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2718 posts

Uber Geek
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Topic # 26003 9-Sep-2008 09:00
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Hi Everyone

This is my first post in gaming forum, as I normally reside in the HTPC forum

I want to upgrade my pitiful old desktop system by just spending $100 or less so I can play a few more games.
I thought if I added a cheap second hand AGP card this would speed things up a bit.
I thought also about doing a gentle overclock on the system

Note: The motherboard only supports AGPX4 so i have no idea whether it is still better to go for AGPX8 or if the AGP slot will cause any bottleneck or not with an AGPx8 card.

My Current System:

Mobo - Gigabyte GA-7VKML-P (Supports AGP X4 / FSB 200-266)
Cpu - AMD Athlon XP, 1800 MHz (13.5 x 133) 2200+
Ram - 1GB PC2100 + 256MB PC2100
Video - AGP Geforce4 MX 440 (64MB)
Display - Dell 24" Widescreen 1920x1200 LCD
Powersupply - Not sure, doesn't say wattage on the side

Also my RAM is currently installed as
DIMM1 = 256 MB / DIMM2 = 1024MB

Previously i only used this desktop for internet only, but i'd like to be able to play a few games, perhaps battlefield, unreal tournament etc...

1. If I overclock is it a problem having the smaller RAM in the first DIMM1 slot?

If I install DIM1 = 1024 / DIM2 = 256 then only 256 is recognised
Alternative is just to throw away the 256mb stick

2. What second hand sub $100 AGP graphics cards off trademe would you suggest?

I did some research and it seems that ATI X860Pro / X1950 Pro / 3850 and Geforce 7800GS / 7600GT / 7600 GS are all quite fast, but they seem quite rare on trademe, might not be worth the price as i think they seem to sit > $100 and may be an overkill given my slow AGPx4 slot / FSB / CPU Speed.

6600GT seems to sell about $50-80 and there are quite a few on trademe, is this the best choice?
9800XT / Pro seems to see around the same price.

3. Is it worth spending this much, should i be looking at sub $50 video cards?

Thanks in advance for your wisdom
Mike




HTPC: Intel i3-2100 / 12GB RAM / AMD HD7750 / 480 GB SSD / 58TB Storage / MediaPortal / MadVR / Win10
AVR: Pioneer Elite SC-LX87 220W 9.2 Ch AVR
Speakers: Wharfedale Jade 7 Fronts / Jade 2c Center / Jade 5 Rears
Subs: iNuke 3000dsp 3000W proamp with 4x 15" JBL Sealed Subs
Display: Samsung 60" UA60H6400 LCD TV
Accessories: Gefen HDMI Detective with splitter


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2718 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 95


  Reply # 163235 9-Sep-2008 09:16
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What's currently available on trademe

http://www.trademe.co.nz/browse/categorylistings.aspx?mcat=0002-0359-0166-4247-&condition=used&sort_order=bids_asc




HTPC: Intel i3-2100 / 12GB RAM / AMD HD7750 / 480 GB SSD / 58TB Storage / MediaPortal / MadVR / Win10
AVR: Pioneer Elite SC-LX87 220W 9.2 Ch AVR
Speakers: Wharfedale Jade 7 Fronts / Jade 2c Center / Jade 5 Rears
Subs: iNuke 3000dsp 3000W proamp with 4x 15" JBL Sealed Subs
Display: Samsung 60" UA60H6400 LCD TV
Accessories: Gefen HDMI Detective with splitter


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Trusted

  Reply # 163335 9-Sep-2008 16:42
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For starters the best advice here i'd say is actually buying a whole new box, because AGP is old, and AGP 4x is even older. Just putting that out there.

Though you mentioned games such as Unreal Tounament and Battlefield - both of these are a series, if you mean the first game of the series, then both could easily be played by your MX440. If you mean the latest, eg UT3 and BF2142, well then you'd need a high end one and you cpu couldn't handle them anyway.

Overclocking - Probably not a good idea, you need decent cooling and to know what you're doing. Up the frequency too much and you'll overheat or fry your chip. For this system overclocking would bring very small benefit.

Anyway, i can say from experience the ATI 9600XT is a pretty good card, it played UT2004 okay, plays Team Fortress 2 on medium-low settings, i had it paired up with a P4 3ghz and 1gb of ram.
Can't advise much on other cards since i was out of the loop for a couple of years, though this was one of ATI's last cards before they bought out the X range. I think its about on par with the Nvidia 6600, maybe slightly slower.

291 posts

Ultimate Geek


  Reply # 164115 12-Sep-2008 23:01
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For me upgrading; rebuilding; modding etc is a hobby.

As a result, I actually have 4 PC's in my house -not including my partners laptop -which I've also upgraded pretty much as far as I can take it.

However, if you are not doing this as a hobby -I'd say your current system needs to be retired.

You can maybe keep the case; psu; hdd; optical drive; and get yourself a new mb; memory; cpu and graphics card.

