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Old 08-11-2004, 01:33 PM   #1
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Post Upgrading my computer

I currently have a Dell Dimension XPS T500, w/ a Pentium 3 Processor (500 mhz), two hard drives, a DVD-rom, a cdrw drive, a crappy mobo, and two sticks PC133 SDRAM. Windows 98SE.

I use my computer for home office, and I want to begin using it for high end gaming. I would like to be able to play games like Half-Life 2, Doom 3 and Farcry.

I'm going to purchase the following equipment to upgrade my computer.
___

CPU- Athlon 64 2800+ Processor Socket 754 Retail w/Fan and Heatsink ($147)

Motherboard- Chaintech VNF3250 K8 Socket-754 nForce3 250 800FSB DDR400 AGP8X ATX ($79)

RAM- 512MB PC3200 DDR Memory - 184 Pin DIMM - - Type A True ($70)

Video Card- nVIDIA Geforce4 MX440 128MB Dual DDR 8X AGP W/TV+DVI ($45)
___

With this new hardware, would I be able to play those games?

Is this hardware compatible?

Can I purchase better hardware for less/equal amount of money?

I've been told that I won't need to reinstall my OS after installing this hardware, is this true?

....I KNO ITS ALOT TO READ

Any help/suggestions/recommendations are greatly appreciated

-higgs
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Old 08-11-2004, 01:53 PM   #2
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Your video card is weak!!!

ATI 9600XT or higher (recommend a 9800XT 256MB)

nVidia, I would recommend the GeForce FX 5700U or higher.

Tomshardware did a great job on reviewing low to high end video cards on DOOM 3.

http://graphics.tomshardware.com/gra...809/index.html

Look at my specs below and I running medium quality, no AA or Aniso, at 1024 x 768. Any higher and I bog down and that is with a ATI 9800Pro 128 and a P4 - 3.06GHz.

These games are strong, VERY STRONG and demand a lot of power to run smoothly. 256MB of video memory is required to run on High Quality and 512MB of video memory for Ultra Quality on DOOM 3.

HL2 is suppose to be harder on hardware then DOOM 3 is, but that is only rumor at this point in time.

Seriously, think about spending more money on a video card, like $150- $200. Or you will be majorly disappointed.

DOOM 3...KICKS ASS!!! This is the first game that actually scares me.
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Old 08-11-2004, 01:56 PM   #3
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Sounds like a good game then, i dont think it will scare me LOL
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Old 08-11-2004, 02:01 PM   #4
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As for the nVidia MX440...

Here is a link to Tomshardware on benchmarking the MX440 against a lot of other cards. Take a look and see how bad the MX440 really is on games. UT2003 is a DirectX game and so is DOOM3. Half-life is OpenGL.

Overall article:
http://graphics.tomshardware.com/gra...809/index.html

UT2003 (DirectX) bechmarks:
http://tinyurl.com/3yqg9

I hope you take a second look at your video card.
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Windows XP Pro, DOOM 3, CS, UT2004, BF1942 RtoR, CNC Generals
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Old 08-11-2004, 02:04 PM   #5
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Well techinically on OS re-installation is needed. But you may run accross some sort of conflicts. Generally its good practice to reinstall the os after a motherboard upgrade. I didn't reinstall the os when I got my motherboard a while back. I had more crashes though.

And no with that hardware you will NOT be able to play those games. That video card is the bare minimun for doom 3 meaning it willl look like crap and run horrible slow.

Those prices are pretty low. I recommend getting this processor at this store.
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/Produc...ctCode=80698-R

You also want to make sure you case is ATX compatible. Sometimes these mainstream companies deviate from standards purposfully to prevent people like you from upgrading.

You want to get some namebrand ram not just your generic kind.

Your mobo is pretty good for an inexpensive price.

As for your video I recommend spending a little more here are three cards at different price ranges. That will play these games. How well is determined by price.

You will have to atleast spen 100 bucks on one.

