CPU upgrade or RAM upgrade for performance boost!

  balcarras 10:19 07 Dec 04
Locked

Current specs:

K7S5A motherboard
CPU - AMD Athlon XP1700+
Crucial RAM 2x256Meg

With £50 burning a hole in my pocket I could either buy

a) a 512Meg Crucial RAM - increasing me to 768Meg
OR
b) swap the AMD Athlon XP1700+ (~1.5GHz) for a AMD Athlon XP2400+ (~2GHz)

I use my system for playing games - but not usually the latest and greatest - SOFII, Half-life, Colin Mcrae2 as well as general office apps and surfing the net.

What upgrade item do you think would benefit my system best??>

Thanks.

  woodchip 10:46 07 Dec 04

CPU

  balcarras 10:51 07 Dec 04

Thanks.

On what basis do you make your recommendation?

  Gongoozler 11:14 07 Dec 04

If your applications are memory intensive such as manipulating large graphics files, then more memory will help. A clue to this need would be frequent hard drive activity while working. For games what you really need is fast throughput of data, and therefore as woodchip said, a faster processor would help. However unless you can increase the processor speed by at least 50%, you are hardly going to notice any improvement and £50 isn't going to get you a lot in that direction.

  malgall 12:28 07 Dec 04

what 3d card are you using

  balcarras 12:31 07 Dec 04

the problem I have is that the the fastest chip that the K7S5A will take is the AMD 2400+.

So for my £50 ish quid I can increase Hz from about 1.5 to 2.0 ~ a 33% gain.

Or my £50 ish quid can get me a 50% increase in RAM from 512 to 784....

I guess it's the gaming performance increase that is more important to me - as I don't mind waiting for office or graphic apps to load and run...

  TomJerry 12:39 07 Dec 04

you may have difficult to find a 2400 CPU run 266MHZ (the one your motherboard support).

To help you with this, I tracked down one for you £47 click here

Believe me. It is very difficult to find one, so grab it when you still can.

you will get 2% to 3% performance boost by increasing RAM from 512Mb to 768MB. Your reasoning of 50% performance increase is totallu incorrect. More memory hold more info, so less access to HDD, not more speed. CPU performance increase you mentioned is correct.

So, CPU, no mistake. Kick whoever suggest you increase RAM.

  ACOLYTE 12:45 07 Dec 04

I would go for Ram games are hungry and if you have a lot of background apps running the ram uses up quick,and with the 512 you have now only prolly 230 odd will be available for games use.
The CPU you have should be ok for games,the g card can make a difference in look and feel,but i think the biggest boost will come from ram.
One thing if i remember right the KS7A only has 4 ram slots 2 for ddr 2 for sdram,it may not like it if you put a 512 stick with a 256 one.Also it would depend on your OS as to how much ram you can use.

  TomJerry 12:54 07 Dec 04

For game, good graphics card is the must. If you can speed £63, you may get a good enough graphics card Sapphire Radeon 9600 click here

If you still do not believe my argument about RAM, why do not test it by remove one stick of 256MB ram. I bet you will not find any big difference for gaming.

  balcarras 13:01 07 Dec 04

Seems we have a difference of opinion!!

Thanks TomJerry for the link to the purchase, bit dubious though - seems like this website is connected to Carrera which went bust!!

ACOLYTE, correct I only have 2 DDR slots to play with!

I am tending for the RAM upgrade!

How difficult is it to set up "counters" the next time I play a game, to see how often the pc runs out of RAM and has to use the page file...

  balcarras 13:01 07 Dec 04

Seems we have a difference of opinion!!

Thanks TomJerry for the link to the purchase, bit dubious though - seems like this website is connected to Carrera which went bust!!

ACOLYTE, correct I only have 2 DDR slots to play with!

I am tending for the RAM upgrade!

How difficult is it to set up "counters" the next time I play a game, to see how often the pc runs out of RAM and has to use the page file...

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