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Having upgraded my CPU to an XP 2100 and my old voodoo 3 card to a Ti4600 I was still rather disappointed with frame rates and general performance compared with systems of similar hardware, a 3D benchmark of 8033 was my best!! Reading this forum it became apparent that maybe the motherboard was the weakest link - I was correct. Today I had a ABIT Nforce2 board put in and oh my lord - just awesome - more FPS than I know what to do with!! The benchmark now - 12130.Just thought that I would share that with you for those among you who may be considering an upgrade.Processor: AMD AMD Athlon XP 2100+ @ 1.73 GHzGraphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti 4600Total Physical Memory: 512 MBMotherboard Manufacturer: http://www.abit.com.tw/Motherboard Model: NF7-S/NF7-M/NF7 (nVidia-nForce2)

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Thx, that is great advice as I am just about to upgrade my computer, I have the choice between a faster processor, a new vid card, or a new mobo plus RAm, and I can only afford one of them. I guess I will go for the new mobo+ram as it can also be considered as an investment in the future. The only thing that makes me hesitate is that I will have to do a complete reinstall of all the addons and stuff, or is there another way?Alex

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I got a new mobo too, running an AMD 2400 XP, Gigabyte GA7VAXP, and I'm only getting 8600 on my scores. I think the RAM is holding me back, so I'll have to upgrade from the PC2100 512 up to at least PC2700 512. This hobby just gets more expensive, as I ask for more and more.

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I have the specs listed below in my sig. I also have an Intel D845HV board. Could this be a weak part of the system? That's a wonderful score for a slower system btw! I keep getting around 7000.

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Bus speed might be higher, or the chipsets that drive the busses might be better on some boards than others. Also, the drivers that control those chipsets are very important... I upgraded the one for my motherboard (Asus A7M266), and I nearly doubled my 3DMark score.

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Is that in 3DMARK2001 SE?I've not tested mine yet with any benchmarking software but the reviewers only got 14,694 and yours is only a XP2100+.Mind you, their review was prior to ATi Catalyst 3.0 and DirectX 9(WQML), and this machine gave one of the P4 3.06Ghz systems a darn good thrashing.

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I agreeI had a a7a266 mobo and a 1.4cpu with 512meg ddr 266 pc2100, I popped in a 2400xp cpu and my 3dmark score actually dropped about 5% and my fs frames increased about 5-10%I bought a a7n8x board with the nividia chips and my 3dmark score doubled along with my fs framesTomorrow I,m picking up 1gig of the ddr 400mhz pc3200 and I am looking forward to see what that does.looking forward to the new fx vid cardsFloydCyvr

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So you guys are saying that changing your motherboard to the NForce2 chipset doubled your framerates, or something like that... If you did not mention it, what were you upgrading from?Robb

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Hey guys, also stick with the 40.72 Nvidia drivers, the 41.09 just caused me a big problem, iledgible numbers, flickering night graphics etc etc. The 30.82 also work well but you will see your benchmark scores drop by 450 if you use them.I just took a brief evening hop to Simflyers KLAX with Active Sky and you could have been there - totally awesome!One of you said that this is an expensive hobby, you are right but if we werent simming we would only be getting into trouble with women or alcohol! Final advice avoid AIDS - Aviation Induced Divorce Syndrome!

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Robb,I upgraded from an Asus a7a266 to the Nforce2 each extra FPS cost me 5 cents - what a great deal!

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I can even fly Ralph's Ready for Pushback 747 now, I get fairly respectable frame rates - 20-25 in fact, before it was unflyable I was beginning to think I had wasted my money on that one!The Captain Sim 727-200 in the Cougar livery is breathtaking!

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>I upgraded from an Asus a7a266 to the Nforce2 each extra FPS >cost me 5 cents - what a great deal! I am beginning to think maybe this is the real deal, and may invest in one of these boards myself, but I cannot believe that it is as cheap as you suggest. I wouldn't even expect my FPS to double, but let's say it does, from 22 to 44, for an increase of 22. At 5 cents per FPS, you are implying the board cost you $1.10. I don't think so. :-doh Could it be you are off by a factor of 100? That would make more cents.-Basil

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Basil - I meant 5 cents per unit increase in the 3DMark2001SE benchmark score not the FPS!

