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Updating my PC for Battlefield 3

By Milford799
Dec 9, 2011
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  1. I am looking to update my video card to be able to run Battlefield 3 at a reasonable speed. So I don't waste all of your time, could you give me a list of things you would need to know to give an insightful opinion? I have some understanding of IT terms, but am not an expert, so please, no overly complex terminology.

    Thanks in advance. :)
  2. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,669   +416

    Welcome to TechSpot :wave:

    You want to know what you need to know to work out if you can put X video card into your existing system?

    Depending on the age of the system you need to know:

    - Does your motherboard have a PCI-E (PCI-Express) slot for the card? Most modern cards use this connection to the motherboard. Some AGP (Accelerated Graphics Port) models are still available but often are expensive for little real world performance increase due to them using the older slot type.
    - Does your Power Supply Unit (PSU) have a high enough wattage to be able to power a modern card? (550-660W minimum I'd suggest depending on what components are already in our system)
    - Does the PSU have additional PCI-E power cable connections for powering the graphics card?
    - What size is your system case? What form factor is the motherboard? Graphics cards have been getting bigger and bigger and smaller cases for small motherboards(Mini/Micro ATX) sometimes can't accommodate longer cards. If you have a tower base unit of some type and it has an ATX form factor motherboard in it you should be fine.

    An additional consideration is what CPU you have. There is a problem known as "bottlenecking". This is where the CPU is of a slower/older type and prevents the graphics card from running at it's maximum possible performance due. If you post the specifications of the system you are looking to upgrade forum members will post opinions on the best way forward for you to upgrade it for BF3. To use a car analogy, there is not as much benefit fitting racing/performance parts to a car with a small engine in comparison to the benefit you get fitting the same parts to a car with a large high performance engine.

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