Seeking upgrade advice

Discussion in 'PC Purchasing Help' started by alkene, Jun 7, 2007.

  1. alkene

    Newcomer

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2007
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've been struggling with an upgrade decision and was hoping that someone more up to date on the current hardware goodies could advise me.

    Here's my setup:

    AMD 64 3500+
    MIS K8N Neo Platinum (Nforce3-250) AGP
    2GB RAM
    Gigabyte Geforce 6800GT (256MB) AGP
    Dell 2001WFP (20" widescreen)
    Vista Home Premium

    It's used for a fair amount of run-of-the-mill computing (word processing, web browsing, etc.), and the only game I play now is World of Warcraft.

    I recently added the windscreen monitor, which looks phenomenal. My wife and I play WoW fairly regularly, and have been rather disappointed with the FPS now that my monitor is significantly larger along with the increasing demands of the new WoW expansion. The performance has also suffered from the Vista "upgrade" from XP. While it's quite playable in 5 man instances, 10 man raiding and above is nearly a slide show.

    My disappointment is compounded by the fact that my wife's computer plays WoW with solid FPS with clearly better image quality. She has nearly the same setup, but she's got a PCE ATI X1850GTO.

    So, the computer envy can last no longer =)

    I'm working with about a $400 budget and am considering these two options:

    If possible, I'd like to reuse as many component s as I already have. So, I'd like to hold on the memory sticks (2GB), and HD, etc.

    I'm partial to ATI at the moment. I'm not quite sure about an overall comparison, but my wife's ATI card clearly has better image quality with a much less buggy Vista driver (for WoW at least, I haven't noticed anything else).

    Option 1 - replace current mobo with a PCI Express one, buy a good processor, but buy a bargain VGA card that would get good performance in WoW, but also leave it open to upgrade in the future.

    a) Mobo / Processor with Intel Core 2 Duo (E6600) (suggestions here on good combo?)

    b) I'm willing to sacrifice performance for $$ savings by using my old memory sticks if they still work here.

    c) Radeon X1950 Pro or…?

    Option 2 - Buy an AGP video card, and save the bigger upgrade for another time.

    a)Radeon X1???? AGP?

    Option 3 - anything else! I've got an open mind =)

    Oh, and uninstalling Vista for XP is not an option.

    Thanks for the advice!!!

    …..sorry if this shows up as a repost, the spam filter keeps on killing my message =(
     
  2. Albuquerque

    Albuquerque Red-headed step child
    Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2004
    Messages:
    3,845
    Likes Received:
    329
    Location:
    35.1415,-90.056
    Depends on why your WoW is "chugging along".... If it's just because of the extra resolution from your new monitor, then it's likely a video card limitation.

    You can buy an x1950GT or Pro card on an AGP bus for as low as $150 online. That still gives you $250 to save for tax season for a whole new setup. But I don't recall how processor-intensive WoW really is, so this may not be the best option.
     
  3. Davros

    Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2004
    Messages:
    14,951
    Likes Received:
    2,340
    id go for the x1950gt then get a new pc at a later date

    am i right in thinking wow isnt dual core aware ? how much faster would a single core of a e6600 be than a 3500 anyone know ?
     
  4. Albuquerque

    Albuquerque Red-headed step child
    Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2004
    Messages:
    3,845
    Likes Received:
    329
    Location:
    35.1415,-90.056
    The E6600 would be significantly faster than the 3500, without question. I'm also sure a processor upgrade wouldn't hurt, but again, if you're using a 6800GT to play at 1920x1200 then the processor probably isn't your biggest bottleneck ;)

    I used that only as an example, but you get the idea... A 1950Pro would have somewhere between 75% and 300% more speed, depending on what exactly is limiting you. If it's just pure ROP output / fillrate, then the lower figure is more accurate. If it's pure pixel shader output, the higher figure is more accurate. Reality will be somewhere in the middle, in a purely un-CPU-bottlenecked (ie, theoretical) case.
     
  5. Davros

    Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2004
    Messages:
    14,951
    Likes Received:
    2,340
    "The E6600 would be significantly faster than the 3500"

    by significantly you mean what 50% 75% 100% ect ???
     
