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Improving my PC's "infrastructure" for gaming

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  • Graphics Cards
  • Infrastructure
  • Graphics
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Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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a b U Graphics card
May 18, 2009 11:47:00 PM

Ok guys, this isn't you usual "I need help, what should I buy" thread. I've got a few specific questions i'm kinda wondering about. Here is my system so far.

AMD Athlon x2 4800+ Dual Core
Nvidia GeForce 9400GT (eVGA 1gb model)
3 gb memory (dunno what kind)
Generic 250 Watt Power Supply
Monitor = 19" 1280x1024 **corrected

just if anyone wants really specific info I've got a compaq presario SR5610F

So here's my deal. i might be getting $200-300 and so i want to upgrade my gaming experience. here's my deal, i need a new GPU. i've been looking at the 4850 X2 and the 4890, i think i'll go with the latter just because i hate dealing with driver problems that come up with SLI/Crossfire. But as you can see, my PSU sucks. My case is also too small to hold a bigger sized card and it doesnt handle air flow well. And last of all my CPU could be a possible bottleneck in extreme situations. The first thing i need to do is to be able to support the 4890 and/or a new CPU. Since I need a new case and power supply i've been looking at this combo. How much do you guys buy into built in powersupplies? i hear they can be junk sometimes and while i'm not expecting corsair performance, i still would like them to be stable? advice plz...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... -- combo i'm thinking about

More about : improving infrastructure gaming

May 19, 2009 1:06:50 AM

uncfan_2563 said:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... -- combo i'm thinking about


No. No. No, no no no no.

First and foremost, you probably don't need anything beyond a 9400GT if you're only gaming at 1024x768. I find it rather pointless to crank up your game settings to max when you're only going to go with 1024x768 as it's still going to look rather bad compared to higher res on lower settings.

If you're getting $200, I'd just invest in a 4670 and wait it out till you get enough money to just get an entirely new build. If your 9400gt is running on that psu, the 4670 will more than likely also run on it. That should match decently well with that processor.

If you get $300, you might be able to build yourself an extreme budget gaming rig from scratch.
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a b U Graphics card
May 19, 2009 1:15:43 AM

wait i confuzed myself. i'm gaming at 1280x1024. lol too many numbers based on 8..... and i there is a potential that i hook up my rig to my 52" lcd every once in a while... and yes i do want a new monitor....
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a c 208 U Graphics card
May 19, 2009 1:30:18 AM

If you already have a case you can save yourself some money and just buy a new power supply, if you dont have a mid tower case already and want a good power supply to go with it check out the sonata III from antec, its only marginally more expensive than the combo you posted.
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a b U Graphics card
May 19, 2009 1:49:32 AM

ok yeah, i have a micro ATX board and case so i need a mid tower that supports microATX. it doesnt say that the sonata III supports microatx
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a c 130 U Graphics card
May 19, 2009 7:15:20 AM

Even at 1280x1024 the 4670 would still be your best option.

Mactronix
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a b U Graphics card
May 19, 2009 12:45:04 PM

^ Well the 4830/4770 would be better...
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a c 130 U Graphics card
May 19, 2009 1:47:09 PM

gkay09 said:
^ Well the 4830/4770 would be better...


Well yes that is true but i was slightly worried about the PSU, if there is a new PSU in the mix then i vote for a 4770 :) 

Mactronix
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a b U Graphics card
May 19, 2009 7:50:31 PM

well see, i might like the 4770 a lot being a pc enthusiast, since i do like to overclock. But however, to the same effect, i want to be playing games like ModernWarfare 2 and Doom 4(when it comes out) on the max settings, so i'm sorta demanding and i have doubt the 4770 can do that. like i said, the option of me buying a new, cheap and larger monitor is still on the table because i dont really like gaming on 1280x1024 either...


i do like that deal with the antec powersupply, i've added it to my wishlist :D 
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a c 206 U Graphics card
May 19, 2009 8:04:02 PM

Yes, of all the suggestions, the Antec Sonata with 500W Earthwatts PSU was the best. The other PSUs you were considering are older designs at best (note the voltage switch indicating no Active PFC), and system-killers at worst.
How are you managing to overclock a Compaq, or were you just referring to the video card?
The Antec PSU can power a 4870.
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a b U Graphics card
May 19, 2009 8:06:43 PM

