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Which should I upgrade... CPU or Video Card for WoW

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January 4, 2008 10:13:39 AM

Hi,

Mainly for playing WoW, which component should I upgrade CPU or Video card.

My current system:

AMD athlon64 3000+ Venice (1.8ghz) can overclock to 2.4ghz or so. (Socket 939).
nVidia Geforce 7800GT
1gb RAM
Antec Power Supply around 480watt.


Currently WoW running at 1600x1050 res, get around 30-60fps and down to 7-15fps in a crowded area like outside Auction House in Orgrimmar. Usually when i play, i have internet explorer open with multi tabs on. (this made the systems slows when switching between tabs and game).

Will i be better off to get an Athlon X2 4200 (2.2gh?) CPU or get an Ati HD 3850/70 or nVidia 8800GT.

Any input, particularly from those play the game with similar system and have upgraded will be much appreciated.

cheers,
January 4, 2008 11:10:37 AM

More memory !!! Seriously, get more RAM first, then worry about your video or cpu.
January 4, 2008 11:48:36 AM

Memory would help as stated. My friend is running similar setup but he is using a 1950 gt, his frame rate only drops below playability in shat. Only difference is he has 2gb and a 3400+. Switching between game and windows is where the ram will help you. Anyway gl with it.
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January 4, 2008 12:40:49 PM

hmm,

I did not think of lacking memory till mentioned, i may have a go with it.

I have been thinking of building a new system (m/b cpu vcard which using different RAM). Will this memory upgrade worth it in say 6 months time of use until i upgrade?

Thanks guys, appreciated it.



January 4, 2008 1:04:24 PM

IF you do add more memory make sure you add the same brand (model #) and timing you have in there now, unless you find a good deal on 2x1gig sticks.
DDR400 memory isn't cheap, you will probably pay like $120+ for 1gig, might think about waiting if your going to upgrade in 6 months.
Just depends on if you think its worth the money for 6 months of use out of it and what your going to do with that hardware once you upgrade.

With 939 socket you are very limited on what you can upgrade the CPU to, best to save up and upgrade mobo, cpu and memory, you can still use that video card.

World of Warcraft runs best with 2gigs of memory, you won't have the load lag you have right now with 2gigs, once you zone in you will be able to move around. :bounce: 
January 4, 2008 2:44:10 PM

good point, Pist.

Any idea if the fps will goes up with a good video card but system memory remain at 1gb RAM? btw, i'm using win XP home edition.

I dont feel like to spent for something (RAM) that i may wont use after few months.
January 4, 2008 4:24:38 PM

Your card is great for WoW. WoW is not hugely videocard or cpu intensive. If you really want to test it though, drop your settings to the minimum on graphics and go outside the AH in org with all your browser windows open. It will likely improve a bit but still be chunky.

Memory will be your best bet though from my experience. An x2 will help you when you switch back and forth between your browser and your game, but it shouldn't make much difference once you are in WoW in regular mode (non-windowed) because I don't think WoW is multithreaded.

January 4, 2008 6:26:31 PM

Wow is actually now multithreaded (as of last big patch). Before buying any memory you should just check Windows Task Manager and see how much Physical Memory is being used. I run Wow on my laptop and my main PC. My laptop has 1.8ghz cpu, 1 gig ram and a geforce 6800 (equivalent). Running it now with a browser running at the same time I still have 350 meg physical memory free. I agree with above poster, try dropping every video setting to the minimum, perhaps you have antialising on too high.
January 4, 2008 8:35:18 PM

I had identical specs in 2005 and played WoW. I'd say the biggest difference I saw was when I upgraded my CPU from 3000+ to a 3700+. I also added another gig of ram at the same time but I think the beefier CPU made quite a difference. And now that WoW is multi-core optimized you'd benefit even more from a decent X2. The GPU is the last thing I'd worry about. A 7800GT is great for WoW.
January 5, 2008 1:56:21 AM

I just checked on Task Manager, having character outside auction house (orgrimmar) plus 4 windows of I.E with few tabs each and MSN on. CPU is at 91-99% and Physical memory at around 20-70mb >.<

I guess i will get a cheap x2 and more ram.

