#1
I don't really know what to do, lol. I have a Gateway 7310S, pentium 4, 1024MB ram, and some old NVidia card that came standard with the system.

I feel like I'm missing out on the good parts of a lot of games, as I always have to run them on bare minimum settings, and even then they run slowly and crappily very often. All in all, I'm a huge fan of games, and I'm quickly coming to enjoy PC gaming very much as opposed to Consoles, but my enjoyment is being hindered by my painfully mediocre system.

Anyway, I recently upgraded the ram to 1024, but I'm not sure what to do next. Should I get a new video card? If so, what's a good option for less than like 200 bucks?
#2
...

for $200? I honestly don't think theres anything...

You need at least 2gig of RAM anyway.

You didn't tell us your processor speed.
#3
Hmmm... I'm not sure about prices of gfx cards in the US, but assuming you have somewhat similar prices to us, I'd say ATI Radeon HD3870 or nVidia GeForce 8800GT. You ought to be able to get them for 200, I think.

Edit: Disregard that. I completely mixed up currencies. Let me do some research...

Edit2: Ok, yet again, I'm just guessing at prices in the US. You might be able to get a hold of one of those I mentioned, but probably not. In that case, you might want to look for ATI X1950 or HD3850, or nVidia 8600GT or something similar.
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Last edited by Raziel2p at Feb 5, 2008,
#4
No way is he getting either of those cards for that price.

And even with a **** hot card like that, you need decent processor speed.
#5
Save up for a new computer. Everything there is out of date. I bought a 500 dollar tower and put about 200 to buy a mouse, keyboard and GFX card and I can run COD4 on medium/high.
#6
How do I find my processor speed?

/noob

Edit: I was thinking of just waiting a while and shelling out like a thousand bucks for a nice laptop for when I go off to college, but I'm not sure how the laptop market is for gaming machines (I'm sure they're all ridiculously expensive).
#7
Quote by CowboyUp
How do I find my processor speed?

/noob

Control panel -> System
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#8
Quote by Raziel2p
Hmmm... I'm not sure about prices of gfx cards in the US, but assuming you have somewhat similar prices to us, I'd say ATI Radeon HD3870 or nVidia GeForce 8800GT. You ought to be able to get them for 200, I think.


My friend and I built a computer and we got the GeForce 8600GT* for under $200. I live in Nebraska.
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Last edited by brandon369852 at Feb 5, 2008,
#11
Quote by doomed1
GET A NEW COMPUTER
GO TO http://www.hp.com/country/us/en/welcomeBC.html#Product
click on gaming systems
or go to http://www.hewittpackard.com/ and go to the highest performance desktop you see.... then CUSTOMIZE! for max performance!!!

That's not very smart, considering this guy probably doesn't know much about computers.

What kind of processor is it? There's more to processors than the amount of hertz.
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#12
Not to mention, nowadays most cards come in PCI-e. Make sure you have a PCI-express x16 slot on your motherboard.

2 GB of ram is really becoming the standard, so if you can, try to get it, however I have only 1 GB and I run all of my games on high. Then again, I have a 7800GTX.

To be honest though, I doubt you'll be able to do much with your computer.
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#13
Quote by Funkbass796
Not to mention, nowadays most cards come in PCI-e. Make sure you have a PCI-express x16 slot on your motherboard.

Ah, completely forgot about that...

Right, reconsidering. You probably have AGP, which is outdated, and you would indeed probably need to upgrade the RAM and CPU as well anyways, which would probably mean a new motherboard as well, which would be needed for PCI-e. And that's basically a new computer.
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#14
Quote by Raziel2p
That's not very smart, considering this guy probably doesn't know much about computers.

What kind of processor is it? There's more to processors than the amount of hertz.

Pentium 4. Oh lawd, it says "generic" right in the name

Quote by Funkbass796
Not to mention, nowadays most cards come in PCI-e. Make sure you have a PCI-express x16 slot on your motherboard.

