Custom Search
Join the PC homebuilding revolution! Read the all-new, FREE 200-page online guide: How to Build Your Own PC!
NOTE: Using robot software to mass-download the site degrades the server and is prohibited. See here for more.
Find The PC Guide helpful? Please consider a donation to The PC Guide Tip Jar. Visa/MC/Paypal accepted.
Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Upgrading my old pc

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Helsinki, Finland
    Posts
    6

    Question Upgrading my old pc

    So I'm upgrading my comp so that new games like BF2 would work with me. I'm pretty new with all this upgrading stuff and I'm thinking about getting a new graphics card and 512 mb more memory for my old comp.
    My comp was bought from Dell, i think 4 years ago(can't remember). The parts are Intel i845e, P4 2 GHz, 512mb of PC 2100(133 MHz)DDR SDRAM and Nvidia Geforce 4200 Ti 64mb.
    My budget is 150 , and the memory is about 50 so it leaves me with about 100 for the GPU.
    Im thinking about getting a Sapphire Radeon 9600 XT 256 Mb. I think it is one of the best GPU's for 100. It doesnt matter to me whether the GPU is Nvidia or Ati.

    I live in Finland so you dont need to worry about where i can get it but only about what would be the best part for my budget. And in Finland the prices on computer parts are about the same as the $ price in The US.

    So my questions are:

    1.) Can the memory be faster than 133 MHz as those 133 MHz ones are hard to come by? And what other things should i consider when getting that memory?

    2.)I have only AGP 4x port, does that make a difference? I checked and that sapphire 9600 xt supports also 4x speed but does that make a big difference compared to when running in 8x? Do I need to worry about any bottlenecks when buying the GPU to this old system?

    3.) And finally what do you think would be the best GPU for me?

    4.) If there is anything else I should know the please tell me about it.

    EDIT: BTW that Sapphalines list is good but it misses AGP Graphics Cards. I think that many people who are upgrading their old PC still have AGP ports and not the new PCI-E port. (I'm one of those)

    Thanks for your replies in advance!
    Last edited by Jesuli; 09-19-2005 at 10:39 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    11,922
    Blog Entries
    2
    Welcome to the PC Guide Forums!!

    The reason my list doesn't have older parts is because it's for new builders. Upgrades like this need to be taken on an individual basis, as this example illustrates.

    Going from a GeForce4 Ti 4200 to a Radeon 9600 XT isn't really an upgrade. Not for the amount of money you'd be spending. You might see up to a 10% performance increase in shader-related games, and a slight drop in performance in DX7-based games. While powerful, the 9600 XT is still the mid-range contendor from ATI at about the same time as the GF4 Ti series was NVidia's high-end offering. In terms of power, they're nearly even, with the 9600 XT pulling ahead in shader-related games due to its optimizations in that area. Meanwhile, the 9600 XT is a 4x1 VPU clocked at 475MHz and the GF4 Ti 4200 is a 4x2 GPU clocked at 250MHz. Do the math and you'll see why I wouldn't recommend it, even with the added onboard RAM.

    If you want a worthwhile upgrade, save up for at least an AGP version of the GeForce 6600 GT. At only $140-160 USD, they smack the daylights out of both the Radeon 9600 XT and your GF4 Ti 4200!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Helsinki, Finland
    Posts
    6
    Thanks for the info, I thought there would be a more significant difference to each other in performance. Well I'll have to start saving some money then, thanks again.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Here
    Posts
    10,351
    Quote Originally Posted by Jesuli
    1.) Can the memory be faster than 133 MHz as those 133 MHz ones are hard to come by? And what other things should i consider when getting that memory?
    Yeah you can get up to PC3200 (DDR 400). It will run at the lowest speed of ram you have in your computer, or the lowest speed you mobo can support, but that's no problem. Just make sure you get DDR 184 pin, and not DDR2.

    I would recommend PC3200 as it is more likely to be able to be used in future upgrades or builds. Or more likely to be easier to sell if unusable in a new system you might get in the future.
    8 Pro 64bit
    AMD FX 8350
    Asus Sabertooth 990FX R2.0
    24GB GSkill/Corsair 1866MHz
    2x XFX 6870 1GB
    SSD - OCZ V4 128GB/Kingston 120GB
    HDD - 3TB/2x 750GB/500GB/250GB
    Corsair TX850M
    Cooler Master HAF 932 Red
    CM Hyper 212 EVO w/2x SickleFlow 120mm Red
    12x BD-ROM
    Logitech X540 5.1 Surround
    2X Acer 23" LED - Eyefinity: 3840x1080
    Microsoft Sidewinder x4 KB

    "The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them."
    - Albert Einstein

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Helsinki, Finland
    Posts
    6
    Quote Originally Posted by jlreich
    Yeah you can get up to PC3200 (DDR 400).
    I would recommend PC3200 as it is more likely to be able to be used in future upgrades or builds.
    Ok thanks!


    Now that I've checked on some Geforce 6600 GT cards I'd have a couple of new questions.

    Most of the cards have the same clock speeds (which are the minimums to make the card a GT class, i think) But I saw XFX 6600 GT and another card that had memory speed of 1000 MHz speed instead of the 900 MHz most models had. Those XFX ones price is 20$ more than most of the others.
    And with 5$ more than the XFX i could get a Palit 6600 GT with 256 mb of memory instead of the 128 mb.

    So is that extra memory important? Should i spend the extra 20$ for the 256 mb memory? What about the extra 20$ for the 100 MHz increase in memory clock speed?Which is more important?
    Last edited by Jesuli; 09-20-2005 at 10:34 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    At my Computer
    Posts
    1,818
    The clock speed would be more important to me as a gamer. For normal "stuff" the 256 would be better. I have a standerd 6600gt and it runs anything I throw at it with grace. If I were you, save the 20 bucks and put it somewere else. I have a 2.8 intel, 512 RAM, and 6600gt. The 512 RAM is the only thing holding me back from having an great pc.
    Apathy: If we don't take care of the customer,maybe they'll stop bugging us.

    Customer Disservice: Because we're not satisfied until you're not satisfied.

    (Maybe BB's approach?)
    ~Despair.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    11,922
    Blog Entries
    2
    900MHz RAM is standard for the 6600 GT AGP version. The PCIe x16 version has 1000MHz RAM as standard speed. I have no idea why - perhaps so that the AGP version is slightly cheaper (which it isn't really).

    In any case, both the faster RAM speed and the extra RAM would affect your gaming performance, but differently. The faster RAM speed is a nice 11% boost in total bandwidth and would increase the performance of all your games right now. The extra RAM would allow you to play future games that use more complex models & textures. It's up to you which one you want to go for, or if you just want the standard version. Just remember, don't skimp on your vid card if you want to play games!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Helsinki, Finland
    Posts
    6
    Ok and thanks for the replies. I've now got the answers i need. Ill go for the xfx 256mb version. Thanks once more.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •