Gamers Upgrades?

  Martoph 11:42 16 Nov 05
Locked

Hi there,
Just wondering if you can offer me some advise on how to further upgrade my PC. It is basically used as a media device (gaming, music, video etc.) and not much else.
The processor I'm using is an AMD Athlon 2600+, and a few monthes ago I upgraded my RAM to 1GB and bought a new graphics card (ATI Radeon 9600XT). I'm running all latest drivers and latest version of Direct X.
On more recent game releases however, the performance is still jerky, unless of course graphics options / resolution is lowered (a good example would be on the title 'F.E.A.R' which I purchased recently).
What would you recommend investing in to further enhance my machines performance? I was thinking of a new, quicker processor / motherboard to house it, but don't really know if this is the answer...??
Thanks.

  Skyver 12:07 16 Nov 05

More CPU power needed - 64bit mobo and CPU, best to look for one that has an AGP and a PCI-E slot on it, so you don't have to change graphics card. F.E.A.R. has HalfLife2 style physics if I recall, so the CPU is doing more work than usual.
Dual graphics mobo here click here

  Martoph 12:23 16 Nov 05

I was thinking of upgrading to a 64bit
Sempron processor, but heard that there's no real point at the moment, as I'd need to upgrade Windows XP to 64 bit version (which I've heard is very unstable at the mo) and besides, hardly any programs are currently being written to use 64bit processing, so it won't make that much difference. It'll still jus run at 32bit. Is this all true? Would a new 64bit AMD Sempron still improve performance even though it was only running at 32bit...?

  gudgulf 13:18 16 Nov 05

Forget the Sempron.........for a gaming rig you need a fully fledged Athlon 64 processor.A minimum of a 3500+ would be a good balance of bang for buck.

Also for modern games your 9600XT will have to go....a minimum of an ATI X800XL or NVidia 6800GT.

Preferably an NVidia7800GT and if you can get a card with 512MB onboard memory so much the better.

Sorry to be pointing you to such high spec kit but my own system (3.6GHz P4/ATI X800XT/2GB RAM) is struggling to run the latest games at anything like the highest settings.

You mention F.E.A.R........well at 16x1200 with everything at max and 4xAA/8xAF I was getting an average of under 10FPS with a low of 3FPS.

Take a look at this review which shows the performance of another system busting game,Call of Duty 2 with a high end system and high end graphics cards....click here

If you want to play the most recent games in all their glory then be prepared to shell out a lot of cash.

  gudgulf 13:20 16 Nov 05

Oops....that should read 1600x1200

  Martoph 14:08 16 Nov 05

Ok....sounds like it's gonna cost a lot more than i originally thought. I thought my 9600XT was quite up-to-date....
Could someone explain this 4xAA/8xAF to me?

  gudgulf 14:48 16 Nov 05

AA= antialiasing..........which reduces the jagged look on surface edges.

AF= anisotrophic filtration......which,simply gives surface textures more detail and a more realistic look.

Both can be applied in varying degrees with eacg step up the settings causing the graphics card to work harder and hence you get a reduction in frames per second rendered.


I have a 9600pro with a 2.4GB P4 in my second pc.....errrr, the kids pc.

It used to be able to cope with anything...but such is the pace of both graphics card and game development at the moment!!!!!!

At the end of the day and being realistic you could add an ATI X800XL to your system(or NVidia 6800 GT/Ultra) and get vastly improved gameplay...included most of the fancy DirectX9 effects.

Or you leave your pc alone and accept the use of low settings on up to date games.Increasing your RAM to above 1GB (I have 2GB can smooth out gameplay on some modern games).........And start saving up.

I find myself drooling over the new 512MB 7800GTX.......but like you it would need a new motherboard/cpu etc to go with it.....So I'm saving up too,lol.

Have a look at click here for an idea of the amount of improvement you could get with one of the more powerful AGP cards.

  Martoph 16:26 16 Nov 05

Ok, so the ATI X800XL and the GeForce 6800 GT; are these AGP cards or would I still need to upgrade motherboard/processor as to take PCI?

And how much, roughly, would you be looking at for one of these cards?

  citadel 16:40 16 Nov 05

some cards have agp and pci versions. just put 6800gt agp into google, I think prices have fallen since 6800gt came out.

  Martoph 14:24 17 Nov 05

Ok....so how about something like this:

MoBo - ASRock 939Dual-SATA2 Motherboard @ £53.98

Processor - AMD Athlon 64 3500+ Venice Core 64 bit 512k L2 Cache skt 939 @ £129.24

GFX card - XFX GeForce 6800GT PVT40AUD Video Card @ £199.08

How much life do you reckon a set up like that would last me? And would I be able to stick my PC 2700 333mhz RAM in with that...?

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