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Video Card Upgrade Help


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#1
m1573rb0j4ngl35

m1573rb0j4ngl35

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Hello!

I am planning on upgrading my computer to use the GeForce 6800 GT video card, but I'm sure there are a few things that need to be changed in my computer. The processor, for example, isn't going to help, and one of the things I need to know is whether or not I'll need to change my motherboard. I figured this would be a good place to look for help. Anyway, I'm using FreshDiagnose to gather various information about my system, and hopefully with what I provide, you can give me advice on what needs to go and what can stay. Also, my objective here is to get a high-end gaming machine that will run games like Doom 3 at high resolutions with no loss in framerate. I will enclose info on my motherboard, processor, and RAM at this time, and I will gladly provide any more information you need. Thanks!

Here goes:

Motherboard Information
Motherboard Model 7VTXH
Motherboard Vendor Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd.
Motherboard Version 1.0
Motherboard Serial Number 00000000
Chipset Model VT8366 Apollo KT266 CPU to PCI Bridge
Chipset Vendor VIA Technologies Inc
BIOS Model AMIBIOS 062710
BIOS Vendor American Megatrends Inc.
BIOS Id 62-1219-001199-00101111-071595-KT266A-GA7VTXH1
BIOS Date 07/15/95, 7VTXH F4

Memory Controller
Error Detecting Method 32-bit ECC
Error Correcting Capability Single Bit Error Correcting
Enabled Error Correcting Single Bit Error Correcting
Supported Interleave One Way Interleave
Current Interleave One Way Interleave
Maximum Memory Size per Slot 512 MB
Supported Speed(s) 70 ns, 60 ns
Memory Module Voltage 3.3 Volts
Number of Memory Slots 3
Memory Module Config Handles $08, $09, $0A


Supported Memory Types
Supports Standard Type Yes
Supports Fast Page Mode Yes
Supports EDO Yes
Supports Parity Yes
Supports ECC Yes
Supports SIMM Yes
Supports DIMM Yes
Supports Burst EDO No
Supports SDRAM Yes


Memory Module
Socket Designation DIMM1
Bank Connections RAS 0, RAS 16
Current Speed Unknown
Current Memory Type DIMM, SDRAM
Installed Size 256 MB
Enabled Size 256 MB
Correctable Error Exists No
Uncorrectable Error Exists No


Memory Module
Socket Designation DIMM2
Bank Connections RAS 0, RAS 50
Current Speed Unknown
Current Memory Type DIMM, SDRAM
Installed Size 512 MB
Enabled Size 512 MB
Correctable Error Exists No
Uncorrectable Error Exists No

Processor
Model AMD Athlon MP 1700+
Type Primary Processor
Vendor Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)
Family 6th Generation of AMD Processors
Hardcoded Name AMD Athlon™ XP 1700+
Frequency 1474 MHz
Family/Model/Stepping 6/6/2


Detailed Info
Codename PM, Palomino
First Introduction Octobre 15th, 2001
Package Type 575 Pin BGA / 453 Pin Socket APGA/BPGA
Socket Type Slot A / Socket A
Transistors +/- 37,500,000 (includes L1 & L2 Cache)
Technology 6M, 0.18 µm, CMOS, Cu
Split Voltage N/A
Core Voltage 1.35 v
I/O Voltage 3.3 v, 2.5 v
Typical Power 44.9-61.7 w
Maximum Power 72.0 w
Supported External Bus Speed 100, 133 MHz
Supported Multiplier 5.0x, 5.5x, ..., 14.0x
Processor Core RISC, Out-of-order and Speculative Execution
Core Details 72 MOP Entry ROB/ICU,
18 MOP Entry Integer Scheduler,
36 MOP Entry FP Scheduler
Registers 32 Bit Integer, 80 Bit FP, 64 Bit MM
24 Entry 32-Bit 9x Read 8x Write IFFRF (Integer RAT)
88 Entry 90-Bit 5x Read 5x Write FPRF (FP RAT)
Pipeline Depth 10 (Integer), 15 (FP)
Instruction Decoder Direct and Vector Path, Up to 3x IA-32/Cycle
Up to 3x MOPs/Cycle, Up to 6x ROPs/Cycle
Execution Units 3x IEU (2x w/ MUL, 1x w/o MUL), 3x AGU (1x/IEU),
3x Pipelined FP (1x ADD, 1x MUL, 1x STORE)
Execution Speed Up to 3x Integer MOPs/Cycle,
Up to 6x Integer ROPs/Cycle,
Up to 3x FP ROPs/Cycle
Address Bus Width 13 Bit
Data Bus Width 64+8 Bit, Separate 64+8 Bit Backside L2 Cache Bus
Physical Memory 2^32..34 Bit (4..16 GB)
Virtual Memory 65,528 GB (~64 TB)
Multiprocessing SMP, Up to 14 Processors
Power Management HLT, STPCLK, SMI/SMM, PowerNow! Technology
Instruction Set IA-32
Floating Point Integrated
Multimedia MMX, 3DNow!, Extended 3DNow!, SSE-MMX, SSE-MEM,
3DNow! Professional (Full SSE)
Processor Modes Real, Protected, Virtual, Paging, SMM


