Video Card vs. Processor - Your Upgrade Opinion Please
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Thread: Video Card vs. Processor - Your Upgrade Opinion Please

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
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    5

    Video Card vs. Processor - Your Upgrade Opinion Please

    Where will I get the most bang for my buck, by upgrading my video card, or my processor/motherboard?

    I currently have a Dell XPST PIII450MHz, 128Mb RAM, 32Mb Geforce256 SDR card, 13Gb hard drive.

    I want to improve frame rates on graphic intensive games like Black&White, Giants, and the upcoming I-War2. What about upgrading to 256Mb RAM?

    Tell me what makes the most sense.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
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    Notts, England, UK
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    I would probably say get a Geforce 2, you can get great performance on just a 600 or so with he new GPU graphics cards, but yours is only a 450, but it is a P3, so it shouldn't be too bad.

    Also, it depends how much money you have to spend, because upgrading the processor to a 600 or getting more memory aren't very expensive, saying that, neither is a Geforce 2 anymore. But obviously you can't afford all that, because you came here to find out which is better

    edit: typo

    ------------------
    AMD T-Bird 1.1Ghz
    Chaintech 7AJA MoBo
    256Mb PC100Mhz RAM
    Geforce 2 Ultra 64Mb
    19" .24dp FD Trinitron Flat CRT Monitor
    Creative Soundblaster Live!
    Cambridge Soundworks Surround Speakers
    38Gb 7200rpm Maxtor HDD
    16x DVD Rom
    8x8x32 CD-RW
    Logitech Optical Wheel Mouse
    Zoom 56k External v92

    [This message has been edited by Trev (edited 06-08-2001).]
    AMD T-Bird 1.1Ghz
    Chaintech 7AJA MoBo
    384Mb PC133Mhz RAM
    Geforce 2 Ultra 64Mb
    19" .24dp FD Trinitron Flat CRT Monitor
    Creative Soundblaster Live! - Cambridge Soundworks Surround Speakers
    76Gb 7200rpm IBM HDD - 16x DVD Rom - 8x8x32 CD-RW
    Logitech Optical Wheel Mouse
    Zoom 56k External v92

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Posts
    5
    Thanks for your reply Trev.

    I am not shy about spending the money, I just want to know when spending it becomes unnecessary.

    I would be interested to know what I should expect in terms of percentage increase in performance for the following options:

    1. Keep existing system, but upgrade to 256Mb RAM.
    2. Upgrade to GeForce 2 GTS card.
    3. Upgrade to P4 processor and motherboard.
    4. All of the above.

    I know that if I choose all of the above, I might as well get a whole new computer, but I guess I'm trying to figure out how much life my current system has before a complete replacement is necessary.

    Any thoughts, anyone?

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    yeah, that's a tricky choice.

    I'd probably go for a new graphics card, and try to overclock your current CPU, although the early pentium 3s were never very good at overclocking.

    Get a GeForce2 GTS or something similar.
    That should boost the Frame rates quite nicely.

    When you do have the cash to upgrade your CPU, you will still be able to use the GTS in a newer system, without it being a bottleneck.

    ------------------
    MY GOD!!! A RANDY SQUIRREL!
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
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    5
    Centurion, that poses a new question: If I get a Geforce 2, how much of a bottleneck will my P3-450 be? I won't bother with a new video card if my processor holds me back from maximum performance.

    Thanks.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
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    Also, the RAM upgrade won't speed up frame rates. It will be worth upgrading to avoid ocassional stuttering, but isn't essential.

    Avoid the P4 at all costs tho, the Athlon will whip it in performance terms, and is MUCH cheaper. Also, the Athlon platform isn't going to be made redundant any time soon, unlike the P4's.

    ------------------
    MY GOD!!! A RANDY SQUIRREL!
    Main PC: A64 3200+ | 1024MB Kingston RAM (Dual Channel) | WD 160GB | Seagate SATA 160GB w/NCQ | Asus A8N-SLi Deluxe | Connect3D ATi X800XL Pci-E | Coolermaster ATC-710 case | Antec NeoPower 480w PSU | Toshiba 27wl46 27" TFT

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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Posts
    156
    Get this setup...

    AMD Duron 800-900 - $60-$70
    MSI K7T Turbo(non-raid) - $100

    and/or

    ATi Radeon LE DDR 32MB - $80-$90

    Simply the best bang for the bucks!

    And don't forget, you can sell your CPU/Motherboard/GF SDR for at least $150 to some suckers!

    ------------------
    Duron 700 @ 933mhz (7 x 133mhz fsb)
    Thermaltake VolcanoII (38C Full Load)
    MSI K7T Turbo
    448MB PC133 SDRAM
    Asus GeForce2 MX @ 220core/210memory
    Quantum 6.4G EX HDD
    Creative 4224 CD-RW
    Toshiba 32x CD-ROM
    SBlive value 2.0
    18" case w/ 300watts PS
    19" Samsung 900SL Monitor

    ^*^
    >'.'<
    W W

    [This message has been edited by coco (edited 06-08-2001).]
    Duron 700 @ 933mhz (7 x 133mhz fsb)
    Thermaltake VolcanoII (38C Full Load)
    MSI K7T Turbo
    448MB PC133 SDRAM
    Asus GeForce2 MX @ 220core/210memory
    Quantum 6.4G EX HDD
    Creative 4224 CD-RW
    Toshiba 32x CD-ROM
    SBlive value 2.0
    18" case w/ 300watts PS
    19" Samsung 900SL Monitor

    ^*^
    >'.'<
    W W

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 1998
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    If I had to choose, I'd go with the mobo/cpu/memory combo. Your system will be faster overall (Windows, apps, games, etc...). But to realize the full potential of games you'll need both upgrades.

