My PC needs just a little more......

Hi everyone. new to the forum but have found LOTS of info in the past on this site. Thank you.

First off, my computer runs great. The only thing is during game play it tends to studder a bit in big scenes, wide open spaces or huge action scenes. I think it could be called low frame rate or something. I play games like Fallout, Singularity, Metro2033, first person action games. I play everything on highest settings, and I play them on my 47"LCD 60hz monitor using HDMI and a 1920x1080 resolution. I have a second monitor hooked up, just a 19inch off to the side.

I just want to add a little help to my PC to run some of my games smoother w/o lowering the resolution or the settings. These are options I am willing to think about:

1: switch operating systems if needed
2: upgrade one area of my PC (ram, cpu, gpu...not motherboard)
3: overclock something (never have before)

Here is what I am working with:
OS is Windows Vista Ulimate 64bit Service Pack 1
Asus Mobo M2N68-AM-SE2
4GB ram 5 5 5 15 24 (I think it's Gskill)
CPU:AMD 7850 Athlon Black dual 2.8 AM2+ (940)
GPU: ATI Radeon HD 4890 1GB

My 3Dmark is 8720
2.0 score is 4004
3.0 score is 5202
CPU score is 1470
(don't know if that helps)

I already posted this but I think it was in the wrong section...sorry for the repost!!
17 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. Stick a 4Gb Flash drive/zip drive whatever you want to call them, in your usb and dedicate it to readyboost, instant boost to your 4 Gig you have in sticks
    I'd go for a new graphics card for serious improvement though, depends on your budget for toys as to what to suggest.
  2. The most noticeable upgrade would be upgrading the CPU. However just so you know, Metro 2033 is an absolute resource hog and even an HD 5870 can't play Metro 2033 on very high settings @ 1920 x 1080.

    Your motherboard should support newer Phenom II processors, but I can't find it on Asus's website.
  3. Thank you. I will look into it.I tried to overclock my GPU from 870MHz to 950MHz but it kept on freezing up and I put back the OG settings. I really don't know what I'm doing there anyway so avoid if I can right :??: . I'll look into a better CPU if you think that is the best to beef it up alittle more. Thanks again.
  4. I agree with Lmeow. I am sure that your CPU is bottlenecking your GPU. Even though the GPU carries most of the load in demanding games, the CPU still needs to feed it. Check for compatibility with your mobo, but a Phenom II 940 would be a big improvement for only $118:

    Edit: I couldn't find the board on Asus' web site either, meaning BIOS updates may or may not be available. That's why I suggested using an AM2+ CPU rather than risking AM3 (which should work, but not if you need a BIOS update).
  5. I think I bought the wrong cpu :fou: ??? I bought the AMD Phenom II 955 that was on the list and updated the bios to the latest bios. and the pc is telling me cpu not supported. I looked at the cpu I bought and it is a black edition, and it is 125W NOT 95W and that is where Im at. any ajustment I can make or do I need to sell and get another. I found a AMD Athlon II X4 640 Propus 3.0GHz Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor ADX640WFGMBOX that should work for $119
  6. customgtp said:
    upgrade one area of my PC (ram, cpu, gpu...not motherboard)

    Hi customgtp, you absolutely have to change your mobo. That's 'coz it only supports socket AM2 & not the current generation AM3.

    The 640 propus that you are talking about, or any other modern CPU falls in the same category (socket AM3).

    EDIT : Yes, you need 'bout 30-40 fps (frames per second) to play those games - ideally 50+ and a low frame rate will do that when swooping over large open areas, 'coz your 7850 can't process so much info in such a short amount of time.
  7. Keep the 955. It's a fantastic buy --- don't let it go!

    You can get this COMPATIBLE' mobo for only 69 bucks --- MSI 785GTM-E45 AM3

    Even your 640 will need this 'socket AM3' mobo. Without it even this one will be incompatible.
  8. P.S : If you want something even cheaper, I found a newer sibling of your current mobo that will support your processor --- ASUS M2N68-AM PLUS (only $54, & Asus is always good - I should know, I use a Rampage III myself)
  9. wow, change my mobo....donno if I want to do that. Ive tinkered alot in PC's but never really messed with that. The model mobo I have is AM2+ and says it is compatible with AM2 and AM3 CPU's. Especially with an updayed bios.

    I'm going to see if the 640 Propus AM3 works out and if not just might stop and put the 2.8 x2 back in and call it quits.

    Thanks everybody
  10. Just go through the specs, man YOUR OBSOLETE MOBO DOES NOT SUPPORT AM3 :o

    It's younger sibling ASUS M2N68-AM PLUS does.

    So no mobo - no upgrade :ouch:
  11. Best answer
    Hang on a minute, let's be clear in case someone with a similar question stumbles upon this thread: AM3 CPU's are backwards compatible with AM2 boards as long as the BIOS and voltage hardware supports it. I personally have run an AM3 Phenom II X4 on an old AM2 board.

    That being said, the support list for your motherboard includes some AM3 CPU's, but none of the high wattage chips (125W and 140W). This is a hardware limitation of your motherboard and no BIOS update can fix that. BTW, did you update to the latest BIOS 1409? If not, go here and update.

    So now that you have a Phenom II X4 955 125W CPU, you have two choices:

    #1 Exchange the chip for the 95W or similar counterpart (which is listed on the supported CPU list (linked above).

    #2 Get a motherboard with full support for 125W and 140W CPU's.

    I suggest you go with option #2 because when you run an AM3 chip on an AM2 motherboard, the HT link gets downgraded from HT3.0(5200MHz) to HT1.0(2000 MT/s) and you take a slight performance hit. If you want to re-use your DDR2 RAM, you can get an AM2+ motherboard and avoid the HT link penalty. Switching to a true AM3 only board, you will need to get DDR3.
  12. Thank you rwpritchett you seem to understand my situation more.

    The board IS an AM2+ already.

    jtt283 suggested the 940 but it wasn't on my list and it was 125w....not compatable

    I bought a 955 3.2 that was on my list but was a Black Edition 125w

    Now I am buying a 3rd CPU an Athlon 640 quad 3.0 AM3 that is a 95w and I think/hope that that is the right direction w/o swapping mobo's

    I flashed my bios to 1409 after I put the 940 in and it said it wasn't compatible.

  13. Well then, if your motherboard is AM2+ then you should have nothing to worry about with the Athlon II X4 640.

    Post back when you get it installed and share the results with the forum.

    newegg is awesome. everytime I purchased a new cpu it would be here the next day! The Athlon X4 AM3 worked. I guess it was the 125w after all, wish I'd done my research before buying 3 processors.

    I also did the readyboost that Motopsychojdn mentioned with a 4gb stick. Thank you for the help.
    Here is the new 3Dmark scores:

    My 3Dmark is 8720
    2.0 score is 4004
    3.0 score is 5202
    CPU score is 1470

    My 3Dmark is 13820
    2.0 score is 5399
    3.0 score is 6426
    CPU score is 4039


    Last question......should I enable or disable the quiet cool technology?
  15. Great to hear everything worked out.

    Disable Cool 'n' Quiet if you're overclocking, otherwise just leave it.
  16. Glad to hear you got sorted man
  17. Best answer selected by customgtp.
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