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Old 11-30-2008, 11:38   #1
Zombie Steve
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Need some computer upgrade help, please!

I got Left 4 Dead last night, and realized that I'm seriously underpowered to run this game. I made the assumption that since I've been able to run HL2 and Counter-Strike that this would work (same engine?).

Anyway, I'm running 300 MHz, 512 Ram, Radeon 9800 video card (driver is up-to-date).

I'm searching around, and I'm seeing that I'd probably have to upgrade the motherboard to boost the RAM to a decent level. I'd probably want a new video card too...

My question is - for the cost of upgrading this, should I just buy a new tower? What are your thoughts? Where do you get your hardware? Is Vista as bad as I've heard?

Please be nice - I'm not really good at this stuff. I'm a guy that still has a record player in the living room.
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Old 11-30-2008, 11:47   #2
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You need to tell us all of the information.

I would like to know your motherboard, RAM (amount and speed), video card, and CPU.

If you bought your PC from a manufacturer just give me the model number and I can look up the specs.

Vista is NOT as bad as you have heard. It is a bunch of people jumping on the "i have to agree with them so i am cool" bandwagon. 90% of the people who have problems with Vista have a 10 year old PC, and they cant figure out why it runs like crap.

My advice, without knowing the information, would be to build your OWN pc. You can build a mid-range gaming rig that will max out L4D and play a large amount of other games at high settings for around $800.
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Old 11-30-2008, 11:52   #3
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I just looked up the minimum required specs for a pc to run this game and here's what I got.
  1. OS: Windows XP, Vista, Vista 64
  1. CPU: 3.0GHz P4, Dual Core 2.0 or AMD64X2 (or higher)
  1. RAM: 1 GB for XP / 2 GB for Vista
  1. Disc Drive: DVD-ROM Drive
  1. Hard Drive: At least 7.5 GB of free space
  1. Video: DirectX 9 compatible video card (Video card must be 128 MB or more and should be a DirectX 9
  1. Sound: DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Zombie Steve View Post
    I got Left 4 Dead last night, and realized that I'm seriously underpowered to run this game. I made the assumption that since I've been able to run HL2 and Counter-Strike that this would work (same engine?).
When you stated below that you are running a 300 megahertz, did you mean 3 Gigahertz, or 3000 Mhz?


check again, because if you are, then you probably will be better off buying a new machine or building one like stated above.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zombie Steve View Post





Anyway, I'm running 300 MHz, 512 Ram, Radeon 9800 video card (driver is up-to-date).

I'm searching around, and I'm seeing that I'd probably have to upgrade the motherboard to boost the RAM to a decent level. I'd probably want a new video card too...

My question is - for the cost of upgrading this, should I just buy a new tower? What are your thoughts? Where do you get your hardware? Is Vista as bad as I've heard?

Please be nice - I'm not really good at this stuff. I'm a guy that still has a record player in the living room.
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Old 11-30-2008, 11:55   #4
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Vista is so good business America has made rules against upgrading to it.
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Old 11-30-2008, 12:02   #5
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Sorry again, guys. It's a Gateway 510X. I believe it's a 3.00 ghz.

I'm at work now and I'm going off the top of my head.

ETA: Pentium 4

Last edited by Zombie Steve; 11-30-2008 at 12:06..
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Old 11-30-2008, 12:03   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blitzer View Post
Vista is so good business America has made rules against upgrading to it.
Dont forget MS has already announced OS7 because Vista IS so bad.
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Old 11-30-2008, 12:05   #7
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Youo are looking at a complete overhaul, the Radeon 9800 is an AGP card, while some AGP cards are available most are PCI express now, plus your looking at a new CPU, new motherboard, and new memory (DDR2)

The good news is that computer components have never been cheaper than they are now.
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Old 11-30-2008, 12:11   #8
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Do you feel confident to build a new system yourself? If so, check out tigerdirect.com. A new motherboard is definitely going to be needed. I've tooled around on that site just to see how low I can go, and I had a pretty good system put together for under 500 bucks shipped.
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Old 11-30-2008, 12:14   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zombie Steve View Post
Sorry again, guys. It's a Gateway 510X. I believe it's a 3.00 ghz.

I'm at work now and I'm going off the top of my head.

ETA: Pentium 4
And I am betting that CPU is a northwood or prescott, which means it is a 478 socket. motherboards for 478 sockets are virtually impossible to find and if you do they are bargain basic generic VIA chipsets not suitable for gaming.

The cheapest route to go if yo don't want to upgrade everything is if your current mobo will support more ram buy it, ram is dirt cheap right now, then go to newegg and look for a AGP video card. Both ATI and Nvidia still market midrange power AGP cards. ( which will still be way beyond the capabilities of your current 9800 card.

