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New CPU or graphics card?

Last response: in CPUs
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May 9, 2011 1:13:19 AM

Hello, I am looking to upgrade my CPU or graphics card, and was wondering which is the best to upgrade for performance.

My current specs are:
Dell Studio 540
Pentium Dual Core CPU ES400 @ 2.70 GHZ
4GB of ram
Nvidia Geforce 9500 GT
350 Watt PSU

The main games I play are sc2, WoW, and source engine games.

So would it make more sense to upgrade my CPU or graphics card. I can only spend around $100. I was thinking about getting the ati raedon 5770 if that's possible.

Thank you.

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May 9, 2011 2:04:56 AM

Most of the OEM. Builds have their bios pretty locked on.In other words they wouldnt accept upgrades in any type of format or platform.
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May 9, 2011 2:18:28 AM

I was able to put a new graphics in card in my dell dimension although that was a while ago. I don't anything about that cpu but a new processor might require a new motherboard which would be another addition cost. You would also need a new copy of operating system if i'm correct.
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May 9, 2011 2:56:02 AM

upgrading your video card should not be a problem in an OEM system, ive done it before many times. a 5770 might be too much for your psu. also the only demanding game you listed is sc2. it is more cpu-heavy than gpu, but if you want to upgrade your video card I suggest an Nvidia gpu.
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May 9, 2011 3:34:59 AM

It's a nice enough little system ^_^. Anyway, if you want to upgrade your CPU you need to visit the Dell Website and check for available CPU options on your motherboard. Chances are there won't be much and if you're lucky you will need a BIOS update for a better CPU. As for the GPU the 5770 seems like a good choice, but I'd be a little hesitant recommending that when you only have a 350W PSU. Even though you are unlikely to exceed even 300W with a 5770 stressing that little PSU will shorten it's life a bit. I say go with a slower 6670 instead, but you should be able to go with a 5770 depending on how often you stress the PSU and how long you want to keep it :D 
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May 9, 2011 7:39:13 PM

Thanks for all the responses guys!

Today I brushed off my Service Manual and found some intresting stuff.

It says I can upgrade to these CPU's:
Type:
L2 cache
Intel® Celeron®
512 KB
Intel Pentium® Dual-Core
1 MB
Intel Core™2 Duo
2 MB/3 MB/4 MB/ 6 MB
Intel Core2 Quad
6 MB/8 MB/12 MB

Also, my motherboard can go up to PCI Express 2.0x16
I can see that my motherboard will not support a 5770. So I think I have 3 good choices.
Radeon HD 5570 DDR3, Radeon HD 5670, or GeForce GTS 450.


So with these options can anyone give me some new suggestions? Thank you.
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a c 81 à CPUs
a b U Graphics card
May 9, 2011 7:54:33 PM

Why do you think that your motherboard will not support the HD 5770..??
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May 9, 2011 7:58:42 PM

Emperus said:
Why do you think that your motherboard will not support the HD 5770..??

EDIT: My mistake I just found out that 2.1 was just a newer version of 2.0, and that it is supported.
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a c 107 à CPUs
a c 545 U Graphics card
May 9, 2011 9:09:51 PM

Does your power supply unit have at least one 6-pin PCI Express Supplementary power connector that a Radeon HD 5770 requires?

Radeon HD 5670 might be a better choice.
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a c 261 U Graphics card
May 9, 2011 9:29:12 PM

To help clarify your options, run these two tests:

1) Run your games, but lower your resolution and eye candy.
If your FPS increases, it indicates that your cpu is strong enough to drive a better graphics configuration.

2) Limit your cpu, either by reducing the OC, or, in windows power management, limit the maximum cpu% to something like 70%.
If your FPS drops significantly, it is an indicator that your cpu is the limiting factor, and a cpu upgrade is in order.

It is possible that both tests are positive, indicating that you have a well balanced system, and both cpu and gpu need to be upgraded to get better gaming FPS.
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May 10, 2011 12:11:20 AM

geofelt said:
To help clarify your options, run these two tests:

1) Run your games, but lower your resolution and eye candy.
If your FPS increases, it indicates that your cpu is strong enough to drive a better graphics configuration.

2) Limit your cpu, either by reducing the OC, or, in windows power management, limit the maximum cpu% to something like 70%.
If your FPS drops significantly, it is an indicator that your cpu is the limiting factor, and a cpu upgrade is in order.

It is possible that both tests are positive, indicating that you have a well balanced system, and both cpu and gpu need to be upgraded to get better gaming FPS.


Thank you, I will try this out, and determine my results by it!
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!