Best system boost CPU or Video upgrade

KouklatheCat

Golden Member
Oct 23, 2000
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Which would improve my sysytem better overall?

I am looking at the AMD XP 1600 at newegg.com for $126.00 or the Leadtek GeForce3 Ti200 64 Mb for $178.00. I mostly I play games or surf the web. My current processor is an AMD T-Bird 1.2 Ghz (200Mhz FSB) and my video card is a Leadtek GeForce 2 PRO/GTS 32 Mb. For further system details my system specs are listed on my rigs page.

If i bought the XP 1600 I could get another 256 Mb of DDR Ram as well.

Thanks
 

Jerboy

Banned
Oct 27, 2001
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<< Which would improve my sysytem better overall?

I am looking at the AMD XP 1600 at newegg.com for $126.00 or the Leadtek GeForce3 Ti200 64 Mb for $178.00. I mostly I play games or surf the web. My current processor is an AMD T-Bird 1.2 Ghz (200Mhz FSB) and my video card is a Leadtek GeForce 2 PRO/GTS 32 Mb. For further system details my system specs are listed on my rigs page.

If i bought the XP 1600 I could get another 256 Mb of DDR Ram as well.

Thanks
>>



I'd go for the video card considering you play games alot.

XP1600+ is only 200MHz faster than what you have now and even with new Quanti thing, its not worth $126.
 

Freejack2

Diamond Member
Dec 31, 2000
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I agree with Jerboy a video upgrade is a better bet. The gf3 is a nice vid card.
As for your cpu you can probably get more performance with a good heatsink like a thermalright sk6 or an alpha 8045.
Those heatsinks will probably allow you to clock your 1.2 to 1.4 or more.
 

Frontrunner

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Apr 13, 2001
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Yeah I got a Leadtech GeForce 2 GTS aswell. Also with a 1 Ghz Thunderbird. I am looking for a little more CPU power as well.
 

Wind

Diamond Member
Jul 22, 2001
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KouklatheCat & Frontrunner,

Go for the VGA card. Athlon 1 Ghz is still fine.
 

The_Lurker

Golden Member
Feb 20, 2000
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Video card's a better idea right now. You've got a pretty powerful CPU right now already, will not make a big difference (wow, Word loads 2 seconds faster!!!! with a 1600 vs a 1.2ghz!) Anyways, with gaming, GeForce 3 is much faster than the GeForce 2 Pro.
 

Duvie

Elite Member
Feb 5, 2001
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I agree with above the vid card will give a much larger percentage increase in performance then just 200mhz and xp enhancements....get the vid card
 

KouklatheCat

Golden Member
Oct 23, 2000
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Cool, thanks. How much faster would th GF3 Ti200 be over my GF2 PRO/GTS? Any guess?

Also would I be better off saving another couple weeks and getting the:

LEADTEK GEFORECE3 64MB DDR TDH WITH TV OUT/ DVI VIDEO CARD- RETAIL $265.00 or
VGA LEADTEK Geforce3 TI500 64MB TV/DVI for $300.00???

Thanks
 

Micah

Senior member
Dec 30, 2000
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Neither. I can almost guarantee that regardless of what 3DMark2001 or Sandra will say, you will get negligible improvement on anything. Never upgrade CPU until you can get one at least 2x as fast. On video cards, I would say buy one every other generation.

Of course...If you want bragging rights in the benchmarks, go for the video card. The CPU upgrade won't do squat except in Seti@home and other non-important stuff.

Of course I'll get flamed now, but you all know I'm right.

Micah

P.S. On the other hand, if all of us did what I'm suggesting, NVidia, ATI, and all the rest would be in Chapter 11 court since we are the ones that keep the cash flowing to them!
 

KouklatheCat

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Oct 23, 2000
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I am just curious to know would I get $90 worth of improvement out of the GEFORECE3 64MB DDR over the GEFORCE 3 Ti200 or $125 worth for the Geforce3 TI500 64MB.

Bragging rights arent important to me, I would rather have an improvement that I can actually notice.

Thanks
 

Micah

Senior member
Dec 30, 2000
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For starters, I don't know too much about the specifics of the GF video card series. All I know is that most people are satisfied with anything GeForce 2 or above. I've got a Kyro2 card (roughly equivalent to a GF2) and I play stuff in 1024x768x32 with no problems.

What I do know is that "guts" upgrades (CPU, RAM, Mobo, Video Card, sound card, etc.) are often the hardest to see improvements in, especially if you don't wait a long time to upgrade. If you replace your CPU every 6 months, you will never see any noticeable improvement, but you will always be at the bleeding edge.

If you could take that $120 and put it toward a better monitor, better speakers, better keyboard, special gaming gear (Force Feedback joystick, steering wheel, etc) or other peripheral upgrades, you will get much more for your money. The games will be more enjoyable, and the peripherals have a longer lifetime (years) compared to inner parts (months..or weeks for Anandtech readers :) )

Micah

P.S. If you have a 350MHz+ computer with >64MB of RAM, surfing the web is maxed out. Only a faster connection (cable, DSL) will improve performance.
 

KouklatheCat

Golden Member
Oct 23, 2000
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So far I am pleased with my monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers etc... I think that the graphics card is the way to go, now which one ;)
 

Jfrag Teh Foul

Diamond Member
Jul 18, 2001
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I looked at the specs of your system and I agree that the video is the way to go... and since you are running XP Pro just for a pep to the 1.2 (which is what I have) I would up the mem another 256... While its not totally necessary it would add just a bit extra to the "flexin" dept. for the total system for relatively low cost... (I will prolly in the next couple of weeks) :D
 

KouklatheCat

Golden Member
Oct 23, 2000
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I asked my wife for the extra 256 Mb DDR for X-Mass. I agree that the video is the way to go but which one?

