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Fixing it up and completely lost

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December 19, 2011 8:37:12 PM

About three or four years ago, I got this computer. Straight from the factory, cheap as hell, Vista 32, etc. Skip forward to today, and I now have two problems with it:

1. It's real slow at times, and programs are chewing through my memory to the point where I can't run certain applications.

2. More importantly, my real cheap graphics card has finally had enough and refuses to run a whole slew of newer games (Saints Row 3, Dead Island, Anno 2070 and especially From Dust and Skyrim).

I have about $500 to spend, so I decided I should buy some new parts and fix it up. And I have no idea as to how to do it.

My goal is this: play the aforementioned games without my memory cutting out or the game running choppy or simply not running at all.

I ran CPU-Z on my computer, so here are all the specs.

If you need anything else from my end, I'll be hovering over this thread all day and will be more than happy to provide additional info - granted you can tell me where to find it.

Thanks in advance.

More about : fixing completely lost

December 19, 2011 9:40:35 PM

The biggest issue you have is your Graphics card (or lack of one). Instead of spending a full $500 I would suggest doing a partial upgrade and saving your money to get an all new machine in a few years (your CPU is a bit old but should still be somewhat serviceable).

You will also need a new power supply which means removing the old one and connecting all of the components up to the new one.

if you trust you will get a rebate then I would spend $150 on this GTX560 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

and then get a power supply as 300 watts is not enough.

maybe something like this 550W OCZ one for $55 (again after rebate) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Also make sure to measure the space in your case for both the power supply and where the video card will go to verify they will fit.

Someone else may have better ideas on power supplies and vid cards but you don't want to go to crazy on the vid card as you have an older quad core.

Also for your issue of running out of memory that should not happen with 6GB. go into your programs that run at startup and disable any you don't use regularly. some things like HP printing programs can be real hogs.
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December 19, 2011 10:06:16 PM

In addition to what DEY123 said above

Have you ever done a fresh install of Windows? If you haven't yet, it is probably time. If you have the Vista disks it is super easy. Just make sure to back up anything you want to keep. If you don't want to go through the hassle of doing this, make sure you disable startup programs as Dey suggested. Another decent idea would be to use CCleaner, to clean up your registry and temp files.

I'm not sure how well that motherboard can handle overclocking, but you could also spend $25 on a aftermarket CPU cooler (a Coolermaster Hyper 212 is a good budget cooler) and overclock your cpu. You could get it up to 3.0GHz easily, and up to 3.2-3.3 with a little work.

If you overclock and do some clean up or reinstall, add a $150 graphics card, you comp should be able to continue to play the new titles. I have a Q6600 (OC'd to 3.2GHz), and a GTX 460 (overclocked again), and can play Battlefield and Skyrim, on high with respectable fps. I think I can get at least another 2 years out of this set up before even running on low settings will no longer yield respectable fps.
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December 19, 2011 10:14:31 PM

Well you got a 32bit Windows, meaning the most it can use is 4G period. If you have a video card subtrtact that right off the top of the 4G useable and windows needs a good 1.5 just to idle smoothe.

Basically you have 6G and the max you can use inccluding what your graphic card is using is 4G. Get yourself some 64bit windows and a better GPU.

As i see on your CPU-z you graphics is using 320Mbs of your ram for built in memoery so 4G - 320MBs is what you have available for windows and apps, barely over half of what you have installed.
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December 19, 2011 11:07:30 PM

If this was my computer the first upgrade I would do would be to Install 64 bit Windows7 on it. A reinstall of the operating system would speed up the computer no end and Windows 7 is faster than Vista anyway and would use all of your memory. When it comes to your games, only fitting a better graphics card will help, but unfortunately if you do this the you would probably have to get a bigger power supply.
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