Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question
Solved

Is this $200-250 upgrade worth it, will it work?

Last response: in Systems
Share
October 18, 2012 12:38:36 AM

I have gotten tired of the issues faced by console gaming, and especially getting tired the limited variety of games that there is to play. I have an older desktop, and here are its current specs (bare with me, specs will not be perfect):

Windows XP Proffesional
2GB RAM (from Crucial website, compatible ram is DDR2 PC2-5300 240Pin, and a few others where 5300 is replaced with another number)
Intel Core 2 Quad 2.66GHZ
Max 350w Power Supply
Intel GMA 3100

Gigabyte Motherboard
I do not feel like opening computer now to see the motherboard, but what I can recall is that it has:
2 PCI slots
2 RAM slots (2GB each, 4GB max)
1 PCI 16x Slot (the blue one)
And various other ports that I can not name


My plan is to put about $200-250 into this old desktop, so I can have a computer to play on while I save up for a high end rig. The things I wish to add are:

RAM: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU: Undecided


I come here asking what you think about this, you all seem like really helpful people and whenever tom's hardware comes up in my search results I get a good answer.

Questions are:

1. Is the selected RAM compatible?

2. Will this GPU run majority of games smoothly? If so, at what framerate on what settings? I looked up benchmarks but I see it being used with 16GB RAM computers with 6 core processors, and I am not sure how it will work out with my computer.

3. Big thing, what PSU should I buy? The video card requires 400w, what should the max output for my new PSU be? I was thinking that 600w would be sufficient, I do not want to spend 100 dollars on the power supply, keep that in mind. (also, do motherboards have limits on PSU wattage?)

4. Will having Windows XP impair the performance on games that support it? I understand that some games such as Just Cause 2 and BF3 require Vista/7, and I am alright with that, but would the performance difference from XP to 7 be worth the near $100 extra?


Thank you very much in advanced, I really hope to become a PC gamer sometime soon. :hello: 

October 18, 2012 1:05:35 AM

1. Probably. Hard to know for sure without knowing your motherboard (you could check that via a program like CPU-Z by the way).

2. Depends on the resolution (and settings). If you're playing at 1920x1080, I'd say at least a Geforce GTX 560, preferably a Radeon HD 7850. If you're okay with turning down settings, I'd recommend a Radeon HD 7770 over that GTX 550 Ti.

3. A 500W quality PSU will be plenty. Like the Corsair CX500:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

4. It will only affect performance marginally. Apart from the difference of not having access to DirectX 11 of course. That's still not a major issue in most cases, since it's mostly used as a way to up the graphics quality (at the cost of a lower framerate).
m
0
l
October 18, 2012 1:11:07 AM

I have no intent of buying a new monitor for my computer, currently using a 1280 x 1024 and this is just fine. As I said, I am getting this for a entry level/average gaming computer.

I should probably also say that I plan on playing games such as:

Team Fortress 2
Minecraft
Half-Life
Portal
Left 4 Dead
Garry's Mod
Killing Floor
Borderlands 2
Dishonored
Skyrim
Fallout



Any idea how it will run those?

Is this video card a "you get what you pay for" kind of thing, where it is cheap because it sucks? I am hoping to get around 30-40FPS on these games with average or slightly higher settings.
m
0
l
Related resources
a b B Homebuilt system
October 18, 2012 1:15:09 AM

You can't play any of the new First person shooters on Windows XP. now what you can do, is get some of the still popular games like Battlefield: Bad company 2 (Believe it or not its a great game still on PC). Now we had a person come through here not long ago wanting to go all out playing games on XP.. We told him it couldn't be done really. So I'm gonna do something for you since I really would like you to be able to get into the PC Gaming thing, Since i moved back over about 2 years ago from console. I originally started PC gaming back when Call Of duty 4 was in its prime and i moved to Xbox with my high school buddies well now were all in college. My junior year in high school I just a simple AMD prebuilt from bestbuy, upgraded the graphics card and power supply and i was able to play Bad company 2 on mid settings. Battlefield 3 was coming up so I needed a new computer. So it was my senior year..anyway long story short over the past 2 years I have accumulated computer parts and computer parts stepping up and up in performance until i realized I reached a wall in my computer. I need to make a Major upgrade so i went with Intel this time.

