I think Sander is mostly correct with this article. Not much is new. However, there are some incremental improvements. I spent yesterday upgrading from a P4 2.4 (OC to 2.7) on an ASUS P4PE to a Socket 939 3500+ on an ASUS A8V deluxe. Didn't upgrade my RAM (1gb of PC 2700) or my video card (ATI 9700 pro) but I did put a big heatsink on the video card.
Bottom line is my benchmarks (some at least) are up by 40% and IL-2 Forgotten Battles (a flight sim) runs a considerably higher FPS. Cost was about $500 and a bunch of work. Was it worth it? I think so and will be replacing my RAM with somthing faster and buying a 6800 GT in the next few months.
But Sander is right, unless you are gaming there is not much to entice one to upgrade. My wife is running my old Dell Dimension 4100. It has an upgraded PSU (PC Power and Cooling), 1/2 GB of RAM, a TI-4200 video card, 40 GB and 80 GB hard drives. I am trying to talk her into letting me build a new box for her using my P4. It runs XP-pro fine and she is not interested in upgrading because for e-mails and surfing she is happy with the P3 (a sub 1GZ) machine.
Probably most machines in most offices are replaced because of accumlated software problems and fragmented HDs and not because folks need faster machines to run EXCEL , WORD, and OUTLOOK. Memory upgrades and a good set of utilities that were run regularly (register cleaners and disk defragmentation) would extend the life of many "office" boxes.
I don't understand where INTEL is headed with their new sockets and form factors. I will be using AMD for the next couple of years.
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Additionally, the article questions: "What is the point of having a 64-bit processor?"
Well, as we know, gaming drives the tech advances in computers. And if you dont want to get killed repeatedly in online gaming, you must have at least the current standard. Notice I did not say the current state of the art. Mike has done his home work. IMHO he has identified the current standard: the best bang for the buck processor and MB, the AMD 64-Bit 3500+ and the ASUS board.
a Intel Celeron is best for Emails, Word Processing, Watching DVDs, at 600 Mhz, thats best for the Average User, As of Onboard Sound Never use it, Integrated video, use it as backup if vid card fails, make sure the HD is 7200 RPM, and have good ATA round cables for it, 512MB ram too much for average user.
no dont use rounded ide cables the data degredation is really really bad, you are more likely to get I/O errors with rounded ide cables thats why they were made flat so that all the wires were spread out as there is a wire going in the opposite direction between all the cables going in a certain direction. i also have a 3500 and its fantastic but i also made the upgrade of a vid card too. and the difference from a 3200 and 9800 pro is amazing
the shielding inside an ide cable will no give it adiquit protection espicially when each wire is next to about 6 other calbes when it is next to 1 it will, this is from a electrical engineer and good friend, and he showed me his proof using an oscillioscopen and other gizmo's
I run a AMD 2400+ / 2.0G unclocked -- 266FSB with a gig of RAM, 240 gig Raptor WD 8mg cache - IDE,
DVD reader, Burner, SBlive W/surround + Sub, and a needed upgrade to a ATI-9700 pro.
With this system config, what should I upgrade to for video? (thinking about a ATI - X800) and, how long do I have until I need to do a overhal? --------I'm hoping to last until the BTX formfactor come into view------
Games I play=Doom3, Farcry, HL2-when it comes out!
Appz=Simple things. No 3dStudio stuff
haha yea it sounds like a response to that thread about the site being slow....I donno when PCI E and HALF LIFE 2 comes out things will come up again....and HALO too there will be a lot of gamming questions....plus for HL2 all kindsa hardware questions about whats better...know how we all love that....yea tech seems to taken a unsual break that is usually pretty rare....Time for Sander to GIVE OUT FREE HARDWARE IN THE MEAN TIME
I agree with many of the conclusions the article came to. But not all. I have learned a lot from personal experience.
