Upgrade CPU or Video Card?

Banana

Diamond Member
Jun 3, 2001
3,132
23
81
Hi All. I need help deciding whether to wait a few months to upgrade to GF4 for ~$200 or go with a new CPU for ~$140 now. Here's my current setup:

Duron 700@933
MSI K7T (KT133A) mobo
384MB PC133
MSI GF2 Pro
15 GB WD 7200rpm ATA66
WinXP if it matters, and I play Unreal all the time

The new CPU I'm eyeing is an Athlon XP1700. I'll need to buy a new HSF also--probably the CoolerMaster.

So . . . CPU now or GF4 later? (Can't get both :( )

Oh yeah--or the 3rd choice--don't upgrade at all and buy my wife a lovely Valentine's Day present.

Thanks. 1YP
 

microAmp

Diamond Member
Jul 5, 2000
5,996
114
106
CPU, you'll get more performace gain out of it. At one point your Duron will be the bottle neck for the GF4 for performace. Also right now and it'll be a while before games will really challenge those GeForce cards out there. If you get the CPU now and then 6 months later nVidia will roll out a different version of the GF4 now, which will change prices and help you out. This is just IMO.
 

Yonux

Member
Dec 18, 2001
90
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0
I would go for the CPU, is that MSI GF2 Pro 64 Meg? Your video should be fine for awhile and I think you would see the greatest performance increase with a faster processor.

oh yeah,. don?t tell your wife you spent her present money on a new CPU and make her a nice candle light dinner =)

Yonux
 

MisterDuck

Member
Nov 3, 2001
177
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I'd go with an Athlon XP 1500+, and drop the extra forty bucks on my wife. =)


No - seriously - I'd reccomend getting the 1500, and THEN look into a better video card in the future (and you'll need one - that card isn't slow, but the next round of games coming out will probably floor that thing). To be honest, I don't think you're going to see a big difference between the 1700 and the 1500 (hell, you could probably overclock almost to 1700), so...I'd save yourself 40 bucks and overclock if needs be.

 

Banana

Diamond Member
Jun 3, 2001
3,132
23
81
Yeah--It's a GF2 Pro 64MB. And good point about the CPU bottleneck for the GF4--didn't occur to me!

And "Hello candlelight dinner."

Thanks! 1YP
 

FredLocks

Member
Nov 5, 2001
185
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go for the 1700+....if you buy the retail it comes with a stock fan which has worked wonderfully for me....I don't overclock.
 

tm37

Lifer
Jan 24, 2001
12,436
1
0


<< Oh yeah--or the 3rd choice--don't upgrade at all and buy my wife a lovely Valentine's Day present. >>



Ths may get you more enjoyment;)
 

4824guy

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
3,102
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Yes, a CPU increase of that type would inprove performane greatly. The would be the better upgraded.
 

tchybrid

Senior member
Jan 24, 2001
465
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0
why not go gf4? i'm hearing that the gf4s have a better GPU that will take on many graphical calculations away from the CPU, allowing the CPU to do less work. but i don't know, you can check out 3dMark's website, i'm pretty sure they will have reference systems to help you out with.
 

ku

Golden Member
Mar 11, 2001
1,309
0
71
get the CPU. You're CPU will be the bottle neck when you do get a new video card. Also, you can wait until gf4 prices drop down a bit ^^.
 

BillClo

Senior member
Apr 27, 2001
241
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0
Go for the faster processor. I had a Athlon 750 w/Tyan S2380 (lousy 100mhz bus) with Geforce 2 GTS and was getting 3Dmark2001 scores of about 2600. After I upgraded to Athlon XP 1900 w/Epox 8KHA+, score went to 3800...I can only conclude that the slower processor and MB was hindering my vid card. Now it's the other way around - the vid card is now slowing down the new MB and processor. :)
 

JHSCOUGAR14

Junior Member
Jun 18, 2001
3
0
0
HI, If you go for the cpu upgrade, then you should also purchase some PC 2100 DDR Sdram. That way the FSB will be running at a higher frequency, lowering the clock multiplier. When lowering the clock multiplier from 10 to 8, the cpu would go through 8 refresh cycyles rather than 10 when memory only goes through one cycle. If you don't get DDR Sdram when upgrading the cpu, then I wouldn't even worry about upgrading the cpu yet. However, memory is pricy right now. As for a video card upgrade, I'd hold off for a while, unless you want more video out capabilities or the current card is really sluggish, but a GF2 Pro should be ok.
 

rbV5

Lifer
Dec 10, 2000
12,632
0
0


<< don't upgrade at all and buy my wife a lovely Valentine's Day present. >>



This is easy, Go for this one first;)............................then next month get both.
 

