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Old 03-16-2009, 05:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Lightbulb Hi... CPU questions

I recently bought this $370 computer with some nice specs, so I felt compelled to jump on it, but I am feeling skeptical as to what it can and can't do regarding high-end video games. This computer will be used mostly for gaming (preferably high settings), with the exception of some multimedia applications such as Pro Tools & maybe Photoshop every now and again.

Mid Tower ATX case, 550W PSU
Intel Pentium D processor 3.0ghz x 2
(should I upgrade to Duo or Quad, or will this Pentium D play Crysis, GTA4, Empire, etc. on high settings without choppy gameplay?)
2GB (512x2) DDR2 4200 Ram (should this be my very first upgrade?)
MSI 8800GTS 512mb 256bit DDR3
Gigabyte GA-965P mobo
500GB Seagate Barracuda

I am willing to overclock, but it comes with an extra large Arctic Cooler w/ heatsink, so what would you recommend? Personally I prefer xigmatek, but whatever.

I am on a strict budget, so here are the other components that are on my list of vital necessities:

802.11 Super-G wireless PCI network card ($22...)
used LCD monitor ($80-100)

Like I said, I'm on a budget, so any insight whatsoever would be greatly appreciated.

thanks in advance

also, it'll be coming with Windows XP, do ya' recommend I get Vista for the purposes I'm using it for?
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Old 03-16-2009, 07:43 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Hi... CPU questions

Not THAT bad. Change the CPU to a Pentium Dual Core E5200 and your set/ (The Pentium Dual Cores are HEAPS faster than Pentium D's and are actually just slightly slower Core 2 Duo's.)
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Old 03-16-2009, 07:46 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hi... CPU questions

To play the games you mentioned even on medium, you'll need a much better CPU, which would set you back maybe $150 for an E7400 (Duo) or Q6600 (Quad), or such, or something cheaper like the E5200 which Zedman mentioned.

RAM is ok, except you stated 512x2, which equals 1GB... if you only have 1GB, you should get another gig, or just get a 2x1GB so that they're matched.

The GPU and HDD are ok.

Also, what are the make+model of the case and power supply? Cos the power supply is the ONE thing you never want to go cheap on, if it's cheap then it's badly built (badly designed, with cheap capacitors and other cheap parts), if it's badly built then it's likely to die soon (anywhere from six months to a couple of years), which means it can take other parts with it if it decides to short-circuit.
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Old 03-16-2009, 09:19 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hi... CPU questions

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Originally Posted by zedman3d View Post
Not THAT bad. Change the CPU to a Pentium Dual Core E5200 and your set/ (The Pentium Dual Cores are HEAPS faster than Pentium D's and are actually just slightly slower Core 2 Duo's.)
Thanks. So, everything else the computer is currently equipped with would be compatible with the e5200? What if I went ahead and bought the e8400? Would I need to buy anything else for that either? No new mobo, etc?

By the way, it does specify that the processor configuration is in fact dual core.

Sorry if these questions are choppy, haha. I'm having to type this fast, and I'm not too good with computers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yamikotai View Post
To play the games you mentioned even on medium, you'll need a much better CPU, which would set you back maybe $150 for an E7400 (Duo) or Q6600 (Quad), or such, or something cheaper like the E5200 which Zedman mentioned.

RAM is ok, except you stated 512x2, which equals 1GB... if you only have 1GB, you should get another gig, or just get a 2x1GB so that they're matched.

The GPU and HDD are ok.

Also, what are the make+model of the case and power supply? Cos the power supply is the ONE thing you never want to go cheap on, if it's cheap then it's badly built (badly designed, with cheap capacitors and other cheap parts), if it's badly built then it's likely to die soon (anywhere from six months to a couple of years), which means it can take other parts with it if it decides to short-circuit.
Thanks, but would you honestly recommend the Quad over the Duo? It seems to me that all four cores wouldn't even be used (maybe Crysis, I dunno).

