Here are the current specs of my machine:
Celeron D 340 @ 2.93 Ghz
80 GB 7200 RPM HDD w. 2 MB cache
DVD multiformat Burner
MSI PM8M-V Motherboard w. stock Intel cooler
Premium 2526 ATX case
GeForce MX 4000 (128 MB)
This machine was constructed out of necessity; it’s predecessor was… archaic to say the least. Now that I’m sitting at a nice paycheck every month, I’d like to upgrade this machine for about $400 or so. I use my machine for image manipulation, web page design, and light gaming, and am currently dual-booting Ubuntu Linux and Windows XP Home. I only spent $300 on the hardware initially, so you can bet I’m getting a little tired of this budget system. It runs well, cool at a mere 46 degrees C under load, but tends to get a little choppy nearing the end of a long session with Fireworks. You can find reviews of my current hardware at my website below; I’m a power user and need something more than what I’m sitting at.
Obviously, the GFX card needs improvement from the $35 piece of **** I have now and should be the first thing to go; the question is how much of an edge does the new 7900 series have against the 6800 line of NVIDIA cards, and should I go with NVIDIA to begin with? I would also like a TV tuner, but I feel that ATI’s All-In-Wonder line is a bit overpriced. I worked as a computer technician for quite a while, but I would like some feedback from those here at Frihost. By the way, I would be happy to accept any reviews of PC hardware and place them online at Aquastrike’s Realm.
Also, my motherboard is also slightly archaic, as it doesn’t even have a PCI-e slot. A processor upgrade is also high on my list, and I feel that I could get by with a midrange Athlon 64 chip; any suggestions here? I would like a reasonably affordable board that’s easily overclockable.
Finally, I’m also interested in water cooling my PC, if just for the novelty factor. If anyone has any suggestions regarding cooling kits, I’m all ears. Perhaps I’ll request a sample to review for Aquastrike’s Realm…
|bassgs_17 wrote: |
|It runs well, cool at a mere 46 degrees C under load, but tends to get a little choppy nearing the end of a long session with Fireworks. |
That is hot, even for a P4 system...
|bassgs_17 wrote: |
|Obviously, the GFX card needs improvement from the $35 piece of **** I have now and should be the first thing to go; the question is how much of an edge does the new 7900 series have against the 6800 line of NVIDIA cards, and should I go with NVIDIA to begin with? |
Yes, NVIDIA is best for price/performance right now. The 7900 series is more than worth the $100 price difference between the 6800GS and the 7900GT. I would reccommend going with a 7600GT over the 6800GS, it is faster and a better board for the same price. Of course either way, you will not be able to get that good of a card since you are running AGP. AGP = the suck. My onboard on my current build (I am saving for a 7900GT) runs with higher fps in CS 1.6 than my AGP 5500 on my old build. I did a few tricks with the configs, though, so it is probably about the same. Even still, AGP is bad...
|bassgs_17 wrote: |
|I would also like a TV tuner, but I feel that ATI’s All-In-Wonder line is a bit overpriced. I worked as a computer technician for quite a while, but I would like some feedback from those here at Frihost. By the way, I would be happy to accept any reviews of PC hardware and place them online at Aquastrike’s Realm. |
I am not a specialist on tuners, but something like ATI's All-In-Wonder will always be overpriced because it is one of a kind. TheGeek is getting a video tuner for an HTPC off of Newegg, and I recall him saying something about it being around $80 and compatible with Linux. It would most likely be one of the cards on this page: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.asp?Order=PRICE&Page=1&N=2010380047+4027+1148710226+1148410218&Submit=ENE&SubCategory=47
|bassgs_17 wrote: |
|Also, my motherboard is also slightly archaic, as it doesn’t even have a PCI-e slot. A processor upgrade is also high on my list, and I feel that I could get by with a midrange Athlon 64 chip; any suggestions here? I would like a reasonably affordable board that’s easily overclockable. |
Easy overclocking and high overclocking would mean to go with an Opteron. But if you want something more traditional, go with the AMD 3700+. Its 1Mb L2 cache will blow almost any P4 out of the water.
|bassgs_17 wrote: |
|Finally, I’m also interested in water cooling my PC, if just for the novelty factor. If anyone has any suggestions regarding cooling kits, I’m all ears. Perhaps I’ll request a sample to review for Aquastrike’s Realm… |
Tips on watercooling kits? Don't get one. First off, good aircooling can be better than most watercooling kits. (there are exceptions, I will get to them) Most of the time, you should build a kit from parts. Watercooling is not cheap though, and can be unreliable. I really do not reccommend doing it at all. But, if you really want to do it, all I can do is reccommend kits. I believe you are running a socket478 system, so http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16835118111 is a good kit that is compatible with socket478 and your possible 939 upgrade. The pump is total crap, so it would be a good idea to get a new pump. http://www.dangerden.com/ has great watercooling, and it would be a good idea to get a GPU cooler from them too. I have heard the Maze4 is a good cooler.
I should recommend you read my other post found here, I basically built the guts froms cratch got a new case and kept the monitor, OS, mouse, and the keyboard all for under 750 dollars, and is designed to have LOTS of room to spare, as its got a spare PCI-E 16x slot and the graphichs card is SLi compatable so you can run 2 cards and around 2 gigs of memory for around 200 extra if you got it laying around.
