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Posted: 9/26/2005 4:26:24 PM EDT
My computer has got a 3.2 ghz pentium 4, 1 gig memory, and a GeForce FX 5700VE. I am trying to speed it up and I figure the best thing to do is get a new videocard. Money is not super tight, but I do want to get as much bang for my buck as possible. What's the best deal on newegg right now? Thanks guys, I appreciate it.
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 4:53:19 PM EDT
What type of slot do you have...AGP or PCI-E?
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 4:57:40 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/26/2005 4:58:11 PM EDT by steve-oh]
pretty sure it's AGP
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 8:45:52 PM EDT
They have an awesome deal on 6800 ultras (MSI) that I took part in last month (deal is still going on this month) - 6800 Ultra AGP, 256 meg, plus games and a bunch of other stuff, for $375 after a 50 dollar mail in rebate.

www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814127144

They have one for $389, but doesnt come with nearly as many extras, here -

www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814170058

getting one of those, if you have an AGP slot, would mean you would be getting one of the fastest video cards that you can get for an AGP system from now on, and hold you over for a long long time, until getting a PCI-Express motherboard is needed.

As far as best bang for the buck, a 6800GT would be the way to go there.
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 11:45:44 PM EDT
actually i just peeked, I think its both. I have one brown slot and thats where the current video card it plugged into, and then theres a bunch of empty white ones. What should I do? Thanks guys.
Link Posted: 9/27/2005 4:42:27 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/27/2005 4:46:06 AM EDT by Gregory_A]
Get the 6800GT.

The empty white ones are PCI slots.Have you tried messing with the RAM timings ? You can also speed up your system by getting rid of processes Windows runs you don't need. Before I game I re-boot into a windows mode that runs only the necessary processes,frees up a lot of virtual memory.
Link Posted: 9/27/2005 6:09:39 AM EDT
also check out www.zipzoomfly.com they usually have good deals on excellent stuff
Link Posted: 9/27/2005 2:16:00 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Gregory_A:
Get the 6800GT.

The empty white ones are PCI slots.Have you tried messing with the RAM timings ? You can also speed up your system by getting rid of processes Windows runs you don't need. Before I game I re-boot into a windows mode that runs only the necessary processes,frees up a lot of virtual memory.



Ram timings? is there a tutorial somewhere or something? I have no idea what that is. Thanks again.
Link Posted: 9/27/2005 7:08:00 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/27/2005 7:10:52 PM EDT by adair_usmc]

Originally Posted By steve-oh:

Originally Posted By Gregory_A:
Get the 6800GT.

The empty white ones are PCI slots.Have you tried messing with the RAM timings ? You can also speed up your system by getting rid of processes Windows runs you don't need. Before I game I re-boot into a windows mode that runs only the necessary processes,frees up a lot of virtual memory.



Ram timings? is there a tutorial somewhere or something? I have no idea what that is. Thanks again.



Latencies - Basics

Example..

2-2-2-5

From left to right..

tCL-tRCD-tRP-tRAS

(The "t" denotes "tick")

tCL/CAS - Column Address Strobe - An electronic signal that determines which column is read or written to. You have to combine a CAS with a RAS to define a location. Lower is better.

tRCD - RAS to CAS delay - The name given to the delay that occurs when a row is activated to when the column is activated and thus data can be written to or read from. Lower is better.

tRP - RAS precharge - The delay between deactivating the current row and selecting the next row. Lower is better.

tRAS - Active to precharge delay - How long the memory has to wait before the next access cycle can begin. tRAS is not an exact science, lower is not always better. There was a thoery that the fastest/safest tRAS value to use was decided by CAS + tRCD + 2. E.g. if your timings were 2-2-2, the ideal tRAS value would be 6... but I disagree with this. I feel you need to work out for yourself which performs best for you. The difference will be extremely minimal but if you're going to manually define the tRAS at all you may as well do it properly. You can use SiSoft SANDRA memory bandwidth benchmark to compare.

Command Rate (1T/2T) - Memory access starts with the chip select. The command rate (CMD) decides how many clock cycles that chip select process needs before it can be executed. 1T is faster, 2T can often help with stability.
*CPC (Command Per Clock) : CPC Enabled = 1T, CPC Disabled = 2T.

Few quick notes...
tRCD and tRP have the biggest impact on performance. CAS does not. I believe this is mainly because altering the CAS value you are all familiar with adjusts only the read speed. To adjust the CAS write speed also you need to alter the tCWL.

CAS 1.5
CAS 1.5 does not exist. I don't know what gets set, but it's not 1.5! Look below.. see the option for CAS1.5 in the A64's memory controller? Noo.

000b = reserved
001b = CL=2
010b = CL=3
011b = reserved
100b = reserved
101b = CL=2.5
110b = reserved
111b = reserved

It is a name, that's all, a marketing gimmick. It looks cool, but there is no performance gain at all. In fact, it's often considered slower and this is why you may experience greater stability @ "1.5" than 2. It's similar to tRAS = 00, it doesn't exist because it's reserved but I know for a fact it adds stability at very high TCCX speeds.
You cannot really bench CAS"1.5" vs CAS2, though, since the margin of error is so small.


Don't get your hopes up
When I say "biggest impact on performance" I don't mean you will see major FPS boosts in games. The difference will really be noticable in benchmarks only. A lot of people here will tell you not to even bother with adjusting latencies given how little they effect system performance but think of all the small tweaks you can do to your system to improve performance, and think what they add up too - a nice boost. And to the tweaker/bencher, latencies make a big difference.
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