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The upgrade trap.

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The upgrade trap.

When reading a post earlier about someone who was not sure if their XP2600 was running at the correct speed got me thinking, if you can't tell by running apps then why does any body need so much processing power.
The main parts of my kit are
XP1800,
256MB DDR,
GeForce4MX440 64DDR tv out,
Via KT400 chipset Soltek motherboard,
Soundblaster 4.1card and Creative 4.1 speakers,
Ricoh 8x4x32x CD-RW,
WinXP Home and broadband,
Various drives and far to many other USB bits to mention.
I know that my CPU would be considered entry level nowadays, yet it whizzes along nicely at 1.53ghz. THe 256MB memory is ample for me and yet is seem by some as less than the absolute minimum. The GeForce4 is much maligned by the pc press, but mine does a sterling job with just about any game at a fraction of the cost of a so called 'must have' card. The sound system is more than adequate with clear sound and house shaking bass. My old but reliable CD-RW turns out CD's without fault time after time, but by todays standards is a museum piece. I see no need to replace any parts for faster or better (expensive) bits until they break down or become incompatible with software.
Even my teenage kids and their friends think my pc came out of the ark, so come on all you 3200XP and P4 3ghz owners with 1 or more gigs of memory out there, is there any games, apps, or peripherals that warrant so much grunt or are my kids right, I am just hopelessly out of date.
34 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,983
Thanks: 8
Registered: 10-04-2007

The upgrade trap.

Yours came out of the ark :?:
Mine is only running at 1 gig (Single Data Rate) but it does everything I need at the moment.
But Yes i have had to build a much beefier machine for the Kids to run the latest games on.
This one gig even with a decent graphics card and 512 meg memory can't cope with some of the modern games.
It will just about allow flight simulator 2000 run at a reasonable frame rate but you can see it creaking on Train Simulator or the latest Grand theft Auto game.
Such is progress Cry
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The upgrade trap.

Letting your kids play GTA is one thing - but letting them play Train Simulator! Tut tut tut!
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The upgrade trap.

John, Call me psychic, but somehow I just knew you would have a copy of train simulator. About a year or so ago my pc phobic wife was leafing through my copy of Micromart in which that program was being reviewed and she said to me in all honesty, I don't like the the looks of that train STIMULATOR thing, laugh, not half.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,181
Thanks: 19
Fixes: 2
Registered: 31-07-2007

The upgrade trap.

Most of the time its the Gamers[my self included], I know of one locally that went through 3 cpu's and about 5 video cards to get the best gaming rig he could build for the cash he had.

Most of the time your trying to keep up with the new games comming out for late summer to Xmas.

Then theres the speed freeks, they just want a cpu to over clock to say they have done it without having a nice fry up.
Unvalued customer since 2001 funding cheap internet for others / DSL/Fibre house move 24 month regrade from 8th May 2017
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The upgrade trap.

Overclocking usually ends up costing more than just buying a faster processor [what with the cooling]. My friend spent hundreds getting the perfect setup - with water cooling and all :roll:
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The upgrade trap.

for some reason if i overclock my CPU by even .3 Ghz XP refuses to boot at all. it's not a temperature issue i dont think as i have tried it with the case open and with all 4 fans switched on...
I have two games that I find need semi-moden components to be used at full graphics with any decent framerate. Unreal Tournament 2003 and Neverwinter Nights both only just run on my XP2000+, 512MB RAM, 64MB Radeon 9000 machine. if i try them on my laptop which is a 1.7Ghz celeron, 256MB ram and a 8-32MB variable onboard graphics ( :? ) card neverwinter nights needs graphics taken down to about half way and unreal tournaments needs them to be on minimal or gameplay is impossible.

General applications run fine with most Office apps loading within 2 seconds. So it seems it is only gamers who need the latest stuff Smiley
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The upgrade trap.

So far the replies indicate that games and gamers need the fastest CPU's, loads of memory and top flight video cards. Not being much of a gamer myself I'm happy to take their word for it, but I notice that although Gillard's 2000XP set up outguns any game console in the spec's wars, he considers it to be only just good enough.
When I was a young man (sound of violins and hovis bread) I had a 1k Sinclair ZX81, and the 1k included the screen file as well as the program file. Upgrading was a major outlay, the 16k memory pack was £50 (A weeks wages). Anybody remember how they used to wobble in the expansion slot and your program was instantly lost before you saved it on a cassette recorder?
Still, mustn't complain, my mortgage was only £70 a month in them days.
The good thing about you upgraders is you make past years 'must have' parts drop in price which I assemble into dated, but very adequate machines and make a few quid on.
I wonder how many people have paid PC World about a grand for a machine that they will never use to its full extent when £400 or less including the OS would have easily met there needs at a parts shop or computer fair.
On the other hand, I can't build a TV or VCR so I have to buy one ready made.
Anyway keep reaching for that extra frame rate, there by insuring a good supply of second hand parts.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,111
Thanks: 1
Registered: 05-04-2007

The upgrade trap.

