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hephaestus

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Lets put it this way: Not a lot of people are brave enough to try and mix the RAM types. Do yourself a favour and get the same type... and 640 is a very nice number indeed.

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What OS are you using? If you are still using Win98 though you can use more than 512MB of RAM, you have to do a system hack in order for it to work. 512 is really the limit on it. Win2k or better can use more RAM lots more effectively.

With DDR (specially dual channel) you will need 2 identical sticks of RAM in order to use it properly. That includes being from the same manufacturer.

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Heph, which are you trying to buy - a video card, or more RAM?

Don't get me wrong, you need more RAM. But at this point, my opinion would be that you would get better gaming performance out of that 4200, than keeping the GeForce2 and purchasing a 512 stick instead.

AGP 8X IS backward compatible with AGP 4X motherboards. AGP 8X technology is still being refined though, and bugs are being worked out of it. As phantom suggested, it'll be awhile until the benefites of 8X are harnessed.

Here's what I'd do if I were you:

Option 1 -

1: Purchase a Ti4200

2: Save your money for a few months, and then buy new components(e.g. CPU, mobo, PC3200 or 3500 RAM)

3: Purchase a faster VGA card

4: Be happy

Option 2 -

1: Save your money a few months

2: Purchase a new CPU, RAM, mobo, and a spankin' fast video card

3: Be happy

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Running 98 on the desktop. Ok, so i need two sticks of 256 pc2100. But there are many different grades...does it really matter if i get the cheapest or most expensive grade?

@DR, sounds good bro. I just want to git rid of the chop for now, and I'll probly take a new card-- thats really what I'm after. But it is obvious that I need some more ram and faster cpu...so I'll just deal with that later if it becomes an issue. Now, back to the cards...

Edited by hephaestus

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Corsair is the best, hands down. If you cant afford them, (and I dont blame you) go with Kingston or Crucial.

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That's no problem Heph. I'm just trying to save you from buying RAM twice.

The way I look at it, you can spend some hard-earned cash (I'm assuming here... :lol: ) for a nice card that will free up the processer a little, and enjoy better gameplay while continuing to stash away pesos for your upgrade. :)

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As long as you aren't overclocking you don't need anything rated above PC3200. Corsair XMS, Mushkin Black and Kingston HyperX are the 3 best brands, in that order IMO. GEIL and OCZ are just as good according to some but they have had good and crappy performances so its hard to know if they are good yet. Crucial is the best for medium grade ram, its not super fast but it holds strong. It gets used in servers the most.

Hep, what motherboard do you have?

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He's got the ECS K7S5A. It is an AGP 4x board, and supports either two sticks of PC100 or PC133 SDR Ram, OR up to two sticks of DDR 200/266 (PC2100). Only two slots, and either DDR or SDR.

I've got the same board myself.

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Well heck ur in a situation Hep....your mobo could stand upgrading to allow you to get newer higher performance things. But then u don't have them. I don't even know if they make most of those performance ram's in PC2100. I'd go video card then in that case I suppose.

Thx for the info Dannik.

Edited by Stinger

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There's not really an issue with RAM. DDR, just like SDR, can be underclocked easier than overclocked. If you stick PC2700 into a board that only supports PC2100, your RAM will run at PC2100 speeds. No worries.

I like Cruicial for their lifetime warranty service. If it dies, it's free replacements for life. Still, when I buy RAM, I buy locally, and generic RAM (Samsung or Hyundai chips) from stores I trust. I do get a bit of a failure rate on occasion, but I've saved a lot more $$ even with failures than it would have cost me for getting Corsair in the first place. That doesn't mean either method is better... just that mine has worked for me.

I can pick up Kingmax PC2700/512meg sticks for about $78USD, or generic PC2700 for about $66USD. It may seem like a small difference, but when you build systems with some frequency (as I do) shaving 10% where it's reasonable allows me to build better computers than the OEM's can, and a lot cheaper. ;)

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Yeah, I've had this same system for about 2years and it's never caused any trouble. It's getting a bit dated, though. But thats why I'm just going for the card. This will eventually be my backup system after I build the next one...my current rig still has another year in it, imo. :lol:

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There's not really an issue with RAM. DDR, just like SDR, can be underclocked easier than overclocked. If you stick PC2700 into a board that only supports PC2100, your RAM will run at PC2100 speeds. No worries.
Your kidding me :o:P But why waste money on ram that can't use it to its full potential. And if he gets a new machine in a year then he's talking DDR2 no regular ddr anymore so thats a huge waste.

