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Hoping to maximize my fps. thoughts please

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April 16, 2009 7:41:17 PM

hey guys. if this is in the wrong forum, please move to the correct one.

so, i use my PC to play WoW. that is it, i prefer consoles for more traditional games. but anyway. ive been getting about 15-25 fps in Northrend whihc has been fine so far, but i think i want to upgrade to something that is gonna maybe maintain like 25 minimum up to about 40.

ive been considering an nVidia GTS250 1GB which i can get for a good price. but my worry is, will it offer me a noticeable upgrade over my current system?

my specs are as follows:

Pentium Dual core E2180 2GHZ
nVidia GeForce 8800GT
500W PSU
2GB of DDR2 PC5300
Windows XP home SP3

i run in 1920x1080p resolution and max the game out.

based on specs alone, the GTS should outperform the 8800GT, but would it actually do that based on the rest of my system?

ive heard that CPU doesnt play as big a role with games as GPUs do. so thats what kinda makes me wonder about it all.

thanks guys
April 16, 2009 7:54:49 PM

GTS 250's speed is going to be much lower than GTX 275 and GTX 280 because it is just an entry level card and it would not give you much boost of speed over your Geforce 8800GT. Also the core architecture of GTS 250 is the same as 8800GT since it uses the old G92 Core even if it is shrinked to 55nm. GTS 250 is the rehash/refresh of the old Geforce 8800 series and Geforce 9 series. If you wanted something newer and faster then you better get GTX 275 or HD 4890 or at least GTX 260 Core 216 or HD 4870 or HD 4850 which will make a bigger difference and it would be a bigger upgrade over your Geforce 8800 GT.

Also, if you have the old PCIe 1.0/1.1 motherboard, which has lower bandwidth of PCIe slots then this is going to bottleneck the speed of your new video cards since your new video cards (included 8800 GT) will use PCIe 2.0 which would have a higher bandwidth and allows faster speed for your video card. So perhaps you also wanna upgrade your Motherboard and your CPU in order not to bottleneck the speed of your video card.
April 16, 2009 8:01:37 PM

hmmm, ok. thanks for th input mate. im not sure on if my mobo is PCI-E 2.0. its kind of a budget board. heres a link to it.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

so if a GPU upgrade to a GTS wouldnt do much, would maybe a mobo and/or CPU upgrade give me better results? i know my CPU isnt the fastest thing in the world, and has a poor L2 cache. or maybe OCing it would improve performance a bit?

thanks
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April 16, 2009 8:05:14 PM

Overclocking could show some nice results


Running a 2.0 graphics card on a 1.0 slot does not limit the card that much if any its not very noticeable at all...for me atleast

I would start with some "safe" overclocks to your cpu as you have a pretty decent gpu for wow...
April 16, 2009 8:15:33 PM

any recommendations/advice you can give for overclocking? ive never done it on a CPU and only have the stock cooler. my CPU is 65nm though so it should have a higher heat tolerance right?

also, would i need to OC the RAM or GPU to match the CPU or only the CPU needs to be OC'd?

heres my exact GPU

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
April 16, 2009 11:05:10 PM

tyrannosaur said:
hmmm, ok. thanks for th input mate. im not sure on if my mobo is PCI-E 2.0. its kind of a budget board. heres a link to it.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

so if a GPU upgrade to a GTS wouldnt do much, would maybe a mobo and/or CPU upgrade give me better results? i know my CPU isnt the fastest thing in the world, and has a poor L2 cache. or maybe OCing it would improve performance a bit?

thanks


You got a Micro ATX size motherboard so I would assume that your PC case is compatible with Micro-ATX. From what I know is that most people would be going with standard ATX size motherboard. I also think that the motherboard you got does not have PCIe 2.0 but it has PCIe 1.0 with the old Intel 945G chipset.

If you wanted to upgrade your motherboard then I would recommend you to get either Core i7 or Core i5 motherboards with newer CPU socket: LGA 1366 (for Core i7) and LGA 1160 (for Core i5) or if you wanted to go with AMD system then you should get AM3 motherboard with AM3 CPU like Phenom II X4 925. (Phenom II X4 920 is not AM3 CPU but it is AM2+ CPU, so please don't be confuse). Make sure also that your PC case is compatible with/supports ATX motherboard size.

DDR3 price will also go down in this year once it becomes standard mainstream RAM so perhaps you could wait until DDR3 price goes down and then buy one of these motherboards together with DDR3 RAMs.

