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Need advice for upgrading my computer to play games like MW3 and BF3

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April 6, 2012 8:15:57 PM

My PC specs


Mainboard : Asus CM1730,CM1830
Chipset : AMD 780
Processor : AMD Athlon II X2 220 @ 2800MHz
Physical Memory : 4096MB (2 x 2048 DDR3-SDRAM )
Video Card : ATI Radeon 3000 Graphics
Hard Disk : Seagate ST31000524AS ATA Device (1000GB)
DVD-Rom Drive : ATAPI DVD A DH24ABS
Monitor Type : Acer Acer S202HL - 20 inches
Network Card : Realtek Semiconductor RTL8168/8111 PCIe Gigabit Ethernet Adapter
Operating System : Windows 7 Home Premium Home Edition Media Center 6.01.7601 Service Pack 1 (64-bit)
DirectX : Version 11.00
Windows Performance Index : 4.4 on 7.9

I want to know what to buy so I can play MW3 and BF3
a c 291 U Graphics card
April 6, 2012 8:27:34 PM

You need a new graphics card. What's your budget? Also, I'll need to know about your power supply. Take the side of your PC case and take a picture of the sticker of the little box that has many cables going out of it. Upload the picture to www.imageshack.us. Make sure to check the option not to resize the image.
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April 6, 2012 8:34:50 PM

My budget is at $200. My power supply unit is 300W.
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April 6, 2012 8:44:04 PM

Is that all I need to upgrade.
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a c 291 U Graphics card
April 6, 2012 8:46:03 PM

I suppose so. Is your computer case normal size or mini case?
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a c 291 U Graphics card
April 6, 2012 8:50:39 PM

Then that's all you need! Good luck :) 
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a c 105 U Graphics card
April 6, 2012 8:53:04 PM

your processor is dual core and slow. you also need a video card and depending on the power supply........ ???

you don't have enough money to do all you need to do.

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a b U Graphics card
April 6, 2012 8:53:46 PM

that cpu is way too weak for bf3, you'd need to get quad core phenom for reasonable performance, especially in multiplayer
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April 6, 2012 8:57:57 PM

can you guys build me a computer on a website so I can play BF3 and MW3.
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April 6, 2012 9:00:46 PM

That power supply isn't going to be able to power any GPU that will perform respectably in BF3.

The typical current gen ~100$ card draws up to 75W. A ~$100 to ~$150 current gen card is going to draw up to 150 watts. A ~$150 to ~$250 current gen card will draw up to 225W. Anything higher end card can pull much more.


Cards that will draw more than 75W have a dedicated 6 pin connector to draw power directly from the PSU. Your PSU will not have one of these connectors as it is an OEM PSU, for warranty purposes they will not even provide the means to connect enough devices to overpower it. It likely has 2 - 4 pin connectors for CD drives, 2 SATA power connectors, then a 24 pin and a 4 pin square connector plugged into the motherboard.

Furthermore your processor will not play BF3 in any way that will make your experience enjoyable. $200 dollars of upgrades will not get you anywhere.


Now, $200's of upgrades will let you play MW3, actually less than $120.

This is all you need, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I chose that model because it has the highest performance for the power available. Also because you only have 2 PCI slots, this single slot solution will not block your other ports. BUT, because I doubt that PC has adequate ventilation, if you do not need the PCI slot below the PCIe slot, get a dual slot card such as this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a b U Graphics card
April 6, 2012 9:03:34 PM

I was able to play B3 with a gts 250 and a q9300 intel chip at med. settings DX 10.

There is a bit of a jump from low settings to ultra.

I agree that you would need a new psu and gpu.

