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What should I upg to play GTAIV and other games in general..

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January 29, 2009 2:11:36 PM

Ok, I've got like 100 bucks to burn and Im kinda stuck on what to change first - a new CPU, Memories or just save til I can afford an entirely new setup. I am not a compulsory upgrader, my priority is to be able to play games like GTAIV at 1280x1024 with the highest quality/viewable distance possible.


Here's my current rig:


CPU - Pentium D 945 65nm at 3.4ghz

RAM - 1gb (2 x 512mb) Ram Corsair 800mhz

MOBO - Evga 680i SLI (122-CK-NG68-AR)

GPU - Evga 9800 gtx+ 512mb ddr3

PSU - 550w Topower.

OS - Windows Vista Ultimate 32 bits.

I've been told that Pentium D is probably bottlenecking the true capabilities of my GPU, but I believe it's really not worth buying a new CPU if the RAM is falling short(1gb). I am thinking about purchasing a set of 4gb ram (2 x 2gb) 1066mhz but I wonder if that will boost the gaming performance considerably... or should I purchase a C2D processor instead? Or simply save for the new i7 system? What do you think?

TIA.
January 29, 2009 2:44:14 PM

How are you even running Vista on 1GB RAM?
I would look at upping that to 2 and then consider a fast Core 2 Duo after a bit more saving.

i7 will set you back perhaps $1000 if you reuse GPU, OS, Case, PSU etc. Basically you need DDR3 6GB, the CPU itself and a x58 mobo which is very pricey.
January 29, 2009 2:52:20 PM

Oh i just saw you want to play GTA IV maxed.

You will need at the very minimum Phenom 2 or Q9xxxx and something beefy like a 4870. Either that or just get it on xbox and save yourself a small
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January 29, 2009 2:57:57 PM

Stay away from DDRII 1066 - no need for it
January 29, 2009 4:00:05 PM

Hey thanks for your prompt responses! So you think I should upgrade my memory sticks rather than the CPU? the Pentium D's rated FSB is 800mhz, so I should probably get some ram running at 800mhz alright?

I think the question is between keeping the Pentium D with a new set of 4 gb ram or keep the 1 gb ram with a new C2D processor.

Which will perform better?
January 29, 2009 4:06:53 PM

pr2thej said:
How are you even running Vista on 1GB RAM?
.


You may not believe me but I've been able to play games like Gears of war, mirror's edge, call of duty 5, etc maxed with good framerates ( with some minimun performance lockups). But GTAIV came and blow my mind with ti's requirements, I dunno if it's really a hardware performance issue or some bug but the minimun requirements for the game is like 1.5 gb of RAM and thought it's about time for me to add some sticks.
January 29, 2009 5:42:58 PM

You definatly need more RAM. I have 6GB and playing GTAIV I have seen RAM usage over 5GB. First get the Ram( 2x2GB 800MHz) then if You have money change CPU. GTAIV also makes good use of quad CPU.
January 29, 2009 6:16:57 PM

ainarssems said:
You definatly need more RAM. I have 6GB and playing GTAIV I have seen RAM usage over 5GB. First get the Ram( 2x2GB 800MHz) then if You have money change CPU. GTAIV also makes good use of quad CPU.


It seems that almost every one agrees that RAM is a problem. Will a pair of Corsair 2gigs 800mhz at 5-5-5-18 do? (TWIN2X4096-6400C5 G) Or one with lower latecy?

January 29, 2009 9:03:42 PM

Thats a good standard latency, will do fine. Now get saving for a new chip :lol: 
January 29, 2009 10:00:24 PM

You shouldnt have any problem getting 4 gigs of DDR2 800 and a Pentium dual core that you can overclock to at least 3ghz for about $100
January 30, 2009 8:05:54 AM

Worth noting by the way that GTA IV loves extra cores. The recommended is a tri core, and people upgrading from 2 cores generally see a really nice jump in FPS.
February 6, 2009 12:19:29 AM

Get more RAM now. Get a Q6600 when you have saved enough.
February 6, 2009 12:22:41 AM

This article shows the difference between 2GB and 4GB of RAM in games. It's big.
http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/2008/07/08/is-more-memory-better/1

Between 1GB and 2GB it's probably an even bigger difference. For example if Windows takes 0.5GB, the jump from 1 GB to 2 GB will mean three times more memory available to the game (1.5 GB instead of 0.5GB)

February 7, 2009 12:24:29 AM

i registered for the first time on this site because i have 1st hand experience with improving quality and view distance on GTA IV.

processor will help alot but you wont be able to max out your GTA settings without one or 2 video cards with a hefty amount of video ram... think 2 1 GB cards in sli / xfire or one with 1700 ish megs of memory.

if i were you i would just save my money and plan out a nice quad core system. maybe i7 based. the 920 is nice and cheap.

oh and you should be planning to run with at LEAST 2 gigs now a days.
February 8, 2009 7:56:49 AM

ozarkamax said:
i registered for the first time on this site because i have 1st hand experience with improving quality and view distance on GTA IV.

processor will help alot but you wont be able to max out your GTA settings without one or 2 video cards with a hefty amount of video ram... think 2 1 GB cards in sli / xfire or one with 1700 ish megs of memory.

if i were you i would just save my money and plan out a nice quad core system. maybe i7 based. the 920 is nice and cheap.

oh and you should be planning to run with at LEAST 2 gigs now a days.


The i7 and everything that must come with it (new mobo, ram) are still too far from my current budget, besides, this new technology is still too new so I'll let it mature a little bit more before I even dream with it.

Following everyone's advice I bought myself a pair of OCZ (2x2gb), they're running at 800mhz - 4-4-4-15. The overal system performance has increased incredibly. The framerate on GTA IV has improved alot but it is still slow compared to other games Im playing (Crysis, GOW, COD5 etc,.) but at least it's playable now.

Now Im heading for a good core 2 duo processor or a basic quad.

e7300/7400, e8400 or q6600? Anyone? :D 

Ah sorry, cant wait for a new system. Cant live chasing it forever.
!