Everything is not well here at FiringSquad. I look over the divider across from me, and I see Sarju happily working on his P3-600 system. I turn around, and I see Calbear humming along at 1GHz while working on 3 monitors at the same time. I just caught a glimpse of Brandon, who sits diagonally from me. He's typing away on his overclocked 933MHz system. I can't see him right now, but I bet he has a smug look on his face.
And then there's me, sitting here with my piddling dual 550 system. It was once the fastest Quake 3 machine in the office, but that was well over a year ago. Since then, everyone has slowly been upgrading behind my back. First Sarju, then Bob, and then Brandon.
What about Tim? Well, he's going to upgrade to an overclocked P3-700E very, very soon. He already has most of the parts. Also, as I write this, Marcus is putting together his Duron 600 system. Almost the entire FS staff has passed me up in the upgrade game.
I have only myself to blame. I missed the upgrade cycle. In the past, I had always followed the one-year CPU upgrade cycle. I found that upgrading my CPU (and motherboard and memory if needed) every twelve months was enough to keep my system above the curve.
1998, Celeron 300A@450MHz
1999, Dual Celeron 366@550MHz
I should have upgraded over the summer, but I never got around too it. Now, I'm paying the price.
FS staff #1: Hey, I think James forgot to raise his maxfps setting. His frame rate seems low.
FS staff #2: Nah, he just has a slow system.
FS staff #1: Oh yeah, I forgot.
It's time to upgrade, but what are the options? There are basically four different upgrade paths: the Duron, the Celeron, the T-Bird Athlon, and the Coppermine P3. Let's take a look at how much each total upgrade is going to cost, and how each upgrade performs at its fullest, overclocked potential.