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John Whitworth
March 17th 06, 12:27 AM
Hi All,

As a self confessed Tomb Raider addict, I'm awaiting next month's TR:
Legend eagerly. I hope it will be somewhat better than Angel of Darkness.

My current deck is:

- Asus A8V Deluxe
- A64 3500+
- 1GB Crucial RAM (2x 512MB)
- nVidia FX5950 Ultra
- SB Audigy 2

I am wondering which of the following upgrades will likely give me the
better game performance increase.

- Upgrade CPU to A64 4400 X2
- Upgrade RAM to 2x 1GB
- Upgrade graphics

If upgrade graphics looks like the best option, then can you offer some
guidance. I've been out of the "keeping on top" game for some time, and,
to be honest, the new array of graphics cards looks bewildering. I
expect this will be my last AGP card - next upgrade would likely be a
new PCI-E motherboard.

TIA

JW

General Schvantzkoph
March 17th 06, 12:54 AM
On Thu, 16 Mar 2006 23:27:58 +0000, John Whitworth wrote:

> Hi All,
>
> As a self confessed Tomb Raider addict, I'm awaiting next month's TR:
> Legend eagerly. I hope it will be somewhat better than Angel of Darkness.
>
> My current deck is:
>
> - Asus A8V Deluxe
> - A64 3500+
> - 1GB Crucial RAM (2x 512MB)
> - nVidia FX5950 Ultra
> - SB Audigy 2
>
> I am wondering which of the following upgrades will likely give me the
> better game performance increase.
>
> - Upgrade CPU to A64 4400 X2
> - Upgrade RAM to 2x 1GB
> - Upgrade graphics
>
> If upgrade graphics looks like the best option, then can you offer some
> guidance. I've been out of the "keeping on top" game for some time, and,
> to be honest, the new array of graphics cards looks bewildering. I expect
> this will be my last AGP card - next upgrade would likely be a new PCI-E
> motherboard.
>
> TIA
>
> JW

Doubtful that any new CPU will help you much. There are a few games that
are multithreaded, don't know if they see a significant speed up or not.
My guess is that it will be a while before the games people master
multithreaded code. As such there is no CPU available that's significantly
faster then what you have. When the games start to make good use of
multiple cores then you can get a dual core.

A RAM upgrade is usually a good idea. It's not expensive and it can give
you a big boost in performance if you are memory constrained. However if
you are looking for a gain when running a single application, especially
something like a game, it's doubtful if an extra 1G will help given that
you already have a gigabyte. I don't know anything about Windows but I'm
sure there must be some monitoring program that can tell you how much RAM
you are using (on Linux free will tell you or the Gnome System Monitor).
If the monitor shows that you have a lot of free memory when you are
running your games then the extra memory won't help.

Your graphics card is also pretty decent. Someone else can tell you if
there is a significantly faster AGP card available.

Mr. Mustang
March 17th 06, 03:48 AM
I am in the same boat with you. My rig sports the following listed below.
There is a 7800 GS graphics card for AGP but for 300 bucks you can get a
better PCI express card. Granted you will have to upgrade the MOBO and PSU,
but since that is the direction technology has moved, it would be better to
upgrade your system.

Next week I am picking up an SLI board,either a 7800 GT or a 7900 GT PCI
express card and a SLI PSU. Will cost around 500 bucks. (At
TigerDirect.com)

I would not spend any more cash on old AGP stuff. Just upgrade. You can
transfer almost everything out of your current rig into an new MOBO and vid
card.

AMD 64 3500 Socket 939
Thermalright XP-90C w/92 mm fan
MSI Neo 2 Plat
NVIDIA 5950 Ultra
1 Gig OCZ DDR PC-3200 Premier Dual Channel
Western Digital 80 Gig SATA (Operating System/Drivers)
Western Digital 160 Gig SATA (Programs/Games)
Lite-On 48x CD-Rom
DL-DVD Burner 16x/52x
Cooler Master Aerogate 2 Fan Controller
Audigy 2 ZS with 7.1 surround speakers
Aspire 550W PSU
Thermaltake Tsunami Dream
No Overclocking



