Advice sought on AGP Graphics upgrade

  jegMAN 20:59 17 May 07
Locked

Hi,
Can anyone advise as to the best route to upgrade my system, I'm looking for better gaming performance.
MESH Midi Tower PSU 360 (PSU power??)
ASUS A7N8X NFORCE2
AMD Athlon XP 2600 333mhz
1gb PC2700 DDR
ATI 128mb Radeon 9600TV DVI
Windows XP Home SP2

I believe the Graphics card is the obvious place, how much will I get by upgrading here - and how much would I realistically need to spend?

  Totally-braindead 21:13 17 May 07

The board is socket A so the processor you have is probably the best it will take.
You could upgrade the graphics but you would almost certainly have to upgrade the power supply, if it is 360 watts then that would not be enough.
Whether it is worth upgrading really depends on the games you play. You might have noticed the newest games are asking for the likes of 3ghz processor 3.5 ghz recommended so if you are daft on games you might be better getting a barebones and using that click here

In my opinion it depends on what you play. You could get a better graphics card and improve what you already play but you would also need to buy a new power supply. The power supply if you buy a good one you could use on your next PC but the graphics card would have to be an AGP one and if you got a new computer later it would almost certainly be PCI Express.

How much would you have to spend? For a reasonable upgrade to the graphics without going overboard about £70 click here but you would need to buy a new power supply as well.

  Totally-braindead 21:16 17 May 07

Heres the processors it will take but you'll struggle to get one even second hand click here more memory to me is a waste as well the improvement would be small for the outlay so I think the graphics is about all you could upgrade.

  jegMAN 22:24 17 May 07

Thanks for your response...
So this system won't go much further? It is about to celebrate its 4th birthday so I s'pose that's not bad!
The newest game I play is Oblivion and the computer does struggle at times to make it playable.

What are the benefits of barebones vs. new system altogether?
How do the new processors match up? The Ghz speeds have hardly moved, but they are all 'dual' or 'quad' core, does that double the speed?

  jegMAN 22:25 17 May 07

how does this system stack up for example?
click here

  Totally-braindead 22:33 17 May 07

Oblivion specs are completely unrealistic, to be honest with you I am surprised you can play it at all.
I didn't realise your computer was quite that old so I would replace the lot an entire new system. The advantage with barebones is you can use some of your old components thus saving money - thats it really. But with the parts on your PC being 4 years old and newer parts, hard drives etc being faster theres little point.
Dual Core is like having 2 processors instead of just one. For multitasking, doing 2 things at once, it makes a huge difference. Quad Core is new and very expensive.
It depends how much you want to spend. I personally would look for a Intel Duel COre Duo like this click here its got a reasonable graphics card and 2 gig of memory. Bit more money then this click here won the lottery click here

  Totally-braindead 22:36 17 May 07

I'd better not comment on that system because of the manufacturer, some people have had problems. Do a search in Consumerwatch for Mesh and you'll see what I mean.

Novatech customer service is second to none thats why I use them whenever I can.

  Strawballs 22:42 17 May 07

I can only agree with Totally-braindead on Novatech for sevice and I am lucky enough to live close to their HQ

  jegMAN 22:45 17 May 07

Again, thanks a lot for your rapid and knowledgeable answers - really appreciated!

As you can see, I bought Mesh previously and was very happy, however I have not used in a long while, so will research as advised!!

When I did buy, I spent as much as I could and have only upgraded monitor to LCD and DVD drive.

The pace of change seems to have slowed, esp. on processors in the last few years.

Saw this interesting article on this siteclick here.
Sensible approach or would you still go ALL new?

  Totally-braindead 22:58 17 May 07

Yeah well I never won it so it could be I'm a bit biased.

Seriously though its a bit out of date in some ways now and you already have 1 gig of memory for a start.

Processors have not slowed at all they have come one leaps and bounds, dual core and quad core and the sockets on the motherboards have changed as well.

I was in the same boat as you (similar spec) about a year ago and I looked at what it would cost and decided to go all new again.

My reasoning was, the processors had changed sockets so to get a faster one I needed a new motherboard, the graphics had moved away from AGP and had moved to PCI Express and there was more choice with PCI Express and the hard drives had speeded up moving from IDE to SATA, SATA 2 now.

I personally think that your PC is fine for many things but would struggle to play the newest games and because any cash you would spend on it wouldn't be transferable to the new system it would, in my opinion, be a bit of a waste. Better to save the £100+ it would cost for a new graphics card and power supply and put it towards a new PC.
Others might not agree but thats what I think.

  Totally-braindead 23:00 17 May 07

Two of my mates have PCs similar to yours and they are happy but the games they play are older ones, nothing new.

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