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Hardware Upgrade Recommendations

By osudelt69 ยท 10 replies
Jun 23, 2004
  1. Hey guys I'd like to see what you guys think of my system and where you think I could improve on my set up with out buying a new mobo and cpu.

    ECS N2U400-A :
    Specs: Nvidia 2 chipset
    FSB 400
    Dual Channel DDR400
    AGP 8X
    6 Channel Audio
    10/100 LAN

    AMD 2700+ XP
    256MB DDR 2700, WD 80GB IDE 7200 8mb cache, WD 8GB 5400,
    ATI Radeon SDR 64mb, Creative Labs PCI 16 4.1, 52x cdrom, Toshiba 4x DVD-RW, Creative Labs 56k v.92 modem. Generic Mid-Tower with 480mm fans intake, 1 80mm fan side exhuast, 1 60mm rear exhaust fan. 350w PS.

    Thats what I have. I would like to know where you think I can greatly improve system performance. While keeping the same board and processor. I'm running Win XP prof SP1.
  2. abc

    abc TS Rookie Posts: 39

    Definitely more RAM. Another 512MB of RAM would make the most difference.

    Not exactly relating to your physicial computer, but if you're still using that 56k modem, broadband is a great upgrage :D

    [Edit] If you intrested in gaming, a new video card is in order.
  3. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Rookie Posts: 2,244

    More RAM would be good, you could also learn the ancient art of registry hacking to get better performance from the software so you are actually more efficiently using the hardware you have.
    There are probably more things you could do but we'd need to know what you use the system for, this would give a better idea of what areas you need to tweak/upgrade in order to get the best out of the overall package.
  4. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,977   +15

    What kind of stuff do you do on your computer?

    Another stick of 256 ram, to give you 512 would help indeed. A stick of 256MB PC2700 wouldnt be more then $45, and would help noticably, but if your doing video editing, photoshop, larger memory applications, you may want to get a 512MB stick to go with your current 256MB stick, to give you an overall 768MBs.

    On your desktop, *right click, and select *properties. Then select the * Appearance tab, and click *Effects button. *Uncheck all boxes except for
    "Use the following method to smooth edges of screen fonts:

    "Show window contents while dragging"

    Then, right click *"My Computer" on your desktop, and select *Properties. Goto the *Advanced tab. Click the *Performance button.
    *Check everything except for:
    "Show window contents while dragging"
    "Smooth edges on screen fonts"
    "Use drop shadows for icon labels on the desktop"
    "Use visual styles on windows and buttons"

    Then go get TweakXP and use that app.

    If your a gamer, a new videocard would be first priority - However you didnt give a number on your videocard, so Im not exactly sure what you have, but if its got SDR ram, its pretty old!
  5. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    While memory will probably make the biggest difference for system performance, upgrading that video card will be the best upgrade you can make for modern games.
  6. osudelt69

    osudelt69 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 31

    Sorry I forgot to add all that stuff. I dable in quite a bit of different things. I soon will be using MSSQL, Cold Fusion MX 6.1, Dreamweaver MX, Flash MX Professional, some Photoshop 7.0. I listen to a lot of music. I play some games the newest game I have is Delta Force Blackhawk down and the expansion pack. I would like to play more. The video card is exactly like the original ATI Radeon 64mb DDR card except with the cheaper SDR memory. I have the latest drivers and it shows up as a Radeon 7000 in my device manager. I would like to get a better video card, a good sound card with optical out, but I don't wanna spend $199 for one.

    I use DSL, the modem was from long ago, so I kept it.

    I had another sick of DDR 2700 256 Nanya NT256D64S88B1G-6k
    It is only 1 sided, the stick in my machine is double sided. When they are in together the system is unstable and I get memory errors. My board doesn't even like that stick by itself (it was free by the way).

    I set it for best performance awhile ago (none check) and then did the display thing you talked about. I'll download TweakXP here in a bit. Hope this helps give a better idea for you guys. Thanks for all the help!
  7. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,977   +15

    Humm.. its hard - more RAM would make the biggest difference all around, in games too defently, but your videocard is waaaaay old. If I were you, just buy a stick of 256 for $40 off of newegg, and also get a videocard. The RAM being $40 thats not too much, you could squeeze a videocard in there could you? I'd just get a 9800SE, for $150 or whatever, and see if it'll mod into a PRO, and if not o'well, its still as good as a 9600XT, which isnt bad.
  8. osudelt69

    osudelt69 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 31

    What would be a better idea? My board will support 3 Dimms in Dual mode. So add 2 more 256 DDR 2700 sticks or swap in 2x512 DDR 400 ram?

    9800SE supports DX9 correct me if I am wrong...?
  9. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    Yes, it does support DX9. You can also get a Radeon 9600XT, which will be about the same price and about the same "real world" speed.
  10. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,977   +15

    Ya but why not get a take with the same speed + the possibility of being a "real world" speed of a 9800PRO
  11. osudelt69

    osudelt69 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 31

    Very good points guys. I might look into a ATI-ALL-in-wonder card. So I can play around with some video editing. Where is a good place to find out what all the processes are running in Task Manager?

    I have 4 svchost.exe proccesses running, and not a clue to what they are. 38 processes are running in my background.
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