What should I upgrade first?

By joshpb
Feb 7, 2006
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  1. I am looking to do a inexpensive upgrade on my system. I am looking to speed about $100. I am a power user running many apps at once and doing some Battlefield 2 gaming and dvd burning. My current system is:

    ASUS A7N8X Deluxe Motherboard
    Athlon XP 3200 Processor
    1 GB PC2100 DDR
    80 GB WD 7,2000RM HD
    Radeon 9800 Pro

    Basically I am considering buying either a gig of PC3200 RAM which would also allow me to run in dual channel mode, or buying a Raptor hard drive, or simply buying a large hard drive. I don't have any serious performance issues but I would like for things to be a little faster. Also my page file is running around 200 MB's. I would appreciate it if anyone could tell me which would be the best upgrade. Thanks
  2. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 3,566

    That's not a bad system you have right now. The only thing that really stands out that would boost you up quite a bit would be to actually ditch that 2100 ram completely, and get two sticks of 3200 512 or two sticks of 3200 1Gb. If you at another stick of 1Gb to your existing 2100 ram, your motherboard will automatically downclock your newer ram to match the 2100. Kind of a waste. That plus dual channel will give you a nice speed boost, and for that you need two MATCHING sticks of ram.
  3. spartanslayer

    spartanslayer Newcomer, in training Posts: 464

    I agree. The only thing you need is faster ram. I didn't know about the slower ram slowing down the faster stuff Don. I have 2 sticks of 512 at 2700, and one 256 MB at 2100. Would it run faster to just take out the 256MB? Thanks.
  4. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 3,566

    @spartanslayer

    I am pretty sure all your ram is running at 2100 right now. Not to mention if your board supports dual channel, you are not utilizing it with 3 sticks in there.

    Edit: In your profile it says you have the Biostar M7VIT motherboard. That board does not support dual channel memory. However, that board also only has 2 DIMM slots for ram and you say you have 3 installed.... confused..... :confused:
  5. spartanslayer

    spartanslayer Newcomer, in training Posts: 464

    I have the Pro Mobo, it has 3 slots. I know I can't run Dual Channel, my question was, is it better to have 1.25GB of 2100 ram, or 1GB of 2700 ram? Thanks.
  6. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 3,566

    Personally I would go with 1GB at 2700 over 1.25Gb at 2100.

    Try it for yourself and see if you notice the difference, or run some benchmarks to see if your performance goes up. I think it would.
  7. spartanslayer

    spartanslayer Newcomer, in training Posts: 464

    Thanks Don, you are a cool guy! :grinthumb
  8. joshpb

    joshpb Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Thanks guys, but I am also thinking about upgrading my hard drive. I just realized that my hard drive speed is really slow and Bestbuy here is having a sale on the Seagate ST3200822A-RK for $80. I was thinking about picking it up tomorrow. My current hard drive is a WD800BB and running a Diskspeed test it's linear read is only between 20 and 30 MB/sec Random Read 2.8620 MB/sec. I have researched the ST3200822A-RK on Tom's hardware and it got a good review when it first came out. But in his latest Hard drive round-up he suggested the Barracuda 7200.8 line. The ST3200822A-RK is the predecessor to that line it's in the 7200.7 line, but from what I read there wasn't
    a huge difference in between the two. So bottom line should I buy the ST3200822A-RK for $80. I realize that I can get comprable drives online for the same price but this would be in hand and retail not oem. Thanks
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