Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Upgrading my PC for games

Tags:
  • Homebuilt
  • Systems
  • Product
Last response: in Systems
Share
April 30, 2010 10:08:49 PM

My PC is currently this:

CPU: Intel C2D 6400 2.13Ghz
RAM: 4GB DDR2 800
GPU: Nvidia 8800GT
PSU: 500W

I play at 1440X900

With these specs in mind, I need some advice on an upgrade path. Right now my main concern is BF:BC2, as it is pretty much unplayable on my system even on all the lowest settings. The problem is I have been looking into upgrading, and as far as I know a GPU upgrade alone isn't going to cut it here. And I feel like if I get any new CPU for my current mobo (775) it is basically a backwards move and really bad use of money. If I basically do a full upgrade to a DDR3 board, Core i5, I figure I'm spending around $600 dollars. This wouldn't be a problem, but to play one game I think its way too much. I play all my other games perfectly fine right now, the only other game besides Battlefield which I am planning on getting sometime or other is Dragon Age.

Anyway, I'm wondering what the cheapest upgrade would be to make Battlefield decently playable, I'm not looking for the highest settings, but right now I can't even get a good 30FPS on everything low, DX9, etc. Would it be possible to just get a GPU or is my CPU that bad?

More about : upgrading games

May 1, 2010 12:16:54 AM

Ok well I don't really know much about AMD chips so could you tell me how they compare to Intels / what I should look at?
a b B Homebuilt system
May 1, 2010 1:19:02 AM

I agree with the X3 suggestion.

Sell your CPU and mobo on ebay, then the RAM seperately.

After that you could probably sell your current graphics card too and then have enough to buy a better graphics card at the same time.
Related resources
May 1, 2010 2:24:39 AM

I don't know, with what I've come up with if I do a full AMD upgrade, its still around 500 dollars, and the CPU is worse albeit more upgradable from what I understand. It sucks how I just want to play one game and I'm pretty much stuck with really high cost options, but I feel like the most sensible option is to just wait it out and upgrade once there are more games that require it. Any thoughts?

edit: Yeah I guess if I sold stuff on ebay, I might recuperate a good portion of the cost, but I've never really sold anything on ebay before. How much exactly are people willing to pay for used parts? I feel like I wouldn't get that much out of them actually.
a b B Homebuilt system
May 1, 2010 2:40:18 AM

If you wanna know how much stuff goes for just look up stuff similar to what you have.

I've seen most dual core CPUs + motherboards go for about $100. That ram would get at least $50. IDK about the graphics card.
May 1, 2010 2:53:16 AM

I was thinking about trying to OC, so maybe I should try that first, although it'd be my first time. With the parts you suggested plus the realization that I can sell off my old stuff, the price is looking a lot better, but how "future proof" is this stuff? Also if I got a 5770 with that, do you think I'd be good for BF on medium?
May 1, 2010 3:09:35 AM

Well I'm going to think about it for a few days and probably ask around other places, but I'm feeling pretty good about getting what you suggested. Thanks for the help I appreciate it.
May 1, 2010 4:42:33 AM

Here is a suggestion
i was building a gameing pc a while back and this is the mobo/cpu i got
this is SOO much faster than Core 2 Duo

MOBO: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

it come out to 149.98 plus ram(will have to be DDR3)

Info on the CPU:
This particular CPU is Athlon II x3 RANA
the RANA is referring to the archetecture of the phisical chip
this chip happens to be built exactly the same as the x4 chip(quad core)
but with one core "locked" and unused
and this mobo has a feture call ACC (advanced clock calibration)
which when enabled can unlock the forth core giving you a quad core for the price of a triple core!(your CPU will now show up as a phenom II x4 in the BIOS!)
that saves you about 70 dollars
it like getting a phenom II x4 half off!
HOWEVER: the unlocking feture has some disatvandages as well
for example it will not unlock f3 chache (Athlon doesn't have one anyway) but the F3 chache doesn't relly effect performance in games!

you other option is just to go with the phenom II x6!!!
(the amd equivalent of the i7) it only 309$!!!! :) 
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (my dream CPU!)
a b B Homebuilt system
May 7, 2010 10:37:23 PM

Well it's slightly slower, 100 megahertz less, so maybe? Depends on if you do bunches of stuff that is highly parallel like encoding.
a b B Homebuilt system
May 8, 2010 5:52:39 PM

Here's another suggestion (my 2¢)

There are two parts you can buy that will improve your gaming performance with your current setup, and if you still have a bottleneck all is not lost because you can carry them over to a new, future build and therefore the money is not wasted.

#1 Get a AMD HD5770 video card. $160 for the card, and you can still sell your 8800GT.

#2 Get a decent universal aftermarket HSF that is compatible with AM2+/AM3/LGA775/LGA1156/LGA1366 like this one or this one. $40 and will fit your current LGA775

You should be able to overclock your E6400 to 3.2GHz by running 400FSB instead of the stock 266FSB, especially since you already have DDR2-800 RAM and you can run 1:1. When you finally take the plunge and build/buy a new system, you can re-use the video card and HSF so the $200 spent is not wasted on dead end parts like DDR2 or another LGA775 CPU.

