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Please help! Is it time for a new computer, or can I do something for this

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April 11, 2012 10:39:35 AM

Hello everyone,

I have an older computer, that was pretty good in its day. It's a dell, for starters, I know that some will say "yes" to my question for that fact alone, but I'd like some realistic advice.

I play MMOs, currently SWTOR (The new star wars), and I'm having some issues. I played wow for years, and never had an issue at all, constantly at high FPS. That said, SWTOR is far more demanding on my system, and something happened that's unforgivable. When raiding in an 8man group I have no issues, but when in 16 man groups I can hardly move. Lag is an understatement as it really is a crippling problem. So many effects, etc, going on that I had to leave the group (no reason to kill the group because I'm nearly frozen).

Anyway, with this experience I started doing some research, and I have found out that I haven't a clue what I'm doing. So, I'm going to post my system, and maybe you can give me an idea if there's something I can do, short of buying/building a new computer.

XPS 630i
XP SP3
Intel core2 quad cpu Q6600 @ 2.4 ghz
3.25 gb ram
Nvidia GeForce 8800 GT

I don't really know what else to list. I'm listing everything I could find easily. Maybe I need a new computer, and that's fine, but we're a bit conservative with funds atm as we're planning and paying for a wedding/honeymoon atm. Hence the reason I'm here for advice. If money wasn't an issue, of course I'd jump right in and build a computer (as I don't plan to buy a prebuilt computer again).

So, thank you in advance for any help you can provide.

More about : time computer

a b K Overclocking
April 11, 2012 10:47:36 AM

core2 isnt bad, quad is good. 2.4ghz is sort of slow.
if you use window7 64 bit you can use all 4gb of your ram, thats 750 more megs to play with.
if you could overclock that cpu, you could get 3ghz easy, probably 3.4. which would be a LOT better.

i think you could get away with just a new videocard and have a serious performace increase in games. (with the other steps ive mentioned.)

edit: nvm, just read its a dell. which probably crosses out overclocking. that cpu is choking you
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April 11, 2012 10:51:51 AM

Is there something I could do about that? A new motherboard or something.. or am I SOL?

Edit: Also, how do I find out if overclocking is possible on this machine. I originally bought the 630i because it was touted as the "most upgradeable" dell cpu.. it actually has a 650w power supply, which most did not. I'm sure that's not the only reason it held that distinction.
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Related resources
a b K Overclocking
April 11, 2012 10:56:26 AM

in your bios, can you change your fsb?

im uncertain if a motherboard would fit in your case or not. i dont really work with proprietary computers
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a b Ý World of Warcraft
a b K Overclocking
April 11, 2012 10:59:27 AM

i video card upgrade will help a you. the problem is the power supply is the dell is so low wattage your going to need to replace it.
it you can wait till may/june for the upgrade hopefully nvidia will have there 660-650 cards out. the newer keplar uses less power then the 500 line of gpu chips. if not then the amd 7000 line of gpu (7750/7770) i would look at. they wont be speed killers but they be faster then the card you have now and they wont kill the wallet.
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a b K Overclocking
April 11, 2012 11:02:07 AM

he says he has a 650w power supply, thers lots of cards that could get by on that
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April 11, 2012 11:22:29 AM

I can change the CPU clock ratio.. just checked on that. I can overclock the FBS, The PCI bus, memory bus. Can also change memory timings, but that looks way over my head. Can change the voltage settings on the memory and cpu voltage. Not sure how to A) figure out what numbers to use, B) how to check if it helped.
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a b K Overclocking
April 11, 2012 11:28:51 AM

that video should prove very useful to you

does anyone here at toms know of a toms guide for overclocking core2s?

its really not that hard but im having trouble describing the connection between the fsb of the processor and the fsb of your ram. they are related, though they can not be if you want. lol. wheres a guide?!
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April 12, 2012 5:56:23 AM

Ok, after a day of reading, I've decided to take a step back before overclocking. This rig is 5 years old, and I don't want to kill the poor thing. That said, my MB is http://www.compxp.com/0pp150-p/0pp150.htm , I believe I can SLI my card based on that. When doing SLI does the card have to be the same card? Would I benefit more from just buying a new GPU? When playing SWTOR, is it most likely my cpu or gpu that is the bottleneck? From what I've read OC to 2.8ghz on this cpu is reasonably easy, but I'm a bit leary of that based on it's age, and my lack of knowledge. I'm just trying to get this thing to play this game a bitter better. Any additional advice? I've updated all the drivers, cleaned out the case (canned air), ran smart defrag, ran ccleaner, and DL game booster. I did see some performance boost from this (at least, partially, as I can run the game on "high" settings, but from what I've read people are actually getting a performance increase from having the settings set to high.. which is confusing in and of itself). So... don't know what to do at this point. I'm going to build a new CPU for christmas for myself, but that's a lot way away. Thanks for any additional ideas you guys can provide to me.
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April 12, 2012 6:05:56 AM

Dell's like any manufactured pc can be difficult to upgrade.

I'll tell ya this, the Q6600 is a great chip to OC. Find some stable specs and a walk through and you'll be ok. I'd throw a bigger cpu cooler on if you do though.

Your memory should be ok, if your board supports 1600mhz ram i'd put in 4 gigs of that. Check crucial memory for compatibility.

SLI -
Yes the card has to match to prevent any serious problems. (There are several revisions of the same card)
The 88's are out dated. It's a ~32 amp card that produces tons of heat. Simply replace it with like a 400 series card. Cost effective and kick butt.

Advanced System Care 5 - Free PC clean up. Easy to use and will help.
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April 12, 2012 10:30:19 AM

Ok... So buy a new card.. 400 series.. While that's semi-foreign to me I think I can find something about it. Using crucial as I'm typing this to analyze what ram is compatible.
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a c 197 K Overclocking
April 13, 2012 12:51:56 AM

If you can increase the FSB on your Dell motherboard ...

The nVidia nForce 600/700 chipset overclocks a little differently from the other Intel BIOS's. You set the FSB clock, not the FSB freq. And you can run the memory "linked" or "Unlinked".

This should be your first stop.
Core2 Overclocking Guide (generic guide based on an Asus motherboard)
http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/259899-11-core-over...
Use this for background information only.

Your stock settings:
FSB clock - 1066 MHz (same as 266 MHz FSB freq)
Set memory to Linked (or perhaps "Synced").
Memory freq should be 533 MHz. (That will seem low, but don't worry about it.)

Enable manual CPU control.

Set memory voltage to 1.8 volts if it is not already there.

Now start increasing the FSB. Stress test. If the system fails, increase CPU voltage and retest.

Repeat the above step until:
1. No more improvement in CPU speed, or
2. Core voltage equals 1.50 volts, or
3. Load temps reach 70 C.

1:1 FSB:RAM ratio is best for stability, plus there is little improvement in system performance if trying to run the RAM faster.

Leave SpeedStep enabled.

You should be able to run a Q6600 at 3.0 GHz (333 MHz X 9) on the stock cooler with little or no increase in core voltage. With even a mediocre cooler, you should be able to reach 3.3 GHz.
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a c 197 K Overclocking
April 13, 2012 12:52:41 AM

This topic has been moved from the section Systems to section Overclocking by Jsc
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April 15, 2012 1:10:56 PM

Thanks for the reply jsc. So, you're saying I should effectively be able to just change the FBS to 333, and make sure voltage on memory is 1.8/speed 533 and be done with the overclock? I mean, that's my end goal?
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