Upgrading Hardware for Games: Do I Need To?

Discussion in 'Computer Information' started by L_user, Jan 18, 2004.

  1. L_user

    L_user Guest

    I have a PC that does not play games well, and it seems to be a problem
    with many, if not all, of the games played (so I am told).

    One example of a game I am told there are problems with is Crime Scene
    Investigation (CSI): the sound of the playback of the voices of the
    characters is interrupted, or chopped.

    This is the system being used:

    CPU: AMD Athlon XP 1600
    RAM: 256 MB
    mobo: Shuttle AK31
    sound: VIA KT266A chipset integrated in mobo
    video: NVIDIA GeForce2 MX, 32 MB
    OS: Win98

    Here is the partial report of DXDIAG:

    OS: Win 98 (4.10, Build 1998)
    Processor: Athlon 1600+ GHz, MMX, 3DNow, ~1.4 GHz
    RAM: 256 MB
    Page File: 44 MB used, 1748 MB available
    Version: 9.0b (4.09.0000.0902)

    dxdiag DOES report that sound is done through software buffers,
    no hardware acceleration.

    No problems or errors are reported by dxdiag, other than some drivers not
    being MS-certified.

    Question: Is this system good enough for game playing? What accounts
    for especially the choppiness of sound. Setting the acceleration levels
    in DirectX sound seems not to correct the problem, so I am thinking the
    hardware is not up to spec...possibly need to put in sound card...replace
    the mobo?

    Highest regards.
    L_user, Jan 18, 2004
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  2. L_user

    NoOne Guest

    I had a simular problem in the past. I had to upgrade the Via chipset
    driver to make it work correctly.
    A bios update may also help.
    NoOne, Jan 18, 2004
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  3. L_user

    NoOne Guest

    I had a simular problem in the past. I had to upgrade the Via chipset
    driver to make it work correctly.
    A bios update may also help.
    NoOne, Jan 18, 2004
  4. L_user

    NoOne Guest

    I had a simular problem in the past. I had to upgrade the Via chipset
    driver to make it work correctly.
    A bios update may also help.
    NoOne, Jan 18, 2004
  5. L_user

    Jon Danniken Guest

    You need a new video card for sure; start with that. Assuming that all of your drivers are up
    to date, a different OS (Win2k or WinXP) and another stick of 256M of RAM wouldn't hurt either.

    Jon Danniken, Jan 18, 2004
  6. Yes, the system is fine for gameplay. I've played many games on something
    less that ran fine. The choppiness in the sound is something probably in
    your task tray interrupting your computer. It could also be your sound.
    What sound ar you using? Onboard AC'97? Consider a Soundblaster Audigy
    card. You could consider upgrading your CPU, but if that's an Athlon XP, I
    think the 1600+'s were overclocker's dreams. You may consider overclocking

    Big Daddy Ruel Smith

    My SuSE Linux machine uptime:
    3:26pm up 42 days 0:12, 2 users, load average: 0.70, 0.81, 0.49

    My Windows XP machine uptime:
    Something less...
    Ruel Smith (Big Daddy), Jan 18, 2004
  7. L_user

    NoOne Guest

    I had a simular problem in the past. I had to upgrade the Via chipset
    driver to make it work correctly.
    A bios update may also help.
    NoOne, Jan 18, 2004
  8. L_user

    bmoag Guest

    You need a video card with at least 64mbs of memory to play new games
    If your motherboard does not have a 4x AGP slot I would recommend upgrading.
    There are some great deals out there on AthlonXP/motherboard combos.
    The sound problem is may or may not be software related but I would try
    upgrading the drivers for both the sound and the chipset.
    In the long run you will be better off with WindowsXP and probably obtain
    overall faster performance.
    Getting a Soundblaster card may not fix the problem as some games are known
    to cause clicking sounds because of incomaptibility with the VIA chip set.
    Also some onboard sound systems are not well insulated from the rest of the
    motherboard: I had one that audibly clicked every time the mouse button was
    clicked (this was NVidia's latest and greatest chipset, believe it or not).
    If your BIOS is very out of date and BIOS upgrades are described as solving
    a particular problem you are experiencing then upgrading the BIOS is worth
    the risk of frying your motherboard (make sure you understand the directions
    completely before trying a BIOS upgrade).
    bmoag, Jan 18, 2004
  9. L_user