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Hey Laserit,...and what was the verdict?? I am thinking of getting that same board very soon. From everything I have read, it is a sweet performerRegards, Michael

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What kind of framerates pre and post NForce2 are we talking about? Are you guys using the same CPUs, or have you upgraded those too?

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>Thx, that is great advice as I am just about to upgrade my >computer, I have the choice between a faster processor, a >new vid card, or a new mobo plus RAm, and I can only afford >one of them. I guess I will go for the new mobo+ram as it >can also be considered as an investment in the future. The >only thing that makes me hesitate is that I will have to do >a complete reinstall of all the addons and stuff, or is >there another way? >>Alex An investment in the future? We are talking computers here aren't we ;) I didn't think there was such a thing! :-lol

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NforceII are the best AMD motherboard chipset for sure, Nvidia have really taken a lesson from their first Nforce release and are to be commended on such a smooth and powerful launch.I have an Asus A7n8x-NforceII-Delux sitting here right now waiting for me to finish priming my OS for a non reformat install (remove Enum key etc.) of ..yes, still win98. ;)The reality of the perfomance comparisons of this board on avarage comming from say a KT266/333 platform range from very slite to decent in Fs2k2 and most any other game. I am going to say that any other experience will point to perhaps very slow memory timings or other incorrect BIOS settings in the older system, same results apply to 3dmark2001SE test, the results will in most all average cases (when running the same CPU and memory timeings or close) be 5-10% at best. Just do a quick search for "nforce2 review" and you will come up with a dozen reviews, many based on the reference design and some done with the actual public release, the results are there.In some cases there are other limitting factors as ponted out that will hold an otherwise decent performing system back, memory capabilities is surely one of them as well as incorrect AGP command settings, same as for OS. This is where running benchmarks comes into play as it helps you keep tabs on the changes you make to >your:)

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These new Nforce boards are all set for the new 512 cache Bartons which will be out very shortly...so in that respect...:)

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I upgraded to a A7N8X w/ xp2400 and 512 MB of PC2700 two weeks ago. My old system was an A7M266 w/ 1.4 Tbird (OC at 1.5 Ghz) and 512 MB PC2100. Both systems using the same GF4 Ti4600.I bemchmarked (albeit unscientifically) in this sim. Same exact flight parameters, though, for each system. I immediately noticed a 25-30% increase in FPS. I've now OCed to XP2700 speeds, and I'm seeing at least 40% more FPS WITH DISPLAY SLIDERS MOVED FARTHER TO THE RIGHT (not all are maxed... not neccessary in this sim).The real advantages of the nForce2 boards are as follows:1) They don't use VIA chipsets2) Stability3) Speed4) Upgradibility. This is a very important consideration for any buyer. My board is AGP 8X capable (though few cards and games can take advantage of this now, a year from now this will be a different story). Also, the board can easily handle DDR 3500 memory... and take advantage of it. Now.5) Overclockability. Easy to do with the ASUS board (can't speak for other manufacturer's nForce2 products). I've yet to touch a jumper on my board... most OC options easily set in the BIOS. And there are numerous settings to allow for OC flexibility and method preference.6) They don't use VIA chipsetsI've come to loathe VIA based boards. Far too many problems from them... to the extent that many uninformed souls believe that AMD based systems are bad (unstable). They're blaming what they perceive as stability issues on the CPU, and not giving any thought to other components in the system. Far too many folks have had problems with VIA based boards (I being one of them). The nForce boards are the solution for me.Summing up the nForce boards... fast, stable, great OCing, and strong upgradability.Just what I wanted. :-beerchugLet the nForce be with you,

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Hey Paul,Thanks once again for the useful FS hardware information. Right now I am using the ASUS A7V8X which is a KT400/DDR400 board with a 333Mhz bus option. Right now, I am using an Athlon XP2100+ with my final upgrade being an Athlon Barton XP3000+ which will give me similar CPU performance to what you are currently getting. I am using a Nvidia GForce4 4200 128Mb, the WD 80Gb (8mb cache) and 512Mb PC2700 memory. The Barton processors will be "introduced" on February 7th. I say introduced because AMD will introduce processors that won't be available to sell to the general public for months.Robb

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