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What To Upgrade, Graphics Card Or CPU?

Discussion in 'PC hardware help' started by Spenman91, Apr 13, 2007.

  1. Spenman91

    Spenman91 Regular member

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    I bought the computer listed below in December of last year. If you look at the link it should tell you everything about my computer you would need to know to help me. It includes all of the specs including pictures of everthing.

    http://www.geardigest.com/2006/09/11/hp_m7580n/

    I now have some money saved and plan to upgrade my computer in some way. I know I want it to be either the CPU or the Graphics Card. However I don't know what would make my games run faster or help me in the long run.

    I have picked out some parts I am concidering buying. Since my system is already AMD I would prefer to keep it that way so that I don't have to replace the motherboard. I would also like to have an Nvidia Graphics Card, but I am flexible if ATI has something better for my price range.

    I also know that if I upgrade the Graphics Card that I will probablly have to upgrade the PSU. I wish I didn't have to since I have never done that before. I don't know if I could make it with the stock PSU if I went with the 7950GT or not. But I know I will have to upgrade if I go with the 8800GTS. My question is, will my current CPU hold my proformance back if I upgrade my graphcis card now, and should I upgrade the CPU first? Or, Will the CPU be fine for a while, and the graphics card will help me more than anything for now?

    Here are the parts I am concidering. If I need a new PSU could you recomend a decently inexpensive one.

    CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103773

    DX9 Card: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130061

    DX10 Card: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130082

    Right now I play games such as Battlefield 2, the Need for Speed series, but soon I want to be able to play games like Halo 2 for PC, and Crysis. Which parts do you think I need? If you have any other suggestions I'll put them into concideration also. Thanks
     
  2. ddp

    ddp Moderator Staff Member

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  3. steimy

    steimy Active member

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    http://www.amd.com/us-en/Processors/ProductInformation/0,,30_118_9485_13041^13077^14820,00.html
    i think i would go with the graphics card and PSU. The processor looks like it will outperform mine (Intel Core2Duo E6400 2.13GHz)
    and mine playes games just fine. Even Rainbow 6 Vegas which is the most demanding i have found as it requires a 3GHz processor and a good graphics card. I am running a XFX GeForce 7600GT card and a Enermax 620W PSU
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814150182
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817194004
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2007
  4. Spenman91

    Spenman91 Regular member

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    Thanks for the replies. It has a Nvidia 7300LE and the onboard graphics is disabled. And the processer is actually a 4600+ X2. I didn't upgrade or anything but they got the specs wrong. In the control pannal it says it's a 4600, and with cpuz it says it's a 4600. I also think graphics would be a better option to go with. Do you think I should go with a new Direct X 10 card or one of the older x9 cards? Also I forgot to ask, I've herd something about having trouble upgrading the PSU in HP computers becuase HP makes their PSU specially to fit their machines. So I didn't know if that was true or not, and if I could actually upgrade the PSU. Also, if you do recomend a DX10 card like the 8800, do you think it would fit in my system? I have herd that they are huge, so I didn't know. Again thanks for the help.
     
  5. bbmayo

    bbmayo Active member

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    Well I am having a hard time finding any information out about your PSU at all so I am not sure if you would need to upgrade that or not (most newer cards reccommend 400watts or better)? You will for sure get more out of upgrading the Video card instead of the CPU for gaming as you have stated is the main reason for your upgrade. I would get the video card and see how it works with your system then if you need the PSU you can always get that later. AS far as upgrading the PSU yes some HP machines require a specific type of power supply, but some will take any standard ATX power supply. I am afraid without seeing inside of your system it is impossible to tell (maybe you could post some pictures). The same goes for which video card to get, but you can look at the video card specifications for length and height then measure inside of your case to see if it will fit for example the second card you provided the link to is 4.4 inches in Height and 9 inches in Length or 111.15 mm X 228.6 mm.
     
  6. llChaosll

    llChaosll Member

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    Hey hows it goin, I dont post much but figured I'd post to give u some info on my opinion. You have the X2 6000 listed which is 240 and clock speed of 3Ghz and 2 MB cache of ram but the processor wattage is 125W. The X2 5600 is only 200 Mhz lower and runs at 89W so will make your pc cooler than having the other processor since I would assume you don't have much airflow in your case because its not a custom built PC.
    The 5600 has the same stats and will run you around $190-200 and if your into overclocking Im pretty sure you can overclock that baby to 3Ghz on stock cooling.

    I would also consider getting the DX10 Compliant card especially for Crysis but pls make sure it fits, cuz I heard its huge also :)
    Just my opinion, tell me what you think.
     
  7. Spenman91

    Spenman91 Regular member

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    I figure a DX10 card will suck alot of power but not replacing the power supply sounds nice. But here are the specs to my PC. It's around 7 pages long but its detailed info on my PC. The first page will tell you exactly what kind of power supply I have. The next few pages have pictures listed of the interior of my computer. I don't think I'll replace the CPU right away though. My computer does normal task fast enough for me so I think getting it to play games with a new graphics card would be better. I just thought of upgrading the CPU because of the AMD recent price drop. But then again prices will proabally only go down even more. Just look through those pages in the link and let me know what graphics card you think I should get, and wether I will need to upgrade my PSU right away or if it can wait a while.

    http://www.geardigest.com/2006/09/11/hp_m7580n/

    PSU Bestec 300Watt Single fan

    The pictues of the interior are on this link.

    http://www.geardigest.com/2006/09/11/hp_m7580n/page3.html

    Edit: My budget is around $260 to $300 max. Lower than that would be prefered but I could probablly go to around $300 if I had to.

    Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2007
  8. Zeyf414

    Zeyf414 Regular member

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    I would seriously consider upgrading your power supply first and foremost, especially if you are going to upgrade to a video card requiring more power. Here is a good PSU that more than fits into your budget:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817104934

    or if your don't want to spend that kind of money and you want less wattage this has good to excellent customer reviews:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817153023

    Other good PSU's are from Enermax and Seasonic.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2007
  9. Spenman91

    Spenman91 Regular member

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    That PSU is in my budget. I am glad there is a good one for under $100. I was afraid I would need to spend $150 or more. The only problem now is I don't know if it will fit in my case or not and be compatible. Once again here is my PSU. And the link below is of pictures of the interior of my PC.

    My PSU: Bestec 300Watt Single fan

    Pictures: http://www.geardigest.com/2006/09/11/hp_m7580n/page3.html

    Thanks
     
  10. Zeyf414

    Zeyf414 Regular member

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    I couldn't tell by that picture. Sorry; and I think you are right in trying to determine if it will fit. Here is another PSU your might want to consider. Like the Fortron I linked to you earlier, it has dual 12v rails which is very important especially if you are going to do gaming and your vid card, etc. demands the power. This one supplies 18A on the 12v rail for a total of 36A whereas the Fortron supplies 15A on the 12v rail for a total of 30A.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817103462

    I think if you can upgrade to a better card as some have already linked you should have a very nice upgrade without breaking the bank.

    And your CPU is very, very nice.
     
  11. ddp

    ddp Moderator Staff Member

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    standard psu dimensions are 5 9/16" x 3 5/16" x 5 7/8"
     
  12. Spenman91

    Spenman91 Regular member

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    I think it should fit. I was just worried because I had herd that HP's PSUs were different. But if not I think everything should work out fine. I will probablly order one of those 2 power supplys and a graphics card soon. Would it be a big enough difference between the 7950GT (512MB) and the 8800 (320MB) to go with the 8800? What do you think about deciding between those 2 cards? Or if there is another card you think I should look into any input is appriciated.

    Thanks
     
  13. Zeyf414

    Zeyf414 Regular member

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    Well, I think there are several things to consider. First, in order to get the DX10 cpabilites out of the 8800 you are going to have to install Vista and Vista is having some serious glitches.

    Secondly, there are been some serious issues with nVidia's drivers for their 8800 cards. Perhaps the latest drivers are working now, but you would have to research this.

    Third, 512 meg cards are more of a marketing ploy. You would be better off with a PCI-e 256 meg card in a DDR 3, 3.0 shader and a 256 interface.

    This is another consideration: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814141041
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2007
  14. Spenman91

    Spenman91 Regular member

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    Yea, I forgot all about needing Vista (which I hate). The only reason I would concider getting Vista is because of Halo 2 and Crysis. But then the only way I would get Vista is if I did dual boot so I could load XP for everyday things and Vista for some games.

    So would something like this be good for now until the DX10 cards go more main stream.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130074

    Edit: Sorry I didn't see the link to that card. What would the diffence be between the 7900GS you listed and this 7950GT? Would it be a big enough difference for the price?
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2007
  15. Zeyf414

    Zeyf414 Regular member

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    The EVGA has 4 more pixel pipelines and a slightly faster core clock, but otherwise they are both excellent cards. If you can get the rebate with the EVGA I'd say go with that. Either way you can't lose.

    Also, not right now because it is not needed, but when you do upgrade to Vista 2 years from now consider another two Gigs of RAM because Vista can utilize 4 gigs.
     
  16. Spenman91

    Spenman91 Regular member

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    Yea I think thats what I'll do and I'll get one of the PSUs you listed also. Then it sounds like I should be set. And becuase of everyones help I'll save money. The only reason I ever thought of upgrading my CPU was because when I play games I run dual monitors and on the other screen I keep programs open to monitor heat and CPU usage and thins like that. When I play some games my CPU one one core stays at 50%. I thought games might run smoother since it looked like my CPU was doing all it could. However I guess when I upgrade my graphics card it should take alot of the load off my CPU? I could be wrong though.
     
  17. Zeyf414

    Zeyf414 Regular member

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    Well very few if any current PC games utilize dual core technology. They will only utilize one core. But what is nice is your background applications will utilize the other core.

    When cgames start utilizing dual cores we're going to see some really cool things. You said you wanted it Vista ready, a dual core is a good thing (but not necessary).
     
  18. Spenman91

    Spenman91 Regular member

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    Yes, but will having a new graphics card take some of the load off of the CPU or not? Lately I have started playing Need for Speed Underground 2. I play it on medium settngs at 1024 x 768, and I lag slightly. I assumed I could play that old of a game on max setting even with my sucky graphics card. But I have the same problem with Halo 1. So do you think with the new graphics card I will see the same problems? For some reason it seems like older games with less system requirements run worse than newer games like Battlefield 2.
     
  19. Zeyf414

    Zeyf414 Regular member

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    Games have been very GPU (video) demanding than CPU, but both play a role. I say first and foremost it is your GPU.
     
  20. Spenman91

    Spenman91 Regular member

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    Well, thats what I figured but I wanted another opinion. I guess I will order a new graphics card and PSU in a day or 2 and then I will be set, until Vista setups become mainstream and I get a new system.
    I can install the graphics card easily and I wouldnt think the PSU would be that hard.

    Thanks for the help everyone.
     

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