Quake 4 hardware upgrade question

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Quake 4 hardware upgrade question

Postposted on Sun Oct 02, 2005 8:53 pm

I'm looking to upgrade my machine for primarily to run Quake 4 and Doom 3 better.

My system specs are:

2.26 Ghz Pentium 4 Northwood 512kb L2 cache
Gigabyte Titan 8iHXP rev 2.1 motherboard with latest Bios
2 x 256 megs PC1066 RDRAM
MSI Geforce 6600 GT 128 meg AGP
Soundblaster Audigy Gamer
Windows XP SP2
drivers all latest version

I can make three different upgrades for about 200-ish dollars.

I could get one of the following:

3.06 GHZ P4 with hyper-threading (and my motherboard does support HT I've already checked.)

XFX Geforce 6800GT 256 meg AGP

512 more megs of PC 1066 RDRAM

I'm leaning towards either the CPU or the graphics card, because I've increased the RAM to one gig by temporarily borrowing someone else's ram, and I didn't notice much difference, Doom3 still runs at medium quality. And I think my 6600gt is CPU limited. :o

The 6600GT is nice except that it wants to run medium detail on everything and I was under the impression that it would do high detail when I bought it a few months ago. :(
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Postposted on Sun Oct 02, 2005 8:57 pm

Yes your CPU is holding you back because I can run Doom 3 on High Quality with 2X AA and still get 50 FPS at 1280 res.

I've also run ULTRA quality with no AA and it runs in the 40's ;) Time tp upgrade that CPU. Keep the 6600GT, great card, and a great overclocker (see my sig).

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Postposted on Sun Oct 02, 2005 9:00 pm

Your CPU could use a little upgrade, but if you wanna push the higher detail levels, your video RAM will hold you back.
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Postposted on Sun Oct 02, 2005 9:11 pm

FireGryphon wrote:Your CPU could use a little upgrade, but if you wanna push the higher detail levels, your video RAM will hold you back.

Yeah but my 6600GT only has 128MB and it will still run any game just fine at regular resolutions. Sure if you wanna something crazy like 1920x1080 then yeah but you will need more power than a 6600GT, no matter how much RAM it has. ;)
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Postposted on Sun Oct 02, 2005 9:35 pm

For around ~$240 you could do these three upgrades, which would give you much better performance:

Amd Sempron 64 3100+
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6819104237

ASRock NF3 Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813157077

1 GB DDR400 Value Ram
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6820220057
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Postposted on Sun Oct 02, 2005 9:38 pm

A new cpu would help, but maybe not as much as you would think. Doom3 is not exactly the most cpu intensive game. It tends to be limited by the video card or other subsystems at high resolutions. That may change for quake4 though.

Your system is really hurting your upgrade potential. The cpu is probably the weakest point, but overall you're kinda running on dead tech. 533mhz FSB bus, rambus ram, even the AGP makes it harder. If I were you I would upgrade the cpu, but you might think about a celeron instead. $100 for a 3ghz celly is a good deal, less than half what intel wants for a 3.06. And then you should start saving as much as you can for a new system -- because your next computer will have to be new from the ground up.
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Postposted on Sun Oct 02, 2005 10:29 pm

I would sell the board/cpu/ram for whatever u can get, and pick up a cheap NF3 250GB board, S754 A64 CPU, and some DDR.

2.26 Ghz Pentium 4 Northwood 512kb L2 cache
Gigabyte Titan 8iHXP rev 2.1 motherboard with latest Bios
2 x 256 megs PC1066 RDRAM


Your old parts above should fetch at least $100, and probably a bit more.

(I just sold a P4 2.6C and Intel 875board for $150 shipped.
You are including 512Ram, so this is a nice server/second computer for a lot of people.)

Add that $100 to your $200 for a total of $300.

I keep seeing S754 3000+ & NF250GB boards for $200 or less on all kinds of forums. Leaves you $100 to pick up a gig of Corsair DDR.
Your system that should should give you a whole lot more FPS, as the A64 cpus are known for that.

Your video card is not the weakest link at this time, and even that 3.06 cpu and more ram wont help much, as your video card is left waiting for your CPU to catch up.
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Postposted on Mon Oct 03, 2005 7:47 pm

Thanks for the advice/info everyone.

Madcatz, that set of hardware you show is interesting, but I've always used Intel and I've stuck with them so far... but I thinking it may be time to try AMD. I don't like having to buy a new motherboard everytime I upgrade either. And also I don't know anything about AMD hardware. Will that motherboard run a faster AMD chip like the dual core Athlon64 chips if I decide to upgrade again later? The Sempron is a cheaper AMD chip like a Celeron correct? Maybe I should just wait and get an Nforce 4 board with sli capability and a dual core AMD chip.

I was just checking the cpu charts on Tomshardware guide and the 3.06 P4 won't help Doom3 at all. So I'm guessing it won't help Call of Duty 2 or Counterstrike Source or anything else I'm going to play either.
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Postposted on Mon Oct 03, 2005 7:58 pm

AMD is best for gaming, yes.

