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Why does my computer play games at low quality?

Last response: in Video Games
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May 26, 2012 6:09:42 PM

Specs:-
Model:- Packard Bell iMedia s1300/ a3622uk
Processor: AMD Athlon II 605e Processor 2.30Ghz
RAM: 3.00 GB (NOTE: ONLY HAS TWO SLOTS WITH A MAX OF ONLY 4GB ALLOWED)
OS:- Windows 7 Home Premium w/SP1 64-bit.
GPU:- Gigabyte Nvidia Geforce 8400GS 512MB
Power Supply:- 250W

Overall it should be at least OK to play games. But I find I can only play games smoothly at 800*600 resolution and low graphics. Which doesn't seen very right.

I am planning to change the case and power supply up to 650W as where the pci-e slot is placed there is 0 air circulation for the fan on the GPU, causing it to rocket to 70 Degrees when casual and 75 Degrees in gaming.

Does anyone have any suggestions on what could be wrong or what i should upgrade (and us I know the WHOLE thing is the most obvious, but to just tide me over for at least another year?)

Many Thanks for your contribution and help.
May 26, 2012 6:16:50 PM

Hi :) 

Its NOT your psu...

Its the low end cpu and even lower end graphics card....

All the best Brett :) 
May 26, 2012 7:19:08 PM

I think the main reason is your graphics card. The 8400gs was never a gaming card new, it was for HTPC use. How good is the PSU? Also I assume that you're using DDR2, one 2gig module and one 1 gig? That means (I think) that the RAM wouldn't be running in dual channel due to both ram slots not having the same quantity.

First things first, get a better graphics card. Anything is better than what you have, something like a HD6770 should be a good pairing.

Then get Haswell when it comes out, however if you can get a 2 gig stick of ram to swap out with the 1 gig one so the RAMs running at dual channel. The CPU may be weak but it is a quad core and not as much as a bottleneck as I'd say the RAM and GPU is.

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May 27, 2012 3:40:08 AM

The 8400GS is a weak graphic card, upgrading to a good quality 650w PSU will allow you to install a more powerful graphic card like a Radeon HD 7870 or GTX 670.

The Athlon II 605e is considered a relatively weak CPU so it can bottleneck relatively powerful graphic cards like the ones mentioned above.
May 27, 2012 10:14:04 PM

I see what you two are saying (blahman11 and jaguarskx). But say I do as you both suggest and upgrade the GPU and PSU as well as getting a new case (because i would need to) Wouldn't my current CPU bottleneck the graphics card?

And if so is it bad? and how would this effect me gaming wise?
May 28, 2012 12:39:59 AM

it will in no way bottleneck that 8400gs... your actually lucy 8400gs is letting you play games even at low as most games wont support it. more often than not the 8400 crashes when its asked to play games... get rid of it asap and replace it with a minimum of an 8600gt or 2600pro... a more recent card would of course be better but them 2 are the bare minimum to get most games to play without issue.

the athlon souldnt bottleneck any gfx card up to the 98gtx or gtx 250... 1s you go past them you will find that cpu bound games like gta 4, bfbc2 or bf3 will choke badly...
some games that only use 2 threads will quite happily let you use bigger cards but you will run into bottlencks the higher you go regardless of how many threads the games use.
so when you can afford it upgrade to a 2.4 quad core minimum a new 550-650w psu and a mid to high end gfx card. then finally a 1080p or better monitor....
from what i can find your case my be short but its fat and deep... so if your not gonna swap out the motherboard theres no reason to change it unless you want to go crazy with fans...



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