One thing I notice noone ever mentions when comparing computers is the motherboard. Though it may not seem like it, a good motherboard can make the difference between a sluggish computer and a nippy computer.

Anyway, up until about four months ago I was even more behind than you lot... I was running on 256MB and a 900MHz Celeron processor. However I had a good, expensive motherboard. And I tell you what, my computer was more responsive than my friend's 1.8GHz P4 with 512MB RAM! I found that, without any overclocking, my computer could easily give me a good game of Flight Siimulator, with reasonable graphics and a good framerate.

Anyway, a few months ago I decided to upgrade the core components. Once I saw the P4 prices I thought I'd go the AMD route, so I bought myself a good Epox motherboard, and AMD Athlon AX 2200+, and 512MB of (what now appears to be cheap) memory.Otherwise, the rest of my computer stuff is widely varying from the good and the not-quite-so-good....

Nevertheless it's fast and responsive (apart from when booting up WIndows XP). I don't play many games, but I can say that I can run FS2002 with all the graphics turned up and I get a good frame rate. Cool

That's the end of my rambling for now Wink

Thomas
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,983
Thanks: 8
Registered: 10-04-2007

The upgrade trap.

Quote
Letting your kids play GTA is one thing - but letting them play Train Simulator! Tut tut tut!


The Train Simulator isn't for the kids its for me Cool
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The upgrade trap.

OMG!!!! The wobbly ZX81 memory expansion pack! I'd forgotten all about that. Remember when they released the first ZX Spectrum with a *cough* 'real' keyboard, after the original sticky keypad? The one where you'd turn it upside down and all the keys would fall out? And did anyone ever actually use the Sinclair Microdrive? And do you remember the first time you saw a game on an Atari ST or Amiga, and you thought "my god, the future is finally here"? Halcyon days!
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The upgrade trap.

atomik, never did take the spectrum route, After the ZX81 I went with the 48K Oric. A whole 48K, paradise indeed! As soon I got it the rest of the home-micro software and add on industry decided to more or less completely ignore it. Until recently I still used the Oric, but now it need repairing. As you remember the ZX81 and its 1K memory do you recall having to put machine code in rem statements or anywhere you could fined a few unused bytes. And yes the Atari ST certainly did appear to be space age kit.

As my dad used to say to me, kids don't know their born today
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The upgrade trap.

Seeing as you were moaning about a guy with an XP 2000 + you don't wanna see my specs (you know i'm gonna put them here!).... here they are..

AMD Athlon XP 2500+ Barton Overclocked from 1.8 to 2.2 GHz FSB 396 MHz (equivalent to 3200+)
Thermaltake Volcano 9 Cooler w. Arctic Silver 3
Asus A7N8X Ultra Rev 2.0 MoBo (nForce2)
512 MB DDR PC2700 Dual-Channel Corsair @ 396 MHz
ATi Radeon 9500 128 MB AGP 8x Overclocked to ------ 362.25 MHz GPU ------------ 312 MHz RAM -----
LG Flatron 775FT 17" Flat CRT Monitor
nVidia SoundStorm 6.1
80 GB Western Digital Caviar 7200 RPM 8MB Buffer HDD
30 GB Western Digital Caviar HDD
48x24x48x CD-RW
16x DVD
Creative 5100 5.1 Speakers
Dual LAN, 2xFireWire, 2xSerial ATA and 6xUSB 2.0
Windows XP Professional

I used to have an XP 2100+ but upgrades it after 6 months along with the MoBo to what i currently have. This PC still isn't as fast as i want. The thing is that at the end of the day gamers don't give a damn about what new technology is in the stuff, we just care about how fast it can churn out Unreal Tournament 2003 at with all the knobs twised to full power! And then there's the overclockers, you'll think it's easy to just go into the BIOS, have a fiddle and come out with a faster CPU, but it's harder than that, you have to have the right case with lots of space, chose the right coolers, soak test the PC for a few hours with 3D Mark 2003 or some very hardware intensive game.
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you were lucky

Blimey I'm running a 2 year old laptop with a p3 750 processor and 128 ram aswell as an old pc with a celeron 566. The pc is slow but does the job.

I don't use them for games though but they suffice for work, networking and surfing.

Anyone using anything more jurassic?
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The upgrade trap.

I have a AMD-K6-2 350mhz (168mb ram) and a AMD-K6 333mhz (64mb ram) which I use for linux...stuff.