Upgrade or New System?

forsakendmz

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Greetings All,

My current rig is a few years old.

p4 2.6c (OC'd to 3.06ghz)
2x512 OCz PC3500 ram (Dual Channel)
ABit IS7 MB 800mhz FSB
2xWD Raptors in RAID 0
Radeon 9800 PRO

This machine has hit it's peak in performance on most games. Had to play through F.E.A.R on Medium settings ( bleh :p ).

Anyway, how much more can I expect from this machine with a new AGP card or more RAM? Or should I just bite the bullet and build a 64 bit system with PCI Express? There's a lot of games coming out that I want to play, mianly the new Elder Scrolls, and I don't want to be running them on lower settings.

Any advice is appreciated. Thanks.
 

trunks512

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all you need really is a new video card unless you plan to go high end with your whole computer
i would recommend the x800xl as it would not be bottlenecked
 

forsakendmz

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Thanks for the responses so far!

The only board I could find in AGP form on NewEgg was the 6800 series and price wise it was only $60 cheaper than a PCI 7800 GT. Are the ATI boards mentioned PCI only? Or does NewEgg just not carry them?

And say I do make the jump to 2 GB of RAM. I checked the manual I have for the ABIT IS7 and it does not list a restriction on Dual Channel (I know some motherboards go max 2x512 for Dual Channel).
Now would I have to do 2x1gb to maintain Dual Channel, or will it do all 4 slots if filled? As in I just purchase another 2x512 and place them in slots 2 and 4.

So 6800 GS for $225
OCZ PC3500 2x512 for $176.
Total of just over $400.

This is what I've been trying to balance out. Spend $1000 or so and build a new A64 system that will last me a few years (like the P4 did) or upgrade and hope to get another year or so out of the current rig at which point I may need to build new anyway since AGP choices would most likely be few or even non-existant.

Do you feel I could run Elder Scrolls:Oblivion on decent settings if I did upgrade?

Again, my thanks. Been back and forth on this for awhile and it's nice to have some feedback.
 

avatar3k

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I personally wouldn't be crazy about spending $225 for a graphics card that's beginning to show its age. If you are fed up with your rig, and can afford it, and if getting the better experience out of your games is indeed worth close to $1000 for you, then go for the new rig altogether. Otherwise, just go for the upgrade, although I'm wondering why you need to spend $176 on RAM. If you're willing to spend $176 for 2x512, I don't get the impression that upgrading is a better option than rebuilding for you.

An A64/2x1GB/7800GT setup will be 'a bit' better than upgrading your current system.
 

forsakendmz

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Avatar3k, so you are saying upgrading wouldn't do that much for me anyway? And I would spend that much on RAM to match what is already in there. OCz PC3500.

Is it worth tracking down a GT version of the 6800 on eBay? Or is the GS pretty similiar? Having trouble finding any online. Just the GS.
 

avatar3k

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upgrading will do 'alot' for you, as the 6800gs is great, but I can't say for sure b/c i don't know how much of a problem your current rig is for you. i simply got the impression somewhere along the line that there's a chance you aren't overly worried about the cash

the 7800gt is great, but if you feel at all that you'd have second thoughts about spending $1000 on a new system at this point, then definitely, just upgrade - if that's the case, it wont be worth the extra $6-700 for the marginal performance improvement of the 7800gt/oc'd939 over the 6800gs/p4/+1gig ram.

btw, you don't absolutely have to match the ocz, its good ram but a bit expensive, you could almost get 2x1GB pc3200 for that price...
 

forsakendmz

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Well, it's not that I throw money around without a care, but if there was going to be a big performance upgrade then I would have no problems spending the extra cash.

I thought there may be a chance I could sneak out an upgrade and squeeze some more gaming out of my p4 as it's not a bad machine which seems to be the concensus here. Very glad I posted now as I was heavily leaning towards a new system rather than upgrade.

And I could use another brand of RAM but I really like the OCZ and I'm using PC3500 as my PC is overclocked at 433 bus. I know PC3200 would work OC'd but I've really liked how my rig has performed up until recently.

Definitely going to go the upgrade route! Thanks for all help!
 

forsakendmz

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UPDATE: :cry:

I finally got around to upgrading and I have to say I am completely disapointed.
The 6800 GS is a decent card, but it's not "wow"ng me over my 9800 PRO. And the extra gig of RAM was a total bust. My system actually performed only slightly better. In some cases worse (3Dmark06) with the extra RAM installed. The 6800 GS also didn't really perform that well in the 05 or 06 3Dmark tests. And while it did outperform my 9800 PRO, I wouldn't say the difference was worth the $233 I spent on it.

Building a system for a friend tomorrow that was similiar to what I had in mind for myself so I can't wait to see the performance results.

Both RAM and board are being returned either way. Hopefully I won't have to pay restocking. The performance gained was definitely not worth the money spent.

