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Need help on computer upgrade.

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October 6, 2009 7:14:17 AM

Hi, I'm new to toms hardware, but was wondering if anyone knew what upgrades I need to be able to play Left 4 Dead on full settings, no AA, at 1400x900.
Or Team Fortress 2 full settings, no AA, at 1400x900. Whatever one needs less computer power :sol: 

My computer specs are listed here: http://valid.canardpc.com/show_oc.php?id=751179

Thanks in Advance.

More about : computer upgrade

a c 113 B Homebuilt system
October 6, 2009 8:24:55 AM

That doesn't tell me much really. Based on the motherboard model I'm guessing this is an HP computer.

Please list the computer model number and any information you have on the power supply.
October 6, 2009 8:51:31 AM

Proximon said:
That doesn't tell me much really. Based on the motherboard model I'm guessing this is an HP computer.

Please list the computer model number and any information you have on the power supply.


That information is unnecessary. The resolution has very basic requirements. Unfortunately it would have been nice to know how much you'd like to spend, but regardless I'm going to go ahead and recommend the HD 4770. It's powerful, very power efficient (40nm design), and will probably even allow you to run anti-aliasing on both of those games with the settings at max.

If you don't want to spend that much, an HD 4670 is your next best deal. After that, I don't care to recommend anything, as I don't see the point in getting anything lower for gaming. :p 
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October 6, 2009 3:13:58 PM

^yes I agree with brockh the 4770 is your best bet
a c 83 B Homebuilt system
October 6, 2009 3:19:51 PM

Firetaffer said:
Hi, I'm new to toms hardware, but was wondering if anyone knew what upgrades I need to be able to play Left 4 Dead on full settings, no AA, at 1400x900.
Or Team Fortress 2 full settings, no AA, at 1400x900. Whatever one needs less power :sol: 

My computer specs are listed here: http://valid.canardpc.com/show_oc.php?id=751179

Thanks in Advance.


Your 7500LE is not a very strong card; almost anything modern will be much better. How much better will be determined by the capability of your PSU, assuming that you don't want to change that also.
I would look for an upgrade in the Nvidia line, primarily because you can just drop it in, no driver change will be necessary. Something like the 9600GT.

Also, consider replacing your 4x512 ram configuration with a 2x2gb kit. Heres why:
http://www.corsair.com/_appnotes/AN804_Gaming_Performan...
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
October 6, 2009 8:50:28 PM

brockh said:
That information is unnecessary.


The motherboard is a type used in HP machines. Beyond that I know nothing. Perhaps the case will require a low profile card. Perhaps there is inadequate cooling. Perhaps the PSU is inadequate, and may require a proprietary replacement.
October 6, 2009 8:57:24 PM

Wow, thanks for the replys so far, I'm possibly looking to spend $200USD. I was thinking of upgrading my graphics card, but was not sure if my system could support a newer one :D 

The 4770 looks like a great card, but does it require a better processor, or motherboard maybe? Also how much would an nvidia card that could run TF2 at fullsettings, no AA, 1400x900 cost? Including costs of other computer parts, I've heard of bottlenecking your system :sol:  .
a b B Homebuilt system
October 6, 2009 9:20:36 PM

None of the components in your system will likely work well with newer parts. Beyond upgrading the graphics card to an ATI 4770 or Nvidia 9600 you are probably looking at building an entirely new system, which would require around a $500 budget at minimum.
October 6, 2009 9:28:40 PM

1400x900 is a relatively low resolution by todays standards; there won't be any bottlenecks. You won't need anything more than the 4770. As far as I'm aware it's better at the price point than any competing Nvidia card is also less power hungry. I don't mean to start any fanboy discussions, but with your low requirements and less than stellar components already in your computer ATi is usually the best bet. There's no need to stick a $200 card in your computer; use the other $100 to invest in 2x2GB sticks of DDR2 800. That will help your gaming performance 10%+ by itself.

Proximon, I understand your concern. I think cooling is a non-issue for an HD 4770 or lower, though the PSU may be inadequate if that's not also pushing it a little. The low profile card requirement is also probably not very common. Regardless, hopefully it is just an average, straight-forward switch-out. If not, I digress.
October 6, 2009 11:19:38 PM

Thanks, I'll most likely get the 4770 and upgrade my memory, but one last question.

Where I live the Nvidia Geforce 9800GT is a bit cheaper, is that an ok card for my system? Or should I stick to the slightly more expensive Radeon 4770?
a b B Homebuilt system
October 6, 2009 11:26:43 PM

The newer more powerful cards require power cables specifically for the graphics card. If your power supply has two PCIE power cables then that 9800 would be a possibility, but I doubt it does. You will likely have to replace the power supply with a good quality ($50-60+) power supply to run a better graphics card. I would need the model and specs of your power supply before I could recommend a card that requires more power than a 4770.
a b B Homebuilt system
October 7, 2009 12:05:05 AM

Its always scary when they dont even mention the power supply in the hardware list.
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
October 7, 2009 12:42:49 AM

It's probably in the range of 250-300W. Given that it will be an inexpensive model and we don't know the available amps on the 12V rail, I would recommend caution.

There should be no dramatic overload though, as the 4770 draws about the same wattage as your old card, and less at idle. Just be aware of the possibility and if you encounter any problems suspect the PSU.
October 7, 2009 2:50:23 AM

Thanks, I'll blame the PSU if a problem happens :sol: 
!