XFX GeForce FX 5700 LE 128MB DDR $100
http://www.allstarshop.com/shop/simp...9396&ad=pwatch

ATI Radeon 9800SE AGP 8X 128MB DDR $130
http://www.allstarshop.com/shop/simp...7974&ad=pwatch

RX9800PRO-TD128 Radeon 9800 PRO AGP 8X 128MB DDR $193
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/Produc...uctCode=321893

eVGA - GeForce FX6800 128MB DDR3 $275
http://bestbargainpc.com/e68ddr.html
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Old 08-11-2004, 02:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by killerdoberman

Look at my specs below and I running medium quality, no AA or Aniso, at 1024 x 768. Any higher and I bog down and that is with a ATI 9800Pro 128 and a P4 - 3.06GHz.

These games are strong, VERY STRONG and demand a lot of power to run smoothly. 256MB of video memory is required to run on High Quality and 512MB of video memory for Ultra Quality on DOOM 3.
me.
Well not nessacarily I am getting a 128 mb card that can run it above 30 fps on ultra quality. And the nice 256 ones have no trouble whatsover.
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Old 08-11-2004, 02:23 PM   #7
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This is taken from:
http://ucguides.savagehelp.com/Doom3/FPSVisuals.htm

Ultra
Each texture (diffuse, specular, normal) will be at full resolution with no compression. In a typical DOOM 3 level, this can hover around 500 megabyte of texture data. This will run on current hardware but will not fit onto a 256MB card, causing texture thrashing. The amount of texture referenced in a given scene per frame ( 60 times a second ) can easily be 50 megabytes+. This is ideal for 512 megabyte video cards.

High quality
Uses hardware compression ( DXT1,3,5 ) for specular and diffuse textures and no compression for normal textures. This looks very very close to Ultra quality but the compression does cause some loss in quality. This is ideal for 256 megabyte video cards.

Medium quality
Uses hardware compression for all textures (specular, diffuse and normal). While this still looks good, compressing the normal maps can produce a few artifacts especially on hard angled or round edges. This is ideal for 128 megabyte cards.

Low quality
Uses hardware compression for all textures (specular, diffuse and normal) and automatically resizes diffuse and normal textures to no more than 256x256 and specular texture maps to no more than 64x64. This is ideal for 64 megabyte video cards.
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Soyo Dragon Ultra Platinum Edition powered by a P4 3.06GHz w/HT @ 533FSB
ATI Radeon X800Pro 256DDR <---Yeah!!! I finally got it!!!
1024MB PC3200, Creative Audigy LS, 2 x 40GB = 80GB RAID 0
Windows XP Pro, DOOM 3, CS, UT2004, BF1942 RtoR, CNC Generals
Finished Half-Life 2!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 08-11-2004, 02:53 PM   #8
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Default Re: Upgrading my computer

Sapphire RADEON 9200 ATLANTIS 256MB DDR AGP8X TVO ($75)

Would this do???
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Old 08-11-2004, 07:56 PM   #9
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Default Re: Upgrading my computer

How about this:
http://www.techforless.com/cgi-bin/t...M?mv_pc=nextag

This is a nVidia Ti 4200 referb. This might do the trick for $86 bucks. It is MUCH better then the ATI 9200.

Did you look at the benchmarks on Tomshardware? That really tells the truth about DOOM 3 and it is the same for FarCry and most likely HL2.
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Soyo Dragon Ultra Platinum Edition powered by a P4 3.06GHz w/HT @ 533FSB
ATI Radeon X800Pro 256DDR <---Yeah!!! I finally got it!!!
1024MB PC3200, Creative Audigy LS, 2 x 40GB = 80GB RAID 0
Windows XP Pro, DOOM 3, CS, UT2004, BF1942 RtoR, CNC Generals
Finished Half-Life 2!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 08-11-2004, 08:06 PM   #10
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Default Re: Upgrading my computer

If you want reviews on some video cards hard ocp is the best!
http://www.hardocp.com/reviews.html?cat=MywsLCws
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