Spring is here!


OSNN Senior Addict
Well it’s become that time of the year again, that’s right time to upgrade some components of my main PC. Now I’m sitting here with a pile of money to spend but many things in need of an upgrade. The main things I’m doing on this bad boy is graphics and games, so I’d have to say that in any case more RAM and a better video card would probably be the best bet for me. I wanted to hear it from someone else first before I go out and spend, spend, spend, so give me any thoughts you may have.

  • Current Specs:
  • Motherboard - Asus A7N8X Deluxe
    Things I support but don’t have: SATA RAID, a better processor, more RAM, a better video card.

    Now with the RAID I don’t think I’d get much of a performance increase rather than with file transfer rate on my hard disk and possibly loading times of games, but when it comes to graphics I really don’t expect a whole lot so that’s probably not a good one to go for (for me anyways). Currently I’m running 2 hard drives that can’t support RAID 0 together a Maxtor 30gb ATA133 and a Western Digital 40gb ATA 100.
  • Processor - AMD 2100+ (thoroughbred B core) 1711MHtz
    Obviously a new processor would be great for lots of things, but for the things I use my PC for it really isn’t that much of a gain. It would only benefit me in rendering times with my graphics apps, games would do better with a new video card rather than a better processor; and even the rendering time would do better with more RAM than the processor. I’ve been taking a serious look at the Barton core with 333FSB but I think I’ll wait for something with a 400FSB to come out (hopefully its still on Socket A(462)).
  • Video Card - Asus 8200 Deluxe, w/ Geforce 3 + 64mb DDR SD VRAM
    This would probably yield the best performance increase on games, maybe a nice new Radeon chip like the 9700 Pro or something like that? I don’t think I’ll go with Geforce again just because their new chips seem a bit “edgy”. I’ve not used a Radeon chip since my old IBM PC in 1995. A new video card would increase the performance of my graphics apps too, not rendering but while in the GUI. (3DSMAX, XSI, Maya)
  • RAM – Micron 1024mb PC2100 CAS 2.5 non-ECC
    I really, really should have gone with a nice PC2700 or PC3200 when I built this PC but I know better now don’t I? Ah well, next PC. But for now I think quantity will be key and my board supports 3gb so maybe another 512gb or 1gb chip will do, I got 2 256 and a 512 in there right now (the 256 is on my Dual Channel DDR) This will be a VERY good performance increase too since most apps I use are RAM dependant. (rendering, loading times, etc)


hardware monkey
hmm, your ram situation makes it tough. for me, at least. i'd have a hard time running a 333fsb cpu with 266 memory. but it is dual-channel so almost like 533mhz... so i guess it's not really a bottleneck. it's just best to have your cpu and memory run synchronously.

with that aside, go for a cpu and video card upgrade. everything else in your system seems fine, including your gig of ram. i don't know any games that use more than about 600mb, but maybe your apps do. you can keep tabs on them with task manager and see how much of your ram is being used at any one time.

cpu = xp 2800+ or 3000+
video card = radeon 9700pro or even a sweet 9800pro

... those are my suggestions. i agree with staying clear of the gffx. hopefully nvidia will get it better next time around. maybe you could get another hd if you feel you need one. no one but you can really say you do or not.

besides cpu and video card, your system is primo. :)


I reccomend only upgrading your Vid Card. An XP2100 is still plenty fast for most everything. Also, if you wait for the Opterons to come out the older 32bit CPU's will loose value and drop in price. I'm not upgrading till they come out.


OSNN Senior Addict
I'm starting to wonder what would be better performance wise? Say for instance: on a 333FSB CPU and a motherboard with Dual-Channel DDR memory modules, would it perform better with 1gb of PC3200 RAM OR would it perform better with 1gb of PC2700? Obviously the PC3200 has a higher bandwidth (400x2) but syncing the memory's rating with the CPU's FSB seems to be widley recommended. Also for instance: 1.5gb of PC2100 versus 1gb of PC2700?
i ahve the 3200 ram in mine with 1gb of it and it is great, i had before 2700 in there and from that to the 3200 as the dual it was a huge increase in speed for just that, but i would also recomend a new video card if u want anything, ati nad nvidia both have some new stuff out that is nice and 8x but if you dont want to go that high in spending then i would say eaither ram or a new processor, the amd 2400+ are nice LOL


hardware monkey
if it's dual-channel, bandwidth isn't really an issue, no matter what kind of ddr you use. a 333 cpu with 266(x2) memory would be fine. just the asyncronous of it i don't like.

