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Looking to upgrade, need some advice.

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May 20, 2011 12:11:59 AM

So I'm looking to upgrade my rig to be able to run Skyrim and other new decent looking games on high settings with no lag. Heres what I have now, I'm not looking to spend too much, I bought this PC a while back, not sure if the links will work for you guys they are from an order email from TD. This machine works fine with most of todays games but can't run on high settings not sure if its because of the RAM or the card or both, I know this isnt the best gaming system but it worked for me. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks

Windows 7 32-bit
Motherboard + CPU
XFX GeForce 8200 Motherboard CPU Bundle - AMD Athlon 64 X2 5800+ Processor 3.0GHz OEM
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/ite...

2 GB RAM
Crucial Dual Channel 2048MB PC5400 DDR2 667MHz Memory (2 x 1024MB)

Video Card
NVidia GeForce 9600 GT

Hard Drive - 1TB

Case + PSupply (is this too low PS 460watt didn't know but it said it would work fine)
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/ite...

More about : upgrade advice

a b B Homebuilt system
May 20, 2011 12:34:14 AM

The 9600GT was a fine video card in it's day....about 2 or 3 years ago.....; it is likely just not capable in today's games....

http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/gaming-graphics-card...

Since getting a significantly better card might also require a PSU upgrade, I'd try living with what games (w/reduced settings/res) you can play until you can scrape together the funds for: a 2400/H67/6950

One cost effective possibility would be looking for/finding a GTX460(1gb) on sale, but, I can't be certain your existing PSU would handle it.
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 20, 2011 12:37:01 AM

What is your budget for upgrading?
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May 20, 2011 4:19:59 AM

maybe 150-250$ budget, and about the PSU I wasnt sure back then if it would be enough for future upgrades but if i had to upgrade it in order to get better parts then it will be done.
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 20, 2011 11:59:37 AM

I love that your case has an air conditioner inside it. I can't see what kind of psu came with the case but I can assume it was a low quality one. As far as skyrim they state their minimum requirements:

Minimum System Requirements

* OS: Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7
* CPU: Core 2 Duo 2.0 GHz or Althon X2 2.0 GHz
* RAM: 3 GB
* HDD: 15 GB
* Graphics: 512 MB card
* Sound Card: DirectX 9 Compatible
* DirectX: Version 9.0c

Recommended System Requirements

* OS: Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7
* CPU: Core 2 Quad 3 GHz
* RAM: 3 GB
* HDD: 15 GB free disk space
* Graphics: 512 MB Graphics Memory
* Sound Card: DirectX 9 Compatible
* DirectX: Version 9.0c

From that you meet the minimum other than RAM. Grabbing a 2x2GB kit would help as with the 32bit windows you can't use more than 4GB of RAM. You could probably ask on the classified forums for 2 DDR2 sticks to beef up your RAM for a modest price. Buying them new is like $30 a stick which is pretty ridiculous considering I can get 4GB DDR3 sticks for that much.

Other than that buying a quality new antec, seasonic, or corsair psu would benefit you in the long run but the 460W technically works but I don't like the sound of it and if you wanted to get a new graphics card I'd recommend a new psu before so you don't burn it out.

For a graphics card to give you a moderate boost for the budget I'd recommend a 5770 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $120 with 20MIR.

So in total:

RAM: Various 2x1GB ram I don't know what your current ram timings/frequency are. Given that you can buy RAM with similar specs. $35-50 I'd still ask in the classifieds to see is someone would sell you a couple of their sticks. I sold 2x2GB of mine for 10 bucks to a guy just to get rid of them.

Power supply: CORSAIR Builder Series CX500 $60 10MIR

Graphics Card: ASUS CuCore Series EAH5770 $120 20MIR

Total: $200ish.
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May 21, 2011 5:09:39 AM

Thanks for the help. On the RAM I heard or read somewhere that its best to use the same type(brand), might have been for something else tho it's been a while, does this matter? For the graphics card, if I were to get a decent 1 say around $150 and it had crossfire/sli or w/e that is where you link the 2, would mine be compatible being it's crossfire/sli ready or would it make no difference? been curious about that but never have tried it. I plan on getting RAM soon I'll be checking links from the classifieds for a deal but for the others I will wait and see if prices drop on some of the more expensive quality items, got about 4-5 months or so till ill be needing it. The AC in the case worked really nice when I first got it but after installing the vid card I got, it got really loud in the box like it was gonna blow so now I just keep a screen like plastic mesh on the side to keep it cool, its a bit quieter. Thanks for all the help lads.
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 21, 2011 2:52:28 PM

You'd have to get a new motherboard to use 2xgcards. Your motherboard only has one PCIe. As far as ram goes, you want to get ram that has your same frequency/timings i.e. if your ram is 800Mhz and 5-5-5-15 then find ram that matches that.
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May 28, 2011 3:09:27 AM

Best answer selected by DT85.
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