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Advice needed

SkollopsSkollops Senior MemberBehind you :ORegistered Users Posts: 3,292
edited January 2011 in Technology
Okay here I am with my computer. Getting a little laggy in some games and I would really prefer a computer that can performe well in most new games.
We can take Shogun II as example.

What I ask from you guys is what I need to upgrade and maybe what I can buy.
I think it's the graphic card which isn't very good but I've thought about the CPU too.
The CPU is a quad core each of 2,5 ghz and what I've seen so far better CPU's than that is very expensive.

Anyway, to let you know a bit about my system, my DxDiag is posted here:

If you don't want to look through the DxDiag I can tell that it's a Acer M7711 and I have modified nothing so far.

Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU Q9300 @ 2.50GHz (4 CPUs), ~2.5GHz
8 Gb DDR2 ram
ATI Radeon HD 4800 Series graphic card

Ps. I have 400-500$ to buy for. This includes new cooler, motherboard and such if it's needed.

Thank you :)
Previously known as DenmarkRules
Post edited by Skollops on


  • evotucevotuc Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 983
    edited January 2011
    Maybe just your graphics card. But then the questions become whether or not your case could hold a new card and will your power supply be able to handle it.
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  • Maeda_ToshiieMaeda_Toshiie Senior Member SingaporeRegistered Users Posts: 3,601
    edited January 2011
    The Q9300 can be overclocked to eke out more performance but since this probably has a vendor designed mobo, overclocking will be difficult, if not impossible. Getting a higher clockspeed Yorkfield chip is possible but it is dated technology so it may not be worth it.

    You can possibly get a 6850/6870 but you'd have to check that your PSU can support it, especially the 12v supply.

    Other than getting a new chip and/or video card, mobo upgrading is too expensive. Your budget is insufficient to include getting a mobo, RAM and chip for an Intel i5 or AMD PII X4, while getting a sufficiently advanced gfx card.
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  • AlJabberwockAlJabberwock Moderator USAModerators, Tech Moderators, Knights Posts: 7,730
    edited January 2011
    I agree with the advice so far, including your own DenmarkRules.

    The most needful item in your system is definitely the card, although you will run into a CPU bottleneck a little higher up as soon as you upgrade. Unfortunately Maeda Toshiie is right about the overclock possibilities which is the normal 'workaround' for that next bottleneck, and one of the main reasons I do not recommend pre-built systems from most major makers.

    Going back to the card/PSU - just to reiterate (and remind all those who read my mod post on the need for a reference link-library), there are normal aging effects that gradually erode the capabilities of a PSU from the day you first load it up. Additionally PSUs all have certain inefficiencies, and a number of components need specific 'flavors' of power (the 12+v for example as described by Maeda) that have to be available in sufficient quantity. To make it even more frustrating, there are now additonal power needs in new video cards, so they have extra 'PCIe power' plugs that need to come off the PSU in the right number and plug configuration. The older the PSU and the more lmited the system for which it was provided by the system-builder, the less chance it has what you need on any of those fronts... Dagnabbit!

    So, first thing is to say, you can buy a top level card for 500 bucks or thereabouts... that is IF you are in the US, and you DON'T need some of that budget to buy a PSU. If you will have to take away from the Card budget, I would say you are looking at either the NVidia 570, or the AMD 6950 or 6970. These have similar performance levels (although they can have different success depending on title and companion components because of architectural differences). This would leave you somewhere between $120 and $150 for a kick-butt power source from say Antec, or Corsair, or similar. I would recommend at least 600 watts, but better would be a 750watt with at least 40 to 50 amps (total) on the 12+v rail(s) so you can use it in your next build (which you will want to update the board and CPU). When you are looking at PSUs, multiple or single-rail (for the 12+v)these days hardly matters, but PFC IS important. Stick with one of the top makers and you won;t go wring most times.
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