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Where's my bottleneck?

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March 14, 2011 9:35:38 PM

Hey guys,

I recently saved up enough to pay off some debts, and now I'm looking to save up to upgrade my system.

As it is, I can barely run CoD: BC2 on lowest settings at 1024x768, and it takes forever to load a map. I'm guessing it's my graphics card that's holding me back, but the system is fairly old so I thought I would ask here for advice first.

Here's my specs:

Dell Dimension E510 (2005)
  • Windows 7 Professional (32bit)
  • Intel Pentium D 3.4GHz (identifies itself as a P4 for some reason...)
  • 4GB 533MHz DDR2 RAM
  • 1.5TB SATA 3.0GB/S Hard Drive
  • 400W PSU
  • ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT Graphics Card
  • Integrated Sound (Had a Sound Blaster, wasn't compatible with W7)


    My budget is about $300, and I'm hoping to be able to run Battlefield 3 when it comes out (I'm okay with lowest settings and a low resolution, but I need a consistent frame rate)

    Thanks for any suggestions :) 
  • More about : bottleneck

    March 14, 2011 9:55:50 PM

    I would have to save a little more and build a new system if you can. Your Cpu is weak and with it being a dell you won't be able to oc it.
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    Best solution

    March 14, 2011 10:35:29 PM

    A Pentium D is a dual core Pentium 4, which is why it identifies that way. Anyway, your whole computer is rather outdated. Even if you got a better graphics card your CPU would still hold it back. For a cheap upgrade you can get a case, decent PSU, AMD motherboard and CPU, and a 5770. You can reuse your HD, RAM, and Optical drives. If your case is ATX, though I believe those are BTX which needs a BTX motherboard, you could re-use it, but I don't think it is.
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    March 14, 2011 11:36:02 PM

    Ah, I see. Thank you for the replies, guys.

    I guess I'll start digging through the guides and articles here and try to put together a new-ish machine.

    Battlefield 3 had better be worth it [:dav0r:4]
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    March 14, 2011 11:36:49 PM

    Best answer selected by Visible.
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    March 15, 2011 12:18:13 AM

    for $300 you can get a good cpu, mobo, RAM, and GPU:

    Athlon II X3 450: $80
    ASRock 880GM: $60
    4 GB DDR3: $40
    GTS 450: $110
    total $290

    keep your existing HDD amd DVD, case and PSU.

    You're golden
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    March 15, 2011 12:53:28 AM

    ScrewySqrl said:
    for $300 you can get a good cpu, mobo, RAM, and GPU:

    Athlon II X3 450: $80
    ASRock 880GM: $60
    4 GB DDR3: $40
    GTS 450: $110
    total $290

    keep your existing HDD amd DVD, case and PSU.

    You're golden


    I like the idea of being able to reuse as many components as possible, especially if the final price is around $300. So thanks for doing that legwork for me :) 

    I do have one concern, though. I dug around and it looks like megamanx00 was right, and it is a BTX case. Will a microATX mobo usually fit in a BTX case? Wikipedia has BTX as being 325x266mm, and microATX 244x244mm. Based on only those dimensions I would think it would fit no problem, but I'm not sure what other differences might get in the way, or if I'll have to drill new holes in the mobo and what-not.

    I'm not afraid to get my hands dirty, but I am a bit inexperienced in this area.

    What do you guys think? Thanks again for helping me out!
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    March 15, 2011 1:20:40 AM

    well, there is a simple solution if your case doesn't have ATX mounting holes:

    Rosewill R-101 and R-102 cases are micro-atx minitowers for $30, or the Xigmatek Asgard II is a mid-tower for $30.

    It puts your $20 overbudget, but the cases are well built.
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    March 16, 2011 4:17:22 PM

    Just remember, if you want to use your DDR2 RAM you will need to get a DDR2 board, that means an AM2+/AM2 board. There aren't too many left, but the decent ones from gigabyte or ASRock will support AM3 CPUs out of the box. I'd go with this

    ASRock N68C-S UCC
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    It takes both DDR2 and DDR3 RAM and accepts X6 CPUs. This will allow you to upgrade your CPU and RAM latter on. If you get a DDR2 only board you will have to play more latter to get decent 1066DDR2 as it will be scarce while DDR3 will be alot more common and cheaper, kind of like it is now :D .
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    March 16, 2011 9:41:51 PM

    mega: I gave him updated ram in my $290 setup :) 
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