Cache Configuration
L1 Code Cache 64 KB size, 2-way set associative, 64 byte line size, 1 line per tag
L1 Code TLB 4 KB pages, fully associative, 16 entries
2 MB/4 MB pages, fully associative, 8 entries
L1 Data Cache 64 KB size, 2-way set associative, 64 byte line size, 1 line per tag
L1 Data TLB 4 KB pages, fully associative, 32 entries
2 MB/4 MB pages, 4-way set associative, 8 entries
Unified L2 Cache 256 KB size, 16-way set associative, 64 byte line size, 1 line per tag
L2 Code TLB 4 KB pages, 4-way set associative, 256 entries
2 MB/4 MB pages, associativity off, 0 entries
L2 Data TLB 4 KB pages, 4-way set associative, 256 entries
2 MB/4 MB pages, associativity off, 0 entries


Processor Features
Floating-point Unit on chip (FPU) Yes
MMX Instructions (MMX) Yes
MMX Instruction Extensions (MMX+) Yes
3DNow! Instructions Yes
3DNow! Instruction Extensions (3DNow!+) Yes
Streaming SIMD Extensions (SSE) Yes
Streaming SIMD Extensions 2 (SSE2) No
Multiprocessor Capable Yes
x86-64 Long Mode (LM) No
Virtual Mode Extension (VME) Yes
Debugging Extension (DE) Yes
Page Size Extension (PSE) Yes
Time Stamp Counter (TSC) Yes
Model Specific Registers (MSR) Yes
Physical Address Extension (PAE) Yes
Machine Check Exception (MCE) Yes
CMPXCHG8 Instruction (CX8) Yes
On-chip APIC Hardware (APIC) Yes
Fast System Call (SEP) Yes
Memory Type Range Registers (MTRR) Yes
Page Global Enable (PGE) Yes
Machine Check Architecture (MCA) Yes
Conditional Move Instruction (CMOV) Yes
Page Attribute Table (PAT) Yes
36-bit Page Size Extension (PSE36) Yes
96-bit Processor Number (PSN) No
CLFLUSH Instruction (CLFSH) No
Debug Trace Store (DTS) No
ACPI Supported (ACPI) No
Fast Save and Restore (FXSR) Yes
Self Snoop (SS) No
Thermal Monitor Supported ™ No
IA-64 Processor Capable (IA-64) No
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#2
admin

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Hey Justin, how do you remember that nick? <_<

The fastest processor you can put in your system is an XP2400+, w/1GB of RAM that's going to give you pretty decent performance with 6800, but not high res, high frame rate. CPU about $80, RAM >$150.

For Hi res, Hi frame rate, you're going to need almost a completely new system, CPU, mobo, RAM, likely a new power supply (~$700), plus your new video card. :D

Here's an article comparing many systems to get you started: http://www2.hardocp....e.html?art=NjQ0
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#3
m1573rb0j4ngl35

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Well, maybe a new system would be the way to go...Besides, my cousin has been thinking about getting a new computer, but only if it wasn't too expensive. Think it would be reasonable to sell him my system minus the hard drive? This also wouldn't include a monitor, mouse, keyboard, speakers, and other stuff, but he already has all of that. Plus, that way, I could have a little more money up front and be able to start buying stuff sooner. What would you think of that?

