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PC tweaks

i have a 2.4GHz P4 256 MB RAM and 80 GB HD with XP . i know it's crappy
but i don't know where to start with the tweaks to make it game worthy so i need help should i get more RAM or the AMD 64 FX-53?
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SciFiJunky
Asked:
SciFiJunky
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1 Solution
 
winkingtigerCommented:
You should definitely upgrade the RAM.  I would say maybe another 512mb should put you in the good category.  I think your processor is fine.  The minimal system requirements for most games are around 1ghz now a days.

A good place to get the memory.
http://www.tigerdirect.com/
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LucFCommented:
Hi SciFiJunky,

Hmm... for a start, it's NOT crappy in any way, a lot of people are gaming on systems that are way slower than yours.
What videocard do you have? It's a pretty important thing when gaming to have a nice one, it doesn't need to be expensive though if you're satisfied with turning the graphics a bit down in games.
Although 256MB of RAM isn't much nowadays, you can still have a lot of fun with it, just make sure as little as possible programs are running in the background while gaming.
So, for a start, just leave the hardware as-is and see what you can do with it before spending a lot of money and later finding out you didn't need to do so.

Ok, a few suggestions:
1) Make sure your computer is Virus/Ad/Spyware free.
     (for ad/spyware, please see this page for scanning and removal: http:Q_20975384.html Start with a full systemscan with Ad-aware from Lavasoft)
2) Disable IM programs etc when gaming, also all P2P downloaders should just be gone from your computer, they slow it down to a crawl.
3) Disable unneeded services (http://www.blackviper.com/WinXP/servicecfg.htm)
4) Turn down some special effects in the games you play until you have a nice framerate, anything above 30 fps is good enough for most games.

See if that satisfies you, otherwise, please post back and tell us what games you want to play and exactly what hardware you have.

Greetings,

LucF
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winkingtigerCommented:
Also, your hard drive is definitely fine.  Just as long as there is a good amount of free space left on there.
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Gaud-woCommented:
If you want to play games, the cheapest and best quality solution lies (imho!) in an AMD system. Intel is more expensive, builds up more heat, and the company is having quite some issues in performance...

The best you can get these days is a DFI LAnparty UT nF3 mainboard with the latest socket754 AMD 64 processor.

This board even performs better than current socket 939 systems when tweaked right, and it only costs about 100$! You get:
- A new technology LAN controller (no longer on the PCI bus - 1Gigabit Ethernet on-chip by nF3-250GB and Marvel PHY),
- Capability to attach 4 SATA and 4 P-ATA drives, and you can put ANY of these drives in RAID
- 7.1 audio chip, compatible with most recent game surround technlogies
- Single channel, but as effective as dual channel memory. No need for expensive dual memory kits.
- Black board with UV reactive yellow slots.

For ram, get 400Mhz, at least 512MB (768 or 1028MB recommended). As vid card, get something more recent than a GeForce FX 5x00, preferrably.

This will cost you all about 600$ for the listed components.

If you want some more details, options or tweaks, don't hesitate to ask!

Check these reviews:
http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=2198&p=1
http://www.overclockers.co.nz/ocnz/review.php?id=04boardnf3250gbdfi00000lanparty0105

*quote Anandtech*
With our stock 3200+ and ATI Radeon 9800 Pro, the DFI is one of the better 2nd generation 754 boards. Standard performance tests demonstrate the DFI LANParty UT is very competitive with other recent Athlon 64 boards in Direct X 9 games, which is all we would expect. UT2004 and Far Cry include results from Socket 939 and Intel 775 for comparison. Since both the 939 and 775 results were with faster CPUs running an nVidia 6800 Ultra AGP 8X/PCIe, it is remarkable that the scores are as close as they are.

*Quote Overclockers New Zealand*

Conclusion:

DFI LANParty UT nF3 250Gb is the best socket754 board that we've tested, with amazing overclock potential (reaching 297MHz with a SATA drive) and an abundant settings for even the craziest tweakers. I was a bit worried about its price, as DFI's motherboards are never "cheap" to buy in New Zealand. After checking out a few online retailers, I found the DFI LANParty UT nF3 250Gb motherboard to be one of the more affordable nF3 250GB boards on the market and packed with many features.

DFI LANParty UT nF3 250Gb is an excellent choice for AMD64 socket754 overclockers and it is available at a very reasonable price. We have no hesitation in giving it our OCNZ Editor's Choice award. Well done, DFI!!

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Gaud-woCommented:
Oh yes, a "gameworthy" system depends most of the vid card these days, but it definately has to be backed up with a fast & stable mainboard.
You don't want to find yourself buying a brand new vid card, to come to notice your mainboard is the bottleneck...

Games just require good overall tuned systems. Especially if you want to play games like Doom3 or HL2.
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BjornEricssonCommented:
SciFiJunky,
You can start with optimizing your system software wise,
What I mean by this is that there are performance boosters for RAM, CPU and your operating system.
Start by checking out:
http://www.tweakxp.com/
http://www.filesland.com/companies/NetGear/Memory-Booster.html
and
http://www.softpedia.com/public/cat/12/6/index.shtml
for a variety of various software activated tweaks.
You can also increase performance by tweaking your registry, this is not recommended but you can do it on your own risk,
head over to: http://www.winxpcentral.com/windowsxp/ for information regarding this.
I hope this helps you on your way,
/B
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SciFiJunkyAuthor Commented:
i got 64MB gfx card ATI (7000 i think)
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Gaud-woCommented:
BjornEricsson -> Do you have any benchmarks or actual tests of the tweaking programs? I've never tested them, and I'm quite skeptical towards them, especially because most hardware sites advise not to use them?

Ati 7000 with 64MB is quite ancient if you want to play decent games.

It's ok for Pac-Man though, or Doom1, or Duke Nukem...

No really, if you want to play recent games, with superb looking water effects, fog, glares, lightings, shades, curved surfaces, and all those new techniques, you should have at least a DierctX 8 card. More recent is always better.
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Gaud-woCommented:
Ok, never mind, seems like your question is answered.
Bye then.
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LucFCommented:
SciFiJunky,
Are your problems solved now? As Gaud-wo and BjornEricsson posted a lot of good input...
Anything else you want to know?

The ATI Radeon's 7000's are not top of the line, but still can be nice cards, it all depends... Most, if not all games are playable at those cards, just not with all features set to the max.

LucF
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