improving my rig

I have recently assembled a budget pc for some gaming. After a ton of internet searching and research Here's what i got in my case for under $400..

intel dual core e2180 (oc'd to 2.8ghz)
asus hd3850 512mb (@ 700 mhz/1000mhz)
zotac board w/nforce 610 chipset
2 gig stick PNY performance ram
Nuuo series 580w psu

After i was finished installing a new copy of xp and updating all my drivers, i downloaded 3 demos to try out my new setup. Cod4, Grid, and Crysis.

Now the only game i can max out the settings without experiencing my fps dropping below 30 is GRID. It plays very nicely at 1280 x 1024 res. Cod4 plays decently at the reso, but explosions and incoming fire from multiple directions, and it drops to about 20-25 fps. Playable, but far from ideal. Crysis on the otherhand brings my pc to it's knees. I can get away with playing on medium at 1024x687, but slow downs are pretty bad and happen frequently. It even slows down on low!

I'm a little disappointed, but I am thinking perhaps upgrading to the 64 bit version of windows, or even Vista would help. I'm wondering if i really would see performance increase?

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  1. Vista will drop your performance first off. If you did put in Vista I would go for 4GB of RAM. I don't think going to a 64bit OS will help either. I think what is hurting you is your CPU and GPU. It is for sure a great little CPU for the money but the cache and clocks are holding your gaming back.

    I am not sure what your budget is but I would think about getting into a dual core E6750 - 2.66Ghz (169.99) or an E6850 - 3.0 Ghz(189.99) or even a quad Q6600 for ~$200.

    Even thought the clocks are similar to what you have now, the cache and new architecture play a huge roll in performance. So even at the same clocks, a newer CPU will be faster.

    The 3850 isn't a great card either. If you get into a 8800GT or a 9600GT you will be seeing a lot better performances. In combo with a newer CPU, you should b e pretty well off. The 8800GT and 9600GT are dropping into the $150 range now for new ones. You might even be able to get a good deal on a used one on Ebay. People will be wanting to get rid of them for the new generation of Nvidia cards coming out this month.

    I bought my 6800GT used on Ebay a long time ago and it is still kicking. If you are on a huge budget, it won't hurt to look at used cards...especially with the new gen coming out...there should be a big flux of people getting rid of their 8800GT and 9600GT that are probably hardly used. Good Luck!

    Edit: This isn't a bad deal at all, plus it is new. If you could find one on Ebay for ~$120 that would be a good deal.
  2. Thanks so much for helping me out. I know that i have built a budget system, but i don't have cash to upgrade parts right now. I would love to get a 8800gt or even a 3870 but i don't have the cash unless i take back my card which i am pretty sure that since i have oc'd it, the return policy is void.

    So in essence though, you are saying that my rig isn't strong enough to game high settings even in low resolutions? I am surprised and disappointed as i really thought i did a decent job getting something under 400 bucks lol.
  3. just an update, i had a hunch xp was using too many resources so i went into the service list and disabled system restore. I then went a little further and set the paging file to system managed and Low and behold i got a DRAMATIC increase in fps. I can play at 1280x1024 res at about 40-50 fps with the system not dipping lower then 30. Granted, settings are at medium, but i have enabled a few cool effects via the console, so crysis still looks really good. I can actually play at 1600x1200 decently too, but i prefer good over decent :)

    thanks for you help though. I just completed the demo and i absolutely loved it.
  4. No, I actually think that is a great rig for $400. Think of the crappy Dell that you would get for that much with on board graphics. The nice part about your system is that you can upgrade it with some decent parts if you want. I think you are just asking for too much performance for what you built.
  5. lol yea, that dell with the sis chip and celeron processor :D

    i am satisfied with the performance i get now. I will upgrade in the future, but i seem to be squeezing a good amount of horsepower out of my system now that xp has been tweaked. I can play cod 4 at 1600x1200 and it barely hiccups maintaining 40+ fps with everything maxed out still. I really am sort of shocked at how much gain i got. It's as if i added a whole new card.
  6. That is pretty cool. Nice find. If you can play COD4 smoothly at 1600 you are in good shape. Crysis is a douche kicks even high end systems in the pants so I wouldn't worry about that monster. With your OCs you are probably getting a good run for your money too.
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