BTW: My nickname is supposed to say "Mister Bojangles", but it's written in "leet" <_< It's a name I use for games like UT2004, Counter-Strike, and such for multiplayer.
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#4
m1573rb0j4ngl35

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Oh, and did I mention that he has over $1,000 that he isn't doing anything with? And he's my age for cryin' out loud! <_<

Hey, you don't happen to need a used GeForce3 card do ya? I replaced it with a GeForce4 just about a month ago that I picked up for $30 NIB :D

If I can sell my computer, I'll have a bunch more money right away than what I was planning on, especially with my minimum wage job. Yes, I work at McDonalds :D
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#5
admin

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Hey, you don't happen to need a used GeForce3 card do ya?

Actually, I could. <_< I'm upgrading my brother's computer with a bunch of old parts I had lying around (1ghz Athlon, 256mb RAM, 40gb hard drive), but I only had a couple old video cards that would have really held the system back for gaming. Let me know what you want.

Besides, my cousin has been thinking about getting a new computer, but only if it wasn't too expensive. Think it would be reasonable to sell him my system minus the hard drive?

Would be a nice system for him, but I'd recommend upgrading to 512mb RAM. How much are you thinking of selling it for?
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#6
Hemal

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Yes, I work at McDonalds 


well if blair gets your video card <_< then ill take an order of large fries, 2 chocolate milkshakes and a quarterpounder

thanx man

jp with you, give it a couple years and ill be there also- sounds like a great system your going with- have you looked into dual processors?
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#7
m1573rb0j4ngl35

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Wow, I didn't actually think you needed it, but if you want the card it's yours for say...$20-$25? I figured that would be an OK price since the card has always worked perfectly, and my friends dad was selling NIB GeForce2 cards for $20 (he used to run a PC gaming center in Grand Forks). Would that be ok? If so, it may be a little bit before I can get you the card and we can do a transaction or whatever, because it's at my cousin's house right now. He was originally planning on buying it for $25 cause he thought he could use it in his computer...but couldn't (brand-name comp)...which is why I'm thinking he should buy mine. He could do upgrades a lot easier and already have a better system than what he has now.

Right now my computer has 768MB of RAM. Did you mean upgrading the 256MB stick of RAM to another 512? As for how much I want to sell my computer for, I was hoping you could give me a reasonable figure, because I don't remember how much it cost to build this one. Like I said, I'm selling only the computer minus the hard drive. No monitor, speakers, keyboard, mouse, etc...If you could give me a good price that won't rip off either me or the buyer (whoever that ends up being), that'd be great!

Dual processors? Sounds expensive, lol, and I'm already looking at an $800+ machine I'll be building...Interesting though, how would that work? I can always save money a little longer... <_<
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#8
admin

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Right now my computer has 768MB of RAM. Did you mean upgrading the 256MB stick of RAM to another 512?

I mis-read your log then, I thought it only showed 256mb of RAM, I guess that was one stick!

Actually, I don't need the video card anymore, I found a Ti200 card in the closet. :D

Used systems are so hard to price. I used to have a site that would determine market value, I'll see if I can find it.

If you were to build that system today...
CPU=$50, mobo=$50, memory=$150, Case/PS=$80, video card=$50, CD/RW=$40, floppy=$10, plus software ~$500.