Thanks all for the helpfull tips.
January 6, 2008 7:37:07 AM

something might be worth trying is tweaking xp to shutdown as many services as you can. I freed up quite a bit of memory doing it. I used this site:
http://tweakhound.com/xp/xptweaks/supertweaks1.htm
but it is a great way of stopping things from working so if your not sure what your doing buying more ram might be safer.
January 7, 2008 12:44:50 PM

Before upgrading the CPU first find out what your mobo will support, being 939 you are very limited, it might not support a Athlon X2 4200. A new CPU will help some but it won't solve load lag in World of Warcraft.

If you did upgrade graphic card then you might need to look at changing power supply if it doesn't have enough amps on the +12v for the new card.

Have you tried running the game at a lower resolution? 1600x1050 might be too high for your current setup while playing WoW.

January 7, 2008 4:12:50 PM

I played WoW for 2.5 years and upgraded various pieces along the way to try and squeeze out a few more FPS. I started with the obvious ram upgrade. I went from 1Gb to 2Gb and that helped a lot. I upgraded my 128mb ATI Radeon 9600 to a ATI X1900 512mb. That made a huge difference. I put in an AMD x2 4400+ to replace my AMD 64 3000+. The cpu upgrade helped, but it wasn't much different at all with the other upgrades. This was also before the dual core optimization patch, so the cpu upgrade could give more of a benefit to you than it did to me. I upgraded my mobo when I got the new cpu, I didn't get anything special so I wouldn't put that in the mix.

First upgrade I'd suggest is more RAM; go for at least 2Gb. After that, go for the graphics card.

The best thing you can do is close everything else down that you don't need running and lower your resolution. If you plan on seriously raiding, just get used to having the most streamlined setup as possible. If you are using the browser windows to look stuff up for in game quests/items, try installing the add-on Lightheaded and Tomtom. The less you have going on outside of WoW the better your performance will be.
January 8, 2008 4:40:16 AM

I started playing WoW since day 1 ...

My old setup was 1GB RAM, AMD X2 4200+, 6800GS. It played well.

Then I upgraded to 2GB RAM. It played well too.

And then SLi my 6800GS ... I didn't notice any difference.

Now with my 8800GT ... perhaps I don't see any tearing of screen when I rapidly spin around.

But ... when I upgraded my Internet plan and got myself a dedicated line back in the days before I SLi my system, I got a smooth play. The lag is gone especially around AH when there are lots of players.

I personally think that your video card is more than enough for WoW. Add RAM if you must. I don't know how different is 3000+ and my 4200+. I suspect it is not anything dramatic.

Just my 2 cents.
January 8, 2008 12:10:24 PM

Just went to computer shop to buy another 2x512mb ram. The shop only had 1 left. So i haven't update anything. Few days passed, now i have a thought of upgrading. I probably better off upgrading now then spending the money for the xtra ram that i may won't use in few months time. But then many new things are coming up in a short time.

I guess i will just lower down my resolution and toon down the graphic details a bit for the time being. I remember i had around 60-90+ fps when i just build my pc. (was playing at around 800x600 or 1024x768).

Again, thx so much for the helpful inputs. Much appreciated it.

March 4, 2008 10:32:47 PM

I recently came across these forums while doing my 'shopping' for pc upgrades for my desktop and saw this thread.

I have played WoW since October of 2006, and can suggest some other things you might be overlooking. I originally used a desktop that had stats very similar to yours only all AMD/ATI parts. In the past 8 months I have only been using a laptop. The stats on the laptop I installed WoW on AND am able to be a paladin tank on/PvP effectively are:

Compaq Presario M2000
Mobile AD Sempron LV, 1600 MHz (8 x 200) 2800+ (Socket 754)
256 PC2700 DDR RAM @ 166Mhz (Shared 32MB with video, so it was actually 224 MB for system)
Onboard ATI Radeon Xpress 200, 32 MB (See above)
30GB Compaq M200 Harddrive @ about 8,000 RPM

I was able to install (even though it gave me an error message) and run WoW(@Average of 20 FPS) AND walk in Storm/Org(@1-5 FPS).

