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Help with upgrade

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October 8, 2012 1:09:50 AM

Hey all,

If you can take a quick look at my aging gaming system I would appreciate it. I'm looking to squeeze a little more performance out of it with a ~$50-100 upgrade. I'm thinking I can either swap out a new video card easily or would it make more sense to finally replace xp with 8 when it comes out and beef up to 8gb of RAM? Thanks in advance!

Dxdiag:

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System Information
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Operating System: Windows XP Home Edition (5.1, Build 2600) Service Pack 3 (2600.xpsp_sp3_gdr.120504-1619)
System Manufacturer: Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd.
System Model: GA-MA790GPT-UD3H
BIOS: Award Modular BIOS v6.00PG
Processor: AMD Phenom(tm) II X4 955 Processor, MMX, 3DNow (4 CPUs), ~3.2GHz
Memory: 3326MB RAM
Page File: 637MB used, 4572MB available
Windows Dir: C:\WINDOWS
DirectX Version: DirectX 9.0c (4.09.0000.0904)
DX Setup Parameters: Not found
DxDiag Version: 5.03.2600.5512 32bit Unicode


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Display Devices
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Card name: NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GSO
Manufacturer: NVIDIA
Chip type: GeForce 9600 GSO
DAC type: Integrated RAMDAC
Device Key: Enum\PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_0610&SUBSYS_23881682&REV_A2
Display Memory: 1024.0 MB
Current Mode: 1920 x 1080 (32 bit) (60Hz)

More about : upgrade

October 8, 2012 1:15:40 AM

Well first question I gotta ask is what games do you play?

I wouldn't look at Windows 8 as an upgrade to a gaming system, but since I haven't used it at all I can't say much about it.
October 8, 2012 1:20:41 AM

Well I just meant to upgrade because XP only supports up to 4gb of RAM from what I've been told.

I'm getting lower framerates in Borderlands than I'd like right now is what brought up the issue.
Related resources
October 8, 2012 2:02:37 AM

Borderlands 1 or 2?

edit: I take it you have 32 bit xp?
October 8, 2012 2:48:09 AM

Borderlands 1 but of course I'd like to play newer releases.

Yes 32 bit xp
a b B Homebuilt system
October 8, 2012 4:01:01 AM

I would upgrade the graphics card, as your processor is still fast by modern standards.
a b B Homebuilt system
October 8, 2012 4:19:51 AM

I wouldn't spend money on a graphics card unless I could get at least a 7770. anything less and you're wasting $100. you can get one for $120 right now.

wouldn't touch W8 either but would get W7 64bit..... eventually.

and I'd go in and set my page file to something ridiculous.
a b B Homebuilt system
October 8, 2012 4:20:26 AM

Deemo, he wasn't looking to upgrade the processor, he was looking to upgrade the RAM... which might be decent, except for one thing.

Acid Reign, is your motherboard compatible with DDR 2 or 3?
If it's DDR 2, a new graphics card is your best bet.

If it's DDR 3, I'd go with an upgrade to ram, and windows 8 - it's actually pretty good on older computers, due to having less system resource draw than 7.
a b B Homebuilt system
October 8, 2012 4:29:45 AM

can't see where any of that was any help. W8 sucks ( this is a gamer not a P-O-S machine ) and it doesn't matter what ram it is................
October 8, 2012 5:31:49 AM

I looked up the 9600 GSO on Tom's Hardware Graphics Card Hierarchy Chart

For reference: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...

You need a new graphics card, since you are playing at 1920x1080, I believe the 9600 GSO is about 4 years old. As you can see from the chart a 7770 is 5 levels up from your card.

I like this one from Newegg, if you live in the US, XFX has a 2 year warrenty, which is decent.

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

Your Power Supply will need a 6 Pin power connector, that plugs into the back of the card. Good news it seems like the 9600 GSO has a 6 pin connecter, so you just use that one for the new card.

However the 7770, I picked out is a double wide card and you current card is single wide, so check there is nothing in the way of a card twice as fat.
October 8, 2012 2:11:30 PM

bkoop said:
I looked up the 9600 GSO on Tom's Hardware Graphics Card Hierarchy Chart

For reference: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...

You need a new graphics card, since you are playing at 1920x1080, I believe the 9600 GSO is about 4 years old. As you can see from the chart a 7770 is 5 levels up from your card.

I like this one from Newegg, if you live in the US, XFX has a 2 year warrenty, which is decent.

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

Your Power Supply will need a 6 Pin power connector, that plugs into the back of the card. Good news it seems like the 9600 GSO has a 6 pin connecter, so you just use that one for the new card.

However the 7770, I picked out is a double wide card and you current card is single wide, so check there is nothing in the way of a card twice as fat.



Yes my MOBO supports ddr3. Thanks so much bkoop for the info. the low amount of RAM I have is not too much of a bottleneck?
a b B Homebuilt system
October 8, 2012 4:16:36 PM

I would skip past windows 8 to be honest. It seems more of a touch screen based os then a true desktop os. Windows 7 is quite popular right now and would be my recommend for an os. Windows 7 is a lot like windows xp. And it has a 64 version that will allow you to up your ram to over 8 gigs.
a b B Homebuilt system
October 8, 2012 5:57:28 PM

DarkSable said:
Deemo, he wasn't looking to upgrade the processor, he was looking to upgrade the RAM... which might be decent, except for one thing.


I didn't say he needed to upgrade the processor. The 955 will last a few years more. I'm hoping mine will as well. If you can't shell out for a 7770, its worth it to go for a bit more RAM.

I wouldn't recommend Windows 8.
October 9, 2012 12:31:31 AM

Given your budget the only upgrade that makes sense is a video card.

4Gb should be fine for your system.

I have a question, the standard 9600 GSO comes with 384MB of memory, is that what your card has?

Do you drop your resolution to 1280 x 1024, just to get better frame rates?

Also, if your a nVidia fan, the GTX 650 is available:

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

But the 7770 is much faster.

I think you will be very happy with the progress that has been made in video cards in the last 4 years, especially the 7770.
a b B Homebuilt system
October 9, 2012 5:21:20 AM

They did make one with 512mb based off the G92 core.
October 9, 2012 5:05:26 PM

Deemo13 said:
They did make one with 512mb based off the G92 core.


I am confused by Dxdiag saying the video card has:
Display Memory: 1024.0 MB
in the original post.

The OP might think, he or she is not getting an upgrade in Vram when he or she is getting twce to three times the amout of Vram in addition to a faster GPU.
October 9, 2012 10:39:37 PM

I do indeed have the 1gb version of the 9600 gso. So would not be getting an upgrade in vram but would have a much newer gpu.

And yes, I did drop the resolution of Borderlands to get it up to around 30 fps.
!