For the video card, you could also wait for the DirectX 11 card which could come within only 4-5 months, if you can wait and that would future proof you for the next 2-3 years and allow you to play DX 11 games too. The current DX 10 cards will still allow you to play the future game but you will be stuck with DX 10 and you could not play DX 11 games in the future. In order to play DX 11 games or to use full DX 11 features, you need a DirectX 11 card. DX 10/10.1 could be obsolete in any moment and Microsoft had already released Windows 7 beta with DirectX 11 beta. DX 11 card could be release at any moment in mid 2009 without warning so perhaps waiting should be good and since you already have a DX 10 card, you could jump directly to DX 11 generation so that you won't miss new DX 11 generation of PC graphics (DX 11 is like a revolution in graphics). :D 
April 16, 2009 11:26:03 PM

The website doesn't mention anything about 2.0 pcie that I saw, so my guess would be that it's a pci-e 1.0. As rewind said, that probably won't matter too much if you only have one vide card. However I agree with Technoboy's original recommendations on a video card update. The 260 216core and the 4850 (or better yet 4870) should give you a nice boost in performance. Tom's has a great review of the current cost vs performace of cards out right now. (http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-geforce-gtx,...) So I would look at your budget and then decide which card works best for you.

As for the CPU, you should be able to get a small boost from OC'ing without increasing the Vcore (thus adding more heat) however since you're using a socket 775 it would be very easy (and relatively inexpensive) to upgrade to a new Core 2 Duo which will give you even more overclocking ability and faster normal computing than what you have now. So a perk if you've got another $100-150 sitting around. and don't want to wait/invest in the $1500 system Techboy mentions above.

(Which to be fair is exactly what I'm going to be doing with my financial aid check this fall =P)

hope that helps!
a b U Graphics card
April 16, 2009 11:27:20 PM

Techno-boy said:
GTS 250's speed is going to be much lower than GTX 275 and GTX 280 because it is just an entry level card and it would not give you much boost of speed over your Geforce 8800GT. Also the core architecture of GTS 250 is the same as 8800GT since it uses the old G92 Core even if it is shrinked to 55nm. GTS 250 is the rehash/refresh of the old Geforce 8800 series and Geforce 9 series. If you wanted something newer and faster then you better get GTX 275 or HD 4890 or at least GTX 260 Core 216 or HD 4870 or HD 4850 which will make a bigger difference and it would be a bigger upgrade over your Geforce 8800 GT.

Also, if you have the old PCIe 1.0/1.1 motherboard, which has lower bandwidth of PCIe slots then this is going to bottleneck the speed of your new video cards since your new video cards (included 8800 GT) will use PCIe 2.0 which would have a higher bandwidth and allows faster speed for your video card. So perhaps you also wanna upgrade your Motherboard and your CPU in order not to bottleneck the speed of your video card.



One thing i disagree with you is that unless his pcei 1.0/1.1 is not going to cause a bottleneck unless its running at 8x or below. No card out can saturate a pcei x16.
In my opinion i would upgrade to either gtx260/gtx275 or 4870/4980.
I would suggest this card:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

cheap/nice cooler/overclocked. =]

As for the rest of your system i would add 2 more gigs of ram which are found very cheap, and overclock your cpu if you can to 2.5ghz+.
You should be set. Your system should handle most games.

April 16, 2009 11:35:58 PM

invisik said:
One thing i disagree with you is that unless his pcei 1.0/1.1 is not going to cause a bottleneck unless its running at 8x or below. No card out can saturate a pcei x16.


So you mean that if he use single card at x16 mode is fine with PCIe 1.0/1.1 and he would still get the same speed as those who use it with PCIe 2.0??? :o 

Why would it bottleneck if he is running at x8 mode? You mean if he Crossfire or SLI the 2 cards with PCIe 1.0/1.1??? :heink:  If that is the case then it means that he cannot Crossfire or do SLI with his PCIe 1.0/1.1 slots since that would bottleneck his cards' speed...

