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Hardware upgrade advice

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I'm running 10.4.6 jas on the system in my sig. Running great from the go, nic, audio, usb et all workingc. Only issues appear to be related to the Nvidia card. Had to edit the boot.plist to change resolution. Some apps crash upon opening such as the latest version of vlc media player(ub) though strangely the ppc version works but there's a performance hit.


I've ordered an Athlon 64 x2 4200. I've read a lot about the stuttering issues but some have resolved it, fingers crossed. So what about SSE3? Is there no way to enable it? Having researched it i couldn't find a resolution. Anyway, i wanted the dual core for XP anyway so i can live with SSE2 if needed.


I'm also considering another video card, the ATI X1600 pro (AGP). Can't decide on the 256 or 512 version yet. My whole point in going for OSX is to run shake. From what i've read, Shake and other pro apps require QE enabled, is this correct? Anyone running Shake on a similar setup to mine? My only concern is being that my board uses AGP and OSX detects it as a PCI card, how big of a performance hit is there?


Finally one last question. I've tested 10.4.7 and noticed the patches are included for the X1600. That's great but i had huge issue that i haven't read about on the forums. Opening files with some applications takes a long time. As an example, opening the boot.plist with a text editor. Soon as i click open, i get the spinning colored disk. The file eventually opens but takes 3 or 4 minutes. Same if i open a .mov in quicktime. Has anyone come across this issue or have any idea what the problem is? It could just be a bad install. Since 10.4.6 works so well i can always stay with it and patch the x1600 manually, just need to rearch how that's done.


Sorry for such a long post and thanks to anyone who can help.

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