TechSpot

World of Warcraft: Increasing FPS

By Sinn
Nov 19, 2004
  1. World of Warcraft: Increasing FPS?

    Hi guys,

    I've been playing the World of Warcraft Beta for quite a while now and I realised I seriously need to upgrade my computer for the retail version coming up.

    In big PvP battles implicating 40-60 players +, I get a FPS that can go down to 1-2FPS. Overall it goes around 15-20 vs monsters. For the game to be fluid, we are usually looking for 40-45FPS at least.

    I have a relatively old computer and I was wondering what part(s) I should upgrade in order to attain better performance.

    I have a budget of around 500-600$ (Canadian$ so around 410-490USD) for all parts. Suggestions would be very appreciated.


    Thank you very much in advance,
    Your help is extremely appreciated,

    Gabriel aka Sinn,

    P.S.

    My specs are in my profile but here's a summary:

    Summary:
    Intel(R) Celeron(R) CPU 1.80GHz 1.8 GHz
    Intel Desktop Board D845EBG2
    DIMM 512MB RAM Frequency: 266MHz / Max Module Capacity 3.00GB
    NVIDIA GeForce4 MX 440 Driver 6.6.9.3
    SoundMAX Integrated Digital Audio(into MBoard) Driver 5.12.1.3516
    Windows XP Professional



    http://www.microbytes.com/products.php?show=all&pcid=198
    If you want any ideas of the prices for processors here in Canada. (Perhaps it would be an idea to consider buying stuff here since the change rate advantages you guys so much. :stickout: )
     
  2. jtnix

    jtnix TS Rookie

    The cheapest upgrade would be to get a GeForce 5 or 6, whatever the max your AGP/PCI slot and power supply can handle and another 512 mb of memory. The celeron probably isnt helping either - a mainboard/cpu upgrade may be in order as well..

    but then you are talking a whole new system.

    :unch: to the old allowance
     
  3. Sinn

    Sinn TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 30

    Would you have any specific suggestions? Which part would be the most effective to improve dramatically my FPS?

    That's what I was thinking of for the moment:
    (prices according to [COLOR=Blue]www.microbytes.com[/COLOR] since it's probably where I'm going to buy the pieces)

    RAM <- Link to Website
    DIMM 400MHZ DDR NO-ECC 512 MEG PREMIUM 2x $109.00 = $218.00
    OR
    DIMM 400MHZ DDR NO-ECC 1024 MEG PREMIUM 1x $309.00 = $309.00
    (I have 2 memory slots with currently 2x DIMM 266MHZ 256MEG, so it would make a grand total of 1280MEG(one 266MHZ one 400MHZ))

    Processor <- Link to Website
    INTEL P4 PRESCOTT 3.0EG/800/1M/S478 1x $259.00 = $259.00
    OR
    INTEL P4 530 HT 3.0G/800/1M/LGA775 1x $259.00 = $259.00

    Graphic Card <- Link to Website
    ASUS AGP RADEON 9550GE 128MB TV-OUT DVI 1x $109.00 = $109.00
    OR
    ASUS AGP RADEON 9550 128MB TV-OUT DVI 1x $99.00 = $99.00

    Grand Total = $586.00
    + 15% (Quebec Taxes) = $673.90


    I hope I won't need another motherboard because that would go over my planned budget for this upgrade. But I'm a finance guy, I don't know much about computers and PERHAPS I need another motherboard to support the new components? I really need your insights on this.
    However, if it is needed, I thought of this one. But I really have no idea if these parts go along well together or not.

    MotherBoard <- Link to Website
    P4 S478 ASUS P4P800-SE 865PE 4D5P1A 1x $139.00 = $139.00


    Which would bring the total price to Raw price to 725.00$ and price after taxes to 833.75$ (according to my Navy Blue components which would be my first choice YET). But avoiding this possibility would be very appreciated if possible.

    I REALLY need your help on this guys.
    Are these choices right? Or there would be some more effective solution which I would not be awared of or simply didn't think of.

