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Questions about graphics cards...

Well, some may call me a noob after this question, but it haven't actually been clear to me. Yesterday I was helping a cousin in running a PC game (Doom 3 for Windows). He has quite an old rig (Pentium 4 2.8 GHz, ATI Radeon 9200 SE, 1 Gb RAM DDR), but I thought it should be enough to do it. It ran well, but in most areas there were many slowdowns which luckily don't make it unplayable at all, but they are very evident.

We tried looking at this page to see what it said. All the minimums passed, but in recomended specs the graphics card failed, which made me think it was the one responsible of the slowdowns.

So now my question, can the graphics card affect a game's speed despite the processor? Or for instance, could a better card give better speed? In the PCSX2 section of the forums I've learned that the most important thing in emulation (and presumably also PC gaming) is the processor, but also very important is the graphics card, although I don't know until what point.

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In general gaming, it's mainly down to the graphics card, which is the reasoning for graphics cards like mine..

But it's very old system, that graphics card's "legacy".
AMD Phenom II 940 @ 3.6GHZ, 4GB PC8500 @ 1100MHZ, 4870x2 @ Stock.
#3 isint too aquarate since it only uses official requirements for games ( and those arent aquarate eather, for example, you need to have 3 times more powerfull machine to play X3 Terran Conflict than it says in hardware requirements ), also you need both, powerfull CPU and powerfull GPU, there is a saying that computer is "Only as fast as it's slowest part" so if you have poor CPU and good GPU then CPU will bottleneck your performance and your GPU wont be able to perform at its maximum potential.

it means that: yes, better GPU will increse your gaming performance, but if it will be too strong for your CPU to handle then it wont be as fast as it could be, so its good to "match up" your hardware in terms of power.
Check my profile for hardware/software and games i played on PCSX2.
Doom 3 isn't that much more stressful to your system than vanilla Half-Life 2, so your processor is fine for that. Your card, however is a x2xx series. The way ATI labels their cards is pretty much as follows:

x8xx series=top line
x7xx series=next step down (you don't see these a lot)
x6xx series=good price, still pretty good performance
x5xx series=kinda like x7xx series, you don't see them a lot
x4xx series=budget card, still has somewhat decent performance
x3xx series=pure budget card, minimal performance
x2xx series=bottom of the barrel
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