Author Topic: 2 ways to upgrade my PC - which one is better?  (Read 6384 times)

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Offline YLAP

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2 ways to upgrade my PC - which one is better?
« on: January 25, 2007, 12:08:54 PM »
Hello,

I have technical question. My PC is running with two 256MB SDRAM modules. One is PC2700 (166Mhz), other is PC3200 (200Mhz), but because of the first one all runs at 166Mhz. My SiS741 IGP is using 64MB. What is better: to add 512 MB PC3200 SDRAM instead the older one module and after upgrade extend my IGP memory up to 128MB, or to leave my system's RAM as it is and to buy new graphics card with DVI interface. As both decisions costs the same to me.

Offline XMAS

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Re: 2 ways to upgrade my PC - which one is better?
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2007, 12:21:04 PM »
Hello Ylap :)

I personally would prefer to get a new graphic card. ;)
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Offline YLAP

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Re: 2 ways to upgrade my PC - which one is better?
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2007, 12:26:00 PM »
OK, another question. If I'll buy 128MB graphic card, will I have 128MB loss of RAM to AGP aperture or not?  ???

Offline DavidR

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Re: 2 ways to upgrade my PC - which one is better?
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2007, 03:50:43 PM »
Only motherboard  integrated on-board graphics chips (IGP) share the system RAM, AGP port graphics cards use the RAM on the card. So having an AGP port card would free up 64MB of your RAM that it would otherwise be allocated. Check to ensure that by installing an AGP graphics card it automatically disabled the integrated graphics.

I suspect your system is one that doesn't fully support 3200 memory but 2700, this equates to 333MHz motherboard front side bus so buying 3200 RAM would only run a the equivalent of 2700 RAM.
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Offline YLAP

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Re: 2 ways to upgrade my PC - which one is better?
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2007, 04:41:53 PM »
Yes. My MB is AsRock K7S41GX and it sopports up to PC 2700 (DDR333). But... If I'll buy 512 RAM and install it I'll have 512+256-128=640 MB RAM instead of current 448 MB. And my video will run on 128MB. As this system was not created for gaming (work and movies only) I think it should be better sollution. Am I wrong?

Quote
OnBoaard VGA share memory: This allows you to select the size of share memory for onboard VGA. Onboard VGA will get better resolution if larger size of share memory is selected.

This is from BIOS manual.

Hey, if I set my onboard VGA memory to the limit, which is 128MB, will I have to set AGP Aperture size to 128MB too?  ::)

Offline DavidR

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Re: 2 ways to upgrade my PC - which one is better?
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2007, 05:38:46 PM »
You may find some motherboards hiccup with different size ram in the slots, you would need to check that.

Unless you have a video card that slots into the AGP slot then I doubt you will have to increase the AGP aperture size (i doesn't mention agp aperture size in the quote you gave, which I believe is different to allocation aditional RAM to the graphics task).

http://www.techpowerup.com/articles/overclocking/vidcard/43
Quote
First of all, AGP Aperture memory will not be used until your video card's on-board memory is running low. That means it will usually not impact your gaming performance because developers are trying hard to not exceed the on-board memory limits.

http://www.overclock.net/faqs/48326-info-what-agp-aperture-size-what.html

I don't see the benefit of allocating additional system RAM to you current IGP set-up unless you are experiencing graphics problems, or you want to use a higher resolution to what you are using now, or get a bigger monitor.

Your system will work faster the more RAM you have, allocating more RAM to the graphics may make no difference at all if you don't have a condition that requires it.
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Offline Vladimyr

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Re: 2 ways to upgrade my PC - which one is better?
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2007, 08:20:09 AM »
Hi =YLAP=

I have two of these with Athlon XP 2600+, Sempron 2500+.
Strong suit of Asrock K7S41GX is its stability and tolerance of almost any combination of memory modules.

As you say, one of your 256MB RAM modules is PC2100/266MHZ but because your CPU is 133x12, the BIOS will still probably default even an all DDR2700 or 3200 setup at 2100/266MHZ so as to remain synchronized with your CPU.

See if you can reduce the amount of system RAM allocated to your video from 64 to 32 in the BIOS. ("Onboard VGA share memory" - default is "AUTO") This will leave you 480MB rather than 448.

1/. Do you 'need' DVI output?
2/. Do you 'need' MUCH better graphics performance?

If the answer to either is 'yes', get a separate AGP graphics card with DVI outputs. I've not tried this myself so make sure to follow any recommendations from Asrock re suitable cards. Also its common with business-orientated integrated video chipsets, like the SIS741, to have a less-efficient external AGP bus than the integrated one. This means that the improvement you'd reasonably expect from installing a high-performance video card may be hindered by the limitations of the chipset architecture. Best if you can try a card before you buy.
An AGP card with 128MB or even 256MB 'on-board' will not require any of your existing system RAM, so you would ten have the full 512MB.

If 'no' get more RAM. I'd get a full 1GB as you only have two slots. (Board max is 2GB)

Have fun!

K7S41GX manual http://www.asrock.com/manual/K7S41GX.pdf
« Last Edit: January 27, 2007, 10:53:38 AM by Vladimyr »
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Offline YLAP

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Re: 2 ways to upgrade my PC - which one is better?
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2007, 01:29:55 PM »

Strong suit of Asrock K7S41GX is its stability and tolerance of almost any combination of memory modules.

An AGP card with 128MB or even 256MB 'on-board' will not require any of your existing system RAM, so you would ten have the full 512MB.

Yes it is stable as rock  ;D I think I'll buy 128MB AGP card with DVI interface, as I'm using LG L1752T LCD monitor with native (1280x1024) resolution and I think I'll get much better overall system performance with new AGP.  ;)

Offline Vladimyr

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Re: 2 ways to upgrade my PC - which one is better?
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2007, 02:42:20 AM »
You may have already discovered this but there is a BIOS fix for the annoying loud POST beep through your speakers when you start-up.
http://www.asrock.com/mb/download.asp?Model=K7S41GX
There is a way that seems right to a man,
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Offline YLAP

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Re: 2 ways to upgrade my PC - which one is better?
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2007, 10:36:55 PM »
My AsRock BIOS is updated to the last version. Did it two weeks ago  ;)