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View Full Version : Uprade my pc for Maya, Zbrush & Games.


csutcliffe
11-03-2004, 10:42 PM
Hello,

I'd like to upgrade my pc and have about 1 - 1.2K to spend. My main applications are Maya, Zbrush, Photoshop and of course Games. My current spec is an AMD XP 2000 with 512 Mb of memory, Nvidia TI4600 and a 60Gb Hard Drive, which is OK to run Doom 3 and Far Cry at really low detail however I use a 22" monitor so you can imagine how Naff playing doom is at 800 x 600!

Anyhow, I've checked out a couple of websites, most notably www.scan.co.uk (http://www.scan.co.uk/), and my 1 - 1.2K should net me an Abit AV8 motherboard with an AMD 4000 processor, 1024 Mb of PC 3200 ram and an XFX 6800 GT video card which doesn't seem like a great deal especially considering that I would still be left with a comparitively slow and small Hard Dive (BTW: if I upgraded everything but the HDD would this effect performance much?) so I was wondering if anyone could give me some reccomendations on how I should upgrade based on the software I use. Also, where can I find out how well particular combinations of hardware, such as the ones mentioned earlier, actually work with each other?

Finally, i'd be eternally grateful if someone can reccomend any on-line retailers in the UK who specialize in pc components so I can compare prices.

Thanks & Kind Regards

jcbray
11-04-2004, 04:26 AM
It depends how old your hard drive is. if it's an old 5400 rpm with a 2 mb cache, an upgrade might be in order, if you have a 7200rpm with an 8mb cache, sit on it. Harddisk speed does affect performance - not as much as having a too slow cpu of course, but it's still important and often overlooked. If you currently are happy with a 60gig hardrive, you'd be able to get a new one of the same size, or perhaps even a bit bigger for not much at all.

MadMax
11-04-2004, 06:08 AM
I would STRONGLY suggest passing over that motherboard for an nForce3 250 model instead.

nVidia is way better than VIA and has a lot more features.

jcbray
11-04-2004, 10:56 AM
I'm actually in that pickle with the motherboard right now - i've heard several different people say the same thing - what type of extra features does it have that I should be interested in? I'm not into over-clocking or doing anything like that, so am I better off just saving my hundred dollars?

jbw
11-04-2004, 12:06 PM
Finally, i'd be eternally grateful if someone can reccomend any on-line retailers in the UK who specialize in pc components so I can compare prices.
Scan are great. I use them to buy pretty much all my kit and I'll recommend them to anyone. They do a 9month interest free option on anything over 300. I've also used overclockers.co.uk and komplett.co.uk and savastore.co.uk.

I'm afraid I can't offer much help with your hardware as I've not really kept up with CPU and motherboards over the past year.

ta,
jbw

MadMax
11-04-2004, 04:15 PM
I'm actually in that pickle with the motherboard right now - i've heard several different people say the same thing - what type of extra features does it have that I should be interested in? I'm not into over-clocking or doing anything like that, so am I better off just saving my hundred dollars?
the nForce3 250 is great for a lot of reasons. Biggest is that virtually everything is integrated into the chipset. Lan, SATA controllers, RAID etc.

When these components are on the motherboard as separate chips, they utilize the resources of the PCI bus. Integrated, the use no PCI resources as they are directly Hypertransport linked.

The Lan performance is outstanding. On some of my machines, the only card even plugged into the machine is the video card since there are so many features built in.

Stability is absolutely not a question on the nVidia. Rock solid. 24/7 operation reliably.

csutcliffe
11-04-2004, 09:34 PM
Thanks for the good advice but I was wondering if it's worth holding off on the upgrade until the NForce 4 Mobo's are available.

BTW: Anybody know when we'll start to see the Nforce 4 Mobo's and what sort of performance jump can be expected from using a PCI-Express card like the 6600 when compared to an AGP x 8 card like a 6800 Ultra? Also, what's the deal with SLI? Sounds a bit like Voodoo 2 to me!

MadMax
11-04-2004, 10:55 PM
Thanks for the good advice but I was wondering if it's worth holding off on the upgrade until the NForce 4 Mobo's are available.

BTW: Anybody know when we'll start to see the Nforce 4 Mobo's and what sort of performance jump can be expected from using a PCI-Express card like the 6600 when compared to an AGP x 8 card like a 6800 Ultra? Also, what's the deal with SLI? Sounds a bit like Voodoo 2 to me!
"performance" is a bit of a non issue these days.with memory controller on the CPU, one performs about as well as another.

nForce4 shoudl be shipping in mid to late November in limited quantities. A number of boards have already been displayed and we have board "names" deisgnating the model that will be sold from several vendors including Abit.

There was a pretty awesome review of SLI tech and an nForce MB, I'll have to look it up for you, lots of numbers to read over.

Goon
11-04-2004, 11:28 PM
Thanks for the good advice but I was wondering if it's worth holding off on the upgrade until the NForce 4 Mobo's are available.

BTW: Anybody know when we'll start to see the Nforce 4 Mobo's and what sort of performance jump can be expected from using a PCI-Express card like the 6600 when compared to an AGP x 8 card like a 6800 Ultra? Also, what's the deal with SLI? Sounds a bit like Voodoo 2 to me!
I've got a 6600 GT PCI-Express and its pretty sweet. However there really is no reason to jump to pci express unless you want to try something new just for the heck of it. Currently AGP 8X is quite enough bandwidth for a video card. By the time this changes you'll be needing a new mobo, cpu, and video card anyway, so don't worry about it.
A 6800 Ultra with blow a 6600 gt out of the water, especially at very high resolutions. But the gt is still a nice card, and if you are willing to wait for the agp 6600gt version, you'll be set for everything but the very highest end games at really high resolutions.

novadude
11-05-2004, 12:40 AM
A single 6800U blows even SLI'd 6600GT's out of the water. I almost feel sorry for everyone who bit the "Get one 6600GT now, and one in 6 months, then I'll have the equivalent of a 6800GT for less money" hook, almost :)
Single GPU bechmarks of each should have convinced them otherwise, because >100% gains aren't likely. Granted it happened in FarCry with the 6800GT's, but that was only at extreme resolutions.

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