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Video card or RAM need upgrading?

Discussion in 'Graphics Cards' started by itsmeitsme, Nov 5, 2007.

  1. itsmeitsme New Member

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    Hi, i am finding a solution to a good gaming experience.
    For a long time now, i have constantly been subjected to BSODs and have tried to resolve it but with varied success.
    At first, i was suggested to overclock the virtual memory because it allows you to increase your ram and so i would be able to benefit from a better performances during gaming (hence to eliminate the BSOD problem). I have 256MB ram and a 64mb video card and it's strange how the games i play only require about 128MB ram or less, and yet i get a lot of BSODs. This is why i think there are other problems associated with my computer, such as overheating. There is a loud noise generated from my computer whenever it is switched on. The temperatures down there are quite hot. I've tried opening the computer and cleaning out the dust, but it doesn't seem to work. It's really difficult to play any games because after 5 minutes or so, it generates a BSOD. I am currently thinking of upgrading both my Ram and video card, but the overheating - not sure. All suggestions appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. Pinchy New Member

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    Welcome to the forums!

    Can you please list your specs? (Such as motherboard model, power supply, CPU, RAM, Graphics, etc).

    If you need to find them all, you can download Everest which will display everything :).
     
  3. itsmeitsme New Member

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    First of all, thanks for the welcome. I really needed the help, i'm not so good with technology. :(
    Anyways, here are the specs, i used belarc
    Motherboard: ASUSTeK Computer INC. P4SGX-MX REV 2.xx
    CPU: 2.40 gigahertz Intel Pentium 4
    RAM: 256MB
    Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce4 MX 440 AGP8X (Omega 1.6693)
     
  4. Pinchy New Member

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    Does a driver/file name come up with the BSOD?

    Also, does it only happen in games?

    Im thinking its a driver, power or heat issue. I dont think having not enough RAM will cause it, as the game will crash, not the computer.
     
  5. tkpenalty New Member

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    Wow... I really suggest you get a new computer. You are stuck back like... almost half a decade ago. Anyway, you'll need a new PC. That PC isnt up for it anymore-its dying so heres a suggestion for a parts list.

    CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E2140/E4500
    RAM: 2x1GB DDR800 Samsung/Kingston/Corsair
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-P35 DS3
    Graphics Card: Depends, I'd grab a X1950PRO 256MB Sapphire if I were you.
    HDD: 160GB/320GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 SATAII
    DVD+RW: ASUS SATA DVD+RW+DL+RAM 18x
    Case + PSU: CAC - T05 (Coolermaster Centurion 5 with 430W PSU)

    Anyway, a setup like that is cheap and enough for gaming. Like I said, your computer is on its last legs anyway, so i'd throw it out or give it away and buy something like I suggested. Build it yourself, the manuals that come with the motherboard will give you all the information you need with building your PC.

    (Remember other TPU users, this guy isn't very experienced).

    EDIT: Pincy, you do realise these days that those old northwood generation systems that are frequently used should be starting to die off around now?
     
  6. itsmeitsme New Member

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    It happens very often. It happens sometimes when i start some other applications but predominantly it's with games. Another thing is, it really can't last long on hot days, it will just restart every 10 mins, just opening a movie or something.
    Yes, this comp is like 3 years old, i was thinking of buying a new one but also building my own. But, i have to learn how to build it. :D
    It will be great with the help of you all, I think i will learn quickly. Hmm...it's a good thing i finish my exams tomorrow. I can finally start playing hardcore again with my computer, but i have to resolve this issue first. I am just stuck with the question as to which is cheaper: upgrading some components or building one from scratch (new)
     
  7. itsmeitsme New Member

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    o, with the BSODs. I get a range of them, sometimes they display a file which is got to do with the audio software or video card.
     
