrong stores but bestbuy didnt seem to carry any that appeared to be much of an improvment to mine.
 

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Seriously, if you're willing to spend 1-2 thousand on your new gaming machine, DO NOT buy an e-machine. With that money you'd be way better off to pick each piece yourself and build a really killer rig that will perform better, and give you way more mileage in the long run.

I understand that you have some sentimental attachment to the 'look' of your old pc, but trust me, once you get your new one, you'll forget all about it. :)
 

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Logain721 said:
I did manage to find one that may be ok if I toss a few upgrades on it and the case appears the same as my current pc...

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage...ategoryId=pcmcat103700050067&id=1155848397448

Now I'm not too sure about the cpu though, it may not be much better than mine currently. Now I would just need to toss a good gpu?
When askings for help on upgrading or getting a NEW computer - it helps if you look at the info provided... and give some details when requested. You asked for abilities to upgrade, then gave a budget to support the desired system requirements. Then reject requirements over a case - then switch to a junky emachine.

So....

1 - What do you currently have?
2 - What do you want the computer to do?
3 - What games are you planning on playing with?
4 - How much do you want to spend?
(You're not going to put together a 8800GTX system together for $800, for example)

So, your current PC is an Emachine? Such a system doesn't have the PSU, the room for a decent PSU and video card (space and thermal issues). If you put a 7800GS into that case, you still need to wedge it in there as well as a $60~80 PSU, and hope it doesn't have a melt down... unless you cut some holes into the case and add some fans.

I have provided a list, it contains cases/PSUs that are acceptable for a gaming rig with current leading edge tech. Otherwise you maybe trying to turn a Chevy Caviler into a Corevette - and that doesn't happen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Compiler said:
When askings for help on upgrading or getting a NEW computer - it helps if you look at the info provided... and give some details when requested. You asked for abilities to upgrade, then gave a budget to support the desired system requirements. Then reject requirements over a case - then switch to a junky emachine.

So....

1 - What do you currently have?
2 - What do you want the computer to do?
3 - What games are you planning on playing with?
4 - How much do you want to spend?
(You're not going to put together a 8800GTX system together for $800, for example)

So, your current PC is an Emachine? Such a system doesn't have the PSU, the room for a decent PSU and video card (space and thermal issues). If you put a 7800GS into that case, you still need to wedge it in there as well as a $60~80 PSU, and hope it doesn't have a melt down... unless you cut some holes into the case and add some fans.

I have provided a list, it contains cases/PSUs that are acceptable for a gaming rig with current leading edge tech. Otherwise you maybe trying to turn a Chevy Caviler into a Corevette - and that doesn't happen.
Ok to answer your questions in order as stated above..

#1- I have a emachine T3025, Now what I have been saying is all I want to keep from this pc is the case, I am willing to modify it in any way possible I just need a bit of info in regards to what modifications need to be done..Specs on this Pc are not important as there is not much I can do to it other than max the ram up to 2 gigs and add a 8x agp gpu, which I understand is not sufficient due the my processor speed. Now I am willing to upgrade anything inside the t3025 but I would like to keep my case no matter what mods would need to be done to the case.

#2- I want it to be capable of playing most games like F.E.A.R, Bio Shock and of course my all time favorite Everquest. Now in regards to everquest I would need it to be capable of running 3 clients of the game on a single pc and I intend to get a second pc for botting a single client.

#3- Answered in #2....

#4-I am looking to spend up to 2k for the modifications and upgrades to my current emachine, and another 1k or so for the second computer to bot the single client..I have this one premade as the second pc doesnt need the emachine case.

Possible purchases on second Pc:

Niko 1920R / 19" / Ghost-free 2ms / 700:1 / SXGA 1280 x 1024 / DVI / Black / LCD Monitor with Speakers (13 lbs)

4x Ultra 512MB PC3200 DDR 400MHz CL3 Memory (0.05 lbs)

Apevia / 500-Watt / ATX / Dual 80mm LED Fan / Black Aluminum, Clear Top / Power Supply (4 lbs)

EVGA GeForce 8800 GTS / 640MB GDDR3 / SLI / PCI Express / Dual DVI / HDTV / HDCP Enabled / Video Card with FREE Dark Messiah Might & Magic PC Game (1 lbs)

Hitachi / 7K160 / 160GB / 7200 / 8MB / SATA-300 / NCQ / RoHS / OEM / Hard Drive (1 lbs)

Xion II Black ATX Mid-Tower Case with Clear Side Front USB and Audio Ports and 450-Watt Power Supply (14 lbs)

Biostar Geforce 6100-M9 NVIDIA Socket 939 MicroATX Motherboard and an AMD Athlon 64 3200 2.0GHz Processor with Fan (3.4 lbs)..

Now my modded emachine doesnt have too look good it just needs to look like an emachine pc, that's all Im asking...

Thanks again and Im sorry if I was getting on your nerves....

Oh and you can turn Caviler into a Corevette as far as performance goes.. You just have to mod it up some lol...

I would also like to add that Emachines may be "Junky" but I cant help the fact that I love there case.
 

