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Looking to upgrade some components to play BC2

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May 17, 2010 7:26:07 PM

Ok, so I just recently built myself a new pc, and I gave my old rig to my stepson so he can get into some pc gaming. I bought BC2 for him over the weekend and it runs pretty horribly on the old system. Here are his specs:

AMD Athlon 4400+ (stock speed)
2 gb kingston value ram
Asus a8n sli platinum (i think)
8800gt 1 gb (i think)
600w psu
xp

This rig seems to handle a lot of newer games at decent settings. However, is there anything here that I can replace to help make BC2 run better? I'm guessing not since it's a very dated setup. I'm thinking he biggest problem here is the cpu, but it's a dual core, so that may not be too bad a bottleneck? If I can get by with upgraded components in the $300 range I'd be happy, but I'd obviously like to spend less. Thoughts? I'm going to try forcing dx9 tonight prob.
May 17, 2010 10:58:53 PM

First, make sure you follow this tweak guide.

If you're still having problems, I would say it may be time to upgrade the cpu and motherboard.

BC2 is pretty cpu intensive, and is optimized for quad core. i know on my machine, I am lucky to get 20-30 fps, with everything on low at 720p.

I don't know much of anything about AMD, otherwise i would be happy to make recommendations, all i can say is upgrading to a quadcore should really help out. Looking at the EA forums, there are people who have upgraded from dual to quads and seen their framerates double.
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May 17, 2010 11:12:47 PM

Thanks MisterClean, this seems like a great guide.
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 17, 2010 11:13:54 PM

What monitor is it running on? You may have to drop the resolution and/or turn off anti-aliasing or other special effects to get good FPS.

The minimum GPU is a 7800, which the 8800 should beat, but the suggested GPU is a GTX260, which is somewhere between 1.5 to 2 times faster than an 8800.

Is that an Athon 64x2 4400+? The minimum CPU listed is a core2duo at 2GHz. You need to overclock an athlon 64x2 to maybe 2.8GHz (5600+ rating) to match a 2GHz Core2Duo.
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May 17, 2010 11:47:40 PM

The resolution is just 1280x1024 on a 19". Yea it's an Athlon 64 4400+ non-oc'ed. I'm not sure I want to try OCing it as I'm contemplating just building him a new rig. I'll be doing some pricing pretty soon, but it def. won't be anytime soon I can drop $500 on a new pc for him. Maybe xmas lol.
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May 18, 2010 2:01:37 AM

If the board is the Asus a8n Sli Premium, it won't support quad cores, according to newegg, it only supports

Athlon 64 X2 / Athlon 64 FX / Athlon 64 / Sempron.

so a new motherboard would be the way to go.

If you're not interested in overclocking, you could get something like this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

for 180, and you would need some new ram (ddr3), which 4 gigs would be around 110-140.

The limiting factor on this motherboard, would be no support for sli/crossfire, and there is only one pcie 2.0 x16 slot.

Or, you could follow Tom's 750 dollar PC guide partially (since you could reuse your case, drives,PSU and video card for the time being)

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/value-gaming-pc,257...

I think price of cpu,motherboard and ram is less than 300 right now.

(again I'm not too familiar with AMD, so please correct me if I'm wrong on anything, or there is a better solution for the money)
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 18, 2010 6:19:52 PM

You could just get an AM2+ motherboard ($50-75), use your DDR2 RAM, drop in an Athlon IIx3 CPU ($75) or Athlon II x4 ($100), keep the 8800.

Should work a lot better for under $200.
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May 18, 2010 8:51:32 PM

I was actually thinking of doing something like this:

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

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

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

Would this be a decent build to run the game at med. settings? I can reuse stuff like KB/Mouse, HDD, and dvd drive and then add 2 gb of ram later again.

With tax etc, it comes out to $305, which was my target range anyways. I can get a graphics card later when my brother needs his 8800gt back. What do you guys think?

Edit: MisterClean that combo you linked looks awesome, but how does the cpu compare with the one I just linked? I'm not familiar with all these new amd procs.
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 19, 2010 6:10:43 PM

Might as well get the 2.9 GHz Athlon II x4 for $30 less. <like mrClean's combo>
The only difference between the Athlon II and Phenom II is a level 3 cache, which has minimal impact on gaming performance.

If you are running a 64bit OS then 4GB RAM will be much better.
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May 19, 2010 7:23:47 PM

I have a lower-level 2 core Phenom and mobo and generic 4 GB of ram in my machine. Games like BC2, CoD4, Dirt 2, etc. were choppy and unplayable with my old video card.

So I got a deal on a Radeon 5770 on newegg for about $140. That card eats those games alive now.

My opinion is to start there, so what a difference it makes. I would guess that it may be all you need. If not, you can upgrade other components. You will NOT regret the vid card!
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 19, 2010 8:25:49 PM

What old video card did you have? The 5770 is only about 50-60% faster than an 8800, it should not be that big of a speed difference for him.

What model of Phenom do you have, and what frequency is it running at? Need to know specifics to draw a fair comparison.

I have an athlon 64x2 5600 that I have overclocked to 3.2GHz (effectively a 6400) and it will play such games fine with a 9800 GTX (512) graphics card, which isnt much faster than an 8800 GT (1GB).
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May 19, 2010 9:05:26 PM

Well after a few tweaks to the settings.ini file, I was able to increase the fps for bc2 to about 30-40fps, even with this old rig (of course everything on low). My setpson is happy enough playing the game without it being super choppy, so for now, the old rig will do. I'll still most likely be building him a rig with the parts listed above, but for now I'll save the $300 for a rainy day.
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Best solution

May 20, 2010 9:20:20 PM

nice, I'm glad the .ini tweaks helped you out.

Sorry i couldn't help you more on the system build, I just don't have much experience/knowledge with AMD (last AMD build was a k6-2 almost 10 years ago, lol).

Anyway, happy gaming, hope to see yall on the battlefield :) 
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May 27, 2010 4:28:07 AM

Best answer selected by thestrangebrew.
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