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What is the best I can hope for?

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February 19, 2010 3:03:06 AM

An odd question, I know. I recently got canned from my job (cheaper labor really is a threat to your job it turns out) and can not afford a new system.

What I want to know is if I should build a new system (really just throw in a new mobo and cpu) or if i can squeeze some new gaming good times from my current rig.

CPU:
AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+

Mobo:
0HY175 A02 (its a ref number used by Dell, I dont know what my mobo is sadly)

Memory:
5120 Dual Channel DDR2 (more than the mobo can use)

Graphics card:
9800gt XLR8 edition 512MB GDDR3 256bits
Core clock 550MHz
Shader clock 1375 MHz
Memory clock 900MHz

I have done some research and can upgrade the cpu to a AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ it seems, but is that going to be enough for gaming at the highest settings? Should I get a new mobo for a better processor?

Any ideas would be great since I am new at building systems. I OC my stuff and all but when it comes to starting from scratch I am a total newb :) 

I can run Fallout 3 at max settings and it runs smooth but crysis makes my system contemplate suicide at max settings if that helps.

Also, there is a much more detailed description of my system in my profile, an entire cpuid report in fact lol.

More about : hope

February 19, 2010 3:04:21 AM

Oh! The base system is a dell c521 if that may help with an ID for the MOBO.
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a b B Homebuilt system
February 19, 2010 4:13:59 AM

What resolution do you game at? That plays a decent role in what type of hardware you'll be needing.
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February 19, 2010 4:21:30 AM

1360x768 is my native resolution for my display. its an HDTV so it is an odd resolution. usually I use whatever 16:9 works best
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February 19, 2010 4:33:54 AM

you'll get some great gaming from that rig yet. I wouldn't fret over crysis so much. the game sucks. play batman arkham asylum or even mass effect 2. you'll see you rig is plenty capable as is. Save up till you can buy a quad core.
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a b B Homebuilt system
February 19, 2010 4:59:02 AM

Actually I'd go ahead and do that CPU upgrade you mentioned. That original dual core isn't enough to be able to use that graphics card all the way. Under my own experience it seems to top out at around the level of a x1950 Pro (maybe a bit higher since it was that and a 4670 and between them no real difference.)

That will help a great bit on the things that need it, but it still won't be able to handle crysis on highest. I ran crysis on high with a triple core and a 4850 (factory OC'ed). But just doing that I think is well worth it. You'd have to do a whole rebuild to get higher than that, including the graphics card. Given your situation this is all I'd do at the moment.
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February 19, 2010 5:42:25 AM

I'd agree on the CPU upgrade if you can find one that isn't outrageously expensive. I'm able to play most anything at respectable settings still on my X2 6400 (3.2GHz, 6000 is 3.0 I believe) and I'm using the moderately slower 8800GT.
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a b B Homebuilt system
February 19, 2010 6:07:03 AM

I disagree with the upgrade, and here's my .02. Your Athlon is at 2.0 stock, a 6000+ is at 3. Not sure how well that chip OC's, but I would guess you could hit ~2.5, possibly more. Your board is AM2, which is quite limiting, and I don't know how much more I'd put into it, especially given the finances (same here). You're stuck on DDR2, and the Phenom II's are out of your reach without a new board. I'm running an E6600 with an 8800GTX, and I can play every game on max with acceptable frame rates, with the exception of NASA's benchmark, Crysis. I can take my E up to ~3.6 when I need to, but it really isn't necessary, so I usually stick around 3. Quad's are a beautiful thing, but they're still not a necessity. I'd invest in a decent HSF, clock that thing up as high as you're comfortable, and see what that gets you.
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February 19, 2010 8:15:44 AM

^+1. bump the vcore, ddr v, and drop the hypertransport/mem clock if need be. you should be able to get more juice from that cpu. my lowly S939 dual core opteron made it from 1.8 to 2.8, which produced massive gains in everything. especially with my hd4870.

edit: just noticed it was a dell = near zero chance of overclocking.
i wouldnt invest any money in that machine really, unless you can find an x2 6000 for super duper cheap
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February 19, 2010 12:55:03 PM

You need to make sure that the motherboard's voltage regulators are capable of putting out the 125w that a 6000 x2 requires. Many motherboards will only deliver around 90w and will become unstable with a 125w cpu. They will work ok until you put the "petal to the metal" with a game and then crash. In short you need to know exactly what motherboard you have before investing in a 6000.
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February 19, 2010 3:47:59 PM

Awesome guys, thanks for the help,conflicting as it may be lol. One more question then, what are the chances I can get away with buying a new mobo/cpu and then use everything else i already have? I have been thinking about doing this for a while now but am unsure how well it would work out.

A new power unit would probably be needed too I know.
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a b B Homebuilt system
February 19, 2010 4:59:47 PM

Manji022 said:
Awesome guys, thanks for the help,conflicting as it may be lol. One more question then, what are the chances I can get away with buying a new mobo/cpu and then use everything else i already have? I have been thinking about doing this for a while now but am unsure how well it would work out.

A new power unit would probably be needed too I know.


For about $150, you could get an AMD quad core/mortherboard combo deal and basically keep everything else.

Your case and power supply both blow right now, though, so I wouldn't be surprised if you had to replace them.

But the setup you've got isn't really all that bad, except that the CPU is a bit of a drag. If money is tight, I'd have no problem keeping that.
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February 20, 2010 4:57:20 AM

Best answer selected by Manji022.
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a b B Homebuilt system
February 20, 2010 4:58:31 AM

Thanks Manji, glad I could help.
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February 20, 2010 5:00:29 AM

Thanks a lot for the advice guys. I think i am gonna save up and do a new case, psu, cpu, and mobo. Seems to be the best option at this point. I just put Mass Effect 2 on my rig and it runs like a dream at max, plus some extra AA through the nvidia control panel. I guess my Crysis as a "test" idea was a bad one after all. It seems that for now this system is plenty good. :) 
Overclocking my cpu is not gonna happen though, not without a software oc, since my bios wont let me do it the right way lol.
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February 23, 2012 1:28:19 AM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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