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Upgrade Options...

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by Absomalutely, 28 May 2006.

  1. Absomalutely


    Joined: 22 Aug 2004

    Posts: 463

    Location: East Sussex

    Right first the bad news:

    I currently have the following system.

    Intel Pentium 4 3.4ghz(s478) 30 capper
    1Gb of Geil PC3500 Golden Dragon RAM
    GF4 ti4200 128mb AGP
    Sound Blaster Audigy 5.1 sound card
    Samsung Spinpoint PATA Hard drive 2mb cache 80gb
    NEC 4x DVD+RW
    Antec Truepower 430w PSU
    Lian Li pc60 aluminium case

    It was a little better (until my 9800xt died :( ) and until i had to put my 160gig WD into another PC, but its good for browsing etc. I used to play alot of games, but seeing as a gf4 isn't ideal for any source based games, I'd kinda stopped.

    Now the good news:

    I've started a new job so I have a little bit of money coming in. Now, bearing in mind that I feel a 3.4ghz P4 is still a pretty damn good chip (good overclocker too) I was thinking about an upgrade. There are 2 routes I could go down with my setup imo:
    • Buy a new AGP graphics card which will probably see me fine for another year or so, as well as maybe some more ram and storage.
    • Upgrade the motherboard to an Asrock mobo and s939 and go down the PCI-E Route. Then further upgradeability in the future is far easier.

    Bearing in mind, i'm a HL2 fanboy and I'd be looking to run the game comfortably with lots of eyecandy at around 1280x1024(max). Any other releases coming up dont really interest me that much.

    The top spend is anywhere from £300-£500.

    Opinions Guys? :) :D

    [edit: I've just discovered there are a few motherboards available which support both s478 & pci-express via the intel 915G Chipset. Does anyone have any experience with them? It could be a good choice for an upgrade (best of both worlds!)]
    Last edited: 28 May 2006
  2. Nazbit


    Joined: 11 Dec 2004

    Posts: 3,868

    Considering your budget, that would be the upgrade route that I would take. There is still an awful lot to be said for AGP.
  3. Voy06


    Joined: 26 Dec 2005

    Posts: 740

    Location: Liverpool

    If you budget is up to £500 then wouldn't that be enough to go down the PCI-E route. I'm no expert so happy to be corrected.
  4. Nazbit


    Joined: 11 Dec 2004

    Posts: 3,868

    It would, but if you went down the PCI-E route then some money would have to be spent on getting a new mobo leaving only say £350 - £400 to spend n the gfx card depending what mobo you were to buy.

    The bandwidth of AGP has not yet been exceeded and so except for the ability to use SLi, theres nothing a PCI-e card can do that an AGP card cant do jsut aswell.

    So IMO you may aswell spend the whole budget on an AGP card and get the very best one available which would rival any non SLi PCI-e setup.