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Old 12-09-2010, 02:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Post Questions about bad framerate, rating my rusty rig and affordable graphics cards

Hello there people of the Computer forums,

I'll start by saying I am a dedicated gamer. After playing solely on my PC for years, I mostly spend my time at my Xbox 360 nowadays. Still, sometimes I find myself hearing the call of my 5-year-old PC with this certain game called WoW installed on it. With expansions coming out and stuff like that, I'd really be intrigued to get back to it, if my system just was up to the job.

But no. The framerate I get is, honestly put, completely ****: 30-40 fps in areas with nothing or nobody around and 1-5 fps max in areas with a lot of stuff and people around - especially the 5 fps part isn't cool at all. What could possibly be the problem?

My specs are (Don't know if this imformation will suffice to determine the cause. Please notice if any additions to the list are necessary, and I'll do my best to fix it.):

Model: HP Compaq dc7600 Small Form Factor
OS: Windows XP Professional (SP2)
Processor: Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 3.00GHz (2 CPUs)
Memory: 2552MB RAM
BIOS: Default System BIOS
Graphics card: Intel(R) 82945G Express Chipset Family (128MB)
HDD: ST3120827AS (?) with 111 GB space, 17 GB of it free
Sound: Realtek HD Audio Output

I assume the culprit is my graphics card. Can't be sure though as I've never really gotten into this computer modding stuff and I'm kinda oblivious to what's inside the case. So, please, treat me like I'm a fool.

Here are the things summarized what I require assistance with:

- What causes the bad framerate?
- How bad is my computer in general?
- Any reasonable priced (~50-60$) graphics cards to replace the old one?

And I'm really sorry for long post. I guess I have the personality of an essayist.
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Old 12-10-2010, 03:08 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Questions about bad framerate, rating my rusty rig and affordable graphics cards

Let me say "Ouch!" Both for the framerates and for your current computer.

You don't have a graphics card, but rather an onboard (built into the motherboard) graphics chip. Not only that, but it is a rather pitiful variety of onboard. That it can even run WOW surprises me TBH. That, coupled with your space heater... sorry, Pentium 4... makes for a rather paltry showing. That this P4 is in a SFF case just compounds the issue as the air circulation sucks in them.

While your motherboard has a PCI-E x16 slot, it can only use a low profile card. Your PSU is only 240W so any decent card is completely out of the question.

Since your computer is so old there's not much you can do with it. I seriously doubt that the motherboard is a standard form factor since it is a SFF so you couldn't transplant it into a larger case.

The question now is: What do you want to do? We can try to find something to help your computer out, or you can opt to forgo tossing money into your current computer and embark on building a newer, better machine that can handle WOW. It is up to you and your budget.
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Old 12-10-2010, 02:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Questions about bad framerate, rating my rusty rig and affordable graphics cards

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trotter View Post
Let me say "Ouch!" Both for the framerates and for your current computer.

You don't have a graphics card, but rather an onboard (built into the motherboard) graphics chip. Not only that, but it is a rather pitiful variety of onboard. That it can even run WOW surprises me TBH. That, coupled with your space heater... sorry, Pentium 4... makes for a rather paltry showing. That this P4 is in a SFF case just compounds the issue as the air circulation sucks in them.

While your motherboard has a PCI-E x16 slot, it can only use a low profile card. Your PSU is only 240W so any decent card is completely out of the question.

Since your computer is so old there's not much you can do with it. I seriously doubt that the motherboard is a standard form factor since it is a SFF so you couldn't transplant it into a larger case.

The question now is: What do you want to do? We can try to find something to help your computer out, or you can opt to forgo tossing money into your current computer and embark on building a newer, better machine that can handle WOW. It is up to you and your budget.
Thanks for the sympathy and the answer altogether

But darn... I suppose I put too much hope on my poor computer... You see, on one hand, this one wasn't really ever supposed to be a gaming system, but for working (hint: Win XP Professional) and on the other hand, my financial situation is fairly unbalanced right now -> can't probably afford a decent machine anytime near. Sucks to be me

As to the fact what I want to do: I do not need a high-end elite 2000$ rig to run everything so so fast and beautiful - instead, I just want quite a basic computer to utilize as a tool and to have a leisurely go at an MMORPG without the computer's hardware majorly obstructing the experience. So being economical goes over luxury.

