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Help, Low Buck Upgrade!

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December 7, 2012 5:07:07 AM

Well, I'd love to build a new PC, but my Q6600 @ 3.2 is going to have to carry me through for yet another year.

The main issue I have is that my Radeon 4850 is dying a slow, agonizing death. I do still play a bit of World of Warcraft, but no other games. What PCI-E card should I look for to replace the 4850 that will run World of Warcraft on max settings without breaking my tiny budget? I'm assuming something with 1 GB of RAM, I read that more than that isn't used on the lower end cards... is this correct?

Secondly, I'm considering going from 4 GB of RAM to 8 GB of RAM. I'm running 64 bit Windows 7. I'm hitting 70 to 80 percent memory usage at times with World of Warcraft, foobar2000, and Ventrillo running. I can't help but think this upgrade would show me some performance improvement.

I've definitely gotten my money out of this PC, and like I said, I'd love to build a new one. Unfortunately, I have two ex wives that couldn't eat steak, drive new cars, and live in nice houses if they didn't take 50 percent of my post tax income. For now a couple hundred in upgrades are going to have to be sufficient. Down the road I can put this thing in a smaller case, hook my USB DAC up to it, and just use it for a dedicated digital audio transport running jPlay mini (amazing sound quality player, if you haven't tried it, alas it is not free!)

Long story short, any suggestions on a video card for World of Warcraft on max settings? Should I make the jump to 8 GB of RAM?

Thanks!



More about : low buck upgrade

December 7, 2012 6:32:11 AM

I guess I should add that I would like HDMI out, it isn't a must, and I think most modern cards have it... but anyway.

Anybody?
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December 7, 2012 7:13:15 AM

I would get the radeon 7770 and keep the 4gb ram not familar with how taxing WoW is but that would be the highest I get for that CPU for fear of it being a bottleneck for the GPU. If I remember correctly ddr2 has gotten a bit pricey so I wouldn't bother with that right now and use that money for the next build.
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December 7, 2012 7:27:42 AM

Actually you can pick up DDR2 ram pretty cheaply - suppliers that want to get rid of old stock. So have a look and see if you can find a 2x4gb kit or something equivalent for 50 bucks.

Yeah that Radeon 7770 is a good pick and would do what you need it to do. But if you look around you might find a Radeon 6850 (performs just as good as the 7770) but might save you a few bucks.

Its not good to buy previous generation gear, but in your case you might want to consider it.

I also need to add that sinking anymore money into your rig is a bit a waste.
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December 7, 2012 8:30:07 AM

Looks like the Radeon 7770 is the route I will go then. I haven't seen any memory on the cheap yet, but if I'm able to find a 2x4GB pair for 70 bucks or so I will probably grab it.

If I added 2 more 2GB sticks they would need to be the same memory as I am currently using correct, i.e. brand, model, etc?

I know, spending money on this PC is probably a waste, but honestly, it does what I need it to do right now, I'd rather make it last a bit longer and build a nice machine later vs. building a medicore but new machine now. It plays media files, surfs the web, handles MS Word and Outlook, and plays World of Warcraft acceptably... or did until the video card started dying.
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December 7, 2012 8:43:47 AM

And in researching a bit it looks like the 6850 is a good bit more expensive than the Radeon 7770.

Also, 2x4GB of memory looks like it runs about twice what I'm willing to pay for it.

Looks like I'm just going to get the video card and call it a day... or a year... however long it takes me to build a new machine.
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December 7, 2012 8:56:53 AM

Cool, glad you could decide what to settle for.
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a b B Homebuilt system
December 7, 2012 1:57:51 PM

Even if you pick up 2 1gb sticks for 6 gb of ram total I think that would help. Currently running 6gb of ddr2 on my older gaming rig(Athlon II x4, 6gb ddr2, gts 450). But 6 gb seems like it keeps things smooth. I think the going price for 1gb sticks should be around 10 bucks a gig give or take.

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December 7, 2012 4:47:16 PM

I would probably spring for a 2x2GB kit, as they are available pretty cheaply, and I do have 2 open memory slots.

I have looked online and the memory 2x2GB kit I am currently running is no longer available.

Would it create any issues to use a different pair in the other 2 memory slots? I have Googled this and if I am understanding correctly it would possibly cause problems even if they were all DDR2 800.
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December 7, 2012 4:50:54 PM

Guess I should probably ask that question in a different section of the forum huh?
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December 8, 2012 3:39:19 AM

naa, the modules should work together just fine - sometimes the motherboards slow the ram down to the next fastest speed if things arent 100% compatible. dont worry, itll work either way.
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