But the PCIe 1.0/1.1's bandwidth is still limited and the new cards are designed to be use with PCIe 2.0 as minimum requirement. I mean he can still use new card with PCIe 1.0 but that would still bottleneck his card's speed due to limited bandwidth. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
a b U Graphics card
April 16, 2009 11:43:16 PM

No card right now needs that much bandwidth. Its like the hd 2900xt with 512bit which never helped it with all that bandwidth space it never used.
x8 Would decrease the bandwidth by 50% so there would be a bottleneck then, in single card setup or x2.
All new cards support pcei 2.0 and are backward compatible with pcei 1.0/1.1
In the near future pcei 1.0/1.1 will limit bandwidth thus causing bottleneck.
a b U Graphics card
April 16, 2009 11:49:49 PM

Exactly most cards today, if any of them probably aren't capable of using all the speed the older slots provide. In other words, he should be fine to upgrade to whatever card he desires and the slot should run it ok.
April 16, 2009 11:51:36 PM

invisik said:
No card right now needs that much bandwidth. Its like the hd 2900xt with 512bit which never helped it with all that bandwidth space it never used.
x8 Would decrease the bandwidth by 50% so there would be a bottleneck then, in single card setup or x2.
All new cards support pcei 2.0 and are backward compatible with pcei 1.0/1.1
In the near future pcei 1.0/1.1 will limit bandwidth thus causing bottleneck.


Ok now I kinda get it. I was also reading from Anandtech and other threads from this forum about "PCIe 1.0/1.1 VS PCIe 2.0". So having more bandwidth is like you increase the capacity of speed higher but if no video card exceed the current capacity then it would not bottleneck.

But he should not be Crossfiring or SLI them to 8x mode. Right?

Anyway, thanks for correcting me. Sorry for my little mistake.

Actually, it is also kinda funny because 1 week ago I was reading about PCIe 3.0 which could come in 2010 and I was very nervous because I don't want to delay my PC build until next year or when PCIe 3.0 motherboards are release. :D 
a b U Graphics card
April 16, 2009 11:54:06 PM

Nah dude, don't worry about that, if cards can't max out the 1.0 standard, doubt they'll max the 2.0 standard anytime soon either.
April 17, 2009 12:04:59 AM

legotyler said:

As for the CPU, you should be able to get a small boost from OC'ing without increasing the Vcore (thus adding more heat) however since you're using a socket 775 it would be very easy (and relatively inexpensive) to upgrade to a new Core 2 Duo which will give you even more overclocking ability and faster normal computing than what you have now. So a perk if you've got another $100-150 sitting around. and don't want to wait/invest in the $1500 system Techboy mentions above.

(Which to be fair is exactly what I'm going to be doing with my financial aid check this fall =P)

hope that helps!


$1500 for a new system??!! :o  You must be kidding me. Well, I don't think that he needs to pay $1500 just to get new motherboard with new CPU and new DDR3 RAMs. He could still get cheaper newer motherboard as well, like the new entry level motherboard with LGA 1366 socket or LGA 1160 mainstream Nehalem without paying that much. Thanks for the little comedy. :D 

Let's do some mathematics. He could have get something like these:

For new Intel system:

Motherboards:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... for only $199 or wait for cheaper Core i5.
or http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... for only $194

CPU:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... for only $288

RAM:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... for only $50

Total: only $537 (MSI X58 motherboard) or only $532 (with Zotac X58 motherboard) for new Intel motherboard with new CPU and DDR3



For new AMD system: (new AMD system could be a lot cheaper)

Motherboard:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... for only $124

CPU:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... for only $134

RAM:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... for only $42

Total: ONLY $300 FOR NEW AMD SYSTEM with AM3 socket and AM3 CPU included 2GB DDR3 RAM!

Well, unless if he wants to stick with the dead socket LGA 775 and not planning to upgrade to smaller AM3 CPUs or Nehalem CPUs in the future. Smaller AM3 CPUs and Nehalem CPUs could lower his electric bill and saving his money more too so it is still a good idea for him to upgrade his system too.

Anyway, if Core 2 Duo is enough for him then that would be just fine and it would be a lot cheaper than getting a new motherboard and a new CPU but he cannot go further than that. Sorry. :D 

Well, it also depends on how much money he wanted to burn.
April 17, 2009 12:34:20 AM

The graphics in WoW are so pitiful that some of the most shittiest graphics cards can render it easily. However, when you walk into an area with 15+ people that are casting spells and moving, your CPU is getting hammered by all the calculations going on. If you upgrade your graphics card to a GTX260 216 (ex.) and leave the CPU, you're going to get very minimal improvement in FPS (probably 3-5 MAX)...in other words, A WASTE OF MONEY Try lowering your resolution to 16x10. Does the FPS only improve by 0-5? If so, only an upgrade in the CPU will make a noticeable difference in FPS.

