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New PC or just graphics card?

I have a relatively old Dell XPS 420 -

Core 2 Quad Processor, Q9450 ~2.7Ghz
4GB Ram
1Tb Hard Drive
NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GT - 512Mb
Windows Vista Ultimate - 32bit.

Computer is fine for most every day things - iTunes/MS Office/Movies - not a huge gamer, but I play the Total War (Empire/Medieval 2) series and my graphics card isn't really up to the task - it works, but it will often overheats or just crashes. Will I see noticeable difference upgrading the card or is my computer the problem? And/or is the investment worth it - should I just upgrade all together and get windows 8.

Thanks.
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  1. It would be a good Idea to go with a new computer, You might have to upgrade the psu in order to put in a better gpu, Also that system will bottleneck newer gpus.

    Imo I think you would be happier with getting a new computer, IMO right now is the time to build as you can get very good deals on parts and have allot better computer then you can buy prebuilt for the money.
  2. RE: Cia24 - thanks for the response - I agree on building a new is the best option, however, I'm thinking I can get a a little more life out of this one, as I just need some better graphics for some of the games (for the most part my system can handle it, loads fine, just the graphics card gets a bit overwhelmed) - i.e. for the moment invest like 300-400 get a decent card and a new psu then in a year build a new one and put in the card I already bought?

    Does that make sense? Is changing the psu a huge investment?

    Thanks again.
  3. It make sense but you CPU is going to bottleneck with the new decent gpus on the market. Im sorry.
  4. any card in the range of 200-$300 is going to bottleneck so bad the the performance will seem the same as the gtx 9800 that you currently have.
  5. Ok, thanks - I'll look into building a new one - do you have a recommended graphics card that's not super expensive but gets the job done?
  6. Brukes said:
    Ok, thanks - I'll look into building a new one - do you have a recommended graphics card that's not super expensive but gets the job done?



    I dont care what anyone says about the gtx 480, Its a rather hot card and takes a bit of power but for $200 nothing can beat it.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130759&name=Desktop-Graphics-Cards
  7. Woot GTX480! Put an antec 620 cooler on it and OC to 900MHZ (but better have a good PSU)
  8. Best answer
    You will see a modest boost from something like a HD7770 (three tiers higher than what you have). As to your CPU, not being in the top three tiers doesn't mean it's useless, far from it. If you get an even more powerful graphics card now, you will indeed have the option to move it when you rebuild, so you will not have wasted your money.
  9. For thos that say a QUAD core socket 775 is going to bottleneck any current cpu doesnt know what they r talking about that cpu is good for a few more years get a decent psu and a 480 and you wont believe the diffrence.......I just sold my q6600 with a 480 that ran bf3 on med high with 1080 decent fps its still a decnt cpu.....
  10. UM I ment gpu in the post above
  11. While you might appreciate a leg-warmer under your desk for the coming winter, a cool-running, power-sipping, equally fast (or faster when OC'ed) HD7850 makes a lot more sense than a GTX480.

    Edit: Oh yeah, and it's cheaper too; cheaper to buy, and cheaper to own.
  12. i dont think that cpu is nearly as bad as one of the posters is saying. core2 is in line with phenom2s which are just as good as bulldozer. the clocks are a bit low, i would overclock that cpu a bit and get a new videocard.
  13. robustus64 said:
    For thos that say a QUAD core socket 775 is going to bottleneck any current cpu doesnt know what they r talking about that cpu is good for a few more years get a decent psu and a 480 and you wont believe the diffrence.......I just sold my q6600 with a 480 that ran bf3 on med high with 1080 decent fps its still a decnt cpu.....



    Lmao.
  14. +1 to upgrade GPU and PSU if needed.
    your CPU is still fine for gaming.

    Also you should get a 64 bit OS since you have 4Gb of ram. 4Gb of ram + XGb of video memory, you'll loose some usable memory from your ram.
  15. Ill tell you right now throwing a 400 series card in a dell xps stock case is going to be a oven. lol..
  16. cia24 said:
    Lmao.


    you laugh but hes right. you are severely underestimating core2quad
  17. cia24, you're not being consistent. In an earlier post you seem to be recommending the GTX480; now you're talking more sense about how hot it will get (especially in a Dell case).

    Assuming the motherboard is the original Dell, it will have a locked BIOS so overclocking will be difficult or impossible.

    If you can add another (or a faster) fan to that case, it may help your overall temps, but at the expense of noise. You could also buy a $50-$60 case and move all your parts. You'd get more fans (and/or places to put them) and a lot more space for other things.
  18. to my knowlege many dell motherboards have a diffrent fourm of where they place the mounting holes. Thus many dell motherboards are not able to go into aftermarket cases without heavy moding.

    IMO the op is better off upgradeing the whole pc.
  19. Yeah, building a new rig would be a nice option, but really depends on the OP's budget and priorities.
  20. According to one of the op's post he seems to be willing to spend $300-$400 on a gpu for a upgrade, You can build a rig that will have no issues playing most games with max settings for $700-$800 Xmas time is coming honestly its going to be a good year to build.
  21. Thanks for all the responses - ended up staying with the current system and putting a GTX 560 - seemed like the best value and the current PSU was strong enough/had all the connections. Huge performance increase - night and day.
  22. Best answer selected by Brukes.
  23. That's a decent card. You must have one of the better Dell PSUs if it had the necessary connectors on it without using adapters. If you had to use an adapter, you might be running it at or near its limit. Be careful; monitor the exhaust temp of the PSU carefully. If it gets really hot, you'll want to upgrade it before it blows.
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