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Old 05-04-2006, 01:44 AM   #1
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Question What to buy for my computers

First of all sorry if this is on the wrong board, its kind of overwhelming.

I have a computer of medium quality. It is a Compaq with a 2.2Ghz processor, and 1 gig of RAM, with 2 open slots, I'm pretty sure the Ram is 2700/3200. I have a Radeon Xpress 200 integrated Video card, and an ATI TV tuner card in one of my empty slots. I have a 250 Gig harddrive.

Directx Diag thing at the bottom.

I am a gamer who would like to be able to play some of the new higher end games(fear, maybe oblivion) on my computer on approximatley medium quality if possible. I am also in Highschool(junior) and would like to have this computer stay with me at least part of the way through college.

I know that my computer has 4 card slots at the bottom, 1 of which looks differant from the rest (I can't describe how differant). I am assuming that 3 of these are PCI and 1 of them is AGP. Is there any way for me to tell? a program or something? My manual doesn't say.

I know that in order for me to play most games I am going to need a new video card. As the Radeon Xpress 200, while 256mb is not enough to support most games. I have approximatley 150$ to spend on a video card, I am wiling to spend 175-200$ if the video card is so much better that the money is not wasted. Does anyone have any recommendations as to what card to buy?

I was looking at Comp-USA and they had a card that uses PCI x-16, which I am assuming is differant than regular PCI. Is this better or worse, as stated above I dont know how to tell what slots I have.

Also I have read about Crossfiring video cards. I have heard that this only works if you have two identical cards that you can put a cable between, but I am not sure if this is correct. I have my old 128mb Radeon 9200(I think its 9200), and I was wondering if I could just kind of add that on to a new card? or maybe even put it on to the Radeon Xpress 200 and not have to buy a new one? I know it is a long shot but it's been bugging me.

Now then in respect to gaming, I plan on buying a 1 gig or 3200 RAM and putting it in, I am pretty sure that 2Gig will be enough to play most games adequitly(how do you spell that?). So I think I am ok in that department.

I know my processor is probably not fast enough to be considered good but I think that if I get everything else up to par, I should be ok.

Any other suggestions? I think I might be missing something important, so please tell me if I am. Thank you so much for your help.

Here is a link to my DXDIAG report:
here
(If there is any personal information in here would you plz tell me so that I can take it down? Thank you)
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Old 05-04-2006, 10:20 AM   #2
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Default Re: What to buy for my computers

bump?
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Old 05-04-2006, 10:45 AM   #3
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Default Re: What to buy for my computers

well, it's probably a agp slot. U can google pictures of an agp and a pci-e slot and then compare them with the one on ur mobo. Also u could just find the type of mobo u have and then google it's specs.

For the video card I'd get something like a 6800 or GS. It's exellent if it's pci-e, the agp version is not that good. Be sure to check the power requirements though, these cards should have something like a minimum of a 350W psu.

Pci-e is the newest slot and all of the top cards use it. Pci is not used with new video cards anymore, it's just for stuff like ethernet cards and sound cards.
Crossfire is only for pci-e so it will not work with the Radeon 9200 or the Radeon Xpress 200.

And 2Gb of ram is great for gaming. U might want to check the current ram speed though because all of the ram sticks run at the same speed. So if the old one is pc2700 and the new one u are going to buy is pc3200 then the new one will also be working at pc2700.

And as for the cpu what kind is it? Pentium 4, celeron, some amd?
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Old 05-04-2006, 05:49 PM   #4
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Default Re: What to buy for my computers

its an amd athlon 3500+ and if u look around the slot it should say pci or agp. if not download something called cpu-z or everest can be found if u google them. also if u can spend 200ish i would get a 7600gt because there around 150-199 dollars on newegg and are supposedly better than the 6800gs.
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Old 05-04-2006, 05:59 PM   #5
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Default Re: What to buy for my computers

How much money do you have, you could make it into a really powerful system with the right funds. If you had enough, you could get a new motherboard, SLI, and make it the ultimate gaming machine.

How much do you have?
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Old 05-04-2006, 07:19 PM   #6
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Default Re: What to buy for my computers

Alrite lemme break it down for you. Here are the different types of slots, pci, agp and pci express. In terms of graphics, pci is the slowest. Information travels in only one channel also known as 1x. Agp is short for accelerated graphics slot, and information is sent much faster than a pci slot. Agp graphics cards come in 4x, and 8x versions. The fastest kind of slot for graphics is the pci express. Information travels at a whopping 16 channels, also known as 16x. (Also comes in a 1x form, but its uses are uncommon.) For the best performance, get a pci-express card if your motherboard supports it.

Pic of PCI slot
http://www.hwupgrade.it/articoli/350/pci.jpg

Pic of AGP slot
http://www.digital-daily.com/documents/3247/agp.jpg

Pic of PCI express slot
http://www.hwupgrade.it/articoli/104...onfronto_s.jpg

Next, running a program called CPU-Z would do you a lot of good. It puts all of your current specs in detail. Download it, and take screenshots by pressing Print screen on your keyboard. Host the images using www.imageshack.us.

Heres the link for that
http://www.cpuid.com/cpuz.php

I'd recommend about 1.5 gb of ram for a gaming comp. When you buy ram look for low latency timings. A good graphic card for a pci express slot comp would be the 7900gt, but its a lil out of your 200 price limit. Go for the 6600gt which offers decent performance. I believe it comes in two versions, agp and pci express. Go with a sli-board if you need more power when it comes to graphics. You probably would want to upgrade your cpu, to an higher end AMD or Intel like the 4000+ or the dual core chips. I believe crossfiring only works with the new ATI video cards, so you couldnt crossfire your old 9200 and your current onboard video, plus you would need a special kind of mobo to do that. Whew, that was a lot of typing. Hope I helped, good luck!
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Old 05-04-2006, 10:50 PM   #7
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Default Re: What to buy for my computers

Thank you so much for your help. From looking at the screen I am pretty sure I have two open PCI slots with one Pcix16. I am not sure and will get those pic up on my website soon. Again thank you, I can now help my friend at school too.

I do have one question though, If both PCI and PCI 1x travel at the same speed why make 2 types of slots? Confusion?
Also I was reading on another website that PCI was faster than AGP, I am assuming they meant PCIx16 but im not sure.
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Old 05-04-2006, 11:14 PM   #8
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Default Re: What to buy for my computers

http://www.members.lycos.co.uk/zergdeath1/cpuz.bmp

That is my cpuz record.
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Old 05-05-2006, 05:32 AM   #9
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Default Re: What to buy for my computers

well if u r certain u have a pci-e slot then get this card http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814130283 it will be a MASSIVE improvement over what u have now and will handle all the newer games for a while
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Old 05-05-2006, 10:08 AM   #10
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Default Re: What to buy for my computers

bumpy Thanks so much, But I still cant seem to figure out what slots I have, CPUZ is giving me a blank if you look at the screen.
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