MW is not very demanding but BF is...64 player outdoor maps are a real pain in the ass for lower end set ups like the one I had.
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April 6, 2012 9:06:18 PM

First of all if your motherboard supports 2 x 4GB DDR3 Dual channel, upgrading to more ram will help a lot in BF3, it's under $40.00, then get ATI 7750 because it draws very low power 55w according to Toms, and only less than $140. And you will not need to upgrade your current PC and go over your budget.
This is for playing on 1600 x 900 resolution.
That should do it. And you can upgrade to a newer systems and take the rams and graphic cards with you to a newer system when you save enough for another pc down the road.

kr4zym3n4c3 said:
My PC specs


Mainboard : Asus CM1730,CM1830
Chipset : AMD 780
Processor : AMD Athlon II X2 220 @ 2800MHz
Physical Memory : 4096MB (2 x 2048 DDR3-SDRAM )
Video Card : ATI Radeon 3000 Graphics
Hard Disk : Seagate ST31000524AS ATA Device (1000GB)
DVD-Rom Drive : ATAPI DVD A DH24ABS
Monitor Type : Acer Acer S202HL - 20 inches
Network Card : Realtek Semiconductor RTL8168/8111 PCIe Gigabit Ethernet Adapter
Operating System : Windows 7 Home Premium Home Edition Media Center 6.01.7601 Service Pack 1 (64-bit)
DirectX : Version 11.00
Windows Performance Index : 4.4 on 7.9

I want to know what to buy so I can play MW3 and BF3

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April 6, 2012 9:12:51 PM

loops said:
I was able to play B3 with a gts 250 and a q9300 intel chip at med. settings DX 10.

There is a bit of a jump from low settings to ultra.

I agree that you would need a new psu and gpu.

MW is not very demanding but BF is...64 player outdoor maps are a real pain in the ass for lower end set ups like the one I had.



The GTS250 is an up to 150 Watt part. Also, you had a quad core Intel chip. Any retail dual core chip such as the OP's will not allow a fun multiplayer experience. Additionally, I have't checked for a while, but I believe that a single core in that Intel chip is around 20% faster than a single core in the the Athlon II for the same clock speed.
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a c 291 U Graphics card
April 6, 2012 9:17:27 PM

Guys he doesn't need to upgrade his CPU, nor memory to play BF3 on medium-high settings. He isn't aiming at ultra.

I personally think that HD6870 + Corsair CX500 is the best upgrade path for $200 for him.
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April 6, 2012 9:24:54 PM

So just get the HD6870 and Corsair CX500 and more RAM. What settings can I run MW3 and BF3
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April 6, 2012 9:28:03 PM

stevetheutilityman said:
First of all if your motherboard supports 2 x 4GB DDR3 Dual channel, upgrading to more ram will help a lot in BF3, it's under $40.00.


4GB of ram will not be a limiting factor if he sticks with the dual core Athlon II.

Also, BF3 is a 32 bit application. A 32bit application is limited to 2GB of ram. That's not to say 4GB of ram is more than enough and 8GB of ram will not result in higher performance though -- due to the other apps running in the background and the extra unused ram is being used as a cache. Because of this cache, BF3 can swap to and from its 2GB allotment without accessing the disk drive.
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a c 291 U Graphics card
April 6, 2012 9:28:43 PM

MW3 - high to ultra. BF3 - medium to high. I'd get a graphics card and power supply first without getting the RAM - more than 4 GB ram is needed for BF3 only if you play on ultra, which isn't gonna happen with HD6870.
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April 6, 2012 9:29:50 PM

What brand should I get for the Graphics card
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a c 291 U Graphics card
April 6, 2012 9:32:02 PM

Sorry for links that were broken in my first post. I'd go with XFX, they got it cheapest at the moment. There isn't much difference between different brands. I fixed it.
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April 6, 2012 9:35:39 PM

Can you tell exactly what I need in one message.
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a b U Graphics card
April 6, 2012 9:36:06 PM

kr4zym3n4c3 said:
can you guys build me a computer on a website so I can play BF3 and MW3.


