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  #1  
Old August 16th, 2004, 11:32 PM
illsicness's Avatar
illsicness illsicness is offline
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Location: Salem, OR
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Upgrade or Wait?

Hey guys,

I currently have a Dell Dimension 4400, its not the quickest PC. I can play games like Warcraft 3, StarCraft, Lineage2 (with graphics on low), and Counter-Strike, with little to no problems (Counter-Strike sometimes messes up, not sure if its computer related though). I don'd even dare buy and newer games, knowing I wont beable to play them on my PC. I have Cable internet, and its always pretty fast. I am planning on playing EverQuest2 when its released, and needed some insight on what I should do.

Specifications:
Pentium 4 Processor (1.70 ghz)
L1 cache- 8kb
L2 cache- integrated 256/512 at full speed
OS: Windows XP
Chip set: Intel845D
512mb non-ECC DDR SDRAM
250W DC power supply
NVIDIA GeForce 2 MX 64mb gfx card
SB Live! Wave Device sound card

I know the graphics card is very out of date. I got the starter kit for everquest2 and couldn't even install the character creation, I figured out it was because my graphics card wasn't good enough. I know I will need a new graphics card if I want to play everquest2.

Heres where im at. I have low budget, because I have no permanent job ATM. I don't know tons about hardware and building my own PC, but heard its the cheapest way to do it.

Should I,
A:Upgrade a few things ie. Graphics Card / More RAM?
B:Wait for prices to drop a bit and buy a new PC?
C:Save up money and build my own PC?
D:Save up and get a Barebone system, and put some of the Dell parts in?

If you need more information on my PC, I will see what I can findout. If you have other suggestions please tell me.

Thanks,
Kenny.
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  #2  
Old August 16th, 2004, 11:52 PM
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72montecarlo 72montecarlo is offline
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If you dont care to play the latest and greatest games such as doom 3 you should be alright with what you have. if there is an agp port in the computer at atleast 4x then i would upgraded to like a gfx 5700 with 128mb onboard. Should see a huge difference and a 1.7ghz p4 is plenty to play most games. You could however save up and build your own pc for relatively cheap with an amd setup but its up to you.
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  #3  
Old August 17th, 2004, 12:00 AM
illsicness's Avatar
illsicness illsicness is offline
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Well EverQuest2 is going to require a good graphics card, 5700 is considered entry level for EverQuest2. Does game speed require mostly on the Graphics Card you have? Or the speed of your computer? Becuase if I dont need a faster computer, I might just save up for a new high end graphics card.
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  #4  
Old August 17th, 2004, 01:11 AM
Thomas E Thomas E is offline
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---Look down at the startup toolbar and count how many icons are loaded, other than the systray icon. As a general rule, I always say:

1) 64 MB ...... Will run just about any program that was written in the 70s), but upgrades are needed if you are going to run more than one icon in your taskbar (startup).

2) 128 MB ...... Is good for low display games and 3 startup programs, not including AVP. If running AVP, 2 startup icons and I suggest an upgrade before your AVP captures a virus. 128MB is good for running messenger programs, but when you have too many icons in the taskbar, errors become fluent.

3) 256 MB ...... Good for all gaming, good for graphics, but still fairly limited on taskbar items. Limit of 5 taskbar items turns to 3 when you are running an antivirus and a firewall. Load messenger and now it is 2, Load AOL and that just about cuts your throat (AOL prefers 256MB for itself)

4) 512 MB ...... You should be good to go with any program. Online gaming and multiple task graphic programs should run smootly. Copying files from disk to computer and burning them on disk should be a breeze. 7 Icons in the taskbar including a messenger program, AVP and firewall, a ram cleaner (I like RamBooster, it runs silent and uses hardly any rescourses, just never used it on XP, but IIRC, they have a new program written for XP) and AOL and you are experiencing few problems with the cursor hesitating.
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  #5  
Old August 17th, 2004, 01:45 AM
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smurfy smurfy is offline
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The two most critical components of any gaming PC (IMHO) are the Graphics card and the RAM. If you meet or exceed recommended requirements on both of those, you can normally be under recommended (or even minimum) requirements on CPU speed.
There would be very few games due out even in the next 12 months that would insist on more than a 1.7Ghz P4.
There are plenty of games released in the last 12 months that will struggle on a 64Mb GeForce2 MX.

You already have plenty of RAM, so the area you need to concentrate on is your Graphics card which is well and truly holding you back (it's even worse than mine!).
Short advice - buy the absulute best you can afford. Until you upgrade to a PCI-E motherboard in a few years time any decent ATI or NVDIA chipset 128-256Mb AGP 8x Video Card you buy now should last you a couple of years at least. Your current motherboard will probably only run the card at 4x AGP though.
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  #6  
Old August 17th, 2004, 02:54 PM
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illsicness illsicness is offline
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Thanks for the help guys. I will be upgrading my card soon before EQ2 comes out. Hopefully if I get a job in the near future, I can get a better setup.
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  #7  
Old August 17th, 2004, 04:47 PM
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Baser-X Baser-X is offline
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As everyone else has indicated, you just need to update your video card to something with at least 128MB and is DX9 compatible. With that, you could even play a lot of the more recent gamnes out and probably much of the upcoming games if you had interest. Some exceptions would be Doom III and Far Cry. I have trouble running those on mine, but of course my video card is pretty crappy.

Other than that, your comp is pretty decent. Not top of the line, but then what's top of the line this very moment won't be next week, so it doesn't really matter because the core of your system is more than sufficient for the majority of tasks you currently or might run in the next year or so.

In general, you can probably get a good boost to your system overall by upgrading the power supply. You sure it's only 250w? It wouldn't surprise me, but I'd personally run a 350w PSU based on your specs.
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  #8  
Old August 19th, 2004, 10:42 AM
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illsicness illsicness is offline
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Yes its only 250w, does PSu affect system speed?

EDIT: Also whats a good low budget, yet fairly decent 350w PSU?
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  #9  
Old August 19th, 2004, 10:51 AM
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72montecarlo 72montecarlo is offline
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No the psu does not affect system speed. Here are two reliable 350 watt power supplies.

Antec:
http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduc...103-921&depa=0

Enermax:
http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProduc...103-439&depa=0

Also although your looking for a cheap psu its really somewhere you dont want to skimp on the price. If you purchase a faulty one or poorly built that dies on you it can reak havoc on your computer setup. i personally had a 350watt psu that came with my case fry multiple components in my computer and had to get them all replaced so stick with good brands.
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  #10  
Old August 22nd, 2004, 03:51 PM
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illsicness illsicness is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Salem, OR
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My dad has decided to buy a PC, I am making a new thread.
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