Guys I need some advice.. Can I still game on a P3 1 ghz?

My current system:

P3 600 mhz. (upgradeable to 1 ghz.)
256 rdram (upgradeable to 512 mb.)
30 gig 7200 hd.
12x dvd
Geforce 3 ti200
Audigy gamer sound card
Microsoft 98 SE

This is the deal… I was going to build my own sytem but I’m in major debt, so I need to pay my bills. So… I was thinking about doing some upgrading on my current system to by me some time, before I need to purchase or build a new system.

Now… What I was thinking of doing is:

  1. upgrade the processor to 1 ghz.
  2. ditch the 12x dvd for a lite-on cdrw
  3. ditch Microsoft 98 SE for XP
  4. upgrade from the 30 gig hd, to Western Digital 80 gig with 8 mb. cache
  5. get another 256 rdram (800 mhz.)
  6. ditch the Geforce 3 ti200 for a Geforce 4 card (128 mb.)

If I do this, will I be able to buy some time until my next major purchase? I’m hoping that I would last 6 months to a year, until my sytem is to slow to play future games.

Actually… I’ve been playing some games such as GTA 3 at 1024x768x32 without much slowdown. And even the Hitman demo, I can play at 1024 without much slowdown. In addition, I’ve played MOA:AA at this resolution and it was very enjoyable. I don’t have all the settings maxed, but it still looks good.

But… Other games such as Ghost Recon, Dungeon Siege and Tribes 2 seem to be more taxing on my system and they put stress on my system.

Then… I’m worried about the upcoming games such as ut2k3, age of mythology and Unreal 2. I know the Unreal series is going to be very taxing on computer systems, but if it’s not processor dependent and relies more on the video card, then I should be good… Especially since I’ll have a Geforce 4 (128 mb) video card in my system Am I correct on this? So confusing… :(

I need some advice!!! Is upgrading my system a waste of time?


I am currently using a PIII-733 (GeForce 3 Ti500, 512 MB RAM) and am able to play most games at 1024x768 with details cranked up at a good framerate. In a year or so… well, I’m sure it will be time to upgrade. For the time being, it works fine, though.

thxs for your input ben…

yea… I’m figuring the 1 ghz. should do the trick for the mean time. Also, I’m figuring that if i wait a little bit I’ll be able to see where all this technology takes us!


Pricewatch lists a PIII 1GHz at $102. For the same price you could get an Athlon XP 1600 AND a motherboard. Plus you get a board that lets you upgrade to an XP 2200 later on far cheaper than you will to a P4. Unless you have some kind of thing for Intel, I’d say get onto the cheaper upgrade path.

Only thing to watch out for is that you may need a new power supply. Still, something to consider.

Age of Mythology will run just fine on that PC. I think you’re just trying to keep up with the imaginary Joneses. The only thing I’d do is put in 256MB of RAM. Save your money for all the games coming out this Holiday season and upgrade next year.


Only problem with that is needing to buy new memory.

My advice (since you mentioned money is very much an object in your case) is to set your budget, then see what you can do with it. If you’ve already done this and what you listed is what you’ve come up with, then that’s fine. Also, if you’re going to build a new computer from scratch in a year or less, you might want to consider paring down your upgrade some and putting that money towards your debt and/or the new upgrade. For example, is your 30Gb drive actually full? If not, you can hold off on the HDD upgrade, there’s $100 right there. Etc, etc. The CPU, RAM and OS upgrades are probably the most potent ones in your list, while the rest is icing on the cake, relatively speaking.

I’m in a similar boat actually, with my Duron 800, 256 Mb DDR, GF3Ti200 system, my CPU is my main bottleneck, so that will be the first thing I upgrade, probably along with some RAM. The other stuff I want: That same 80 Gb HDD, a CDR/DVD combo, etc can wait a while.

Yeah, but he has 800MHz RDRAM. He can get 512MB of DDR266 SDRAM for the price of 256MB RDRAM. (And sell the RDRAM on eBay :-)) RDRAM doesn’t offer any benefits on an P3 system anyway.

I’m not sure a GeForce3 Ti200 is a major bottleneck with most games, as long as you’re not turning on antialiasing and running at really high resolutions.

