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Best GPU with atleast 2GB memory for a C2Q-QX9650 based Dell Vostro 420

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February 3, 2014 3:18:00 AM

Hi Guys,

I've been an avid reader here at Tom's for a bit, now I need help :p 

I have the following specs:

Dell Vostro 420 bare-bone
Intel Core 2 Extreme QX-9650 @3GHZ, 12mb Cache
Corsair XMS 2 RAMS DDR2 (1gb x4)
Intel SSD 520, 180gb
WD Blue 1Tb & 500gb HDD
Creative X-fi Titanium
Gigabyte HD7770, 1Gb/128Bit/DDR5


Now my question arises based off trying to run GTA IV on max settings. As per the game specs, It says that I run out of GPU memory, way before I can crank up any of the setting further than mentioned below:

Statistics
Average FPS: 44.42
Duration: 38.07 sec
CPU Usage: 66%
System memory usage: 67%
Video memory usage: 97%

Graphics Settings
Video Mode: 1920 x 1080 (60 Hz)
Texture Quality: High
Texture Filter Quality: Very High
View Distance: 26
Detail Distance: 100

Hardware
Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate
Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate
Video Adapter: AMD Radeon HD 7700 Series
Video Driver version: 8.17.10.1172
Audio Adapter: Speakers (Creative SB X-Fi)
Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Extreme CPU X9650 @ 3.00GHz


Please advise based on the following questions

1. Is my system being bottlenecked here by any of the components, in your opinion
2. Do I need any upgrades here? (GPU, CPU, MOBO, RAM etc)
3. If I need to upgrade(s) in what order should I do so, I don't have a budget defined, but can make it on the fly.


I had installed GTA a long time ago, but never got around to playing it and now wanted to play it, but the graphics dont look the part.. Please Help!!
February 3, 2014 3:31:51 AM

Your old parts like CPU and RAM will bottleneck your GPU but it won't be that significant since your GPU is HD 7770
Also, upgrade your AMD GPU driver.
I don't think you need any upgrade since you only play GTA IV (not one of Next-Gen Gaming Title)
30-60 fps is considered playable frame rates.
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a c 83 U Graphics card
a c 89 } Memory
February 3, 2014 3:36:11 AM

The recommended requirement for RAM of GPU is 512MB and your GPU has 1GB. Your system RAM is 4GB. If you are using 32 bit OS then the actual available RAM would be approx 3.2 GB. It should work actually. There could be only two issues:
GPU memory is being filled in or near to full.
RAM: Shared RAM is not sufficient.

If your system supports 64 bit OS then upgrade to 64 bit OS and try to increase the RAM capacity. Otherwise you may be requiring 2GB GPU in MHO.
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February 3, 2014 4:35:07 AM

Guys im running on Windows 7 64bit..
Also, GTA IV is not the only game I would be playing. Just havnt gotten around to playing the other ones yet.. Prior to this played BF3, FarCry3, Alan Wake and the sort. Yes they are old, but now the bug has bitten me and I wana get back on track for the new games. Hence my question, if any upgrades are required.
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a c 83 U Graphics card
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February 3, 2014 6:13:36 AM

Viper_995 said:
Guys im running on Windows 7 64bit..
Also, GTA IV is not the only game I would be playing. Just havnt gotten around to playing the other ones yet.. Prior to this played BF3, FarCry3, Alan Wake and the sort. Yes they are old, but now the bug has bitten me and I wana get back on track for the new games. Hence my question, if any upgrades are required.


Yes, GPU and RAM in particular.
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February 3, 2014 8:13:14 AM

Viper_995 said:
Guys im running on Windows 7 64bit..
Also, GTA IV is not the only game I would be playing. Just havnt gotten around to playing the other ones yet.. Prior to this played BF3, FarCry3, Alan Wake and the sort. Yes they are old, but now the bug has bitten me and I wana get back on track for the new games. Hence my question, if any upgrades are required.


GPU upgrade is recommended, which leads you to PSU upgrade. Do you have sufficient PSU? i recommend a 500W PSU. Try to use 8GB of RAM instead of just 4GB when you run a 64-bit windows. If you don't want to spend a penny then move your games to your SSD. You will get like 5-10 fps increase.
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a c 83 U Graphics card
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February 3, 2014 8:51:45 AM

Dear,

You've not mentioned your PSU. You should buy 2GB based GPU or even better if budget warrants it. Equally update your RAM to minimum 8 GB with some speed. But your PSU must support these updates. If you have 500-525W PSU then your PSU is sufficient otherwise you would have to upgrade it as well.
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February 3, 2014 7:12:48 PM


