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Upgrading my PC on the cheap

#1
After starting a recent thread about top 5 games, other peoples answers only served me with the realisation that my PC really is a pile of cack. To that end I would like to upgrade it.

The only problem here is that I am a tight tw@t. I want to play Crysis, etc but I want to pay as little as possible in order to do so.

My current rig;

AMD Athlon 3500+
Geforce 6600 GT Graphics card
K8N-SLI Motherboard
1024MB RAM
250 GB HDD
DVD Drive.

Do any of you techy types out there have any idea how I can drag this thing kicking and screaming into 2007? (Or 2006, I'm not overly fussy). Names of decent PC shops or individuals to carry this work out would also be a plus. Ta.
 
#2
Follow RAF Staff Officer from MOD Establishment to car showroom, upgrade completed. Or hang about pubs near MI5 or MI6 buildings jobs a good un!
 
#4
Intel core 2 dual E6600 are very cheap. A 8800GT will let you play high to max in crysis and 2GB of ram will do nicely a normal 500GB HDD and a 600WT PSU and you should have a computer which will let you play every game on the market on highest.
 
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#5
How much do you want to spend...apart from as little as possible and how comfortable are you about rooting around inside your PC?

You could do an easy upgrade by getting more RAM - easy to install and quite cheap and getting a dogsbollox video card, most of the performance for games is in the video card.

It's slightly harder to install a video card than memory but if I can do it just about anyone can.
 
#6
If you have PCI-E graphics slots, which you prbably do then just change the graphics card to an 8800 gts or 8800 ultra (between £200 and £400) and you will play crysis just fine. Dont bother with changing anything else.

You will need vista though if you want crysis to play with DX10, but since its completely cracked now you can download a disk iso and install from that and fool Microsoft that its a legitimate copy using said crack.
 
#7
What help is to change you HDD to a SATA 10k or 15k RPM. This increases the data throughput by a factor of 4/8 hence increasing the spead of the game/application.

Edited to add:

Also what OS are you using? There could be cack lading into memory hat you don't need. Use something like HighJackThis (free download) to go through your start up section of the registry. If you can, change to XP Professional and set the defaults from optimise for graphical interface to performance for aplications/sever

JJ
 
#8
johnojohnson said:
What help is to change you HDD to a SATA 10k or 15k RPM. This increases the data throughput by a factor of 4/8 hence increasing the spead of the game/application.
8O 8O No it won't increase frames per second (FPS) which is what you are after. Load times yes (and marginally) but that is not anywhere near as important as the number of FPS whilst doing the shooting.

Crysis Minimum Requirements

CPU: Intel Pentium 4 2.8 GHz (3.2 GHz for Vista), Intel Core 2.0 GHz (2.2 GHz for Vista), AMD Athlon 2800+ (3200+ for Vista) or better
RAM: 1GB (1.5GB on Windows Vista)
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT, ATI Radeon 9800 Pro (Radeon X800 Pro for Vista) or better
VRAM: 256MB of Graphics Memory
Storage: 12GB
Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c Compatible
ODD: DVD-ROM
OS: Microsoft Windows XP or Vista
DirectX: DX9.0c or DX10

http://www.crysis-online.com/Information/System Requirements/

So the 6600gt you have probably won't cut it. I'd also say that 2gb ram is needed these days.

2x512mb (or 1Gb stick) of 400mhz DDR Ram costs around £30. Check your motherboard to see what configuration of ram it will support.

New video card will depend on how much you want to spend and how long you want to keep the card for. If you want to keep the card for a long(er) time like using it in a new machine later then spend the cash.

Ati X1950pro (DX9 card) costs around £90
Nvidia 8800GT (DX10 card) costs £160+ and is currently best bang for buck at the higher end. It beats the current gts and gets to around 90%+ of a GTX at monitor resolutions most of us run. I'm probably going for one of these myself (currently x1800xt). It will way outlast an X1950pro so unless you are really tight then go for this.

Shops to look at Scan, Aria, Dabs, Amazon, Overclockers, Komplett, Tekheads, Ebuyer, Microdirect, Novatech, Yoyotech, Eclipse, Gladiator computers. Google 'em and put them in your favourites/bookmarks for future reference.
 
#9
Cheers gents, sound advice. I'm on XP Home, I've never poked around inside my pc before but having said that the warranty's long since expired, so no harm in looking.

I'm not averse to the idea of upgrading the RAM myself, it has four slots, so I could quite easily get another two 512mb cards. Rooting around on eBay I came across the memory section, what does 'Standard' mean? It lists load of examples like PC100, PC3500, etc. but I'm clueless.

I'm also shopping around for a 8800GT, I'm a bang-for-buck kind of guy.
 
#10
Just out of interest - I've heard you can run two graphics cards on the same motherboard. Is this worthwhile, and if it is, do they have to be of a particular type?
 
#11
It's called SLI (for nvidia cards) Or Crossfire (For ATI cards) I use to have two 8800GTX's in sli and i got 10 + FPS in quite a few of my games. It wasnt worth it so i sold the card. Your best off getting the 8800GT you were looking for and leave it at that. Also try get your hands on a dual 2 core.
 
#12
skintboymike said:
Cheers gents, sound advice. I'm on XP Home, I've never poked around inside my pc before but having said that the warranty's long since expired, so no harm in looking.

I'm not averse to the idea of upgrading the RAM myself, it has four slots, so I could quite easily get another two 512mb cards. Rooting around on eBay I came across the memory section, what does 'Standard' mean? It lists load of examples like PC100, PC3500, etc. but I'm clueless.

I'm also shopping around for a 8800GT, I'm a bang-for-buck kind of guy.
Mike,

With you motherboard being based on the Socket 939 Nforce 4 chipset, You’d have to use a NVIDIA PCI-Express set up to use SLI mode.

Re the memory question, you need DDR400/PC3200 (same thing) try here http://www.ebuyer.com/cat/Memory---Desktop/subcat/DDR-3200-1GB for some 1 Gig sticks
 
#13
daz said:
skintboymike said:
Cheers gents, sound advice. I'm on XP Home, I've never poked around inside my pc before but having said that the warranty's long since expired, so no harm in looking.

I'm not averse to the idea of upgrading the RAM myself, it has four slots, so I could quite easily get another two 512mb cards. Rooting around on eBay I came across the memory section, what does 'Standard' mean? It lists load of examples like PC100, PC3500, etc. but I'm clueless.

I'm also shopping around for a 8800GT, I'm a bang-for-buck kind of guy.
Mike,

With you motherboard being based on the Socket 939 Nforce 4 chipset, You’d have to use a NVIDIA PCI-Express set up to use SLI mode.

Re the memory question, you need DDR400/PC3200 (same thing) try here http://www.ebuyer.com/cat/Memory---Desktop/subcat/DDR-3200-1GB for some 1 Gig sticks
]

Ta very much.
 
#14
SLI or Crossfire simply are not worth the expense and should only be considered if you are an extreme gamer with loads of cash. Geberally speaking the best increase you can expect to get in FPS is around 20% and more often then not, less than that. As stated above, spending more on a better single card will often reap you better rewards. The 8800 Gts is one of the best value cards around at the moment in terms of DX10 as it is extremely overclockable http://www.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=8824,
or an ATI 1950 pro if your happy with DX9
 

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