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Old 27th January, 2004, 08:58 PM
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BottleNeck

ok, here are my current system specs:

Dell Inpiron 3200
512 Mg PC133
P4 1.4 Ghz w/ 512 L2
PNY Geforce FX5600 256mg
1x PCI slot cooling fan (gets power from a y adaptor through the hd)
40 gig HD 7200rpm


my question, i know my processor isn't that great, but what would be causing the biggest slow down, i open up certain games and oly get like 30 FPS max, which i wouldn't expect from the graphics card, i have an onboard sound card, which i'm planning to upgrade soon to an Audigy 2, but would u guys think that the mobo is what is the biggest bottle neck at this point, because i'm unable to do much of anything in the BIOS, and the mobo is about 4 years old.

What would be you suggestion, should i replace the mobo, and in the process get a new processor, and get one of the top of the line mobos that has an onboard sound card that supports EAX 2.0, and change from pentium to AMD, or what? Also, if i get a new mobo, but stay with pentium, improve the cooling, and then overclock my current proccessor, what would be the best to be expected. sry i don't have any temp stats.
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Old 27th January, 2004, 10:11 PM
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3D games are dependant on:

1) a good 3D card which you have already
2) Fast memory (PC133 is not fast)
3) A good FSB speed, i.e. 166mhz or more

A faster CPU clock won't have much impact on frame rates, since the graphics maths is handled by the 3D card. CPU handles things like computer player AI, so games with more sophistcated computer oponents will need a good CPU.

In my experience onboard sound is just not up to fast gaming - get that Audigy card.

The bottom line is, if you what high performance gaming get the best of everything. Even then it's never fast enough.

Do you have some specs for the motherboard in that machine, I mean will it handle faster memory / CPU (a BIOS upgrade may be needed here).
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Old 28th January, 2004, 01:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danrok
3D games are dependant on:
Do you have some specs for the motherboard in that machine, I mean will it handle faster memory / CPU (a BIOS upgrade may be needed here).
i know the ram ain't fast enough, but that's the max it can support. i have no idea what type of cpu it can take because it is the board that came with the computer, so since it's a brand name pre-built computer, i don't have the specs on most of the hardware. i just recently upgraded the vid card from a geforce2 MX/MX 440 64mg. so...biggest suggestion, get a new mobo, new ram, new proccessor. would u say amd or pentium, from what i've seen i'm leaning toward an amd, or just a complete new custom machine with some of the old parts.
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Old 28th January, 2004, 02:18 AM
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If it is using Single Data Rate RAM (PC133), that's your bottleneck. That was the biggest PC ripoff in recent history... Intel actually recommending and building mobos on a P4 w/ SD ram.

Hold the phone... isn't the inspiron dell's notebook line?
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Old 28th January, 2004, 02:22 AM
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I would be willing to bet money that you have a socket 423 willamette P4 CPU. Those were real dogs. Time for a core upgrade, not just the Mobo.

Now you have to ask what your budget is. If you want top of the line, I sugest you don't buy now. Wait atleast until the prescotts come out in march to see whats what. If you want to jump in on the end of socket "A" technology, now is a great time to buy.

A socket "A" system will give you the most bang for the buck. You can pick up a nForce2 mobo with the MCP-T southbridge and soundstorm audio for slightly more than an Audigy card. And you can get a 2500+ Barton CPU for ~$85. Cheap PC3200 RAM can be had for ~$80 for a 512mb stick.

When dealing with Dell's it is important to check out the PSU and make sure that the pin outs on the 20 pin conector are stanrard pinouts. Dell often has OEM PSU and MoBos built for them that use a diferent pinout. If they are diferent then hooking up a Dell PSU to a standard MoBo could result in a fried board.

Good Luck
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Old 28th January, 2004, 02:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveI
Hold the phone... isn't the inspiron dell's notebook line?
That's what I thought also. (seeing as my laptop is a Dell Inspiron)
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Old 28th January, 2004, 03:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Staz
That's what I thought also. (seeing as my laptop is a Dell Inspiron)

lol sry, i meant deminsion, i also have an inspiron but i meant to talk about the deminsion 4300 (lol, i was at school and was going completly off the top of my head sry guys).
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Old 28th January, 2004, 04:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drewpaul86
lol sry, i meant deminsion, i also have an inspiron but i meant to talk about the deminsion 4300 (lol, i was at school and was going completly off the top of my head sry guys).
NP.
The last dimension I worked on was my friend's P3.
Not an easy task to upgrade. First, the mobo is definitely a weak spot. Most likely a high quality mobo made by intel... definitely not performance board. You said 512 cache, but that implies northwood, and I don't think they made them that slow (1.4). In all honesty, I like Staz's idea. Replace the mobo, memory, and CPU. However, that has it's own problems. Dell uses a proprietary connection to the mobo, all wires from the front bezel form what looks like a little floppy or mini ide cable that neatly connects to the mobo. you would have to cut this up and separately attach it to a new mobo. As a result, to save a great deal of hassle, you should replace the case, or see if you can find a standard front bezel at least. The Dell's I have worked on used standard PSU's, but I've heard of people blowing out machines due to different non standard PSUs. Also, the fan connections to the mobo are not standard.

All in all, you are probably best off selling your dimension or giving it away, and starting from scratch. This type of upgrade endeavour could end up costing you more than you expect, and you could end up making component decisions as you go that don't give you the maximum value for your money. If you start from scratch, at least you can try to line up a system that will fit your budget, and will probably be much more up to date over all.
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