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Old 04-05-2009, 13:05   #1
Kevin108
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Want to get just a little more performance. Ideas?

I may just be at the point of where I need to build a new computer. I'm not against that concept. In fact if we can do it, I'd sort of like to explore both options.

Right now I have:

P4 - 3 GHz w/ HyperThreading
2 GB RAM
500 GB WD SATA HD
120 GB WD IDE HD
nVidia 6800 128 MB overclocked w/ the additional 4 pixel channels unlocked

Right now I'm running XP SP3 but Vista and Windows 7 run swiftly as well. I don't run a lot of demanding apps but it's been 3 or 4 years since I added the video card and I'm getting some iffy FPS from time to time on Left 4 Dead.

The video card is my weakest point right now but the technology is so old at this point I don't know what the high-end replacement is now...from then. if that makes any sense.

Right now I'm eyeing http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=170313907349

Also I'm still running a 19" monitor. I own a 25" but I gave it to my mom because her eyesight was bad (low res + big screen = super easy reading) and because I really didn't have enough desk space for such a large monitor.

=========================================================

As for a new system, I spent some time on NewEgg.com and I've picked out a new case with lots of room and big fans, dual 22x SATA DVD burners (no need for two but no need to just get a reader when a burner is the same price), and a WD 1 TB SATA drive. Back in 99/00 I was building computers for a living, so putting things together is no challenge, I just don't have any product knowledge anymore.

I want a 22" or so flatscreen and whatever a decent motherboard and processor might be. I want plenty of USB ports and enough room for at least 4 SATA devices. Quiet fans will be a plus a well. Care to learn me some things on modern tech?
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Last edited by Kevin108; 04-05-2009 at 14:49..
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Old 04-05-2009, 14:32   #2
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have you considered making the switch to console gaming? If this upgrade is purely for gaming I would just get a ps3 or a 360. If you want a beast get the ps3. Even once you make this computer tip top the next direct x release puts you back. My buddy just built his new work computer, mobo and processor cost him around 350 he was able to skimp on the video card so he didnt have to spend another 2-400 there depending on if he wanted to run SLi or Crossfire.


If your current motherboard has a pci-e 16x video card slot I would just look into getting a real nice 256mb or a moderate 512mb. Left 4 Deads mimimum reqs are 3.0ghz processor 256mb video ram with a dx9 card.

If you got the cash come to real gaming, I spent like 13 years pc gaming and now I only console game. Anybody can get a headshot with a mouse.
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Old 04-05-2009, 17:52   #3
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I have no use for console gaming. As of now we have a NES, SNES, DS, Genesis, Nomad and Wii that all just collect dust.

My current motherboard is of unknown manufacture. My system started out as a Dell Dimension 4600 but everything has been replaced except the CPU, fan, and mobo. I paid around $1,500 in 2003 for this system and it's been great. I just know that now more than ever you can get more bang for your buck piecing it together and building it yourself.

My computer is my complete entertainment system. Movies, music, reading, etc. And I'm not much of a gamer, it was just that the particular game is the area where I notice my lacking specs the most. L4D is really the only game I ever play. A top-of-the-line AGP card will probably make it do everything I want it to and then some.

At the same time, it never hurts to have your friends prodding you along to build a new rig.
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Old 04-05-2009, 19:04   #4
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If AGP video was your only option I would definatly consider a build. You can look for a motherboard that shares your ram at least, if you want to save cost, maybe something that supports a higher max memory. Look for a PCI-Express slot tho for your video card you can save a large chunk on change on that one componet.

But like I said L4D just needs more video ram 128 really doesnt hack it today even with all specs turned down.
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Old 04-06-2009, 05:18   #5
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At full quality at 1024x768 I average 50 fps in XP. It's only certain effects that cause slowdown. It's a lot slower in Vista and Windows 7 though.
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Old 04-06-2009, 16:29   #6
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I would suggest a new build in this case, and you sound willing and able to build yourself. The tech has advanced a generation or two since your system was built.

Your RAM is most likely DDR PC2100 or PC2700, while new motherboards that support today's dual core CPUs are DDR 2 or even DDR 3. Plus the move from AGP video to PCI-Express. So new CPU sockets, new RAM sockets, and new video sockets, means best bet is new mobo.

Some good mobo brands include Abit, Asus, Gigabyte, MSI.

I just recently did a rebuild of my main desktop system.
Before it was AMD64 single core, DDR 2700 RAM, Nvidia 6600 AGP, somewhat similar to yours.