I then upgraded my ram to 1 gig, and had an issue with my BIOS, which caused me to have just the 256 and 512 sticks in it for a total of 768 and changed my video card to 128MB, which comes to 640MB of RAM and my FPS in the game(@Average of 35 FPS) and Storm/Org(@Average of 8 FPS) drastically improved.

How was I able to run the game at such low stats? I tweaked my system. I turned off some services (as soswin mentioned) and changed my virtual memory/page file.

Here's how your setup is looking so far as I've read in the thread.

AMD athlon64 3000+ Venice (1.8ghz) (Socket 939).
nVidia Geforce 7800GT (256MB DDR3)
2gb RAM (Looks like 4 sticks of 512)
Antec Power Supply around 480 watt

That's going to run WoW very well, I don't even think you need more of an upgrade, even if you do alt-tab. Just change your page file to a constant of 1 gig.
March 5, 2008 5:40:25 PM

I would definately go dual core. Your video card is pretty good and 1GB of memory is okay.
March 6, 2008 2:50:39 AM

Upgrade CPU and RAM now, GPU later.
March 6, 2008 5:25:36 PM

I wouldn't bother with upgrading the memory. It'd be a waste since you won't be able to use the RAM in a new computer. You could take a dual core CPU or an 8800GT with you though. 1GB really isn't all that bad. The CPU would seriously bottleneck an 8800 or 3870 anyway.
March 6, 2008 8:27:30 PM

He's playing WoW, he doesn't need anything other than a bigfoot NIC.
a c 127 à CPUs
March 6, 2008 9:04:30 PM

Ken168 said:
Just went to computer shop to buy another 2x512mb ram. The shop only had 1 left. So i haven't update anything. Few days passed, now i have a thought of upgrading. I probably better off upgrading now then spending the money for the xtra ram that i may won't use in few months time. But then many new things are coming up in a short time.

I guess i will just lower down my resolution and toon down the graphic details a bit for the time being. I remember i had around 60-90+ fps when i just build my pc. (was playing at around 800x600 or 1024x768).

Again, thx so much for the helpful inputs. Much appreciated it.


The problem with that is there will always be something newer and better. Intel has a tick tock strategy with the tock coming this year with Nehalem. The in 2009 there will be the tick with the 32nm shrink of Nehalem(it will come out at 45nm this year).

I have been seeing reports of ATI releasing their RV7xx series this year meaning that the RV8xx series will come out next year most likely.

You can upgrade now and get a quad sore, a nice HD3870, 2-4GB DDR2800 and WoW will run great and probably that will last you until they come out with WoW 2.0 or higher.
March 7, 2008 12:25:22 PM

Ken168 said:
Hi,

Mainly for playing WoW, which component should I upgrade CPU or Video card.

My current system:

AMD athlon64 3000+ Venice (1.8ghz) can overclock to 2.4ghz or so. (Socket 939).
nVidia Geforce 7800GT
1gb RAM
Antec Power Supply around 480watt.




I would upgrade the CPU and the RAM.........
May 2, 2009 3:20:02 PM

Lol, was looking for my other thread and bump into this one.

Fyi, I have upgraded my pc to PII 940 with 4gb ram (same vcard). Now my problem is I can't test the improvement... as I have quit WoW long before the upgrade. lol >.<

Anyway, thank you for all the input. <3
May 2, 2009 5:44:51 PM

wtf same here why i just bump here hahah lol well anyway i will suggest both to upgrade it ^^
a c 273 U Graphics card
a b à CPUs
September 9, 2011 5:31:59 PM

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