Late 2001, I built my first PC: (AthlonXP 1700+, ASUS K7V266-E, 512MB PC2100, GF3 Ti 200, 2x IBM Deskstar 60GB IDE)
Fall 2002, I built my second PC: (AlthonXP 2000+, ASUS K7V333, 512MB PC2700, GF4 Ti 4200, 2x WD800JB 80GB IDE)
Late 2003, I built my third: (AthlonXP 2600+, Abit AN7, 512MB PC2700, Radeon 9700 Pro, 2x HGST Deskstar 120GB SATA)
This May, I built my current PC: (P4C 3.0GHz, ASUS P4P800E DLX, 1GB PC3500, Radeon 9800XT, 2x HGST Deskstar 80GB SATA, 1x WD2500JB 250GB IDE)
I still have the 1st one (it's a dedicated server now), the 2nd one I sold to my roommate -- those two and my current PC are hooked up to the same LAN. (The 3rd PC I gave to my brother). I have played many games on all 4 of these computers, and swapped parts around trying to get the best performance from all of them. (My roomie bought a 9700 Pro for the 2nd PC and we installed it's Ti 4200 in the 1st PC, getting rid of the GF3 Ti 200).
One thing I have noticed is that all 4 of these computers are overkill for everyday tasks like e-mail, surfing, Word, etc. I do a lot of work in Photoshop as well as digital audio multitracking (that's why all my PCs have at least two HDDs), and they all perform those tasks admirably. I can get more simultaneous audio tracks with effects using the newer PCs, but even the 1st one gets plenty of tracks for my use. It's far better than the Mac G3 233MHz I used to use in my studio before I switched to the "Dark Side" (as Mac-users call Windows... I just couldn't see spending $3000 to upgrade to a new Mac when I could build a PC with all the fixins for less than half the price. And I've never looked back.)
As far as games go, each successive PC is a bit faster and gets better frame rates than the one before it. But I must admit that I was disappointed in noticing how small the performance difference is between my slowest and my fastest PC. I bought into the hype of the benchmarks and enthusiast/overclocker sites and mags and just HAD TO HAVE the latest goodies to boost my 3DMark and AquaMark and Sandra scores, and resigned myself to building a new PC about every year or so. NOT ANYMORE! I host the occasional LAN party, and so far no one in my neighborhood has a PC as fast as my latest, yet the actual real-world difference is really small. Small enough not to be noticed without using those damned benchmarks.
So I no longer use the benchmarks -- they are useless in determining the real differences between systems that you will notice playing games or Photoshopping. No question, upgrading from a Ti4200 to a 9800XT definitely nets you a lot more frames and allows you to play at higher resolutions using FSAA + aniso while still smokin' the GF4. Contrary to what the article implied, however, the higher-end DX9 VGA cards do perform better when they have a fast CPU and memory feeding it data. My 9800XT, for example, operates about 30% slower in my AthlonXP 1700+ than it does in my P4 3.0GHz. And the P4 is noticeably faster at encoding tasks (like shrinking a DVD9 to DVD5, applying Photoshop filters, or bouncing down to two-tracks in my DAW software). I would have gladly gone for an Athlon64 when I decided to build my P4 system (even though 64-bit apps are still a ways off, the software I use like Photoshop, Vegas, Nuendo, Waves, etc., will be the first to benefit from 64-bits), but I didn't want to invest in Socket 754 or 940 when I knew that AMD was moving to 939 soon (with dual-channel unbuffered DDR for all A64 CPUs). IMHO, AMD really seems unorganized with so many different sockets and incompatible parts. Finally, 939 is out and, after another generation of that socket, I would highly recommend it. There just aren't enough different mobos and chipsets for 939 yet -- but that will come, and with the competition, performance and features will go up and prices will go down. And I have no idea what Intel is doing lately. The new LGA775 is not nearly the bump in performance that the Springdale/Canterwood was. Yes, it has PCI-E and DDR2, and these ARE the future, but for now, they just don't give you enough to bother with if you already have a gaming PC that is under 3 years old. (Not to mention that the Grantsdale/Alderwood chipsets are overclock-locked!)
I do recommend 512MB RAM for anyone, not just gamers. Unless you never do anything more demanding than e-mail. And if you use your PC for encoding a lot, or DAW or video editing, then 1 or 2GB RAM is the cheapest way to boost your performance after that 2nd HDD. I used RAID 0 in my PCs and this did increase my benchmark scores, but did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ELSE. Doing anything, including playing games, I noticed ZERO difference between RAID 0, RAID 1, or a single drive. Even loading game levels was no different. RAID 0 is pure hype unless you use it in a file or database server or video editing workstation using massive files. RAID 1 is a good idea for data protection if you don't mind giving up the use of a HDD, but RAID 0 is pointless on the desktop. I get better real-world performance using 2 standard HDDs (one for Windows and apps, the other for data) than I did striping them together. Plus, using standard single-drive partitions is a lot more stable under Windows in the long-term. And stability is what I need most from my disk storage!
