What would you upgrade first?

By DonNagual
May 24, 2004
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  1. Alright, what is your opinion? I have listed my system below. I can only spend about $100 - $120 or so, and am not sure what to upgrade. Keep in mind this is for GAMING purposes.

    Option1: Upgrade from 512 to 1024 Mb/ram
    Option2: Upgrade from GeForce FX5200 to Radeon ATI 9800
    Optoin3: Upgrade from Flatscreen 15" to Flatscreen 17"

    Which would you upgrade first?

    What I got: (love that English :eek: )

    Asus A7V600 Mobo
    Athalon XP 2500+
    512Mb PC3200 ram
    Geforce FX 5200
    Maxtor 80Gb 7200Rpm
  2. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 Newcomer, in training Posts: 6,504

    If it was me, I'd definately go with the RAM.

    Mind you, that's a small visual display unit you have, I guess. Maybe get an additional screen and then use both, although I've never tried dual screens with 2 differing sizes of screen.

    Probably still the RAM, I guess. Save up for a really nice 19" screen.
  3. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff Newcomer, in training Posts: 8,165

    Definitely RAM first, it is cheap currently, but not for much longer I guess.
  4. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 5,899

    IMO you'll see the biggest difference while gaming if you decide to get that R9800 but I'm not sure if you can get one for $120.

    The Ram increase would be nice for everything from day to day use to gaming but for the moment going from 512mb to 1024mb isn't as "visible" as going from 256mb to 512 for example.

    & as for the flatscreen, I wouldn't want to get a 17" if it would cost $120 ( even refurbished or 2nd hand... :suspiciou ).
  5. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 3,566

    Ah, one thing I forgot to mention, I would be selling what I have now to make up the difference.

    For example, I couldn't buy that Radeon for 120 bucks, but if I sell my geforce PLUS the 120 bones, I can. Same with the monitor. After selling my puny 15" use that money PLUS the 120 smackers to get a real monitor.
  6. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 Newcomer, in training Posts: 6,504

    ...and I'm ALWAYS in favour of another hard drive. You can never have too much HDD space.
  7. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 5,899

    Getting more Ram would allow the games to load faster & map changes to be smoother but you would probably have to play in 800*600 with that FX5200.

    If you get the R9800, you could play at higher resolutions ( with all the eye candy turned on ) but you'd have to wait a little more for map changes, etc.

    Your call.
  8. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 3,566

    Thanks guys n' gals, this is very helpful. Especially that bit about higher res vs. load time for map changes. Nice and simple just like I like it.

    Cheers!
  9. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 Newcomer, in training Posts: 6,504

    If you had 256MB of RAM I'd SCREAM at you to get 512MB. But since you have 512MB and are talking about 1GB, its less urgent but I still think I'd go with the RAM.
  10. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,304   +52 Staff Member

    I'd kick that 5200 FX in the balls and replace with a real card with some hair.

    Currently, while next-gen games do use a considerable amount of memory, 512MB is good enough for good performance.

    Your video card on the other hand, is not. 9600XT or 5700 FX with DDR2 is the absolute minimum for serious gaming these days.
  11. Arris

    Arris TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 4,536   +92

    If you can get a Sapphire 9800 card they often come with 2.8ns memory. I managed to get my 9800 running at Pro speeds without any problem. Nice OC on a cheap model. Just avoid getting a 9800SE as these aren't worth the money.
     
  12. young&wild

    young&wild TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,268

    Again without any doubts hands up for video card upgrade. I m very positive the difference will be greater with a new and far more superior videocard.
  13. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 3,566

    Alright then, it's looking like vid card is the way to go!

    One last question, I am looking at the prices of the two at my favorite shop, and it is only a 10 dollar difference between the Sapphire 9600XT and the 9800 (not the pro version). I assume it is better to get the 9800?

    Thanks again for all your input, much appreciated!
  14. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 Newcomer, in training Posts: 6,504

    I didn't realise you were more games centric. I guess the default should be to assume on this site that people are.

    And if you are, then yeah get the graphics card. But if you had had 256MB I'd not let you off with that and insist that you upgraded there.
  15. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 5,899

    Just make sure you do not get a R9800 Pro with a 128-bit memory bus. Those are really awfull & hardly better then a 9600XT. A true R9800 Pro ( or even non-pro for that matter ) is much better then a 9600XT.

    Here's a nice article for you to read -> RADEON 9800 PRO Gets Lower Speed Memory @ Xbitlabs.com
  16. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 3,566

    Thanks Didou, read the article. Scary thing is, for someone like me, if you hadn't of shown that to me, I probably would have ended up buying on of the 128-bit cards for cheap and then been all proud that I got a 9800 Pro. Sad but true, over my head this stuff is.

    Thanks to you, I am in informed man. Avoid the 128-bit version, they suck. Roger. Will do. Going to get the 9800 non pro version. Again, thanks to all who responded.
  17. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 Newcomer, in training Posts: 6,504

    Just keep posting here, asking questions, thinking, reading, doing stuff, playing with your machine, reading books and that will stop.
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