  8. itsmeitsme New Member

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    I'm just about to finish my high school. Hmm, i think i will be on a tight budget just coming out. So, would you have any idea how much it would cost me to build something like that? I'm hoping it wont exceed $1000. But yea, i need your help because i am not so good with prices and all. THanks.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2007
  9. itsmeitsme New Member

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    wow, the parts look awesome. Thanks for the list, i think i will try putting those together. I've done some research shopping, looks like it will be about $1000 for all those. Now, i'll have to save my money for it. Seems to be the better idea, i think if i wanted to upgrade my current comp, it will cost an odd $300, so i guess i'll go for a new one. Cheers.
     
  10. Pinchy New Member

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    What country are you from?

    That would give us a better idea of prices, and what $1000 will get you.

    I wouldnt recommend upgrading anything on the current comp. If you can get the computer fixed, thats all well and good, but upgrading the hardware, you may as well get the new comp.


    Lol...a computer shouldnt "die off". If it is really slow, but serves is purpose, then the computer should just stay there. I say that taking full note that an older computer is not worth repairing if hardware is faulty, unless it is cheap to fix.

    Anyway an example, my friend has a Pentium 3 at 600Mhz and 128mb of PC-133. All he does on it is use the net/MSN and play flash games. The computer recently had problems. It would be plain stupid to go and build him a new rig because the computer he had does what he wants it to.





    Back to your current comp.

    Have you tried formatting the computer and starting fresh? Or, using driver cleaner to get rid of all your drivers and re-install them?

    It seems to be a heating problem though. Try opening the side panel, aiming a desktop fan at it and see if it crashes/takes longer to crash.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2007
  11. itsmeitsme New Member

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    First of all, I am from Sydney, Australia. $1000 for me, is quite a lot considering that i'm just on the verge of adulthood. But, since i want a decent gaming experience i am prepared to pay for it, provided that it's price for worth.
    Second, my current comp I am thinking of giving it to my bro for small applications, just like what your friend does. I guess it's not worth upgrading them, i'm reluctant to spend anymore on something that is deteriorating.
    Third, i've tried starting fresh and it only takes about a week or so before it returns to the state of deterioration.
    Fourth, hmm..yea, i will try opening the side panel while playing some games. But, i'll do it tomorrow. I'll get back to you, because i can't play now or else i'm being stupid - got exams early in the morning.
    Thanks for the help, Cya.
     
  12. N-Gen

    N-Gen

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    Upgrading wouldn't even work. Current stuff won't match. A lot of "budget" things will do well. We're not talking extreme gaming here. He could keep the hard drive if he's happy with it (it's probably IDE) although I'd recommend a nice new SATA drive.

    Totally on the side of you getting a new system if you want to game decently nowadays.

    I want to add the specs of my 2 desktops which I use for normal use which are similar.

    Rig 1:

    ASUS P4S8X-X
    Intel Pentium 4 Northwood 2.4GHz (OCed 2.66GHz)
    2x 512mb RAM
    1x Maxtor 7200RPM 160GB HDD [IDE]
    1x Seagate 5400RPM 40GB HDD [IDE]
    128mb nVidia GeForce MX440 (OCed)

    Rig 2:

    Some generic mainboard from 1999
    Intel Pentium 3 733MHz
    3x 256mb RAM
    1x Western Digital (I believe) 5400RPM 80GB HDD
    1x Western Digital 5400RPM 20GB HDD
    128mb nVidia GeForce MX440

    Both these rigs run perfectly and I'm very fond of the P3 that's to start with. It has a very good performance for an 8 year old rig. The first rig has been 3 years in my possesion and never had to complain (except the time my FoxConn CPU Fan blew itself up) but I solved that with a CoolerMaster one. So it's just a question. What do you plan on playing? What games? Any specific names of games you will be playing?

