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Sleepy
03-07-2005, 07:09 PM
Hello,

I've been asked to upgrade my sisters computer to play racing games (need for speed 2, colin mcrae 2005 etc..) onboard graphics doesn't seem to do it anymore, too jerky.

Their specs are:
Celeron 2.0 GHz, 256MB DDR RAM (1 stick), 40GB Hard Drive, ECS 651-M, 230W powersupply, motherboard, XP Home Edition.

Now what i've suggested to them is:
Twinmos 1GB DDR400 (1 stick)
Leadtek 6600 GT AGP
Colorsit 400W PowerSupply
(18A +12V, 25A +5V, 18A +3.3V)


Do these seem like the right upgrades to get? Later on they can get a Pentium 4 CPU (2.4-3GHz), and another stick of 1GB RAM later on. There are 2 DIMM slots for the memory.

I just have some concerns about whether games would bottleneck much from the CPU? Hence why the increase in RAM. But the graphics card is a must, as they can't afford cpu & video card.

I would prefer to get an enermax power supply, but those are out of their price range. This comes to about 600odd dollars, which is about their budget.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks.

memphis
03-07-2005, 08:14 PM
Those upgrades will make a big difference.

Graphic card =good
Ram =good
Psu = get bigger wattage and a good brand name (thinking of future upgrade requirements)

Game wise the graphics card is the most important and the ram will help out alot to.That will keep them going happy until they can afford the cpu upgrade.

Check out www.pricespy.co.nz for cheaper prices :thumbs:

pctek
03-07-2005, 08:15 PM
Don't need 1 Gb ram of those games. 512 would do.
Cards a good idea. Eventually the CPU and board speed will be a bottleneck but worry about it later.
Can't comment on the PSU but I'd get a good one, not all the Enermaxs are super expensive. SOme are just reasonable expensive. But look at it this way - get a decent one and it will last for years.

Sleepy
03-07-2005, 08:43 PM
Don't need 1 Gb ram of those games. 512 would do.
Cards a good idea. Eventually the CPU and board speed will be a bottleneck but worry about it later.
Can't comment on the PSU but I'd get a good one, not all the Enermaxs are super expensive. SOme are just reasonable expensive. But look at it this way - get a decent one and it will last for years.

Yeah but i thought more RAM is better? 512MB seems the minimum to play games these days like BF2,

1.7 GHz Pentium 4 / Athlon XP or greater, 512 MB or more

I'm not saying they would be playing FPS games, like BF2. But later on down the track, games might need 1GB to play? And i was thinking there wouldn't be much performance difference from going from 256MB to 512MB, hence why just one stick of 1GB RAM which is quadrupling the RAM. Two sticks of 512MB was cheaper, 40-50 cheaper, but then for upgradeability would have to buy 2 sticks of 1GB.

The cheapest enermax i was looking at:
Enermax 420W Noisetaker Speed Adjustable, SATA connector $123.75 from computer lounge, and while they seem to have good amp ratings, its like double the price of the Colorsit. I would prefer them to get this one, but it doesn't fit into the budget.

Sleepy
03-07-2005, 08:48 PM
Those upgrades will make a big difference.

Graphic card =good
Ram =good
Psu = get bigger wattage and a good brand name (thinking of future upgrade requirements)

Game wise the graphics card is the most important and the ram will help out alot to.That will keep them going happy until they can afford the cpu upgrade.

Check out www.pricespy.co.nz for cheaper prices :thumbs:

Well what wattage, brand name would you suggest? i was thinking 400W, unsure of brand. Are then any cheap good brands for sub $100 that people would recommend?

memphis
03-07-2005, 09:35 PM
Games minimum specs are needing more and more ram and it makes windows and other programes run so much better it becomes so much more enjoyable.

Battlefield 2 minimum specs
cpu 1.7 or greater
ram 512 mb or more
nivida gf5700 or greater
ati radeon 8500 or greater
hd space 2.3 gb or more free space
directx 9.0c

I have Battlefield 2 and had 512 mb and have upgraded to a stick of 1gb ram and now have 1.5 gb of ram.Much better, no jerky movement and windows is so much faster now,am thinking of buying another stick of 1 gb of ram.My mates buying my 512 mb stick and so I will have 2 x 1 gb sticks ddr400 ram.The more ram the better. :thumbs:

Greven
03-07-2005, 09:39 PM
You definately need a 400W PSU, I would reccomend a $120 enermax http://ascent.co.nz/mn-product-spec.asp?pid=144941
or if you are really strapped for cash, a $96 Thermaltake http://ascent.co.nz/mn-product-spec.asp?pid=111469

As for the RAM, 512 meg will do for now. they can chuck in another 1 gig later & that should last until everything else is obsolete aswell. The graphics card is a good choice - best value for money I can find.

Next time they buy/build a computer, make sure they don't get a ECS motherboard. On that line of thought, you will have to upgrade the mobo pretty soon. I just looked it up and it can't handle DDR-400 RAM, and can only handly a max FSB of 533mhz. All half decent Intel processors are 800mhz FSB.

Sleepy
03-07-2005, 10:09 PM
You definately need a 400W PSU, I would reccomend a $120 enermax http://ascent.co.nz/mn-product-spec.asp?pid=144941
or if you are really strapped for cash, a $96 Thermaltake http://ascent.co.nz/mn-product-spec.asp?pid=111469

As for the RAM, 512 meg will do for now. they can chuck in another 1 gig later & that should last until everything else is obsolete aswell. The graphics card is a good choice - best value for money I can find.