if i had 400 memory and a 333 cpu, i'd just run the memory at 333 and lower the timings on it. that's why if you were to upgrade your memory, just opt for pc3200 instead of pc2700. you can run it at pc2700 speed and have lower timings on it.

the amount isn't that big of a deal once you get up to 1gb. the jump to 1.5gb won't make a bit of difference unless you have a few giant programs running and working. like i said, monitor your ram usage right now and see how much you utilize.

just curious, but how would you set up 1.5gb on an nforce2 board? if you have 512mb is each slot, then you'll have one bank of 1gb and one of 512mb... they'll be uneven and you won't get the performance.


Get a plasma Tv and a GFX with S-Video Out. Sweet, don't spend all your money on computer hardwer, look at things like new speaker systems, mouse/keyboard combos ete etc. Or a few Xbox's, PS2's and Game Cubes lol.


OSNN Veteran Addict
The only "weak" point in thta system is the GE3. It's getting a little old. GO for an ATI. They handle FSAA and anisotropic better than Nvidia without a speed loss. The 9500 PRO or the 9700 Pro depending on whta you want to spend. The straight 9700 is too close to the 9500 Pro in performance to justify the difference.

And as for your comment on nvidia's new chipsets. RIGHT ON. They missed the boat.


OSNN Senior Addict
With my Asus A7N8X Deluxe to use 1.5gb of RAM what I did was “borrow” all the RAM out of my other PC ;) (which happens to be running at PC2700) now I have 512mb PC2100 and 1024mb of PC2700, I underclocked it to 133 and now I’m running at 1536mb PC2100. The Dual-Channel is setup using the PC2700 chips in slots B and C (assuming slots from left to right are A, B and C) the 512mb PC2100 is in slot A, its possible that the Dual-Channel effect is not being used with this method, I am doing testing on it now actually with SiSandra (I didn’t have the time the day I posted this thread). If this turns out to be the case I suppose I’ll just throw the 1gb of PC2100 into my other box (used for rendering/hosting, same specs as this one, except with A7N8X non-deluxe and a GeMX (god I know)); and then keep this 1gb of PC2700 running on dual channel. Although I’ll be sad to see the extra 512mb go.

I’m definitely thinking of a new video card however and will most likely go with just that for now. Probably I’ll wait for the Radeon 9800 Pro w/ 256mb of VRAM (drools) lets hope its not TOO expensive…..


OSNN Senior Addict
Here is what SiSandra says to me, seems to be accurate, the dual channel seems to only function with the appropriate slots used. Going to do some reading up on it though, seems to me that its should be getting better results. Will post back...

With 1.5gb PC2100 (512 PC2100 1gb PC2700(@2100) Dual-Channel)
Front Side Bus Speed : 2x 133MHz (266MHz data rate)
Maximum Bus Bandwidth : 2128MB/s (estimated)

Int Buff aEMMX/aSSE (Integer STREAM) Results Breakdown
  • Assignment : 1908MB/s
  • Scaling : 1897MB/s
  • Addition : 1893MB/s
  • Triad : 1880MB/s
Float Buff aEMMX/aSSE (Float STREAM) Results Breakdown
  • Assignment : 1909MB/s
  • Scaling : 1842MB/s
  • Addition : 1740MB/s
  • Triad : 1730MB/s
With 1gb PC2700 (pure dual-channel)
Front Side Bus Speed : 2x 166MHz (332MHz data rate)
Maximum Bus Bandwidth : 2656MB/s (estimated)

Int Buff aEMMX/aSSE (Integer STREAM) Results Breakdown
  • Assignment : 2537MB/s
  • Scaling : 2533MB/s
  • Addition : 2500MB/s
  • Triad : 2522MB/s
Float Buff aEMMX/aSSE (Float STREAM) Results Breakdown
  • Assignment : 2555MB/s
  • Scaling : 2377MB/s
  • Addition : 2275MB/s
  • Triad : 2259MB/s

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