Hello everyone. I am new to this forum and to PC building. I just recently got very serious about altering my entire system until it is completely new. I just have a few questions.
Ok I bought my PC originally off of E-Bay for $400 no shipping (brand new). I found it quite a steal, it had an onboard graphics of 512mb which I knew would need to be fixed, but the dual core 3.4ghz intel processor alone I figured it would run decent until I fixed up on it. Strange thing, I recentely bought a VisionTek Crossfire HD4650 512mb video card thinking it would be awesome, which it was a HUGE improvement, but I might do something in the gaming bracket x800, or x900. I am pretty sure thats how it works. Anyhow I play alot of WoW and my frames are fast when zoned 50-60fps, but when I first get on its about 8fps, and goes to 15-20fps in major cities. This seems quite low to me so aside from graphics I figured maybe my motherboard or cpu was to low for all of the interaction going on within cities, maybe my graphics are fine.
Cool thing is I blow my cheap (i knew that for a $400 computer) power supply with my new HD4650 thats when I decided I was going to go nuts. I bought a Tech kit, a Antec Nine Hundred gaming case, and ordered a Ultra X3 600 watt supply. It took some thinking since I have never dabbled with anything past PCI, PCI express, etc. I got it hooked up fairly accurate in two power on's I had it working with the case and fans hooked up and PSU all running smoothly.
So I have been researching because now, after two weeks I am ready to turn it into a gaming PC. I have damn near blown my brain slam out of my head with information and different opinions on speeds, syncing, equipement, what is REALLY good ram, what is..... blah, blah. Anyway I think I have a core understanding.
What I am thinking is motherboard and MAYBE a CPU. I didn't really know what to look up first so I tried to understand what I was looking at and read reviews to find a good pair. I tried looking up my CPU thinking it is very possible it is quite strong already... I can't find it. No where on intel's site do I see anything dual thats 3.4ghz, I see a 3.33ghz, but looking at the price I am almost 100% that mine did not come with that (they are asking $266 for it at intel). I'm running Windows XP, so I pull up the ol' system folder, and it says for processor...
Intel 3.4Ghz CPU
Intel 3.4Ghz CPU
So more specs while we are at it...
MSI - NVIDIA GeForce 7050/610i
2x - 2GB 800Mhz RAM (DDR2 i think, and didn't look at the cycle speed, i'll tell you when I get home)
So anyway, I found the motherboard as cheap as 45.99, so I am assuming its one of the best for its price, i meanit does the job, but maybe it does suck, would like an opinion on that.
As far as the CPU, does anyone think that is strange? I mean would it be possible I got a cheap (real cheap 400watt, felt like 1 pound)PSU, a cheap midtower case, i am guessing it costs them maybe $25, the MoBo, 4GB of 800mhz ram, and a 160GB hard drive for $400 shipping free?
If anyone thinks any of this is junk, a reference to something more econimical that gets some decent games in would be HIGHLY appreciated.
When I get home I would get more details about my RAM and hard drive, and probaly have a question related to syncing my RAM MoBo and CPU to all run on the same frequency, I think I understand, thats what I am shooting for.
Someone correct me if I am wrong, but I have come to learn that when dealing with Video Cards, the first number is what series it is and the second is what quality it is, 8-9 being gaming, 4-6 being performance, and 2-3 is economy. 1 is onboard, if I read right.
The third letter is its updating since the original 0.
So my card is an HD4650, so its the 4 series HD card (HD cards are more recent thats why my first letter is lower then yours). The second letter (being one of the most important IMO) means mine is like higher end performance. The third means its the updated version of the HD4600, so I guess that helps.
Yours is a 9800 gt superclocked/overclocked. So yours is the 9th series in the non HD (a guess that its not HD). Your quality is 8 which would make it a nice little gaming powered card. Third, its just not the updated version (if one exists, i don't even think this impacts performance that much). Yours is also Overclocked, which is not standard, I think there is usually a non-overclocked version of most cards.
So your's is probaly better I wouldn't be shocked, it just might not play HD movies is all, or work with an HD monitor.
Someone correct me if I am wrong, I am kind of throwing it out there to be corrected.
You're mixing graphic card manufacturers (ATI/AMD and NVidia). They each have their own naming scheme, but your breakdown of the card's model number is mostly accurate.
ATI/AMD recent "series" numbers go (from new to old): HD4, HD3, HD2, X1, X, 9, 8...
NVidia recent "series" numbers go (again from new to old) GTX2, 9, 8, 7, 6...
The second digit of the model number, you've broken down correctly. There is the occasional overlap, particularly when dealing with on-board graphics. As for the third digit (on the ATI/AMD side), it's a performance step (not necessarily and update to a previous model), so the HD4670 would outperform the HD4650, but wouldn't perform as well as the HD4850.
Oh ok, yeah I was missing a bit, good to know the third on ati cards is performance... Overall what do people think as far as the actual card i am using? I was getting very low frame rates last night, not the normal when I first log on thing. I was at about 10 and it was incredibly obvious that the screen was chopping hard. I rebooted it stopped...
I doubt its over heating, I have a 120mm fan blowing in from the top, two from the back, two from the front.
What is people's thought on importance of going to a gaming performance? Is it worth downgrading to a earlier series, say like this HD3870 512mb for $104.99? Does anyone have any suggestions on a card? Keep in mind I paid $115 for this at best buy and I can still return it, its only been 2 weeks, I get more and more uncertain the further I research.