I have Dell 5150 that I bought over 3.5yrs ago. I upgraded the video card and ram for sc2 but i'm still getting poor performance.
Pentium D 820(2.8ghz, 800mhz fsb)
512mb ATI 5670(got the 5670 because i'm still using the psu that came with it 305w)
Windows XP 32bit
Prior to SC2, I only played WoW-BC and LoL, both which ran fine. But now with SC, I have everything on low/off accept the models, and it freezes up when more than 200 or so units are on the screen. I'm also running only at 1280x1024.
I ran the 3dmark 06 demo, and i think it gave me a score around 6000 which is ok, but the CPU test absolutely failed. I was going at maybe 1-2fps.
So my questions are:
a) is the CPU the one piece holding my system up?
b) are there any other possible settings/hardware that could be affecting my performance that I'm missing?
other than LoL and SC2, I really only use my computer for web surfing/streaming, so I really don't want to buy a new system.
then you would want at least 2gb of DDR3 RAM which will cost you about $50.
Assuming you play on low resolution the 5670 card should be fine. You may be able to go cheaper for CPU and a mobo that uses DDR2 RAM, but this build should allow you to hold strong in case any other games turn up in the future with the ability to be upgraded as time goes on, whereas if you rebuild with old technology you will be facing the same issue in a year or so when another game you like comes out
thanks for the suggestions. I'm seriously considering buying new parts now, but am trying to weigh cost/time/ease of all of my different options.
A couple more questions...
a) Any ATX motherboard/psu form factor should fit?
b) Can i really just swap out the motherboard and attached devices, or would i need to reformat the hard drive and reinstall the OS as well?
c) Since I'm using xp 32 bit, is it worth it to go to windows 7 64bit? What are the risks/performance benefits? I noticed you said there might be some hardware compatibility issues, but I think the only other pieces of hardware I have are a creative xfi sound card which i believe is 64bit compatibile, and a slaved internal hard drive.