I assembled this PC: Motherboard Asus P5B Wi-Fi, Core 2 Duo E6400, XFX Geforce 7900 GT, HD Seagate Sata-II 250 gb, 1024 (2x512) mb DDR-2 533 Kingston Value.
I'm living in south america, so finding better hardware would cost me a lot, due to import taxes (that sometimes surpasses the total amount the piece costs whithout it) and supply/demand universal rules.
So I bought some pieces first and put them to use in my old deceased configuration - it was the case of the hard disk. I reserved a free space, not formatted, of 30 gigs (to install Win XP SP2), created an 120 gb partition NTFS for Files, and left the rest to an potential linux instalation.
When the rest of the machine arrived, I formatted it with Win XP and all the rest (mobo drivers, directx 9c, nvida 93.71 forceware, defrag it, optimise the swap file in a fixed size of 3 gb). The XP instalation, by the way, was a pain in the neck, not using all the 30 gb reserved - it left 8 mb at the begining, created the partition not primary, but extended and so...
I'm having difficulties to play FEAR, DOOM3 or QUAKE4 at higher resolutions than 1024x768 (all qualities, AA 4x and AF 8x, except Q4's ultra, that requires a 512 mb videocard).
My question is: bad performance at 1200x1024 at those configurations is to be expected? I have to really downsize my resolutions to 1024? Is my memory at 533 (the only thing I cutted to upgrade later) being a bottleneck?
Thanks in advance for your patinence in reading this.
RAM. If anything in your hardware config is causing a problem my first guess would be your RAM. First because there is only 1 gig of it, and second because it is slow (not a major issue but could be a contributing factor).
Second guess would be the built in sound card. Shouldn't be a problem with that processor, but it could be.
If you have any friends who you can borrow components from, see if they fix your problem before you purchase. The last thing you want is to have bought $200 worth of hardware only to discover that it did nothing to resolve your issue.
I have to agree the 1GB or ram is not really enough in this day and age for gaming but to tell you the truth your graphics card might still struggle to play games like FEAR above 1024X768 as that game is ultra demanding at high resolutions. Saying that though DOOM3 should run fairly well with your graphics card so on that front a memory upgrade should more than likely solve any problems you where having.
You have such a nice system that many would like to have with medium/high graphics card. Ram like everyone is saying and they are right that, it is the largest bottleneck in your system. I would also recommend a raptor just make sure you can keep it cool. That will really pep up your experience with game loading times. You have a rocketship proc, decent ram, good graphics, good primary hard drive like the new raptors which are a tad faster than older gen ones still found on the market. Good luck.