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Old 05-03-2009, 10:55 PM   #1
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Default upgrading computer - advice and help?

hey guys,
so....i just registered and well by that standards this is my first post.
bear with me if i say something stupid, though i usually dont.
anyway, here is the deal. I have a computer i use, for school work and the lot but also for gaming.

I have been using it for a while (4 years i would say) and have minimal upgrades on it. i am an avid gamer, although a lil behind the times.
so far, i have had very little issues and have been playing some games on medium settings like left 4 dead, assassin's creed, call of duty 4, but i recently decided to upgrade it so as to play higher end games. here my computer jarbles up. id like to play world at war, RB6 Vegas 2, etc etc (waiting on assassin's creed 2 ) i tried crysis and could only run it on low with low res and everything - really spoils the mood of the game.

i am looking for advice on the video card, and other components should anyone wanna help me.
here are my computer specs:
(i started with a sort of pre-made dell computer - poor college kid)

Intel Pentium dual core 2.8 Ghz
3.0 GBytes of Ram, DDR 2 i believe
Nvidia Gforce 8400 GS (eek - i know i know)
standard dell 17" monitor

i'd really like to upgrade the graphics card and was wondering what you guys best recommend. I am aiming at something between $100 - $170 though i dont mind shelling for a lil more. i read through a lot of forums and the best option i come up with, is this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814150314
what do you guys think?
also, what else can i upgrade so as to make it a better gaming computer? can anyone gauge if my processor is alright? i am planning on upgrading my monitor to a nice 22" or so, so i could really use a graphics upgrade. apart from ms word, i play few games and watch videos and movies and the like.

again guys, thank you for any replies. wish me luck.
cheef
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Old 05-03-2009, 11:27 PM   #2
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Default Re: upgrading computer - advice and help?

You're current video card isn't that great. You need a new CPU and GPU upgrade. That should get you going. What motherboard are you running?

This 4870 is a great card for gaming at 1680x1050.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814102810

Get this with an aftermarket cooler and overclock the hell out of it.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819115206

Heatsink
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16835186134

This is assuming you have a socket 775 motherboard.
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Old 05-03-2009, 11:37 PM   #3
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Default Re: upgrading computer - advice and help?

WOW! that GTX+ is what i have and wow has the price dropped lol i might have to get another one

anyways, what rohan suggested is perfect. those 4870s are beasts and the whole C2D line is great and is worth very penny
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Old 05-04-2009, 03:29 AM   #4
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Default Re: upgrading computer - advice and help?

hmmm thank you.....

that 4870 card looks nice, i think ima have to hold off upgrading processors or the motherboard - till i can afford it (summer job hopefully).
Not sure what motherboard i have - whatever comes off the 'home computer' line from dell.
socket 775 makes no sense to me (very limited knowledge of computers) but i am reading and learning, trying to teach myself.

do you think are are gonna be any issues with compatibility that i need to be seriously aware of?
the nvidia i have now gave me no troubles - plugged it in, installed the drivers, and couldn't be easier.

thank you rohan and zkilla. if i make enough money this summer, i'll definitely invest in a something fancy (quad, ddr something something *insert stuff wayyy beyond my computer knowledge level*)
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Old 05-04-2009, 12:41 PM   #5
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Default Re: upgrading computer - advice and help?

Quote:
do you think are are gonna be any issues with compatibility that i need to be seriously aware of?
the nvidia i have now gave me no troubles - plugged it in, installed the drivers, and couldn't be easier.
It is important that you go through the proper process of removing the Nvidia drivers before you install the ATi drivers and there can sometimes be conflicts.

- Uninstall the drivers through Control Panel/Add-Remove programs
- Reboot in safe mode and run Driver Sweeper (Just google it)
- Reboot again (not in safe mode) and install the latest ATi drivers from their site.

That way you should have no problems with conflictions.
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Old 05-04-2009, 01:25 PM   #6
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Default Re: upgrading computer - advice and help?

oh sweet, just learned (after comprehensive search through the actual dell DM051 service manual and a look inside my computer) that my motherboard is a connolly E187242 - which i am guessing is a p.o.s.

anyway..... judging by the look of it, i have one slot for a graphics card -
but i think the 4870 card should work - depending on the size of my awesome stock case.
will look into it.

any suggestions regarding the processor i have? i know its not amazing, but not too bad yeah? or am i behind on the gamer's fundamentals? i have an Intel Pentium D CPU running @ 2.77 Ghz (its a dual core).
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Old 05-04-2009, 03:29 PM   #7
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Default Re: upgrading computer - advice and help?

Quote:
any suggestions regarding the processor i have? i know its not amazing, but not too bad yeah? or am i behind on the gamer's fundamentals? i have an Intel Pentium D CPU running @ 2.77 Ghz (its a dual core).
It will obviously limit a great card like the HD 4870 to a certain extent. But since you're using the computer primarily for gaming, a GPU upgrade is much more important than a CPU upgrade if that's all you have money for.
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Old 05-04-2009, 08:26 PM   #8
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Default Re: upgrading computer - advice and help?

cool.
what about the gtx 260 - it's not too pricy. how does that compare with the 4870?
i am leaning toward the 260.
if i wanna save some money, then the 9600gtx+ otherwise the 260.
what do you think?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814130370 or its other variations?
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Old 05-04-2009, 08:34 PM   #9
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Default Re: upgrading computer - advice and help?

There are 2 versions of the GTX 260. You want to get the Core 216. It performs on the same level as the GTX 280 which costs a good deal more.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814133270

Around the same price but performs a lot better.
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Old 05-04-2009, 09:13 PM   #10
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Default Re: upgrading computer - advice and help?

Rohan is precisely right. The GTX260 C216 will outperform the 4870 I think. Another wise option is a GTS250. It's not as good as the GTX260 C216, but will keep up for some odd 60-70 dollars less. Most cards in the GTX series are designed around high GPU/VM usage on higher resolutions. For instance, my 9600GT plays Crysis at ~45Fps on all high (not very high) with 4x AA (I think) on a 19inch wide @ 1024x768 or like 36-37 on 1152x864. So my belief is that a GTS250 would do perfectly for your 17inch. Like everyone says, the GTS250 is just a rebranded 9800GTX+ with some extra speed on the gpu core clock.
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