Adam is correct about the 6800 GT in so far as it is probably the best card out there right now as far as bang for the buck. It will definately beat out an X800 Pro. 16 pipes on the GT, 12 pipes on the Pro.
The problem with your system is that if you get too powerful of a video card, your processor will act as a bottle neck, and as a result, one of today's top shelf video cards may actually degrade your current system performance!
In this regard, Jeff is 100% correct, you really need a better processor to effectively handle a higher end card, and that will require a motherboard upgrade and perhaps a power supply upgrade as well.
For right now in your current system I recommend:
Radeon 9600 XT
Nvidia 5700 ULTRA (the DDR2 version)
I have used both of these cards and recommend them both if you are satisfied with playing games at lower resolutions like 800x600. At that resolution, I saw one review in which the DDR2 Nividia 5700 ULTRA was actually faster than the 5950 Ultra in Call of Duty! My personal experience is that the NVIDIA 5700 Ultra is faster that the 9600XT, but that the 9600XT gives better visual quality. If you are going to play alot of games based upon the Quake 3 engine (eg, Call of Duty, Medal of Honor, etc), I would get the NVIDIA ,as NVIDIA's drivers are much better with Open GL based games thatn are ATI's. especially at lower resolutions.
However, either of these cards will hold you over until it is time for your upgrade.
OK, I know he isn't, was just hoping the thread would devolve into a "give us free hardware" rant.
Athlon XP M 2500+ (12x200FSB=2.4 ghz, PR 3500+), Soltek SL-75RN2-L, 1gig 3200DDR Ram, ATI X800GTO, NEC MultiSync FE991sb, Creative Audigy OEM, Logitech 5.1 speakers, 40gig HD booting XP, 200gig@50%games, Lite-On DVD burner, LG 52x32x52x
I consider myself a heavyduty computer user
high levels multitasking web browsing, occasional gaming, video encoding, capturing , watching tv and music. Lots of vartying software.
however when it comes to recommended System requirements
my system hasnt changed and it is still suitable for many games
upgrade in GFX card will open the door to even more games. but the regular user doesnt care hell iu dont care
I built myself a AMD Athlon XP 1700+ early 2002
ECS K7S5A 3.x board
And Used 2nd hand 32 MB TNT2 M64
i used my old 128MB Sdram
Upgraded to 256 MB DDR333 3 months later
nothings changed i can still upgrade this by only 40% to
Athlon XP 3000
I run Win XP Sp1 no problems but 512mb would be nice
but? i still dont need it , then again IE alone want 256MB ram problem solved i dont use it anymores
Linux Mandrake 10 however 256MB is more then enough it doesnt want anymore
i still have the computer it works perfect with a CDrw DVDrw.
They computer speed have hit a logical wall, i dont care if it goes 20000000 mile per second faster then mine
i cant notice it if im only need to travel 1 mile.
I also agree thaT many schools and business dont require an upgrade but rather maintenance
my Tafe college machines are P4 2.4ghz and slow as hell,
if i quick scan them i find 1000's of spyware then a fragmented drive and reduntant programs loading al over the place.
they aRE crippled with 256MB RAM
they are phasing P4 3.0ghz with HT 512mb DDR to replace them
wasted money i believe.
they RAM could have been upgraded for <$50 each machine, not $200+ after selling old machines
Quote: In this regard, Jeff is 100% correct, you really need a better processor to effectively handle a higher end card, and that will require a motherboard upgrade and perhaps a power supply upgrade as well.
For right now in your current system I recommend:
Radeon 9600 XT
Nvidia 5700 ULTRA (the DDR2 version)
Thanks a mil for your input! I appreciate it. I figured I would have to upgrade the Proc and I'm only using a 330/W PSU--enermax. ( I have 9 watts left to spare hehehe )
As for the Vodeo,,,,,,My brother has a 9600XT,,,,,,I benched our cards using 3dMark and Mine blows his away! He runs a 2000+ AMD at 1.667Mhz compared to my 2400+ at 2.0. same amount of ram and drive transfers. In doom3 he runs at 800x600 W/low bells where as I use 800x600 W/full bells and to boot, I get better FPS!
Is there a card you could suggest thats in between the 6800GT and 9700Pro? It would be a waste a $$$ if I shelled out that Denero for a card that my Proc can't handle! lol