If I had that config, I’d go for an Athlon XP CPU/motherboard/512MB RAM and Windows XP. You’ll see some real benefits there. (Not speed from XP, but IMHO it really is the biggest OS improvement MS has made since the jump from DOS/Win3.1 to Win 95.) And get the CD-RW too; watch for a week or two and you can find a good one for $25 to $50 after rebates or discounts.

From there, look at how much $$$ you have left, and update the hard drive and get a GF4 Ti200 if you still can afford it.

When I went from a 700MHz P3 to a 1GHz unit, I barely noticed the speedup. When I went from that 1GHz P3 to an Athlon XP 1800+, I saw dramatic speedups.

Good point, I can’t believe I didn’t think of that. :roll:

I’d agree based on what I’ve seen with my setup and IL-2. At 1024x768x32 I get 41 fps on average at min detail and 28 fps on average at max detail. Moderate detail levels let me get 35 fps on average. My CPU is the real culprit.

I’ve been using a 1GHz PIII for two years now. With 512MB PC800 RDRAM and a GeForce 3 Ti 200 it still works pretty well. Nothing yet that won’t run, and as long as I keep to 1024 res or so for shooters (all I really use anyhow, as anything higher is too hard for me to see sometimes, particularly the interface elements) I have no troubles.

My problem is that I can’t really upgrade with a CPU improvement, I have to go whole hog for a new mobo, CPU, etc. And my wife has an identical machine (only with a GeForce 2) and thus we have to upgrade both. Scoping the prices I’ve found that buying a whole new system (sans monitor and speakers) from someone like Alienware is cheaper than buying parts and buiilding. It’s still about two grand though.

Yeah, it’s usually 2 grand to build from scratch… But I usually upgrade piecemeal. New motherboard/RAM/CPU in one purchase (and usually just new CPU for a couple of increments after that), then a new 3D card, then maybe a new hard drive. Most recently, a faster CD-RW.

I haven’t spent more than $500 for an “upgrade stage” in a few years. Makes it easier to stay close to cutting edge – $500 is a good chunk of change, but it’s easier to come up with than $2,000!

I keep two systems going… Stuff that comes out of my main rig goes into my video recorder/network gaming second rig. Stuff out of the second rig is usually still worth enough to fetch a few bucks on eBay.

About 2 months ago I spent US$1375 on upgrading my system. This got me :

ASUS A7V266E mobo
ATX case + 300W power supply
Athlon XP 1900+ (1.6GHz)
ASUS GeForce 4 Ti4600
WD800BB 80GB hard drive

I recycled my 19" Sony, mouse, keyboard, CDROM, and SB Live soundcard.

Since then I have been upgrading piecemeal and have purchased :

Intellimouse Explorer 3.0
Ricoh MP7320A CDRW burner
Sound Blaster Audigy

My next update will be to an Athlon XP 2600+ (2.13Ghz) which is the maximum my motherboard will support on the 266MHz FSB.

My previous system was a Celeron 850MHz, BX mobo, nVidia TNT2U, and 256MB PC100 ram. I had this for three years or so and was long overdue for an upgrade. The worst thing about this old system is that the motherboard did not have enough power through the AGP slot to run GeForce cards.

The speed difference between my old and new system was amazing.

It also depends on your personal preferences for frame rate. I’m running a P3/733 with a Ti4200 and 384MB SDRAM. I usually run at 1024, and I haven’t yet run into something that makes me think I must upgrade. I ran the NOLF2 teaser at 1024 with full detail, and it was smooth. I do stay away from AA, but I think it screws up text too much anyway.

To some, I’m sure what I think is smooth is intolerable. I still play a lot of HL engine stuff, and those run about 50-60 fps, which is great to me, but I’ve run into some people that insist anything less than 100 fps is flickery and slow.

I had a chance to try the NOLF2 teaser on my Dad’s P4 2.0 GHz machine, which has a GeForce4 MX card. Despite the difference in CPU speed, my machine runs it more smoothly than his, especially when there is a large amount of smoke.

Probably because of the MX.

The upgrade I listed in the other thread cost $1200 and could be shaved to less if you want a cheaper case and slightly slower processor. That is a complete machine sans monitor.

