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Old gaming rig - upgrade or start fresh?

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November 10, 2010 10:39:05 PM

Ok guys, I have a system that I built myself for $500 close to two years ago to give my laptop some relief for COD4. I'm 25, married, moneys tight etc. etc. you guys get the idea. Gone are the days that mommy and daddy bought me $1500 gaming rigs yearly :cry:  :lol:  SO, We all know the *new* game that just came out, and I wanted to see what I needed to do before purchasing it, or if I would be better off waiting to buy it and build another budget rig from scratch. This is what I got now. I know its Intel (always been an AMD/ATI fan personally), and I know its all garbage stuff but it has honestly been pretty decent for a budget rig:

Logystic 575W PSU - Was an 800W coolmax but it had problems

Hitachi 7200RPM SATA 3.0 1TB drive - Only one HD, not 2.

ASUS P5N73-AM Motherboard
Intel Dual Core 5200 Overclocked at 3.13 (yea, its a conservative clock). FSB obviously OC etc. RAM was overclocked as well, but I honestly can't remember how much.

Huge CPU Cooler

2.5GB DDR2 ram (Could have swore it was 4, but Properties is showing 2.5)

Nvidia 9500GT card

Old CRT monitor. Maybe 17"?

VERY large full size no name clear case. Rectangle, no fancy lines. Plenty of space. Multiple motherboard mounting locations. This board seems to be using the smaller set of mounting points? 3 fans, plus the PSU fan, and GPU fan.

Win 7 32bit. Not much on it. Firefox, COD4, MW2, Steam, Xfire, 3-4 small programs, and maybe 2 gigs of storage. That's it. Defragged, reg cleaned etc.

I play games at 1024x7**. I would love a smallish flat screen, or even run higher res with this CRT, but the rig doesn't like going much higher. It runs COD4 decent with the settings tweaked (4x AA, some stuff on, some stuff off etc. most set to "normal" or "low"). Most of the issues in COD4 are really the appearance. Hard to see far, what feels like GPU lag once in a blue moon with a lot going on in multi-player etc. I think a better video card and monitor would really fix COD4 into a nice set up. MW2 is the same way, 4x anti 1024x res most things off. Runs decent, notice some hardware lag once in a blue moon, but mostly very comfortable. Runs FarCRY2 okay, but again, settings have to be tweaked to be smooth. CS obviously runs fine regardless of settings.

In order to start running the newer games coming out, mostly Black OPS, would I be okay just buying a higher end $150-$200 video card and look into a new monitor, maybe change out the ram? Or am I way too far gone and need to look into sticking with COD4 until I can get a new Mobo/CPU, video card, monitor, CPU Cooler etc etc? I think I am still okay with the PSU, HD, CD/DVD drive etc. for awhile.

I have $150-200 I can part with this weekend, maybe $100 bi-week after that. If it comes down to needing a new rig for BlackOps and onward I understand, but probably will just stick with COD4 and put it on the back burner. Too many other things going on right now.

Sorry for the long read, and I appreciate any info or advice guys, harsh or not. I've been out of the loop for PC stuff for a long while. Caught up a tad when I built this rig, than got back out of it again. Really don't know the hardware world right now.

-Jason
a b B Homebuilt system
November 10, 2010 10:49:37 PM

I'd wait and buy a new computer, $500ish is were you can build a nice one....

PS. Black ops DOESN'T run well on ANY computer, my friend has dual 5870's and has lag... just thought I'd let you know, also, Black ops doesn't have anything new in the graphic range, it is about as good as mw2, so you may be able to play it...

The PSU you may want a little larger, but it might work.... the rest is fine =D

If you are going to upgrade, try a 1gig 5770, it should remove the GPU bottleneck, your CPU will probably bottleneck after that, but you can always use the 5770 for a later build, and buy anohter one....
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November 10, 2010 11:01:48 PM

Awesome man, I appreciate the insight and fast response! I wasn't too happy swapping out the 800W for the 575W, but it's all they had in stock after ALL the 800W were having the same problem out of the box. This one so far has been cool, no power problems at all.