Next time they buy/build a computer, make sure they don't get a ECS motherboard. On that line of thought, you will have to upgrade the mobo pretty soon. I just looked it up and it can't handle DDR-400 RAM, and can only handly a max FSB of 533mhz. All half decent Intel processors are 800mhz FSB.

well anything cheaper thats still good $96 could be a bit much anything cheaper???, yeah well they got a oem built computer, and wasn't sure on parts at the time, so went by with that package.

As for DDR-400, the motherboard takes DDR-266 and DDR-333 i thought DDR memory was backwards compatible? Like if you put the DDR-400 memory in, it would run at DDR-333 speeds? I would prefer to put DDR-400 so in the next cpu/motherboard upgrade the ram could still be used then.

Yep the Processors are a bit expensive, 250+ for the (2.4-3GHz) ones. Thinking it would be much easier going for AMD Athlon 64 939 processor, with a 939 nforce3 motherboard next time, keeping the ram and video card for the next upgrade. As its probalary about 500bux for the next upgrade, and well could be roughly the same for the 533 P4 processor.

pctek
04-07-2005, 08:27 AM
well anything cheaper thats still good $96 could be a bit much anything cheaper???, yeah well they got a oem built computer, and wasn't sure on parts at the time, so went by with that package.

As for DDR-400, the motherboard takes DDR-266 and DDR-333 i thought DDR memory was backwards compatible? Like if you put the DDR-400 memory in, it would run at DDR-333 speeds? I would prefer to put DDR-400 so in the next cpu/motherboard upgrade the ram could still be used then.

Yep the Processors are a bit expensive, 250+ for the (2.4-3GHz) ones. Thinking it would be much easier going for AMD Athlon 64 939 processor, with a 939 nforce3 motherboard next time, keeping the ram and video card for the next upgrade. As its probalary about 500bux for the next upgrade, and well could be roughly the same for the 533 P4 processor.
Well thats what happens when budget becomes the main factor. Thats why I said 512 for now. Yes the ram is backwards compatible.
AMD is cheaper - and better performance overall.
What I do when upgrading is the MB, CPU and graphics card. If the ram is old I'll chnage it, this time I didn't as it was DDR400 already, I added more.
Otherwise in my opinion there is no point in upgrading.
The other thing to remember is the graphics card standard is going to be PCI-E not AGP.
Still can't comment on this PSU - we have a thread going on that subject and are waiting for some expert advise on decent cheap PSUs....

Sleepy
04-07-2005, 08:40 AM
Well thats what happens when budget becomes the main factor. Thats why I said 512 for now. Yes the ram is backwards compatible.
AMD is cheaper - and better performance overall.
What I do when upgrading is the MB, CPU and graphics card. If the ram is old I'll chnage it, this time I didn't as it was DDR400 already, I added more.
Otherwise in my opinion there is no point in upgrading.
The other thing to remember is the graphics card standard is going to be PCI-E not AGP.
Still can't comment on this PSU - we have a thread going on that subject and are waiting for some expert advise on decent cheap PSUs....

Yeah i've been reading about matching graphic cards with low end cpus, and it seems a mixed result, some say it doesn't work, others say its fine. So for $600, do you think i could get an alright MB, CPU and graphics card, and would this be alright running off the 230W PSU that came with the case. Yep well 1GB a bit uncessary, so 512MB i think i'll get. Preferably the 6600GT, brand not necessary i guess since its coming down to price.

pctek
04-07-2005, 10:58 AM
So for $600, do you think i could get an alright MB, CPU and graphics card, and would this be alright running off the 230W PSU that came with the case. Yep well 1GB a bit uncessary, so 512MB i think i'll get. Preferably the 6600GT, brand not necessary i guess since its coming down to price.

No, even going off pricespy to get a socket 939 MB and matching CPU plus 6600GT and PSU and rma, no it will go over $600. Don't keep the 230w, even though you don't need a huge wattage 230w is just not enough.

CorbinH
04-07-2005, 06:11 PM
yeah i have to agree with nearly every one a gig of ram is a little much consider 512mb (lol i have 256 mb of ram and i hardly ever run low on ram then again my page file is 4 gigs....lol)

Sleepy
04-07-2005, 06:35 PM
well i've looked around for a 939 cpu and motherboard and come up with:

ATHLON 64 3000+ Socket 939 $234.93
GIGABYTE GA-K8NSC AMD 64 (nForce3)-939 $123.73
Legend GeForce 6600 GT 128MB AGP $274.50

which comes to a total of $633.16 which is reasonable. Just a little bit over $600, but then theres no power supply. Going for nforce4 motherboard and pci-express card, brings up the price to $700. So staying with nforce 3, and the AGP card, and buying a good power supply instead. But the RAM, would it be alright running 256MB DDR266 RAM?

pctek
04-07-2005, 07:23 PM
well i've looked around for a 939 cpu and motherboard and come up with:

ATHLON 64 3000+ Socket 939 $234.93
GIGABYTE GA-K8NSC AMD 64 (nForce3)-939 $123.73
Legend GeForce 6600 GT 128MB AGP $274.50

which comes to a total of $633.16 which is reasonable. Just a little bit over $600, but then theres no power supply. Going for nforce4 motherboard and pci-express card, brings up the price to $700. So staying with nforce 3, and the AGP card, and buying a good power supply instead. But the RAM, would it be alright running 256MB DDR266 RAM?
Rams cheap.

Greven
04-07-2005, 08:34 PM
would it be alright running 256MB DDR266 RAM?
I wouldn't reccomend it. The recent(ish) racing games will run on only 256mb, but they would run a lot better & you could up the settings if you got 512.