View Full Version : Possible upgrade options

03 March 2003, 07:19 PM
:shrug: First, here's my current system specs:
CPU: Athlon XP 2000+
MB: Soyo Dragon UltraLite
RAM: 512MB RAM PC2100 (kingston)
HD: 40GB Maxtor 7200RPM
Video: GeForce 2MX 400 64MB (detenator drivers 41.09)

Upgraded the CPU, MB & RAM recently, and needed some opinions on the following:

upgrade RAM or Video?

My initial idea is to add 512MB RAM first, and then possibly add a new video card, maybe GeForce 4Ti 4200 Turbo (Albatron, MSI, etc.). Since I have a slim budget, I figure I can add the RAM for about $75USD, and the card noted about $145-175USD.
Would this result in an increase in performance? BTW...running Windows XP SP1, 3dsMax 5.1.

P.S. if possible, include a spec sheet on your system, and possibly a link to a homepage with images/animations made on your system. I would really like to see what others have accomplished based on their system's settings (and TALENT!!:thumbsup: )

Thanks in advance!!

03 March 2003, 07:33 PM
I think that you would see the biggest boost in performance if you went with the vid card first. I have the MSI 4200 with 128MB. Works great. After you get it go to and read Gregs tips on tweaking them to get the most out of them.:thumbsup:

03 March 2003, 07:48 PM
Thanks KWSHIPMAN!:thumbsup:

Anyone else?:curious:

03 March 2003, 08:13 PM
Open up your task manager and see how much RAM you're typically using. If you are paging like crazy with 512, then do the RAM first. If not, go for the video first.

As stated, Ti4200 128mb would be your best bang for the buck right now.

03 March 2003, 08:37 PM
:applause: Thanks dmeyer!!

Keep 'em coming if you can!!!


03 March 2003, 09:50 PM
Whats the board designation?

Most likely the video card. But I'd like to know what particular soyo board you have first.

03 March 2003, 10:49 PM

Hope this will help you:

I am thinking of getting memory now, and then upgrading the video (TI4200 (albatron or MSI)), and then softquadro to boost performance.

Thanks! :)

03 March 2003, 01:14 AM
What res are you running at? Thanks for the motherboard link, helps the people trying to give advice when they know what you actually have :).

I'd almost recommend a processor upgrade over a video or ram one. A 2400+MP would add almost 400 megahertz to the system and increase performance in all areas. However then of course you start thinking...well why not get a new board and a 2700+ or 2800+.

So in quick conclusion...

Depending on budget....

1) Nforce2 + new Athlon cpu.
2) Geforce 4 Ti 4200.

If your system isn't paging, adding more ram won't increase performance AT ALL. If you are paging, then it'll help immensly. Make sure you have a need for the additional ram before thinking of dropping $$$ on it, as if you don't, it won't effect your performance, and will a nice waste of cash. (Well not a waste, but won't make any noticable difference, and in some cases, can slightly reduce performance.)

03 March 2003, 05:06 PM
Right now I'm kinda suffering a bit of sticker shock, so try this:
My current rig:
Supermicro P6DBE w/2 Slot 1 P3 750's (manufacture specs that can work up to 1ghz, but can't seem to find any slot 1 1ghz's around, maybe can use slotket adaptor like my old celery's..)
512 megs RAM
Geforce3 Ti200 (heatsink doesn't spin, but unless doing something graphics intensive (EQ), doesn't affect anything right now)

My consideration rig:
Shuttle SN41G2 (nforce 2board w/built in GeForce4 MX dualhead)
1 GIG PC2100 ram (2x512)

Herein lies the problem: To get the Shuttle built up respectably, I'd need to invest right at $800, plus another $200 for another 17"-19" monitor. Yikes. Yeah, I have the money, but honestly would like to hang on to it for a while longer. Not to mention it would add yet another system...

Here's my alternative (upgrade current rig):
Buy GeForce4 Ti4200 128meg dual head, retire GeForce3 Ti200 to the parts bin (still a decent gaming card, might can find replacement fan for cheap)
Add 512 megs of ram (total 1gig)
That's about $250-$300, much better. I'm still a beginner at 3D, so I figure that I don't need "latest greatest" right now, and come a year's time, that extra $500 I saved now might be better utilized then, not now. (Quadro4 FX anyone?) Not to mention that I occassionally see some nice Quadro4's on eBay that might be acquired over the next few months once the FX's are out and the price drops on the rest of the line (or people dump XGL's for FX's..).

I dunno, whatdya think?

03 March 2003, 05:17 PM
There's a 980XL on ebay for $475 buy it now.. ;)

03 March 2003, 01:50 PM
:wavey: Once again, thanks for all the replies!!

I was hoping to get some additional ones, as well as an idea of what work someone has accomplished with their specific systems. In basic english, with my specs I should still be able to create something, but maybe not the most complex scenes/animations.

One other question from this newbie's head:

If you have a dual system (i.e. (2) P3 500mhz w/512mb RAM vs. (1) P4 1.2Ghz w/512mb RAM) would it still faster in rendering? I mean, THAT much faster?? Just curious...:curious:

03 March 2003, 05:21 PM
Vs a P4 1.2? Ya probably. The early Pentium IV's were absymal processors, outpeformed by almost every chip available on the market, including substaintally lower clocked pentium III chips.

(A PIII733 would beat a 1.2 P4)

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