View Full Version : Let's talk game hardware.

09-04-2003, 10:57:13
MY Athlon 1.4, KT7A+ mother board and geforce 2mx gfx card are starting to show their age.

Now i'd love to upgrade to a ti4600 or something, but obviously there's no point upgrading the gfx card without stepping up the motherboard and processor (i.e. to take advantage of the 8x AGP etc.)

Several of my cowies have recently been buying shuttle pc's, whch sound pretty attaractive, a la http://www.bluepc.co.uk/acatalog/Systems.html

So anyway, dumb ass question but any reccommendations for a decent motherbaord, gfx card and processor combo?

price-wise i wouldn't want to spend more than about 500 for the three

09-04-2003, 13:55:04
There was an excellent feature on Motherboards in last month's PCPro... AMD (http://www.pcpro.co.uk/labs/labs_subindex.php?issue=103&headline=AMD+motherboards), Intel (http://www.pcpro.co.uk/labs/labs_subindex.php?issue=103&headline=Intel+motherboards).

09-04-2003, 19:16:22
I like the Epox 8RDA ($90)or 8RDA+ (with lan $95) Have two of these boards so far....great

An Athlon XP 2600 is around $180

a ti 4600 is running about $200 (rather overpriced, I think) We're happy with our radeon 8500 all-in wonder at $160 - plus we have video capture and tv. Without the tv it runs about $85
Does a great job of running Morrowind.

512MB PC3500 433MHz DDR ram around $100

'fraid these are all amurakin prices :D

09-04-2003, 21:23:12
I would try a progressive upgrade, starting with the video card. I've got an MX400 and its lack of DDR memory slows down everything. The MX200 is the slowest MX. Even the GF4 MX has DDR now. It's priced cheaper than the GF3 Ti 200, but the Ti 200 is my choice for Nvidia. The less expensive versions of the GF4 are starting to come down from the stratosphere too. I suppose AGP8X is nifty, but I think 4X is still good.

Sir Penguin
10-04-2003, 00:03:13
There's not really that much of a performance gain between 4X and 8X. Tom's Hardware had an article (http://www17.tomshardware.com/graphic/200210041/index.html) a few months ago which displayed some benchmark comparisons between 4x and 8x versions of the same card, and the 8x cards rarely produced more than a few extra frames per second over their 4x compatriots. I'm not sure that it's significantly different now; back then, the hardware just couldn't utilise all that bandwidth.

For the new video card, I would wait for a short while. According to this (http://arstechnica.infopop.net/OpenTopic/page?a=tpc&s=50009562&f=174096756&m=2870941065&r=2870941065) post at Ars Technica, the GeForce FX 5800 Ultra has seen the light of day. They conclude that this is a good thing, because it "could drive the Radeon 9700 Pro down to [US]$200 levels." The 9700 Pro has a tendency to beat down GeForce4s, despite ATi's driver set (and I hear their latest driver set doesn't suck ass).

In the motherboard arena I would go for an Nforce2-based motherboard. As usual, my source is a few months old, but last I heard it offered significant improvement over the VIA KT400. Asus is a very reputable brand name in motherboards, and I understand that Gigabyte and Soyo have produced some good equipment.

According to pricewatch, the price point for the Athlon XP is still at the 2400+. I don't know if you can get Athlons that low with a 333MHz FSB, but maybe that's something to leave for your upgrade path. :)


10-04-2003, 00:56:26
Epox 8RDA is an Nforce2 motherboard. The Asus nforce2n is great but a bit pricier. Epox is the budget model...check anandtech (http://anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.html?i=1759&p=40)

Sir Penguin
10-04-2003, 01:06:36
I don't like Epox because it starts with the same letter as ECS. :) (I always used to get them mixed up)


10-04-2003, 01:51:31
Don't blame you there...ECS sucks. :) But I've been running the Epox since the beginning of Jan and have been very happy with it. Even got one for an office computer....boss agreed with the price ;)

10-04-2003, 10:43:13
Hey thanks for the suggestions guys (and gals :))

I'll report back once i've assembled my 1337 system :)

10-04-2003, 13:18:49

Oh shit, we're already here.

10-04-2003, 19:55:29
I've got a cheapie ECS Socket 370 board. :)

Sir Penguin
10-04-2003, 22:50:53
Hang your head in shame.

That's what I would be saying if I hadn't spent 3 years with a generic Matsumi Socket 7 board before I bought my current one.