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Old 11-04-2002, 11:14 AM   #1
Gilgamel Avamar
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Default RAM and video card suggestions.


Ok looking to spend about 200 bucks upgrading my computer. I'm looking for two 512 sticks of RAM and a video card upgrade. Went to pricewatch and I see lots of options but I'm not sure which to go for. Primarily looking for increased gaming performance. Any suggestions as to what would be my best option for around $200 would be appreciated.

Gilg

PS: I've heard the best way to see what RAM you should buy is to buy more of what you have. Is there any way to check what RAM I have without opening up my case and physically looking at the DIMMS? I've looked around the control panel and the like and I can't find out what memory or what motherboard I have. Running on an Athlon 1.3 352 MB RAM Geforce2 Mx400 atm if that helps at all. Also on dialup until charter gets off its ass and gets cable into my area.
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Old 11-04-2002, 11:35 AM   #2
TheodwynRiddermark
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Gilg,

Without cracking open the case, or having the box of the model of the motherboard around, or some rare but cool diagnostic tool.....

There's no way to know if you have SDRAM or DDR or RIMM or what have you.....

Theo

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Old 11-04-2002, 12:25 PM   #3
Emberfier
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If you're running an Athlon 1.3, you're almost certainly using SDRAM. There's an outside chance that you've got DDR but it's slim.

You should be OK getting fairly generic SDRAM sticks- I haven't ever had any problems getting whatever is cheap at the time but I don't usually buy the rock bottom cheapest stuff I can find.

512 meg sticks are going for around $35 or so last time I checked... That leaves you around $130 or so for a vid card. I have been checking out vid card bang-for-buck in that price range and I would recommend a GeForce4 Ti 4200 with 64 mb of ram. That should set you back around 130 or so and seems to perform just about as good as the same card with 128 mb. The only situations where that particular card/memory configuration seems to be a bit behind the times is when the resolution is up over 1280x1024...

Check out www.pricewatch.com for a good idea of what it's going to cost you. (There's several other pages out there that also have comparable search features.)

-Khaav
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Old 11-04-2002, 12:43 PM   #4
Keldarn
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As far as RAM manufacturers go, I'd recommend Kingston. It's what brand I use here at work in our production systems, and what I use in my PC at home. Kingston is some stable stuff, at least in my experience. Our production systems are in a <em>harsh</em> environment, and we've yet to have any memory problems in the past year and a half that we've been using that brand.

Can't really comment on the video, as I'm still using an old clunky GeForce2 MX400. But it's just a <em>touch</em> overclocked. :smokin:
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Old 11-04-2002, 09:09 PM   #5
fvisker
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Default re:ram and video


A decent stick of 512 Ram will cost you around 95 dollars. That is a name brand and CAS latency 2. If you want to go the CAS latency 3 and/or high density, then you will look at around 35 per stick, but the quality just is not there. You get what you pay for.

As for video cards, the Voodoo5 is an awesome card for the price, but offers no support. I would reccomend something along the GeForce4 TI-4200 series, they run about 150 bucks. If you don't want to spend that much, go for the GeForce4 MX 440 or something; not as high quality card, but priced lower at about 100 bucks.

As I said before, you get what you pay for.

Frankee
61.4 Druid
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Old 11-05-2002, 02:20 AM   #6
r3flux
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Default video card suggestion


I personally prefer the ATI Radeon series. Sure not as powerful as a Geforce but it is the best bang-for-cheaper then geforce-buck youll find :P I paid 90$ cdn for a Radeon 7000 and the only place i find laggy is in the bazaar lol. As far as RAM, make sure you get PC-133 for the processing speed of it, it makes a difference btw that and the PC-100 or PC-66 (if you can even find that anymore :P)

Badiflet
Midget warrior of Brell
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Old 11-05-2002, 02:27 AM   #7
Stacy the Druid
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Athlon 1.3 352 MB RAM Geforce2 Mx400

I can tell you from first hand experience that the only thing you need to upgrade is your internet connection. I moved, and in the process went from Cable to dial-up and back to cable. My graphics ran great when I was on cable. When I went to dial-up, it took forever to download a zone. If it takes you more then 15 to 20 secs to zone, you need a faster connection. If the zoning over does not seem to be a problem I would suggest a higher video card. As it looks now your processor is .3 faster than mine. Your ram is exactly same. Your graphics card is 64mb, double what I have. I am pretty sure the Mx400 is 64mb. My friend has one. I am running a 32mb card. I had to turn down some graphics on mine. Clip Plane, Models of characters my friends and I dont play and some spell effects. If you went from 64 to 128 you would see tremendous improvements. Raedon 9700 pro, not yet rated for Everquest, resently came out. Cost about 400 bucks though is the top of the line video card on the market.
I used to run at 26.4 connection and beleave me, cable makes alot of difference.
There is no way in software on your computer to tell what Ram your computer has, only how much of it you have. You will have to take the cover off the computer. You might be able to tilt the computer on its side and read the serial/model number of the ram. If you can't you will have to remove one of them. It's easy to do, just pry away the clamps on each end of the ram, and it lifts right up. Once out and you can not determine which ram it is, take it to Comp USA, Circuit City or any computer store that builds/makes computers. Most computers come with 3 to 4 slots for ram. I suggest buy in pairs. Best Buy has 256mg chips for sale for 44 bucks after discounts and mail-in rebates. Video card, perhaps you can try the Raedon 9000 pro 128mg card. Current price has it selling for 150 dollars.

