Updating graphics card and installing more RAM

  • Mr. Wiggles
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hello. My computer is pretty decent, or so I think. It was bought just before christmas in 02 for jsut under £700 with windows XP and no monitor, obviously it has one now.
The specs are as follows:-
Intel Pentium 4 2.4GHz processor
256mb DDR RAm memory
80gig hard disk
64mb ATI Radeon 9000 vivo graphics card

It has server very well in its time, although it's now time for an update, rather than an upgrade.
I want to PC to run half-life 2 and doom 3 if at all possible. I am going to buy another 512 mb of DDR ram and a new graphics card. We've got a budget of £120 probably.
I know I can get 512mb DDR ram 3200 for about £50 so that leaves about £50-70 for a graphics card. What would you recommend. I've had alot of trouble with the current card, but it is very good even through that. I was tihnk of an ATI Radeon 9600SE, but some reviews are bad. What would you suggest?
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • Skirge
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Post 3+ Months Ago

right now i have an ati radeon 9600 se and its working fine for me i like it and every thing is perfect i would suggest getting it but if u can spend a bit more money id get the 9600 pro or 9600 xt
  • Tchuki
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Post 3+ Months Ago

What is the speed of your current RAM ? If it is less than 3200 you may be able to save yourself some money and buy the lower speed as your PC will automatically lower the 3200's speed so that the modules can work together. Or if your Mobo supports 3200 (which I assume it does otherwise you wouldn't be looking at it) remove the old module and just have the new one.

That aside, now the Graphics Card. To play Doom3 will a decent frame rate, you don't really want to go below the 9800 series ( not just my opinion, the professionals opinion aswell ). The problem then is that your budget doesn't stretch that far. The 9800 Pro comes in at £150 for the Sapphire 128. I would suggest that you see if you can increase your budget a bit, I know certain companies ( such as Dabs.com/.co.uk ) do finance options which are quite reasonable.

Regards,
  • Mr. Wiggles
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I'm not sure of the speed of my current RAM, and having a look on system information hasn't helped either. It's 2 years old, so it's probably 2700, at a guess. If I put the new RAM in the first slot and the old as the second, won't this bypass what you described? I've forgotten what my motherboard is, oops.
There is an ever so slight possibility of the graphics card upgrade being feasible, but any other graphics card suggestions in my range would help.
  • Tchuki
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Quote:
If I put the new RAM in the first slot and the old as the second, won't this bypass what you described?


Unfortunatly not I`m afraid, it doesnt matter where you place the modules, your PC automatically detects the optimum speed.

Links to VGA Cards in your budget range :

Sapphire Radeon 9600 Pro Advantage 128MB DDR AGP x8 VGA TV-Out DVI-I Retail Box - £63.36 (inc VAT)
http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/products ... _uid=74653


Radeon 9600 256mb Ddr - Agp8x Dvi/tv-out - £72.48 (inc VAT)
http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/products ... _uid=80753


XFX GeForce FX5200 256MB DDR - PCI DVI/TV-Out Retail - £68.33 (inc VAT)
http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/products ... _uid=66312


ASUS V9570LE TD Geforce FX5700LE 128MB AGP 8x DVI TV-Out Retail Box - £64.00 (inc VAT)
http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/products ... _uid=65104

Hope they are of some use to you. Theres loads of cards out there and Ebuyer is one of my favorite sites for getting my parts as they are well priced.

Those cards are good cards but as I said before, if you can stretch your budget a bit I would go for a 9800 Pro or something similar.
  • Mr. Wiggles
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Thanks man, that's really great info! The first one was the one I was thinking of getting.
After the monitor reset itself 5 times in less than 30 minutes I decided enough was enough.
I took my case out of it's hole and opened it up. This revealed 2 years of dust and grime. 10 minutes of blowing this all away and choking revealed the components inside. The RAM is a measly 2100PC so I think the best option would be using that for another PC in my room, and getting much faster RAM.
I didn't figure out what the motherboard was. BUT, it's read, has 1 AGP slot, 5 PCI slot and 4 of the same RAM slots.
If I were to get RAM, it it worth buying 3200PC speed just incase my motherboard does support it? Or can enyone help me get the mobo info?
  • Tchuki
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Post 3+ Months Ago

It should definatly say somewhere on the mobo, it might not say who made it but there should be a model number on it somewhere. Once you know the model number you can search on the net for more detail about it. Try looking on both sides if you can.

See if you can find that out before you go buying the 3200 RAM as it might only support up to 2700.
  • Mr. Wiggles
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I eventually found the motherboard, an asus 645E Max-2.
It supposedly doesn't support anything over 333hz ram, so I bought 512MB of 333hz PC2700 ram and have ordered a Sapphire Radeon 9800SE 128MB DDR graphics card with it.
Should be here on thursday. If I have any problems, I'll be back!
Hopefully World of Warcraft will have arrived from america by the following week, so it will all be worth it!

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