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Upgrading Graphics Card

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 23, 2010 1:22:01 AM

Hello!

I am looking for some advice for upgrading my gaming computer. I put mine together a little over 2 years ago. Here is what I currently have:

- MSI G33M-FI LGA 775 Intel G33 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
- Intel Core 2 Duo E6550 Conroe 2.33GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor
- 2GB Corsair Dual Channel
- MSI N9600GT-T2D512 OC GeForce 9600 GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16
- Microsoft XP

Overall it runs great! However, when playing the larger maps on Supreme Commander Forged Alliance, it starts to choke up mid game. There are some games like this that I would like to be able to play without chokeups or slow-downs, without going broke. So here are some questions:

- Should I just upgrade my graphics card?
- If so, should I get the new GTS/X or go with a 9800GT?
- Should I upgrade anything else?
- If so, any recommendations?

Thanks for your help!
a b Î Nvidia
March 23, 2010 1:28:19 AM

1) the easiest upgrade you can make is to over clock your CPU, its free and you would see better results immediately
2) if you do want to upgrade your video card, I would skip the 9800GT. Its a good card but I have owned both the 9600GT OC and 9800GT and the step up is not large. I assume you have a 400w+ PSU. If so, the ATI 4850 and Nvidia GTS 250 are both at $100 or less. I would not upgrade to them though without a faster running CPU (new or OC the old one).

*You did not post your monitors native resolution but I'm guessing the 9600GT can handle games set to medium on it?
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March 23, 2010 1:34:01 AM

I appreciate it very much! What's the best way to go about over clocking?
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March 23, 2010 1:35:35 AM

I believe I'm running a 2560x1600 resolution on the monitor. It does handle games pretty well for the most part. But where I'm at right now in this one game...its crawling :) 
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a b Î Nvidia
March 23, 2010 1:37:59 AM

That is a huge monitor resolution! What is your monitor?
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a b Î Nvidia
March 23, 2010 1:40:35 AM

2560x1600 resolution, what size monitor do you have? Your current set up would have a difficult time playing any game at that setting.

as for overclocking, Tom's has plenty of people willing to help you on the OC forum. Simply state your CPU, motherboard, and if you use a stock cooler or a specific model.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/forum-29.html
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March 23, 2010 1:42:27 AM

Thanks for the help! Yeah, its a 30" monitor... is that my problem? ;) 

So, if I downgraded to say a 24" for my PC, maybe I would notice less slowness?
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a b Î Nvidia
March 23, 2010 1:43:32 AM

If I had a 30" I wouldn't downgrade my monitor, I'd probably build a whole new PC just for it.
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a b Î Nvidia
March 23, 2010 1:43:41 AM

daenterpri said:
I believe I'm running a 2560x1600 resolution on the monitor. It does handle games pretty well for the most part. But where I'm at right now in this one game...its crawling :) 


is that your native resolution?
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a b Î Nvidia
March 23, 2010 1:49:08 AM

daenterpri said:
Thanks for the help! Yeah, its a 30" monitor... is that my problem? ;) 

So, if I downgraded to say a 24" for my PC, maybe I would notice less slowness?


well you several options

1) set your monitor during gaming to lesser demanding resolutions

2) purchase a smaller monitor but the 9600GT is perfect for a 19" LCD, so you would need make upgrades and you may not like the the smaller monitor if you are used to a 30" LCD

3) build/or purchase a new PC to go with your 30" LCD

the choice would depend on your budget

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March 23, 2010 1:49:39 AM

renz496 said:
is that your native resolution?


Yeah, I'm pretty sure it is. It's my work monitor. Typically hooked up to my work laptop, and then I plugin my gaming PC when I want to play :) 
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March 23, 2010 1:52:39 AM

I like option 2! Setting to a lower resolution usually makes everything look like death. I think a 19-22" monitor would be fairly inexpensive to acquire these days. I really appreciate the help!
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March 23, 2010 2:18:42 AM

Thanks! I just checked, and it appears that I'm only using a 300W! Thought it was a 400W!

You mentioned earlier that you recommended upgrading the CPU if I was to upgrade the graphics card. What would your recommendation be for the CPU?

Thanks,

Andy
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