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Stein

Possible computer Upgrade, Help?

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Hey guys, I currently have a Hp Pavilion that is a couple of years old. I have been trying to update it to keep up with the new games that come out but hopefully you guys will be able help me make it acceptable for Arma 2 and when Arma 3 comes out.

I have the-

ATI Radeon HD 5570
500 Watts Power Supply
3GB of RAM (I know so little)
AMD Phenom 9500 Quad-Core Processor 2.20 GHz

Now here are my questions.
I want to upgrade my graphics card, thinking that it will enhance my video game FPS a lot. I am looking into the EVGA- GeForce GTX 550 Ti 2GB GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 Graphics Card.
Would that be a good card to buy? Do I need to buy more RAM? I usually just run the TS and ARMA when online, but is 3GB enough or do I need to buy new RAM. My friend said you need to have the same RAM cards.

Thanks for your input!

Mike

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Hey Stein, do you know if you run a 32 bit operating system? If you do, you would need to upgrade to a 64 bit one to run more than 3.25 GB of RAM.

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Yeah I am on the 32 bit. hmmm... upgrading that would require me to install everything over again wouldn't it?


EDIT: I guess what I am asking is, Do I need to get more RAM?

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Just Alt-Tab and check your Task Manager when you have the game running. Click the Performance tab and check your Physical Memory Usage.

That is your guage as to whether you need more RAM or not. I always prefer faster over more, and as you would need to purchase another copy of Windows (64-bit) and reinstall the whole thing (programs and games included), you may consider the eventual costs adding up.

In the end, you will see a massive improvement with a good graphics car upgrade, because that 5570 that came with the Pavillion is only such in name alone and the actual GPU on it. By all other comparisons, it's complete crap - even a right and proper 5570 would trounce it. Such is the way with "boxed" PC's.

A good graphics card can usually be found in the $150 price range (US dollars). It should have good reviews, good recommendations from other users (perhaps here on VG), and a good name brand. Be sure you don't need to upgrade that 500W power supply, or at least factor in that cost.

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If you want to make it acceptable for arma 2 then upgrading your video will pretty much be enough I guess. Half a year back when I had quite a shitty PC with 2gb ram, intel pentium 4, and HD4850 (I know the CPU made a really small bottleneck ;) then I was able to play it with about 10 fps. Considering your ram and cpu to be better, then video is most probably the one holding the game down.

If you want to upgrade the PC to a level that upcoming games will run smoothly then you need to upgrade all 3 parts (not sure how much power you will need). If you are running win 7 then this will always occupy a bit more than 1GB of ram, so you have 2BG left for games, which is not enough.

"My friend said you need to have the same RAM cards." He is right, RAM of the same type cooperate better with each other (same brand and size).

Radeon HD 6850 is very good for its price, GeForce GTX 460 is also good. Not sure which you prefer more: radeon or geforse, although the price is basically the same, 6850 is a bit better. Both of these are better than the suggested GTX 550 and the cost is same for all three.

I just recently (in winter) upgraded my PC to: i5 2500k, 8GB RAM and kept the hd4850 as it still holds on quite well and I can play pretty much any game with max graphics settings (1600x1200 screen). But I'd recommend upgrading RAM also. How many RAM sockets do you have? If you have 2 then 2x3 or 2x4 will keep you going for many many years. (2x4GB are more common I think)

If you have any questions or suggestions, then I'd be more than happy to reply.

Andres

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just to back up what's been said, i still run a HD4850 and i've had a reaaaally good run, on Arma OA single player i usually get around 45fps with medium/high graphics, with view distance set to around 7000. on MP it usually goes down to around 25 with 5000 view distance. so it just goes to show pre-made PCs are shiiiiiit lol.

but anyway, just get a new graphics card dude. if you got one that is a 25nm card, you could theoretically use less power from your PSU but get more gain, but i dont think i'd feel comfortable hooking a 68 or 77 series card up to a 500W power supply lol. you'd atleast want a 700 to take care of all the extra work, and would hopefully have decent protection against surging.

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http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-card-review,3107.html

Always a good place to start when considering a new GPU, depending on the card the PSU might be weak.

Check out this site to do a rough calculation of your needs in terms of a PSU.

http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp

Some say 3gb ram is not great but you can live with it as long as you disable most of the things not vital for your gaming experience.

Personally I'm not a big fan of upgrading boxed setups since you have to work with their space, was looking at upgrading my gf's boxed setup.
It was a older box and the space needed for a new GPU was simply not there nor the ventilation for the added heat produced.

As for Arma I'm in the firm belief that it relies slightly more on the CPU than the GPU.

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Well, I upgraded my Card, but to my surprise, it didn't help much. So with my CPU, the AMD Phenom 9500 Quad-Core Processor 2.20 GHz, how much can I upgrade the RAM before, I max out my CPU? I am thinking about maybe getting 8 GB or maybe more. My buddy knows a way around 32Bit where I can use more RAM, atleast he claims. So anyone know how much RAM I can get before my CPU is the last thing holding me back?


I think I have 4 RAM Slots.

Thanks
Mike

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Guest plymike
Stein LAN_WROTE ...

Well, I upgraded my Card, but to my surprise, it didn't help much. So with my CPU, the AMD Phenom 9500 Quad-Core Processor 2.20 GHz, how much can I upgrade the RAM before, I max out my CPU? I am thinking about maybe getting 8 GB or maybe more. My buddy knows a way around 32Bit where I can use more RAM, atleast he claims. So anyone know how much RAM I can get before my CPU is the last thing holding me back?





What motherboard do you have?

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There is no way around a 32 bit OS, It is fixed so that it only uses 32 bits of the address bus so it can only address 2 to the power of 32 locations which is 4 GiB.

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Jager LAN_WROTE ...

Personally I'm not a big fan of upgrading boxed setups since you have to work with their space, was looking at upgrading my gf's boxed setup.
It was a older box and the space needed for a new GPU was simply not there nor the ventilation for the added heat produced.


Hate boxed setups with a passion. Remember attempting to do a "quick favor" for a relative once by replacing their hard drive that had died. Open the case up to find everything glued into place. !mad

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How do I check my Motherboard? And I could find a Windows Vista 64bit, and use that. I am willing to reinstall my stuff, I have alot of useless programs on here anyway.

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you'd probably need to either look at your computer model's specs if its prebuilt, or open your case and try to look at the board itself. My board model comes up in the bios loading screen but thats because I built it, usually it'll load like an HP/Dell whatever screen when you boot up your computer.

not sure if theres a tool to read the model of the board, probably exists somewhere

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