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Looking to upgrade my rig, any suggestions?

By BlackScarlet ยท 4 replies
Nov 26, 2009
  1. I'm playing STALKER Clear Sky and at max settings I'm lagging. I hate playing any games at less than optimal settings, and I also recognize that it's been years since my last upgrade and it might be time again.

    I am using XP,

    2G DDR2

    Processor a
    2.00 gigahertz Intel Pentium Dual
    64 kilobyte primary memory cache
    1024 kilobyte secondary memory cache

    Main Circuit Board

    Board: ASUSTeK Computer INC. P5K SE Rev 1.xx
    Bus Clock: 200 megahertz
    BIOS: American Megatrends Inc. 0401 07/19/2007

    NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GT
    LGE T710BH [Monitor] (15.7"vis, March 2003)

    I'm looking to upgrade to somethign that will run my games a little smoother as well as my photoshop cs4, get at least a gig more of ram, but the main thing I wonder is should I up my vid card, and to what? I'm looking for affordability but quality,

    also if I were looking for a new monitor, what's a good lcd or led monitor with black blacks and not-overexposed whites (eg, a graphic designer's monitor) that you'd reccommend?
  2. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Posts: 1,835

    Your CPU is more likely to be holding you back since you aren't using a widescreen monitor or anything. The 8600GT is fine for running STALKER at lower resolution and higher texture settings for example. You have a P5K motherboard so I might look into swapping that Pentium for a Duo. I'm pretty sure you could use an E8400 which would give you a significant boost. They are cheap enough too so it wouldn't be a costly upgrade and you can do it yourself. Since you're using XP, 2GB is enough for now, so I wouldn't worry too much about that. I just want to point out though that STALKER likes a lot of vRAM, so the higher the resolution the more vRAM you will need to keep the game running smoothly at high settings.

    As for the monitor you'd want something with a really good contrast ratio, like 20000:1 or something.
  3. magaman598

    magaman598 TS Booster Posts: 188

    Also, you might want to take a Peek at the CPU Support List for your Motherboard.
  4. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,262

    If you are looking for good framerates in Clear Sky ( or SoC and Call of Pripyat for that matter) you might want to check out an ATI 1Gb card (HD4870/4890/5850 or better) as ATI's perform much better than Nvidia's with the X-Ray engine. My HD4890 handles the games much better than my GTX280's- no stuttering, eye candy (SSAO etc) maxed at 1920 x 1080. I think a few sites use CS for benching their GPU reviews - I know Bit-tech do. If you are sticking with Nvidia then a 1Gb GTS250/9800GTX might be the bare minimum for 1680 x 1050 at high graphics, or a 9800GT/8800GT 1Gb for medium to high.
    I would definitely endorse EXCellR8's comments - E7500/8400 or possibly Q8400/9400 if within your budget - The CPU support list includes all Conroe 65nm (E6xxx/Q6xxx), Penryn 45nm (E7xxx/E8xxx) and Yorkfield 45nm (Q9xxx) processors (Core2 Duo/Quad)

    As for monitor- if gaming then a 2ms response time might be the most applicable spec you should look for. Any cheap (TN+film) LCD panel is going to have limitations in its colour representation so I'd suggest checking them out in person-maybe take some jpeg/bitmap images you are very familiar with on a flash drive and see which panel looks best. Factory colour settings on most LCD's are usually too saturated/bright - check the amount of adjustment within the on-screen menu, backlight bleed, colour uniformity etc. The Mark 1 eyeball is your best option- factory spec's like contrast ratio are subjective at best as the numbers basically are meaningless.
  5. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,672   +9

    Give us a total budget for your upgrade. Then we'll be able to give better suggestions.
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