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Updating Gfx on homebuilt computer

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March 5, 2010 4:46:41 AM

Looking to update my 64mb video card to something better. My computer has a 2.2GHz processor, ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe motherboard, 2gig DDR 266 (PC2100) RAM, and runs 5 80mm case fans. My power supply is 500Watts. Looking to upgrade this desktop to play online games such as Aion with medium to high settings if possible. Wanting to do this the cheapest route with a new video card and replacing the power supply if needed. Please let me know what your opinions are, I just want to make sure that I'm not bottlenecking myself by getting too good of a video card, or if other areas are a big concern also. Thanks all!

EDIT: Processor says in dxdiag: AMD Athlon 64 Processor 3500+, MMX, 3DNow, 2.2GHz.
March 5, 2010 5:11:01 AM

First off, Resolution? and what kind of games are you referring too?
March 5, 2010 11:41:10 AM

I guess 1280x800 and a couple steps higher I'd immagine. I have a 1080p hdtv and i've got the hdmi setup. What kind of games? games like aion I guess. Enough to boost this desktop to where it would run decent.
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March 5, 2010 1:55:45 PM

Any ideas on a video card that would work nicely?
March 5, 2010 2:57:24 PM

you have PCIe x16 slot?
March 5, 2010 3:32:46 PM

yeah, i've got 1 or 2 pci x16 slots. Can't remember and at work atm.
a b B Homebuilt system
March 5, 2010 3:37:25 PM

1080p = 1920x1080

Take a look at THG February Best Graphics Cards for the Money and see what fits your budget. Personally, I would look at a 5770 if you're trying to stay on the cheap side but still want to utilize your display fully. If that's too expensive, maybe look at a 4850 or 4870 or something.

If you have more money to spend, step up to a 5870, but that's probably overkill for "medium to high" settings.
March 5, 2010 3:39:53 PM

Actually that's what I'm looking at right now. My biggest concern is my power supply that's only 500W and my 2.2GHz processor. I'm afraid that if I get a good one, it's going to bottle-neck or not have enough power. Which I want to keep it cheap by not upgrading the processor or getting a new psu. I'll probably be replacing the RAM though.
a b B Homebuilt system
March 5, 2010 3:44:22 PM

I would think that you could get by with a 500 W PSU. This XFX 1 GB XXX Edition 5770, which is as pricey as they get and also likely has the highest power consumption says that it needs a 450 W PSU.

Do you know what brand/model of power supply you have? If it's a brand-name 80+, you should be ok. If it's a generic, you might want to be a little cautious, though I suspect that the manufacturer's specs assume a generic power supply.
March 5, 2010 4:10:15 PM

Xgamer or Xgaming or something somewhat close to that, can't remember exactly. Looking at the 4670, 4850, and the 5750 gfx cards atm.
a b B Homebuilt system
March 5, 2010 5:45:04 PM

Kysus said:
Xgamer or Xgaming or something somewhat close to that, can't remember exactly. Looking at the 4670, 4850, and the 5750 gfx cards atm.


I'm guessing it's one of the 500 W OCZ ModXStream or StealthXStream models, and not this 850 W GameXStream. (Well, or it's something else entirely, but that's what first came to mind.)

If you're looking at the 5750, I'd say just go with the 5770 instead, it's typically only $15-20 or so more for the 5770, and it can't really draw that much more power.

The 5xxx series is quieter and draws less power than the 4xxx series, on average. If you get the card and then run into power problems, you're only likely to experience shutdowns, overloading the PSU shouldn't burn anything out. If you run into that, then you'd want to update the power supply, but unless you have reason to believe you're already taxing your PSU, I suspect you'll be ok.

Not that buying a quality power supply would be a bad idea, but if you already have something half-decent and you're trying to save money, there's not a lot of point in buying a new PSU right now just to do it.

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March 5, 2010 6:32:55 PM
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I can't believe you guys are talking about 5770s when the OP is still running a single-core Athlon64 that's more than 5 years old. That cpu is going to be a huge bottleneck no matter what graphics card you get.

Even a current budget system based on an Athlon II X3 435 and HD4200 integrated graphics would give you better results than that old system with a 5770. Sure, you would have to buy new memory as well which would make the upgrade more expensive but systems don't last forever. It's time for a new build.

a b B Homebuilt system
March 5, 2010 6:42:57 PM

logan the huge said:
I can't believe you guys are talking about 5770s when the OP is still running a single-core Athlon64 that's more than 5 years old. That cpu is going to be a huge bottleneck no matter what graphics card you get.


The OP asked for a graphics card upgrade (and maybe PSU) on the cheap. That doesn't sound to me like someone that is interested in doing a system build right now.

While the CPU may bottleneck the system somewhat, MMOs aren't necessarily all that demanding. A google search turned up the following minimum specs for Aion, the only game mentioned.

CPU : Pentium 4 2.0GHz
RAM :1GB
VGA :GeForec FX 5600(128MB), DirectX 9 or higher
OS :Windows XP

I could be wrong, but I don't think that a Pentium 4 2.0 GHz is all that different from his Athlon 64.

