Need some advice (specific and general) on gaming on pc for first time. Included Hardware details at bottom.
Plan to play Star Wars the Old Republic, Mass Effect 3, Call of Duty, ect....
Running native 1680x1050
Q1) How do I determine the optimal settings my hardware can handle?
Advice on Star Wars settings?
Q2) How can I optimize my system to ensure max performance??
Under non-gaming my RAM seems to always be 65%-75%+ used.... How can I free up RAM for gaming performance?
I frequently go under task manager and close all non-essential stuff but seems to free up very few resources!
Q3) Good resources for learning about playing games
A) Hardware and visual settings, tweaks, ect
B) Role playing games in general (game play, ect)
Have an older Dell Inspiron 1520:
Core 2 Duo 2.0Ghz
4 GB RAM
NVIDIA Geforce 8600 GT
Here's a report from gpu:
NVIDIA System Information report created on: 05/09/2012 11:34:57
System name: INSPIRON1520
Operating System: Windows 7 Ultimate, 64-bit (Service Pack 1)
DirectX version: 11.0
GPU processor: GeForce 8600M GT
Driver version: 296.10
DirectX support: 10
CUDA Cores: 32
Core clock: 475 MHz
Shader clock: 950 MHz
Memory clock: 400 MHz (800 MHz data rate)
Memory interface: 128-bit
Total available graphics memory: 2047 MB
Dedicated video memory: 256 MB DDR2
System video memory: 0 MB
Shared system memory: 1791 MB
Video BIOS version: 60.84.50.00.02
Bus: PCI Express x16
what you're asking will take forever to explain and would require tons of typed text over this forum, it will be equivalent of writing a book on this. Reason being what you're asking is a general knowledge that comes from being a competent PC gamer. You acquire it with time and willingness to learn, not by reading someone else's take on it in a few sentences.
I can try to answer your questions in very short terms but again, knowing how to do majority of the things you're asking for comes from experience.
1) experiment with game settings in particular game, and you will find them.
2) close unnecessary programs, set power management on max, overclock.
3) I'm not even sure what you're asking here... use google? I mean you want to learn how to play the game, just launch it and play it, I doubt you will learn much from reading about it rather than practicing. If you want websites, there's millions of good resources out there, so again, google is your friend.