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Should I Upgrade My Pc?


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#1 dsnow

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 07:29 PM

Hello everybody.

So Ive been playing some newish games on my PC and Im finding the performance at times to be disappointing. I am mostly confident that my computer is free of major issues affecting performance, so Im wondering if I should perhaps upgrade.

Heres what I currently have:

2.40 gigahertz Intel Pentium 4 (which should be good, right?)
760 MB ram (a 512 in one slot, 256 in the other... not sure what type of ram)
RADEON 9250 128mb video
WIN XP

The games Im playing recommend specs of 512 ram, 1.5-2ghz proccessor, 64mb video, so I figured they would run brilliant. Alas, they do not. Ive been told that lack of ram can slow a computer down... would this be a factor? I figure my proccessor and video card should be sufficent, but I dont really know.

Your recommendations please!

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#2 Gyro

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 11:23 PM

Usually ram works a lot better if they are of a same type and of the same size. But when it comes to games, you usually get more results from video cards, and shutting down programs that eat a lot of resources before you play the games will help. If you are playing online games, don't worry about the speed, what games are we talking about?

#3 dc3

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 12:33 AM

Usually ram works a lot better if they are of a same type and of the same size.



The only instance that this has any validity to my knowledge is in dual channel operation.

Unless you're benchmarking your system you won't notice if they are of different manufacturers or different sizes, as long as they are compatible with your motherboard. There will be a loss of performance if you mix different speeds, the faster module will underclock to the slower module.

Edited by dc3, 12 September 2006 - 12:34 AM.

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#4 Klinkaroo

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 06:22 PM

I think one this that would help you would be to get a better video card. For the rest you are doing pretty good... but if we really want to do alot better then we're talking in the area of a full upgrade of the system because there is not really one part that we could upgrade other then the video card that would actually improve your system because all the others will just slow that part down...

I have a ATI Radeon 9600 Pro video card and I run games pretty good. Look around and I am sure you could find a decent video card. I am supposing also that you have an AGP slot and not a PCI-Express but you should double check first.

#5 dsnow

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 07:18 PM

thanks for the replies

Usually ram works a lot better if they are of a same type and of the same size. But when it comes to games, you usually get more results from video cards, and shutting down programs that eat a lot of resources before you play the games will help. If you are playing online games, don't worry about the speed, what games are we talking about?


Single player games, specifically Knights of The Old Republic and Stronghold 2. Ive done a reasonable clean-up on my computer, so I think it is operating at more or less optimum efficiency. I think.

if we really want to do alot better then we're talking in the area of a full upgrade of the system because there is not really one part that we could upgrade other then the video card that would actually improve your system because all the others will just slow that part down...

I have a ATI Radeon 9600 Pro video card and I run games pretty good. Look around and I am sure you could find a decent video card. I am supposing also that you have an AGP slot and not a PCI-Express but you should double check first.


I suspected as much... but it is unfortunate, I actually just bought that video card. Wasnt all that expensive, but I suppose I should have researched it more. I just figured it was good enough.

Ive got 1 AGP and 3 PCI slots, but no PCI express. Im not sure if this makes a difference, but the card is PCI. Should I have gotten a card for the AGP slot instead?

#6 Klinkaroo

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 09:13 PM

Yeah...

The agp slot is faster and is pretty much dedicated to video cards. The pci slots are more used for add-ons such as sound cards and the such...

#7 dsnow

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 10:13 PM

Well... I had no idea, and the salesman certainly didnt bother telling me. Oh well, its good to know, call it a learning experience. I had assumed that if a game recommened 32 or 64mb grahpics, having 128mb would be more than enough, but is this not nessicarily the case?

So if I were to get an AGP grahpics card, what would be recommendable? I dont need to go over the top, but I want to run games from within the last couple years with good solid performance.

#8 legoman786

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 11:13 PM

Actually, to run a game, you have to factor in the Pipelines, the shader model and shaders, the vertex shaders and yada yada. This only applies to video cards. There is also how much RAM you have and what kind of CPU you have.

You 9250 will be able to run games, but NOT ALL THE NEWER GAMES. My 9800XT on the AGP slot can run FEAR on settings high enough to where I cant complain. RAM will make a difference on what kind of stuf you have running in the background, and how RAM intensive the game is. I would suggest finding a decently priced X800GTO2 or X850XT (under $110 is okay) on eBay. Since we (or most likely you) dont know what knid of motherboard you have, there is no way of telling if your motherboard will support dual channel memory.

Edited by legoman786, 12 September 2006 - 11:14 PM.

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#9 Klinkaroo

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Posted 13 September 2006 - 07:26 AM

Also something to about videocards. They say they need 64mb video card but they don't talk about the video processor. Think of it like your computer you won't be getting to far with 2 gigs of ram and a pentium 2 processor...

Also about the RAM. What they often neglect to say is that the recommend 512 mb of free ram... so if you are running programs in the background (In the taskbar, such as anti-virus, xfire, IMs) these eat at your ram and take memory away.

#10 usasma

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Posted 16 September 2006 - 07:32 AM

One other option that might help is to turn down the video details in the game options. This will place less of a stress on your video card and will let your frame rates improve.
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#11 percypape

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Posted 21 September 2006 - 01:01 PM

Shutting down my anti-virus and antispyware programs while playing games solved my problems w/game performance.

#12 Gyro

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Posted 21 September 2006 - 01:08 PM

And the virusus and spyware thank you every day.




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