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Video card first or processor?

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April 20, 2010 5:26:03 AM

Hello,

I have a some what out dated PC. I have a Intel Core Duo Extreme X6800 (two 2.93) with: 8800gtx video card, Asus p5w dh deluxe mother board, socket 775, 4gb ram ddr2 800, Winows XP. I am playing Bad Company 2 and it seems a little slow. I get around 25-30 framates per second. Can anyone tell me where I should start first in upgrading my PC? Thank you.

More about : video card processor

April 20, 2010 5:35:10 AM

Unless the game can take advanted of more cores, the only gain in the cpu will be a faster clock rate and the small gain from a triple wide ddr3 ram interface. I'm guessing your game isn't cpu bound, so a new video card would probably be the place to start. You may need to upgrade your power supply.

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a b U Graphics card
April 20, 2010 6:15:14 AM

You could get more RAM and a 64 Bit operating system for more performance.
Even if you get a better video card, it won't be able to perform much better because Windows 32 Bit has a 4GB memory limit across all hardware.
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a b U Graphics card
April 20, 2010 6:26:25 AM

You could over clock the CPU and record the benchmarks you get in games.
Put the CPU back to factory speed and then OC the GPU and record the same games bench marks.

Compare the two and that will tell you which upgrade will give you the biggest gain right now.
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a c 169 U Graphics card
April 20, 2010 6:47:00 AM

Hello and welcome to the forums :) 
First of all 4GB is enough for today's games and apps but get a 64bit OS to fully take advantage of your 4GB RAM.
Also you can OC your CPU to make it faster and you can upgrade your VGA to something like HD 5850(if your budget allows)
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a b U Graphics card
April 20, 2010 5:49:45 PM

Agreed, get a 64-bit operating system to fully take advantage of the 4GB of RAM you have. Another thing to consider is that the video card & CPU that you have are basically made for one-another (meaning that they are on the same level) so if you decide to upgrade the video card to a 5850 or 5870, you would see a difference but not that big of a difference compared to if you had a Q6600 clocked at the same speed. If you upgrade the CPU to a quad core, you see a small difference but it will leave room to upgrade you video card to whatever you desire without the prospect of a bottleneck.

Another consideration is to overclock that CPU you have.
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April 21, 2010 4:08:21 AM

multiscreenz said:
You could get more RAM and a 64 Bit operating system for more performance.
Even if you get a better video card, it won't be able to perform much better because Windows 32 Bit has a 4GB memory limit across all hardware.


So should I try to get a Windows XP 64 upgrade cd? Or upgrade to Windows 7?
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April 21, 2010 4:11:36 AM

jonpaul37 said:
Agreed, get a 64-bit operating system to fully take advantage of the 4GB of RAM you have. Another thing to consider is that the video card & CPU that you have are basically made for one-another (meaning that they are on the same level) so if you decide to upgrade the video card to a 5850 or 5870, you would see a difference but not that big of a difference compared to if you had a Q6600 clocked at the same speed. If you upgrade the CPU to a quad core, you see a small difference but it will leave room to upgrade you video card to whatever you desire without the prospect of a bottleneck.

Another consideration is to overclock that CPU you have.


Ok, So you think I may need to upgrade both? I was thinking about a ATI 5870 video card, then getting a processor later. Is it hard to change the processor?
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a c 169 U Graphics card
April 21, 2010 9:18:28 AM

I would get Windows 7 64 instead because XP 64 has lots of driver problems.
And you can OC your CPU to 3.0Ghz + and you will be fine with it and getting a 5870 will give you a great boost in performance
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April 21, 2010 9:57:46 AM

Choosing between XP 32 bit versus Windows 7 depends on how many older games you still want to play. Windows 7 changed the sound card interface, effectively disabling the sound card "hardware acceleration" feature used in older games. I don't have Windows 7, so I don't know which games it adversely affects.

If and when I do get Windows 7, I plan to setup a dual boot system, so I can switch between the two systems. With Windows 7, I may use it's Virtual PC for some Windows 98 stuff, but there isn't much Windows 98 stuff that hasn't been patched to run with Windows XP. Going further back, DOSBOX and similar programs are good enough for old DOS games.

I think the decision point for me will be when there are games I want that won't work with Windows XP. So far, only Microsoft's Halo 2 won't run under Windows XP.