    DaveW Guest

    The on-board sound is using your CPU for sound processing and during heavy
    load in games it causes choppy sound. Get a separate good quality sound
    DaveW, Jan 18, 2004
  10. L_user

    Jon Danniken Guest


    Oh yeah, you can also try lowering the acceleration values in the control panel > sounds and
    multimedia > sound playback > advanced > performance > hardware area and see it if makes any

    Jon Danniken, Jan 18, 2004
  11. L_user

    DeMoN LaG Guest

    This should be fine for now
    Upgrade to 512 MB
    Fine for now
    Maybe pick up something like a TurtleBeach Santa cruz for like $40
    Get a GeForceFX5200. They run about $50, and would bring you up to about
    half a GF4 Ti4x00 series card, which are still running for around $150
    these days
    Upgrade to XP if you can afford the $90. XP is much much better than 98
    all around, and would probably utilize your system better.

    AIM: FrznFoodClerk
    email: [email protected]_cast.net (_ = m)
    website: under construction
    Need a technician in the south Jersey area?
    email/IM for rates/services
    DeMoN LaG, Jan 18, 2004
  12. L_user

    Trent© Guest

    Sure...yer PLAYIN' them! The quality of the game playing is
    subjective, of course.
    Many things. But a very important aspect is demand of a process on
    the CPU. I'd suggest upgrading to a different operating system...that
    can limit the demand on process on the CPU. XP and Windows 2000 are
    two of these.

    Even DX9 may indeed be a problem for your version of OS.
    The mainboard can make a HUGE difference. But so can the SETTINGS for
    the mb. Check your BIOS settings...and do some investigative work to
    learn how each of those settings can have an effect on what you
    consider important tasks for your particular computer.
    You, too.

    Have a nice week...


    If the cheese isn't yours...its Nacho cheese!
    Trent©, Jan 19, 2004
  13. L_user

    Night_Seer Guest

    At one point there was a latency problem with VIA chipsets and AGP video
    cards, having to do with the sound. It was supposedly fixed in the
    later drivers (hyperion?). It can be adjusted with a program called
    power strip, but i'd take others suggestions here first. Disable the
    onboard sound and try a PCI solution, anything should help at this
    point. Also, 512MB of RAM is probably about minimum for gaming
    nowadays. Lastly, if you plan on playing higher end games, you could
    get away with it with a better video card, but its going to be
    stretching the CPU, so you'll probably need to turn lots of setting
    down. Is that an XP 1600+ or a 1.6Ghz Athlon? Does your MB support a
    1900+ or something similar but cheap?
    Night_Seer, Jan 19, 2004
  14. L_user

    somebody Guest

    - It should be! But I want to add weight to one thing, that Jon
    already has been at. - Get a new video card! Even getting something
    like a GF3 Ti 200 will really boost your 3D game performance.
    I don't know your budget, but I think I'd be interested in FX5200,
    9600SE, 9600, in order of rising cost.

    But keep eyes open for any lowprice steal on Ti4200, FX5200pro,
    FX5600. 9600pro as well.

    I hope you can get help for your sound problems.

    somebody, Jan 20, 2004
  15. L_user

    BarryNL Guest

    It's a bit underspecced for most modern games. I'd put an FX5200 or
    Radeon 9200 video card in plus an OEM 5.1 sound card - or maybe an OEM
    Soundblaster Live 5.1
    BarryNL, Jan 21, 2004
  16. L_user

    Dave Guest

    Do you have third party codecs installed? I play freelancer and when I
    installed Nimo Codec Pack I got the same problems as you. I removed the
    problem when I uninstalled Nimo. Not sure which codec was causing problems
    but I did not want to spend days on trial and error.

    Dave, Jan 25, 2004
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