So if I set the settings the same as MW2, it may play? Does it have a "check" like some of the old games have that won't run if it doesn't pass minimum spec? I know my CPU model doesn't meet the minimum before OC. Sorry for the software question, I know this is the hardware forum.

I figured if I bought another video card I would be able to transfer it. Is PCI Express x16 still the standard video card slot or would I be buying into a grandfathered port? I would obviously pick up something 2.0 or 2.1 to run in a future rig.

What would you suggest to try and bring it back from the dead if a MoBO/Cpu/Cooler/Video card upgrading wasn't in the cards? What video card would you choose? I think my wife is picking up a cheap 4:3 flat screen from work, that may help some with seeing distance. Who knows.
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 10, 2010 11:19:40 PM

Quote:
So if I set the settings the same as MW2, it may play? Does it have a "check" like some of the old games have that won't run if it doesn't pass minimum spec? I know my CPU model doesn't meet the minimum before OC. Sorry for the software question, I know this is the hardware forum.
Np on the software thing, we usually do several forums... I do anyway... I don't konw on the check, I've only read reviews, discussions, first thoughts, and watched friend play for like 15 minutes. In my experience, you can get away with lower then the minimum, I have, alot....

Quote:
I figured if I bought another video card I would be able to transfer it. Is PCI Express x16 still the standard video card slot or would I be buying into a grandfathered port? I would obviously pick up something 2.0 or 2.1 to run in a future rig.
they should be Backwards compatible.


Quote:
What would you suggest to try and bring it back from the dead if a MoBO/Cpu/Cooler/Video card upgrading wasn't in the cards? What video card would you choose?
ATi 5770, try this one, it has HDMI, DVI, and AVI.... http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Quote:
I think my wife is picking up a cheap 4:3 flat screen from work, that may help some with seeing distance. Who knows.
It will probably be the same res as your old monitor...
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November 11, 2010 6:57:02 AM

Would it be worth picking up a 6850 or 6870 to try and stay current later on, or is the increase not significant from a 5770 and it will out of date enough in a year or two that I would be better off just upgrading again? You think my PSU will even handle any of these? Should I be looking at an NVIDIA card for this rig, and change to ATI when I go back to AMD?
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 11, 2010 6:19:10 PM

Here's what you do. Get a good PSU, Video Card, and Monitor. I wouldn't trust a Logystic PSU to a modern power hungry video card. Then overclock your CPU a bit further. Next year new platforms from both AMD and Intel will be out and you can consider a motherboard/RAM/CPU upgrade then and perhaps add another video card to run in SLI or CF. I say go with either a 6850 or an nVidia GTX 460 for a video card. For the PSU look to something that can run two 6850s in CF. If you want to run two 460s you will have to spend a little more though as the GTX 460 uses more power than a Radeon 6850 and thus needs two PCI-E power connectors as opposed to the one on the 6850.
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 11, 2010 6:22:10 PM

What PSU is that? Logystic? Logisys? Sounds like a cheap generic not good for even 75% of its label. The Chokemax you had before it is another.
An Antec Earthwatts 380 will be $45, and a HD5670 will be another $80 (before rebates, if you play that game and win). For $125+shipping, you'll get a huge increase over what you have now.