I have always used NVIDIA Graphics and I will always use NVIDIA Graphics but I'm gonna recommend you a card I know will handle XP games and you won't need to upgrade that power supply

so here is that: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
And you need to make sure your ram is exactly the same as the stick you listed. Now i totaled it up for you in newegg and it should be around : 147.98$

So i saved you about 100$ from your max budget. When you want to build that ultra high rig you let me know and I'll be glad to help you out!
m
0
l
October 18, 2012 1:17:32 AM

Playing at such a low resolution helps. Most of those would run alright on a GTX 550 Ti. Something like Skyrim would be slowed down by the CPU though, but that's regardless of what graphics card you get.

You do mostly get what you pay for with graphics cards, but the Radeon HD 7770 is just a bit better per dollar than the GTX 550 Ti.
m
0
l
October 18, 2012 1:17:38 AM

Also, can I trust this?
http://www.geforce.com/optimize/optimal-game-settings/L...


From the looks of that, it looks like this card is more than enough, way more. Things that make me doubt these results is the fact that they are being provided by the producer, and that I do not know the other specifications of the "benchmark". I don't assume that processor and RAM would make a huge difference in these cases though, since my processor and RAM(RAM that is soon to be 4GB) meets most, if not all recommended specs on games that I have looked at.
m
0
l
October 18, 2012 1:19:25 AM

Also adding that I understand that some of the games in these benchmark thingies are running on DX11.
m
0
l
October 18, 2012 1:24:59 AM

Rockdpm said:
You can't play any of the new First person shooters on Windows XP.

Of course you can. Alan Wake, Borderlands 2, lots of others too.
m
0
l
October 18, 2012 1:28:41 AM

clinicaljesus said:
Also, can I trust this?
http://www.geforce.com/optimize/optimal-game-settings/L...


From the looks of that, it looks like this card is more than enough, way more. Things that make me doubt these results is the fact that they are being provided by the producer, and that I do not know the other specifications of the "benchmark". I don't assume that processor and RAM would make a huge difference in these cases though, since my processor and RAM(RAM that is soon to be 4GB) meets most, if not all recommended specs on games that I have looked at.

Well, Left 4 Dead isn't very demanding. Still, you shouldn't put too much trust in it. Review sites like Tom's have plenty of benchmarks of various cards.

In many cases, the RAM and processor matters less than the graphics card. There are exceptions though, like Skyrim. Don't put too much stock in the recommended system specs either, by the way.
m
0
l
October 18, 2012 1:29:21 AM

Sakkura, price is a big factor in this, and I am wondering if you can give a sort of guesstimate on what you think the framerate on games like TF2, Left 4 Dead, Minecraft, and Borderlands 2 would be like with above average settings on all with a resolution of 1280x1024 with no physx. Any idea?
m
0
l
a b B Homebuilt system
October 18, 2012 1:32:43 AM

Sakkura said:
Of course you can. Alan Wake, Borderlands 2, lots of others too.

I'm not talking about that... besides Even thought your holding a gun and in first person. I don't consider Borderlands 2 a FPS... Its more of a co-op game to me. But you mean well. The games me and OP are talking about is Battlefield 3 and Call of Duty and Medal Of Honor and Crysis and etc
m
0
l
a b B Homebuilt system
October 18, 2012 1:35:29 AM

clinicaljesus said:
Sakkura, price is a big factor in this, and I am wondering if you can give a sort of guesstimate on what you think the framerate on games like TF2, Left 4 Dead, Minecraft, and Borderlands 2 would be like with above average settings on all with a resolution of 1280x1024 with no physx. Any idea?

Did you not read any of my post? I gave you a price total of your RAM and the video card i suggested. Average settings and frame rates should be mid settings on Borderlands 2, and the rest should be high. and Avg 40-50 fps maybe even higher. Borderlands 2 turned out to not be such a Intense game untill you start modding it:) . at your resolution every game should be easily maxed. Its 1080p gamers that have the headache
m
0
l
October 18, 2012 1:36:47 AM

clinicaljesus said:
Sakkura, price is a big factor in this, and I am wondering if you can give a sort of guesstimate on what you think the framerate on games like TF2, Left 4 Dead, Minecraft, and Borderlands 2 would be like with above average settings on all with a resolution of 1280x1024 with no physx. Any idea?

The framerate would probably be fine in all of them except Borderlands 2, where it might struggle at high settings.