Just another angle to solve your gaming problem.
May 11, 2010 4:53:40 AM

rwpritchett said:
Here's another suggestion (my 2¢)

There are two parts you can buy that will improve your gaming performance with your current setup, and if you still have a bottleneck all is not lost because you can carry them over to a new, future build and therefore the money is not wasted.

#1 Get a AMD HD5770 video card. $160 for the card, and you can still sell your 8800GT.

#2 Get a decent universal aftermarket HSF that is compatible with AM2+/AM3/LGA775/LGA1156/LGA1366 like this one or this one. $40 and will fit your current LGA775

You should be able to overclock your E6400 to 3.2GHz by running 400FSB instead of the stock 266FSB, especially since you already have DDR2-800 RAM and you can run 1:1. When you finally take the plunge and build/buy a new system, you can re-use the video card and HSF so the $200 spent is not wasted on dead end parts like DDR2 or another LGA775 CPU.

Just another angle to solve your gaming problem.



This is a great idea, and I had actually planned to try overclocking in the past, but I sort of forgot about it, figuring it probably wouldn't work anyway. Could you direct me to a guide or something to get me started with overclocking, as I have never done it before? I think I saw a thread specifically for my cpu type before which I will probably find, but any additional suggestions for a first time overclocker would be helpful as well.
a b B Homebuilt system
May 11, 2010 9:46:03 AM

Theacclaimed has the best idea. Like he said, both items bought could then be used in the next machine so nothing is wasted. Having said that, by the time you decide on an new machine the 5770 probably wont be good enough (assuming at that time you get a bigger monitor), but it is still a good card and can be reused or even XFired at a later date.

I belive the most popular CPU cooler is the Hyper 212
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Though I have the Arctic Cooler that theacclaimed linked and there is definately nothing wrong with it - very quiet and does the job well.

BUy the card, buy the cooler, give OCing a go. If it does not do the trick then it s time to consider getting a new computer. The reality is, while it is only one game right now that is giving problems, and DragonAge when you get it....it is just the beginning, it is the sign that your computers life is coming to an end as the games coming will be more and more of a strain. Hopefully OCing will buy you some more time, but I would consider looking at a new system in teh near future
a b B Homebuilt system
May 11, 2010 9:48:35 AM

Heh, don't know why I mentioned theacclaimed - you are the one seeking the advice not giving. I meant rwpritchett's suggestion was the best. Wish I could edit posts :( 
a b B Homebuilt system
May 11, 2010 3:34:34 PM

The OC will depend on how your CPU was binned, how cool you can keep it, and probably your motherboard. As I said before, your RAM is a perfect match for running 1:1 @ 400FSB.

What motherboard do you have?

I fondly remember my ol' E6300. I ran it at 333FSB for 2 years with stock volts, then ran it at 400FSB for another year when it started to feel slow. I even stretched it to 429FSB just so I could say I was running at an even 3GHz. I sold it on eBay and as far as I know its still running. Good chips, those C2D's.
a b B Homebuilt system
May 11, 2010 3:45:34 PM

+1 for the Cooler Master Hyper 212 suggestion. Universal socket, heatpipe direct touch tech, and CHEAP $27. Should get you where you need to go if you decide to OC.
a b B Homebuilt system
May 11, 2010 6:53:09 PM

I got my hyper 212 for $20 at microcenter. They were having a sale for some reason.

Then I sold my last 2 phones on ebay and bought a HAF 922 case. (since I had to almost completely disassemble the computer just to install the 212.)
a b B Homebuilt system
May 12, 2010 12:16:54 AM

I suppose I didn't say when I did it. I did that about a week ago, the day it started going for that price. I didn't think it would last very long so I got it straightaway.
May 13, 2010 12:22:55 AM

My motherboard is an ASUS P5N-E SLI.
May 31, 2010 12:57:34 AM

Ok so school is finally done and I could focus on this. I was thinking about paying some more and getting a 5850. That one seems like a good deal. However, at this point I'm not sure that my PSU will be enough; it is a 500W Enermax Liberty btw. And if I end up going with the 5770, I'm assuming that I don't need a new PSU?
a b B Homebuilt system
June 1, 2010 3:41:33 PM

I also have an Enermax Liberty 500W. Best PSU I've ever owned. It has 32A available on the +12V rails and two PCIe power plugs.

It will power the 5850 just fine.

June 3, 2010 7:26:50 PM

That's awesome. I just had one more thought before I actually purchase, and that is getting a DDR2 board instead of DDR3. It saves me $100 since I already have 4GB and as far as I know its the same performance and doesn't really effect the upgradability unless more than 4 gigs is needed in the near future. I didn't check if these boards support newer cpu's like the X6, but I don't know why they wouldn't. What do you think about this?
a b B Homebuilt system
June 3, 2010 7:36:37 PM

You could do that. What you need to do if you wanna do that is check the manufacturer's sites for stuff that does in fact support the x6. The upgradability thing is that they might at some point release some awesome CPU that you'd wanna upgrade to. Only, it doesn't support AM2+ socket, so there goes your cost savings venture, no more drop-in upgrade. You run that risk.
!