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Guest Stratus_Fractus

Considering upgrading

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Hi,With my specs below, do you think that it would be worth it to get a new motherboard and 512MB of PC2700 DDR? I want to build myself a brand new computer in about 6-9 months when the newest videocards (R9900Pro or better), the best CPU hopefully 3.5Ghz+ and motherboard. RAM would hopefully be DDR2. I'd also get a new DVD-RAM combo drive, perhaps a floppy or memory stick reader, a sound card, Antec case and perhaps some speakers, and probably a new HDD, 120GB+. The other components I could keep from my current PC. This one would eventually be used as a family PC. The big question:Would it be worth the cost to get an Asus P4S8X or P4PE and 512MB of PC2700 to tide me over? Performance of my PC is ok, but I think it could be quite a bit better if I had DDR. It would cost about $300-320 CAD after tax in total.Thanks for any opinions.

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My experience has been that it is only worth spending real money if you can double the CPU power.. if I were you, I'd wait until you can afford the 3+Gig processor with hyperthreading etc. Your P4 should be fine to fly FS2002 in style..

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A lot of people focus singlehandedly on the CPU when judging performance, but it is a fact is that new chipset can give you a big performance boost. You should definitely consider getting a new motherboard, especially if your current one is a couple of generations old. You should also buy brand-name memory bricks like Corsair. Even though it is more expensive the quality is higher and they have been known to perform better.- Oyvind

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My instincts tell me that the gain probably wouldn't justify the outlay. The SDRAM is definitely choking the performance of the P4 but the real question is by how much. I'd want to do a lot of reading and see some test results before changing anything. Especially with an upgrade in the future plans which wouldn't be able to use the PC2700.Trip

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Thanks Trip. I'll hold off for the time being then I guess.What new technologies and products will be coming out in the next 6 months or so?

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Haven't thought about it much. I don't ever look at what's on the horizon. I've found it's always better, for me, to base decisions on the performance what's in production now. That way I have a realistic basis to compare the available hardware options. I don't know how to do that with futureware. And I learned long ago to never wait for the hot product that's "just a few months away". I guess I'm just not enough of a technogeek to care about whether all the marketing hype is fact or fiction :-) .Trip

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Yes, that would be a good idea. I think DDR2 might be good, but beyond that I have no idea on new developments.

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Well, I ran 3DMark 2003, and only got 1320 marks! It seems to be a little low, using the result browser other people got around 2000 marks. The result browser doesn't show what type of RAM people have, so that's a little letdown.I have the card at 265/480, default is 250/446. Don't know if I should go any higher. Would o/cing the CPU be a possibility? I don't know if my mobo would even support the option. Thanks

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It looks like the new 3DMark2003 is really more of a test of the video card capability than a test the whole system. I think you'll get a better comparison if you use the oloder 3DMark2000SE. And be sure to turn off FSAA and/or anisotropic filtering as either one will really lower the score. You can OC the video card as high as it will go without degrading the video. You'll know from the way the screen looks when you have gone too far :-) . All the 4200's should be able to do 275/550 (the 4400 speeds) without problems. I've had my 4200 at 300/570 and I've seen some a little higher. Unfortunately, the Intel motherboards can't be overclocked. Trip

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Thanks Trip.Would O/Cing to those ranges have any effect on the life of the card? I don't want to wreck it. Cheers

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After a little searching, an Athlon XP1800, 512MB DDR PC2700 and a Ti4200 gets 10,500 2001 3DMarks! So mine would probably go from 7000 to 9500+.

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Greg - Higher clock frequencies always generate more heat. And with heat there is always the risk of "cooking" something. But the added heat won't shorten the life enough to be a worry - you will have replaced the card for other reasons long before the chips "wearout". It's the catastrophic failure from inadequate cooling that's the real problem. Personally, I think that if you stay at, or below, the 4400 frequencies (275/550) the risk to the card is almost zero (but all mileage is, of course, variable). Just never run the card too long if there are visible artifacts, tears, or spotting on the screen as that's a sure sign that the clocks are set too fast. All that being said, the effect of OC'ing the card will have little effect on FS2002. My framerate increase is less than 10% with the clocks set at 300/570 (from 250/513). Everyone has to judge for themselves whether the small FPS gain is worth the risk (and there always is some risk), with OC'ing the card. But my general rule and advice to folks is don't OC anything if you absolutely can't afford destroy it.Trip

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Thanks Trip.I ran SisSoft Sandra, and it looks like I could get a big boost by getting a new mobo and some PC2700. The first one is mine, followed by what I should be getting (I'm close). Then comes what I'd want to upgrade to, then PC1066 RDRAM (not getting any RDRAM) and then some higher priced PC3200 DDR.See pic

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The question then becomes how to translate those data into measureable FPS deltas. I don't have a clue how to do that. Any ideas?

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I'd be interested too. I'm sure Windows would run quicker and I'd get a smoother FS, maybe 5 fps faster, I'm really not sure.

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