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Smooth gameplay for Crysis Warhead on a tight budget

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September 23, 2010 7:15:52 PM

Hey guys,

Being able to play Crysis Warhead smoothly on gamer settings has so far eluded me. (My system's specs are below). I am looking to upgrade but I have a pretty tight budget (max $200) so this limits me to upgrading just one or maybe two components of my system. What would you guys recommend: new CPU? New graphics card? Or perhaps something else / some combination?

I have been told (please correct me if wrong) that the engine's physics calculations are very CPU intensive, but that everything else relies on the graphics card. So I'm leaning towards getting a new graphics card such as Nvidia's 4xx gts or gtx.


My rig's Specs:

Intel Quad Core Q6700 2.66Ghz
6GB RAM (@ PC5300)
Nvidia 9600 GS 768MB
Windows Vista 64-bit Home Premium

Many thanks in advance!
a c 82 B Homebuilt system
a c 255 U Graphics card
September 23, 2010 7:36:12 PM

The Q6700 is still a decent CPU. I believe your main problem is the 9600 GS. What power supply do you have? If you have a quality 450-500w unit you can get a GTX460 1GB in the $220 range that will be night and day better than that old 9600. You might want to overclock that Q6700 as well. Even with stock cooling it should break 3.0ghz.

Here is a step by step overclocking guide for your CPU. http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/259899-29-core-overcl...

You will need a good quality PSU for 450 watts to be enough. I recommend 500 or more especially if you overclock. Corsair, Antec, Seasonic, PC Power and Cooling or XFX are all top quality brands.
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
September 23, 2010 7:40:45 PM

I'd personally look at clocking your chip up some, and any money you do spend should definately be on a graphics card imo, the egg has a good selection of nvidia 460's for less than $200.
if your limited to bitparting, I say get a new card, overclock your chip to maybe 3Ghz and you should be fine.
see what others have to add though
Moto
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September 23, 2010 8:45:15 PM

Thanks for the speedy replies!

Quote:
What power supply do you have?

I'm not on my home computer right now, but I'm willing to bet it isn't high-end, output wise or quality wise. For some reason, I've always overlooked a good power supply, but i'll definitely reconsider.

Quote:
You might want to overclock that Q6700 as well. Even with stock cooling it should break 3.0ghz.

I've had little luck finding any info whatsoever about my motherboard. SpeedFan reports I have an Asus F8000, but I can't find that model on Asus's website. The BIOS options are pretty much limited to changing boot priority, and a few other options, but nothing related to overclocking. If anyone has any motherboard information that might be useful for overclocking, please let me know. Should I even consider a software overclock?


Quote:
if your limited to bitparting, I say get a new card,

could you please explain what bitparting is?
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
September 24, 2010 12:47:49 AM

upgrading one component at a time rather than building a whole new rig,
Moto

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September 24, 2010 1:58:53 AM

Quote:
Was it a computer you built or was it an OEM like a Dell?


My computer is an HP m9300t. I downloaded speccy and I've copied and pasted below my motherboard, RAM, and CPU details:



Motherboard
Manufacturer PEGATRON CORPORATION
Model Benicia
Chipset Vendor Intel
Chipset Model P35/G33/G31
Chipset Revision A2
Southbridge Vendor Intel
Southbridge Model 82801IR (ICH9R)
Southbridge Revision 02
BIOS
Brand American Megatrends Inc.
Version 5.29
Date 08/21/2008