If you are looking for an extreme bargain though, you can’t really do better than an AthlonXP. My son upgraded for around $500 for new MB (Abit KR7A), CPU(XP1800+), RAM(512mb pc2100) and a GF4 4200. And this was maybe a month back so you can probably do the same thing for closer to $400 now. He was running a Athlon 900 before with a GF2 and he essentially doubled all of his framerates and even things like EQ which is old as the hills runs a ton smoother now. The GF4 is a nice card but if you are looking to save do the mb, cpu, and ram upgrade probably around $300-350 and then see how your system runs. The GF3 Ti200 is a solid card and if you wait another 6 months you can get into the low/middle end of the 9700 or NV30 for $150-200.

– Xaroc

I still run Win98 SE because I think it’s a leaner OS than ME – but I don’t know about XP. For those of you running XP for gaming, what do you think? Is it worth the upgrade? 98’s not giving me any trouble. What’s the benefit of XP? (The registration thing for XP is what’s keeping me away. I upgrade hardware too often and don’t want to ask MS’s permission to get into my PC every time I change a few components).

I’ve been very pleased with XP for gaming. So far, I hvaen’t had problems running any games, and I was actually able to get SeaDogs to work again (I couldn’t run it under Me…WHY did I ever buy Me?! What the heck was I thinking!?)

It’s a lot more stable than 98 in my opinion, and I haven’t found that the Windows Product Activortex or whatever it’s called is a problem.

From what I’ve read, the way WPA works is that components “get to vote” on whether this is the sames computer XP booted on last time. Not all components get equal votes. I think the motherboard gets 5 votes or something, and the nic gets 3 votes. So even if you change your graphics card and something else, as long as you don’t change your NIC every other day you should be fine.

Also…after a certain period of time, new components get their vote back. So for instance, I changed my NIC card a few weeks ago. It doesn’t get to vote anymore.

Apparently after a few months, that NIC gets to vote because it’s been around long enough.

Long story short: XP = thumbs up.


Heh… I like XP as well, but that post just gave me a disturbing vision of all my hardware gathered in the seats of a gladiatorial arena, each slowly rotating its hand in turn to point thumb-down…

Thanks for the input, Spoof. Nothing in my reading mentioned about the “hardware vote system;” thanks, that’s very useful info. I’ll keep that in mind next time I walk past an XP box at the local software shop. Maybe I’ll pick it up before my next major upgrade, now that my trepidation has been put to rest. :-)

I’m running a P3 850 that’s getting long in the tooth… MOHAA can turn into a slideshow at times during multiplayer, which is never a good thing if you want to play competitive.

The good news is that I can recycle most of my system, most of my components are still top-of-the-line… I’ve got a GeForce4 Ti 4400, SB Audigy, etc, etc.

That still means I’m going to have to buy a new mobo, new CPU, and new RAM, cause my PC100 SDRAM just don’t have the bandwidth anymore.

My problem is that I’ve been ignoring mobo developments for so long that I have no idea which processor to get, and what mobo to get with it. Still have memories of those horrible Intel chipsets, or those memory latency problems with Via chipsets, and I don’t want to have to deal with having to download the “latest” 4-1 drivers every other week, etc, etc.

In my book, the 440BX was the greatest mobo chipset ever. It was a horse, it did everything you asked of it, and it had no problems whatsoever. So what’s the latest equivalent of the 440BX?

Thinking of an NForce2 board mated with an Athlon XP, and with some DDR. Anyone got any recommendations on that front?

The Intel 845E chipset is the one I chose and paired it with a P4 2.53. If you aren’t afraid to overclock the P4 1.8a CPUs ($140) will almost all do 2.4Ghz without a hitch (2.1 Ghz at a bare minimum). Then you can avoid the 4-in-1 issues all together. In all your system will be cooler and just as fast as a comperable Athlon XP. You can even use pc2100 ram (DDR266) since you probably won’t get past 133 fsb. This is doable with the stock HSF unit. As for stability, the 845E is extremely stable. The 845E and the 1.6a and 1.8a are like going back to the celeron 300a that would go to 450.

If you are going to avoid overclocking then the NForce2 sounds like a solid choice paired with an XP2200+. Or if you have more budget the 845E with a higher end P4.

– Xaroc