Upgrade Advice- PCIe or stick with agp?

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 Hi all,

I am looking to upgrade my current system in some fashion, and would
appreciate any thoughts.
I am torn between, going ahead and upgraded to a PCIe mb, or keeping my
existing Nforce3 Ultra agp mb. The main thing I want to do, is upgrade to an
AMD dual core processor, and a better video card. I prefer to stay with AMD
for the processor and ATI for the vid card...

Current specs:
MSI K8N Neo 2 Nforce3 Ultra
AMD XP3500+ ( overclocked to 2.55 ghz)
ATI 9800 Pro 128 mb agp video card
1 gb pc3200 Corsair XMS LL matched ram

My mb will support the new dual core processors with a bios update.

I am looking at getting an XP4400 dual core processor, along with say an ATI

Now, I am wondering if it would be best, to get say the MSI Neo4 PCIe mb
along with a PCIe video card, or stick with my current mb and just get an
agp based video card. I know agp is on the way out, and am wondering if I
should go ahead and bite the bullet and make the change to PCIe.

Also, I currently have 2 WD IDE hard drives, and currently have plenty of
capacity. Any big advantage to going ahead and upgrading to Sata hard
drives? My current board supports Sata as well, and of course a new one
would also...

Any suggestions greatly appreciated,

Don Burnette

"When you decide something is impossible to do, try to stay out of the way
of the person  that's doing it."

Re: Upgrade Advice- PCIe or stick with agp?

Don Burnette wrote:
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as long as you are upgrading...you might as well go with the newest
technology avail viz: pci-e

even if agp and pci-e are running nose-to-nose today...
pci-e has greater future possibilites

(my 2 cents worth anyway)

Re: Upgrade Advice- PCIe or stick with agp?

On Sat, 3 Dec 2005 05:56:42 -0600, "Don Burnette"

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It will ?  Are they saying new dual core 754 sockets are going to come
out? I havent seen that. Theyve been saying only 939 socket dual cores
will be made but anything is possible. Are you sure you arent mixing
them up?  

If you do have to go nforce4 for the dual core , then you have to go
PCI E.  The other chip makers have come out with some unusual combos
Ive seen so they might have an AGP + dual core compatible MB I suppose
though I have my doubts. Some of them seem to look for weird niches
rather compete headon with nforce4.  

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Thats what I have nforce4 800XL and thinking of going dual core in a
month or two, Probably later as I keep buying crud this month.
The nvidias are really getting cheap now with some sales. Ive seen
close to 100 buck 6600GTs and even the 7800 GT was 279 recently with a
small rebate at newegg.

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Yeah since I dont think you can go dual core with 754 socket though I
may be wrong ---- youll have to buy a new MB , might as well go PCI E
though after a year its out there are virtually NO cards available
though I think Ive seen some controllers mentioned or something but
Ive never seen anything sold yet. No sound cards , TV tuners etc.

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Not really,though there have been some good reviews on some the newest
SATA drives . The problem is if you live in the US they cost way way
more than PATA. Not the avg retail price they are often close now but
the rebated price. You can get $29 160 gigs fairly easily not so with
SATA. However for the first time there has been a real cheap SATA sale
at Compusa this BF. I got a Hitachi for $19 160 gigs sata. I think its
the older sata though.

OK Im going to add my concerns right now. Im using a chaintech vnf4
and its been fine up until recently. However Ive come across some
disturbing mysterious problems some nforce4 users are having. When you
get one BE SURE to read the motherboard newsgroup of your brand and do
a search to see if there are any weird things , fixes for it.

The problems seem to center around RAID mostly. In fact dont even
think about raid until you read up on it - do a search RAID/nforce4
data corruption/sata problems.

Though RAID seems the most problem prone and there seems to be some
fixes claimed - there are also claims of just SATA disks having
problems and speficific brands with nforce boards - Maxtor is
mentioned the most but so is Hitachi and even WD and Seagate. Thats
the maddening part some people say it was fixed by using a different
brand while others still have the problem .

Also be careful about flashing firmware. Some boards seem to die
mysteriously. Sounds scary but in general many nforce4 boards seem to
be OK I think  or we would be hearing tons of whining as long as you
stay away from RAID and even SATA and maybe be careful about using the
IDE nvidia software drivers vs MS's.  Ive been searching and I think
Abit came up with some bios fixes and maxtor came up with a firmware
fix and there are tips of other fixes like this :


I just bought more drives during BF so I now have 3 Seagates , 2 WDs
and 1 Maxtor and 1 Hitachi Sata. I raided my Seagates and it was a
HUGE disaster. Severe data corruption and crash.

