Help me rate my processor and decide whether to upgrade

By gingerbill
Aug 7, 2009
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  1. I bought my machine about 2.5 years ago , i'm thinking off upgrading as i usually use it for games. I'm struggling to work out what my processor is , how good/bad it is and how much benefit i would see from upgrading .

    not even sure it exactly what processor it is just it some sort of intel dual core , under device manager its listed as

    -Intel pentuim D CPU 3.4GHz
    -Intel pentuim D CPU 3.4GHz
  2. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,884   +77

    Hi Gingerbill,
    you said you use it for gaming, what are the rest of your system specs? games are very GPU dependent, might serve you better to get a better graphic card.
  3. raybay

    raybay TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    I'll second the suggestion of red1776.
    The processor you have is pretty good, and upgrades will produce little noticeable difference.
    Consider spending your money on better memory and a better graphics card... perhaps better cooling.
  4. gingerbill

    gingerbill TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 170   +12

    my GPU is a 8800GTS640mb , i have 2 gigs of RAM on xp.

    reason i was thinking of upgrading is some newer games like arma 2 and empire total war dont run very well . On the whole im happy and will stick with what i got if an upgrade means spending a fortune . Just after 2.5 years its not running some new games at high graphics .
  5. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,281   +24

    The 8800GTS is still a pretty powerful card. What resolution do you game at? What PSU are you using, and for how many years have you used it?
  6. raybay

    raybay TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    Still, as stated before, upgrading the CPU from what you already have, will not really be noticeable... at least not on that motherboard configuration. I would start with the Power Supply unless really good already... then install the best running memory that motherboard can stand.

    And soon you are up to a bigger investment... when the better choice, and the most fun would be to upgrade the motherboard, processor, memory, and power supply together....
  7. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 898   +98

    I'll add some support to what has already been said, but will say that double ling you RAM might be the best low cost solution. What kind of PC are you using is it a Name band such as Dell, HP, Gateway, etc... or is it a PC you bought at your local Computer hardware/support store? Besides the RAM I would actual say your system is very well rounded, even with 2GB of RAM on XP its not as big of an issue. To really get a noticeable improvement you would need to get new CPU, GPU and RAM. BUT this is all dependent on your motherboard, if you can tell us what it is it will help.
  8. Corwin613

    Corwin613 TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 113

    Also depending on whether he is running 32 bit os or 64 bit doubling his RAM might not have much effect...

    I agree that his CPU is fine 640 mb vid card is probably good enough for pretty much any game unless your wanting really high res gaming

    PSU is probably the biggest thing really....

    Though maybe he could upgrade his RAM to a faster type if his board will handle it...
  9. gingerbill

    gingerbill TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 170   +12

    my motherboard is an asus P5VD2-X , it's not a brand name PC just one built from bits from my local shop , i'm running 32bit XP , i have 17" monitor so only play at 1000*800 res. Cant remember what PSU i have but i dont think it needs upgrading , i remember when i picked one out i bought one that was more than i needed.

    on the whole most games are ok , but it's 2.5 years old and struggles on some new games. I'm fussy when it comes to a game playing smooth , if it's jerky at all then i tend to not bother . Basically if i see a new game now i worry if it will run well and its stopped me buying some games i might have ,

    Recently i've bought a couple of games on the xbox over the Pc just cause i know they will run smooth , even though my Pc is technically faster than my xbox . I think part of the problem is the quality of the engines some companies release , some games you buy look awesome and run smooth as butter , then you buy another game that looks half as good but runs badly.
  10. raybay

    raybay TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    The asus P5VD2-X is a decent unit...
    With good memory, rather than "value ram" and good malware removal tools. you are fine except for perhaps the top five games.
  11. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,541   +859

    Sadly, the Pentium D (s) are the dual core CPUs that Intel would most like to forget. They're hot, power hungry, and they don't do all that much per clock cycle.

    That said, you have skipped a generation (or 2) in CPU upgrades. So, only the first generation of C2Ds would be plug and play in your board, and then not without a BIOS update. They're getting impossible to find.

    The others are quite correct though, in that the most performance increase you're likely to get, lays elsewhere from the CPU. Plus if you invest in better some better RAM and video card, you should be able to transfer those parts to a new board when it comes time.
     
  12. gingerbill

    gingerbill TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 170   +12

    thanks for the advice everyone , think i be better waiting awhile to upgrade and just avoid the really power hungry games for now . The games i'm really looking forward too should be fine anyway like starcraft 2 and dragon age origins. And with only having a 17" monitor i don't need everything at the highest settings.
  13. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,281   +24

    Since you play at low resolutions, your CPU is holding back your video card. Increase the AA and other details to milk the best performance out of your card and reduce the effect of the bottleneck.
  14. mica3speedy

    mica3speedy Newcomer, in training Posts: 205

    Have you considered overclocking your processor? Buy a better cooler, and as long as you watch the temps, you should be able to hit 3.7-3.8ghz. Every little bit helps; it may tide you over until you are ready to do a serious upgrade :cool: .
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