What should I upgrade for my computer?

I'm new to this site so I'm sorry if this is in the wrong category or whatever.

I've been having some lag issues with my computer games. The games that really lag are Oblivion, Neverwinter Nights 2, and Medieval II: Total War. Recently I have tried to fix a heat issue with my video card to see if it would help. It really hasn't overall:
Current Setup:
Intel Pentium D 3.0Ghz CPU
ATI HD Radeon 4870 with an Arctic Cooling Accelero Twin Turbo Fan/Heatsink
250 GB Hard Drive with only about 45 GB left (this worries me a little)
I'm using Windows 7 32-bit Home Edition

Anything you guys recommend upgrading? Ideas I've thought about doing are getting a new CPU (this one in particular; best price i've found) http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=6325760&sku=B69-6023
I've also thought about getting an SDD drive and putting just those games on there thinking everthing might load faster and run faster.
I'm not sure what to do from here. Any of my ideas good? Do you have better ones? It can't be a big price range. That CPU and fan up there are kind of pushing it for my budget. Give me input and ideas.
4 answers Last reply
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  1. This topic has been moved from the section Opinions and Experiences to section Systems by Buwish
  2. Games don't benefit from a SSD.

    The real problem is you have a Pentium D.

    But you didn't mention what motherboard you have, so we can suggest a CPU upgrade. This might be really limited. But you have a 4870 GPU, so there may be hope.

    If your mobo supports that link, go for it.

    But ditch the HSF for an after market one. I like the Scythe Mugen2 Rev.B. It's universal (i.e. socket 775,1156,1366), included all the hardware to mount it to the mobo, with a back plate.
  3. What resolution are you gaming at?
    Most of the time, gaming performance is mostly related to the power of your graphics card.

    Try these two tests:

    1) Run your games, but reduce the resolution and eye candy to a minimum. This will simulate what will happen if you upgrade to a stronger graphics card. If your FPS improves, it indicates that your cpu is capable of driving a stronger graphics card to higher levels of FPS.

    2) Keeping your graphics resolution and settings the same, reduce your cpu power. Do this by removing the overclock, or by using windows power management to set a maximum cpu% of perhaps 70%. If your FPS drops significantly, it indicates that your current cpu is a limiting factor, and that a faster cpu would help.

    If your cpu is the issue, a quad will probably not benefit you as much as a stronger duo. The reason is that most games are not enabled for more than two cores. What motherboard do you have? CPU-Z will tell you what you need to know. Without a motherboard change, you are better off looking to Ebay for a cpu upgrade.

    A SSD is nice, everything feels snappier, and games will load faster. But, it will not address lagging. Also, price/capacity is going to improve significantly by the end of the year when third generation SSD's arrive.
  4. I read somewhere that hard disks should not be loaded to beyond 70% capacity. This means in your case (250 GB) the max should be around 175 GB

    SSDs are still too expensive, and like geofelt said, all it will do is load the software faster.

    Consider upgrading the RAM to 6 GB matched (I know that your present RAM is DDR2)
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