Download these utilities and run them they will tell you exatcly what hardware is in your system.

SIW
http://www3.sympatico.ca/gtopala/

PC Wizard

http://www.cpuid.org/pcwizard.php
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Old 11-30-2008, 12:18   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zombie Steve View Post
I got Left 4 Dead last night, and realized that I'm seriously underpowered to run this game. I made the assumption that since I've been able to run HL2 and Counter-Strike that this would work (same engine?).

Anyway, I'm running 300 MHz, 512 Ram, Radeon 9800 video card (driver is up-to-date).

I'm searching around, and I'm seeing that I'd probably have to upgrade the motherboard to boost the RAM to a decent level. I'd probably want a new video card too...

My question is - for the cost of upgrading this, should I just buy a new tower? What are your thoughts? Where do you get your hardware? Is Vista as bad as I've heard?

Please be nice - I'm not really good at this stuff. I'm a guy that still has a record player in the living room.


PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE remember to back up any pics you took with your digital camera before you do anything.....


Scott
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Old 11-30-2008, 12:19   #11
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I dunno, looking around lately (I'm still stuck with AGP) it seems that a motherboard upgrade would be more cost effective than buying a mid-range AGP card. At most you'll get another year out of your rig before its completely outdated, and AGP cards are more expensive than comparable PCI-E cards.

Some of these AM2 socket mobos are just dirt cheap, and have some nice features too.
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Old 11-30-2008, 12:20   #12
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Quote:
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Do you feel confident to build a new system yourself? If so, check out tigerdirect.com. A new motherboard is definitely going to be needed. I've tooled around on that site just to see how low I can go, and I had a pretty good system put together for under 500 bucks shipped.
After what TigerDirect pulled on Pink Friday I will never do business with them again. I will never tell another person to support them either.

Use Newegg.
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Old 11-30-2008, 12:21   #13
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Quote:
At most you'll get another year out of your rig before its completely outdated
Now I'm leaning whole new computer... suggestions?

I'm seeing some towers on some websites that are $400 or so with 2MB RAM, et cetera... is that pouring money into something that will be outdated in a few years too?

I'd like to keep it below $800 or so, but I'm open to suggestion.

Last edited by Zombie Steve; 11-30-2008 at 12:23..
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Old 11-30-2008, 12:22   #14
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After what TigerDirect pulled on Pink Friday I will never do business with them again. I will never tell another person to support them either.

Use Newegg.
What did they do???
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After range trips, my AR had to be cleaned like a new baby, but with my AK I just spit on it and called it a whore.
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Old 11-30-2008, 12:22   #15
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Quote:
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Now I'm leaning whole new computer... suggestions?
If you are leaning new computer, the first step you need to complete would be to decide your budget. Once you decide that, you can start piecing one together on Newegg.com.
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Old 11-30-2008, 12:24   #16
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What did they do???
They had a marathon type webcast thing and were going to offer amazing deals on certain items. However, you would call and could hear people in the studio than they would just hang up on you. Out of the hundreds-thousands of people on Overclock.net that were trying to get some of these good deals, not a single person got one. It was all a big scam. When they unlocked the deal on the webcast you would get a hang-up answer on the phone, and the website would go down for 15 seconds. When the web page came back up every single item was magically sold.
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Old 11-30-2008, 12:25   #17
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Well, at the moment it looks like Intel is pulling ahead of AMD...Intel quad core processors are somewhat inexpensive at the moment. If you're looking to build a gaming rig, look into motherboards that support PCI-E 2.0, Crossfire or SLI (some do both now!) and DDR2 memory (almost ALL do). Look at the clock speeds for your RAM, the higher the better.

If you're going to build, DON'T FORGET THE CPU COOLER! Get a good one. And make sure you're buying an adequate power supply. Nowadays it seems like 350 watts or better is the word.
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After range trips, my AR had to be cleaned like a new baby, but with my AK I just spit on it and called it a whore.
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Old 11-30-2008, 12:28   #18
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Originally Posted by Glock 19 God View Post
If you are leaning new computer, the first step you need to complete would be to decide your budget. Once you decide that, you can start piecing one together on Newegg.com.
Sorry. You got this in before I edited my last post... is $400 - $500 reality? I can go quite a bit higher, but obviously would prefer not to...


I just want to shoot some zombies in this game!
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Old 11-30-2008, 12:28   #19
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If you don't feel comfortable building it yourself, just buy 2 of every part you get, and I'll drive up there and build it for you in exchange for the "spare parts"
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Old 11-30-2008, 12:29   #20
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Its possible. You'll have to cut some corners and use some of your existing hardware, but its possible. I'm going to newegg right now, I'll PM you a parts list and see what you think if you'd like.
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