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Thread: Another "is it worth it" to upgrade query - sorry

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    Another "is it worth it" to upgrade query - sorry

    Where to start...

    I jumped off the upgrade train 2 years ago and have been quite happy (up to now) with what my rig could do.

    But, it's started to show signs of sluggishness and I think it may be time to give it some new legs.

    Current spec is as follows.
    Cpu- P4 2.6 (can't recall if it's a "b" or" c") , that has run at 250fsb but not with true stabilty.
    Board- Epox 4pda2+ i865, which isn't as good as my older Epox, flaky voltage regulation and even flakier hardware monitoring.
    Memory- 2*512 Crucial cas3 pc3200 DDR in dual channel
    Graphics - Radeon 9800Pro
    HDs, 3 *7200rpm 8mb cache PATA
    DVDs, Pioneer and NEC writers.
    PSU, antec 480w 20 pin.

    I'm faced with a couple of dilemmas/ options.

    1 - new board / new cpu / new vga
    2 - a faster AGP card and a couple of raptors

    Option 1 would allow me to move to faster disks later and allows the possibility of SLI upgrades.

    Option 2 leaves me with a Graphic card that will need sold if I later go for a new mobo and cpu but leaves me with a disk system to transfer.

    Budget wise I'm looking at about 400-450 right now and maybe another 100-150 if I get some other kit sold. Maybe more if I sell my old mobo / cpu and radeon on ebay.

    If I go for option 1, what board ? What Cpu and hardest of all, what vga card ?

    I'd like an X2 but it might be out of my budget range - would I notice much of a difference between an X2 and an x64 3700+ running at 2600 ?.

    I'd like SLI but to be honest I'm more interested in whether the DFI DR is worth the extra cash - for Raid 5 I think it probably is - can anyone comment ?

    VGA wise - I don't have a clue. The last game I played to finshe was Half Life 2 (also did Farcry). My monitor's most comfortable res' is 1024*768. I had to play those game at 800*600 with AA off to get playebale rates. I borrowed Doom 3 and Quake4 from my brother and they were not playable with this spec... time to move on I guess.

    Thanks for reading, any suggestions greatly appreciated.

    mj

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    Admin team peterb's Avatar
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    What do you want to do that your current set up doesn't do, or doesn't do very well? What is causing the sluggishness? Is it really sluggish or is that subjective? Have you tried doing some housekeeping on the system? You could get a new hard drive and re-install windows on it and see if it it still sluggish (rather than trash your existing system for possibly no gain - and you still have a hard drive if you do decide to upgrade)
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    Quote Originally Posted by peterb
    What do you want to do that your current set up doesn't do, or doesn't do very well? What is causing the sluggishness? Is it really sluggish or is that subjective? Have you tried doing some housekeeping on the system? You could get a new hard drive and re-install windows on it and see if it it still sluggish (rather than trash your existing system for possibly no gain - and you still have a hard drive if you do decide to upgrade)
    Yip, tried the clean install but there's not much difference to be honest.

    I don't have any specialist use that I put my PC to, I browse, download, I do some video coding (divx/xvid to dvd and svcd to dvd) and I used to occasionally play games.

    I know the gaming issue could be sorted with a new agp card, but I'm reluctant to spend on something that might have a short life. I suppose I'm actually set on option 1 from above - with a move to a faster disk system later. As I mentioned, the idea of a Raid 5 setup appeals greatly - I'd never go back to Raid0 and I'm not sure of the actual benefit of Raid 0+1 using 2 disks. Maybe that's worth a seperate post in itself ?

    Thanks
    mj

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    A shadowy flight. MSIC's Avatar
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    Am in a very similar situation to you, have a P4 2.6C (with a crappy overclock), and have just last night purchased an Opteron system.

    For the money, you can get alot, such as:
    Opteron £126
    Asus Motherboard £55
    CPU Cooler £16
    nVidia 7800GT graphics card £219

    Total = £416, free delivery from Scan (am beginning to sound like a broken record)

    Edit: Or this other graphics card, the same really, for £20 less.
    Last edited by MSIC; 21-02-2006 at 01:39 PM.
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    I would go for a nice upgarde of a new Board, CPU and Graphics Card. Remember that you will probably have to buy a new PSU too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MSIC
    Am in a very similar situation to you, have a P4 2.6C (with a crappy overclock), and have just last night purchased an Opteron system.

    For the money, you can get alot, such as:
    Opteron £126
    Asus Motherboard £55
    CPU Cooler £16
    nVidia 7800GT graphics card £219

    Total = £416, free delivery from Scan (am beginning to sound like a broken record)

    Edit: Or this other graphics card, the same really, for £20 less.
    Thanks for that, I'd be very interested to hear how that performs. I was sort of stuck on the idea of going large on the mobo , getting a good clockable chip and then a mid range PCI-E card that I can SLI in the future. So SLI is something I'm looking for, and good clockabilty. The Asus and DFI boards are what I am looking at.

    The 3700+SD core has been getting some really good write ups, 2.6 is apparently easy on air. So it will be good to see how the 2.0 Opteron goes.

    Come to think of it, I guess I would jump at the cheaper Opteron option if it clocks a bit ,as it would allow a better specc'd vga card. I did post a query on another board and the Crossfire boards and X800 was suggested, but even though I love Ati cards, the whole "Master" card thing - mainly the price of them, excludes them from my choices.

    It's quite funny, every time I've ever asked one of these questions, it seems I've already made my mind up (mostly) :-D

    So it's an NF4 board with SLI, with either (1) an Opteron or possibly 3700+ with a £200 vga card or (2) an X2 or possibly Opteron 165 with a £100 vga card :-)

    Thanks
    mj

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    I would agree and wholeheartedly recommend Antec cases, such as this Antec Sonata II case with a good PSU, for £80. Nice and quiet.
    Unfortunately Scan dont do Antecs, a shame really.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Koolpc
    I would go for a nice upgarde of a new Board, CPU and Graphics Card. Remember that you will probably have to buy a new PSU too.
    I was hoping to use my Antec 480 with an adaptor for the 24pin and PCI-e if needed.

    Is that wishful thinking ?

    If so what is the current best value quality PSU ?

    I will never buy another Enermax as the last 2 I had were dire. Both had very poor regulation, one died just out of warranty and the other is so unreliable I took it out of my totally scsi based server and put a Qtec in - and it has ran flawlessy since.

    Thanks
    mj

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    Admin team peterb's Avatar
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    You have got me tempted now...
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  10. #10
    merlin2001
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    the asrock dual sata-II board is a native 20pin mobo for s939. decent board (although 1CT seems a little unstable on mine and similiar reports elsewhere). there is a thread around here which links to a website where the overclocking potential of the board is laid out in more detail...

  11. #11
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    Yep, am getting the same motherboard myself, although it is primarily due to finances - i can't afford to change my graphics card (at least not to something that is a measurable upgrade from a 6800), so this will do me fine.
    Given more finances (ie the £400 plus range as mentioned above) i'd get a different motherboard, such as the Asus NForce 4 one that everyone seems to enthuse about.
    I'm commenting on an internet forum. Your facts hold no sway over me.
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