If you do want to keep your current system going, I have the perfect card (it is agp 8x so is probably a slight overkill):  a BFG Nvidia 7800GS.  The reason I recommend this card is because for the speed of the card, it has low power requirements so even a generic 400watt PSU would probably be fine.

I don't use it anymore, so if you want it, I'll sell it to you for 50 bucks (+ postage) -pm me if you are interested.




"There is no way to Peace -Peace is the Way" (A. J. Muste)

 




2718 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 95


  Reply # 164231 13-Sep-2008 16:02
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Thank you, I'll take it. =)




HTPC: Intel i3-2100 / 12GB RAM / AMD HD7750 / 480 GB SSD / 58TB Storage / MediaPortal / MadVR / Win10
AVR: Pioneer Elite SC-LX87 220W 9.2 Ch AVR
Speakers: Wharfedale Jade 7 Fronts / Jade 2c Center / Jade 5 Rears
Subs: iNuke 3000dsp 3000W proamp with 4x 15" JBL Sealed Subs
Display: Samsung 60" UA60H6400 LCD TV
Accessories: Gefen HDMI Detective with splitter


291 posts

Ultimate Geek


  Reply # 164313 14-Sep-2008 10:27
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Well it was a great card for it's time.  You really can't get much faster from Nvidia for AGP.

Here's a review of the card:

http://techreport.com/articles.x/9335

Check the pictures and you will see the molex power connecter requirements I mentioned in my email.

For 50 bucks it is a steal -but only if you are going to use it.

ps. don't expect miracles:  Your system will bottleneck the card, so you will not see it's full potential.

I ran it on a 8x agp board with a Pentium 4 extreme edition o/c'd to 3.6 and was able to play games like Oblivion and Gears of War with Med/High settings no problems. (at 720p resolution)




"There is no way to Peace -Peace is the Way" (A. J. Muste)

 


291 posts

Ultimate Geek


  Reply # 164314 14-Sep-2008 10:38
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ps. as per my original post, I think you would be better off upgrading your entire system -going to a motherboard that accepts PCI-E graphics cards.

Your current system -even with the 7800gs is not going to run any of the new games well.

Have a bit more of a think about this before pulling the pin.




"There is no way to Peace -Peace is the Way" (A. J. Muste)

 




2718 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 95


  Reply # 164378 14-Sep-2008 18:52
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yea, i only want to play old games so that's ok.
i think if i play any new online games then i'll get too addicted!! =)




HTPC: Intel i3-2100 / 12GB RAM / AMD HD7750 / 480 GB SSD / 58TB Storage / MediaPortal / MadVR / Win10
AVR: Pioneer Elite SC-LX87 220W 9.2 Ch AVR
Speakers: Wharfedale Jade 7 Fronts / Jade 2c Center / Jade 5 Rears
Subs: iNuke 3000dsp 3000W proamp with 4x 15" JBL Sealed Subs
Display: Samsung 60" UA60H6400 LCD TV
Accessories: Gefen HDMI Detective with splitter


139 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 164904 16-Sep-2008 19:15
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dude those old amd cpus overclock to like 2.4ghz lol. Thats just with the default fan. Thats pretty cool considering that theyre only a 1.8ghz cpu. 50% increase.


Anyways dude you need a new computer. The whole thing! and i recoken the cpu would do the latest bf but not some of the other games.


Anyways i will tell you right now what i recommend based on price/perfofmance for a gaming computer.


Motherboard that supports Core2Duo and quad core with decent fsb speed
4GB DDRII ram or more
Decent case (lots of ventilation)
1TB hdd/raid config or whatever you need.
A good core2duo 2core or quad core.
Nvidia GTX260
PSU must be compatible with GTX260 and have at least 1,000W sustainable not peak energy output.

All this is neccesarry and you can't skip any of it im afraid. Allso if you dont have 2 good screens i sugest you do something so you have a 1920x1200res screen i think. and then another screen that can be a lower res but still good qaulity. And then 1 or 2 dual dvb-t  decoder cards :D. This would be a decent set-up.



2718 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 95


  Reply # 166981 25-Sep-2008 10:14
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yeah decided to go with a new system, looking at getting this one (or similar)
http://www.computerlounge.co.nz/systems/systemdetail.asp?sysid=45&systypeid=4




HTPC: Intel i3-2100 / 12GB RAM / AMD HD7750 / 480 GB SSD / 58TB Storage / MediaPortal / MadVR / Win10
AVR: Pioneer Elite SC-LX87 220W 9.2 Ch AVR
Speakers: Wharfedale Jade 7 Fronts / Jade 2c Center / Jade 5 Rears
Subs: iNuke 3000dsp 3000W proamp with 4x 15" JBL Sealed Subs
Display: Samsung 60" UA60H6400 LCD TV
Accessories: Gefen HDMI Detective with splitter


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