Edit: Then, when you can afford it, consider megamanx00's advice. For now, on your current monitor and resolution, you can get a lot of improvement on the cheap.
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 11, 2010 6:31:06 PM

Just to be clear I would get this PSU

CORSAIR CMPSU-550VX 550W $79.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Video card

HIS H685F1GD Radeon HD 6850 1GB $179.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And for a monitor perhaps this

Samsung 21.5" 1920x1080 (basically is a TV) $229.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

A 6850 is miles ahead of that 9500GT. You may also want to consider a 1680x1050 monitor though to give the 6850 more breathing room :D .
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 11, 2010 6:38:55 PM

I read the budget as $150 (wiggles to $200), not $490 (+shipping).
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 11, 2010 7:01:18 PM

I meant 5770 for his current psu
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 11, 2010 7:46:02 PM

I'd suggest the Seasonic S12II 520W model and a 6850
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 11, 2010 9:09:36 PM

Based on the PSU he already has, 5770, or MAYBE a 6830...
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November 11, 2010 10:03:12 PM

Yea, I appreciate all the comments, research and links (really do, that was awesome! thanks) but the money simply isn't here right now. As was said, I have $150, maybe $200 if it's necessary but the less the more comfortable. I have been looking at a 6870 I think it was? May have been that HIS listed above. I wouldn't mind splurging for it, but a PSU wouldn't be in the cards right now after that and it sounds like there are concerns 575W won't be enough to run the 6xxx series ati.

Even after that, and I bumped the OC on the E5200(already at 3.4 and runnin about 53* at maximum while playing last night. 40C idle, 50C max load avg, may try 3.6), would I still even be where I want to? Right now, as I said before, I'm running COD4 and MW2 at 1024x768 2xAA, most settings off. 40-65FPS on COD4 and anything at a distance is muddled/blurred together (DoF off lol). MW2 is a LITTLE clearer but more lag in general. I just want to have an enjoyable COD4/MW2 experience and maybe play BlackOps if possible. I know the CPU is the big hindrance there.
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 11, 2010 11:56:35 PM

I'd get the 5770 then... it fits in your budget, and leaves a little bit left over
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November 13, 2010 12:20:22 PM

This is probably a dumb question (I am torn between a 5770 and 6850), but am I going to have compatibility issues running a PCI E X16 2.1 card (6850) on a PCI E X16 1.0 slot? I read a few places where people were having issues. The 5770 seems to be a HUGE increase over what I have, but also a little long in the tooth. I would like to give myself some wiggle room for the future. If not, so be it :) 

I was super close to picking up a GTX 460 on new egg, but I read quite a few people complain about power consumption/heat etc. that with the fact that it needs 2 6 pins and I am running a generic PSU kind of tossed that out the window.
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 13, 2010 5:59:32 PM

I'd stay with the 5770, it will definitly fit in your power range, and you can always add another once you upgrade.
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November 19, 2010 11:16:17 PM

Still back and forth on the 6850 or the 5770. With the 5770, im worried about it being older and too out of date to bring in to a newer rig down the road (not to mention running the newer stuff well). I know my cpu is a hinderance, so the gpu really needs to have a leg up. With the 6850, im worried about power, and also still unsure as to if the 2.1 PCI Ex16 will give me problems in a 1.0 Ex16 slot. I know it *shouldn't* but im seeing a lot of bad things in reviews etc about compatibility issues.

Also, saw an ad for a HandSpree 25" LCD widescreen HD monitor. $180, 2ms, 800:1contrast, 2hdmi ports, 1vga(for current card until I can get a gpu) and supports 1080P resolution (1920x whatever. Please excuse my ignorance, been out for a long time). Probably could do a little better, but this is in a local store. Don't have to worry about shipping if there is a problem. Never bought an lcd for computer gaming before. Anything I should look for before pulling the trigger?

Here are the specs copy and pasted:
● 25" Widescreen Active Matrix TFT LCD Display ● Resolution 1920 x 1080 ● Contrast ratio 800:1 ● Response time 2ms ● Brightness 300 cd/m2 ● Inputs VGA + 2 x HDMI 1.3 w/HDCP ● Integrated 2W x 2 speakers ● Dimensions 23.8" (W) x 17.5" (H) x 7.8" (D) (14.3lbs)

Thanks guys, site is a huge help.
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 19, 2010 11:25:50 PM

You can buy another 5770, and do Crossfire..... sooo....
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!