While that's settled, I'll get back to your points: basically what you're saying is that to sufficiently upgrade this "space heater" of mine, I would have to spend loads of money on it. Right? While this is for now out of the question, I still dare to ask about those "low profile cards" you mentioned to be the only alternative with my motherboard: how bad are they and could they have any chance at running WoW decently at all? If so, would the system otherwise still pose great problems to smooth operation? Are there any other cheaply replacable components to help the computer, my budget being not much more than 100$?

Other than that, I'm quite out of questions. Please wish me luck filling in lottery tickets to pay for my new PC!
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Old 12-10-2010, 03:16 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Questions about bad framerate, rating my rusty rig and affordable graphics cards

Sorry if I came across as being disrespectful. Let's just say Intel P4 line was not the best there ever was.

I did some looking but I am coming up empty. There are lots of either low profile or low profile ready (cards that come with a low profile backplate you can swap out), but the power requirement is what is killing it. The lowest I have found is 250W, with most being 350W and 300W.

The problem you have is that your stuff (CPU, RAM) is too outdated to be reused in anything new. You have a socket 486 CPU, which was discontinued a few years ago. You also have DDR RAM, but we are now on DDR3 with some DDR2 remaining here and there.
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Old 12-10-2010, 03:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Questions about bad framerate, rating my rusty rig and affordable graphics cards

Sorry for butting in , but is upgrading the PSU out of the question? After all, these days you can get a 550w PSU for relatively cheap, allowing a low profile GPU to be used??
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Old 12-10-2010, 03:31 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Questions about bad framerate, rating my rusty rig and affordable graphics cards

this card might be something you could use, if it's not too far out of your budget.
Newegg.com - SPARKLE SXT4301024S3LNM GeForce GT 430 (Fermi) 1GB 128-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Low Profile Video Card

it looks like you have a 240w psu, and on OCed i7 systems with this card, system power consumption is around 200w so i think you should be able to run it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chillstalker View Post
Sorry for butting in , but is upgrading the PSU out of the question? After all, these days you can get a 550w PSU for relatively cheap, allowing a low profile GPU to be used??
pre-built small form factor pc's like that usually have some proprietary parts, meaning usually only hp parts will fit in an hp computer of that type. he could probably replace the psu, but only for the exact same hp psu model that's already in it.
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Old 12-10-2010, 04:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Questions about bad framerate, rating my rusty rig and affordable graphics cards

ah i see
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Old 12-11-2010, 07:15 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Questions about bad framerate, rating my rusty rig and affordable graphics cards

Back on forums again and eagerly picking up another load of information.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MuffinMan
this card might be something you could use, if it's not too far out of your budget.
Newegg.com - SPARKLE SXT4301024S3LNM GeForce GT 430 (Fermi) 1GB 128-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Low Profile Video Card

it looks like you have a 240w psu, and on OCed i7 systems with this card, system power consumption is around 200w so i think you should be able to run it.
This one really got me interested. Just wondering if the DDR3 and PCI 2.0 parts would work for me? My motherboard seems to support DDR1 or DDR2 (not sure) and I think my PCI Express isn't 2.0. Would the card work anyway? A great find nevertheless for an affordable price, thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trotter
Sorry if I came across as being disrespectful.
Don't worry about it, I particularly told people to treat me like a fool in the first post And you've been very helpful by catching me up on what's up with the computer components nowadays, too.
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Old 12-11-2010, 10:15 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Questions about bad framerate, rating my rusty rig and affordable graphics cards

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Originally Posted by TheJP View Post
This one really got me interested. Just wondering if the DDR3 and PCI 2.0 parts would work for me? My motherboard seems to support DDR1 or DDR2 (not sure) and I think my PCI Express isn't 2.0. Would the card work anyway? A great find nevertheless for an affordable price, thank you.
the memory in your system and the memory on a gfx card are not dependent on each other, so it wouldn't matter. there are cards that have ddr5 video memory, but there is no ddr5 ram for systems (yet).

and 2.0 cards are backwards compatible with 1.0 slots.
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Old 12-12-2010, 01:09 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Muffin Man View Post
the memory in your system and the memory on a gfx card are not dependent on each other, so it wouldn't matter. there are cards that have ddr5 video memory, but there is no ddr5 ram for systems (yet).

and 2.0 cards are backwards compatible with 1.0 slots.
Okay then, you've convinced me. I guess all I gotta do now is to get to it.
Thanks to everyone who has helped me with this.
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