Slow Pc Video Upgrade

By taimuraly
Oct 24, 2005
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Hey everybody, the thing is that I have got a Compaq 800MHz Pc with a 128mb NVIDIA graphics card and I was wondering if a buying a new graphics card would speed up my PC. I am able to play games like Command and Conquer Zero Hour with no problem but I can play Sims 2 only on low graphic setting. So would adding a new and faster graphic card help improve the game performance or will it be a waste of money. I have 512mb SDRAM installed and that’s all my motherboard supports (80 GB Hard Drive). I do have a faster PC (Acer rc500 3.2 Ghz) but want to be able to play games on LAN without any LAG or any visual decrease. Please help by telling me whether I should buy a graphics card and if so then which one should I ought to buy. Thanks for the help in advance.
  2. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood TechSpot Guru Posts: 1,198

    A newer videocard would likely only allow you to play at higher resolutions without any change in performance. Sims 2 is more of a simulation so it's overall performance is greatly tied to system/cpu and memory performance.

    But.. going to a new 3d card could indeed allow bumping up the resolution a notch or two without any really large drop in the performance you are already encountering.
  3. taimuraly

    taimuraly TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 115

    How about I upgrade to NVIDIA 6800 ultra, will I be able to play DOOM 3 at medium(can play it only on low on my 128 NVIDIA 5200) or will it be a waste of cash. Should I buy another pc instead ??? :confused:
  4. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood TechSpot Guru Posts: 1,198

    Games like Doom3 will indeed gain SOME framerate improvements over an FX5200 as that particular game is heavy with shaders, which are performed on the videocard. The FX series has absolutely horrible shader performance, so I'd expect a newer NVidia or ATI card would yield some smallish improvement in Doom3 framerates.

    The main problem is your 800mhz CPU. If you wish to play modern games, the main stumbling point will be your CPU and overall system performance. It would be silly to drop a $300 card in that system as it will be major overkill. Not only that, but you may be able to get a sizeable upgrade with videocard AND motherboard + memory + new CPU for just a little bit more than the price of a 6800 Ultra... which would still be a much greater improvement in performance. But this option is unknown since the rest of your system is a mystery.

    If you are instead planning on updating the 3.2 ghz, this would make more sense as the system stands a chance of actually using the new features of the videocard properly and with a gain.

    What kind of case do you have? Power supply (brand and wattage)?

    If you have a small budget, you may be able to fix all your problems with the 800mhz system by getting a medium end mainboard and cpu, some new memory and a budget DirectX 9.0 videocard... IF your case is semi decent, has good cooling and a decent power supply. This would of course also require the expertise and ability to re-install Windows- so you'd need your CD's and serial code/key, as well as a strong desire to go XP if you're not already running XP.
  5. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood TechSpot Guru Posts: 1,198

    If you're considering upgrading your system -AND- your case and power supply is up to snuff, you can get a really nice upgrade either AMD or Intel for fairly cheap. Two example systems:
    ===============
    AMD ~ $234 total
    ===============
    Gigabyte Mainboard - $53
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813128292

    AMD 64 3000+ - $88
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16819104241

    Patriot 2x512(1 gig) DDR Memory - $83.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16820220057

    CPU cooler: - $9.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16835119004

    -------

    ==========
    Intel ~ $363
    ==========
    Asus P4P800-VM - $92
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813131460

    Pentium 4 3.0ghz, 800mhz FSB (Retail with Fan) - $180
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16819116171

    OCZ 2x512 dual-channel kit (1 gig) - $91.44
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16820227039


    You can cut more corners on the Intel system as well by going with a Celeron D, lesser CPU or 533mhz FSB, the lesser Patriot memory, etc.etc.- but that's the top-of-the-line Prescott/P4, 800mhz FSB which I would recommend to compete with the given AMD system.

    As far as videocards go, a nice budget 3D card that would give you MUCH better performance would be either of these to top that system:
    6600GT - $139
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814135186

    9800 Pro - $127
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814102477


    Both are great cards and have their strengths and weaknesses. The 6600GT would be better in Doom3, Far Cry and OGL games, the 9800 Pro would be better in Halflife2, Sims2 and some Direct3D games.
  6. taimuraly

    taimuraly TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 115

    Really appreciate your comments. I did think that is was wasting my money by upgrading my graphics card and thanks to your recommendations, will soon have a faster machine in the same price. Thanks a lot. :)
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.


Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...


Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.