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Upgrade or replace
#1
I'm running an off the shelf HP Pavilion quad core (2.4 GHz) with an older Radeon 1300 PCI-X. I have 3 G RAM.

Most games don't perform very well. I read the FAQ about the minimum being an 8600GT with 3.2GHz dual core.

The only thing I can reasonably upgrade is the video card. I can pick an 8600GT for < $50 at various places.

If I spend the $50, how likely will I have a machine capable of playing MGS 3 snake eater? Or, should I scrap the idea all together and save up for a new rig?

Thanks...
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#2
Save up for a new rig. The graphics card alone will not fix your speed issues, especially not in such a resource heavy game.
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#3
(08-30-2009, 01:21 AM)Koji Wrote: Save up for a new rig. The graphics card alone will not fix your speed issues, especially not in such a resource heavy game.

OK, that's good to know. Now, a little more advice if I might. And remember, this is specifically for running MGS 3 Snake Eater or other reasonably hardware intensive games.

1) Lay out the cash for an i7, or save a few buck with a Core 2 Extreme? Or, should I just look for a Duo running > 3 GHz? How big of a difference is there in these chips for emulation? Is there a reasonable AMD equivalent you'd recommend to save few bucks?

2) Is there any reason to go with more than 3 G RAM? When I was watching the memory utilization, it never went THAT high. I don't remember how much RAM a PS2 had, but it certainly wasn't in Gigabytes. Or, would it make sense to make extra RAM into a RAM drive. Then, I could make ISOs out of my disks and run them off the RAM drive.

3) I wanted to say that a GTX 260 with 896M in one machine was pretty close in price (in a whole system system) as dual 9600 GT with SLI - or maybe it was dual 9800s. Anyway, would you recommend a single GTX 260 or a dual 9600? Dual 9800?

As an aside, I'm trying to stick with the Nvidia cards for the CUDA support. I want to buy the new version of TMPGENC which supposedly speeds up video transcoding using the GPUs on the video card.

Thanks for any advice. An explanation of why is appreciated as well.
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#4
1. if you plan your system specifically with its pcsx2 performance in mind, then you'll have to get a core2/i7. core 2 extreme is only an option, if you want to avoid any overclocking, otherwise get the best system your budget allows and overclock it. the core i7 has a cycle per cycle advantage over the core2 in pcsx2, but if it's worth that much more money is solely up to you. my system is able to run mgs3 with just some slight vu cycle stealing @ 55-60fps in 1920x1080 internal resolution, but there seem to be some games that are even more performance hungry than mgs3.

2. memory utilization is usually around 300-500mb for me, anything above 2gb should be more than enough for pcsx2. running your isos from a ram disk or solid state disk might further reduce the load times, but it probably won't be worth the effort/cost. even from a mediocre sata drive you won't see much of the loading screens of your games.

3. get the gtx 260, but make sure it's a gt200b chip with 216 instead of 192 stream processors. the effect of sli setups in pcsx2 is still questionable afaik, some users report that they do work, some users have to disable it completely to successfully run pcsx2, so a strong single core gpu is the safer choice currently.
CPU Core i5-3570K@3.4GHz | GPU Nvidia Geforce GTX 570 | RAM 8GB DDR-3 1600MHz CL9 | OS Win7 Ultimate (x64) SP1
EMU PCSX2 v1.1.0 r5645 | GS GSdx SSE4 r5632 | SPU2 SPU2-X r5559 | PAD LilyPad r5403 | CDVD cdvdGigaherz r5403
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