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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, and thanks in advance for your suggestions:

I am an avid gamer who has been unable to game for awhile and I'm now back and considering an upgrade to be able to play the latest and greatest coming out.

Here is what I'm running currently:

XP1900+
40GB 7200
512mb PC2700
ATI 9600XT
SB Audigy
MSI KT4 Ultra Mobo

I am wondering whether a full upgrade (CPU/Mobo/DDR400ram) keeping existing videocard would be better than....

ATI9800PRO and keeping everything else the same.

My Mobo can (via bios flash) handle upto Barton 2500,

I was thinking a Barton 2800+, ASUS A7N8X-Delux or DFI Lan Party II w/512 of PC3200 in Dual Channel might be a nice setup for the next 18-24months.

Any ideas on the best approach?

Thanks!

Seaner - SoCal
 

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My suggestion is not to do anything major right now - I have a similar setup (Radeon 9600XT, 728MB RAM, and a AthlonXP at 2.2ghz), and I can play FarCry and UT2k4 at max detail settings just fine. My friends have a 9800 Pro, and they get about 5fps more than me at max settings...not worth the $300 though. What I would do is maybe get a little more RAM, and either overclock your current processor (If it's a Palomino core, you won't get much out of it, but if it's a Thoroughbred B, you will), or go for the Barton.

The latest and greatest coming out will be FarCry, Doom III, and Half-Life 2. Now, upgrading to what you have in mind will probably not last you 18-24 months, especially with all the new technologies coming out right about now (Athlon64, PCI-Express, DDR2, BTX form factor, SATA, etc.) I would hold out with what you have now, doing minor upgrades, and then go for everything at once later on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
How can I tell if my XP1900+ is a Thoroughbread core?
Should I just up my multiplier and see if it registers the change or not?

Will another 256mb of PC2700 (so that I'll be 768mb) make a difference?

I guess I could bump up to a Barton 2500, which is the max my board can handle right now.

Thanks
 

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You could take of the heatsink and look at the stepping on the chip...if the stepping is on the actual core, it's a Palomino, if it's on a little black label, it's a Tbred...or you could get something to do it for you, like CPUID, or CPUZ....the sites seem to be down now, so just do a Google search for them.

A stick of 256 will make a difference, but personally, I would go for another stick of 512.
 

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Thats not a bad setup as it is. I would recommend more RAM and a faster CPU. The 9600XT is a good card.

You board can handle up to the Barton XP3000+ 333Mhz FSB:
http://www.msi.com.tw/program/produ...d_cpu_support_detail.php?UID=356&NAME=MS-6590

Going to the Barton 2500+, or higher, will help quite a bit. 256Mb of RAm is almost a waste to buy at this point, go with 512MB.

With that setup you should be able to play UT2004, Halo, and other new releases quite well. Make sure you have the latest DirectX and ATI Catalyst drivers installed.
 
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