New system:
-GIGABYTE GA-MA770-DS3 mobo with solid state capacitors, socket AM2+ (AMD dual core), DDR 2
-AMD64x2 dual core 5200 2.7ghz
-2GB Corsair DDR2 PC2-6400 RAM (800mhz)
-Nvidia GeForce 8800GT 512MB DDR3 VRAM
-Thermaltake 550W power supply
-Asus 24x DL DVDRW SATA with Lightscribe
-WD 500GB SATA hard drive

I did this sometime last year, and it is by no means top of the line, but it gets what I need done (it is a gaming rig, but I don't play the latest games at max settings, I play a few months behind the curve at least). I kept some of my hard drives from earlier. My system is dual boot XP and Fedora Linux.
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Old 04-06-2009, 21:55   #7
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With a new build in mind, how is the support for P4 carried over? In theory, could I buy say a mobo, case, RAM and video card and use my old P4 (and the rest of what I had - I know the IDE/SATA/USB stuff will carry over) for a period of time until I could replace it with a bad-ass dual core, smack-yo-momma P4?
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Old 04-07-2009, 08:06   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LinuxKnight View Post
I would suggest a new build in this case, and you sound willing and able to build yourself. The tech has advanced a generation or two since your system was built.

Your RAM is most likely DDR PC2100 or PC2700, while new motherboards that support today's dual core CPUs are DDR 2 or even DDR 3. Plus the move from AGP video to PCI-Express. So new CPU sockets, new RAM sockets, and new video sockets, means best bet is new mobo.

Some good mobo brands include Abit, Asus, Gigabyte, MSI.

I just recently did a rebuild of my main desktop system.
Before it was AMD64 single core, DDR 2700 RAM, Nvidia 6600 AGP, somewhat similar to yours.

New system:
-GIGABYTE GA-MA770-DS3 mobo with solid state capacitors, socket AM2+ (AMD dual core), DDR 2
-AMD64x2 dual core 5200 2.7ghz
-2GB Corsair DDR2 PC2-6400 RAM (800mhz)
-Nvidia GeForce 8800GT 512MB DDR3 VRAM
-Thermaltake 550W power supply
-Asus 24x DL DVDRW SATA with Lightscribe
-WD 500GB SATA hard drive

I did this sometime last year, and it is by no means top of the line, but it gets what I need done (it is a gaming rig, but I don't play the latest games at max settings, I play a few months behind the curve at least). I kept some of my hard drives from earlier. My system is dual boot XP and Fedora Linux.

that's a pretty decent budget build..but wrong cpu, get a amd 7750 2.7 dual core. It's the new phenom II architecture and its faster than the old amd 3.0 dual core. Plus it runs cooler. OOOOOR my recommendation would be this, and it would be freakin SMOKIN :http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819103649


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin108 View Post
With a new build in mind, how is the support for P4 carried over? In theory, could I buy say a mobo, case, RAM and video card and use my old P4 (and the rest of what I had - I know the IDE/SATA/USB stuff will carry over) for a period of time until I could replace it with a bad-ass dual core, smack-yo-momma P4?
the thing is, you can spend 50 bucks and get a faster cpu. It's probably socket lga 775, and you can get some VERY fast dual and quad cores for that socket still. Or stick in your p4. BUT I would go ahead and build if I was you. If you want to game that is. Go for a nice gaming build, trust me, playing left 4 dead on 1900x1200 maxed out completely in graphics on a 26" screen and NEVER dropping below 60 FPS is AWESOME You just have to get a pc to handle it. Look thru these: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...name=LGA%20775 I believe that's your socket.

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Old 04-07-2009, 14:47   #9
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I just realized I didn't think things through at the other angle. I wonder how far my motherboard can go as far as upgrading the processor? Maybe that's the first thing I get? And I had no idea processors had gotten so cheap!
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Old 04-07-2009, 19:21   #10
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I'm not sure people realize what tremendous pieces of crap SATA drives are. SATA drives are terrible at doing random reads and writes which is 99% of anyone's normal computing. The IOPS (I/O operations per second) is about 70.

Now, a good SAS drive is around 200-250 IOPS. You want to speed up a system? Get a decent set of drives and mirror them.

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Old 04-07-2009, 19:23   #11
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Depending on what you do memory is the next best upgrade. People spend WAY too much time and money worrying about CPU performance when the I/O and memory is way outclassed.

I don't think many, if any, of these games are multithreaded so all the extra cores don't help.

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Old 04-07-2009, 20:42   #12
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That's a really good point. And few programs offer 64-bit support. That would be sort of a pointless upgrade as I'm already running at more or less the top of the clock cycle curve.
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Old 04-08-2009, 11:00   #13
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I don't think many, if any, of these games are multithreaded so all the extra cores don't help.

