My desky is showings its age... got it mid-02 - so it's 3 1/2 years old now. It was mid-hi range when I got it but having just got a copy of Doom 3 ... After a week of tweaking I was able to get it running ex-shadows fine @ 1024x768 but the feeling of 'oh bummer, upgrade time' remains. The only other game I've had trouble with was Morrowind (which came with the Gfx card) but that doesn't count since it's bloatware. Spex:
P4 2.4G (old one, "Northwood" I think it's called)
Mobo: GA-8SG800 socket 478 Exhaustive spex
512Mb 333 MHz (PC2700) RAM (crappy generic "nanya", I read elsewhere it was prob. OC'ed PC2100)
GeF 4 Ti 4200 128Mb 8xAGP
Non-onboard sound card
(Sorry I can't give more specific details right now b/c I am practically living at my GF's helping her with her thesis. Above is from mem)
From my PoV I have three options:
** RAM. Get better and more of it (I was thinking 2x1Gb sticks of non-generic PC3200, about $200-$250). Would the 400MHz pose probs? The mobo link above mentions 2gb of 333MHz in 2 slots, but nuthin about 400MHz.
** GFX card. Advice here: what's better: a 256mb 6600, a 128mb 6600GT, or a 256mb 6800LE, since they're about price range I'm thinking (<$250 possibly up to $300). The only queries:
1) would 256mb of tex mem be worth it since RAM and CPU would be limited and that may improve perf - or would a RAM upg be better here - or is RAM <-> Gfx mem not a big problem anyway
2) it'd have to be AGP, and since the rest of my stuff is outdating quickly I don't want to limit further upgrade options
3) what's the point since I strongly suspect CPU and RAM would limit the perf of a faster card anyways
** New CPU/Mobo. As far as I can tell, I would go for a 939-AMD of some flavour - prob 3500+ or so - on a PCI-E mobo. That would cost much more (equals wait time plus extra justification of the expense to 'significant other') but might be what's required. plus it would mean no games until I get a PCI-E Gfx card (I'd rather put the 100 bucks I'd spend on a crappy one for a better one in the future)
I think in terms of future use and cost, RAM looks the best option. But I'm not sure what kind of performance gain I might expect tho. Any comments from anyone who knows something (not me) would be greatly sppreciated.