RAM
Memory slots
Total memory slots 4
Used memory slots 4
Free memory slots 0
Memory
Type DDR2
Size 6144 MBytes
Channels # Dual
DRAM Frequency 333.3 MHz
CAS# Latency (CL) 5 clocks
RAS# to CAS# Delay (tRCD) 5 clocks
RAS# Precharge (tRP) 5 clocks
Cycle Time (tRAS) 15 clocks
Command Rate (CR) 2T
SPD
Number Of SPD Modules 4
Slot #1
Type DDR2
Size 2048 MBytes
Manufacturer Crucial Technology
Max Bandwidth PC2-6400 (400 MHz)
Part Number BL25664AA80A.16FE5
Serial Number 7E151223
Week/year 165 / 165
SPD Ext. EPP
EPP #0
Frequency 400.0 MHz
CAS# Latency 4.0
RAS# To CAS# 4
RAS# Precharge 4
tRAS 12
tRC 24
Voltage 2.000 V
EPP #1
Frequency 500.0 MHz
CAS# Latency 5.0
RAS# To CAS# 5
RAS# Precharge 5
tRAS 15
tRC 30
Voltage 2.000 V
JEDEC #2
Frequency 400.0 MHz
CAS# Latency 5.0
RAS# To CAS# 5
RAS# Precharge 5
tRAS 18
tRC 23
Voltage 1.800 V
JEDEC #1
Frequency 333.3 MHz
CAS# Latency 4.0
RAS# To CAS# 5
RAS# Precharge 5
tRAS 15
tRC 20
Voltage 1.800 V
Slot #2
Type DDR2
Size 1024 MBytes
Manufacturer Samsung
Max Bandwidth PC2-6400 (400 MHz)
Part Number M3 78T2953EZ3-CF7
Serial Number 920BE79A
Week/year 29 / 08
SPD Ext. EPP
JEDEC #3
Frequency 400.0 MHz
CAS# Latency 6.0
RAS# To CAS# 6
RAS# Precharge 6
tRAS 18
tRC 24
Voltage 1.800 V
JEDEC #2
Frequency 333.3 MHz
CAS# Latency 5.0
RAS# To CAS# 5
RAS# Precharge 5
tRAS 15
tRC 20
Voltage 1.800 V
JEDEC #1
Frequency 266.7 MHz
CAS# Latency 4.0
RAS# To CAS# 4
RAS# Precharge 4
tRAS 12
tRC 16
Voltage 1.800 V
Slot #3
Type DDR2
Size 2048 MBytes
Manufacturer Crucial Technology
Max Bandwidth PC2-6400 (400 MHz)
Part Number BL25664AA80A.16FE5
Serial Number 91027278
Week/year 165 / 165
SPD Ext. EPP
EPP #0
Frequency 400.0 MHz
CAS# Latency 4.0
RAS# To CAS# 4
RAS# Precharge 4
tRAS 12
tRC 24
Voltage 2.000 V
EPP #1
Frequency 500.0 MHz
CAS# Latency 5.0
RAS# To CAS# 5
RAS# Precharge 5
tRAS 15
tRC 30
Voltage 2.000 V
JEDEC #2
Frequency 400.0 MHz
CAS# Latency 5.0
RAS# To CAS# 5
RAS# Precharge 5
tRAS 18
tRC 23
Voltage 1.800 V
JEDEC #1
Frequency 333.3 MHz
CAS# Latency 4.0
RAS# To CAS# 5
RAS# Precharge 5
tRAS 15
tRC 20
Voltage 1.800 V
Slot #4
Type DDR2
Size 1024 MBytes
Manufacturer Samsung
Max Bandwidth PC2-6400 (400 MHz)
Part Number M3 78T2953EZ3-CF7
Serial Number 920BE799
Week/year 29 / 08
SPD Ext. EPP
JEDEC #3
Frequency 400.0 MHz
CAS# Latency 6.0
RAS# To CAS# 6
RAS# Precharge 6
tRAS 18
tRC 24
Voltage 1.800 V
JEDEC #2
Frequency 333.3 MHz
CAS# Latency 5.0
RAS# To CAS# 5
RAS# Precharge 5
tRAS 15
tRC 20
Voltage 1.800 V
JEDEC #1
Frequency 266.7 MHz
CAS# Latency 4.0
RAS# To CAS# 4
RAS# Precharge 4
tRAS 12
tRC 16
Voltage 1.800 V