"General Schvantzkoph" > wrote in message
...
> On Thu, 16 Mar 2006 23:27:58 +0000, John Whitworth wrote:
>
>> Hi All,
>>
>> As a self confessed Tomb Raider addict, I'm awaiting next month's TR:
>> Legend eagerly. I hope it will be somewhat better than Angel of Darkness.
>>
>> My current deck is:
>>
>> - Asus A8V Deluxe
>> - A64 3500+
>> - 1GB Crucial RAM (2x 512MB)
>> - nVidia FX5950 Ultra
>> - SB Audigy 2
>>
>> I am wondering which of the following upgrades will likely give me the
>> better game performance increase.
>>
>> - Upgrade CPU to A64 4400 X2
>> - Upgrade RAM to 2x 1GB
>> - Upgrade graphics
>>
>> If upgrade graphics looks like the best option, then can you offer some
>> guidance. I've been out of the "keeping on top" game for some time, and,
>> to be honest, the new array of graphics cards looks bewildering. I expect
>> this will be my last AGP card - next upgrade would likely be a new PCI-E
>> motherboard.
>>
>> TIA
>>
>> JW
>
> Doubtful that any new CPU will help you much. There are a few games that
> are multithreaded, don't know if they see a significant speed up or not.
> My guess is that it will be a while before the games people master
> multithreaded code. As such there is no CPU available that's significantly
> faster then what you have. When the games start to make good use of
> multiple cores then you can get a dual core.
>
> A RAM upgrade is usually a good idea. It's not expensive and it can give
> you a big boost in performance if you are memory constrained. However if
> you are looking for a gain when running a single application, especially
> something like a game, it's doubtful if an extra 1G will help given that
> you already have a gigabyte. I don't know anything about Windows but I'm
> sure there must be some monitoring program that can tell you how much RAM
> you are using (on Linux free will tell you or the Gnome System Monitor).
> If the monitor shows that you have a lot of free memory when you are
> running your games then the extra memory won't help.
>
> Your graphics card is also pretty decent. Someone else can tell you if
> there is a significantly faster AGP card available.
>
>

John Whitworth
March 19th 06, 05:35 PM
John Whitworth wrote:
> Hi All,
>
> As a self confessed Tomb Raider addict, I'm awaiting next month's TR:
> Legend eagerly. I hope it will be somewhat better than Angel of Darkness.
>
> My current deck is:
>
> - Asus A8V Deluxe
> - A64 3500+
> - 1GB Crucial RAM (2x 512MB)
> - nVidia FX5950 Ultra
> - SB Audigy 2
>
> I am wondering which of the following upgrades will likely give me the
> better game performance increase.
>
> - Upgrade CPU to A64 4400 X2
> - Upgrade RAM to 2x 1GB
> - Upgrade graphics
>
> If upgrade graphics looks like the best option, then can you offer some
> guidance. I've been out of the "keeping on top" game for some time, and,
> to be honest, the new array of graphics cards looks bewildering. I
> expect this will be my last AGP card - next upgrade would likely be a
> new PCI-E motherboard.
>
> TIA
>
> JW


Thanks Guys. I shall take your comments on board.

JW

John Whitworth
March 20th 06, 10:55 PM
John Whitworth wrote:
>
> If upgrade graphics looks like the best option, then can you offer some
> guidance. I've been out of the "keeping on top" game for some time, and,
> to be honest, the new array of graphics cards looks bewildering. I
> expect this will be my last AGP card - next upgrade would likely be a
> new PCI-E motherboard.

OK ... having had a chance to mull over the advice given, it does,
indeed, look like upgrading the mobo, and moving onto PCI-E graphics is
the right choice.

This is where I am blinkered though. For the last seven years, I have
been an avid Asus follower - and, indeed, I still am - I have never had
any trouble with any other their boards, from the K7M, to the A8V Deluxe.

But I'm also aware that there could be better out there.

Any advice will be gratefully received.

Cheers

JW

General Schvantzkoph
March 20th 06, 11:23 PM
On Mon, 20 Mar 2006 21:55:22 +0000, John Whitworth wrote:

> John Whitworth wrote:
>>
>> If upgrade graphics looks like the best option, then can you offer some
>> guidance. I've been out of the "keeping on top" game for some time, and,
>> to be honest, the new array of graphics cards looks bewildering. I
>> expect this will be my last AGP card - next upgrade would likely be a
>> new PCI-E motherboard.
>
> OK ... having had a chance to mull over the advice given, it does, indeed,
> look like upgrading the mobo, and moving onto PCI-E graphics is the right
> choice.
>
> This is where I am blinkered though. For the last seven years, I have been
> an avid Asus follower - and, indeed, I still am - I have never had any
> trouble with any other their boards, from the K7M, to the A8V Deluxe.
>
> But I'm also aware that there could be better out there.
>
> Any advice will be gratefully received.
>
> Cheers
>
> JW

I have two MSI boards, The MSI K8N Neo2 Platinum and the MSI K8N Neo4
Platinum (NForce4 Ultra). I haven't had any trouble with either of them.
When I was comparing boards the MSI K8N Neo4 had a few more features then
it's competitors (I think it was either an extra SATA RAID controller or
an extra Gigabit Ethernet controller, it actually doesn't matter much
because I only have two disks in the box and I'm only using one of the
ethernet ports). The Nforce4 boards are all pretty similar, I don't think
you would go wrong with any of them. If you like ASUS then get ASUS.

