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CPU or GPU? What do I Upgrade??

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 21, 2009 3:26:35 PM

Hey everyone.
I am looking for advice as to what I should upgrade. I mostly play WoW, but my fps has been horrible in raid situations. I'm not quite sure as to what I should upgrade. My wife just bought me a 24.6 inch monitor (I haven't hooked it up yet). Do I need a new GPU or CPU, or both. Please help??
Specs:

Pentium Dual Core 2140
Nvidia GeForce GTS 250
3 gb ram
Asus Pk5 Deluxe mobo

More about : cpu gpu upgrade

a b U Graphics card
December 21, 2009 4:57:28 PM

Your video card is way more modern than your CPU. So I can say with confidence that the GTS 250 is not the problem. That CPU is getting old and it would be a good idea to upgrade it in any case.

Fortunately, it looks like your motherboard was designed with the newer 45nm chips in mind, so theoretically, it should be able to handle anything up to the best quad core CPUs. I'd double- and triple-check that to be sure, but if so, that would give your machine new life for at least another 2-3 years.
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a c 147 U Graphics card
December 21, 2009 5:05:46 PM

What resolution are you currently playing at? I would say you could try your hand at overclocking. Those Pentium chips OC pretty darn well. However, at stock they don't really deliver alot of processing power. Your videoc card it in that entry level area, but if you try your hand at OCing the CPU, you can see if that gives you some gains. Depending what Chipset you have, you could drop in an upgraded CPU. Granted a video upgrade would probably give you the best bang.
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December 21, 2009 5:11:59 PM

First off, Thanks for responding!! Right now I am playing at 1440 x900 on a 19 in monitor. I havent tried to OC the cpu (I dont know too much about OC'ing). Maybe I should just buy a new cpu and gpu, that would hopefully solve the problem.
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a b U Graphics card
December 21, 2009 5:38:26 PM

Well, one unbeatable advantage that overclocking has over your other options: It's free.

So I agree, it definitely can't hurt to try that first.
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December 21, 2009 5:44:26 PM

24" monitor runs at what resolution? 1080P?

First... that CPU is going to choke anything more powerful than GTS 250 without overclocking it.

Assuming your not made of money I'd try overclocking the CPU first and see what gains you get. You should be able to overclock that quite a bit even with the stock cooler.

2nd. The GTS 250 isn't going to cut it with resolutions 1080P or above.

Options: You're stuck with socket 775 and I wouldn't buy a new 775 processor. They are too expensive right now for what you get.

1. I'd look on Ebay for a used Core 2 duo or Quad. Probably can get one for less than $80

2. Sell that GTS 250 and buy a 260, AtI 4870 1G, ATI 4970, or ATI 5770

3. Full upgrade path... I wouldn't spend $200 on a new core 2 duo. I would consider upgrading to a AM3 motherboard with ATI CPU. Get the 5770, and then add another one sometime down the road if you need it.
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a c 147 U Graphics card
December 21, 2009 8:17:03 PM

ava said:
First off, Thanks for responding!! Right now I am playing at 1440 x900 on a 19 in monitor. I havent tried to OC the cpu (I dont know too much about OC'ing). Maybe I should just buy a new cpu and gpu, that would hopefully solve the problem.

If you go this route, I'd go with a new CPU first and then see where you are at.
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December 21, 2009 11:25:14 PM

i agree with the general sentiment of the thread...

you got a fairly advance GPU (relative to the rest of the gaming community)

you want to UP the CPU first.... I highly doubt there is anything wrong with the GPU
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December 21, 2009 11:37:50 PM

I don't think the Graphics card is the reason why your getting lag in raids. I have played WoW: Wrath of the Lich King and i'm level 78, i've been in raids heaps of times and in places where there are heaps of ppl, etc. My brother's computer, with a AMD 64 Athlon 3800+@2.00ghz Dual core, 1GB RAM, 512MB Nvidia Geforce 7800GT runs WoW extremely smooth at 60FPS+. Most the time its at 60fps and it runs it very smooth on high settings. He also had a "17" inch LCD screen running at 1280x1024. The bigger your monitor, the less performance you get because the graphics card has to work harder to render more pixels onto your monitor. So i don't know whats the problem here because, my brothers comp specs are way lower than yours and his runs very smooth, no lies.
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a b U Graphics card
December 22, 2009 7:26:43 AM

+1 for overclocking For £10-15 you'd be able to buy a decent aftermarket 775 cooler. Even if you only have 667Mhz RAM you would be able to bump your CPU up to 2.66Ghz with ease on standard voltages. I put a E2160 in my dad's machine with a Freezer 7 Pro cooler - which is by no means the best you can buy in the £15 price range but still pretty good - and clocked that up to 2.8ghz easy, and I've had it do 3.4Ghz, again pretty effortlessly.
At 2.66Ghz with your E2140 you should see a very good jump in performance for a very small outlay.
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December 22, 2009 7:42:51 AM

The E2140 is default at 200x8=1600

Try setting 266x8 for 2128 first. You might need to increase voltage, but do not exceed 1.35vcore

Alternately, if you do not feel comfortable overclocking, you can find a E6600 on ebay for a good price. Drop in replacement.

The GTS250 will work GREAT for 1080p. I have the same basic card and run all my games at 1920x1200 with full settigns no problem.
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