Smooth gameplay for Crysis Warhead on a tight budget

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!
8 answers Last reply
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  1. 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-overclocking-guide

    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.
  2. 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
  3. 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?
  4. upgrading one component at a time rather than building a whole new rig,
    Moto
  5. Download Speccy and CPU-Z and maybe we can get some more info on that motherboard. Was it a computer you built or was it an OEM like a Dell?


    http://www.piriform.com/speccy

    http://www.cpuid.com/softwares/cpu-z.html
  6. 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
  7. 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.
  8. 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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