I like Cruicial for their lifetime warranty service. If it dies, it's free replacements for life. Still, when I buy RAM, I buy locally, and generic RAM (Samsung or Hyundai chips) from stores I trust. I do get a bit of a failure rate on occasion, but I've saved a lot more $$ even with failures than it would have cost me for getting Corsair in the first place. That doesn't mean either method is better... just that mine has worked for me.
Kingston and Corsair and Mushkin all have lifetime warranty's. I had to RMA a stick of kingston and they sent me a new stick the VERY NEXT day. 3:00pm and I got it in the next days mail. :D Plus when you buy locally you are being ripped off almost everytime unless you get their cheap PNY stuff as Best Buy is so fond or peddling. <_<

That cheap stuff doesn't oc well so I don't touch it. And I'd bet on half of those sticks you'll pick up errors in memtest86. Try running it and I bet that cheap generic stuff will show a few errors.

Edited by Stinger

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Ive actually had very good luck with PNY, but then I dont overclock anything. I dont have the money to risk on parts, just so I can run them faster than they were designed to do.

If you have money, and can afford it, thats great. But over clocking is a huge risk if you are on a budget, and if you need your PC up 24/7. Not only that, but overclocking voids almost all warranties.

Over clocking is highly NOT recommended. Especially if you need reliability, and a wallet.

In Heph's case, here's what I would do for now, from a practical and budget minded position.

Pick up a 256 or 512 stick of PNY RAM from Best Buy. Inexpensive and reliable.

If you want to get a Video card, and you want to save money now, and get performance, for your machine a GeForce4 TI 4200 or 4600 will give you what you need, and be good for awhile. And these recommendations will definitely work in your machine now.

There isnt anything wrong with any of the above recommendations, but I do know whats going on with Heph's machine, and I think this would be a great solution for the position that he's in now.

Best Buy is still carrying the 256 and 512 PC2100 at a very good price.

Its a simple, straight forward upgrade, at a very reasonable price that will carry him through until he can build what he wants.

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yeah, runs fine on my gf2...but i'm lookin for more than fine ;)

Thanks for the input though :)

So, you can run in full detail with propwash and dust effects without stutters? I don't see what more you could ask for, seeing that a faster card will only give you unuseable FPS if the current one works fine. I can run MOHAA, JKII, Splinter Cell, and pretty much any other game at full detail without problems. I even run IL2 with 4x AA. Did I also mention that it is a widley accepted fact that Ati has better image quality than Nvidia? :)

As for the Ram bit, I'm running 256 myself. It does fine for now, but I am picking up another stick of 256 to match it when I upgrade later. I use Corsair XMS. Best ram you can get your hands on. Some won't even run fast memory timings robbing you of performance, they'll just crash the system till you back off. Also, I've pushed this stick to 171mhz at fast timings, even though it's only rated for 166mhz, not many brands will do that. If I wanted a cheaper ram just for a general system, I'd go Kingston Value Ram (have a stick of it in the old 700 cely).

If I were you, I'd go with the graphics card first and the memory later. The former will give the best bang for the buck, but it is more expensive. While the latter you can just add when you get the money since it is relatively cheap for a pc component. Lastly, I've had more experience with Ati then probably most people on this board (owned 3 cards (Rage Lt Pro, Radeon 32mb, Radeon 8500), this is my 3rd) and I even helped Phantom clear up a driver uninstallation problem he had. They're great cards and run just as good as Nvidia (I've seen just as many people complain/have problems with Det drivers as Cats), but most of the time offer superior performance and do offer superior image quality. Don't fully ignore them because they're 'not Nvidia' else you might be missing out. Even I have to admit how good the C series of Intel P4's are. :D

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Rook is right about the ATI cards. They just dont fit my needs at present, switching OS's and all, and with you maybe doing the same, thats why I recommend Nvidia for compatability. Linux has full built in ready to go support for Nvida. But ATI never releases the drivers to the Linux community so that someone can write them for Linux or BSD the way Nvidia does.

The reason I said to get RAM, was because with XP, on startup, if you havent stripped down the OS, it uses anywhere from 127-140 MB just for XP. Even with 256 MB, that doesnt leave alot more left for apps. And GR uses roughly 80-90 MB just for the game, and that fluctuates, depending on map, mission, mods, and scripting, using even more. I have XP tuned and it starts up using only about 90 MB RAM on start up. And RAM is the cheapest, best performance booster you can get for a PC. The trouble with going with some of the RAM mentioned in this thread is that you will want to match it with its own kind and brand, meaning taking out and putting on a shelf what you have.

It really boils down to budget, and just how far you want to go with this machine, if you are building another one soon.

