Net_DoS

Upgrading Dilemma..............

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Current System Spec:

CPU:

Athlon XP 1700+ @ 2500Mhz

Mobo:

Epox 8RDA+

RAM:

1x Corsair XMS PC3200 CAS 2 512MB

HDD:

Western Digital 200GB Special Edition

GPU:

ATi Radeon 9500 softmodded to 9700 and oced to Pro

Sound:

Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS

Klipsch 5.1 Ultra

Misc:

Netgear WG311 wireless

DVD 16x

CD-RW 40x

Cooled with EXOS

400watt Fortron w/PFC

Lian-Li PC68

______________________________________________

Now, I have about $270 to spend. Upgrading which part will yield the best "real-world" performance increase?

WD Raptor? (Keep in mind I'll have to buy SATA controller I if go with this route or buy a new mobo)

Another stick of Corsair PC3200 or possibly PC4000 for future concerns?

Or....Save the money for something better...

Thanks.

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Since your system can't really be considered a slug, I'd say a fast hard drive is about the only thing to give a significant real-world performance increase. I'd save my pennies until a 74 gig Raptor and a SATA controller are financially in reach (shouldn't take that long). Oh, you only run *one* stick of memory in there? Adding a second one would certainly be worth a thought after the hard drive upgrade.

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If you had just a little more, you could get an Athlon 64 3000+ (appx $210 US) and motherboard (appx $100) for it, then transfer all your components over. If you decide to go this route, you definitely want to make sure the motherboard is an SiS 755 chipset motherboard, as the HyperStreaming engine really does wonders for their benchmarks.

If you absolutely can't get the little bit more you need for an Athlon 64 3000+ and an SiS 755 chipset motherboard, then pick up some extra RAM and a Athlon XP 2800+.

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If I were to buy WD raptor 36GB, would I notice any difference in terms of daily multi-tasking?

Should I wait and get 74GB version? Is TCQ worth the premium price?

Thanks..

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What do you use your computer for, primarily? With all that power I assume your "daily multitasking" consists of more than just surfing the web while listening to music. My first instinct would be to say "add another stick of RAM," but it really depends on what you do... if you're really hitting your HDD hard, a raptor might be the better choice. Also note that your system is pretty sweet as is - upgrading any single part is not going to make a huge difference unless you're using apps that are particularly stressing in one area or another.

Regards,

Joe

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Well, your mainboard sort of restricts your upgrade path.

It may be better to wait another three months or so in order that you can save some money for a new mainboard with multiple hard disc controllers so that you can add a second hard drive (the 74 GB WD Raptor comes to mind here) as well as strap on a faster Barton CPU.

Alternatively, you can go for the new Athlon 64 3000+ and mainboard combo. With a new CPU, mainboard, and a second hard disc, you will see a significant boost in speed!

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I'd would recommend an extra 512meg ram AND a 74gig wd raptor drive ... the SATA controller can be picked up cheaply off ebay.

No point buying a new nforce 2 board with SATA, because that would be on the PCI bus anyway. No point changing from the nforce 2 either, because it is the fastest board around.

I run a PCI CMD IDE controller for my second hard drive on my nforce 2. I don't have any problems, so you are likely not to either.

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Just bought WD Raptor 36GB with Silicon Image 3112A SATA controller.

However, I have a slight problem booting with the new hard drive.

For some reason, my computer is keep trying to boot with my WD 200GB HD that is attached to its motherboard. If I pull off the power plug from WD 200GB, computer boots fine with WD Raptor. Now, how do I set my computer so it boots with Raptor even when I attach WD 200GB to my motherboard? (PS: Window XP is installed on Raptor)

Thanks..

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Just bought WD Raptor 36GB with Silicon Image 3112A SATA controller.

However, I have a slight problem booting with the new hard drive.

For some reason, my computer is keep trying to boot with my WD 200GB HD that is attached to its motherboard. If I pull off the power plug from WD 200GB, computer boots fine with WD Raptor. Now, how do I set my computer so it boots with Raptor even when I attach WD 200GB to my motherboard? (PS: Window XP is installed on Raptor)

Thanks..

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Now, I have about $270 to spend. Upgrading which part will yield the best "real-world" performance increase?

WD Raptor? (Keep in mind I'll have to buy SATA controller I if go with this route or buy a new mobo)

Another stick of Corsair PC3200 or possibly PC4000 for future concerns?

Or....Save the money for something better...

Thanks.

I would have to agree with your train of thought. Get the WD 36GB Raptor, Silicon Image Controller card, and a matching stick of memory.

You can always find a use for the memory in a dual channel board and go Raid with the Raptor if you are so inclined later on.

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