What to upgrade next?

  Jimmyh 09:11 03 Mar 2006

I want to either upgrade my CPU or Graphics Card?

Cpu is an AMD 2000+ XP
and my graphics card is a Radeon 9700pro 128mb

  Jimmyh 09:18 03 Mar 2006

I'd probably look at some thing like a AMD Sempron 3400+, which is about £80 at dabs and for a graphics card probably some thing around the £100 area, maybe some thing like a Geforce 6600GT, or if funds can go more then maybe a radeon x800 some thing.

  Gongoozler 09:18 03 Mar 2006

What aspect of your computer performance do you want to improve?

  rmcqua 09:25 03 Mar 2006

You say "or if funds can go more..." How much do you have to spend, max?

  Jimmyh 09:35 03 Mar 2006

My Gaming performance needs to improve.

Looking for a AGP 8x 256mb card, probably around 50-150 for a graphics card is what i would spend.

Games I'd like to play better are everquest 2, x3 and age of empires 3

  keef66 11:08 03 Mar 2006

If speed is more important to you than the latest lighting effects, the Radeon x800gto would be my recommendation.
If you want pixel shader 3 support for latest games, then in your budget you're looking at the 6600gt you've already identified, or the X1600pro which is now available in AGP flavour.

If you have a choice, don't get hung up on the 256mb memory; in these mid range cards you'd notice little improvement over the 128mb versions.

I have the Athlon 2100+ XP and have given up on the idea of upgrading it since the mobo will only take up to Athlon 2600+ XP, and it has to be the Thoroughbred 266 fsb which I can only find 2nd hand on ebay.
If I want a faster cpu it means a mobo upgrade!

Do you know your mobo details and what's the max cpu you could put in it?

  €dstowe 11:14 03 Mar 2006

I've never found that upgrading a computer achieves anything near what you hope it will. All it does is show the inadequacy of the other parts which then need upgrading and so it goes on. In the end, you have effectively a new machine in an old box which most likely cost a lot more than buying (or making) a complete new unit.

  Jimmyh 11:40 03 Mar 2006

I dont know what the max cpu speed it will take but one of the bios updates mentions the barton core and sempron cpu's

It's a GA-7VAX mobo.

  Gongoozler 12:14 03 Mar 2006

The motherboard is limited by the 333MHz FSB, so if you are thinking of a fast processor, it is probably worth also upgrading the motherboard. However I think it's a good rule-of-thumb that you will notice very little improvement in performance with less than a 50% increase in CPU speed.

  cream. 12:18 03 Mar 2006

Is the sempron 3400+ a 64bit? Your motherboard will just go to a K7 3000+ sempron. click here.

  keef66 14:12 03 Mar 2006

According to the gigabyte cpu support info for your mobo it will take max:

AMD K7 Sempron 3000+
AMD Athlon XP 3000 Barton (13u 333fsb)
AMD Athlon XP 2700 Thoroughbred (13u 333fsb)

Probably need a bios update to run them.

So I guess the Athlon XP 3000 Barton is the one to look for if you want to pursue a cpu upgrade, and then you might not notice much of an improvement.

Failing that, you're looking at a mobo upgrade, at which point it would be sensible to go for a PCI-express mobo and graphics card and possibly faster memory. Or as €dstowe suggests, a new base unit!

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