I would recomend maby thinking of rebuilding the case and its guts over upgrading as its goign to get to apoint where you cant upgrade anymore and what its gonna cost you then to do ti you could do now. I learned the hard way and spent like 600-1000 dllars over 3 years getting upgrades and replacing burt out parts form overclocking, but thats just my 2 cents. What ever you do do, get good research done on it first.
Thank you; I'll take that into consideration. By the way, Frihost claims that thread doesn't exist.
On top of the recommendations posted, I would also recommend considering upgrading your RAM to 1GB. Makes a big difference imo, I used to have a machine on 512 and added just 216 to it, much faster.
Because you do a lot of graphics work, definitely upgrade the card. Personally, if you don't think you will keep your current system for long, get the cheapter card and save the money for a complete overhaul in a few years. After all, you have an AGP slot currently.
I will post it on my site and link you to it, ill edit in the link.
i would definatly not worry about upgrading the processor, Motherboard, or CPU cooler, those things seem fine for now.
What you need to worry about it sounds like is your GFX card and system Memory...and when you upgrade your GFX card (assuming your getting a higher end one) you will probably want to upgrade your PSU as well since you probably dont have a spare power out source for the high end GPU's and you probably dont have the Wattage that they require.
Try adding another stick of 512 PC3200 unless you have more than 2 slots in which case get 3 more lol. You can get a stick of 512MB PC3200 on the Egg now for about 30-40 bucks and its decent Kingston stuff so unless your gunna be overclocking it at all, you wont need anything better. But the 1GB would be a nice addition for fireworks and Photoshop CS (i know cuz i work with CS2 and i have a GB of RAM and i still lag a little). 2GB might be a little over kill but you will definatly notice a difference in performance using the programs that you have listed there.
On the graphics card side. Nvidia in my experience is the best bang for the but GPU that you can get. However, I recently did a little research and found a company called S3. Assuming that you have PCI-E slots of atleast 8x or 16x you can look into a card they make called the chrome S27 i think its called. It's got a memory clock and GPU clock speed higher than a 7800GTX and the 256MB card is only 100USD so if theyre as good as the reviews have said, then they are definatly worth it. Apparently people who have reviewed the card were able to play games on the S27 just as well as they can on the 7800GTX if not better. The only thing though, is since its not a name brand card...yet, they only have DirectX9 support, they dont have the OpenGL support that Nvidia offers. However, personally, for 100 bucks i think its worth a try, and if you dont like it im pretty sure that you could return it and get one of the better known cards out on the market.
In all, the parts i have listed there should be about....230ish dollars after shipping. if you wanted to you can also pick up a new PSU for about 50 bucks too.
Good luck and let us know how it goes.
If you have a gig of RAM and you lag in Photoshop, that is definently a processor issue. Unless you are doing massive multitasking or playing BF2, you really never will need more than 1Gb ram. But 1Gb is a TON better than 512Mb, I fully agree with you on that.
Don't bother with that card. All recent games run OpenGl much better than DirectX. Actually, DirectX is worthless and should die.
He has AGP, so the upgrade path is limited and crappy. The only good way to go is a 939 system...
He probably won't need a new PSU for a new graphics card, especially on the AGP bus.
I was planning to address the RAM issue, and I feel like overhauling the whole beast, FYI. Thanks guys, and keep the support coming!
ok so assuming he keeps the mobo, processor and PSU.
Get 1GB PC3200 and dont just throw in another stick of 512. Since you have the money get some OCZ Platinum or something of that caliber. Once you have that get a nice vid card, you will probably have about 150 bucks left after the RAM overhaul unless you just decide to upgrade to another decent stick of PC3200 to add to the other one, in which case you'll have about 250 dollars to spend on a vid card.
Just make sure that your mobo is AGP 8X and then get something like a 6600 AGP or something around that, i believe theyre around 150-200 dollars now. If not iv heard that the 6200 can be overclocked to the same core and mem speeds as the 6600, you'll just need a new heatsink and the coolbits forceware to do it.
ok, the first thing you would need to change is the CPU...Celeron is terrible.
so buy a new CPU. Make sure your mobo and the new CPU and the same socket though or it wont fit.
You may want to buy a new mobo, make sure its PCI-E. Then some RAM, but check the mobo to see if it is DDR or DDR2.
most probably need a new PSU, for the new parts..Dont bother buying one say if you need 400 watts, buy a 500+ because it uses less power and is alot more reliable.
need any more help ive added you to msn.
lol feel free to donate =D
With $400, I'd pick up a really good PCI-E mobo for ~$150, a good graphics card for ~$150, and a gig of RAM for around $100 dollars.
i recently built my own pc, cost me 1.1k.
3.4ghz intel p4 CPU.
PCI-E dual core mobo.
ati radeon x800gt gfx card.
600 w PSU.
2gig of DDR2 RAM.
A new SATAI(sp??) 360 gig HDD.
And ive just ordered a new LCU(liquid cooling unit) for around 600 dollars.
=-D it runs any games that i have tryed lol.