Guys,
I am currently running on a Cooler Master Extreme 600 Plus...
So, IYHO, would getting a higher end card be a better option rather than upgrading the whole system? What card as a minimum should I be aiming for (I currently have a Gigabyte HD7770 1GB /128Bit /DDR5/ rev2.0). My budget would be approx $200~220
Also, should I increase the amount of RAM as well on this same mobo/cpu configuration, would it be worth the extra amount?
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a c 83 U Graphics card
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February 3, 2014 8:06:39 PM

Viper_995 said:

Guys,
I am currently running on a Cooler Master Extreme 600 Plus...
So, IYHO, would getting a higher end card be a better option rather than upgrading the whole system? What card as a minimum should I be aiming for (I currently have a Gigabyte HD7770 1GB /128Bit /DDR5/ rev2.0). My budget would be approx $200~220
Also, should I increase the amount of RAM as well on this same mobo/cpu configuration, would it be worth the extra amount?


One option is to get the same model card from Asus but with 2GB: Check the link
http://
Another option is GTX660 from EVGA:
http://
http://

With DDR2 tech I really don't see any advantage of increasing the capacity in terms of DDR2, further when you will be upgrading sooner or later you would have to change the RAM so don't buy additional RAM now and save some bucks for upgradation. GTX660 will suffice your gaming needs and is within your budget as well.
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February 3, 2014 8:54:40 PM

Well honestly about the time you said you want to play bf 3 and far cry 2 - it's time for a new system.

If your motherboard will support at least 8gb of ddr3 and a gtx 660, you can probably get playable frame rates. Much beyond the 660 and the CPU will bottleneck you pretty bad, although another option would be to buy a good GPU like the gtx760 now, and upgrade the remaining system when you are ready. Don't bother buying the new graphics card unless you can get 8 gb ddr3 though.

If you want to play modern games at high settings I recommend buying a new PC rather than continue to pour money into a aging system.
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February 3, 2014 8:56:01 PM

Ps if you are upgrading the graphics card you will likely need a new PSU also.
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February 3, 2014 9:12:52 PM

Adroid said:
Well honestly about the time you said you want to play bf 3 and far cry 2 - it's time for a new system.

If your motherboard will support at least 8gb of ddr3 and a gtx 660, you can probably get playable frame rates. Much beyond the 660 and the CPU will bottleneck you pretty bad, although another option would be to buy a good GPU like the gtx760 now, and upgrade the remaining system when you are ready. Don't bother buying the new graphics card unless you can get 8 gb ddr3 though.

If you want to play modern games at high settings I recommend buying a new PC rather than continue to pour money into a aging system.


There you have the solution,
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February 6, 2014 10:56:28 PM

Adroid said:
Well honestly about the time you said you want to play bf 3 and far cry 2 - it's time for a new system.

If your motherboard will support at least 8gb of ddr3 and a gtx 660, you can probably get playable frame rates. Much beyond the 660 and the CPU will bottleneck you pretty bad, although another option would be to buy a good GPU like the gtx760 now, and upgrade the remaining system when you are ready. Don't bother buying the new graphics card unless you can get 8 gb ddr3 though.

If you want to play modern games at high settings I recommend buying a new PC rather than continue to pour money into a aging system.

Ok. I got that much in my head now :p 
Yes, I will plan on getting the other components upgraded too (most probably will be going for an i7 4770k/i5 4670k, Gigabyte G1.Sniper B5 / Gigabyte GA-Z87-HD3, 8gb Corsair Vengenance and a Corsair Carbide 300R chassis, might throw in a PSU as well.. but that is to be seen)

Coming towards GPUs, where I live (Karachi, Pakistan) the rates and warranties are really off the charts. All cards only come with 1 YEAR warranty only :( 

My only options here are as follows:
1. HIS 7950 IceQ Boost Clock 3GB GDDR5 @ $310~
(http://www.hisdigital.com/un/product2-725.shtml)

2.Gigabyte GTX 760 2GB GDDR5 @ $305~
(http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=...)

3. Gigabyte Radeon R9 270X 2GB GDDR5 @ $260~
(http://www.gigabyte.us/products/product-page.aspx?pid=4...)

4. HIS 7850 2GB GDDR5 @ $220~
(http://www.hisdigital.com/un/product2-724.shtml)

I want to future proof my build here, as this would be my first massive overhaul in years. I am really really confused with the GPU thingy.. thers not much variety.. and then thers the issue of being DX 11.1/11.2 compliant, having enought VRAM, PHYSX yada yada..
The senior members here have this decision in their hands....I wana pick up a card that would have enough brains and grunt to carry me through at least 2+ years.....
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February 6, 2014 11:08:06 PM

GTAiv wont look very good no matter how high you have the settings turned up. I have 2 gtx 770's in sli, and everything on hte highest setting, and it still looks like a console port they didnt put enough effort into. Love the game, hate the way rockstar treats its PC side of gaming.
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