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Processor or graphic card?

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January 8, 2010 2:46:11 PM

Hi there.

My PC ain't really holding up with todays standards. I'm running with an AMD athlon x2 4200+ processor, 3gb ram and an Nvidia GeForce 7600GS. I do play games (atleast I want to, sadly all games released within the last couple of years all lag on my computer). If I was to upgrade one of these components, which one would you suggest I upgrade? I'm guessing that it's my graphic card that's really bringing my performance down, but I'm my knowledge of these things is limited.

Any help would be greatly apreciated!

My budget is around 100$, give or take a few

Oh, and it's a HP computer, so no overclocking here :( 

More about : processor graphic card

January 8, 2010 2:57:48 PM

noflogging said:
Hi there.

My PC ain't really holding up with todays standards. I'm running with an AMD athlon x2 4200+ processor, 3gb ram and an Nvidia GeForce 7600GS. I do play games (atleast I want to, sadly all games released within the last couple of years all lag on my computer). If I was to upgrade one of these components, which one would you suggest I upgrade? I'm guessing that it's my graphic card that's really bringing my performance down, but I'm my knowledge of these things is limited.

Any help would be greatly apreciated!

My budget is around 100$, give or take a few

Oh, and it's a HP computer, so no overclocking here :( 




So I assume you have a PCI-express slot and not an agp slot?

What model# is your HP?

Gotta be careful what you get your power supply might not be enough to support it.
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January 8, 2010 3:05:47 PM

The HP is a w5550
Yep, I've got a PCI-express slot.


January 8, 2010 3:38:19 PM

noflogging said:
The HP is a w5550
Yep, I've got a PCI-express slot.



How many watts is your power supply. Just keep that in mind when getting a new video card. You can upgrade the PS if needed but hopefully you wont have to.



Minimum 400W or greater system power supply (with 12V current rating of 26A) This is what you will need for a 9600GT. If you look at another card do research on the amount of power that you will need to support it.

Here is a bunch of video cards at new egg that would probably work well in your system.



http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=P...
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a b U Graphics card
January 8, 2010 3:44:03 PM

i agree, gpu is probably holding you back more than the cpu.
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a b U Graphics card
January 8, 2010 4:00:14 PM

GPU is probably your biggest limiting factor right now. However, once you upgrade it will be your CPU that becomes the limiting factor. The old Athlon X2 series is an aging line up with today's games in mind.

I just recently retired my wife's Athlon X2 4400+ not too long ago. She's got my old Intel Q6600 now. :) 
January 8, 2010 4:09:35 PM

My power supply is only at 300W (12v of 25a) :/  I had no idea a high enough power supply was needed in order to use some components :o  definately learned something today. Thanks a bunch!
a c 133 à CPUs
a c 195 U Graphics card
January 8, 2010 4:22:15 PM

Although low-end by today's standards, a HD4650 is at least 4 tiers (DDR2 version) higher than what you have now, and should safely run on your PSU. You can probably also run a HD4670, which is another five tiers above that. Anything more will require a PSU upgrade.
You can get a HD4670 for $65-$75, well within your budget.
January 8, 2010 4:59:12 PM

Some of the graphic cards have GDDR3, does that have any connection to my RAM? For example, can i have a graphic card with GDDR3 when my RAM is DDR2?
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a b U Graphics card
January 8, 2010 5:27:15 PM

+1 4670. And like bdd said you'll be fine with gddr3, which I recommend using. You'll be surprised by the performance of such a low end card compared to you 7 series. :)  graphics have come a long way.
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January 8, 2010 5:32:58 PM

The Radeon HD 5600 series should be rolling out this month --- and will most likely fit perfectly within your power envelop.

Keep an eye out for reviews --- look for total load around 200w or so and you should be good to go.

The HD 4770 would be a great alternative (the 512Mb versions start around $115) but they may be just a touch out of your power envelop.