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If your not oc'ing then yeah don't worry about getting anything special ram wise. I agree the route you should go would be to get a Ti Series GF4 video card. But after that your talking a new computer so you dont waste any of your money on obsolete technologies. And XP running with 256MB of ram would be a trick of its own...I cant see xp and a game running at the same time and actually performing decent with only 256MB of ram.

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I have to agree - if you don't have the cash to spend on more expensive RAM, or you don't plan on overclocking your rig, Kingston Value or Samsung will serve you fine.

I am using 2-512 Sticks of Samsung IC Chipset PC2700 in my primary rig, and I have to admit it is extremely stable with FSB @ 133; no glitching or blue-screen memory errors. But I also had some money left over for other components.

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Don't fully ignore them because they're 'not Nvidia' else you might be missing out.
I dont buy for brand. I buy for compatibility and overall performance. I am slowly migrating from the cold corporate world of microsoft to the free world of Linux-- and until Ati is as Linux-friendly as nvidia, I'll choose nvidia. Otherwise, I would seriously consider an ATi.

The reason I said to get RAM, was because with XP, on startup, if you havent stripped down the OS, it uses anywhere from 127-140 MB just for XP...I have XP tuned and it starts up using only about 90 MB RAM on start up.
w98 is on my game system. I have startup programs at a minimal, but I'll talk to you later on about w98.

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Linux is only free if you don't value your time.

Works just fine, thanks. Linux is free for those who do and dont value time. I do value mine. I am a student. I need a system that works all of the time. When I open my notebook in class, I dont want to find errors and have to reboot while the prof is lecturing. I dont want to open my notebook to find a corrupted screen. I dont want a crash while the prof is lecturing. So, yeah, I guess time is pretty imporant to me, and the Winblows ME virus doesnt help. I dont know everything about computers, but I'm not a ######.

Back to video cards...

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I cant see xp and a game running at the same time and actually performing decent with only 256MB of ram.

Well it does, and my PC is proof. WinXP Pro and 256mb of ram...

hephaestus, you must have bad luck or not even tried XP series of Windows OS. They're nothing like previous versions (even 2000) and are very very stable. I've used 3.11, 95, 98, 98se, ME and now XP Pro. I can't even remember the last time I had a crash or something go wrong. WinME was by far the worst, it has a huge memory leak and just plain crashes for no reason.

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I know alot of people that have had alot of trouble with the Win9x series of OS's. I know alot of people who havent also. But most of the people I know that havent, have spent and do spend alot of time tweaking their OS because they have the time to do that, and an interest in it.

Most of the people I know that have trouble with the 9x and ME series are people who do not enjoy spending their time working on their PC's, but would rather use them for apps, work, and games, or have the time to do this. When they have free PC time, they just want to play.

IMHO...there are a great many folks here, not hardcore PC enthusiasts per se, but people who play games and dont spend all their time wondering how a PC works, or even wanting to tweak all the time. They just want their games to work. Sometimes we who do know computers and OS's, tend to forget that when we give advice.

Some people just want no nonsense, as easy to implement advice as we can give them, because they would rather play and run apps than tweak, over clock and build.

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In that case, they're screwed either way. Linux takes longer to learn and get working properly for games than it would take to tweak Windows to function properly. Personally, all I've done with this PC is install proper drivers, disable some services (easy to do), disable some apps that want to startup with Windows (again, a simple task) and set options to things that I prefer. WinXP is a good OS by any means.

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I agree with y Rook. XP is the best that MS has to offer.

I think in Heph's case though, from what he and I have talked about, is he just wants to learn it.

Actually, the learning curve, depending on which distro you buy, gets lower exponentially.

They have made certain distros extremely end user friendly, making them very easy to use, as Heph is finding out. SuSE in particualr is great for the end user and simple to use, or just as hardcore as you want to be.

Linux isnt what it used to be. It retains all the hardcore power features, while providing a very user friendly GUI for newbies, as Heph has found out. He got it going on a laptop first shot no less, and thats where most install probs will occur.

People still see it as only a hardcore, Computer geek OS only, and it just isnt so. And it never crashes. And his laptop wll have everything he needs without buying 3rd party stuff. He also has a gaming rig with Winblows up and running, so he's good to go.

And actually, I made GR run in WiNE, and didnt have to set anything up to do it. It asked me some simple questions and i followed the prompts.

It just isnt as difficult as some would believe, and that is why its gaining more and more popularity among end users, and what's funny is, and MS cant say this, its all word of mouth. They havent used any multi-million dollar launch campaigns like MS, to coax people into spending money.

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People still see it as only a hardcore, Computer geek OS only, and it just isnt so.

It used to be... now that title goes to FreeBSD :D

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