  6. Albuquerque

    Albuquerque Red-headed step child
    Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2004
    Messages:
    3,845
    Likes Received:
    329
    Location:
    35.1415,-90.056
    Depends on what you're doing. Since an E6600 will best an FX-62 at nearly everything, single-core or otherwise, I think you get the idea.
     
  7. Davros

    Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2004
    Messages:
    14,951
    Likes Received:
    2,340
    well no.....
    if a e6600 used the same rating as the 3500 what would it be ?


    EDIT :
    found some benchmarks for the fx62 and it appears to be very slightly better than a 5000+ or about 30% faster than a pentium 4 d840 3.2 ghz

    also found some some benchmarks for the fx62 vs e6700 and they seem roughly similar
    so im guessing that a e6600 (in programs like wow that dont use the 2nd core) would be around 25% faster than the 3500
    and 25% does not equal "significantly faster than the 3500" in my book
    i certainly wouldnt go to the expense of upgrading a whole system for only 25% which would equate to what, maybe a 15% increase in frame rate where you arnt gpu limited
     
    #7 Davros, Jun 9, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 9, 2007
  8. BRiT

    BRiT (╯°□°)╯
    Moderator Legend Alpha

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    Messages:
    12,651
    Likes Received:
    8,958
    Location:
    Cleveland
    Davros, the E6600 is an EASY overclocker. One should be able to hit at least 3.2Ghz out of it, with most running at 3.5 - 3.6Ghz range. That would place the E6600 OC ~= AMD X2 6000+ if not even higher.

    The Dual Core CPUS provide for a significantly better experience than the single-core CPUs. No questions about it. The trend of games is to move to multi-core use. Just have a look at the Supreme Commander numbers to realize the benefits of multi-core over single-core.
     
    #8 BRiT, Jun 9, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 9, 2007
  9. BrynS

    Regular

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2003
    Messages:
    406
    Likes Received:
    18
    If you're primarily concerned about restoring decent WoW performance at your monitor's native resolution (1680x1050) then I'd probably just upgrade the graphics card and put the rest towards a decent PCI-e overhaul later on, say after the dust settles on Penryn vs Barcelona and the new price/performance selection emerges earlier next year. Trying to squeeze a Core2 upgrade (Mobo, RAM, CPU and GPU) on $400 means compromising on too many things, especially the GPU, which probably wouldn't be powerful enough to drive your LCD's native res for gaming.

    Your nForce3 mobo is socket 754, right? So that rules out an AMD dual core drop-in replacement. You could maybe try looking for a cheap 3700+ (which I think is where S754 topped out at , but it would probably be poor value due to scarcity/low demand and you could potentially overclock your 3500+ to 3700+ speeds anyway.

    For the AGP card, an X1950Pro should be fine for WoW at 1680x1050 with decent AA/AF -- I quite like the HIS models due to the Artic Cooler, some of them are specced a bit higher than standard too. If you want a bit more oomph, GeCube do an AGP X1950XT (full R580). There are also some AGP X1950GT's about, which I believe are R580s with one quad disabled (36 shaders vs 48) although they are clocked slower (500/1200) than an X1950Pro (575/1380) -- the GT may have a bit more mileage with overclocking though, or not. :razz:
     
  10. alkene

    Newcomer

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2007
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks everyone for the recommendations! It's most certainly appreciated =)

    Based on what I'm reading here, I've decided to delay the PCI-e overhaul, and go for the 1950PRO AGP in the meantime.

    ATI's website claims that the 1950PRO likes a 450 watt PS. While I've heard some people being able to get away with it, I imagine my Antec SL400 probably won't cut it.

    (Antec SL400: +3.3v/28A +5v/38A +12v/18A -5v/0.5A -12v/0.8A +5vsb/2A)

    Any suggestions for a good PS replacement that I could hold onto and use again for when I do a PCI-e upgrade in the future?
     
  11. nutball

    Veteran Subscriber

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2003
    Messages:
    2,159
    Likes Received:
    485
    Location:
    en.gb.uk
    (Oh man, must not get started... breathe deeply...)

