Choke Point

I run a pre-built gaming system from Cyberpower purchased via It has a MSI X58 Platinum Motherboard, 3GBs DDR3 Ram, 9500GT Graphics Card, and Vista Home Premium 64 Bit OS. Not sure on my power supply. Believe its 400 or 450. My question conerns gaming.

I use my rig mainly for gaming. My current game of choice is Aion. For some reason I can not run this game on full settings even though the game suggests that I do. When I run full it bogs down, gets choppy and characters will not appear on my screen unless I stop and wait for them. I have to run on half settings just to get the game to run nice and smooth with a decent FPS.

My question is do you think my Graphics Card is the issue? Am I just expecting to much from my system? Any advice on this would be much appreciated. If it is my Graphics Card what would be a good upgrade. One that hopefully would be 100$ round abouts.

Edit: Forgot to list processor. I run a Intel Core i7.
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  1. What resolution are you playing at? What settings do you turn down to get it to play smoothly? Physics and particle effects put a load on the CPU, texture detail and shadowing puts a load on the GPU.

    Easiest way to check for a CPU bottleneck, lower the resolution and shadow levels and see if it still performs the same. If this fixes your problem then it indicates a GPU bottleneck. It will be hard to get a decent graphics boost for under $100, but for about $115 you can upgrade to a 4770 which would be signficantly better than your 9500GT
  2. Thanks for the responses. To answer your questions I run my Resolution at 1680x1050. When I run the game I end up turning down the shadows and anything to do with detail and textures to get it to run smoothly. If I turn those back up to full it gets to be unplayable at times.
  3. Yup, definitely graphics card, as expected with an i7. Upgrading to a 9800GT or 4770 would help significantly, the 9500GT is not a very strong GPU.
  4. Quote:
    Yes, its your graphics card for sure. What resolution are you gaming at?

    4770 or 9800GT would be my recommendation if you only have a 450w psu.


    9500gt is on a few steps up from the bottom of the 9xxx series, it is an entry level card. Your set up is capable of feeding some of the top video cards available, and it is definitely your card that is holding your gaming performance hostage.

    Depending on the quality of your PSU (tell us what you have) you may even be able to step up a little further. For $110 you can get a 4770, but another 10 could get you into a XFX 4850:

    Right now the prices for the suggestions are in line with their performance, kind of:
    9800gt - $90
    4770 - 110
    4850 - 120

    If you can squeeze a few more bucks into the budget you would see more bang for the buck. I personally wouldn't settle for a 9800gt if an extra 20 would get me a 4770. But I would be happy with a 4770 if I couldn't come up with 10 more for the 4850.

    Any of these cards will be fully utilized by your system, and you would get performance for every penny spent, unless you are running really low resolution (1280x1024 or lower)
  5. Thanks for the info Hunter. Just out of curiosity I noticed your comment about the i7. Is it not a good procssor, and how bad are the 9500s? Just curious because now I am wondering if I got ripped on buying this tower. lol.
  6. Thanks for the replies Jofa and zipzoom. I am not sure on my PSU Jofa. To be honest im not sure where to look to find out about it.
  7. No i meant that the i7 is a very strong processor and rarely causes a bottleneck except in the least graphically demanding games like Left 4 Dead but even then it bottlenecks in excess of 100FPS so i really doubted that it was the source of your problems here.

    The 9500GT isnt too horrible, its just not powerful enough to keep up with modern day games. For a quick comparison look at the chart in the link below, the 9500GT is 14 tiers down on the left, the 4770 is 6 tiers down on the right. 2 is all that is really needed to get a significant difference.
  8. Thanks again Hunter for the help. Much appreciated.
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