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Response:

1 - You need to really do some shopping, there are other cases that cover drive bays or have covers for Optical drives (CD or DVD) - Mine is white, which has white drive doors. The amount of energy, time and money involved with making an emachine chassis usable for a modern system is quite a lot. Your insides look something like this:
http://www.angelfire.com/wv2/dazzlevids/images/Computer_Picture.JPG

A GF8800 video may not fit in there.

So after reading #2 & #3 and if you have no intrests in playing latest games, then you can take a major step back in your budget and parts selection.

#4 - You have $2K budget - but you dont need nor desire to have a 2K setup - thats the problem. Save yourself money and make your work easier. Get the items that work.

So if you want to stick with emachines, you might as well buy another. Keep in mind that NO mid-low end pre-built system comes with performance CPU/RAM/HD combos. The Emachines come with the slowest RAM and rather small HDs.

Buy this: http://www.emachines.com/products/products.html?prod=T6540 Its a TOP end Emachine, but a bottom end AMD64 setup. About $430.

Either Add another 533mhz 512mb stick or replace with 2x 1GB 667Mhz sticks of RAM.

Replace PSU with a $70 Antec NEO PSU (380 watt) or $80 430watt version.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817103938
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817103939
(It has removable modular cables - which will save a lot of space in a cramped case)
And should handle up to a GF7900.

Then order the GF7600GT card ($152) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814125025

It will fit in the emachine with no problem.

- Add a 80mm or 92mm Vantec cooling fan (or other low noise sub 30db fan, with or without lighting)

Cost: $720 (1GB total ram, 380watt PSU) or $880 (2GB RAM, 430 watt)

--------------
As far as things like Apevia PSU, XION II cases, Hitachi HDs.... With a $500 video card, you're looking to blow it up with a $30 junk PSU? Its still just a TurboLink PSU... actual output is most likely 250watt. Go with better HD like Seagate, Maxtor or WD.
939 mobo/CPU combo is out-dated.

Again... your OLD machine should be reused for less demanding work.

Caviler would required a NOS setup, but still have the handling of a junky little car compared to any corvette or other sports (Z, Porche, BMW etc)... And of course a Corvette can be tunned up to go faster... ZR1? Even still, a corvette is junk next to a Ferrari 360 or F1, etc.

--------------

You have enough info to determine what to upgrade, what to buy and what goes where.
 

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OK first, Upgrade graphics for a short term fix (as said before) then upgrade motherboard and for the ultimate gaming PC you will want a 200gig HDD and about 2gig RAM (as this is the max XP will allow dedicated to one program). After that you might want A good graphics (PCI-X/PCI-Express). You will want a good cooling system, I would recommend a water cooling as this maybe the most costly but will provide the best cooling around(so far).

Once you have done that you will want more RAM to be running all 2 gigs on the game (NOTE: 2 gigs installed will not all go to the program, some will go towards system memory).

Depending on your CPU speed you might want another upgrade from that.(eg. 2.5Mhz to something like 4.5Mhz nand duel core). Once you have upgrade from that you might need more RAM to fit this motherboard(CPU come on it). I mainly think that HDD don't need upgrading much from a 200gig becuase really 200gig is alot!

THIS WILL NOT BE FOR NORMAL USE PLEASE NOTE THIS IS THE ULTIMATE GAMING MACHINE!

So after all upgrades ect. you system specs should be something as follows.....

4.5Mhz Processer Duel Core
Around 2-4gigs of RAM
200gig HDD
DVD-RW 18x
Water Cooling System
PCI-X Graphics(Depends on Game specs)
PCI-X Sound(Again depends on the game specs)

This is my Rig. :p (Jelous?)

Jazza
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
On the second unit you said cpu/mobo combo is outdated so I am assuming that I need to find somthing more efficient?

What about this
-Intel 975XBX2KR Intel Socket 775 ATX Motherboard and an Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700 2.66GHz Quad-Core OEM Processor??

And of course a new psu as the other one you stated only has a about a what 259 watt output?

-Coolmax / Green Power / 1000-Watt / ATX / Dual 80mm Fan / SATA Ready / SLI Ready / Power Supply.

Now that should make the 2nd unit a bit more capable.

Also as far as the emachine case goes I am thinking of taking some of the drives and mounting them to the case exterior as well as adding a nice fibeglass frame over the external mounts. I may do the same with the psu... I would also like to add that I may modify it even further for the cooling system with a dayton 3020 rpm 120watt fanblower using a standard vent system for major cooling. All of the cooling ofcourse will be external with internal fiber liner/ external copper piping acting as intake/exhaust for maximum heat control. Also if I feel the need for more cooling I could go as far as using a newer Tecumesh alkalate compressor in sync with the fan blower and a boxed hub with intake piping, maybe add airflow controlls with adjustable piping?

Now that should solve the bad cooling design of the emachine case.

However I then run into another problem, and that is what is the lowest temp the components can operate under? I could keep the internal temp of the case below 35 degrees or even lower if need be but what is a good operable temp?
 
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