2 GB of ram is really becoming the standard, so if you can, try to get it, however I have only 1 GB and I run all of my games on high. Then again, I have a 7800GTX.

To be honest though, I doubt you'll be able to do much with your computer.

I'm starting to think the same thing, but I'm not in any position to spend 5 grand on a gaming desktop as doomed suggested earlier (seriously, wtf do you get that kind of money to just spend?).
#15
Forget about 2 GB of RAM, the CPU and GPU are what you need to focus on. Have a look at something like a GeForce 8400 GS.
#16
What socket is your mobo?

Wat type is the video card slot (APG or PCI-e)?

What speed CPU do you have?

How many watts is your power supply and how many amps on the 12v rails (very important, wouldn't want to ruin your PC with a crappy supply.)
Last edited by Masonpwiley at Feb 5, 2008,
#17
Quote by CowboyUp
Pentium 4. Oh lawd, it says "generic" right in the name


I'm starting to think the same thing, but I'm not in any position to spend 5 grand on a gaming desktop as doomed suggested earlier (seriously, wtf do you get that kind of money to just spend?).

If you could get a hang of someone who's experienced with building computers to help you, you could just buy the parts and put it together yourself, then put them into your current chassis with your old harddisks and stuff. That'll be a lot cheaper - buying whole computers is usually a rip-off anyways.
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#18
Alienware = Gaming

Look at the notebooks, or desktops. Both amazing.
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#19
I always hear about building computers, but I've never looked into it. Is there any advice or any websites you could point me to that explain what to buy, who to get to build it, etc?
#20
Quote by DefectedFromGod
Alienware = Gaming

Look at the notebooks, or desktops. Both amazing.


Epic phail, unless you mean notebooks. (how the hell do you build a notebook, can you buy a barebone laptop?) Alienware price = price of parts times a billion.
#21
Quote by CowboyUp
I always hear about building computers, but I've never looked into it. Is there any advice or any websites you could point me to that explain what to buy, who to get to build it, etc?



http://forum.pcmech.com/forumdisplay.php?f=43

That is where I learned everything I needed to know when building mine. When i built mine, it only cost me $1800 for everything I needed including a 19" lcd monitor and 5.1 surround sound. They will give you the best advice and steer you in the right direction as far as meeting your needs and satisfying your budget.

Also just so you know, using the chasis of your current system won't usually work since most pre-made computer companies use custom sized chasis and motherboards made to fit ONLY into their chasis.
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#22
Quote by Funkbass796
http://forum.pcmech.com/forumdisplay.php?f=43

That is where I learned everything I needed to know when building mine. When i built mine, it only cost me $1800 for everything I needed including a 19" lcd monitor and 5.1 surround sound. They will give you the best advice and steer you in the right direction as far as meeting your needs and satisfying your budget.

Also just so you know, using the chasis of your current system won't usually work since most pre-made computer companies use custom sized chasis and motherboards made to fit ONLY into their chasis.


Looks like a great place to start. I'll probably begin looking into this at the start of the summer.

Thanks a lot!
#23
Quote by CowboyUp
Looks like a great place to start. I'll probably begin looking into this at the start of the summer.

Thanks a lot!



No problem.

Also just a tad more advice. Keep researching. There are deals to be had out there aswell as bad ones. Make sure you read customer reviews. Those will give you the best indication of whether you want to buy a part or not. It took me a good 6 months to finally decide what parts I was going to order.
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#24
First of all, to all you guys recommending 8800's and ****, stfu. His computer is old, it would be SEVERELY bottlenecked and you really wouldn't be getting amazing performance on that card anyway. Just buying a new graphics card would be a huge waste of cash with how outdated all the parts are in your current machine.

Honestly, if you want a GOOD gaming machine you will pretty much have to start from scratch (well you can probably salvage mouse/keyboard/monitor/possibly hard drives if you really must).There are lots of sites out there with good info to help you, google is your friend. Just make sure all your parts are compatible. Also www.newegg.com is where I buy all my computer supplies from, amazing service and lightning delivery as well as a huge selection.

