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Have 400eu to spend on an Upgrade for my Rig, suggestions??

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May 24, 2006 4:53:14 PM

Em... well down on writing my rig looks pretty gaming freindly but recently ive been having an unexplained drop in performance so i am going to upgrade one part of my system, with a budget of 400Euro (roughly 450-$500). Now keeping in mind that the purpose is to improve gaming performance what do you guys recommend i buy? Ive been looking at either this RAM http://www.komplett.ie/k/ki.asp?sku=313461 or a soundcard, i was thinking mabye this, http://www.komplett.ie/k/ki.asp?sku=312206 (using integrated at the moment). Also i was thinking of getting an Athlon 4000+ or x2 4200+. So the thing that i want completely nutralized in my games is the dam jerks i keep getting if that helps to narrow down my hardware need... Anyway so what one new piece of hardware should i upgrade out of my System? thanks.
May 24, 2006 9:13:59 PM

What games are you planning on running (and at what settings)? What games are you currently experiencing the sudden drops in performance? Could you run them fine before, but now they are not running as well, or are you trying to run new games that you have never run before?
May 24, 2006 10:44:53 PM

Basically i want, and should be able to play any modern/demanding game on max settings with no lagg what so ever. What i have been experiencing in games at the moment is a drop in framerate from what i used to be able to achieve with the only real demanding game i have, which is FEAR. I actually did a clean install and the game runs a bit better now but not as it used to. Now its running 37/38 Min, 68Avg and 165Max on 1024x768 res. with everything max except Vol. lights medium and SS off..... My Max frame used to achieve 169/170 so performing like this after a clean install is just not acceptable for me and i am no wizz kid so the only option for me is to upgrade something to try shoot my performance up. Also my 3DMark06 score suddenly dropped too. I must have reinstalled close to 20 times now so this has to end.... what do you suggest i upgrade?
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May 24, 2006 11:28:15 PM

If you used to be able to run it fine then that means there is either spyware/malware/virus slowing your system down or a driver problem. Do some system scans and check to make sure you have the latest drivers installed. Have you installed any new software/hardware since the game slowed down?

I would recommend checking for these problems/conflicts before "fixing" something by upgrading that isnt broken.

Use a program such as AdAware to scan for spyware and a decent antivirus program to scan for viruses.

If there isnt a problem of that nature then some of your hardware could be going bad, which THEN would be the indicator to upgrade.
May 25, 2006 9:07:56 AM

Okay well i am always very secure with my system and i have a strong anti-virus and antispy so i think its safe to rule out spyware and viruses, although i kinda wish spyware was the problem.... About drivers, i always install the latest drivers for my chipset and GPU, i get the nforce forceware 6.70 for my chipset and then driver 84.21 for my GPU, but back to the chipset drivers.... i dont like the nvidia IDE driver that comes in the driver so i dont use it, instead i use the default MS IDE driver. However i get problems with both, they both are giving me bad performance, the nvidia driver being the worst, so what do you think about that? Until just last night when i was having the game lagg i really thought it was my Graphics card but when i did a clean install, downloaded the least amount of stuff i could, and ran FEAR it performed pretty good with no jerks/laggs at all, however the frames (as stated previously) are still a bit low, but at least i think that proves that its not my GPU..... at least i think. So what do you recommend?
May 25, 2006 10:40:13 AM

What do I recommend?
Be happy with what you have and save that money for the next upgrade. 5 less frames on max? Is that your problem? Gosh.
"37/38 Min, 68Avg and 165Max on 1024x768 res" - man, I wish I had results like these :roll:

To be more on topic: surely you didn't forget to run Defrag?
May 25, 2006 11:47:44 AM

Quote:
Be happy with what you have and save that money for the next upgrade. I wish I had results like these

Sounds about right. Your next upgrade should probably be more than a soundcard or RAM (in other words, a next gen cpu/mobo/ram/vid card). What you have now should be running games perfectly. If you cant solve the frame drop by defragging, tweaking latency, or otherwise, then spend $100 on a pair of dual channel RAM that will still add to your performance. Then you can save the other $300 for the future...
May 25, 2006 12:07:02 PM

Oh, woops i read it wrong, you say my next upgrade should be either, so what do you suggest out of all the parts in my rig that i should upgrade that would show improvement? thanks.
May 25, 2006 1:08:25 PM

Well, if you are using integrated sound, then IMO you should go for a soundcard.
Integrated uses your cpu for dsp. If you go with a soundcard, then you have a soundcard doing it instead of the cpu, which means one task less for it.
However, this might just provide a percent or two of change, at most.

Also, IMO again, you don't need x-fi. It's new, it's cool, it has a lot of features and very good specs, but truth is, you will only be using a fraction of its capabilities. Even az Audigy se will serve you well, for much less.
May 25, 2006 1:15:51 PM

I agree, if you think that you have to spend money, do it on a sound card. I recently decided to ditch onboard sound and get a dedicated card- instead of going with X-fi I went with an audigy. Couldn't be happier for the price vs benefit. CODII sounds great in 5.1
May 25, 2006 1:37:53 PM

Okay sound card it is, and ill go for a cheaper one so i can also get the super fast RAM aswell! Oh and guess what, i did a defragment and my FEAR performance is now 39min, 69Avg and 167Max! Basically back to normal! thanks guys, you saved me wasting a ton of cash! Any more advice, plz let me know.
May 25, 2006 1:53:32 PM

Quote:
Oh and guess what, i did a defragment and my FEAR performance is now 39min, 69Avg and 167Max! Basically back to normal!

See? Told you :p 
!