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Motherboard replacement or GPU upgrade?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I'm looking to revive one of the old rigs my girlfriend has sitting around. She's mainly looking to play the Half-life series, Minecraft, some MMOs, and possibly older GTA, Saints Row, and Elder Scrolls games. Nothing too spectacular, this is basically until she has the cash for either a laptop or for me to build her something. Whatever I end up using will run XP Professional 32-bit.

Heres what I have:

PC #1: An athlon 64 x2 4200+ (Manchester) @ 2.2 GHz, non-HT. This rig is working, and it's running off some kind of integrated GPU. It also has 4 x 512MB of DDR RAM. The board supports 1 PCIe x16 GPU. I have to double check the PSU to see what it can handle, but for now I don't want to worry about that. This is the rig I'm considering getting a GPU for.

PC numero dos: Pentium 4 HT @ 3.2 GHz, single core, HT-capable. This is the rig with a dead motherboard. It's an old Dell Dimension 8400 oem sort of thing. I have an Nvidia geforce 6800 (not sure which one) that was with it, so if I replace the mobo on this, that's the GPU I'll be using. I also have 2 x 512 GB of DDR2 ram for it.

So here's the question. Should I replace the mobo on the pentium build and use the 6800, or completely scrap it and put the money towards a GPU for the athlon build? Is the 6800 good enough for what I want to do? If not, what's the best card the athlon can drive?

Thanks for the advice.
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post #2 of 15

RE: Motherboard replacement or GPU upgrade?

The Athlon x2 will probably fair better than a p4. Just put something like a gtx550 and you should be able to run the newer games smoothly.

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post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
I kind of thought the athlon would be better. You think it can push a 550? I don't want to buy her a GPU that the processor can't keep up with.
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post #4 of 15

RE: Motherboard replacement or GPU upgrade?

I think so, I know it's a quite a bit faster than the 9800gt in my E6850 machine and that thing bogs down pretty good in skyrim low settings. Got one of my friends the 550ti for his Phenom 1 and it does pretty good. If theres a bottleneck it probably wouldn't be a huge deal. I dont know much about AMD low end cards though, and I generally consider the gt series nvidia cards to be sub low quality but they would be cheap and would have no problem with the older gta games for sure.

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post #5 of 15
Get somewhere between a Radeon HD 6670-6790 or for NVIDIA get a 550ti on your Athlon computer, forget the motherboard, it will cost more and do less for performance. I wouldn't recommend anything in the GTX 400 series or a 520. The 400 series is slightly older tech (but, still very much works), and the 520 is really bad. The GTX 520 is worse than the GTX 430 and about as good as a GTX 210, ouch. Seriously, don't buy a GTX 520.
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hmm. How about a 540?

Also, It'll be running some version of XP. Doesn't XP only support up to dx9.0c? Is it worth it to a dx10/11 card?

Edit: What about a gtx 7900?
Edited by MME1122 - 2/14/12 at 11:10am
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post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by MME1122 View Post

Hmm. How about a 540?
Also, It'll be running some version of XP. Doesn't XP only support up to dx9.0c? Is it worth it to a dx10/11 card?
Edit: What about a gtx 7900?

DX11 and 10 cards run dx9 just fine, but you'll probably struggle with the 7900 in any sort of newish game within the last few years. I think the best bet for the nvidia side would be the 550ti fairly reasonable prices
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post #8 of 15
actually A second hand 4870 or gtx260 would only cost around 50 bucks. A Athlon x2 will still bottleneck a 4870, but will be vary usable.
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post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DzillaXx View Post

actually A second hand 4870 or gtx260 would only cost around 50 bucks. A Athlon x2 will still bottleneck a 4870, but will be vary usable.

Those are more in the price range of what I'm looking for, the 550ti is just a little too much. Which would you recommend, the 4870 or the 260?

Also, how do those compare to a 440?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100006662%20600031507%20600007321%20600007779%20600007797&IsNodeId=1&Description=440&ShowDeactivatedMark=False
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post #10 of 15
it's not ddr2 in the amd board? i'd take that chip and build something around it

260 if you can find one
Edited by Schmuckley - 2/14/12 at 9:06pm
 
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