You want Socket 939 and SLI on your motherboard. Like you just said, why change your motherboard when you upgrade again? An NF4 SLI board will support your dual-core and SLI upgrades. I don't think you should go with dual-core now; wait till it's necessary for more stuff. The reason I say that is because the combined cost of a single core CPU now plus a dual-core in 1 1/2 years is likely less than what a dual-core goes for now. Why spend it before you really need it? But your motherboard will still support it when you do upgrade, and with the SLI, it's one video card now, another when you need more power.
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Postposted on Thu Oct 06, 2005 1:49 am

Moved to SBA
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Postposted on Thu Oct 06, 2005 3:22 am

You can get a 64 bit Sempron processor (754 pin) for like 70 bucks or less; the 2600+ Sempron (Palmero Core) on Newegg runs about that, and maybe 70 for a mobo.

A lower level 939 pin (Venice) AMD 3200+ runs a bit more; like 140-ish.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6819103535

a compatible mobo runs 100 bucks or so
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813128306

it's SLI capable, but I'm not terribly fond of SLI (I don't have the $$ for two GPUs). But, it's got 4 DDR slots, for up to 4 GB RAM, 2 PCIE16X (duh), 2 PCIE1X, and 2 PCI slots. Raid functionality is included, for RAID 1, 0, and 1+0. Up to four SATA drives, etc. It's the SLI version of my mobo :) There's tons of USB ports, decent integrated sound, it's a very nice board. I do wish I'd gotten the SLI one myself, and kick myself daily for going with the non-SLI variety. Although, I'm not sure why.

you actually get a decent price break buying them together. The mobo supports the X2 series as well. As another dude said, it's not worth it yet; IIRC the processors are still in the 1 grand plus range, and damn, most of us don't have that type of cash. I'm thinking by the end of next year they'll have plummeted, and I plan to pick one up then myself.

I think you're still out the RAM, as yours is that funky intel stuff, but you can get a few sticks of that cheap too:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6820145450

hey, a gig is better than 512, right? :)
It totals closer to 400 than two, but why pour money into dead tech? AMD currently spanks Intel in the gaming department.

I just recognized that you have an AGP card...errr....don't know. That adds some. But you can find 6600GT PCIE for 150:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6814150098
I think if you search newegg more, you can find them down to 130 or so.
If you want to try an ATI variety, an X800GT runs about the same.


all told that's...140+100+150+120=510. Double what you were planning on, but much nicer than the old system post-upgrade. Sell your old stuff and do it.

edit for math.
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Postposted on Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:25 am

I agree with most peeps here that for games like Q4 and D3 you should get and Athlon64 rather than a P4, celeron or a sempron. i would suggest a S939 A64 3000 venice core at least, and do not get an ASROCK Mobo they suck and you will most likley be disappointed, stick with Asus,Abit,MSI,DFI or Gigabyte for a good solid board, i see your GFX card is AGP so that actually rules S939 NF4 boards out unless you can sell you AGP 6600 and buy a PCIe version or you could get a S754 board and an A64 but when you come to upgrade again it will hurt you wallet a lot.

good luck with the upgrade

BTW paulWTAM has a good suggestion for you there!
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Postposted on Thu Oct 06, 2005 5:36 am

Perhaps you should save up until you are ready for a more sweeping upgrade.

$146 AMD Athlon64 3000+ 1.8GHz Venice, 512KB level 2 cache, socket-939 processor w/ HSF
$219 AMD Athlon64 3500+ 2.2GHz Venice, 512KB level 2 cache, socket-939 processor w/HSF

$ 93 2x512MB PC3200 CAS2.5 unbuffered DDR400 RAM

If you want to keep your AGP graphics card for a while, you might consider one of those wacky motherboards with the ULI 1695 chipset.
$ 76¼ Cheap socket-939 motherboard with AGP and PCI-Express X16 slots
You'd get better performance if you just gave up on AGP and went to a PCI-Express X16 motherboard using the NForce4 SLI chipset. Of course, that means spending about $125 for the motherboard, then spending $$$ for a new video card like the GeForce 7800GT. :D
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Postposted on Thu Oct 06, 2005 5:38 am

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Postposted on Thu Oct 06, 2005 9:55 am

I still havent figured out what to do... thanks for all the info.

That is weird that there is a board made that includes AGP and PCIEx16...

I was reading the Quake 4 site and my machine just barely meets minimum specs (2.0 ghz P4 and 512 RAM) so I will be able to play it but not in full glory. I think I'd rather go with a 939 mobo so I could upgrade the cpu again a faster AMD if I wanted. I would not buy two cards anyway so sli is probably a waste of time for me. But it is nice to have the option available...

But in a year or so Nvidia will probably have 1 video card (Geforce 8900 or whatever) that will equal or outperform 2 of the current ones so I'm not thinking that sli is a good long term investment since I tend to use the same system for 3 years before I upgrade. And stuff.
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Postposted on Thu Oct 06, 2005 12:30 pm

Just limp along on yours for a little while until you save up. Hey, if I could get by on a 2GH Celeron for years, that system shouldn't be too bad :)

And I agree that SLI isn't really that awesome for most of us, but boards that have it are not longer hyper expensive.
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