-Stooxie
Actually it does now.Most all of the popular games are. Left 4 Dead has a multicore rendering option, so it uses both on a dual core, or all 4 on a quad core. It makes a HUGE difference, and runs amazingly on a fast dual or quad core machine. So does team fortress 2. Most games do now. I have ran games and monitored my cores, I haven't played any new games that don't use all 4 cores to some extent. That includes COD 4 and world at war.

You would see a HUGE jump in performance by going dual or quad core. The cpu's are faster clock-for-clock than older generation ones also. A single core of a newer dual or quad, at a lower clock speed, would still be faster than your p4. This crap may have been true 2 years ago, but most every new game has multicore support. There's no excuse not to go multicore anymore.

http://www.nextlevelgamer.com/wp-con...d-settings.png
the other settings are on low, but that picture is just to show the multicore option. It makes a HUGE difference. You can crank the graphics up more and everything. Go multicore if you want to game. Plain and simple.

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Old 04-08-2009, 12:47   #14
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Good to hear, it is 2009 after all!

I deal primarily in the enterprise server space so I don't keep up with the games that much.

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Old 04-08-2009, 13:37   #15
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Good to hear, it is 2009 after all!

I deal primarily in the enterprise server space so I don't keep up with the games that much.

-Stooxie
Yeah it took em long enough! 3 years ago everybody was buying dual cores and not a single game was taking advantage of em. I'm glad, now they just need to take advantage of being 64 bit!
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Old 04-08-2009, 22:58   #16
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You need a new graphics card badly, but your whole system is due for a build. Theres no point in dumping money into an AGP graphics card at this point, seeing as you will need a whole new setup in about a year. Drop some loot on a quad core AMD, 4 gigs of RAM, a terabyte SATA drive, and a graphics card better than a nVidia 9800GTX and you'll have a killer system that won't break the bank.

Trying to upgrade your system piecewise won't be a good idea. Save up your money and build a nice system... it'll be a lot cheaper in the long run.
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Old 04-09-2009, 01:44   #17
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Just buy a name brand computer on sale and be done with it. ask fellow gamers which one. That is, unless you want to spend a lot of time finding and purchasing components. then every component you buy seperately has a different company contact.

It's hard to build a computer much cheaper for what they cost new with software.

Of course, I have an advantage both ways. I live 2 blocks from a Tiger Direct.
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Old 04-09-2009, 02:52   #18
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The Intel Core 2 Quad 2.5's can be overclocked a bunch without problems. That and a Gigabyte motherboard and 4 gigs of RAM and you are good to go. RAM is cheap so get the Gigabyte board that will accept 8 gigs. I run XP 64 with 8 gigs and it runs circles around Vista setups I have seen. Pista is a slug!
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Old 04-09-2009, 05:28   #19
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Just buy a name brand computer on sale and be done with it. ask fellow gamers which one. That is, unless you want to spend a lot of time finding and purchasing components. then every component you buy seperately has a different company contact.

It's hard to build a computer much cheaper for what they cost new with software.

Of course, I have an advantage both ways. I live 2 blocks from a Tiger Direct.
Sorry this would be the wrong choice bud. Once upon a time you could pick up a decent OEM gaming system but not now. With every company penny pinching there is no way I'd recommend buying a built compy.

You will get better parts, warranty, and most likely cost savings building your own. And that's exactly what I'd do. Like others have said, your system is a few generations behind and there is no use wasting more money on it. With your limited gaming you could build a nice system for well under $1000. And if you decide to use your case, cd drives, etc. you could save even more.

Good luck with your decision
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Old 04-09-2009, 08:02   #20
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Sorry this would be the wrong choice bud. Once upon a time you could pick up a decent OEM gaming system but not now. With every company penny pinching there is no way I'd recommend buying a built compy.

You will get better parts, warranty, and most likely cost savings building your own. And that's exactly what I'd do. Like others have said, your system is a few generations behind and there is no use wasting more money on it. With your limited gaming you could build a nice system for well under $1000. And if you decide to use your case, cd drives, etc. you could save even more.

Good luck with your decision
Exactly. You could buy from cyberpowerpc or some place like that, but it will still cost you a ton if you upgrade to namebrand parts. I'd build one. Like I did. Mine cost me under 1000 including my 26" monitor, and it RAPES games at 1900x1200 maxed out. Newegg sales ROCK. I built mine on a couple of different webistes that sell computers, just to see how much it would have cost me to buy it, and it would have came out to 2,000 dollars for my computer. I paid 980 dollars total for mine You always come out on top building it yourself, UNLESS you are buying a basic middle of the road computer. For a low end or middle end computer you can buy one for just a little bit more than it would cost to build it alot of the time. Building you get better components tho. I would buy a normal pc, but I will NEVER buy a gaming pc. Unless I have a couple thousand dollars laying around and my hands are broke so I can't build, but then I couldn't play games anyway so I don't guess it would matter.

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