VanShania
March 20th 06, 11:37 PM
Stick with asus or msi. I have used both and never had any problems. My new
Gigabyte board has turned out to be a lemon and I will probably be
exchanging it for an Asus Premium board unless Gigabyte can get new drivers
out fast that work. There have also been several other complaints on this
site about gigabyte boards not working also.

--
Gigabyte GA-K8NSC-939, A64 3500+
PC3200 Samsung 512mb, SB Live OEM
ATI All-In-Wonder 9600 XT
WD120gb + 80gb HD 8mb buffers
Plextor PX-712A, Liteon 1693S 16X Dual Layer
Pioneer DVR-110D 16X - 4X Dual Layer
ViewSonic 19" A91f+ CRT
Micrsoft Sidewinder Precision 2 Joystick



"John Whitworth" > wrote in message
...
> Hi All,
>
> As a self confessed Tomb Raider addict, I'm awaiting next month's TR:
> Legend eagerly. I hope it will be somewhat better than Angel of Darkness.
>
> My current deck is:
>
> - Asus A8V Deluxe
> - A64 3500+
> - 1GB Crucial RAM (2x 512MB)
> - nVidia FX5950 Ultra
> - SB Audigy 2
>
> I am wondering which of the following upgrades will likely give me the
> better game performance increase.
>
> - Upgrade CPU to A64 4400 X2
> - Upgrade RAM to 2x 1GB
> - Upgrade graphics
>
> If upgrade graphics looks like the best option, then can you offer some
> guidance. I've been out of the "keeping on top" game for some time, and,
> to be honest, the new array of graphics cards looks bewildering. I expect
> this will be my last AGP card - next upgrade would likely be a new PCI-E
> motherboard.
>
> TIA
>
> JW

John Whitworth
March 21st 06, 12:52 PM
VanShania wrote:
> Stick with asus or msi. I have used both and never had any problems. My new
> Gigabyte board has turned out to be a lemon and I will probably be
> exchanging it for an Asus Premium board unless Gigabyte can get new drivers
> out fast that work. There have also been several other complaints on this
> site about gigabyte boards not working also.

Thanks ... it will probably be an Asus then. I checked out the MSI
boards, but (and this may be a silly reason), I figured that if I am
going for an nForce 4 card, then I might as well have nVidia sound too.
When I had a nForce 2 card, to be honest, I found the nVidia sound less
fussy, and more reliable than the Audigy I had at the time.

At the moment, I have an Audigy 2, and I don't find it that impressive!

Cheers

JW

John Whitworth
March 21st 06, 12:53 PM
General Schvantzkoph wrote:
>
> I have two MSI boards, The MSI K8N Neo2 Platinum and the MSI K8N Neo4
> Platinum (NForce4 Ultra). I haven't had any trouble with either of them.
> When I was comparing boards the MSI K8N Neo4 had a few more features then
> it's competitors (I think it was either an extra SATA RAID controller or
> an extra Gigabit Ethernet controller, it actually doesn't matter much
> because I only have two disks in the box and I'm only using one of the
> ethernet ports). The Nforce4 boards are all pretty similar, I don't think
> you would go wrong with any of them. If you like ASUS then get ASUS.

Thanks ... I will probably go with Asus, as explained in my other reply.

JW

VanShania
April 19th 06, 10:47 PM
Ati has an X1600 pro 512mb card that looks pretty good. Ati wants about $350
while Sapphire only wants $180. I'm thinking about getting it for my AGP
gigabyte board.


"John Whitworth" > wrote in message
...
> Hi All,
>
> As a self confessed Tomb Raider addict, I'm awaiting next month's TR:
> Legend eagerly. I hope it will be somewhat better than Angel of Darkness.
>
> My current deck is:
>
> - Asus A8V Deluxe
> - A64 3500+
> - 1GB Crucial RAM (2x 512MB)
> - nVidia FX5950 Ultra
> - SB Audigy 2
>
> I am wondering which of the following upgrades will likely give me the
> better game performance increase.
>
> - Upgrade CPU to A64 4400 X2
> - Upgrade RAM to 2x 1GB
> - Upgrade graphics
>
> If upgrade graphics looks like the best option, then can you offer some
> guidance. I've been out of the "keeping on top" game for some time, and,
> to be honest, the new array of graphics cards looks bewildering. I expect
> this will be my last AGP card - next upgrade would likely be a new PCI-E
> motherboard.
>
> TIA
>
> JW