Hardware Upgrade CPU & Graphics

  Ironman556 15:06 27 Oct 2005

Hi, I built my PC 2 1/2 years ago. I've been very happy with it, but now game performance is dropping and I want to give it a bit of a boost. I'm a bit out of touch with graphics but have had a look round and have decided I want to upgrade my Sapphire 9600 Pro 128MB to a Sapphire X800 XL 256MB AGP, which according to Tom's hardware performs 2 - 5 times better than my current card (depending on settings/spec).

I know a new graphics card is going to do wonders for gaming, but it can't provide miracles without having the system behind it, so I'm thinking of upgrading my CPU as well. So here's my spec.

Asus A7N8X Deluxe (the revision with a bunch of issues corrected and the dodgy gigabit LAN)
2 x Crucial 512 MB DDR400 RAM running in Dual DDR mode
AMD Athlon XP2800 Barton with Zalman 5100Cu CPU cooler and 80mm fan Zalman 5100Cu
Antec TrueBlue 480W PSU

My real question is how much will I gain by upgrading the CPU and what can I upgrade it to?

  Ironman556 15:38 27 Oct 2005

I've posted the same thing in another advice forum, it seems I've worded my post badly. What I meant to say is that I'm after a graphics card with more power, not that my system is slowing down in general. My PC is kept fairly clean and junk free.

  citadel 17:57 27 Oct 2005

I would just get the graphics card and see how much difference it makes.

  Ironman556 22:47 27 Oct 2005

That was my initial thought. I have looked into CPU's a bit and it looks like the fastest I can install is a 3200XP (400MHz FSB), and although better, the benchmarks don't seem to show a great deal of difference.

The only thing that puts me off is that other people have said to me that putting new components in "old" systems might be a waste of money. I built a high-end system, and unless I'm wrong it's still a pretty good spec (?). So although I probably won't get optimum performance from a new card with and extra 128MB memory and at least 4x the GPU power I should get a decent increase in graphics performance shouldn't I?

I'm not trying to prove anyone wrong, and I know 2 1/2 years is a long time for technology. So please any more opinions are welcome, be honest, harsh whatever. I may be overlooking some big issues.

  Ironman556 13:23 07 Nov 2005

Well I've bought it, recieved it & installed it with no problems. Swap from my 9600 Pro to My X800 XL was painless, had to download latest drivers to get all games to play, but now they do I can play everything at highest resolution and highest detail settings again. :-D

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