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Question about upgrading gaming performance

Last response: in Systems
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December 31, 2012 6:18:15 PM

I am looking to upgrade my rig to play more graphics intensive games, such as Anno 2070.

Here are my current specs:

Brand
CyberpowerPC
Model
Gamer Ultra 2024

Processor
AMD Phenom II X4 955(3.2GHz)
Processor Main Features
64 bit Quad-Core Processor
Cache Per Processor
4 x 512KB L2 Cache

Memory
4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1333

Hard Drive
500GB SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 7200RPM HDD

Graphics
NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GT 1GB PCI Express Video Card

Power Supply
700W

Operating System:
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit

Motherboard:

Chipset
AMD 770

CPU:

CPU Type
Phenom II X4
Installed Qty
1
CPU Speed
955(3.2GHz)
L2 Cache Per CPU
4 x 512KB
L3 Cache Per CPU
6MB
CPU Socket Type
AM3
CPU Main Features
64 bit Quad-Core Processor

Graphics
GPU/VPU Type
NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GT
Graphics Interface
PCI Express 2.0 x16

Memory
Memory Capacity
4GB DDR3
Memory Speed
DDR3 1333
Form Factor
DIMM 240-pin
Memory Spec
2GB x 2
Memory Slot (Total)
4
Memory Slot (Available)
2
Maximum Memory Supported
16GB

I actually have 12GB of RAM because I salvaged a 4GBx2 GB DDR3 1333 from another computer and added it to the 2GBx2 that came with it.

What seems to be the limiting factor for improving game performance? The CPU, the Motherboard, the Video Card? I'm thinking that the CPU seems to be pretty good so perhaps a video card upgrade is needed.

My website of preference for parts is newegg.com

Can anyone recommend what I should do to affordably increase my performance (e.g. lowest cost (<$50 preferable) + fewest parts to replace).

Thank you for your help!
a b à CPUs
December 31, 2012 6:29:53 PM

want some free advice. pull the "extra" ram. adding more or different ram that was already there can hinder performance. yes, video looks to be the lowest common denominator, unless you run a low resolution monitor............. $50 will buy you a ham sandwich and a cup of coffee.
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December 31, 2012 6:54:09 PM

Actually swifty_morgan I did get a performance increase, especially when I have multiple applications running at once. The memory was even made by the same company.

Also, I did a newegg search and found a dozen 2GB video cards under $50:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

Is that the main thing I need to look at when getting a video card is the memory size?
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a b à CPUs
December 31, 2012 7:44:59 PM

if you want to go from a lump of junk to another lump of junk go ahead. the 2gig frame buffer will do nothing in a card that small. i'm not sure, and i'm not going to look to see if there's even a bit of difference in the performance of those cards side by side.

$50 is decent date money but not video card money.
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Best solution

a b à CPUs
December 31, 2012 8:52:28 PM

Double that and get a 7750 for $100. It's not great, but it's three rungs up on Tom's GPU charts.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...
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January 1, 2013 3:17:14 PM

Best answer selected by computer_phil.
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