CPU
Intel Core 2 Quad Q6700
Cores 4
Threads 4
Name Intel Core 2 Quad Q6700
Code Name Kentsfield
Package Socket 775 LGA
Technology 65nm
Specification Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU Q6700 @ 2.66GHz
Family 6
Extended Family 6
Model F
Extended Model F
Stepping B
Revision G0
Instructions MMX, SSE, SSE2, SSE3, SSSE3, EM64T
Bus Speed 266.6 MHz
Rated Bus Speed 1066.5 MHz
Stock Core Speed 2666 MHz
Stock Bus Speed 266 MHz
Average Temperature 50 °C
Caches
L1 Data Cache Size 4 x 32 KBytes
L1 Instructions Cache Size 4 x 32 KBytes
L2 Unified Cache Size 2 x 4096 KBytes
Core 0
Core Speed 1866.5 MHz
Multiplier x 7.0
Bus Speed 266.6 MHz
Rated Bus Speed 1066.5 MHz
Temperature 52 °C
Thread 1
APIC ID 0
Core 1
Core Speed 1866.5 MHz
Multiplier x 7.0
Bus Speed 266.6 MHz
Rated Bus Speed 1066.5 MHz
Temperature 51 °C
Thread 1
APIC ID 1
Core 2
Core Speed 2666.5 MHz
Multiplier x 10.0
Bus Speed 266.6 MHz
Rated Bus Speed 1066.5 MHz
Temperature 49 °C
Thread 1
APIC ID 2
Core 3
Core Speed 2666.5 MHz
Multiplier x 10.0
Bus Speed 266.6 MHz
Rated Bus Speed 1066.5 MHz
Temperature 48 °C
Thread 1
APIC ID 3

Graphics
Monitor
Name VG2230wm on NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GS
Current Resolution 1680x1050 pixels
Work Resolution 1680x1018 pixels
State enabled, primary, output devices support
Monitor Width 1680
Monitor Height 1050
Monitor BPP 32 bits per pixel
Monitor Frequency 59 Hz
Device \\.\DISPLAY1\Monitor0
Name SyncMaster on NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GS
Current Resolution 1920x1080 pixels
Work Resolution 1920x1080 pixels
State enabled, output devices support
Monitor Width 1920
Monitor Height 1080
Monitor BPP 32 bits per pixel
Monitor Frequency 60 Hz
Device \\.\DISPLAY2\Monitor0
GeForce 9600 GS
GPU G94
Device ID 10DE-0623
Revision A2
Subvendor Unknown (1B0A)
Technology 65 nm
Die Size 240 nmІ
Transistors 505 M
Release Date 2008
DirectX Support 10.0
DirectX Shader Model 4.0
OpenGL Support 3.0
Bus Interface PCI Express x16
Temperature 78 °C
ForceWare version 258.96
BIOS Version 62.94.20.00.04
ROPs 16
Shaders 64 unified
Memory Type GDDR3
Physical Memory 768 MB
Virtual Memory 3584 MB
Bus Width 256 Bit
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September 24, 2010 2:10:35 AM

I found two things interesting my report:

1) Video Card is utilizing virtual memory (3548 mb). Why is this needed and do you think it is slower than the card's physical memory (768 mb).

2) Each DIMM shows a speed of 400mhz yet my overall speed is reported to be 333 mhz.
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a c 82 B Homebuilt system
a c 255 U Graphics card
September 24, 2010 5:04:58 AM

Pegatron is the OEM division of Asus. You might be out of luck with overclocking as they generally have locked BIOS.

I really have no idea why a 9600GS is even using virtual memory.

I think your RAM is DDR2-800 running at DDR2-667 at a 1 to 1 ratio with the FSB of the CPU.

If you can't overclock and can't afford to build a new computer then you can still upgrade your graphics. The bad thing is you still did not mention what power supply you have. If you only have $200 total you might want to put it aside and wait until you can build a new system. If you have to buy a power supply then that is going to cost in the $35-$40 range for a good 400-450w unit that can run a new card. You would be left with a HD5770 being about your only choice that way. Not a bad card at all but no Crysis burner either.
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