This is a basic general feedback from a system ive had for 2 months. Its a Gateway dx4200-09 specs are as follows below.
AMD Phenom™ X4 9100e 64-bit Quad-Core Processor (1.80GHz, 2MB L2 Cache) with AMD64 Technology8
Genuine Windows Vista® Home Premium (64-bit) with SP11
4096MB 800MHz Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM (2-2048MB modules)
640GB 7200rpm Serial ATA II/300 hard drive with 16MB Cache4
Modern System Design with Red Chrome Branding Strip
Integrated ATI® Radeon™ HD 3200 Hybrid Graphics with up to 256MB of Shared Video Memory (disabled)
Geforce 8800gt 512mb 256-bit GDDR3 (Enabled Main GPU)
Ive played NBA 2k10, Ghostbusters, and Crysis all on Maxx settings @ resolutions 1920x1080 with my 55in Vizio hd tv and/or JVC 60in hdtv.
NBA 2k10 56/fps
World of Borecraft (cancelled account) 60fps 40-50 in dalran.
Some say my cpu is bottlenecking my Card or a any future card that i may want.
Some say my card is holding these games back (except wow)!
I just need a lil help cause im debating on building a new system $600usd (monitor not included ). I do not want to build a new pc just for minimal performance in games, need atleast 50% boost in the cpu/gpu area.
You will not need a complete rebuild to see exceptional increase in performance, and with that budget, you should be able to have a lot of fun with it. A complete rebuild would be a waste of money, as you seem to have a solid platform to start with.
I find your FPS for Crysis suspect, perhaps it is a peak FPS and not an average. Regardless, looking at your hardware alone, there are a few points to be made.
That processor was from the first line of Phenoms, performed poorly for their clockspeeds, and didn't overclock well. Indeed, if one were to look for a limitation in your system, it would be the CPU first. Your Mobo is listed as a 780g chipset, which should make it fully compatible with AM3 processors, such as the Phenom IIs and Athlon IIs, a very promising and affordable upgrade path.
That said, your Videocard is also limiting. Even if you were to upgrade to a much more efficient and powerful processor, the video card would run out of room, with only 512mb of Vram, 1920x1080p resolution, and all the settings maxed out. It may already be close to max output, but in all likelyhood you would see a gameplay improvement from just a CPU ugprade.
Another thing I noticed about your box is that Gateway lists only a 300w PSU. This would be a hindrance to upgrading, but not an expensive part to upgrade to a top quality brand
That would leave a few bucks left over to invest in some case fans and zip ties to aid in ventilation of the case and cable management. With this type of set up, your before-and-after performance would be night and day. It is hard to quantify how much faster it would be, but 50% would be conservative.
Phenom II x4 955 (OC'd to 3.4ghz[easy to do with stock cooler]).
Reuse everything else.
Under $600 and still gives you a huge performance boost.
Don't forget the PSU, that box only comes with a 300w unit. Also, its more likely to have a locked BIOS preventing OCing, being a prefab from gateway. That is the only reason I suggested a 5850 for that budget.
That 8800 is being held back by the CPU, but not much, I think they are well matched, a faster card will be held back, though.
If you plan to upgrade for better performance (and I suspect you are running Crysis at medium settings, yes?) a faster CPU will be the first sensible option, the 8800 is still a good card, despite its vintage;)
+1 for the CPU upgrade options by JofaMang.
As for card if you're not bothered about DX11 the HD4890/GTX275 are getting cheaper now that the new ATI 5XXX cards have been released and offer great value at that resolution.
If you want to look to DX11 then there is only one sensible choice: HD5850 or 5870, but check that the case will accept them!
I agree, if OC was an option (and he was willing) then there are cheaper CPU options, even down to an Athlon II x3, that could get him into the better card. Personally though, I wouldn't back a $400dollar 5870 with anything less than a quality 500w+ unit. I admit only did a quick search through Antec models, as IMO one could do no wrong going with Antec PSUs.
As far as the cpu issue goes my board only allows a up to 95w, but yeah i still have a corsair 700w psu that was barley used in my previous pc that died (5mo old still works), the fraps/benchmark both averaged 49 on high settings so my card doesnt scream on very high on my HDtv's 1920x1080. i think the 5870 maybe a lil overkill but it does have dx11 so u cant beat that. but if u guys think i can get a huge boost from just the cpu/gpu then ill go that route then.
Well, for a 95w limit, your best CPU option would be a Phenom II 720 BE (2.8ghz x3), Athlon II 630 (2.8ghz x4) Athlon II 435 (2.9ghz x3) or even Phenom II 550 BE (3.1ghz x2). Personally, I would probably go with the 720 BE, as Shadow187 mentioned above, or even the 550 BE, as the big difference between Athlon II and Phenom II is the L3 cache, which Athlon does not have. It will make a small difference in gaming, but if you plan on running a top gen graphics card, you will want everything your CPU can give you. The 550BE benefits from a higher stock speed, but one less core. Games that can use multiple cores will suffer under the 550, but games that benefit from higher clock speeds will prosper. I still lean towards the 720 BE, as both fall under budget anyhow, and multi-core optimized apps and games are only going to be more common as time passes.
Also, having a capable PSU means that you can definitely keep the 5870 under budget. I still recommend improving case airflow to deal with the extra heat these upgrades will produce.
Ok thnx i will go for the 5870 as soon as it becomes available. either on newegg or Best buy. As for the cpu i will more than likely go with the 720x3 as im planning on buying a student copy of win 7 (vista sucks) and will run linux to.