To play at high w/o max AA:

GPU MSI N560GTX-M2D1GD5 GeForce GTX 560 1GB around $169.99
LGA 1155 CPU Intel Core i5-2300 2.8GHz $179.99 or i3 for around $130.00 (2500k if you can but not a must)
Motherboard ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 around $120.00
PSU Cooler Master Elite eXtreme Power Plus RS-500-PCAR-A3-US 500 Watt around $34.99
RAM 4GB (2x2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 for about $40.00 (lots of good picks out there)
HDD Western Digital Caviar Black WD5002AALX 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s around $59.99 or reuse the one you have.
Optical Drive LG DVD Burner Black Model GH24NS70 $18.00 ish or reuse the one you have.
CPU Cooler Stock, Included With CPU $0.00 $0.00
Thermal Compound Stock, Included With CPU $0.00 $0.00
Case COOLER MASTER HAF 912 around $50 bucks or try or try to use you old case

Base build from here: http://www.geforce.com/Optimize/Guides/how-to-build-a-k...

TBO the gtx 560 will be stressed on the large maps when the *** hits the fan all around you and you may have to mix high and med settings.

The only thing I would change is the PSU. I went with a silence 910 but for a non 2500k non SLI build it is way over kill. Others may have a better pick for you than the one listed.
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April 6, 2012 9:39:39 PM

Thanks for your help, will I be able to run any game after the upgrade.
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a c 291 U Graphics card
April 6, 2012 9:40:07 PM

Yes, considering you have it and it's made for PC :p 
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April 6, 2012 9:48:10 PM

After I purchase what I need what else would I need to upgrade.
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April 6, 2012 10:00:25 PM

Kr4zyM3n4c3, I assume this is your computer: http://www.asus.com/Desktop/Entertainment/Essentio_CM17...

You do not have a full size computer, this is a mirco ATX form factor case.

Consider that the case has 16.5 inches of depth. The 6870 is 10.5 inches long. This leaves 6 inches from the end of the graphics card to the front of the case.

The case's plastic bezel extends about 1 inch past the steel frame. This leaves 5 inches inside from the end of the graphics card to the front of the frame.

The 6870's two 6 pin power connectors plug into the rear of the card, the wiring will extend out about an inch.

There is now 4 inches from the end of the card to to the front of the cases frame. Typically, hard drives are positioned lengthwise in front of the graphics card and behind the front frame of the case. A 3.5 inch Hard Disk actually measures 4 inches by 5.5 inches by 1 inch. The platter's inside it are actually what the 3.5 inches refers to.

You now have some where between 0 and Negative 1.5 inches of room. A hard disk's also needs cabling in the back that further takes up space.

No one here seems to be thinking. There's no way around it, for a 200$ budget there is not going to be satisfactory game play in BF3. Good luck with everything.
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April 6, 2012 10:15:31 PM

the XFX Radeon HD 6870 is a PCI Express 2.1 x16 will it still fit because mine only has PCI Express 2.0 x16
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April 6, 2012 11:41:16 PM

You probably need to listen to Derek2006, 7750 is a better fit for budget and motherboard. Otherwise just save up for a new system. 7750 isPCI3.0 but it's backward compatible with PCI2.1, 2.0, 1.0. 7750 is single slot card, much easier to install and upgrade.
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April 7, 2012 3:20:36 AM

Yes, the 7750 is your best bet. But before buying, there is some things I'd like you, Kr4zyM3n4c3, to mull over.

Lets assume you decide to stick with your current system and upgrade it. You spend the money for whatever parts and you can play BF3 on low and are satisfied. A little bit of time passes and you start to get good at the game --by becoming a better player you start to notice inconsistencies in the game that are affecting your scores. These inconsistencies are little things such as a little stutter that seems to happen at the worst time, being killed for no apparent reason, and general lag. So you decide that your going to upgrade your CPU. Afterwards you think, "WOW, when I get in firefights there is no more stutter!" But you still seem to be dieing for no reason, like your missing out on some action. On VOIP people mention they know someone's coming because of shadows, and you notice your new CPU is only ever at 60% utilization in game.

You think to upgrade the video card again even after you just bought one not to long ago. Presently you may be thinking you won't, but at this time you may be hooked on the game, so you will. But before you even get to it your computer dies and it seems to be that the PSU failed from being overloaded. Your really pissed that you took that guy from the internet's advice on the 7750 and quad core CPU. So this time you get a really big and fast card with a 50 dollar PSU, the card doesn't fit properly due to the hard drive bays so you cut them out and set the hard drive in the spare cd drive's bay because it's the cheapest option.

