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Yet another "help me decide on the best PC upgrade" thread

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    Yet another "help me decide on the best PC upgrade" thread

    Sorry to post another one of these threads guys, but I've read most every one I've found through the search and I'm still not quite sure what to do, so I figured I'd ask for help.

    I'm a long-time UT99 and UT2004 player who has been playing the UT3 demo for the past few days and really loving it. I'm not satisfied with the performance I'm getting out of my lower-end PC so I'm thinking of upgrading.

    My current specs are:
    AMD Opteron 165 Denmark (Dual Core, Socket 939) running at 1.8GHz
    2 GB DDR 400 (PC 3200)
    Evga GeForce 7950GT with 512 MB

    I'm currently playing at 1280x1024, and with the settings set to a minimum I average probably about 40-50 FPS in Heat Ray with about 6-7 players around me. In Shangrila probably about 35-45 and in Suspense it can drop down to 28-30. Turning settings up to maximum results in anywhere from a 15-20 fps drop.

    Ideally I'd like to be able to run the game at full settings at 1280x1024 and keep a good (~60) framerate even during intense battles. I have $500 to spend. Here are my questions:

    First of all, is it even possible to get the results I want with the money I have available to spend ($500)? If so, should I focus on upgrading my mobo/CPU/RAM, or my video card? I can't seem to find a consensus on which is more important in my situation. Obviously I know that UT3 loves the higher end 8000 series cards, but if I upgrade to one of those, will my slow CPU be the bottleneck and keep me from getting the results I want? If I upgrade my CPU, I'm going to have to replace my mobo (since I'm on a dead-end 939 architecture) and my RAM as well, which will sap all of my money and make it impossible to upgrade my video card as well. So which direction should I go?

    Any assistance is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    #2
    MAte i would get a 8800GTS and see how it runs, if it makes not much difference return and get a refund

    Comment


      #3
      right now no one knows...because the real game has not come out yet...and all this talk about the demo only showing 1/2 of the details, no one really know how any hardware will perform until the real game comes out.

      but if you have 500 then I suggest just getting a 8800gtx, I'm sure they will not let a flagship card suffer...

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by UT4EVER View Post
        but if you have 500 then I suggest just getting a 8800gtx, I'm sure they will not let a flagship card suffer...
        Yes, but will my lowly CPU (1.8GHz) be able to feed the card fast enough to keep it from sitting idle? That's what I'm concerned about. Also, I suppose I could buy the card and try it out, but I'm trying to get some advice first to avoid the restocking fee if it doesn't give me good results...

        Thanks for the responses so far...

        Comment


          #5
          get a better CPU or see if yours will OC to at least 2.2Ghz

          At 1.8Ghz, it's pretty slow even though it a dual core. You could try to OC it or replace with a better CPU. EPIC recommends 2.4Ghz or higher dual core.

          The opteron 180 runs at 2.4Ghz and cost $169 at newegg. That should be a big difference, a 33% increase in speed for now.

          Both Intel and AMD will be releasing NEW generation quad core chips using DDR3 memory in the 2nd half of next year. NEW cards by Nvidia and ATI will also be out next year. Prices on current hardware will plummet. Buy now, pay alot more for soon to be outdated hardware.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by oldkawman1 View Post
            At 1.8Ghz, it's pretty slow even though it a dual core. You could try to OC it or replace with a better CPU. EPIC recommends 2.4Ghz or higher dual core.

            The opteron 180 runs at 2.4Ghz and cost $169 at newegg. That should be a big difference, a 33% increase in speed for now.
            I toyed around with OC my CPU when I first bought it, but I discovered fairly quickly that I lack the technical skills and patience to pull that off.

            I suppose I could go for the Opteron 185 2.6GHz ($229), and pair it with a new GeForce 8800GTS 320M ($279), which would put me just a hair above my limit. But would this get me the steady 60fps @ 1280x1024 that I want?

            Comment


              #7
              thats it mate u got it this time!! go for it

              I have quad core but I get 400+ fps in UT3 * 1024

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by DerelictMan View Post
                I toyed around with OC my CPU when I first bought it, but I discovered fairly quickly that I lack the technical skills and patience to pull that off.

                I suppose I could go for the Opteron 185 2.6GHz ($229), and pair it with a new GeForce 8800GTS 320M ($279), which would put me just a hair above my limit. But would this get me the steady 60fps @ 1280x1024 that I want?
                You may want to take a gander at this (link below)... I would grab some more ram too.

                http://www.theinquirer.net/gb/inquir...sweeney-memory

                Comment


                  #9
                  Remember this is the demo and EPIC had to hold back on the graphics so the download could be lower...........with the real ut3 graphics the demo would have been 2GB's..... so i trust than an 8800GTS 640mb or the Ultra with 768mb can run the real ut3 good

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I'd go for a new cpu, but wait until the game comes out and see how that runs, I have a feeling it will be boatloads better (in every way, including compatability).

                    Comment


                      #11
                      500$ falls a bit short. A good setup would be intel dualcore e6750 (or a bit lower model), 2gig of ddr800mhz, suitable motherboard and GF8800gts. GF8800GTS will have at least 2x (or more) the framerate of gf7950, and a overcloked e6xxx series dualcore will be really fast.

                      Edit : You can get those old parts sold in used market. Just use some local eBay or similar. You can get over 100$ from your old display card, and some extra from processor+moterboard+ram.

                      If you get your old parts sold, you can afford the setup I recommended, and it will run UT3 smooth as silk.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Thanks to everyone for the advice, I really appreciate it.

                        I think what I'm going to do is first of all wait for the final game to be released, then buy the fastest CPU my board will support (2.6) and see what impact that has on performance. Then I may make the jump to one of the 8000 series cards if the CPU doesn't do enough by itself.

                        Thanks again...

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by DerelictMan View Post
                          Thanks to everyone for the advice, I really appreciate it.

                          I think what I'm going to do is first of all wait for the final game to be released, then buy the fastest CPU my board will support (2.6) and see what impact that has on performance. Then I may make the jump to one of the 8000 series cards if the CPU doesn't do enough by itself.

                          Thanks again...
                          UT3 is really GPU dependant. And if you buy a 8000-series card, make sure it's 8800-series, not lower series. I have a E6400 dualcore @ 2.85ghz now and a gf 7950GT 512mb, and I can only achieve solid 60fps @ 800x600. 1024x768 does get a bit sluggish.

                          Edit : You may find this link really helpful : http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3127

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Nacher View Post
                            UT3 is really GPU dependant. And if you buy a 8000-series card, make sure it's 8800-series, not lower series. I have a E6400 dualcore @ 2.85ghz now and a gf 7950GT 512mb, and I can only achieve solid 60fps @ 800x600. 1024x768 does get a bit sluggish.
                            Wow, ok, that's useful information. So, would recommend that I buy the new video card first (8800 series), and then buy the CPU second if necessary?

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Nacher
                              a gf 7950GT 512mb, and I can only achieve solid 60fps @ 800x600. 1024x768 does get a bit sluggish.
                              For some wierd reason the 7900 is very slow if you put everything to max. There must be a game setting that murdering this range of cards.

                              iirc a 8600gt is faster than a 7900GTX, yes it's this bad!
                              edit: The above is debatable, sometimes wrong, but you see where I'm getting at


                              All it takes is having a particular math operation that has to be emulated on the 7 card, that is native on the 8, and this operation appears on an internal loop. Or it's possible to generate better code now with a bit more of hardware support, or, or...

                              Try disabling one setting at a time on the .ini, including hiding weapon. I'm sure fps will skyrocket after you disable it

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