help upgrading

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Hi all, I've not updated my computer for 2 years now, and I'm thinking to.

My actual config: PIV 2.0 ghz, Motherboard Asus P4S533,  RAM DDR 333 2.5 GB,
Nvidia Geforce3 Ti200, 2 Hard disks (40gb + 120 gb).

I don't play much on my computer (not soo much time anymore). I instead
start to use Photoshop, Illustrator, 3dsmax a lot.

I went on a merchant website but I'm lost: I've seen so many changes since
the last time I configured my PC that I have some questions:

I need to upgrade mainly because max is very slow when working on large
files (not about rendering, just working on).

Wich socket choose for intel ? should I go to AMD ?
Are e-PCI graphic card faster than AGP 4x ?
Wich Motherboard should I choose ?
minimum CPU clock speed ?
should I go to FSB 800 or 1060 mhz motherboard ? don't know the difference.
Must anyway upgrade the memory.

My main question is will I REALLY improve performances ? I tought about this
FSB 1066
CPU 3.4ghz
E-PCI 16x

What would be the improvement ?
I won't change harddisk nor tower, just Mainboard, CPU, graphic and memory
(the core of the system).
Thanks for advice.


Re: help upgrading

Bob Bedford wrote:
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The Intel core 2 duo is the latest and greatest processor. The key here is the
"2", not the cobbled original dual core.

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Either AGP 4x or PCI-E 16x bus is faster than you will ever need. The graphics
performance will depend on the graphics chips and amount of memory.

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I believe the core 2 duo is available up to about 3 Ghz. Keep in mind these
chips are as fast as a Pentium 4 running at 50% higher clock speed.

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If you are running applications e.g. Photoshop that use both processor cores you
should get the fastest memory you can.
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                   Mike Walsh
            West Palm Beach, Florida, U.S.A.

Re: help upgrading

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Here is a Photoshop benchmark. The difference between the top
and bottom processors in the chart, is about a factor of 3.
Notice though, that the chart is a mixture of single and dual
core processors, and you have to know the processor model naming
conventions to know which is which.

An E6400 or E6600 would be a pretty good upgrade. LGA775 socket.
DDR2 memory (there are a few motherboards with DDR though if
you want). These are dual core processors, and Photoshop can use
both cores at once. And that is where they are getting part of
their advantage.

Not all LGA775 motherboards support E6xxx processors, so you
have to check for compatibility info with the motherboard
manufacturer. Usually there will be a CPU compatibility chart
of some sort on a web site. Many motherboards now have downloadable
manuals, so the contents of the manual no longer have to be
a surprise. Especially important, if you are an overclocker,
is checking the manual to make sure all the adjustment settings
you need for overclocking, are in the pictures of the BIOS


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