I'm posting this here because I see a lot of bad advice going around concerning hardware and frame rates. I posted this in another thread but I want to make sure everyone else sees it. I have a long history of experience with hardware and I don't thinkg I missed any critical points, but if anyone sees somthing that they can add here please feel free.
I just want to clear something up first, being a hardware techie. The overall real world benchmark and game performance between PCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect)and AGP (Accelerated Graphics Port) is no more than 10%-12% at BEST, it's the difference between 100FPS and 115FPS, or 20FPS and 23FPS and will not make or break you as far as frame rate goes.
If you are having trouble with you system being slow take the following basic steps to ensure that your system is operating at its maximum possible performance.
1. Get all the critical updates from the Microsoft website, some pertain to fixes regarding games or operating system performance, or prevent crashing.
2. Get the latest video card drivers from the people who make your video card, and NVIDIA owners SHOULD GET the detonator 4 drivers from the http://www.nvidia.com
website, all ATI owners get the latest CATALYST drivers from http://www.ati.com,
and all the voodoo owners get a new video card because 3dfx doesn't exist and the driver support is going down hill. A gamer with a voodoo is just asking for FPS pain and suffering in the future. Although, they should work ok with Half-Life, the drivers were teaked for HL not HL mods.
3. Find out who made your motherboard and download any new drivers concerning AGP ports, UDMA, or any other recommended update. Performance can really take a dive if your mobo drivers are out of date.
4. Flash your motherboard bios with the latest bios update THis can ruin your system if you do it wrong, so do some research, really I'm serious.
5. Read the tweak guides at http://www.tweak3d.net/tweak/
concerning how to get the best performance out of your operating system, some default windows settings stink for gaming and need to be changed.
6. Also read the HALF-LIFE tweak guide at http://www.tweak3d.net/tweak/
this includes tweaks for both half life pings and half life framte rates, this one can reall give you a boost if you take the time to read it.
7. Read the tweak guides, but be careful that you don't get in over you head, and read warnings and instructions carefully so you don't blow up your computer.
8. Do the smart thing, and if you're going to upgrade, find a hardware forum somewhere to ask all the wonderful hardware techs of this world like me to reccomend a good system setup so you don't get ripped off.
9. If you're going to buy computer parts, buy them from here, best prices on the web. http://www.pricewatch.com
if you have any questions about your hardware feel free to email me or PM me, or post here if you like, although if you post here I might not see it unless I visit this thread again. Nothing worse than buying crappy hardware IMHO.