When I get my bios chip back from be flashed Im going to thoroughly
test it in RAID mode again with the fix and see if that does fix all
the problems. Others at the Nvidia forum have claimed all kinds of
problems and fixes but maybe they are confusing this one issue with
other problems like bad memory etc.

Re: Upgrade Advice- PCIe or stick with agp?

John@Smith.com wrote:
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Thanks John!

My  K8N Neo2 Nforce3 Ultra is a socket 939, so yes, it can accept the new
dual core with a bios update.
Thanks for all the other tips, I am leaning going ahead and going to Nforc4
PCIe at this time...

Don Burnette

Re: Upgrade Advice- PCIe or stick with agp?

On Sat, 3 Dec 2005 08:58:02 -0600, "Don Burnette"

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Heres even more stuff I came across from a post at another site.

If you plan of recording music.


I dont know how old this report is though maybe the date is there
somewhere and maybe the problem is fixed but here they claim the
nforce3 and Intel platforms are better for DAW , music recording
systems than nforce4 in the form it was when they got these results.

Another thing - at Anandtech people have been reporting problems with
Creatives XFi and nforce 4.  Theres the usual - its Creatives fault !
Its Nvidias fault!  Posts say if you RMA them they get fixed. It must
be OK though now since I just saw posts from people buying them and
they dont report any problems. I only bring it up cause you might get
an old card laying around someplace.

Thats a new one on me ----- I didnt realize they came out with 939
nforce3 boards. I dont understand the logic why they would unless they
really admit there are problems with nforce4.

Just think ---- 754 sockets came out first so people still with 754
cpus might benefit with some nforce4 features if they can implement
them with the old CPU though no dual mem capacity etc.  However I dont
get why they would use the older nforce3 with a new 939 chip it cant
be to save money since there are CHEAP nforce4 boards.

Re: Upgrade Advice- PCIe or stick with agp?

John@Smith.com wrote:
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No music recording plans here, so that should not be an issue.
I may someday replace my Audigy2 ZX with an XFi, so that is good to know,
thanks - I will keep my eye out on that.


Re: Upgrade Advice- PCIe or stick with agp?

Hi Don,

I have an MSI K8N Neo2 Plat (Nforce3 board) with an ATI X800XT AGP card.   I
recently upgraded my CPU on this board with an AMD 4400+ 2x CPU and am very
happy with the setup.  I too thought about going for an Nforce4 motherboard
with a PCI-E slot (and new graphics card), but I felt that I would have been
wasting a perfectly good AGP graphics card.  So I guess in your situation,
if you already have a crappy graphics card, then it is not neseccarily a
waste for you to invest in a PCI-E capable motherboard and new graphics


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Re: Upgrade Advice- PCIe or stick with agp?

Good point, thanks Nospam.

I will be upgraded the video card, so that makes some sense...


nospam wrote:
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Re: Upgrade Advice- PCIe or stick with agp?

Hi Don,
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I'd hang on for a bit, for starters M2 is due out next year AFAIK, and thats
gonna require a cpmpletely new Mobo..

While pci-e is probably the way to go, right now that means an almost new
system, mobo, cpu, video card. None of which are particularly inexpensive:-(

Then next year along comes the M2 socket & cpu range and its time to fork
out again:-( New mobo, new cpu.... only this time you will probably be able
to hang onto the video card.. but still lodsa dosh to fork out..


Re: Upgrade Advice- PCIe or stick with agp?


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Thats true but it kind of depends on when its coming out. I suspect
mid or late in the year since theres no talk about immediate plans to
intro it.  So considering it comes out mid to late in the year and
usually when stuff like that comes out its REALLY expensive for almost
a year or so that might mean 1.5-2 years before it becomes reasonable
to buy it.  Thats a lifetime in PC lifecycles.

Also from what Ive heard you need DDR2 so that means he would have to
buy an expensive MB , processor, DDR2 and a graphis card !

nforce4 boards right not can be amazingly cheap in the US. The
Chaintech vnf4 Ultra I have has been sold under $70.
The 6600GT PCI E - theres one selling at NEWEGG righ now for $99 after
40 rebate.  

Thats $170 for both and he can upgrade to dual core anytime.
Additionally he can sell his MB for something Im sure to offset the
cost and card.

However its true you never know about these things. It would be a
bummer if it came out fairly fast and cheap. But generally that never
happens. If anything there will be more delays.

Re: Upgrade Advice- PCIe or stick with agp?

Don' you looking for dual core for F4:Af? Wait till the socket M2 cos the
FX-60 is the last 939 chip to be produced before the change. A mate of mine
has recently went PCIE, and whilst his rig shows a considerable improvement
over mine in some respects, he has spent a damn fortune upgrading for a
small improvement in flight sim capability. He should be flying LOMAC

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