a few questions about improving my pc's preformance in gaming

Hello Computer Wizards Of the Internet!

I have a very old rig set up for my PC (built in 08). Here are its specs:
-It has a NVIDIA GeForce 6150SE nForce 430 (integrated graphics card with a spare Pci slot)
-1 gb of RAM
-Compaq presario Sr5130nx (maxes 250 power supply watts)
-AMD Athlon 64 Dual Core Processor 3800+ 2.00 Ghz
-window 32 bit vista os
For my Internet i have
-A wn111v2 Netgear adapter
-xfinity TG862G/CT model wifi modem

I am looking to improve my gaming experience in Team Fortress 2 (here's a link to tf2's requirments By these requirements, I can run the game fine. I have customized Team Fortress 2's program files and significantly lowered the graphics, which gave me a considerable fps boost. The lowest fps I have ever gotten during gameplay is around 20 fps- but the game strangely still has horrible lag spikes. By further investigating I have found that while running the game, even 30+ fps, my ping has drastic swings-- sometimes is below 100 but it seems like most of the time it spikes up to 150+ and becomes unplayable. I DO NOT play on far away servers so this crazy high ping is weird and it bothers me. It makes the game extremely choppy and unpleasant to play.

1. what is ping? how can I keep it low? what are reasons why it get high?

A friend of mine recommended getting a 100-200$ graphics card and ram to improve my gaming (I am very aware my current graphics card isn't meant to be a gaming card). The problem is, finding a good enough graphics card that won't overkill my 250 power supply.

2. should i follow my friends advice? if so, what products, given a 100-200$ budget, and my specs would most benefit my pc, make me able to play more modern games and help my tf2 run smoother?

3. (kind of my own opinion of question 2) I am thinking getting a radeon hd card, but have gotten different advice on which one to get Some people have recommended Radeon 5570 for my pc, while others have said, the Radeons 6670/7750. What do you think?

Sorry this post was a bit of a read!
2 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about questions improving preformance gaming
  1. you need to change all the pc since is old technology. go with socket 1155 ivy bridge g1620 cpu, hd 7750 and 1X4gb ddr3. you would be amazed by this combination. actually you can play all the games with it. and the ivy bridge socket has amazing cpu's so later you can change that cpu with a quad core. this is the best and cheapest combination to play all the games now.
  2. Best answer
    Your ping spike issues are likely related to the wifi connection, TF2 is rather unhappy running from wireless, especially using USB devices. If it's possible to run a cable, do so, or think about an internal card to mitigate it a bit.
    As far as upgrades go, no matter what you would need to toss a new PSU in there. Good news is that the computer you are on has a standard bracket and will take a new supply easy enough. an upgrade to a cheapie like this will work well enough for a middle/low-end card:
    That'll give you more options for graphics cards, unfortunately a lot of Source based games like TF2 are more CPU heavy than GPU, so your gains aren't likely to be drastic, but any bit helps right?

    Hope that helps!
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