Squeezing just a little more performance

Hi guys & gals, I have a P4 3Ghz 630, 1GB RAM, 7800GTX 256MB, NEC 19" 8ms LCD and want to hold on to it for one more year until I can aford Core 2 Duo, Vista, and DX10 Nvidia card. To do that I need to squeeze a little more performance out of what I have, I'm willing to spend some $$
if it will yeild more framerates out of my games. Right now in games like Doom 3 I can run it at 1280x1024 high quallity mode with all effects on running a solid 60 fps, I can run Ghost Recon AW/GRAW at 1280x1024 with all setting at high/with 8x AF filtering at 58-89 FPS, Oblivion runs close to the latter two. I can't overclock the CPU because its a Dell, yes I know I should have built my own PC. I've been told that if your going to go SLI that you need at least an highend CPU, or can I call Dell and ask for a SLI board and run another 7800GTX 256MB card? I know if I change my mobo I have to change the OS disc, harddrive. The harddrive is tied to the mobo and OS system, "if I changed the mobo the harddrive would not reconize the mobo," vice versa. Some tell me that a Raptor 74 with an extra GB of ram will do it, but will it really? I guess I could overclock my video card but how to keep it from burning up I would need some gidance on that! I tried to overclock it before by 20Mhz, but durring 3Dmark05 I got dots and blots even at 10 Mhz. THANKS FOR ANY HELP! Two left turns don't = a u-turn. :D
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  1. Wow...
    A second gigabyte of RAM might be worth it if you have money to burn.

    From what I have heard, SLI isn't worth the money. You would be better off buying a faster card.

    Since you have 7800GTX I don't think it is worth paying about $300 or more for a better video card if you are only going to use it for 1 year. But that is just me. There are faster cards around. 7900GTX, 1900XT are the first that come to mind.

    You could look into buying a faster CPU. Maybe a dual core CPU like the 900 series. I don't know if they would be compatible with you system or not.

    If framerates are what you are after, a Raptor won't help unless you are pagefiling to the hard drive. Raptors would give a little faster load times.

    I can't really imagine being disatisfied with your system. I am still running an AGP 16-pipe X800GTO with a P4 Northwood overclocked to 3.5GHz and 1GB of DDR400. Of course I don't play the games you play. I'm more into CS:S and BF2 when I have the time to play.
  2. I've been told that a faster CPU would give better framerates and on the other hand I've been told that for games it does not matter what CPU you have that its all about the graphics card now. I know that the CPU is the bottleneck and the CPU will stress out long before the videocard does. I have also been told that the CPU is the limiting factor in all around performance, is that true? If you unplug the CPU then you have nothing.
  3. The CPU and RAM do have an affect on performance. Physics effects I believe are dependant on the CPU for example. It kind of depends on the scene in the game. It also depends on how much vegetation is around and how many other charachters are in the scene.

    Based on what I have heard I think that you would definately benefit from more RAM. I haven't actually had any experience using a system with 2GB.
  4. The only upgrades that might be worth the money for you would be an extra gig of RAM or a dual-core processor. I would place them in that order too. But in reality with your videocard a new processor won't change much. I'd say get another .5-1 gig of RAM and start saving money for a whole new system next year.
  5. Quote:
    The only upgrades that might be worth the money for you would be an extra gig of RAM or a dual-core processor. I would place them in that order too. But in reality with your videocard a new processor won't change much. I'd say get another .5-1 gig of RAM and start saving money for a whole new system next year.

    :roll: Exactly what I was thinking. :)
  6. Your in a strange situation, you have a bunch of great parts but.... its all shoved into a Dell and we all know that Dell does things weird and it makes it difficult to upgrade sometimes. So heres what I suggest:

    1)Find out what motherboard you have. I wouldnt bet on Dell sending you an SLI board because that would most likely void that sweet Dell warranty, and thas why you bought a Dell, right dude?

    2)Your videocard is badass, your cpu is just fine for gaming, your gig of ram will get the job done for the most part. I am going to agree with the majority and say upgrade to another gig of ram, but try to match it as closely as possible to what you already have and if possible set it up for dual-channel. Next I would agree and say you should either use a third-party windows application to overclock your CPU or buy a new CPU...but i say this while grinding my teeth thinking about all the things that could go wrong in a Dell when you overclock... heres a few things that come to mind...make sure your pumping out ATLEAST 500 watts from your PS if your close to 450 dont overclock. The 7800GTX is a wattage hog and knowing Dell they gave you just enough power to run that thing. Second is that I doubt Dell supplied you with anything better then an OEM heatsink and we all know what the thermals are like on a P4. You would have to upgrade your heatsink or go to watercooling. Finally you have a Dell man overclocking is going to void that sweet warranty!

    3)I am going to tell what I would do in your situation. I would add memory and thats it. Your computer is pretty bad-ass as is and you should be able to play everything for the next year without a problem.

    Other notes:
    -Forget the Raptor unless your concerned about XP loading faster and your game levels loading faster, otherwise it wont effect your framerate at all.

    -Physics processing is done entirely on the CPU and if you happen to have made the mistake and bought a PPU(physic processing unit) this early in development some of your physics would be done on that. If you were to buy the ageia PPU Ghost Recon does support that hardware but I really wouldnt suggest it in your Dell. Physics processing in the future is going to be handled by NVidia and ATI, they are most likely going to add a PPU onto their graphics boards or start handling the physics instructions through a dedicated GPU (ATI seems to be going in this direction) Either way physics is the future of gaming, Ageia is doing some badass stuff, but this physics card they have out now is a waste of money.

    -If you arent concerned about your warranty (or its expired) buy a new SLI motherboard, powersupply, case and copy of windows XP. Move all your parts into the new case and format the harddrive and reinstall the fresh copy of XP. Then take the dell case and motherboard and set it unfire and curse them for making things so difficult on you... getting a little more performance out of your system shouldnt be so difficult!

    I hope this helped and I really think you have a good system and I hope you can get those smooth framerates and badass graphics we all want. Goodluck upgrading buddy!
  7. Yeah your right 1GB of ram is the only thing I should do for now. At christmas time or after I plan to go Core 2, new mobo, hard drive, Vista. Thats the only way to hammer Dell componets out of my PC and my life! In a Dell if you make a hard drive, mobo change the mobo will not reconise the new hard drive which is the reason why NOT TO GET A DELL, trying to upgrading a Dell can make you jump off a bridge!! I had to cut the PC case to fit my neo 480watt PSU because it had a PCI-e connector and the power is decreat for each output. Can't even change the cooling system because the Devil/Hell Dell make a differant hook up, and they do all this on perpose! Dell you SUCH BIG ONES!
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