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Jayís Upgrade AMD XP 2800 to Intel Celeron D 775 3.46
Well my buddy Jay just recently got back into EQ2 and was noticing some lag issues so he wanted to see what could be done at a moderate price to make the game run smoother. First thing we had to do is look at the current configuration. Here is a list of his components.
Ok after looking at what type of lag he is seeing it looks like most likely his bottle neck is the CPU seeing he has plenty of RAM and all his drives are newer 7200 133ATA devices. And that he a decent midrange video card. CPU seems like the best place to start. He currently is using a 400 series AMD CPU going to either a 900 series AMD or a 775 Intel would jump is throughput on the CPU almost doubling his CPU push. The only other possible slowdown would be his video card it is a mid range but should perform very well using normal settings. Here are the choices, replace the Motherboard and CPU that will run about 150 USD, or he could go the video card route but in that situation it wouldnít make sense to replace the AGP video card without replacing the motherboard. We came up with a solid plan that should get him at least another year or two out of the PC without any major upgrades. After searching for motherboards and CPUís for my brotherís rig I noticed a bunch of motherboard combo deals that support the newer 775 Intel chips and the DDR memory that AMD used up until about the last 6 to 8 months. We went with the ASRock 775i65gv. This board can use up to a 800 FSB and we found a combo deal with a 533fsb Intel Celeron D 3.46ghz CPU. Time to order some parts.
Installation is pretty strait forward we removed all the IO cards and the power connections pulling back any obstructions. Then the motherboard screws had to be removed. The ASUS A7V880 is a full ATX motherboard so there isnít a bunch of room in this rig. Next is installing the new motherboard.. This unit came with the CPU and cooler already attached making installation even easier. Just put on the new rear faceplate and screw in the motherboard. Fortunately this motherboard uses the same 20-pin power that the AMD chipset uses along with the 4-pin 12v secondary power connector. Next we need to remove the old memory from the ASUS and install it on the 775I65GV. Next we need to make sure the wires are all hooked up everything from the IDE cable to the LED and switch wires. Now that all the hardware is installed a quick power-up to make sure the PC posts. Man worked first time this never happens I always forget something.
The last step of the process is software. Seeing we went from an AMD to an Intel the OS will need to be reloaded. Jay decided he wanted to upgrade the OS seeing a reloaded is needed anyway so what we did was install Windows Vista Ultimate over the existing XP and see how it works. After a few hours of tweaking and finagling everything was installed and ready to role. The only real driver issue we found was the Creative Lab drivers had to be downloaded and for some reason the Creative Game port drivers is completely incompatible. That port has not nor probably ever will be used so it was a minor sacrifice. One cool new feature on Vista is the performance evaluation the system will do to let you know how well your system performs. In this case Jayís bottleneck now is his video card as I expected. The rating will basically give number values for all his devices the lowest number being the maximum performance of the machine. His Rating was 3.2 now all the other components on this system are in the 4ís and 5ís so the only device lower was the 6600GT. For a comparison I run Vista Ultimate on my Dual Core 4400 AMD 64 bit system with performance RAM and 3gig interface SATA drives and that system is only at 4 so for less then the cost of my Dual Core CPU Jayís rig performs in the same realm in some aspects better. The 150-dollar upgrade made the CPU utilize the memory and perform better. I think this is probably the last upgrade for this system next time it will be much more drastic new memory video card motherboard and so on but this should do for at least another year or two of gamming.
As Jay gets used to the new OS I will let you know if anything comes up and how the system fares over time. Hope you fond some of the information useful.
Well my buddy called me today complaining about Vista. His biggest problem is the Audio Support for his applications. Also many of his old applications do not support Vista yet so needless to say we will be reloading the system in the next few days back to Windows XP Pro. So far this is the second
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