I'm having issues playing games

Firstyl, if this is in the wrong section i apologise!

When i first got my desktop (around 3-4years ago) i could run games without any performance issues. however in the last year or so i've been unable to play games without getting some horrendous lag spikes. the types of games vary from simple flash games and facebook apps to online rpg games and disks (such as age of empires).

After a couple minutes of playing i will have constant lag spikes (every minute or so, lasting between 20-40 seconds). i have checked the minimum specs required to play and my computer meets these requirements (will post).

when it first happened i had someone look at it and he said my computer was overheating (namely, the soldering on the heat sync was actually melting) and dust had clogged it up. he cleaned it all out and fixed the heat sync and it worked fine for around 3 months and it started happening again! I clean my computer out every few days to ensure there is no significant build up. he had another look and decided to replace one of the fans with a better one, however this never resolved the issue.

ive began thinking my video card may be damaged causing the lag (just speculating, i dont know much about computers).

computer OS: windows XXP home edition 5.1 build 2600
processor: intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 cpu 3.40GHz (2CPUs)
memory: 1024mb RAM
Video card: RADEON 9600 XT-4 (256mb memory)

game requirements:
-512 MB RAM
- 1Ghz CPU
- For DirectX or OpenGL graphics: 128MB 3D Graphics Card (i.e. Nvidia® GeForce™ 4 or above, or ATI 9800 or above)

any advice on how to check if my card is damaged? or does my comouter simply not meet the specifications? if any more information is needed please let me know and how to access it.

thanks in advance!
4 answers Last reply
More about issues playing games
  1. I would recommend getting a whole new pc to be honest. Those games arent super graphics intense but that is a very very outdated graphics card, and like you said there is a possibility its just dying. Normally I'd say just get a new card but your whole system sounds pretty old and probably does not have a PCIe slot.
  2. may i ask what a PCIe slot is? also, the computer is fast for everything such as web browsing and having videos running, it just seems to be games. couldn't i just buy an upgraded card?
  3. Well PCIe is the newest standard of how cards (graphics primarily are plugged into computer), so its like a socket type on your mobo. Your system is still on AGP which is very old and nobody makes cards for it any more, its hard to even find anyone selling cards for it. I think your only option would be to get an HD 4670, that is the best you can get for AGP slot, if you can find one of course, plus you might need a better power supply for the bigger card.
  4. ah thanks, where am i most likely to find one? im assuming PC world wont sell these anymore?

    if i was to buy a new cpu, could you reccommend a resonably priced model which could play games? thanks for the help!
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