    Total wattage is a very misleading figure to use. ATI are being kinda lazy by saying that, and/or covering their backside. If you're talking about $10 power supplies then yes you probably would need a "450W" model (which probably wouldn't actually be capable of delivering 450W). For any decent make of PSU a ~300W would do just fine.

    That gives you 216W on your 12V line, which should be more than enough. For reference I'm running an 8800GTS + 4800+ and my total DC power draw for my whole system under load is ~190W (this is measured). A 1950PRO will be waaay below this. I've had bad experiences recently with an Antec PSU though (NeoHE 430), but that's a model which has a bad rep generally.

    IMO I'd stick with what you've got until you have problems. Otherwise get something around the 300-350W mark (Seasonic or something like that).

    If you want good honest advice about PSUs that's not corrupted by the need to have the biggest e-peen go to SPCR. There's a thread there about what you can run on a 300W PSU, it's very enlightening. Their PSU reviews are very good too.
     
  12. digitalwanderer

    digitalwanderer Dangerously Mirthful
    Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2002
    Messages:
    17,297
    Likes Received:
    1,802
    Location:
    Winfield, IN USA
    Just thought I'd chime in here real quick since your system is insanely similar to mine/what mine was. I had an X800 TT in a Gigabyte K8NS Ultra 939 (AGP 939 mobo) and upgraded to a PCIe 939 mobo and dual X1800GTOs and have really not regretted it.

    I'd seriously consider picking up a new motherboard with PCIe support as you'll REALLY improve your graphic choices. :yep2:

    BTW- My rig:

     
  13. Frank

    Frank Certified not a majority
    Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2003
    Messages:
    3,187
    Likes Received:
    59
    Location:
    Sittard, the Netherlands
    I agree with everyone else: simply buy a X1950 Pro, and you're good to go. Take one of the 512 MB models if the price difference is small.

    Your PSU will be fine, but if you really want a better one, I recommend Tagan. They make very good ones, with an excellent price/performance ratio.
     
  14. BrynS

    Regular

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2003
    Messages:
    406
    Likes Received:
    18
    Sure, but to do that (essentially, a complete platform overhaul) and have a decent GPU to drive 1680x1050 on $400 is a bit of a stretch, I think. :smile:

    alkene currently has a Socket 754 CPU, so by going the S939 route the DDR1 RAM could be kept, but a new CPU would be needed and in many cases the S939 X2s still available are more pricey than equivalent AM2s.

    A cheap AM2 system wouldn't be too bad, say a X2 3600+ (with room for a decent oc) and maybe a 580x mobo and 2GB DDR2 (very cheap at the moment) but I don't think that it could be done on $400 with an X1950Pro or similar unless sourced second-hand. If you're going to upgrade the whole platform now, you may as well spend a little extra and go the Core2 route, even the new E21xx overclock like crazy or play it safe and get a E6600 or Q6600 after the July cuts.
     
  15. digitalwanderer

    digitalwanderer Dangerously Mirthful
    Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2002
    Messages:
    17,297
    Likes Received:
    1,802
    Location:
    Winfield, IN USA
    Oh, he has a socket754? My bad. :oops:

    I thought you had a socket 939 also.

    Thanks for the correction Bryn! :)
     
  16. Davros

    Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2004
    Messages:
    14,951
    Likes Received:
    2,340
    dont asrock do some 754 boards with agp + pci-e ?
     
  17. {Sniping}Waste

    Regular

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2003
    Messages:
    833
    Likes Received:
    29
    Location:
    Garland TX
    He has a K8N Neo Platinum and thats a S939 and not a S754.
     
  18. BrynS

    Regular

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2003
    Messages:
    406
    Likes Received:
    18
  19. alkene

    Newcomer

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2007
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    My apologies for my typo and confusion, the mobo is in fact of the Neo2 variety and thus 939 socketed.
     
  20. Davros

    Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2004
    Messages:
    14,951
    Likes Received:
    2,340
    ok then dont asrock do some 939 boards with agp + pcie :)
     
Loading...

Share This Page

  • About Us

    Beyond3D has been around for over a decade and prides itself on being the best place on the web for in-depth, technically-driven discussion and analysis of 3D graphics hardware. If you love pixels and transistors, you've come to the right place!

    Beyond3D is proudly published by GPU Tools Ltd.
Loading...