Hi, I just bought 2 GB of DDR-SDRAM and an e-GeForce 6200 graphics card (AGP) by NVIDIA. I bought a game (The Orange Box), installed Half-Life 2, and ran it. The graphics displayed perfectly and there was no lag there, but when the game started handling AI, gunfire, etc., it LAGGED A LOT! So I'm thinking of buying a new processor. I have no idea which CPUs will work on my motherboard. If you have any ideas, please help.

My motherboard is: MSI 661FM2-LSR (MS-7060)

Your motherboard is limited to a P4 at 3.4GHz and you can check this out at:

I think the long term problem you're gonna face is that the fps on modern games will barely reach 30 no matter what you do. Newer games need newer mobos with faster front side bus to deliver data at the rate need to handle flying glass, moving objects etc.

Furthermore, the 6200 is the smaller brother in the Geforce 6 series and the lack of compression will further hamper data delivery and hence fps.

We've noticed these effects and the difference on the same Half-Life driven game between a Geforce 6600 on a 2.8GHz P4 and a dual core at 2.8GHz with the same graphics card is enormous. Then moving up to a Geforce 7600 on a quad CPU gets us up to 100 fps (flying glass brings it down to 60 fps).

You can see where I'm heading. Older games will tune in well to your rig, newer games will find the setup too lame.

I've been thinking some more about the advice given to you. Most games are for a single-CPU. The relative processor benchmarks can be found on thie following web page:

Anyway, supposing that 3.4GHz thrown at a game (not just an older game) using the Half Life 2 engine isn't going to e a ottleneck, your graphics card will surely be a limiting resource.

The 6800GT would be a better bet; it has compression and 256MB RAM.

Even better would be the 7600 or 7800 for hich there are AGP versions.

So, be prepared for continuing issues with a 6200.

Yep, I know it's not the question here, but I had a 7600GT (AGP) and it was a great card, handling Call of Duty and Battlefield 2 pretty well. However as they get rarer, the old AGP cards may get more expensive.

BTW: Love the Orange Box ;)

Would turning the quality down increase performance? Also, 30 FPS would be good enough for me. I sometimes get it down to only 5 FPS.

I'm thinking about building a new computer. How much do you think it would cost for a REALLY fast processor, motherboard, power supply, hard disk, RAM, and everything else to build a computer from scratch?

Depends. You could theoretically spend up to about $5,000 but who's going to do that?

The new Intel X58 boards are out now, with the EXTREMELY EXPENSIVE i7 CPUs. If money's no object this is where you want to be, but I'm going to assume money actually means something to you.

As an example, this is a pretty good system pre-built for $1,600 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883227117

For bits and pieces, there's a lot of personal preference involved (i.e. for an extra $100 you get an extra 5% performance, it's up to you).

P45 Motherboard $120

Q9550 CPU $310 Not the fastest, but the $:performance quad core at the moment.
GTX280 XXX Edition $430 or standard editions for $350
750W PC P&C PSU $100 (750W sounds like a lot, but too much is better than too little).
750GB WD HDD $75
4GB (2x2) 1066 Dominator DDR2 $40 must be configured manually in BIOS
Ridiculously big CM HAF 932 case $160 total overkill

This is $1,235 less any combo. deals you can get, but doesn't have keyboard, mouse, DVD drive or monitor. I went for the SLI capable 780i FTW myself, but that's just me (the 750i is also SLI, and cheaper). The P45s are meant to be good though. This is not a recommendation, just my 2c worth.

Would turning the quality down increase performance? Also, 30 FPS would be good enough for me. I sometimes get it down to only 5 FPS.

Yes, turning quality down increases performance in direct proportion. Indeed one often doesn't notice the decrease in quality.

Regarding your proposal to build a f*ck-off PC from scratch. I don't know US prices, but the NVIDIA XFX motherboards are fairly priced (in the UK) and integrate well with NVIDIA graphics cards. In that case I would recommend the 512MB 8800GTX as a trade off between price and performance in which case the NForce 680i motherboard is the least exensive compatible mobo. Then you can choose the Core2 Duo CPU of your choice (stick with Intel) (see the 6 Series column in http://www.nvidia.com/content/nforce700i/nForce_Intel_CPU_List.pdf) . The 6200 will also work in this mobo.

In the PDF to which I've pointed, the performance gap between the 'Presler' and 'Conroe' family is at least 20%. You'll benefit from dual core even if the games don't use it because XP/Vista does and when you're not gaming everything you do pretty well runs faster.

If you've got more dosh to spend, then the 7 series mobo and 9 series video card come to mind.

Finally on RAM for a new PC; presumably you'll be buying 32 bit Windows. In that case more than 4GB is of no use to you. I think the best trade-off here is to get 3 GB RAM to which will be added the 512MB of the the Nvidia GPU. Or you could go mad and buy 2 GPUs and tun them in SLI mode so doubling your Video RAM and using up the full 4GB Quota. Not necessary in my view. If you go for 4GB mobo RAM, 512MB will be unused at the top because the graphics card will be mapped in at the top of the Windows permitted memory range.

Go for it.

For something a little cheaper than I suggested 2 posts ago, maybe:

Q6600 or E8500 CPU
800 RAM rather than 1066 (also, Suspishio makes a good point about RAM and a 32 Bit O/S)
Less overkill case.

That should be under $1,000