This works and you play a few more months, one day while attempting to start a school report the PC refuses to power on. The newish PSU has also failed because a 500 watt power supply was used to power a card that lists the system requirement, "PSU with 500Watts minimum," this PSU with a price of only 50 bucks at that. And because you have a report due in a few days Good Ole' Murphy pays a visit, that PSU takes out your Hard Drive, new GPU, and motherboard.

You still have a newish AMD Quad Core plus a computer case. You have to rebuild the computer. Do you want to still go the cheap route with your existing poorly ventilated case and risk heat issues? Also the AMD chips is still good, but there's some much faster processors available, wanna go the cheap route?


At this point your pissed you spent a lot of money on that POS for nothing. Yet you have to spend more for an entirely new system you now realize you should have done in the first place.

Don't think this can happen? It most definitely can, because that scenario above was my (slightly altered to fit you better) experience, but include a cheap LCD monitor as well. I estimate I threw 1200 dollars out the window. What do I recommend you do? This:

1. Save up your money and get reputable, cooler, simpler, less gimmicky parts. Basically, avoid any part that "looks cool" with pretty colors, heat pipes everywhere, and fans everywhere.

2. Do not pay less than $100 dollars for a PSU. Look for a power supply that has a wattage of less than 6 times its retail price, that is the price before any special deals. Meaning a $100 PSU should not be expected to reliably give more than 600 watts of power. If you pay 100$ for a 750 watt PSU, and load it with 601watts for a few hours every day, I PROMISE you, it will fail before you were ready for it to go. I paid $160 for a 550Watt PSU 6 years ago and it is powering this vary PC. For a different, lower performance PC, I went through a 45$ 430 watt PSU, a 50$ 500 watt PSU, and a 70$ 600 watt PSU in 1.5 years. The current PSU for that system is a 450 Watt PSU that was $100. It's served 2 years now. Expensive PSU's are rated for the power they can reliably give continuously, cheap PSU's are rated for the power required to kill it.

3. Get near top tier now, parts that fall in the "performance" category, not the enthusiast category, not the value category. This will save you money in the end.

4. Get a SSD. Without one you will notice that your computer seems slow, performing at a crawl even though cpu usage is at 5%. This might prompt you to get one and spend a bunch of time reinstalling windows. You could get a transfer kit, but that another 20 bucks wasted, also a transferred installation will never perform like it could have.

5. Do it right the first time.

-DerekZ10
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April 7, 2012 7:12:03 PM

So what do I need if i want to play MW3 on high settings.
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March 1, 2013 2:10:09 PM

I know this is an older thread but some people on here are idiots. STOP TELLING HIM THAT HE NEEDS TO UPGRADE HIS PROCESSOR AND RAM.

Dual core and 8 gigs of RAM is sufficient. I have this same computer with 4 gigs of RAM, a 520W PSU (50 bucks) and a Nvidia GeForce 550 Ti (190 bucks) and I can play all games. ALL he needs is a better PSU and a dedicated graphics card.

Here are the BF3 minimum system requirements....

OS: Windows Vista or Windows 7
Processor: Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz or Althon X2 2.7 GHz
RAM: 2GB
Graphic card: DirectX 10 or 11 compatible Nvidia or AMD ATI card, ATI Radeon 3870 or higher, Nvidia GeForce 8800 GT or higher.
Graphics card memory: 512 MB
Sound card: DirectX compatible sound card
Hard drive: 15 GB for disc version or 10 GB for digital version

And here are the MW3 minimum system requirements...

Core 2 Duo E4300 1.8GHz
Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 4000+
GeForce 210 1GB
Radeon HD 3650

So, anyone telling him to upgrade his CPU and RAM are idiots. He NEVER said he wanted to play on high settings. All he said is that he wants to play BF3 and MW3.
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a b U Graphics card
March 1, 2013 3:05:17 PM

kr4zym3n4c3 said:
So what do I need if i want to play MW3 on high settings.

Graphics card is what you need. But you also should get better PSU from known brand lik corsair or something like that. Ram could be higher and CPU should be better too but graphics would do it.
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