    Gab,
     
  4. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,916   +9

    Your current mainboard doesn't support CPUs with 800 MHz FSB (and I'm not sure about Prescott either), so this looks like the best option in that store.
     
  5. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 5,899

    Mic's suggestion is quite good, although it's a bit expensive for simply a CPU. If you wish to upgrade the whole system, this will provide you a nice gaming system ->

    CPU : Athlon64 2800+ - $127.00
    Motherboard : Asus K8V-X - $84.00
    Ram : Crucial 512mb PC3200 - $88.25
    Video card : ATI 9600xt 128mb - $138.00

    Total : $437.25
     
  6. Sinn

    Sinn TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 30

    I have a couple of questions regarding this build Didou.

    As I said before, I don't know too much about comps.

    1 . I don't quite understand how to compare Pentium and AMD processors.. Are you telling me that this Anthlon64 2800+ 1.8Ghz is as fast as the Intel P4 3.0 I was suggesting above? (Considering they are almost the same price (at this store atleast))

    2. I think this motherboard is a very good choice indeed considering my budget and that I strongly consider getting an AMD processor at this moment (looks like everyone says its better, I just don't get why). My question would be; if I had the possibility to buy AMD64 S754 ASUS K8V-SE DLX K8T800, would it make a big difference compared to the first MBoard since the difference in price isn't that significative?

    3. I cannot get any Crucial Ram up here so I was wondering if DIMM ram would do the same job. If so, considering that with this new motherboard has 3 ram slots and that I have already 2x DIMM 256MB RAM FSB 266MHz, would it be better to get another DIMM 512MB FSB 400MHz and add it to the current ram (there would be a mix of Frequency, I don't know the results on that); OR, to simply buy 2x DIMM 512MB FSB 400MHz considering the cash expense (but I guess it'd be better to have twice the ram with the same frequency..?).

    4. I didn't find any version of that Sapphire ATI Radeon 9600xt 128mb but I found a 9550 version. Is there a huge difference between the 2 cards or they are pretty much the same thing? I found a ATI Radeon 9600xt 256mb but the costs go along and I don't know if the difference in quality is worth the difference in price. (quality/price for both products?)

    Thank you very much for your insights,
    I'm getting closer and closer to that system I'm looking for because of you guys, thx again.

    Gab.
     
  7. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 5,899

    That CPU (2800+) would compare to a 2.8GHz P4. The reason I offered an AMD64 system is because they are quite swift when it comes to gaming (I take it gaming will be your main occupation on this system).

    The K8V-SE has integrated Firewire, more then 2 SATA ports & comes with a Wireless card I believe. If you find these extra options to be worth the price difference, you may as well purchase that motherboard instead.

    You will need PC3200 Ram for that CPU to "express" itself to the fullest of its potential. If you mix different Ram speeds, they will all clock down to the slowest of the bunch, the PC2100 modules in this case. It will make quite a difference. You can get a brand other then Crucial, as long as it's a reputed brand (Corsair, Mushkin, OCZ, TwinMOS, Apacer, etc.) & in a PC3200 flavor. 512mb would be the minimum for a decent gaming rig but it is up to you to see if you can afford 2x 512mb.

    Yes, there is quite a difference between the 9600xt & the 9550, it is worth looking specifically for the 9600xt. Go for the 128mb version as most companies equip the 256mb versions with slower memory then their 128mb counterparts, in order to keep costs at a decent premium for the 256mb version.
     
  8. Sinn

    Sinn TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 30

    I see.

    So it's pretty much settled for the processor, MB & ram choices, but I still haven't found any Sapphire Radeon 9600xt 128MB.

    I was wondering if the X300 series of the ATI Radeon's was more recent than the 9600xt Serie? (more adapted to gaming?) I'm asking that because I found a Sapphire Radeon x300SE,128MB DDR,PCI-E,VO,VGA, lite retail for 149.99$ CAD.

    Last point I didn't mention in the last reply, while I more or less am changing my whole system here.. will I need to change my power supply also to fit with the new components or that has absolutly nothing to do with it?

    I wish I could tell you what power supply I currently have but I unfortunatly don't know how to get that information.