Just thought I would post my results. I spent 1/3 what I would have for a new system, true. But the upgraded system wouldn't have lasted me much longer and I would have been either looking to upgrade again in 6 months, or completely building new anyway. Either way, wasted loot.

Thanks to all that posted in this thread but infortunately the upgrade was not meant to be ;)
 

avatar3k

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this is why i was trying to recommend the 7800gt, as i wasn't sure how much of a performance gain you were looking for going from the 9800pro, which is decent for lower end graphics

again, the marginal gain in going from 1gb to 2gb probably evened out the fact that you had to time down the RAM

the problem with this forum is that everybody wants to say, "this is the right card for you, this is the right setup for you". as you may or may not have noticed, i try to be skeptical about the build, and make certain suggestions that alot of people here don't bother to mention, if only b/c what the op said may not accurately convey his/her actual situation.

it's unfortunate that the ~$400 you spent upgrading was a bust.
 

chuckshissle

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Get more memory, I suggest 2 gb of it. Games like FEAR and Battle Field 2 requires more than 1 gb of memory to run smoothly. CPU's the mainstream right now is 2.5 Ghz and new AGP card from nvidia is coming out like the 7800 GS or invest on a new motherboard.
 

Herr_Fritz

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Doh, sorry about the upgrade man. Bethesda just released minimum and recommended system specs for Oblivion a day or two ago... nVidia came out with an AGP 7800... turns out to be just a little too early for the upgrade itch.

Fritz
 

pcrig

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Greetings All,

My current rig is a few years old.

p4 2.6c (OC'd to 3.06ghz)
2x512 OCz PC3500 ram (Dual Channel)
ABit IS7 MB 800mhz FSB
2xWD Raptors in RAID 0
Radeon 9800 PRO

This machine has hit it's peak in performance on most games. Had to play through F.E.A.R on Medium settings ( bleh :p ).

Anyway, how much more can I expect from this machine with a new AGP card or more RAM? Or should I just bite the bullet and build a 64 bit system with PCI Express? There's a lot of games coming out that I want to play, mianly the new Elder Scrolls, and I don't want to be running them on lower settings.

Any advice is appreciated. Thanks.
NEW system with AMD 64 X2 only on the new socket AM2!
(eventual upgredability in the future)
AMD is loading "dual" duo on 65 nano soon!

Before you built wait for Windows VISTA, as LINUX can not handle all the games!!


My RIG:
________________________________________________
Lian Li PC 602 black
Enermax 600 W Eg 701 Noisetaker 24 pin
ASUS A8N SLI Premium (dual RAID - 8 SATA ports) 939 (with external extended 2 SATA ports))
Athlon 64 4800+ 2X (stock AMD fan GOOD enough!) 929
(2 x 512) PC3200 DDR400 OCZ 1024ELDCGE-K (2-2-2-5-1T @ 2.8 Volts) 184 pin
ASUS ATi X700-X PCI Express
Plextor PX-716 DVD +/_ RW
Plextor Premium CD RW
SB Audigy 4 PRO
Klipsch Pro Media 5.1
19" View Sonic LCD
LiteOn DVD 16 x
PROXIM AP 4000,
PROXIM PCI 802.11 a/b/g
8 x 250 GB Hitachi SATA 10 (300)
2 x 60 G PATA Western Digital (old stock)
(no floppy)
Zippy EL-715
Logitech Di noVo Desktop Bluetooth (laser)
HP LaserJet 4350TN
HP DeskJet 9680
(OS on each dedicated drive - booted by selected drive through the chage of boot drive in the BIOS )
LINUX Red Hat 9
Knoppix 4.02 on CD
Windows 200 PRO
WINDOWS XP PRO
(waiting for 64 bit VISTA)
IBM (LENOVO) notebook on 802.11 a/b/g
Nero 7.02B (NO to ROXIO!)

Other:
remote controled microwave oven powered by INTEL P4 chips
 

forsakendmz

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I just read about the 7800 GS for AGP. Sounds like my AGP savior :)

I benched the system I just built for a friend. 3700 San Diego (1mb L2), 2 GB PC3200 OCZ Ram, 7800 GT PCI Express 16. It definitely out performed by the 6800 GS AGP and my P4 2.6 (Obviously) but that really put me back on the boat that maybe the 7800 GS can save my older system as the difference wasn't all that huge.

And part of the RAM issue was a mis-buy on my part. I went with OCZ ram again but later realized I had purchased 2.8 volt, when my previous was 2.6. My previous RAM ran solid at 2.8 producing decent results but I guess the timings were off when both were installed. I may try getting another brand of 2.6 volt and see how that works.

I think I may have better luck with any AGP board running 16 pipes vs the 6800 GS only having 12. To be honest when I really sat and thought about, a new PC would out perform mine BUT I really don't want to have another PC. I have 3 already :p
So I may give this upgrade another go when the 7800 GS is released and see if prices for that are reasonable, if not, maybe go for one of the ATI 16 pipe boards and buy the correct RAM for my system this time :p
 

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