Hope my comments help you decide what to do. Any information usually helps..
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Old 11-05-2002, 04:43 AM   #8
Kalrie Healingmirth
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<blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr>Without cracking open the case, or having the box of the model of the motherboard around, or some rare but cool diagnostic tool.....

There's no way to know if you have SDRAM or DDR or RIMM or what have you..... [/quote]

Well, since you don't know what kind of RAM you have, I'm presuming you didn't build your computer yourself (i.e. its a dell, or an hp, or what have you) www.crucial.com has nifty little feature where you can select your system manufacturer, line, and model, and it will pull up the standard stuff for the model. Most of the time (just from randomly clicking through now) that will be enough.

tech newb,
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Old 11-05-2002, 08:26 AM   #9
Mackentil Dapuller
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Gilg, I would wait until you have 400 bucks to spend and upgrade mobo, cpu, ram, and video card in one shot. If you buy PC-133 ram then it can't be used in your next computer unless you want to buy ancient technology. The only thing the extra ram gives you is the ablitity to turn on all the models. You have plenty of ram to run the game as long as you don't crank up the models.

If you can't wait, I would just get a good graphics card. It can be used in a future system and would probably give you the best performance increase. Read this article to see how ATI compares to Nvidia..

www.anandtech.com/video/s...tml?i=1735

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Old 11-05-2002, 12:40 PM   #10
Gilgamel Avamar
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Well I'm not exactly an expert, I'm taking computer courses right now, so I could probably take it apart and put it back together with no problem, I just don't know how to find out what I have. Computer used to be a HP, but I've upgraded the MB/RAM/Video card/processor myself. I can't go to cable just yet, because charter communications is the only provider where I live and they haven't ran lines to my residential area yet. As far as lag and the like, I have very little lag and for the most part I didn't go LD at all until about a month ago, now I go LD 2-3 times a night sometimes, or I'll go a couple of days without going LD. Got a new modem, no change. Changed the phone cord, no change. Changed the phone line, no change. So as of right now I'm stumped, but basically what I'm looking for is the ability to run with my clip plane higher than 20% up and the ability to use some limited particle effects in non-raid situations. I've also heard something that can make you go LD is running out of video memory or any sort of overheating(since I'm on an athlon I'm worried about that, but I have 1 big fan and 2 little ones as well as plenty of heat sinks).

Gilg

PS: Charter is stringing lines in my area as we speak, but as to when cable will be available, you're guess is as good as mine.
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Old 11-05-2002, 12:54 PM   #11
TheodwynRiddermark
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Hi Gilg,

Since you upgrade the parts yourself, if you could post every detail of the motherboard, cpu, memory, etc that you know about, it would help us help you.

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Old 11-06-2002, 10:03 AM   #12
Leldari Luthiniel
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Nifty shareware program.
download.com.com/3000-2094-10136022.html
Detects all your hardware including RAM. Even tells you the manufacturer of each RAM stick.

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Old 11-07-2002, 02:48 AM   #13
Antheus Emarr
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Default hmm


Well he prolly has PC-133 or the likes...do they even make that @#%$ CAS 2? Anyways, make sure you're motherboard supports the extra 512 ram before you go and buy it. You may as well get PC-133 btw, since your comp will just underclock it if you currently use PC-100. As for video cards, get the 4200 128 meg rather than the 64...will be better in the long run.
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Old 11-07-2002, 06:19 AM   #14
Dinuven Stratocaster
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Default Re: hmm


You can always go into bios and check your frequencies to see what kind of ram you are using. I would guess it's PC133 RAM you're using and not DDR.

As for vid card, my second machine has a p3 800 with a gf2 64 meg. It used to have a gf3 ti 200 and I notice the difference. So IMO, you're gf2 is definitely a problem. A gf4 ti4200 is not a bad choice, though your system probably won't push it to the max, at least you'll be ready for the future with games that want a programmable GPU (Doom3!!!)
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