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Prioritizing upgrades?

FaffelFaffel Registered User regular
Hey there.

I have an HP 6418F (bought it last year for a great deal, would have preferred to build my own)
It has an AMD Athlon XP 64 x2 5200+
I installed a Geforce 9800GT 512MB
3GB of RAM
It's using a "Nettle3-GL8E" (that is the HP name) motherboard

I'm trying to decide between upgrading my videocard and my processor, but I can't decide which. I'm mostly worried by my low performance in both BF:Bad Company 2 and TF2, and everyone I hear says that the easiest way to improve performance in those games is with a new processor, especially a quad core for Bad Company 2.

I'm thinking of buying a GTX 260, but will it really give me much of a performance increase with the processor I'm using? And getting a new processor is the best choice, is there a way for this motherboard I have now to even support a quad core? And, failing that, what are the chances I would even be able to install a new motherboard in this HP case? I'm not really adverse to buying a new case, but I'm on a budget and I only want to spend about $250 at the most, so I definitely want as much bang for my buck as possible.

Thanks.

[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
Faffel on

Posts

  • AzioAzio Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    You should get a new CPU and motherboard. The 9800GT is getting a bit long in the tooth, but very few actually exceed its capabilities. You'll get a much bigger, more visible boost in performance by upgrading to a Core i5/i7

    As for whether it will fit in the case, I don't know. If you can't find any info about that specific model online, you could open it up and compare it to the diagrams and measurements in this PDF

    Azio on
  • GlitchGlitch Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Tom's Hardware suggests with this chart that you would definitely see an improvement going from a 9800GT to a GTX 260. If you have a pretty good dual-core, I would upgrade graphics before worrying about swapping out a processor. Especially having an OEM machine, you may have compatibility problems with another CPU but you can safely swap graphics without worry.

    you ninja'd me, Azio.
    Azio wrote: »
    You should get a new CPU and motherboard. The 9800GT is getting a bit long in the tooth, but very few actually exceed its capabilities. You'll get a much bigger, more visible boost in performance by upgrading to a Core i5/i7

    As for whether it will fit in the case, I don't know. If you can't find any info about that specific model online, you could open it up and compare it to the diagrams and measurements in this PDF

    i know TF2 will benefit more from a graphics card than a new proc because it's a couple of years old now. is BF:BC2 really that much of a CPU hog? I have an i7 so i never noticed.

    the catch is you can buy a GTX 260 for about $180 while going to a decent i5 is going to cost you as much and you'll still need a motherboard.

    Glitch on
  • DehumanizedDehumanized Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    The first thing you need to figure out is if HP used non-standard references when building the computer. If your case isn't ATX then that's gonna limit your options to graphics cards upgrades only, pretty much, and even then you might be limited by whatever clearance happens to be available within the case.

    Dehumanized on
  • GlitchGlitch Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    It looks like CPU upgrades staying in the AMD family would be an option. Helluva lot cheaper than buying a new CPU, mobo and RAM for a 1 year old rig.
    AM2+Supports the following processors:
    Phenom with Quad Core technology (AM2+) up to 9600 (up to 95 watt)
    Athlon64 X2 with Dual Core technology up to 5600+ (up to 89 watt)
    Athlon64 less than 4000+Sempron less than 3800+

    Glitch on
  • FaffelFaffel Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Thanks for the help guys - this is a little worse than I had hoped, and might just buy a Radeon 5770 to DX11-proof myself and save up for a new case/mobo/proc.

    I looked around on Newegg at Quadcore Phenoms, but I can't find a 95-watt one - it seems they're all 100-125 watt. If I stick that in my 95-watt proc slot, I assume it will fry?

    Faffel on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • AzioAzio Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Glitch wrote: »
    i know TF2 will benefit more from a graphics card than a new proc because it's a couple of years old now. is BF:BC2 really that much of a CPU hog? I have an i7 so i never noticed.

    the catch is you can buy a GTX 260 for about $180 while going to a decent i5 is going to cost you as much and you'll still need a motherboard.
    Alls I know is, I had an Athlon X2 4200+ and a 9800GT, and when I upgraded to a Core i5 the performance gains were massive. TF2 especially was a huge improvement. However, it was a socket 939 Athlon with DDR RAM; the jump to DDR3 may have accounted for much of those gains.

    I would probably still have the 9800 today if it hadn't died on me. It's a fine graphics card.

    Bad Company 2 is a hog in general. I have a 5770 now and that game is still choppy.

    Azio on
  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    I vote video card. It's me abused stepson of your system and even the best made ones don't last long if they don't become obsolete first.

    Paladin on
    Marty: The future, it's where you're going?
    Doc: That's right, twenty five years into the future. I've always dreamed on seeing the future, looking beyond my years, seeing the progress of mankind. I'll also be able to see who wins the next twenty-five world series.
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