    ------------------
    “When a team doesn't double me, it's like they're disrespecting my game.”

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  9. #9
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    Honestly, A PIII 450mhz would probably be the bottle neck if teamed up with a GeForce2 GTS/Pro/ultra card. I would recomend upgrading to an AMD system for gaming. You could get a mobo + processor for the same price as you would pay for a P4. Get a board with nice overclocking options and you will get the most out of your system.

    AMD 1000mhz (200fsb) Tbirds are $113 at www.newegg.com. Newegg also has the Iwill KK266 for $115. I doubt you would have any problems running the 200fsb chip on a 266fsb board (if your not sure you could ask at the overclocking forum and they will tell you how). This would also give you great performance for $230ish. Then save up for a nice video card.

    Just remember the video card market (nvidia especially) comes out with a new product every other day, so there is always gonna be something better than what you have. And the Geforce1 isn't that old.

    ------------------
    AMD Tbird (AXIA) 1Ghz @ 1Ghz w/ OCZ gladiator
    Asus A7V
    384megs crucial cas2
    Leadtek 32meg Geforce2 GTS Pro (225/420)
    Soundblaster Live Value
    Western Digital 20gig 7200rpm (UDMA 100)
    Nec 40x cdrom
    Sony 12x8x32 CD-RW
    17" KDS Avitron flat screan (1024x768 @ 85hz)
    2500+ Barton @ 2.2ghz (200x11)
    Abit NF7-S rev2.0
    Alpha 8045
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Denmark
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    A T-Bird CPU
    An Asus or ATI Mobo
    A Geforce 2 GTS

    My 2 cents

    You should be able to get those parts fairly cheap if you just use your common sence. Don't just get the fastest CPU there is, if you want bang for your buck. As a tumb rule, grab not the fastest, but the one that runs a bit slower. Ie T-Bird 1,4 GHz compared to T-bird 1,33GHz. We're only talking 66 MHz here, which really isn't much for todays apps and games etc. Also, the Geforce 2 GTS is a good value card, I'm getting one on monday

    ------------------
    • T-Bird 1.2GHz
    • Asus A7V
    • nVidia Riva TNT 2 32 MB SDRAM soon : Asus V7700 GeForce2 GTS 32MB DDR
    • 256 RAM
    • SB-Live Value
    • 6X dvd(Creative)
    • 14,5 GB HD 7200 RPM
    • Realtek 10 NIC
    • 17 " Compaq
    • Win98SE

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Denmark
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    Almost forgot - if you want to save a little money, get the Duron

    ------------------
    • T-Bird 1.2GHz
    • Asus A7V
    • nVidia Riva TNT 2 32 MB SDRAM soon : Asus V7700 GeForce2 GTS 32MB DDR
    • 256 RAM
    • SB-Live Value
    • 6X dvd(Creative)
    • 14,5 GB HD 7200 RPM
    • Realtek 10 NIC
    • 17 " Compaq
    • Win98SE

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    173
    First, get a GeForce2, that is a must, what ever you do.

    gschilling, the fact that you have a Dell XPST leads me to believe you don't know how to build you own computer. Am I correct? If this is the case, find out if you can upgrade the CPU on your Dell XPST to 800mhz (most games don't need a faster CPU).

    -------------------------------------------
    If you can, do build you own computer instead of buying a proprietary system like Dell or Gateway that limits your upgrades.

    You will need just three things you can find at www.pricewatch.com
    1. 800MHz Athlon $74 or 1.4GHz Athlon $198
    2. Asus A7V133 mother board $114
    3. ATX Case 7 Bays w/300Watts $28
    And take the rest from your Dell XPST.

    [This message has been edited by Sci-Fi (edited 06-09-2001).]

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Whitehall, Pa (United States)
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    If you're thinking about putting together your own system take a look at www.tweak3d.net. Look for their building a pc section. There's some great information out on the net. Enough to get you through building a system.

    ------------------
    AMD Tbird (AXIA) 1Ghz @ 1Ghz w/ OCZ gladiator
    Asus A7V
    384megs crucial cas2
    Leadtek 32meg Geforce2 GTS Pro (225/420)
    Soundblaster Live Value
    Western Digital 20gig 7200rpm (UDMA 100)
    Nec 40x cdrom
    Sony 12x8x32 CD-RW
    17" KDS Avitron flat screan (1024x768 @ 85hz)
    2500+ Barton @ 2.2ghz (200x11)
    Abit NF7-S rev2.0
    Alpha 8045
    Radeon 9800 Pro
    2x 512mb Corsair XMS pc3200
    2x 120gb WD-SE HDDs
    Enermax 431w Whipser
    Lian Li pc61-usb

  14. #14
    Anitdaisu Guest
    I would say go for the graphics card first, and then go for the processor and motherboard. My friend is running a pII 350 w/ a ge force 2 MX and his game performance is solid.

    ------------------
    my specs:
    AMD T-BIRD 750MHz
    256MB RAM
    IBM 46 GB 7200 RPM
    SAMSUNG 2GB
    SONY CD ROM 48X
    PANASONIC 8X4X32
    REALTEK 10/100 ETHERNET
    SOUND BLASTER LIVE VALUE
    Leadtek GF2 Pro
    300W SUPPLY
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    PROMISE TECHNOLOGY ULTRA 66 CARD
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  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    173
    So tell us gschilling, what have you decided to do?

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