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Upgrade an old computer to play new games

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January 22, 2012 6:19:41 PM

Hello, I want to play Diablo 3 and SWTOR. The requirements for both gams seem resonable. I have an AMD Phenom X4 9650 Quad Core Processor and Socket AMD2 + (940). What can I upgrade the CPU to, and can I find this online?
January 22, 2012 6:53:43 PM

Your CPU should be fine. Your problem is most likely your graphics card. It may also be necessary to upgrade your power supply to handle a more powerful graphics card depending on what you have now. If you could list the names and model numbers of those two, I might be able to help further.
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January 22, 2012 7:02:58 PM






I have a 300 wat power supply and an Ati radeon 3400 series card.
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a c 146 à CPUs
January 22, 2012 7:29:07 PM

I see nothing wrong with the CPU. If anything needs to be upgraded for better performace I would say it's the video card. The 3400 is pretty old and even at it's time it wasn't that great of a video card. I would get a new video card and you're going to need a new power supply too. A 300 Watt PSU isn't going to be good enough to a power the whole computer plus a high-end video card. Most high-end video card companies recommend at the very least a 500-550 Watt PSU.
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January 22, 2012 7:36:36 PM

I do not know what your shopping options are, or how much you can spend, but you will need a new graphics card, and power supply as I suspected. The rest of your machine will be fine.

If you have a small budget, I would suggest either a Nvidia 550 Ti , or a AMD Radeon HD 6770 video card. A good power supply to get would be one like these. http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?bop=And&...
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January 22, 2012 7:39:28 PM

Thank you. That means I can save money from upgrading to a Phenom II or something similar. (off Ebay).
What video card do you recommend. Do you think I can play Modern Warfare 3 and Skyrim with these machines or is it better buying a new computer for that. I just want to play swtor and Diablo III and give a significant boost to my system.

I also have 4gigs of DDR2. Can I add on top of the 4 gigs (2x2 slots) to get 8gigs DDR2 or do I need to get a new brand of totally 8 gigs of ram separately to accomplish the Ram upgrade. I have windows 7 64bit.
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January 22, 2012 7:43:37 PM

Upgrading to 8gb would help a little, but not as much as the video card. With the power supplies I mentioned, you could go as high as the HD 6850 level on this chart. Anything beyond that would require more like a 600-650 watt bronze certified PSU. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fastest-graphics-ca...
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a c 146 à CPUs
January 22, 2012 7:45:54 PM

What is your video card budget? You can have 8 gigs that will work fine as long as you have a 64bit system. It's only a problem if your using a 32 bit OS. A 32 bit OS can only use a max of 4 gigs of RAM and of that it actually only recognizes about 3.4 gigs.
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January 22, 2012 7:57:18 PM

My budget is $150.00. I was considering going $200.00 to $300.00 for ram + cpu + really good video card, but after researching and asking questions, I only want a significant increase at a good cost.


I would like to buy 8gigs of Ram + CPU + PSU.

My budget for card is minimum $50.00 for the card, max $100.00 for it. I was looking at the Ati Radeon 5450, but will that give me increased performance from my 3400? it's only $50.00
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January 22, 2012 8:04:54 PM

r00t_decision said:
My budget is $150.00. I was considering going $200.00 to $300.00 for ram + cpu + really good video card, but after researching and asking questions, I only want a significant increase at a good cost.


I would like to buy 8gigs of Ram + CPU + PSU.

My budget for card is minimum $50.00 for the card, max $100.00 for it. I was looking at the Ati Radeon 5450, but will that give me increased performance from my 3400? it's only $50.00


For game performance, video cards are the most important. You are wasting money on an unneeded CPU upgrade that could be used to get a better video card. The 5450 card is no good for games. it is mainly made for HTPC applications, and is barely better than integrated video.

I would go for the better video card and PSU for now, and see how it works for you.
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a c 146 à CPUs
January 22, 2012 8:12:06 PM

r00t_decision said:
My budget is $150.00. I was considering going $200.00 to $300.00 for ram + cpu + really good video card, but after researching and asking questions, I only want a significant increase at a good cost.


I would like to buy 8gigs of Ram + CPU + PSU.

My budget for card is minimum $50.00 for the card, max $100.00 for it. I was looking at the Ati Radeon 5450, but will that give me increased performance from my 3400? it's only $50.00


You're wasting your money with the CPU upgrade the CPU is fine. Forget the CPU upgrade and just upgrade the video card and the PSU. Most games right now are more video card dependent than CPU dependent. Games only use 2 or 3 cores so a quad core Phenom is fine. Also if you want decent gaming performance you're going to have to put more money out the 50 or 60 dollars. The 5450 will be just enough to run games at low to medium settings. It's not going to be that much better then what you have now.
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January 22, 2012 8:24:00 PM

Thanks, I know which card to get now. :) 
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March 26, 2012 10:17:28 AM

Hmm,i have allmost same computer like you Root_Decision

AMD Phenom Quad core 9650
3,5GB DDR2 Ram(becouse i have 32bit XP)
ATI RADEON 4650 1GB DDR2

But im not sure you can play good with Quad core 9650

I saw system req. and it says minimun 3.2 GHz and 9650 has 2.2 so you can play only on lowest settings
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March 26, 2012 10:19:15 AM

Sorry made mistake, Diablo 3 requires 2.2 and AMD quad core 9650 has 2.3
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