i'm new in this forum. Recently i bought a new low end system at about USD 200. pls see briefy below the spec:-
processor:AMD Sempron(tm) Processor 3800+
package:Socket AM2 (940)
mobo:ECSECS MCP61PM-HM model:iris8
Chipset:NVIDIA GeForce 6150SE nForce 430
memory: DDR2, PC2-5300 (333 MHz), 512 MBytes, Micron Technology
optical drive: DVD-rom
One PCI Express x16 graphics (for graphics card) is available for upgrade
I plan to spend some money to upgrade.
A) 1 gig of ram at about 20 USD.
B) upgrade graphic card ??? This is where i need some advise
I play some old games like warcraft 3, which i believe it does not required very powerful card. Can some one give me some suggestion? It needs to match/fit very well this low-end system and it should not be too expensive.
Well, there is no simple answer that works for all cases. it totally depends on the individual game, the resolution you game at, the detail settings, and eye candy you use, etc. And even within a single game some parts can tend to stress the cpu more, others the GPU. Take Oblivion for instance. Outdoor foliage where you are surrounded by dense grass and trees with shadows, the GPU gets stressed. But head into a town with lots of NPC's walking around and you will be more CPU limited.
Now in your case, more often than not at anything above 1024x768 high details, you will be more often GPU limited than CPU limited if you stick an 8500GT in that system. Stick an 8800GTX in there and you would be very cpu limited. Play a flight sim and you'd probably be more CPU limited with either card.
Anyway, while your CPU may hurt the benchmark results with a 2600 pro, and may at times limit gameplay, very often it won't change your playable settings alot. A slow CPU like the Athlon XP 2500+ at stock speeds, is already too slow for many games. Test Drive unlimited is unplayable at any resolution with a stock XP2500+ no matter what card you pair it with. But your CPU should meet minimum spec for quite a while still, so I wouldn't worry too much about CPU limitations. No, don't buy a $200 card for that system, but don't feel an 8400GS or even 8500GT is all it can take advantage of. HD2600 pro or 8600GT would be a nice fit IMO for typical gaming in that rig. But again we would have to know the games you want to play and the resolution you play at to best answer that question.
To answer your question, i mostly play games launched before year 2006. The game i play most is warcraft 3 frozen throne. As I mentioned in my earlier post, with current setting on board graphic card, war3 can't run smoothly even I set all the setting to low.