Crassus

Member
Oct 21, 2001
171
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0
As a former UT player I can only tell you that as long as you stick with the old Unreal Engine you're most certainly better off with the CPU than the grafix card, 'cause the Unreal engine was written back in the days where software rendering was quite common, so it doesn't take a big advantage of the latest grafics hardware. If you ask todays benchmarkers, they say for a reason that the Unreal benchmark is more a CPU than a grafics benchmark.
So do yourself a favour and get the faster CPU. And as MrDuck said, it might be worth considering buying the 1500+ and see what you're able to get out of it. There's no need to spend more money than necessary.

BTW, does anyone know when the Palomino core is phased out and the new core starts to sell? (I'm NOT speaking of HAMMER)

P.S. Having a closer look at your setup, you might have to look whether your mainboards supports the palomino core. And it IS worth considering upgrading the board as well, since with DDR instead of SDR RAM you have twice the effective memory bandwith. Otherwise you might find yourself stuck with a fast CPU thats idle half the time due to a slow memory bus.

To JHSCOUGAR14


<<
HI, If you go for the cpu upgrade, then you should also purchase some PC 2100 DDR Sdram. That way the FSB will be running at a higher frequency, lowering the clock multiplier. When lowering the clock multiplier from 10 to 8, the cpu would go through 8 refresh cycyles rather than 10 when memory only goes through one cycle. If you don't get DDR Sdram when upgrading the cpu, then I wouldn't even worry about upgrading the cpu yet. However, memory is pricy right now. As for a video card upgrade, I'd hold off for a while, unless you want more video out capabilities or the current card is really sluggish, but a GF2 Pro should be ok.
>>



You're mistaken in a whole lot of points. I don't think it is good to give advice to other people when you don't know what you're talking about.
1. He should only purchase DDR RAM when he can actually USE it. And theres no way a KT133(A) board supports DDR RAM.
2. The FSB at a family 7 AMD x86 CPU always runs at 100 or 133 MHz (phys.), but also ALWAYS with DDR. Mind you, that is the FrontSide Bus, not the memory bus. Switching to DDR RAM doesn't change the multiplier. And how should it?????
3. Refresh cycles are periodically refreshes to the memory, otherwise it will loose its data. There are NO refresh cycles the CPU is going through.
*shaking head in disbelief*
 

Banana

Diamond Member
Jun 3, 2001
3,132
23
81
Don't worry--I wasn't going to buy DDR memory for my ol' KT133A mobo :)

Thanks for all the advice. I will upgrade the CPU.

Crassus: I checked MSI's web site and it stated that my mainboard will accept the XP processors. Of course I would like to upgrade to a KT266 board and DDR RAM, but dammit, I want to keep at least a few of my components for more than a year! I feel like I'm flushing $$ down the drain with the exponential improvements to PC technology . . .

As for the Palomino's successor, I think AT had mentioned that the "Thoroughbred" will be out in late 2002? Don't know for sure.

1YP
"IBM Clone" 386 Hand-me-down: 1991 to 1993 (Wow--a "COMPUTER!")
Packard Bell 486SX (25 MHz): 1993 to 1998 (initial bliss, subsequent pain)
Quantex PentiumII/300: 1998 to 2001 (nice PC and vendor)
Home made Duron (using Quantex case): 2001 to 2002? (my baby)
 

MasterHoss

Platinum Member
Apr 25, 2001
2,323
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0
You should be fine...I would recommend not getting a GeForce4 MX however, get a new graphics card (only if you're gaming at resolutions over 1024X768).
 

GuardianAli

Senior member
Sep 6, 2000
534
0
0
Easy......the CPU...while the new card will help with frame rates, thats the only thing it will help with. The cpu will be of "more use" meaning it will benefit you the most cause it will increase OVERALL sys performance and not just games.
 

cmaMath13

Platinum Member
Feb 16, 2000
2,154
0
60
CPU all the way. Wait a while before worrying about GeForce4, besides you cpu would NOT match up well with the GF4 anyway.
 

nortexoid

Diamond Member
May 1, 2000
4,096
0
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cpu for reasons mentioned above.

(no games utilizing GF4 power, cpu bottleneck, better to stay away from the cutting edge of hardware for the sake of your wallet, etc._)