Rockdpm said:
I'm not talking about that... besides Even thought your holding a gun and in first person. I don't consider Borderlands 2 a FPS... Its more of a co-op game to me. But you mean well. The games me and OP are talking about is Battlefield 3 and Call of Duty and Medal Of Honor and Crysis and etc

Well Borderlands 2 is one of the games OP wants to play, and it will run on Win XP.
m
0
l
October 18, 2012 1:38:26 AM

I honestly do not intend to be playing super high settings on crazy games guys, I dont intend on playing Skyrim with max settings, not even close to that really.

Seriously though, I will probably be playing Valve games and Minecraft most of the time, almost all the time. TF2, Garry's Mod, Half-Life, Portal, L4D, and Minecraft are the games I am hoping to run with high settings at a framerate of 40-50 ish. Again, only 1280x1024, with no crazy high res textures or shaders mods. Can I expect this card to do this?
m
0
l
October 18, 2012 1:40:35 AM

Quote:
I honestly do not intend to be playing super high settings on crazy games guys, I dont intend on playing Skyrim with max settings, not even close to that really.

Seriously though, I will probably be playing Valve games and Minecraft most of the time, almost all the time. TF2, Garry's Mod, Half-Life, Portal, L4D, and Minecraft are the games I am hoping to run with high settings at a framerate of 40-50 ish. Again, only 1280x1024, with no crazy high res textures or shaders mods. Can I expect this card to do this?


This is seriously what I want to play, old games at high settings with performance that I do not have to worry about, where if there is a bit of drop it will go unnnoticed (I notice drops below 30, and drops between 40-30 sometimes if they are steep drops).

Good answer gets top answer (meaning an approximate framerate at high settings settings).
m
0
l
a b B Homebuilt system
October 18, 2012 1:41:34 AM

Sakkura said:
The framerate would probably be fine in all of them except Borderlands 2, where it might struggle at high settings.


Well Borderlands 2 is one of the games OP wants to play, and it will run on Win XP.

Yea i know, because its Direct X9. but like I said.. I don't consider Borderlands 2 a First Person Shooter.. Now Idk if your trying to win a argument or what but just drop it.
m
0
l
a b B Homebuilt system
October 18, 2012 1:45:46 AM

clinicaljesus said:
I honestly do not intend to be playing super high settings on crazy games guys, I dont intend on playing Skyrim with max settings, not even close to that really.

Seriously though, I will probably be playing Valve games and Minecraft most of the time, almost all the time. TF2, Garry's Mod, Half-Life, Portal, L4D, and Minecraft are the games I am hoping to run with high settings at a framerate of 40-50 ish. Again, only 1280x1024, with no crazy high res textures or shaders mods. Can I expect this card to do this?

What card?
m
0
l
October 18, 2012 1:48:22 AM

Quote:
What card?


EVGA Geoforce GTX 550 ti 1gb
Intel Core 2 Quad 2.66GHZ
4GB RAM
Windows XP Pro
m
0
l
a b B Homebuilt system
October 18, 2012 1:55:25 AM

the 7750 would be a better choice. and wouldn't require you to change out your power supply so you can SAVE 100$ towards your next gaming rig you build fresh
m
0
l
October 18, 2012 2:05:22 AM

Quote:
the 7750 would be a better choice. and wouldn't require you to change out your power supply so you can SAVE 100$ towards your next gaming rig you build fresh


Ill consider that and giving you the best answer if you give me a guesstimate of the framerate on the geoforce and the radeon.
m
0
l

Best solution

a b B Homebuilt system
October 18, 2012 2:36:07 AM

the 7750 will run around 50-60fps on mid settings, while the 550 TI is gonna do mid at maybe 40-50 and with Phsyx turned on i wouldn't even wanna mess with physx on a 550 ti..... keep in mind if you get a 550 ti because NVIDIA supports PhysX and AMD Radeon doesn't unless you get a seperate card for PhysX.. you will need to get a power supply for the 550 ti. But the 7750 runs off your motherboards PCI-e power.
Share
October 18, 2012 2:36:54 AM

Best answer selected by ClinicalJesus.
m
0
l
a b B Homebuilt system
October 18, 2012 2:39:17 AM

If you have any more questions. Please feel free to contact one of us in a PM or just make a thread in the correct thread section!. glad we could help!
m
0
l
!