If you want to propose a full system build, go ahead and post it, but that wasn't at all what the OP was looking for.
March 5, 2010 8:01:09 PM

He didn't say he wanted to play at minimum settings and I doubt Aion is the only game he wants to play:
Kysus said:
Looking to update my 64mb video card to something better. My computer has a 2.2GHz processor, ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe motherboard, 2gig DDR 266 (PC2100) RAM, and runs 5 80mm case fans. My power supply is 500Watts. Looking to upgrade this desktop to play online games such as Aion with medium to high settings if possible. Wanting to do this the cheapest route with a new video card and replacing the power supply if needed. Please let me know what your opinions are, I just want to make sure that I'm not bottlenecking myself by getting too good of a video card, or if other areas are a big concern also. Thanks all!

EDIT: Processor says in dxdiag: AMD Athlon 64 Processor 3500+, MMX, 3DNow, 2.2GHz.


Sorry, but Medium-High settings just aren't going to happen with any recent games and an old A64 and to the second bolded section, a 5770 would be completely wasted in that system.

Instead of spending $160 on one of those you could spend $135 on a new CPU/MB combo
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
and $55(2GB)-$105(4GB) on some new DDR3 RAM. You wanted to upgrade your RAM anyway.

If you really don't want to do a new build then something like this $70 4670 would be a far more appropriate(but still overpowered) match for that system.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
a b B Homebuilt system
March 5, 2010 8:15:59 PM

I think you're overestimating the magnitude of the potential CPU bottleneck.

This Building a Balanced Computer suggests that you can get playable framerates, as many games are GPU-bound much more than CPU-bound. There isn't a single-core Athlon in the article, but there is a single-core Pentium.
March 5, 2010 8:27:18 PM

The only Pentium I see there is the Wolfdale-based dual-core E6300(really a C2D with less cache), a cpu far more powerful than any P4 or A64.
March 5, 2010 9:30:56 PM

So i take it I should keep the case and gut the mobo/psu/gfx/ram and get all new.... Crud, was hoping it would be a cheap fix to be able to play Aion with good quality on my 42" tv.

Guess i'll have to sink 600-900 to get it from an outdated computer to an updated computer.
a b B Homebuilt system
March 6, 2010 4:29:16 AM

Kysus said:
So i take it I should keep the case and gut the mobo/psu/gfx/ram and get all new.... Crud, was hoping it would be a cheap fix to be able to play Aion with good quality on my 42" tv.


I still think Logan is overstating the case.

You could always buy the graphics card and see how it goes, and then invest more if it's not satisfactory.
March 6, 2010 6:07:52 AM

^As long as the store has a decent return policy it wouldn't hurt to try that but I checked out the Aion forums and found some guys with similar cpus to Kysus+upgraded graphics cards:

http://www.aionsource.com/forum/1456782-post1099.html
Quote:
Dell XPS Gen 5
Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit
2560MB RAM
ATI HD 3870 512MB
Intel Pentium 4 HT 3.2GHZ

Basically in town or large-scale PVP I average 10-15FPS
And even in normal questing areas with average population around me I rarely exceed 30FPS
This is on medium settings. (Hell even if I turn everything down to absolute minimum it barely improves)
I play in full screen mode.

This doesn't seem right to me...

If I'm wrong let me know... because at this point I'm ready to buy a new computer because the games feels almost unplayable at these frames.

http://www.aionsource.com/forum/1540181-post1121.html
Quote:
Originally Posted by ohyesitstrue View Post
How about this, I am currently playing with these specs and can actually play on medium settings solo, and in small groups.

Processor: AMD Athlon 64 3700+
Ram: 2GB DDR
GPU: Sapphire Radeon HD 4650 512MB DDR3

I have troubles in big groups and group pvp which really hurts the gameplay for me. Everytime I check my computer though, my ram is almost maxed out, like 80%-90% in use, but my CPU is always flat lined at 100% so I feel like that is the main culprit holding me back. My motherboard supports up to an AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+ but my question to you guys is this.

Would AION run smoothly with an AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ or 4400+?

Thanks to anyone who might be able to help.

Posted by Daeva
Your CPU is definitely the bottleneck here (it's single core to begin with) but I don't think you will get smooth gameplay in massive PvP battles even if you upgrade to that. Heck I have Athlon X2 5000+ @ 3 GHz (which is equal to a 6000+ or so) and I get low FPS when there are a lot of players around. You should definitely see some improvement though.


Seems pretty clear to me that those older cpus are choking on the physics calculations when there more objects around in the game. You could probably still play the game but I think you would end up getting frustrated by the slowdowns and playing at 1920x1080 would be out of the question.
March 8, 2010 2:58:06 PM

I must say.... ATH64 2.2 ghz...
1920X1080...
good GPU to play Aion.....
I don't use a huge resolution, so I really don't know, especially given the capability of your CPU :p 
First of all, does your CPU reach the minimum requirement for Aion? If it doesnt, GPU is normally, out of the question, particularly when you are using a high res.
Huge resolution = powerful cards .
Id go for at least a 5830, if not 5850 and buy a new PSU.
March 24, 2010 12:17:52 PM

Best answer selected by kysus.
!