Yeah, the 512x2 was most likely a typo. I'm going to find out what the deal is, but regardless of the current configuration, I will definitely be upgrading my RAM. What noticeably alterations would you see when comparing 2GB vs. 4GB anyway?

I'm not sure which exact model the PSU is precisely, but I will find out and get back to ya'. I do know that it's an ATX mid. tower case, but I'll ask about the PSU specs.

Thanks everyone, it means a lot!
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Old 03-16-2009, 09:28 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by The_Dude View Post
Thanks, but would you honestly recommend the Quad over the Duo? It seems to me that all four cores wouldn't even be used (maybe Crysis, I dunno).
Nah, not really. Most programs don't take advantage of 'em. You mentioned the E8400, that would be an excellent choice.

Quote:
Yeah, the 512x2 was most likely a typo. I'm going to find out what the deal is, but regardless of the current configuration, I will definitely be upgrading my RAM. What noticeably alterations would you see when comparing 2GB vs. 4GB anyway?
Not much difference, but I upgraded from 2GB to 4GB just last week 'cos Empire: Total War needs TONS.
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Old 03-16-2009, 10:07 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Yamikotai View Post
Not much difference, but I upgraded from 2GB to 4GB just last week 'cos Empire: Total War needs TONS.
Bummer, that's one of the games I've already gotten, haha.

So, say I went ahead and bought the 8400 or 6850...

What else would I need to upgrade? Anything? excluding ram of course...

thanks again.
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Old 03-16-2009, 10:17 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hi... CPU questions

Not sure what else you'd need to buy, the cooler it comes with is pretty good.
What about optical drive(s)?

Also, something I missed from your OP, XP will be fine. Personally I'm getting Windows 7 as soon as it's out (assuming I have the money, and assuming they don't give me a free copy like with the Vista beta).

Do you need any help in choosing a monitor?
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Old 03-16-2009, 10:29 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hi... CPU questions

I would most definitely upgrade the RAM and processor. I recommend getting this kit for RAM:

Newegg.com - G.SKILL PI Black 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Desktop Memory

As for the CPU, the E5200 would be great if you were on a budget for parts, but if you have the money, I would grab an E8400.
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Old 03-16-2009, 10:43 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hi... CPU questions

Agreed, upgrade the ram and processor. You'll notice a nice improvement.
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Old 03-16-2009, 03:01 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hi... CPU questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yamikotai View Post
Not sure what else you'd need to buy, the cooler it comes with is pretty good.
What about optical drive(s)?

Also, something I missed from your OP, XP will be fine. Personally I'm getting Windows 7 as soon as it's out (assuming I have the money, and assuming they don't give me a free copy like with the Vista beta).

Do you need any help in choosing a monitor?
Yeah, I know nothing of monitors. What do you recommend? My goal is to buy a cheap $80-$100 monitor off ebay with a decent contrast ratio. Which ratio would be ideal for gaming? And I have no preference regarding size; Anything from 19"-22" will do.

On a side note, I have found plenty of 20" stock Dell monitors with a contrast ratio of 700:1. How would this do? Some go for about $60, and price is my #1 priority. Would it be worth it?

thanks

PS: is there any chance that W7 will do what Vista did when it first entered the market?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hikaricloud View Post
I would most definitely upgrade the RAM and processor. I recommend getting this kit for RAM:

Newegg.com - G.SKILL PI Black 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Desktop Memory

As for the CPU, the E5200 would be great if you were on a budget for parts, but if you have the money, I would grab an E8400.
Funny that you mentioned the G.SKILL PI... I was recommended that same exact model earlier today. So those two sticks alone are 4GB!?!??! wow nice

And yes, I'm definitely gonna get the e8400.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gt7sanremo View Post
Agreed, upgrade the ram and processor. You'll notice a nice improvement.
Well, ya' know, that's just like, uh... your opinion, man.
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