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Looking to upgrade performance for gaming...

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February 1, 2010 5:05:20 PM

Ok i have THIS computer that i got on the cheap and ive upgraded with a Corsair 400W PSU and a 9600GT.

As of now, ive used it for HTPC and some gaming but i would like a bit of a performance boost and i was told upgrading my CPU would be the best option. Now, my specs (HERE) say that its a AM2+ slot but i was told i could upgrade with a AM3 CPU.

My questions are: If i can upgrade, would a Phenom II X4 910e be a good choice to upgrade my performance with for gaming? Or do any of yall any suggestions to upgrade with?

Or should i just stay with the stock Athlon?

Thanks in advance.

EDIT - I shouldve mentioned this but im in the $70 - $150 range. Im trying to get the best bang for the buck performance upgrade for gaming and HTPC. Trying to save as much $$$ as possible as im a poor college student. :kaola: 
a c 131 à CPUs
a b 4 Gaming
February 1, 2010 8:59:16 PM

I couldn't get the download to work. Their servers were busy. But I assume it just says the same specs as on the bestbuy site.

It really depends on what you want the performance boost for. For gaming you would notice not much performance increase with just a CPU upgrade except in CPU bound games like Dragon Age, FSX or GTA4. You might be looking more at selling your 9600GT and upgrading the video card to something like a radeon 5770 and keeping your current processor for the most bang for buck.

For regular tasks, a quad core would be nice but I don't think you would notice much difference.

So, what specific games do you play, at what settings and how much of a performance increase do you want?
a c 83 à CPUs
February 1, 2010 10:26:02 PM

In most games going to a Phenom II X4 @2.6Ghz won't be any faster than the Athlon II X2 @ 2.8Ghz, there are exceptions with some games that run much better on quad core, but most games are still 2 core optimized/run nearly as well on dual core. I don't know what resolution you playing at, but the 9600GT is holding you back more on most games than the Athlon II X2 is.
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February 2, 2010 2:19:14 AM

Wow, i had no idea the GPU was actually holding me back. I kinda thought a upgraded CPU wouldve complimented it. I thought wrong.

Well, for games I play like...

GTA:SA (settings all on high, enbseries fake HDR/bloom, runs perfect)
Resident Evil 4 (with environment texture, HD texture mods)
Resident Evil 5 (settings all on high, Grade B in the benchmark avg. 54 fps)
Crysis (settings all on high, runs between 25 - 35 fps, 32 - 45 on medium)
Street Fighter IV (settings all on high, 2xAA, 60 fps)

Im beginning to move from console to PC so this list will get bigger. I also use it as a HTPC but it runs well as it is. Now as of now im running it in my TVs native resolution of 1360 X 768. But i plan to get a monitor and im concerned that this card will sputter with higher resolutions.

So a GPU like a 5770 will improve my performance? Will it be a big jump in performance? Im looking for something like 60 fps in games (except Crysis lol) with all high settings with some AF and AA. Basically a "S" in the RE5 benchmark. (Or any other benchmark for that matter) Any other GPUs that are good within my stated max price of $150? nVidia equivalent?

enzo - Funny you mention GTA IV because i was gonna buy that game next. Think my CPU will be fine with it?

Thanks to both of yall. This site has been very informative.

EDIT - Man im looking at the card and man, i hope thatll fit in this case. Now i read that some ATi cards have probs with AA. Is this true?

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a c 131 à CPUs
a b 4 Gaming
February 2, 2010 3:02:19 AM
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Generally, I believe you won't have a problem with any cards not fitting until you get into the 5870 or 5970. Measure your case and look up the card to be sure though.

The 5770 = 4870 = GTX260 ... approx.

Based on this, make sure you get a card with 1GB of memory for GTA4.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/balanced-gaming-pc,...

I would think that you wouldn't be able to max out the graphics but it would be fine. If you wanted to, you could overclock your CPU to match the performance of the phenom IIx2 (about 3.4-3.6GHz to make up for the lack of cache). If you aren't willing to overclock, I would say get the 5770 or equivalent now, lower a couple settings on GTA4 and save up for a phenom IIx4 955.

I'd say you'd get a pretty significant performance boost. I have a radeon 3870. The 9600GT underperforms the radeon 3870 by something like 10%. The radeon 4670 performs a bit worse than the 3870. The 4670 is a low end card so I would have to say that going to a 4870/5770/GTX260 would be significant. I would personally go with the 5770 if there is not much of a price gap for DX11 and the potential performance increase as new drivers are released. Plus, newer tech.

As for the AA, I'm not sure if the ATI cards scale better or worse than the nvidia cards but based on my radeon 3870, I would hazard a guess that if they do scale worse, it wouldn't be by much.
February 2, 2010 4:06:42 AM

Best answer selected by con83.
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