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New graphics card or new computer?..

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  • Graphics Cards
  • Computer
  • Graphics
Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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November 11, 2010 12:43:52 PM

I bought a xps 720 3 years ago. 3 weeks ago i began getting problems with the computer. It went to blue screen almost everytime i played MW2 and then i couldnt turn it on at all. I now know that it was the graphics card. The specifications of my computer are:

CPU: Intel core2 Q6600 2,4 Ghz
RAM: 2GB DDR2 SDRAM 800 Mhz
Harddrive: 250 GB
OS: Vista home premium
And the broken graphics card was a 256MB Nvidia 8600GTS

I need advice what to do. The system is pretty old and i cant really upgrade it much because of the motherboard so i am looking at 2 options:

1. I could buy a cheap graphics card, install windows 7 and buy 2 GB of ram, however because the min. requirements of games keeps rising i have no way of knowing how many months it will take before i will have to get a new computer again.

2. I could also build myself a new system now but that would most probably make the parts more expensive than if i buy a computer in 6 months or so.

I have absolutely no idea what to do and if there are any other options i havent thought about please tell me...

More about : graphics card computer

a c 236 U Graphics card
November 11, 2010 12:54:21 PM

1. overclock your CPU to 3ghz, DELL has a video on youtube on how to OC XPS units
2. double your RAM to 4GB
3. a video card + possible PSU upgrade depending on your budget and monitor resolution

you should be able to use the PC for solid gaming until the new consoles come out (and more demanding hardware for PC games)
a b U Graphics card
November 11, 2010 12:59:57 PM

I would go with option 1 and overclock your CPU a little (or is that even possible with a Dell?) Q6600 is still a good proccessor and 4gb or ram will play anything for the next couple of years if you get a good GPU. How much are you looking to spend and what's your power supplies rating? (new xps 720's say they have 1000w psu's so your probably ok there)
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November 11, 2010 1:36:04 PM

Looks like i will be choosing option 1. I dont know that much about overclocking but doesnt it increase the heat of the computer? I am looking to use about 100£ for the graphic card but i dont know which one to choose and i already got a deal for windows 7 and . My power supply is 750 w.
a b U Graphics card
November 11, 2010 1:36:08 PM

I've got the same processor and 4Gbs of RAM, as well as a decent PSU and GPU. I can play whatever game I want and if not at very high settings at 1900x1080 then at 1600. It's not a bad system once beefed up a bit! I'd say there's still life in yet, and I'd tentatively say that you'll be able to game on it for another 2 years, 1 and a half minimum.
November 11, 2010 1:40:07 PM

What resolution are you gaming at?
a b U Graphics card
November 11, 2010 1:50:42 PM

Overclocking does increase the heat, but manypeople push there q6600's to 4 ghz +, you can probably reach 3 on a stock cooler and Dell usually puts pretty beefy coolers on there high end systems.
November 11, 2010 6:13:43 PM

I'd definitely overclock it (get an aftermarket cooler. I just got the Corsair H50 and its great), add another 2gb of RAM and a new video card. I just overclocked my Q6600 from 2.4 stock to 3.2 and there's a noticeable increase in performance. I have an HD4870 and I can play Crysis on high/some very high settings with decent framerates (20s-30s) so any newer card would be better than that. Hope this helps.
November 12, 2010 6:03:48 AM

Thanks for all the advice so far. Making my system last 2 years more would just be great because as you might know money dont grow on trees. It sounds like everybody agrees that i should overclock it and the system has some pretty good coolers so I dont think that will be big a problem. I am definetly getting 2gb more of ram. Do you guys have any advice to which graphics card i should buy. I got around 100£ to spend.
a c 214 U Graphics card
November 12, 2010 8:24:33 AM

Well it would help to be sure and not educated guess about your power supply and your coolers you should check that out by opening the case just to be sure.My reccomendation for you is to get the radeon 5770, a cheap one is right around 130-140U.S. which i think is 100euors.It will play MW2 maxed out no problem.Your proccesor is pretty good i wouldn't throw that away if anything save it for your next build.
a b U Graphics card
November 12, 2010 10:28:19 AM

Well Sarge, I moved from a 8600 GT to a 9600 GT which was a great jump, and then to a GTS 450 which was a MASSIVE jump. I'd recommend that card (I got mine for the AMAZING price of £62 new). So anything better than a 9800 GTX or a 4850 will give you a great boost in performance! I'd go with a 4850, 4870, 5770, 5830, GTX 260, GTS 450 depending on what prices you can find them for. Bear in mind that the above require you to have a decent PSU, so you may have to factor that in too.
November 12, 2010 12:11:59 PM

Your processor may not be beastly compared to an i7, but it is still beastly. Clock for clock it is almost as fast as the fastest AMD's and it came out 3 years ago. Ram is almost free, get some more and do what you need to to get a new graphics card. The GPU is almost always the bottleneck
November 12, 2010 2:01:45 PM

Thank you everybody for all the help. I just ordered 2Gb of Ram and a GTS 450 graphics card (i dont know why but i just prefer Nvidia over AMD) and i am really looking forward to playing the new COD Black Ops.
a c 214 U Graphics card
November 12, 2010 2:06:00 PM

Thats a really nice choice, i just got Blacks Ops it's so fun.
Goodluck with your ventures.
a b U Graphics card
November 12, 2010 3:55:39 PM

Good choice.
a c 214 U Graphics card
November 12, 2010 4:11:49 PM

Just in case you want to do some overclocking in the future, what type of cooling system do you have?
November 12, 2010 9:51:20 PM

purple stank said:
Just in case you want to do some overclocking in the future, what type of cooling system do you have?


I got two fans prebuild with the system so I dont know anything about them but by the looks of them i would guess that they are good. They sure are big..
a c 214 U Graphics card
November 12, 2010 10:25:29 PM

Maybe consult with some people on the overcloaking thread in the future they can give you lots of detail on how it's done and what ull need and so on.
Goodluck, happy gaming.
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