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What should I upgrade? Want to play Total War Rome II on Ultra or Extreme!

Last response: in Components
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September 5, 2013 7:51:09 AM

Hello everyone!

Here's my situation. I feel tied down when I can't play my games on the highest graphical settings, so when I bought Total War: Rome II, I realized that my rig (bought in 2010) struggles quite a bit. In order to get decent, playable fps (around 40), I have to play on medium to high settings. If I run the game's benchmark file with very high, ultra, or extreme settings; I'll get an unplayable 5-20 fps.

I need assistance in determining what I can and should upgrade with my rig? Or perhaps it will be determined that too much needs upgrading and I should just buy a new one.

I have overclocked my i7 920 CPU to almost 4 GHz, and I have overclocked my video card to 800 core clock and 1150 memory clock. It seems like I should be able to overclock my video card more, but it gets too unstable when I run 3D Mark 11.

Below are my components: Any help guys would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!!

Power Supply:
CORSAIR HX Series HX850 850W

CPU:
Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core

RAM:
CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600

Motherboard:
ASUS P6X58D PREMIUM LGA 1366 INTEL X58 SATA 6GB/S USB 3.0 ATX INTEL

Video Card:
Diamond Radeon HD 5970 (Hemlock) 2BG 512 (256x2) GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16
September 5, 2013 9:03:08 AM

byogamingpc said:
Your best option is to upgrade your GPU, do you have a budget? My first recommendation would be to check out the HD 7950 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007581QHG/ref=as_li_q... which is currently the best performing card for the money. Your RAM is a bit low as well, I'd add another 2GB RAM http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00433L22U/ref=as_li_q... in the last slot on your motherboard. 8GB is the minimum you want these days.


Thanks. My budget is around $1300, so I got a ton of wiggle room if I only have to update the GPU and a stick of RAM. This 5970 card is my first ATI and I don't like it as much as Nvidia. The reason is because I've had issues with the CCC in the past. Would you have a recommendation for a GPU if I wasn't to go with Radeon again?

September 5, 2013 9:08:34 AM

Also, I'm not too savvy when it comes to what RAM can be mixed up with other RAM, but can I assume I shouldn't have any issues with that Kingston RAM you linked even though its a different brand?
September 5, 2013 12:58:31 PM

Thanks for your suggestions. I'll think about it a bit more, but I think I'm going to just hold on to the cash for now and upgrade the GPU and RAM as you suggested. I'll try to get another good year out of it and build a brand new one next fall when I have a $1800 budget or so. If the GPU and RAM improvement don't impress me enough, I'll probably jump on building a new rig earlier. I can always return them within 30 days.

One additional question about the HD 7950 - do you think its worth getting two of them and crossfire them?
!