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Could I get away with just upgrading my graphics card?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 5, 2010 10:09:18 AM

One last option to present to you all before I spend my hard earned money...

I was wondering if it's remotely possible that I could keep my existing system and upgrade my video card and be able to play games like COD:MW2 on maxed settings at 1680X1050 resolution, and if so, what is the cheapest card that could allow me to do so. I have been searching for reports/threads/benchmarks that involve current generation video cards like the 57XX or 58XX from Radeon, plugged into older systems like I've got, but I haven't found anything conclusive. So here is my current system

Mobo: EVGA GeForce 7100/630i (Single Channel DDR2 support 800MHz FSB 1 X PCIEx16 slot)

CPU: Intel Dual Core 2.2GHz E2200

RAM: 2GB of 800MHz DDR2 single channel

PSU: 500W Ultra modular

Monitor: Hyundai K224W 22" widescreen 1680X1050 Native (and max resolution)

Current GPU: Nvidia Geforce 7300SE/7200GS

So I got to thinking that last night...How cool would it be if I could play MW2 at max settings by simply buying a HD 5870, 5850, or hell even a 5770, and then be able to wait a while on building a complete new system, but still be able to reuse the GPU on the new system, maybe in crossfire with another like it. But I'm not sure if that's possible on my system, with those cards. So here I am, asking you guys for more help. :)  Let me know if it's possible, because I could really use some of the $1600 I planned on spending for other things. Thanks in advance. :) 
January 5, 2010 12:30:53 PM

42 views and no replies? Odd.
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January 5, 2010 1:13:07 PM

Upgrading to a 5770 would certainly be a great improvement over the 7300, which can hardly be called a performance card by any stretch of the imagination. However I think even the lowest of the Radeon 5xxx chips would begin to be limited by your CPU.
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January 5, 2010 1:31:54 PM

kiren said:
Upgrading to a 5770 would certainly be a great improvement over the 7300, which can hardly be called a performance card by any stretch of the imagination. However I think even the lowest of the Radeon 5xxx chips would begin to be limited by your CPU.


How so? I figured a dual core 2.2ghz wouldn't have any trouble running a game whose minimum requirements are a P4 3.2ghz, especially since everyone here says that non-RTS gaming is pretty much just reliant on the GPU. So please enlighten me on why you think my E2200 would bottleneck the GPU. Thanks :) 
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a c 86 U Graphics card
January 5, 2010 1:39:29 PM

Does the BIOS allow any CPU overclocking?? If it can be pushed to 2.7ish, it would still make a reasonable setup with 5770 (or 50)

Here's an article about cpu scaling with 5870, just to give you some idea what to expect.
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/radeon-h...

edit: in any case, you'd see a huge improvement in performance :) 
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January 5, 2010 1:41:18 PM

MW2 is really not a demanding game. I think a 5750/5770 would be a safe upgrade with your PSU. You might be able to go for something more powerfull, but a 5770 would run MW2 maxed on that setting. It uses the same engine as the last one.

Your CPU has a playing factor in how games will run. The faster the CPU the more information it can process and allow the video card to do it's job. The famous word around here is "bottlenecking". Which is in EVERY computer everywhere. But on a lower end CPU you will see more of it. But honestly I don't think you will have any issue on that particular game. Just upgrade you video to something modest.
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January 5, 2010 1:48:43 PM

Thanks a bunch for the advice. I've never tried overclocking, but I might if I can wrap my head around it and if my board/bios allows it. Thanks for the very helpful link, I'll look more into this option now. Though I still have the urge to just buy a whole new system.
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January 6, 2010 1:34:59 AM

babachoo said:
How so? I figured a dual core 2.2ghz wouldn't have any trouble running a game whose minimum requirements are a P4 3.2ghz, especially since everyone here says that non-RTS gaming is pretty much just reliant on the GPU. So please enlighten me on why you think my E2200 would bottleneck the GPU. Thanks :) 

I think you will be able to play the game quite tolerably with a 5770, just that with the 5770 your CPU will become the limiting factor in how well you can play things. it is a dual 2.2GHz, but not all cores are created equal, arcitectural differences, and cache have a huge effect on how well a chip performs. That said I think it will run the game, and the 5770 will definitely be a HUGE improvement over the 7300.
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