So my system is a custom build from about two years ago and it runs BF3 pretty well usually, but only on medium graphics settings. It also occasionally locks up and shuts down, but that could be due to bugs on the server/games end of things. I'd like to stay around or under $150 on the upgrades and get the most bang for my buck that I can, while obviously keeping an eye on parts compatibility.
Here's my current system:
OS: Windows 7 64-bit
Motherboard: MSI NF750-G55
GPU: MSI N260GTX, 896mb, 448-bit DDR3 PCI-E 2.0x16
CPU: AMD Athlon II X3 435 Rana 2.9GHz 95W
RAM: Crucial (2x2GB) 240-pin DDR3 1066 SD RAM (PC3 8500)
HDD: WD 320GB 7200rpm SATA 3.0GB/s
Wireless: Edimax EW-7727In 32-bit PCI Adapter
Power Supply: Antec EarthWatts EA650
Case: Antec 900
**I normally get around 15ms ping, 8mbps download, 2mbps upload on my internet connection according to speedtest.net.
So what do you guys think the weakest link is, that I could upgrade and maybe run the game at higher graphics settings and/or run smoother? Thanks!
Battlefield 3 does very well with CPU's. As long as you have a relatively modern CPU with at least 2+ cores, you should be fine. It really comes down to your graphics card. For $150 you will be around an AMD 6870 or Nvidia GTX 560 after rebate or deals. That is the best choice I can offer at that price. A video card upgrade will do you the most good.
You would get DX11 graphics in BF3 instead of DX10. Which is a bonus.
Honestly, it isn't really worth much on eBay. I'd personally keep it as a spare or like you said put it in your GF's computer and keep her's as a spare. With her's you should be able to just swap them and the drivers would see the new card and just work.
The RAM on your video card and the RAM on your motherboard are completely separate. The RAM on your video card is exclusively used by the card only. DDR5 is just faster. Most newer higher end video cards use DDR5.
So here's what I ended up doing. I got the video card and RAM listed below, a GTX 560 DCII OC and a 4GB stick of DDR3 RAM. Anyone see any compatibility issues with this stuff, and am I looking at a pretty significant performance increase? I won't be able to install it until January 2 or so, when I get back home. The RAM I don't expect to help as much with BF3, as it hopefully will with multitasking and such when doing other things.
your unlikely to get any performance increase because of the ram, in fact your likely reduce performance.
you should really pair your ram.
its not a good idea just to bang in any old single sticks as they may not be the same latency, speed or voltage as your original ram. plus you will not get the benefit of dual channel mode...
not only that the mmu will have to mix and match the timings of the ram starting with the rams actual speed. all the ram will be forced to run at the speed of the slowest stick and then it will average out the latencies (this is what can damage the ram or the mmu(memory management unit)) as you may force the ram to work at timings its not designed to run at... at the very least will cause system instability. so if you can get another stick of the same as you have bought and remove the old ram altogether, your system will thank you...