TechSpot

PSU/GPU upgrade help

By ComputerGod91
Nov 26, 2010
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  1. I'm looking to upgrade my PSU and/or GPU so I can run games better, and want some opinions. Normally I can run any game I want to play at the max settings but lately I've been having Frame rate/stuttering problems and the occasional crash. I'm pretty sure it has to do with my set-up. The games are Mass Effect 1 and 2 and Fallout: New Vegas (though I think fallout is because of its buggy game engine).

    Here are my system specs:
    Windows XP
    Intel Core 2 Duo CPU @ 3.00Ghz
    Gigabyte EP45-UD3P motherboard
    4 GB Ram DDR2
    Nvidia Geforce 9800 GT video card
    400W corsair power supply
    Resolution: 1360x768

    Budget: around $300

    I was thinking about getting this psu and this gpu
  2. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,286   +24

    That'd be ridiculously overkill at that resolution. Unless you're going to buy a new screen soon, consider getting this card instead, and this PSU to go with it.

    Also consider upgrading to Windows 7; I've seen games perform better on Win 7 than on XP.

    Lastly, are you sure your HDD is in good shape? Run diagnostics to check if the HDD isn't failing, since this can cause poor performance as well. Also, I assume you've verified that nothing's running in the background, all A\V software is off\disabled, and the games are patched to the latest versions, as is DirectX and your video card drivers (should be 260.99 for your card; check here to make sure) ?
  3. ComputerGod91

    ComputerGod91 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 74

    Thanks for the response, all my drivers and stuff is up to date and I have tried shutting off everything possible that runs in the background including A/V (AVG free version :/).

    I like those prices for the stuff you recommended, that GPU is better than my 9800 GT and is compatible with everything? I can't tell, don't know how to compare cards and what not. I don't plan on getting a different screen for a while so I wont be upping the resolution any higher.


    ran a diagnostic check on my HDD, its clean.
  4. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,286   +24

    Yep, that card's a major step-up from your 9800GT.
  5. ComputerGod91

    ComputerGod91 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 74

    it says 450W mini, with 200W left (assuming I understand that correctly) will that be enough to make the rest of my comp run very well?

    other then that I think I'm going to go with your suggestions.

    EDIT: also how can I be sure it'll fit in my case? hope thats not a dumb question.
  6. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 4,367   +125

    Card dimensions: 21.27 X 12 X 4 cm (HxWxD)
    Your ascertainment about having enough power is correct, even if your logic isn't really...
  7. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,286   +24

    The card cannot consume 450W on its own; the rating is for a system with the card in it. The card alone probably consumes around 100W. I recommended the 650W PSU for its great price and the fact that you can probably upgrade to a more powerful card and CPU later if you want to, without getting a new PSU.
  8. Fragrant Coit

    Fragrant Coit TS Maniac Posts: 579

    You might as well give the innards a good de-dusting whilst you have the case open, & perhaps some new thermal paste on the CPU. You don't specify where you're located, but heat could be a factor and the CPU could be throttling itself down - I know here in the Southern Hemisphere it's Summer & I just had to give my PC a "birthday" as the ambient temp is mid 30's C.

    Had a nasty looking black Spider in there, amongst the dust. As for what it was living on...???

    I agree with going Windows 7, you'll run it easily. The OEM 64bit Home Premium is pretty cheap & will utilise all your RAM (I assume your XP is 32 bit?)

    5770 is a good card, DX11 and will blitz at your Resolution - and higher.

    Regards

    Fragrant
  9. ComputerGod91

    ComputerGod91 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 74

    I live in Nevada in the USA. It can get pretty hot here in the summer around 100F. or 37C? It's winter now so the temp will be nice but that is something I probably should do as well. However, I did dust the inside a week ago. One thing I'm worried about now is installing the parts properly, I've looked at a few video tutorials and me and my dad did put most of this thing together ourselves but I fear I might mess something up.

    So what should I do with my old PSU and GPU? and how might I put more of the thermal paste on my CPU with the big fan on it?
  10. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 4,367   +125

    You leave them where they are, they will improve airflow.
    (Sarcasm, doesn't matter, just don't use it o.o).

    You take it off...and please read up on how to properly apply thermal paste or you're just going to make it worse.
  11. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,286   +24

    Before doing anything make sure you do NOT do any of the work on a carpet, since any static buildup due to the latter will fry components easily. It's also best to touch the exposed part of the chassis to remove any latent static from yourself. Alternatively, you can buy a cheap (<$5) anti-static wrist strap to make sure you don't accidentally fry anything.

    Thermal paste is easy enough to apply; check out this excellent tutorial. The instructions for 775 CPUs is what you'll want to look at.

    The video card requires you to remove the screw near the back of the card that's holding it in place, and then you simply disconnect the power connector (if any) and pull it out of the slot. Then put the new card in, connect the power connector (if any) and screw it into place.

    For the PSU, it's even simpler. Just disconnect all the power connectors from all your components, and remove the four screws holding the PSU in place. Then just pop the unit out, put the new one in, screw it in place, and connect all the power connections again.

    It's all really easy, and it shouldn't take you more than 20-30 minutes or so for both if you've got the gist of it right. Maximum time it might take is an hour, but not more than that.
     


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