January 8, 2010 5:34:37 PM

Okay. What difference is there in performance between the 512mb and 1gb versions?
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January 8, 2010 5:40:29 PM

I'll also throw a vote at the 4670, I think they're great cards and can still handle a number of titles near max settings 1680X1050, though most new games will struggle at that res. Keep in mind the mainstream 5000 series cards should be out within a month, personally I would wait to see how they perform compared to the 4670, and how prices turn out. I remember the price of the 3650 fell rapidly once the 4650/4670 hit the market.
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January 8, 2010 5:44:27 PM

noflogging said:
Okay. What difference is there in performance between the 512mb and 1gb versions?


Anything below 16x12 rez 512Mb should be fine. At that level and above decent performance gains will be seen from a 1Gb card (generally speaking :lol:  ).
a c 133 à CPUs
a b U Graphics card
January 8, 2010 6:18:37 PM

4670 good choice i have one in my system with 350 watt power supply as long as its a quality power supply u should be fine
January 8, 2010 6:37:50 PM

noflogging said:
Mine is a liteon 300W ps-5301-08HF. No idea what quality it is though. I'm actually thinking of getting a new CPU too (looking at this http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/AMD/Athlon_II_X2_240). Would I need to upgrade my power supply too, if I get the HD 4670 and that processor?



I doubt the bios on your MB will support that cpu. Just pick up the GPU unless you have changed your mind and are interested in putting together a new system.


From HP site about your system.


* Socket: AM2
* Supports the following processors:
o AMD Athlon 64
o Athlon 64 X2 up to 5000+
o AMD Sempron

January 9, 2010 8:24:49 AM

Well... How much difference will it actually make, upgrading the GPU in my system? If I'm just "buying time", so to speak, I might aswell start saving some money for putting together/buying a custom PC.
January 9, 2010 9:03:40 AM

I know I'm asking a lot of questions in this thread but;
I'm gonna use it to ask another one! My PC has been dying on me for the last couple of days (once or twice a day), but this morning it has died atleast 2-3 times. It seems to happen mostly when I'm watching a video, say, on youtube. I know it's hard to say what the problem is over the internet like this, but any suggestions as to what might be causing this would be awesome.
a c 133 à CPUs
a c 195 U Graphics card
January 9, 2010 1:58:09 PM

When you say it is "dying," what do you mean? Locking up, or shutting off? If the former, it could be almost anything, from software to RAM, mobo, or PSU. If it is just shutting off, most likely it's the PSU.
January 9, 2010 2:55:49 PM

It's locking up. Well, it has randomly rebooted once or twice the last week, but far more lock-ups. It wasn't that frequent up until today, and now It will only run for about 15-30min before it locks up. :-/

EDIT: the locking up-problem seems to be completely gone, atleast it hasn't occured in several hours. Strange...
January 9, 2010 6:19:54 PM

noflogging said:
It's locking up. Well, it has randomly rebooted once or twice the last week, but far more lock-ups. It wasn't that frequent up until today, and now It will only run for about 15-30min before it locks up. :-/

EDIT: the locking up-problem seems to be completely gone, atleast it hasn't occured in several hours. Strange...




Could be heat, could be the power supply could be a bad memory stick.....could be a virus.......could be the hard drive.


The cheap route is to check your temps....if those are fine scan your computer for spyware or a virus.....then check your memory sticks one at a time with memtest. You can download software that will check your hard drive just make sure you find out what manufacturer made you HD.

If those come up clear let us know.......also you can visually inspect the MB for any obvious defects like swollen capacitors. What OS do you have and when was the last time you did a clear install.
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January 9, 2010 9:36:39 PM

Run a memtest86. If it catches errors you have bad ram, if it doesn't then it is likely heat or software related. Like jtt said it could also be your mobo or PSU. I'm guessing its your ram though.
a b U Graphics card
January 10, 2010 5:49:32 AM

upgrade your graphics card,go for a hd4670 or 8800GTs
January 10, 2010 8:03:30 AM

Got an error message last night:
STOP 0x0000008E (0xC0000005, 0x8057B7F0, 0xB2075CC8, 0x00000000)
Argh, this PC has been nothing but trouble.
I'm gonna go ahead and test my memory with memtest86
a c 133 à CPUs
a c 195 U Graphics card
January 10, 2010 12:20:00 PM

If it doesn't pass, hopefully you'll feel inclined (and be able) to build new; replacing the RAM would be a lot cheaper, but putting too much money into that old system seems wasteful.
!