Yeah i was also thinking 4870 although i might drop to something lower, depending on how much cash i have after the case and psu.

yes i only can overclock my video card and i do quite a bit. games like counter strike source would barely be playable if i didnt, but now they work great. except i want more!
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May 19, 2009 8:19:19 PM

I think the cpu might bottleneck the 4870 though.
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a b U Graphics card
May 19, 2009 8:26:41 PM

i doubt it but i can get a new 3.0 GHz Athlon x2 for 100 dollars... thats a possibility but i dont think my CPU bottleneck is that low
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a c 198 U Graphics card
May 19, 2009 8:49:00 PM

@ uncfan_2563: That CPU will hold back a HD4870 by a fair bit but there are compensations: Heavy AA/AF can be applied with little loss of performance, the card will give 'free' extra performance with a CPU upgrade and will run a larger monitor.
If you are not a great user of AA, the 512Mb HD4870 could be bought along with the case/psu combo I linked to for about $220.
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a b U Graphics card
May 19, 2009 8:56:24 PM

well unfortunatly for me, i love using AA and eye candy. I'm wondering if i should just upgrade my PSU/Case and suck it up for a while with the graphics (9400GT is what i have) and get a new CPU.

heres is the CPU i could get. i actually found one a lot cheaper than the one i was looking at before : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $61

that would bring my total (with PSU and case) to around $160....
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May 20, 2009 10:20:30 AM

uncfan_2563 said:
well unfortunatly for me, i love using AA and eye candy. I'm wondering if i should just upgrade my PSU/Case and suck it up for a while with the graphics (9400GT is what i have) and get a new CPU.

heres is the CPU i could get. i actually found one a lot cheaper than the one i was looking at before : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $61

that would bring my total (with PSU and case) to around $160....

I suggest you overclock your current cpu and pickup a 250gts/9800gtx+/4770/4830/4850

Look into clockgen or setfsb for overclocking...iv overclocked my AMD 4400+ 400mhz via clockgen on my "bios locked" motherboard...i run the system on value ram...unfortunately even using high quality 800mhz low cas ram i can't overclock farther....still im happy with my 2.6ghz...

Keep whatever current metal contraption you have the system in and just use that...its better than the prebuilt gateway case im using an amd 6000+/260 GTX in that is for sure...grab a psu and go....don't fear rosewill...until my psu blows up or just magically goes kaput rosewill is a ok in my book....any psu i can get for 20$ is ok in my book though....


AMD 4400+
Locked ECS Nforce mobo
2GB Infineon ram...
9800gtx+ @ 830mhz....750mhz normally...
550W rosewill...
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a c 198 U Graphics card
May 20, 2009 12:14:00 PM

@ uncfan_2563: Right now you will get the biggest boost in framerates and image quality with a faster card. Yes, the 4800 will restrict a HD4870/GTX260, but at your current resoloution both would be CPU bound by a faster processor in all but the most demanding games at the highest settings anyway.
Both larger cards are a little over 10" long and will need 36-40A on the 12v rail/s of the PSU, so check how much space you have in your 'metal contraption' before ordering if you chose to follow the advice of rewindlabs.
If you have not seen this before take a look here, the 9400 is about halfway down, on the left:

http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/radeon-geforce-gtx,review...
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a b U Graphics card
May 20, 2009 8:52:26 PM

coozie7 said:
@ uncfan_2563: Right now you will get the biggest boost in framerates and image quality with a faster card. Yes, the 4800 will restrict a HD4870/GTX260, but at your current resoloution both would be CPU bound by a faster processor in all but the most demanding games at the highest settings anyway.
Both larger cards are a little over 10" long and will need 36-40A on the 12v rail/s of the PSU, so check how much space you have in your 'metal contraption' before ordering if you chose to follow the advice of rewindlabs.
If you have not seen this before take a look here, the 9400 is about halfway down, on the left:

http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/radeon-geforce-gtx,review...



umm i dont get what the point of that was... I already know my current cards performance...

and i have like 7" of space for a graphics card... not much. do u guys want a picture of my rig's insides? that might help u visualize how small this thing is.

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a b U Graphics card
May 21, 2009 2:43:13 AM

and also, besides clockgen, is there another good software overclocking utility? clockgen didnt seem to work for me.
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