    Thank you,
    Gab.
     
  9. Sinn

    Sinn TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 30

    In addition to my last questions on the graphic card and the power supply written above; I have the possibility of getting an Athlon64 3000+ instead of the 2800+ for something like 25CAD. Is the difference between the 2 processors considerable or at this point, it almost doesn't change anything?

    Also, would you have any idea of video cards that would do an equivalent job than the Sapphire Radeon 9600xt 128MB for approximately the same price? Because I REALLY can't find any, I called a lot of stores; they all have the 256MB version but it goes over 230-240$. I'll keep looking but it would be nice if I could have more than only one card to look for.

    Thx :)
    Gab.
     
  10. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 5,899

    You can't use a PCI-e (PCI express) card on that motherboard, it does not have the proper slot. If you can't get a 9600xt, you can also look for a nVidia 5700 Ultra 128mb. They should be in the same price/performance range.

    If you can get the Athlon64 3000+ for just 25CAD over the 2800+ then yes, by all means get that instead.

    As for the power supply, do you know it's brand/wattage ? If it's a decent brand somewhere around 300/350w, you should be fine. I suppose you will be keeping your hard drives & DVD/CD-RW drives from your previous computer.
     
  11. yahndawger

    yahndawger TS Rookie

    You need more ram and a better graphics card, you could use a better processor and probably a better mobo..

    Graphics card This is a very nice graphics card IMO and it's only 49.99$.. I just got it..
    • GPU/VPU: nVidia GeForce FX 5200
    • Maximum Resolution: 2048 x 1536 @ 75Hz
    • Video Memory: 256MB
    • Memory Type: DDR
    • Memory Bandwidth: 6.4GB/sec.
    • Interface Type: AGP
    • Interface Speed: 8X


    Memory At only 59.99$ this is practicaly a give away..
    • Memory Size: 512MB
    • Memory Speed: 400MHz PC3200
    • Memory Type: DDR
    • Pins: 184


    Processor this is a good buy for what you need.. it's only 190.00$
    • Technology - Retail
    • Model: Intel Pentium 4 w/ Hyper Threading
    • Core: Prescott
    • Operating Frequency: 3.0GHz
    • FSB: 800MHz
    • Cache: L1/12K+16K; L2/1MB
    • Voltage: 1.25V - 1.525V
    • Process: 0.09Micron
    • Socket: Socket 478


    Mobo This Mobo has great ratings and is only 48.00$, it should be enough for what you need.. you might want to get something better..
    • Supported CPU: Intel Pentium 4(Hyper-Threading)/Celeron Processors
    • Chipset: SiS 661FX + 963L
    • FSB: 800/533/400MHz
    • RAM: 3x DIMM for DDR400/333/266 Max 3GB
    • IDE: 2x UltraDMA 133 up to 4 Devices
    • Slots: 1x AGP 8X/4X, 3x PCI, 1x AMR(Shared w/ PCI 3)
    • Ports: 2xPS2,1xLPT,1xVGA,1xLAN,6xUSB2.0(Rear 4),1xGAME,Audio ports
    • Onboard Audio: 5.1-Channel AC97 Codec
    • Onboard Video: Integrated Real256E 3D Graphics(64MB Max Shared Memory)
    • Onboard LAN: 10/100Mbps Fast Ethernet
    • Form Factor: Micro ATX


    This should be more then you need and will only come out to 347.98$
     
     
  12. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 5,899

    That 5200 won't be much of a boost from his current GF4 MX 440. Sure it supports DirectX9 but it can barely do anything with it. I'm not sure about the Ram brand either. Never heard of Ultra before.

    The CPU/Motherboard combination could be worthwhile but gaming wise Athlon64s are much better suited for it.
     
  13. Sinn

    Sinn TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 30

    Thank you yahndawger, but Didou convinced me to go Athlon64 3000+ with Asus K8V-X. The only thing I'm not quite sure of yet is the brand of the RAM (I'm going for 2x DIMM 400MHZ DDR NO-ECC 512 MEG PREMIUM $109.00 ) and the graphics card (since I can't find any of these Sapphire ATI Radeon 9600xt 128MB NOR of the Nvidia 5700 Ultra's.