    We could help you more if you state.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2007
  13. itsmeitsme New Member

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    In regards to the level of gaming experience, N-gen, you are right. I'm not looking at extreme gaming but rather 'decent' and rather 'budget-wise', so it would be good if i can get the best parts in the market which fits in with my gaming experience and budget. I would like to build it, this i will try to learn through the help of this site.The games that i play are mostly online ones like Counterstrike, Conqueronline, Ragnarok, Warcraft. These sort of games, so as long as i get them running perfectly without any BSODs or crashes, I will be happy. Thanks, all appreciated.
     
  14. largon

    largon

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    itsmeitsme,
    First things first, we need to find what causes the BSODs...
    Download Memtest86+ 1.70, burn the image on a CD and boot to it. Let the test run overnight.
    If it detects errors: at least one of your RAM modules is damaged and needs a replacement

    If no errors:
    Download and install Prime95, run "torture test" for 4-6hours.
    If Prime95 detects errors your CPU is unstable (possibly due to overheating).

    If no errors:
    Update your device drivers (video and soundcard, etc.).


    OR
    If nothing resolves the BSOD problem:
    Reinstall the operating system (preferrably after formatting the hard disc).
    :twitch:
    I'm certain whoever suggested that meant that you should increase the size of the virtual memory (= dedicate more harddisc space for operating system's swap file)...

    EDIT:
    And since you're considering upgrading the system, I'd suggest you look for Athlon64 AM2-socketed processors (<100USD), basic AM2 motherboard (<<100USD), 1-2GB of DDR2-667 memory (<100USD), a cheap used Geforce 8800GTS 320MB video card (~200USD) and a quality 400-500W PSU.
    The suggested video card is powerful enough even for the latest games...
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2007
  15. itsmeitsme New Member

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    for some reason, the memtest isn't running on my comp. I've tried performing it with the floppy disk method:
    1. Extract it to some folder
    2. Run Install.bat
    3. Insert disk
    4. Reboot
    However, all that happens is a simple reboot. I do not see any memtests. Could it be that, i disabled the floppy disk settings. I am not sure, please provide solutions. Thanks
     
  16. largon

    largon

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    Find the boot sequence configuration in BIOS and set it to boot from floppy before hard discs.
    Every BIOS is different so I can't give you an exact guide.
     
  17. itsmeitsme New Member

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    ok, brb
     
  18. Pinchy New Member

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    LOL Have you got a HSC exam in the morning? (I'm currently doing the HSC too :rolleyes:)

    $1000 AUD can get you a really nice computer, even with a 22" LCD widescreen :). If your close to Parramatta, or at least you can get there, there are some good stores with great prices.


    EDIT - All the know how on how to build the comp, thanks to Zek :D:


    http://www.techpowerup.com/articles//other/144/1
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2007
  19. N-Gen

    N-Gen

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    He could get a nice 7 series nVidia card if he'd like to. I think the 7 chips are rather cheap. Or a low end 8xxx series. But I'd opt for 7 if it's the case.
     
  20. Pinchy New Member

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    Or an X1950 PRO for $150 ;).
     
  21. N-Gen

    N-Gen

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    I didn't mention ATI cos I haven't owned one since long ago. SO I'd leave that to the owners to tell ;)
     
  22. largon

    largon

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    Why bother if used 8800GTS 320MB ebays for around or even under $200...
     
  23. N-Gen

    N-Gen

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    I'd stick to nVidia myself and I've never personally seen a recent ATI card. But my friend owns an x1950 Pro and comments were nice by him. I've seen a 768mb 8800GTX and would add it's totally amazing but we're not speaking that kind of price are we? :laugh:
     
  24. Pinchy New Member

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    Because they arent Aussie prices :rolleyes:.

    If your lucky, you will get a used 8800GTS for $250...they average at about $300. (USED)

    Although you can pick a new one up for ~$300.
     
  25. N-Gen

    N-Gen

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    I'd prefer new in most cases. Especially a graphic. If it was exposed to overclocking or extreme gaming it would lessen it's life if you want to take that into consideration. For a few more cash I'd go new.
     

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