Intel Pentium 4 D 940 cpu 3.2Ghz
Motherboard: Dell intel i945p/pl/g/gz
Graphics: ATi Radeon x1900 xtx 512MB
Sound: Creative Xfi Xtreme Sound Blaster
RAM: 2x 1GB Kingston DDR2 PC-4300 266Mhz
Hard Drive: 2 x 250GB WD SATA RAID 0
CD/DVD: Dell installed, 16x speed DVD+/-R/W (I think)
Windows version: XP Professional SP3
Drivers: Latest CCC 9.3, tried to update audio but sound stopped working so rolled back driver!
Thanks for the info everyone, its really kool that all you guys are helping me out, another question, what would a CPU upgrade involve? Sounds a little advanced?
Also, maybe I should tell you part of the reason I want to upgrade, I got this computer two years ago and have played quite a few games on it (Hitman BM, Splinter Cell 1,2,3,4 Half Life 2 Crysis, Condemned, S.T.A.L.K.E.R etc etc) and they all played ok, except for a few odd crashes. Recently, however, I got Bioshock and it seemed to play allright for a while and then the screen would just freeze after about 5 mins of play, even if the game was paused or all the graphical settings were turned down. Sometimes, the screen will turn itself off for about 10 seconds then come back on and the game plays for another 5 mins, sometimes it does the black screen thing and when it comes back, the system exits the game and there's an ATi message saying that the VPU has recovered, I know this is part of CCC and can be turned on and off. Then sometimes it will just plain old hang the system and I have to restart the computer to solve it, which is bad for it I guess, so I';d prefer not to have to!
I've updated to CCC 9.3 and fiddled with the CCC settings and tried the built in overclocking but to no avail. The only thing that works for sure is turning the hardware acceleration down a coupla notches on the windows display properties>settings>advanced>troubleshoot tab and that's not an ideal solution since it makes the games freeze for a coupla seconds every 10 seconds! Which is annoying when im playing Mirrors Edge and trying to jump from one train to another!
Phew, that was a long rant, hope it didn't bore the crap outta anyone! Basically, my games keep making the Graphics Card do a VPU recover and I can't find a solution except to lower the hardware acceleration of the whole computer! D'oh!
If you're running a 1900XTX then you should be able to run a 4850 as it's just a few watts more, but a 4870 maybe not. It depends on how many amps you got on the 12v and the quality of the PSU. Personally I wouldn't chance it and would get a good quailty PSU. Looks like your system is a BTX system. You don't have too many options as far as upgrading your CPU and replacing the Mobo isn't worth it for a BTX. I say upgrade your PSU and video card, then carry those over when you save up enough money for the rest of a new system.
I agree, the HD 4850 (not overclocked) consumes 110w of power. A stock speed X1900XTX 512mb consumes about 121w of power.
A stock speed HD 4870 consumes about 131w of power. While it may be possible to stick that in your PC, your power supply is aging which generally means it becomes less efficient and it's maximum constant wattage has probably decreased a bit.
For a 19" 4:3 LCD monitor, the HD 4850 will be more than enough and you wouldn't need to worry about overloading your PSU.
How I loathe and despise that `b` word
It just means that the processor can`t supply the card with data fast enough, slowing the card down, much as the flow of water will slow as it passes through an obstruction, such as the narrow neck of a bottle.
This is also true in reverse, if the card is slow it will `b` the processor, which will have to wait while the card catches up.
i am familiar with the term, i just didn't realise the direct relationship between the card and the CPU...
Thank you for explaining that, so would I benefit from getting a 600W PSU for example? Then maybe also buying a 4850, or could i get away with the 4850 without upgrading the PSU? You think the problem I described above might be the PSU failing?
It could be the PSU on its way out, you`re pushing it very hard with an X1900 card, but I`d use Rivatuner or GPUZ to check the card temperatures first before condemning the hardware, it`s an old card and may just need to be cleaned out (as San Pedro said).
I`m cautious and would n`t recommend the 4850 on the current PSU, they do lose performance with age and the small extre draw of the 4850 might just tip it over.
If you do decide on a HD4850, get a good quality PSU of about 500W from someone like Corsair, OCZ, Antec or Pc Power and Cooling, do n`t be tempted by a cheap high wattage unit, they`re cheap for a reason and some can kill an entire system when they fail.
Thanks Coozie7, I think it may have been the dusty card thing, cos I took out the card and removed a thick layer of dust from what i assume was the air vent! I hadn't seen it when i cleaned the card before because i had to remove it completely from the computer to access it. And now my games seem to be running fine, without freezing, on the highest settings no less! Thanks to San Pedro for that suggestion, and everyone else on here, i appreciate all the info, the machine came like this, I havn't added anything so it would be strange if the PSU was overloaded? Although we are talking about Dell here!