$400 seems like a reasonable figure to me. <_<
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#9
m1573rb0j4ngl35

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Sounds good to me, he offered a little over $400 and was more than willing to pay, so I think it'll go for about that much. I wasn't expecting a lot anyway. The video card isn't a big deal either. I figure if my cousin buys the computer, I'll give him the video card for nothing because his brother has a computer that might be able to use it. Not like I have any practical use for the card right now anyway other than maybe a fancy paperweight <_<

On a side note, the same cousin that's going to probably get my computer was also eyeballing the computer you built for my uncle. He admires your work :D

Oh, and before I forget and send my message like I've done too many times on other message boards, I had a few things to ask you about the components I'm thinking about using for my new setup. I'll provide a link to a list of all the parts I'm planning on buying, which are all found on newegg.com (I've heard it's a great place to get anything computer-related). If you see anything that won't work, please point it out! The one thing I'm not sure of is the type of RAM I'm going to need. Right now I just have the cheapest set of two 512MB sticks listed, I'm not sure if they'll work or not...lol.

Computer Parts

Thanks! :D
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#10
m1573rb0j4ngl35

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I'm not sure that link I posted is gonna work, so here are all of the separate ones if it doesn't.

Case

CD Drive

Hard Drive

RAM

Motherboard

Processor

Sound Card

Video Card

I think that's everything...
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#11
admin

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Case That case is too cheap, especially considering it includes the power supply. You going to require a good quality power supply, and I'm sure that's not going to cut it. :D Spend $70-80 and get a case you'll be happier with.

CD Drive Why not get a DVD burner? They do CD's too.

Hard Drive You can find some better deals, like this one Maxtor L03P160 160GB 8MB-cache Serial-ATA internal hard drive with a free Serial-ATA controller card. Coupon code 88142 gives $30 off the $100 purchase price

RAM Looks fine, again you can probably find a better deal after rebate, if you shop around.

Motherboard / Processor Why not go with the AMD64? Much better upgrade path and peformance. That'll my next system.

Sound Card Don't need. Your mobo has built-in 6 channel sound, as most do now.

Video Card Wow! Didn't cut any corners here <_< Maybe consider a 6800, or a generation earlier. Paying a lot for top-of-the-line, and again, you may do better if you have time to shop.

I like NewEgg and have ordered there many times, but if you have some time, and don't mind dealing with rebates you can find better deals on some items.

Here's some sites to watch for deals (alphabetical):
http://forums.anandt...es.cfm?catid=40
http://www.bensbargains.net/
http://www.fatwallet...es.php?catid=18
http://hotdealsclub.com/
http://www.techbargains.com/
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#12
m1573rb0j4ngl35

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As you can see, I'm very new to this <_<

I'm going to follow your advice and look for some better deals. I was a bit skeptical about paying that much for a computer right now. When I find some lower priced stuff that would probably work just as good, as you said, I'll post what I found here.

Thanks again, especially for probably saving me a heckuva lot of money. :D
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#13
m1573rb0j4ngl35

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Quick question: When you say look for a $70-$80 case, am I going to buy one that comes without a power supply? Just wondering, cause again, I've never done this by myself before. It's a learning experience as much as it is getting a new computer.
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#14
m1573rb0j4ngl35

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Well I went through and found a bunch more things that could be changed, like a motherboard for AMD socket 754 and a 2800 Athlon 64 processor. I got rid of the sound card now that you tell me I don't need it, and I decided to go with the base GeForce 6800 rather than the GT, because I hear that performance is still extremely high and the card is about $100 less. So far, I've lowered my rough estimate to about $870.00, which could be a bit more or less depending on shipping (I added about $25 for shipping already). I think I'm going to go with what I've gathered up so far, but I still have one question. I've got a link below to a case that I found that I think would work fine because it comes with a 420w power supply that "supports both AMD and Intel". If this sort of thing is a no-no, I'll keep looking. Sorry to bombard you with questions, but I'm a noob when it comes to actually buying the stuff <_<

http://xpcgear.com/868silver.html

I don't think I'm forgetting anything else...Thanks for everything!
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#15
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IMO you're going to have a very power hungry video card, a power hungry CPU, and all the other components in your system. When the 6800 first came out nVidia was recommending a 480w power supply. They've since lowered that to a "quality" 350w. You really can't judge a power supply in it watt rating alone. It's also important how many amps it supplies to the rails, and overall quality. A good power supply is heavy, a cheap one lighter weight.

Also, remember cases are expensive to ship, you may find a good deal locally. Think about getting a case you like, and buy a brand name power supply separately.
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