Also I saw you mentioned getting a laptop. It's true it won't be as good as a desktop but nowadays there are some pretty impressive laptops in the $900-$1300 range. There are many sites that let you custom select all your parts like I said just do some searching on google. Most of your HP/Dell/Sony laptops aren't good at all for gaming because they have poor heat dissipation (usually) and crappy motherboards.

www.ibuypower.com is a good site that lets you pick your parts on desktops/laptops and they build it and send it to you if you don't want to build yourself. Honestly though building a desktop is pretty simple. All the parts come with instructions and are easy to follow, as long as you have some know-how with computers you'll be fine.

As far as if you wanted help picking out any parts I would first ask you what your budget is and what realistic expectations you have. How many devices would you be able to salvage from your current machine to cut costs and free up funds for other things. What games do you want to be able to play? Because you won't be playing Crysis on max settings smoothly with a $1500 machine. Realize also that if you're waiting till the beginning of summer a lot of the parts that people will recommend will most likely be outdated or will have dropped in price so you can get something better for the same price.

Hope that helps.
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Last edited by Op3th at Feb 5, 2008,
#25
Quote by Op3th

As far as if you wanted help picking out any parts I would first ask you what your budget is and what realistic expectations you have. How many devices would you be able to salvage from your current machine to cut costs and free up funds for other things. What games do you want to be able to play? Because you won't be playing Crysis on max settings smoothly with a $1500 machine. Realize also that if you're waiting till the beginning of summer a lot of the parts that people will recommend will most likely be outdated or will have dropped in price so you can get something better for the same price.

My only disagreement is that you COULD build a quality computer to run Crisis well maxed out with a 1500 dollar machine. If you don't believe me, I'll pm you a config sometime.
#26
Quote by GuitarManiac09
My only disagreement is that you COULD build a quality computer to run Crisis well maxed out with a 1500 dollar machine. If you don't believe me, I'll pm you a config sometime.


Well depends on your setup really, if you're running it at 1024x768 then ya $1500 would be more than enough. But running at like 1920x1200 or larger and I still don't think $1500 would cut it, maybe if you got some good deals. I've been out of the loop for a while so I guess if prices have fallen enough you might be able to sneak by.
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#27
Mmm, you need to get a ram stick and have it installed so that your system can have 2 GB of ram. I'm in the same predicament really, save for the fact that I have a good video card. I'm planning on buying The Witcher, but if I want it to run smoothly on Vista I am going to need to install a ram stick.
#28
I guess this would have been better earlier, but I'm more interested in getting better performance out of games I already own (Farcry, an assortment of Source Engine games, Total War, mostly end-of-last-gen games). It's probably better, however, to just to all out, seeing as I will obviously want new games, not just old ones to play. I'd LOVE to have Bioshock running.

Op3th, your post was pretty insightful. As far as budget goes, probably around 1200 bucks is where I want to end up, and it'll probably be reasonably good if I'm building a computer, if it's really as good of an idea as has been implied in this thread.
#29
Quote by CowboyUp
I guess this would have been better earlier, but I'm more interested in getting better performance out of games I already own (Farcry, an assortment of Source Engine games, Total War, mostly end-of-last-gen games). It's probably better, however, to just to all out, seeing as I will obviously want new games, not just old ones to play. I'd LOVE to have Bioshock running.

Op3th, your post was pretty insightful. As far as budget goes, probably around 1200 bucks is where I want to end up, and it'll probably be reasonably good if I'm building a computer, if it's really as good of an idea as has been implied in this thread.


I try

If you're just wanting to upgrade for running games it could be done with what you have now. I'm assuming you're still on XP here as well...as far as RAM goes you're probably fine with 1GB running those games (although more couldn't hurt) it's just when you start running the new stuff and Vista that's when you really need 2+GB. You could pick up a 7600GS nowadays for around $100 that will be able to run all those games pretty well; the only thing is you're very limited in what video cards you have access to because your motherboard is most likely AGP.