The GF 3 Ti200 for $175, the GF 3 64 Mb for $265 or the GF3 Ti500 for $300?? I have the $175 now but should I wait till after x-mass (even though im 33 grandma still gives me cash ;) ). Would I really notice a difference between the three cards. All of the cards I am considering are Leadtek from newegg.com. I have had good luck with newegg and Leadtek.

Thanks
 

Demonicon

Senior member
Oct 30, 2001
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<< with a 1 Ghz Thunderbird. I am looking for a little more CPU power as well. >>



Um, what's wrong with the 1GHZ Athlon? You're CPU "power" is fine. :confused:
 

ChurchOfSubgenius

Platinum Member
Jan 25, 2001
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I have to agree with Micah, you will not see ANY change on your screen, you may get a little better benchmarks, but thats it. You might as well take a picture of your comp guts and make it into a t-shirt so people can see what you have because "everything you NEED" isn't good enough anymore, it's "everything you HAVE"
 

kimber

Senior member
Jan 20, 2001
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i disagree with what most are saying about seeing no difference if you upgrade your vid card.if you play alot of single player then yes but if your into games such a ut or q3a in multiplayer then it will make a diff when you get into a room with alot of action.i just bought the 8500 (from the 32ddr radeon) and my buddy went from a gf2pro to a ti500 on a athlon 1 gig system and both of us felt our kill numbers went up because there is no chuging in those heavy action scenes.
as far as witch one to buy if moneys tight i would suggest the 8500le(180$) or the gainward geforce3(around 225$) these will almost always o.c. to the retail level at a considerable cost saveings.but if your one to want every last megahertz then go the retail.
oh and my buddys system used to chug in heavy action on ut till he got the ti500 now its smooth as butter.:)
 

KouklatheCat

Golden Member
Oct 23, 2000
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I do mostly play single player but I usually do "bot" matches (Q3TA or Tribes 2). I do occasionally play Tribes 2 online. The more bots the better, more moving targets ;)

Thanks
 

kimber

Senior member
Jan 20, 2001
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well if you get a decent slow down when playing those games i think one of the new boards will help.you have plenty of processor power to push a good vid card.and from what i have seen the new geforce3 is closing the gap with ati when it comes to visaul qaulity.with my buddys t500 and my 8500 siting side by side its hard to see any diff.:) were as when he had the gf2pro and i had the radeon 32ddr you could definitly see a difference.we thought it may of had something todo with his monitor but since he put the t500 in it looks great.
 

rwalterk

Member
Nov 16, 2000
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Koukla:

As a fellow almost-geezer (32), I would recommend that you keep what you have for now; it's still a pretty good rig. I think you'll get a better jump going to the Ti500, but it's a little pricey right now. I seriously doubt the difference between the GF2 Pro (I have the same card) and the Ti200 will knock you out of your chair. Going to the Ti500, maybe, but I suggest waiting until the price drops. Same goes for the CPU upgrade you're considering; you probably won't notice that much of a difference.

If you're completely ignoring my advice, then get the video card ;)

Seriously though, aren't old dudes like us supposed to be buying crap like golf clubs, power tools, and variable universal life insurance policies? (that's what I keep trying to tell myself anyway)
 

Smbu

Platinum Member
Jul 13, 2000
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The Ti200 will give you more of a boost over that GTS card. Especially if you like to play in higher resolutions with graphic details turned up. That 1.2ghz Tbird should be good for now. Also you could get a slight performance increase from your current cpu by increasing the fsb to 133(rather than your current 100fsb) and lowering the multiplier. e.g. running the cpu at 133fsb with 9x multiplier with give you the same speed cpu as running it at 100fsb with 12x multiplier, but you will have increased memory bandwidth for your system.
 

kimber

Senior member
Jan 20, 2001
214
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koukla,

i just ck'd your rig and i agree with smbu you should unlock that processor and raise your fsb.also what is your ram settings in your bios.with that ram and that buss speed you would probably get away with setting your ram to "turbo" or at least "fastest".from what i can tell so far with my epox its stable to about 144 with turbo ram settings.i'll be unlocking my processor as soon as i get tired of 1.64 gig.:)
i would of already done it if it wasnt for those pesky pits.:(

and if your really considering that ti200 take a look at tomshardware.com ,he has a good review on the ti500 vs. geforce3 that may just change your mind on that ti500.
 

KouklatheCat

Golden Member
Oct 23, 2000
1,502
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My RAM is set to 133 Mhz and Turbo. What is the easiest way to unlock an Athlon these days? I used the rear window defogger trick on my 750 Mhz Athlon and I FUBAR-ed the chip (it became unstable even at stock speeds).

Thanks
 

kimber

Senior member
Jan 20, 2001
214
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well if you already have your mem buss to 133 at turbo your probaly pulling good bandwith already.but higher is better ;)
do you have sandra?if so whats your mem and processor scores.im guessing pretty good.so back to your original question,if you gotta get something go for the vid card.and read all the latest reviews,not just looking at the "numbers"....
as far as unlocking the "c" core(no pits) i still think(and use) defroster paint.never had to redo one yet so why mess with a good thing.