    I'm getting desperate on the video card side ;).

    Gab.
     
  14. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 5,899

  15. Sinn

    Sinn TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 30

    That's some shopping!

    Ati Radeon 9600 SE 128MB AGP,64-bit,VGA,TV-Out,DVI $199.99

    Sapphire Radeon x600Pro,128MB DDR,PCI-E,VO/DVD-I,literetail $229.99 (now that's getting slowly expensive?)

    [Microbytes.com]

    ASUS AGP GFX V9570TD GFX-5700 128M $199.00

    ATI AGP RADEON 9600SE 128M BOX $179.00

    GIGABYTE RADEON 9600 PRO 128MB TVO DVI $189.00 (Gigabyte Technology)

    MSI AGP GFX FX5700LE-TD256 GFX5700 $179.00 (Microstar International)

    POWERCOLOR AGP RADEON 9600PRO 256M BOX $179.00 (Powercolor Cptech)

    SAPPHIRE AGP RADEON 9600XT 256M BOX $229.00 (now that's getting slowly expensive?)

    [Futureshop.ca (aka BestBuy Canada: Technology department)]

    Diamond Stealth Radeon 9600SE S100AGP 128MB Video Card $149.99 (Diamond Technology)

    Leadtek Winfast A360TD LE 256MB GeForce Video Card $199.99




    That's all I found for the moment, any hints on which one would be the best quality/price one?

    I'll still be considering the more expensive ones if you guys tell me that the 50-60$+ are REALLY worth it the difference in performance.

    It's weekend so I can call any of the companies but I'll do monday to see if they can order from the manufacturers any of the previous options you've mentionned.

    Thanks.
    Gab.
     
  16. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 5,899

    The best bang-for-buck right now is the Radeon 9800 Pro (256-bit), that is until the nVidia 6600GT-AGP comes out. If you can stretch your budget to the R9800 (make sure it is not a 128-bit one), it will be worth it.
     
  17. Sinn

    Sinn TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 30

    So you'd mean this? MSI AGP RADEON RX9800PRO-TD128SP 128M $269.00
    or this: Ati Radeon 9800 pro 128MB DDR 256BIT AGP8X,DVD,DVI-I,TVO,bil $349.99 (now this is just outta my budget) 400$ (with taxes) for a Gcard isn't possible.

    What about a Sapphire Radeon 9600Pro 256MB for $159.99? Is there something I'm missing there? Would that not be a very good deal or the 9600Pro series is really not a good one compared to 9600xt or Nvidia 5700?

    In the list I've written above your last post Didou, which one would be the best "bang-for-buck" one in your opinion? (Am looking for a $200- one IF possible, but again; if a 230-240 one gives a SIGNIFICANT improvement, I might consider it.)
     
  18. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,916   +9

    I'd say the best bang for the buck would be Radeon 9550 card with 256 MB memory. You're likely to find them for less than 120 CAD.
     
  19. Sinn

    Sinn TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 30

    Thanks for the hint mic, but as Didou said above. The 9550 serie is much lower quality than the 9600xt,pro series. I'm indeed trying to go with the best bang for buck card but one that would also improve significantly the performance of my computer compared to my current one. I know i'm being fussy right now but when I invest money in my computer, I'd rather have the best return on investment as possible ;).

    I'm really looking for the best bang for buck card in THAT list because it's the only affordable cards I found here in Montreal yet.

    But again, thanks for the tip.

    Your opinions are always appreciated.
    Gab.
     
  20. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 5,899

    That MSI R9800 is very good, you won't be disappointed. I think it even has "Prince of Persia : Sands of time" in the bundle.:)
     
  21. Sinn

    Sinn TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 30

    I'll check what I can do for that MSI R9800 Didou, but in the following list (also listed above in a more clear way), which one you'd think would be the best BFB?

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Ati Radeon 9600 SE 128MB AGP,64-bit,VGA,TV-Out,DVI $199.99

    Sapphire Radeon x600Pro,128MB DDR,PCI-E,VO/DVD-I,literetail $229.99 (now that's getting slowly expensive?)

