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updating pc for games

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Ok If i'm lucky enough I may be able to upgrade my pc so I was wondering....

What part of my pc needs to be updated if i recieve slowdown with effects on the screen such as smoke or dust. Also an effect like a massive explosion close to the screen.
My computer can generally handle high graphics for rts games or fps but the main problem is shadows if i have shadows on even slightly I get massive slowdown (except on hl2).
So please help the only thing I could think of is my graphics card but I don't know. (if you want me to post my specs up here then just say)
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specs, we need to see where your pc is weakest.
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ok I don't know too much about pc's but anyway here's what I could find:
System:Dimension 8400
proccessor:Intel® Pentium® 4 CPU 3.00 GHz (2 CPUs)
memory: 1022MB RAM
Direct X: 9.0c
Graphics card: radeon x300/x550 series
no idea what this is but chip type: RADEON x300 SE
Display resolution of 1024x768 (32 bit) (75 hz)
I dont know how to check anything else :tazz: if you need more then please tell me how to find out.
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To find out more of your system specs download and run Belarc Advisor. Belarc will then analyse your hardware and display a report.

Looking over the few specs that you've posted the graphics card stands out straight away, it's a little bit weedy for playing FPS games.

To boost performance you could either upgrade the card or change the video options in the game.
Antiscopic Filtering and Antialiasing or two of the killers for low ends cards so try disabling them. Also reducing the resolution and the detail levels helps.
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okie dokie thanks guys any graphics cards you could reccomend?
Oh and here's my specs:
Operating System System Model
Windows XP Home Edition Service Pack 2 (build 2600) Dell Inc. Dimension 8400
System Service Tag: CSJ581J (support for this PC)
Chassis Serial Number: CSJ581J
Enclosure Type: Mini-Tower
Processor a Main Circuit Board b
3.00 gigahertz Intel Pentium 4
16 kilobyte primary memory cache
1024 kilobyte secondary memory cache Board: Dell Inc. 0J3492
Serial Number: ..CN4811147403CB.
Bus Clock: 800 megahertz
BIOS: Dell Inc. A01 07/17/2004
Drives Memory Modules c,d
156.21 Gigabytes Usable Hard Drive Capacity
35.83 Gigabytes Hard Drive Free Space

Philips DVD+RW DVD8601 [CD-ROM drive]
3.5" format removeable media [Floppy drive]

ST3160023AS [Hard drive] (160.04 GB) -- drive 0 1024 Megabytes Installed Memory

Slot 'CHANNEL A DIMM 0' has 256 MB
Slot 'CHANNEL B DIMM 0' has 256 MB
Slot 'CHANNEL A DIMM 1' has 256 MB
Slot 'CHANNEL B DIMM 1' has 256 MB
Local Drive Volumes

c: (NTFS on drive 0) 156.21 GB 35.83 GB free

Marks a disabled account; Marks a locked account HP DeskJet 810C on LPT1:
hp psc 2170 series on USB001
Microsoft Office Document Image Writer Driver on Microsoft Document Imaging Writer Port:

Controllers Display
Standard floppy disk controller
Intel® 82801FB/FBM Ultra ATA Storage Controllers - 266F
Intel® 82801FR SATA AHCI Controller
Primary IDE Channel [Controller] RADEON X300 Series [Display adapter]
RADEON X300 Series Secondary [Display adapter]
DELL E173FP [Monitor] (17.1"vis, s/n C538547D3E2L, July 2004)
Bus Adapters Multimedia
Intel® 82801FB/FBM USB Universal Host Controller - 2658
Intel® 82801FB/FBM USB Universal Host Controller - 2659
Intel® 82801FB/FBM USB Universal Host Controller - 265A
Intel® 82801FB/FBM USB Universal Host Controller - 265B
Intel® 82801FB/FBM USB2 Enhanced Host Controller - 265C SoundMAX Integrated Digital Audio
Unimodem Half-Duplex Audio Device
Communications Other Devices
Intel® 537EP V9x DF PCI Modem

Broadcom NetXtreme 57xx Gigabit Controller
primary IP Address: xxx.xxx.x.x / xx
Gateway: xxx.xxx.x.x
Physical Address: xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx
RAS Async Adapter

Networking Dns Servers: xxx.xxx.x.x
USB Human Interface Device (2x)
Standard 101/102-Key or Microsoft Natural PS/2 Keyboard
HID-compliant mouse
USB Root Hub (5x)
Virus Protection [Back to Top]
McAfee VirusScan Version 10.0.25
Scan Engine Version 4400
Virus Definitions Version 4567
Last Disk Scan on 27 September 2005 19:00:54
Realtime File Scanning On

Missing Microsoft Security Hotfixes [Back to Top]

All required security hotfixes (using the 09/13/2005 Microsoft Security Bulletin Summary) have been installed.

Edited by inferno_blaze, 04 October 2005 - 02:33 PM.

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Well getting more HDD Space wont hurt. And how much are you going for? As in price?
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well around 100 -150
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