Graphics card / HDD info needed


I’m very soon going to be ripping out most of my kit and going from 3 workstations and 2 servers down to a single PC. Most of my kit is pretty old and has served its perpose now.

As such I’m trying to get as much life out of my current desktop as possible. Currently it’s based around an Asus P4C800 sock 478 mobo and a P4 3ghz. Quite old skool compared to a lot of what you’re running now I’m sure but not so old that I want to replace it yet. Instead it’s getting another 2gb of RAM chucked in it, some new disk and a new graphics card. This will be sufficient for me.

It’s these last 2 parts I need your advice on. Re. HDDs, which are the best price/performance models these days? and which are the brands to avoid?

With the graphics card, it’s likely that I’ll go 2nd hand (may be fleebay), what’s the best AGP card to go for? doesn’t matter if it’s not state of the art but a good bit faster than my current AIW9800se is a must. It’d also be nice if it could run 2 TFTs but I can live without this.

Model numbers and letters don’t mean anything to me any more so when I look I have no idea how good each item is compared to the next!!


HDDs is very personal, I usually buy WD but I know others favour Seagate or Samsung. Maxtor seems to be the one folks have the lowest opinion of after IBM.

For a video card, I assume we’re talking AGP so you could look for a 6800GT or similar which should do the job for you. Some of the newer 7xxx series cards come in AGP but not many, you’d be lucky on Fleabay methinks. Can’t really say much about the ATI equivalents as I don’t use 'em.


Back one step, about adding 2 GB ram, how much is in there already? If you already have 2 GB to give a total of 4 GB, do note a fair chunk of it will not be accessible due to various memory mappings.

Most gfx above low end have two outputs, although if you want two DVI outputs then that might take more looking than DVI+VGA. A 6600GT should more than match your current card in performance at older games, and be a lot faster for newer games due to the increase support. 68xx are possible for a bit more poke. On ATI side believe have head others talk about X19xx series being available, which would be highest performance and highest cost. Might be quite CPU limited too so not get best out of it.

HD wise, I moved away from Seagates. Found they can vibrate a lot when new and/or develop it with age. Moved to WD now and they seem a lot more stable. Vibration has a nasty habit of inducing case vibration noise. Also tried Samsung, they seem ok but I don’t have many of them. Performance of all seems pretty similar in normal use, for a given size and spindle speed.

Is this not different in Vista? Yes, at present I have 2GB and want 4GB. At times I’ll be running a few VMs so need to make the box as good as I can.

ignore me. Had a think for more than a few secs about why this happens and no it won’t be fixed in Vista…

what about something like this:


No idea on value, but certainly card should be ok :slight_smile: notice it has an arctic cooling cooler on it, this is very good (used to have one) as the smaller stock coolers typically used were quite noisy. These are near silent :slight_smile: Just bear in mind it is a double slot cooler and that you have space for it.

I had a 6800GT a couple of years ago, and they are quite good cards, a huge improvement over your 9800se. At least here in the states, right now one of teh price/performance leaders in HDDs is the WD 250gb Special Edition with 16mb cache, usually around $80…they say the sweet spot is in the 250gb-320gb range…I have 2 of these drives in my system and have ZERO issues with them…

ok thanks guys. Time to go shopping :slight_smile:

Just slapped one of those WD HD into my sister-in-law’s computer. Original HD of 80 GB crashed big time. Couldn’t recover a thing from it. Nice new 250 GB to replace it with. So far, no problems with it and much quiter than the old one.

6800GT and 250gb WD HDD arrive this morning. Thanks all !