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View Full Version : new video card, or ram...


yoladude
12-25-04, 09:38 PM
alrighty, well, i tried a forum search and couldnt find an answer so i have a question to ask.

here's my setup (its been a while, sorry if i have it in a sig):

AthlonXP 2200+
KM266 chipset mobo
512mb PC2100 ram
Geforce4 Ti4200

okay thats about all you need, i think.

so basically, i really want a 6600GT agp card, but i'm wondering if, instead, i should double my ram. i'd probably spend about $160US on the ram, and $215 on the card, so it's either / or. i would never be able to afford both.

right now, i'm playing half-life 2, a bit of doom3, and i just got painkiller, in addition to an old copy of mafia i picked up. so mostly FPS's, and i want far cry at some point.

or if you have any other suggestions, let me know. thanks!

Mud
12-25-04, 09:40 PM
thats a pretty rounded system, nothing significantly limiting anything else (or rather they're all a tad limiting)...but for biggest performance upgrade get the 6600GT, just don't expect top-end performance.

rewt
12-25-04, 09:41 PM
Thats a hard decision, because both are so critical in a gaming machine. I think you'd probably be happier with a new Graphics card. It'll give you much better graphics in games like HL2 and Far Cry.

Ram will give you better overall system responsiveness. And will help get rid of stuttering or lagging issues that you may get when running low (or out) of system memory. But generally you won't run out of system memory unless you run the games at Maximum detail settings.

SH64
12-25-04, 09:47 PM
Tough call .. you should've made a poll for that :D

i'd say a new video card will get you more improvement than doubling your RAM (although that more RAM is important for gaming too) .

$n][pErMan
12-26-04, 02:13 AM
New video card!

yoladude
12-26-04, 03:01 AM
sweeeet guys thanks.

and yeah i'm only just now noticing my lack of ram; i'll work on upgrading the video card first, but i have an emachine with two memory slots, so its exceedingly expensive to upgrade ram (they're filled with 2x256, so i need to buy brand new 2x512....i might buy them one at a time after the card).

thanks again.

john19055
12-26-04, 05:17 AM
With your system I would go with a Video card upgrade first,instead of ram.

Lfctony
12-26-04, 05:30 AM
New video card. :) 512MB is still ok for most games, a new video card will get you a greater gain.

Scott@Bjorn3D
12-26-04, 07:42 AM
Yup I agree new video card. You will enjoy it more than RAM (snowcool)

keith33
12-26-04, 11:40 AM
Agreed, video card, then a good heatsink and push that Athlon!

|MaguS|
12-26-04, 12:15 PM
RAM, I would say screw the videocard till you get a better CPU. Your going to be seriously CPU bound with the one you currently have.

The geforce 4 is a great card, better then most of the FX series. My friend is currently playing EQ2 on decent settings with a P4 1.5Ghz, G4, 1GB Ram. Ram is the most important thing in a computer, you can have the best videocard on the market but if you don't have the ram. Your not gonna see any difference.

BTW Remember, Windows takes up about 256 RAM alone, So your only left with 256MB to use for your applications.

yoladude
12-26-04, 08:37 PM
Agreed, video card, then a good heatsink and push that Athlon!

haha i would, but this is still an emachine, and i cant OC it through the CMOS / BIOS or whatever. i tried reflashing the bios, but couldn't get it to work. not sure of the gain i'd get, anyway..

yoladude
12-26-04, 08:40 PM
RAM, I would say screw the videocard till you get a better CPU. Your going to be seriously CPU bound with the one you currently have.

The geforce 4 is a great card, better then most of the FX series. My friend is currently playing EQ2 on decent settings with a P4 1.5Ghz, G4, 1GB Ram. Ram is the most important thing in a computer, you can have the best videocard on the market but if you don't have the ram. Your not gonna see any difference.

BTW Remember, Windows takes up about 256 RAM alone, So your only left with 256MB to use for your applications.

well, unfortunately, the highest CPU i can get without replacing my motherboard, ram, and case would be an athlonxp 2400+....MAYBE a 2600+ but i'm not sure how many t-bred 2600s they made. so, that would be a much more expensive solution to my problem.

yeah, that EQ2 thing is why i plan on upgrading the ram, but i'm looking for the best gain that i can get with a SINGLE upgrade; video card OR ram. from everyone's opinion, i'm guessing that the card would do it.

hmm....my copy of XP takes up a lot less than 256...i usually have about 350 or so megs free at any given time, if not more. so i'm not too terribly worried.

rewt
12-26-04, 08:58 PM
you can have the best videocard on the market but if you don't have the ram. Your not gonna see any difference.

I disagree. He will see the most difference with a new graphics card. Because a new graphics card will be DirectX 9.0c compatible (which the Ti is not). DX 9 has more special effects, therefore he will "see" more difference.

And look, most (if not all) of these games are DirectX 9 games.

right now, i'm playing half-life 2, a bit of doom3, and i just got painkiller, in addition to an old copy of mafia i picked up. so mostly FPS's, and i want far cry at some point.