Your motherboard is holding you back from getting a new CPU, because it has a low stock FSB speed and is Micro ATX (I'm assuming a bad overclocker). The only three socket 775 processors that run at your 1066MHz FSB without losing performance are the Q6600, E7400, and E7500. I wouldn't recommend any of them. Instead, get an 8400 with a P45 motherboard. You'll only see less of a performance loss with a quad core when you have WoW, MSN, Winamp, and 20 Firefox tabs open at the same time while alt tabbing every 30 seconds or so. If that sounds like you, then get a Phenom II x4 940 or Q9400 and overclock.

I would advise against buying an AM3 processor, because DDR3 is useless for games and a waste of money (but if the Phenom II x4 955 coming out on April 20th is cheap, then it wouldn't be that much of a waste). There's no such thing as "future proofing" in this industry. A current "future proofed" hardware will get its ass kicked by a mid-end hardware next year. And in that year's time, you maybe saw a difference between 60 FPS and 62 FPS by going with "future proofed" hardware. Core i7 is a waste of money bla bla bla etc.

Get a new CPU + 4GB DDR2 RAM + motherboard first. If you like the performance gain, then you won't need a new video card.

*65nm processor = oven. The lower the number, the cooler the CPU will be.
*If you OC the CPU, you'll have to OC the RAM or you'll lose performance.
April 17, 2009 12:46:15 AM

DDR2 is becoming obsolete soon and DDR3 should become standard or mainstream by this year 2009. Everyone is moving to DDR3 so getting another old system with old DDR2 would not make much sense unless if you are on a very low budget. The new Nehalem or Core i7 and Core i5 architecture should benefit a lot from DDR3 RAMs. :ouch: 

AM2+ socket is also dieing and AM3 socket would live much longer and future proof you longer so that you can upgrade to newer AM3 CPU after 2 years. So getting AM3 is definitely better. AM2+ is just a minor upgrade to old AM2 socket. :ouch: 

So you can get Core i7 or Core i5 or AM3 system at a cheapest price as you can without any problem so you don't have to worry. :) 
April 17, 2009 8:23:15 PM

lol thank you for all the input guys, just some of the recommendations are a bit OTT for my needs :D .

i literally only need my PC for World of Warcraft, im not a heavy PC gamer :) .

i worked with a friend on this as we have the same GPUs. but he has a much better CPU/mobo/RAM. we did a test and equaled our game settings and stuff to see who got the better fps. while i was on 20, he was on like 45. and as we both have the same GPU, that cant be the problem for me.

we tried to OC my processor and got a little improvement in fps, so that leads me to believe that the CPU is my issue. as was stated ,when lots of stuff is going on, the CPU cant keep up.

i recently ordered an E7400 CPU and based on the tests we ran, that should give me a huge increase in performance. but we'll see what happens :) .

thanks again for all the help guys :) . ill keep this updated on what happens
a b U Graphics card
April 17, 2009 8:28:41 PM

i've been looking in the same range of products. I was also looking at the GTS 250 but then saw the 4870. I think it out performs the GTS 250 but is a tad more expensive. I'm thinking of the 4870 being the better option
April 18, 2009 10:08:37 AM

so i got my E7400 and installed it. mobo accepted it no problem and i think it has improved my fps a decent amount. ive gone from something like 10-15fps in dalaran to around 18-30 depending on whats going on.

i recently found out that my mobo can apparently support PC6400 RAM. i currently have 2 1GB Sticks of 5300 in dual channel mode.

would an upgrade to 6400 actually make a difference in this case? the CPU is running at 1066FSB.

i know my mobo is probably gonna be a huge bottleneck for all this, so i will need to look in to replacing it soon.

thanks guys
April 18, 2009 10:18:19 AM

Killer K1, Killer M1, Killer Xenos.

PC6400 = 12GB/s in dual channel mode. 5300 = 10.6GB/s in dual channel mode

anything below 3.2Ghz is bottle necking. Get yourself to 3.2Ghz then worry about finding a video card that leaves a mark.
April 18, 2009 10:24:07 AM

the 4870 owns the GTS 250.

the PC6400 ram would make a slight difference, not a huge one though.
April 18, 2009 10:36:51 AM

PC 16000(DDR3 2000) = 320Gb/s in dual channel mode, .5Tb/s in triple channel mode!
!