If you do have the extra money I'd still recommend buying a whole new machine because it's better in the long run. I'd recommend you a few pieces to look into but my internet is running very slow atm so I don't wanna look em up haha. But on a new machine you should definitely look into a Core 2 Duo (maybe even a Core 2 Extreme like I said I can't really look up prices), some sort of nVidia 8800, at least 2-3GB of RAM (which is CHEAP, bout a year ago I spent around $120 for 1GB of RAM, last month I bought 2GB for $37 after rebate), a good power supply, and a quality motherboard. Just remember that even though it seem good at the time don't cheap out a motherboard or power supply or even thermal paste because you'll be kicking yourself later. What you get depends again on how many things you need (monitor etc) and if you wanted to pick up speakers/sound card. I myself just use on-board audio and some cheap $10 speakers and it works for me, but if you wanna invest in some quality audio equipment you may have to not get such an expensive CPU or something. It's just a comprise, something to think about I guess. Anyway I'm rambling...
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#30
im not a computer whizz or anything but since i got my DELL laptop i get the brochure thing they send in the mail with all the new comps they have and stuff. i saw a comp called DELL XPS series, it says they are made for gaming, and the one that looked most impressive is this desktop one that had some kind of hydrogen? cooling system. but idk for sure if its good or not, could be all smoke and mirrors like harry houdini
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#31
I'd think about buying a new system.

Your Motherboard sounds old as it has a P4 chip in it which means you probably won't get dual core support on the board. Also the memory - yours might be DDR and the best memory at the moment is DDR2 both in performance and value for money. It wouldn't be worth your time getting a high end video card as your CPU will be a bottleneck in the system. And don't listen to the guy advising 3 GB RAM either. You want 2 GB or 4 GB so you can dual channel them (faster).

With $1200 dollars you can get a pretty decent rig i think. Thats if you build it yourself.
Last edited by Big_Rat at Feb 6, 2008,
#32
Quote by DefectedFromGod
Alienware = Gaming

Look at the notebooks, or desktops. Both amazing.


No. Alienware = complete waste of money.

Anyway. To solve your problem, you need a new video card and another gig of ram. That should enable you to play pretty much anything you want at acceptable settings. I would say throw one of these in there, and then save up some money for the extra gig. Shouldn't be too expensive. a 1GB stick of DDR2 667 runs for about $20.
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#34
Quote by mafropetee
No. Alienware = complete waste of money.

Anyway. To solve your problem, you need a new video card and another gig of ram. That should enable you to play pretty much anything you want at acceptable settings. I would say throw one of these in there, and then save up some money for the extra gig. Shouldn't be too expensive. a 1GB stick of DDR2 667 runs for about $20.


Please stop giving bad advice. First of all, his computer is more than likely AGP, so it won't even support most of the new video cards, let alone one of nVidia's 8 series cards. Second of all, like I posted earlier that card would be severely bottlenecked by the other parts in his computer. Third, seeing as how his computer runs a P4 it's probably running DDR ram not DDR2.
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#35
Quote by CowboyUp
I'd LOVE to have Bioshock running.


go buy a xbox.


seriously, a guy in my dorm has this computer he build 6 months ago and cost 2 grand. STILL can't run Bioshock with settings that look as good as my copy on the 360.

Although i spoiled myself with an HD tv and surround sound from home. Friggin awesome game.

That said, getting total war games going at a good speed is a good goal. The upgrades Op3th is mentioning should get Rome or Barbarian invasion working really well, and you should be able to run Medieval 2 with the graphics at a decent setting. My computer is about what you would have if you upgraded and it runs fine. And to add my 2 cents, go with RAM upgrades, at least 2 gigs, maybe 3. Nothing will help with performance more. Then you get a new video card.
Last edited by DaveGilmour1189 at Feb 6, 2008,