Games Machine upgrade advice

  Martoph 01:06 07 Mar 06
Locked

Ok, I want to upgrade my PC so it can comfortably, and attractively, run the latest games. But I'm not too sure what is best to buy. My specs are:

AMD Athlon XP 2600+
1GB RAM
ATI 9600XT 256 gfx card

I'm thinking of buying a nVidia 7800GS 256MB (being AGP and all that), but would this be that much better than my current ATI card? I'm after running games like Half Life 2 and F.E.A.R well.

Also, would I be better off upgrading my processor/motherboard first? Would this make much difference on the gaming side...?

Ta

  flyingbrit 03:53 07 Mar 06

Oh yes!! only a lot. The 9600 only has 4 pixel pipelines, the 7800 has 16, the 9600 has a memory speed of 600MHz, the 7800 has 1200MHz. I play all the new games on my pc with hardly any lag and I have an Athlon 2600+ and 1 gig of ram and a 6600gt gfx card (much slower than the 7800) so you will be good with your current cpu, however you may need to upgrade your psu(depends what you have now).

  remind 08:37 07 Mar 06

just a personal opinion but i doubt your current setup is powerful enough to make full use of such a meaty card, and if you go for agp you can't fit that card in a newer motherboard if you decide to upgrade.
6600gt or 6800gs can be picked up for £90-£160

  remind 08:41 07 Mar 06

6800gs for £110+vat if you're quick click here

  Martoph 09:37 07 Mar 06

Would a get a significant improvement out of a 6600gt gfx card, compared to my current 9600XT? Anothergame I will be wanting to run is the latest Morrowind title (Oblivion) up on release. Would my current set up with this 6600gt gfx card added be capable of this..??

  Martoph 09:37 07 Mar 06

Would I get a significant improvement out of a 6600gt gfx card, compared to my current 9600XT? Anothergame I will be wanting to run is the latest Morrowind title (Oblivion) up on release. Would my current set up with this 6600gt gfx card added be capable of this..??

  remind 10:15 07 Mar 06

A 6600gt will be some improvement but not enormously so - this set of benchmarks is very informative
click here
unfortunately it doesnt include the GS range as they weren't around at the time
the ati x850xt is a good card too, faster than the 6800gs in some instances apparently but i don't know if it's available as agp
some places to look for prices
click here
click here
click here
click here

as for the game, if you know who the developers are check out their site and see if they've published the system requirements

  Martoph 10:29 07 Mar 06

Ok....so would it be worth upgrading my motherboard and processor first d'ya think? Would this give me a much improvement? Then, in in the future, purchase a PCI card.?

On the processor/motherboard upgrades, what would you recommend for anout £200??

  remind 10:58 07 Mar 06

its a bigger investment overall than just the card of course, but probably worth it to extract the best performance from any new kit and save wasting anything on a card you can't fit in a newer system at a later date.
assuming you stick with amd,the asus a8n range have a good reputation click here, as for the cpu, even an athlon64 3200 would be give a useful boost in performance - there are different cores available as the chips are updated, some research would be well worth it click here
especially if you intend to overclock the chip at all
you have a choice of 939 pin or 754 pin cpu, asus k8n range for the latter i think - the 939 is better but more expensive.
im not really up to date with the very latest kit as im holding off upgrading my own system, im sure there are other forum members who could add some useful pointers for you

  remind 10:59 07 Mar 06

btw if you use ddr400 memory in your current system you can use that in a newer board

  remind 11:01 07 Mar 06

one more thing, a new 940 pin format is on it's way in a few months, if you don't need the very latest kit it might be worth waiting for prices of 939 systems to drop accordingly. the 939 certainly wont disappear overnight

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