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Need advice on cheap upgrades for my gaming PC

Last response: in Components
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October 26, 2011 5:03:04 PM


Long story short, my aging dell xps 630i simply can't handle newer games like Battlefield 3, but I haven't got enough cash for a new system.

What new components should I buy to get the most out of my system? I have around 400+ dollars to spend (although things are generally more expensive here in Norway, compared to stock american prices)


I think this is all the important stuff:

GPU HD 3870x2
Processor Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU E8500
RAM 4gb
PSU 750w
storage: Some basic 500gb thing
Motherboard Nvidia nforce 650i ( I think)
OS Name Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate
Version 6.1.7601 Service Pack 1 Build 7601
System Manufacturer Dell Inc
System Model XPS 630i
System Type x64-based PC

All help is aprechiated.

(ignore my initial post on the systems forum)
October 26, 2011 6:14:18 PM

If it fits in your case, something like this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... will do wonders for your gaming. Sell both your old cards to help pay for it. Don't, I repeat, don't buy any more hardware for your old dell. I worked at dell; those boards can fail at any time, and dell charges too much for replacement. Fortunately, unless you were unlucky enough to get a btx format case, you should be able to replace the board with any micro atx board. Do some measuring inside the case. Most decent cards take up the pci slot next to them.
October 26, 2011 6:57:53 PM

If you sell your 2 GPU's, and get a GTX580. Retails around $460 after MIR. Depending on how much you get with your other 2 cards, you can upgrade to 8GB (2x4) of RAM, as that will help immensely too if you are running Win7 64-BiT.
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October 26, 2011 6:58:27 PM

Basically, you need to sell your other 2 Vid Cards for around $125 total. I think with the right buyer, its possible.
October 26, 2011 7:25:40 PM

Here are the minimum and suggested requirements for BF3:
http://www.enterbf3.com/information/538-minimum-require...

Your pc exceeds the minimum requirements.
It is lacking in graphics, and cpu.

BF3 recommends a quad, and a GTX560/6950 class card.

For most users, a better graphics card will give better results than a better cpu.
That is good, because a better graphics card will be easier to upgrade, and it can carry forward to an eventual cpu replacement.
With your 750w psu, you can support any single graphics card that will fit in your case.
My guess is that you should use your budget to get the best single graphics card that you feel comfortable buying.

To help clarify your options, run these two tests:

a) 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.

b) 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.
!