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What's bottlenecking my system for games?

Last response: in Components
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September 13, 2011 12:26:19 AM

Hi,

I'm planning on buying either a new video card or a new cpu. The trouble is I don't know which to buy because I don't know what my PC needs more in order to play games better.

These are my specs (the ones that count):

-Pentium D805 2.66Ghz@2.9Ghz
-GeForce 9400GT 1Gb
-Gigabyte GA31M motherboard
-4Gb DDR2 Ram

I'm between a GeForce GTS250 and a Core 2 Duo E7500 cpu. I can only buy one, but which should I buy???

Thx in advance!

a c 93 à CPUs
September 13, 2011 12:47:45 AM

Both your CPU and GPU can cause bottleneck issues with games. You probably will want to upgrade both components. The 9400 GT wasn't really a gaming card when it came out 4 years ago, it won't perform well on any current titles. Your CPU is also quite slow, all the Pentium Ds performed rather poorly due to sacrifices made in how much instructions could get done per clock cycle, in order to get higher clockspeeds, the lower clocked Pentium Ds like the one you have are very poor performers, and will bottleneck most current video cards, you probably wouldn't even be able to get full performance out of a GTS 250 with your current CPU.

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September 13, 2011 1:05:53 AM

Supernova1138 said:
Both your CPU and GPU can cause bottleneck issues with games. You probably will want to upgrade both components. The 9400 GT wasn't really a gaming card when it came out 4 years ago, it won't perform well on any current titles. Your CPU is also quite slow, all the Pentium Ds performed rather poorly due to sacrifices made in how much instructions could get done per clock cycle, in order to get higher clockspeeds, the lower clocked Pentium Ds like the one you have are very poor performers, and will bottleneck most current video cards, you probably wouldn't even be able to get full performance out of a GTS 250 with your current CPU.


Based on this information, which would you buy if you could only buy one though?
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a c 93 à CPUs
September 13, 2011 1:16:44 AM

It will depend on your screen resolution, a lower resolution like 1280x1024 or lower, the GTS 250 would be too badly bottlenecked for it to be a worthwhile upgrade, and it would probably be more beneficial to upgrade your CPU now, and look at a graphics upgrade later. If you have a higher resolution like 1680x1050 or higher, the extra pixels would give the video card more work to do and may make the GTS 250 a worthwhile upgrade, despite the Pentium D potentially holding it back a bit.
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September 13, 2011 1:25:08 AM

Supernova1138 said:
It will depend on your screen resolution, a lower resolution like 1280x1024 or lower, the GTS 250 would be too badly bottlenecked for it to be a worthwhile upgrade, and it would probably be more beneficial to upgrade your CPU now, and look at a graphics upgrade later. If you have a higher resolution like 1680x1050 or higher, the extra pixels would give the video card more work to do and may make the GTS 250 a worthwhile upgrade, despite the Pentium D potentially holding it back a bit.


Thank you! Actually the Windows 7 performance index thing is being held back by my cpu, it's the lowest score at 4,3 while my video card's got a 5,9 so your probably right.
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September 13, 2011 1:25:33 AM

Best answer selected by rafa79.
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September 13, 2011 1:52:18 AM

For the same price as the NVIDIA GTS 250
....

SAPPHIRE Vapor-X ATI Radeon HD 6770
Model # 100328VXL
$130
....

For the same price as the Core-2 Duo E7500 you could drop-in a Core i3-2100 Sandy Bridge running at 3.1GHz..
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September 13, 2011 2:29:17 AM

mad-dog said:
For the same price as the NVIDIA GTS 250
....

SAPPHIRE Vapor-X ATI Radeon HD 6770
Model # 100328VXL
$130
....

For the same price as the Core-2 Duo E7500 you could drop-in a Core i3-2100 Sandy Bridge running at 3.1GHz..


I couldn't use the i3 because of my motherboard, it's got an LGA 775 socket, it'll take at best a Quad Core which is awfully expensive down here in Brazil. As for the ATI Radeon I'll look into it. Is it better than the GeForce GTS250?
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September 13, 2011 2:34:39 AM

The ATI Radeon you mentioned is about 50 dollars more expensive here than the GTS250 and judging by the specifications on the site I found it it's about the same as the GeForce in terms of performance.
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