Cheap, simple upgrade - need advice

Chaballaman

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 26, 2001
Messages
1,515
My ageing system gets ~4.5k in 3dmark05, mainly use it for games (world of warcraft, guild wars, need for speed most wanted/carbon, quake 4, doom 3, etc, all at 1280x1024 res).
I want to upgrade the video card n LCD so i can play games at 1680x1050 res, n hopefully with faster fps.

Current
CPU: AMD A64 3200(@2.5g, zalman hsf)
Mobo: Abit AV8
Video: 128M 6800 AGP (16 pipes, zalman hsf)
RAM: 1G Winbond DDR 3200
LCD: 19" Samsung 910T
HDD: 80G Seagate SATA
DVDRW: Sony 16X
Case: Antec SuperLanboy 350w

New
CPU: AMD AM2 X2 4000+ (planning to overclock a bit with stock hsf)
Mobo: Gigabyte GA-M55S-S3
Video: 256M Sapphire 1950Pro PCI-E
RAM: 1G Corsair DDR2 5300
LCD: 22" Samsung 226BW
HDD: same, maybe 160G Seagate SATA
DVDRW: same
Case: same, hopefully 350w will be stable with 1950Pro :p

I'd love to get 8800GTS + 24" LCD to run 1920x1600 res but dont have much to spend. :(
Please let me know if I should swap any parts to improve the performance at similar cost.
(e.g. AMD AM2 X2 4200+ can overclock much higher than X2 4000+, or 8600GTS is faster than 1950Pro, etc)
 

defaultluser

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jan 14, 2006
Messages
14,399
I would spend the extra 40 bucks for 2GB ram, it's so cheap, and you most certainly won't regret it. You have to be careful when upgrading, or else you might not see a huge performance increase over your old system.

And I definitely would not keep that Antec powersupply: it is one of those old supplies designed for lots of amperage at 5v (35A, 175w), and very little on the 12v line (16A, 192w). This would be heavily stressed by a dual-core (uses twice as much power as your 3200+) and x1950 Pro (uses about %50 more power than your old 6800 16 pipe). If you had spent a little more on a TruePower series at the time, then you could reuse it now (in other words, cheapest is not always best).

For example, the specs of a the TruePower 330w, for sale around the same time period as yours, shows a healthy 22A max (264w) on the 12v line. See here: http://www.antec.com/specs/true330_spe.html

See the specs of your supply here:

http://www.antec.com/specs/sl350_spe.html
 

cyclone3d

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Messages
14,924
Sad to say.. but going with an Intel Core 2 Duo chip and motherboard would give you a lot faster processor.
 

Chaballaman

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 26, 2001
Messages
1,515
Thought bout getting 2G ram (or maybe even faster ram for oc), but i don't think games I play will benefit much from it, its probably better to spend that extra $40 on video card.
I have limited budget, I'm only upgrading cpu, mobo, ram so I can use the faster PCI-E video card for higher res.

AMD X2 4000+, 4400+, 4800+ are rated 65W, so I don't think they use more power than A64 3200+.

However I'm worried about the SL350 PSU and 1950Pro combo.. it is well below the recommend 30A on 12v for 1950Pro. I don't wanna buy new PSU for 1950Pro so I'll probabaly have to get 8600GTS instead. :(

I did run 6800NU AGP (16 pipes, o/ced 400/900) on 250W AOpen PSU without any problem for ~6 mths til i got new case.


edit:
nvm, ended up buying X2 4200+ 65W, Asus mobo, 2G OCZ, 8600GTS.. thanks all for suggestions.
 

defaultluser

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jan 14, 2006
Messages
14,399
Thought bout getting 2G ram (or maybe even faster ram for oc), but i don't think games I play will benefit much from it, its probably better to spend that extra $40 on video card.
I have limited budget, I'm only upgrading cpu, mobo, ram so I can use the faster PCI-E video card for higher res.

AMD X2 4000+, 4400+, 4800+ are rated 65W, so I don't think they use more power than A64 3200+.

However I'm worried about the SL350 PSU and 1950Pro combo.. it is well below the recommend 30A on 12v for 1950Pro. I don't wanna buy new PSU for 1950Pro so I'll probabaly have to get 8600GTS instead. :(

I did run 6800NU AGP (16 pipes, o/ced 400/900) on 250W AOpen PSU without any problem for ~6 mths til i got new case.

Do what you want, but I wouldn't recommend it.

Sure, the games you play today won't push that ram barrier, but what about a year from now? What about two years from now? I mean, if the difference were more like $100+, I would agree, but 40 bucks is chump change even for those on a budget.

I'm still at a loss to understand why you're upgrading the screen at all, if you're trying to do this on-the-cheap. A larger LCD screen necessitates a more powerful video card, unless you actually like badly upsampled video.
 

Rishi M.

Weaksauce
Joined
Jun 16, 2006
Messages
90
I'd take a step down to a 20" LCD so you can keep the 1680x1050 res while freeing up some cash to spend on your RAM and video card.
 
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