    [Microbytes.com]

    ASUS AGP GFX V9570TD GFX-5700 128M $199.00

    ATI AGP RADEON 9600SE 128M BOX $179.00

    GIGABYTE RADEON 9600 PRO 128MB TVO DVI $189.00 (Gigabyte Technology)

    MSI AGP GFX FX5700LE-TD256 GFX5700 $179.00 (Microstar International)

    POWERCOLOR AGP RADEON 9600PRO 256M BOX $179.00 (Powercolor Cptech)

    SAPPHIRE AGP RADEON 9600XT 256M BOX $229.00 (now that's getting slowly expensive?)

    [Futureshop.ca (aka BestBuy Canada: Technology department)]

    Diamond Stealth Radeon 9600SE S100AGP 128MB Video Card $149.99 (Diamond Technology)

    Leadtek Winfast A360TD LE 256MB GeForce Video Card $199.99
     
  22. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 5,899

    The Asus one (GFX V9570TD GFX-5700). Btw you can't use the x600Pro, you need a motherboard with PCI-e slots.:)
     
  23. qwerpa

    qwerpa TS Rookie

    Hey man,

    hope you haven't bought your hardware yet. Many of these guys aren't leading you in the right direction. The video card usually makes by far the most effect on your framerate. Upgrading your cpu and mobo and buying another value video card (for example geforce 5200, ati radeon 9600se, ati x300, geforce mx series), will not put you in a good spot. I would recommend nvidia geforce 5900 or 5900xt (same as 5900se) or ati radeon 9800. nvidia geforce 6600gt may be a sweet price point too but I'm not positive on that one.

    Your mx440 is killing you, don't go with another value video card! I think the lowest you may go would be a 9600XT, and don't buy the SE! Do you know about http://www.pricewatch.com ? don't spend $200 for a 9600SE!

    If I were you, I would upgrade to one of the video cards I mentioned FIRST (and don't skimp) and see how your system performs. If you would like a little more kick, save up a tad more money and then look into upgrading your mobo+cpu. If you are still having problems, then look into faster/more ram.

    If you want to play at higher resolutions, the video card is especially important.

    There are a couple caveats however. Next time you notice low frame rates, listen to your hard drive. If it is "grinding" meaning lots of activity, you may be hitting your limit for ram, and then ram is a high priority. I upgraded from 256 to 768 and it made a world of difference for WoW. 512 is probably enough though I'm not certain. (Also be sure to quit all background tasks when running WoW)

    Good luck, see you online! I just got my copy!

    -Jordan
     
  24. qwerpa

    qwerpa TS Rookie

    oh also, 128mb ram should be plenty, don't spend way more for 256. good luck.
     
  25. Sinn

    Sinn TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 30

    Hey guys, I settled on the following for my computer upgrading at the moment, I would've liked to get the AMD processor and mobo but I don't have the budget for it yet.
    ................................................................Price w/ Taxes
    DIMM 400MHZ DDR NO-ECC 512 MEG PREMIUM $109.00 $125.35
    DIMM 400MHZ DDR NO-ECC 512 MEG PREMIUM $109.00 $125.35
    MSI AGP RADEON RX9800PRO-TD128SP 128M $269.00 $309.35

    Grand total: $560.05 with taxes


    So that would be my specs:

    Intel(R) Celeron(R) CPU 1.80GHz 1.8 GHz
    Intel Desktop Board D845EBG2
    2x DIMM 400MHZ DDR NO-ECC 512 MEG PREMIUM = 1024MB FSB 400MHz
    MSI AGP RADEON RX9800PRO-TD128SP 128M
    SoundMAX Integrated Digital Audio(into MBoard) Driver 5.12.1.3516
    Power Supply: 240W (I think, is that enough?)

    I know it is quite contrasting but oh well :) Do you guys think it makes sense? The celeron processor won't decrease the FPS for WoW too much right?

    Thank you for your insights. You guys helped me out a lot.
    Gab.
     
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