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Looking to Upgrade. Need Help!!

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 25, 2011 10:27:36 AM

Hey guys, I am looking to do something I should have done a long time ago. I plan on selling my Xbox 360 and upgrading my computer for some gaming! Now I've done a little digging around and I just have a few questions before I make a purchase. (Sorry, I am new to this!)

I have these 3 video cards picked out.
a) http://www.superbiiz.com/detail.php?name=AT-5770V3&titl...
b) http://www.superbiiz.com/detail.php?name=AS-450_GD5&tit...
c) http://www.superbiiz.com/detail.php?name=MSI-980GT1&tit...

I looked up reviews for each one and I am leaning towards the Asus nVidia GeForce 450GTS, as it is a great deal and the benchmarks looked acceptable.

- BUT, will these cards give me the juice I want?? I am hoping to be able to play games like Far Cry 2, Fallout 3, and Arkham City on maximum settings at 1280x1024 without problem. And I am going to need to be able to tackle Skyrim and Battlefield 3 on at least medium-high settings later on this year.
- Which IS the best?
- And I understand I need a new PSU as I am at 300W. Whats a good wattage and/or power supply unit I should go with?
- Will these cards fit in my machine?


Here are my specs.


Machine: Gateway DX4200-09



Processor:

Type AMD Phenom X4 9100e / 1.8 GHz
Multi-Core processor technology Quad-Core
64-bit processor Yes
Installed Qty 1
Max processors supported 1
WIndows Vista 64



Cache Memory:

Type L2 cache Installed Size 2 MB
Mainboard
Chipset type AMD 780G
Data bus speed 3600 MHz



RAM:

Installed Size 4 GB / 8 GB (max)
Technology DDR2 SDRAM
Memory speed 800 MHz
Memory specification compliance PC2-6400



Expansion / Connectivity:

Expansion Slots Total (Free) 1 ( 0 ) x Processor - Socket AM2 , 4 ( 2 ) x Memory - DIMM 240-pin , 1 ( 0 ) x PCI Express x16 , ( 0 ) x PCI Express x1 , 1 ( 0 ) x PCI Interfaces 1 x Mouse - Generic - 6 pin mini-DIN (PS/2 style) , 1 x Keyboard - Generic - 6 pin mini-DIN (PS/2 style) , 6 x Hi-Speed USB - 4 pin USB Type A ( 2 in front ) , 1 x Display / video - VGA - 15 pin HD D-Sub (HD-15) , 1 x Network - Ethernet 10Base-T/100Base-TX/1000Base-T - RJ-45 , 1 x Modem - Phone line - RJ-11 , 8 x Audio - Mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm , 1 x Audio / video - HDMI - 19 pin HDMI Type A , 2 x IEEE 1394 (FireWire)



Power:

Power device type Power supply
Power provided 300 Watt

More about : upgrade

a b U Graphics card
July 25, 2011 1:42:34 PM

The Phenom 9100e is a weak CPU in terms of game performance. The current and upcoming games you've listed are all pretty CPU-dependent, with some being very much so. Considering the fact that performance shifts toward CPU-dependency at your resolution, the situation becomes compounded. I honestly don't believe the CPU itself is up to the task, so a GPU upgrade isn't going to help.

I can't find any resources for the system regarding it's CPU support, but if it were capable of supporting newer Phenom II/Athlon II CPUs, I'd start there. Triple-Core models are very affordable, and compatibility may have been added for them through a BIOS update. Following up with a GPU and PSU is something I'd only look into once I were able to confirm a CPU upgrade. Should the current motherboard be unable to support a more advanced CPU, then you might want to actually look into replacing the entire platform.

I simply feel that a GPU and PSU upgrade alone would only serve to prolong the entire platform's inevitable need to be replaced, while overall game performance would still be limited by your relatively weak and poor-performing CPU.
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a b U Graphics card
July 25, 2011 1:46:33 PM

As the once proud owner of a 9800GT, I will have to say that as great of a card as it was, it is not going to be modern enough to play Skyrim on low settings, much less on med to high. You are going to have to triple your budget to play at those settings.
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Related resources
a b U Graphics card
July 25, 2011 1:56:20 PM

Hi, does your PC have the room for a dual slot video card? And even being a Nvidia fan I'd have to say the HD 5770 would serve you a lot better after a PSU upgrade. Not knowing your budget I'd recommend the Rosewill Green Series 630w
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Hard to beat $60.00, free shipping.
Bandit's right though, the hard facts are your at some time in the future going to have to start from scratch.
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a c 128 U Graphics card
July 25, 2011 2:24:15 PM

Given those choices, I'd get the 5770. It offers the best performance. I would have to agree with Razbery about the CPU, though. It's an AM2+ board. As I look into it further, the 5770 may be too long for that case. You don't have much room past the PCIe slot:

http://reviews.cnet.com/desktops/gateway-dx4200-09/4505...

Also, most of the 5770s have the 6-pin power connector off the end of the card rather than the side further increasing the space needed for the card overall:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Now they don't show the power connector off the back side of the Sapphire you're considering, but I'm willing to bet it's the same as that in the link of the MSI above.

Due to space constraints, you may have to go with the GT9800, though this 5750 offers a decent newer alternative:
http://www.superbiiz.com/detail.php?name=XFX-5750XZ&tit...
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