Hello all. I am new here and new to computer gaming. I just recently purchased a computer for myself - nothing special. Its an ACER w/ E2160 processor @ 1.8Ghz, 3GB DDR2 memory, 250GB hard disk with the Nvidia GeForce 7100. It is displayed on a Samsung 22" LCD.
The games I play are Age of Empires 3 and Crysis. AOE3 plays fine at a low resolution, when I turn the resolution up, it gets choppy. As for Crysis, it barely plays the game at the lowest graphic settings.
I guess what i'm asking is what should I upgrade to be able to turn theresolution up on AOE3 and so that I can play Crysis. Thanks!
How big is your PSU? How many amps on its +12V rail(s)? Chances are, it is the minimum needed to power your system as-is, and would choke on the power needs of a 4850.
A 4670 might be your best choice without a PSU upgrade; it needs no auxilliary power.
Yeah the issue with a lowend PC is it has a lowend PSU. Sorry to say but your Acer is NOT a gaming machine.
You could always get a dedicated PSU for your graphics card like the following. It will use a 5.25 drive bay if you have one avalible, but 450W for just a videocard would handle most anything. It has an connector that pluggs inline with the mobo connector to turn on and off. Plus it has a power cord. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Probably not. Some Rosewills recently passed load testing at jonnyguru.com, but I don't know if that was it, and the brand as a whole is considered crap.
I've never read a bad competent technical review of an Antec PSU. There should be a good deal available on one of their Earthwatts models.
Other good PSU brands include Corsair, PC Power and Cooling, Seasonic, and OCZ.
Thanks for all the help! Yeah I sometimes wish I would have bought a system that was geared more towards gaming, but at the time I didnt have the money and I needed a computer right away. I would like to slowly try to upgrade this one a litte more. So for now looks like I should invest in that Sapphire piece and also the new power source. Besides those 2 things, what should I look into upgrading next?
As ZZFH pointed out, your CPU may not be able to drive a 4850 near its potential. Since you bought an OEM box, you may not be able to overclock it. This means your only option may be a CPU upgrade. I'm not sure that chipset supports Wolfdale, but you may be able to put an e4500 or e6750 on it; Serpent's link shows that machine optionally comes with a Q6600, so there's another choice.
Since you say this is a recent purchase, and you're replacing so much of it, it may be worth going back to the place you bought it and seeing if they will take it back, if only for credit on something better. If you have the time, ideally they'll refund the full price, and you can post your budget and we'll all suggest how you might build yourself something as nice as possible.
It can handle a sustained load of 450W with 500W peaks and it supplies 18A on each of its dual 12v rails. The earthwatts PSU won't be too stressed by your system, but it's better for you to spend a little more to get the FSP as that is a better unit so it's more likely to be stable if you want to upgrade your CPU, well assuming your motherboard can take a significantly better CPU .
FSP isn't a bad brand, but Antec is VASTLY superior. The Antec is much more efficient, quieter, and has Active PFC. The FSP uses an older design. I've used a few of them in the past, but buy better these days.