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April 21, 2010 12:39:46 PM

I am having the same dilema aswell -.-

I wanna upgrade both proc/gpu but not sure which first.

GPU: 8800gt oc
proc: amd athlon 64x2 4400+ dual core 2.9ghz ~ i believe.

not sure which to upgrade tho -.-

also 2gb ram but only running vista 32
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April 21, 2010 12:44:30 PM

Ok...heres my two cents

I would get windows 7 64-bit and a new processor.

Windows 7 64-bit because of speed and its ability to use all the ram you put in your PC

Processor because BFBC2 is way reliant on CPU power. It **RECOMMENDS** a quad core, which if it recommends it...you usually need it :) 

Thanks

Uber
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a b U Graphics card
April 21, 2010 1:40:41 PM

I would consider upgrading the CPU first, not sure if your motherboard can support the Q9550 but i know it will definately support a Q6600. Another thing to consider is upgrading to a new platform like AM3 with a phenom II X 4 & DDR3 RAM.

It is a very tough situation you are in because your intention is to gain performance but that will be hard as more than one item needs to be upgraded and alot has to do with what you are willing to spend...

Your system is no slouch but it's time is drawing near...
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April 21, 2010 9:10:52 PM

How hard is it to put in a new cpu like one of the new quad cores? Also, If I order a new processor and do the new Windows 7, do you think I could do it or should I take it somewhere like Best Buy? I have put in video cards, soundcards, and memory, but that is all I have done.
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April 21, 2010 11:24:19 PM

Also, be careful changing the CPU. Look up ESD and follow the directions on the thermal paste exactly. Read the manual that comes with the CPU as well as the manual that comes with the Motherboard if you have it before you open up your computer. Make sure you understand the procedure for removing the heatsink fan, removing the old CPU, inserting the new CPU, applying the thermal paste, and attaching the new heatsink fan because the old one will not cool the CPU adequately. My advice is to invest in a non-stock CPU heatsink fan.

Oh, and the Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 will work with your Motherboard. I have the same socket and I have a Q9550 installed.
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April 21, 2010 11:26:57 PM

Razorback11 said:
How hard is it to put in a new cpu like one of the new quad cores? Also, If I order a new processor and do the new Windows 7, do you think I could do it or should I take it somewhere like Best Buy? I have put in video cards, soundcards, and memory, but that is all I have done.



CPUs are the most difficult thing to install properly in a computer. That isn't to say it's hard, just that it isn't a simple insert job like memory, sound card, or video card. Really, it's like building a $300 lego toy, all you have to do is follow the directions. Research it to find out if it something you are willing to try, if not then I would suggest taking it to best buy or some equivalent.
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April 24, 2010 8:52:58 PM

guardianangel42 said:
Also, be careful changing the CPU. Look up ESD and follow the directions on the thermal paste exactly. Read the manual that comes with the CPU as well as the manual that comes with the Motherboard if you have it before you open up your computer. Make sure you understand the procedure for removing the heatsink fan, removing the old CPU, inserting the new CPU, applying the thermal paste, and attaching the new heatsink fan because the old one will not cool the CPU adequately. My advice is to invest in a non-stock CPU heatsink fan.

Oh, and the Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 will work with your Motherboard. I have the same socket and I have a Q9550 installed.


I have a 1066 front side bus and the Q9550 supports a 1333. Is it ok to put a processor that supports 1333 in my P5W dh Deluxe when it only is geared for 1066?
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April 25, 2010 1:32:19 AM

It would depend on whether or not your motherboard has any firmware updates pre-installed that take it from 1066 to 1333. If not then no, you can't. If you install that CPU it will fail to boot.

I would suggest shopping around the C2Q line for a 1066 part. Any CPU you get from that line will perform better than the C2D extreme you have, at least in multitasking. If the games you want to play support hyperthreading then a C2Q will beat a C2D any day of the week.
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April 28, 2010 9:04:57 PM

Thanks for all the help. One more question. Can I use a solid state hard drive ( SSD) with my computer? Or should I just get a faster hard drive?
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April 28, 2010 9:34:35 PM

I believe that all it requires is SATA ports on the motherboard. They don't use the old flat cables. Check to see if you mobo has sata ports and if they do then yes, you can use an SSD.

SSD's are the ultimate in computer luxury. If you don't need the utmost in speed then a 7200RPM HDD will do fine as an upgrade. However if you have the cash to burn then an SSD is an excellent way to speed up your computer experience.
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