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CS:Source on a budget - minimum spec for acceptable FPS

Discussion in 'PC Games' started by sniper007, 9 Jan 2006.

  1. sniper007

    PermaBanned

    Joined: 18 Jan 2005

    Posts: 1,110

    Ok heres the deal:

    Bro wants to get into the CS:S gaming loop..I think I successfully got him hooked the other night on CS:CZ, but he would like to be able to play online on CS:Source. His current spec is a pre built jobbie from somewhere like PCWorld. Its not bad, but then its not great either. The main limitation is hes got only 256mb ram and 32/64 of that has to be shared as video memory. BUT...his MOBO does have an AGP slot. His processor I think will be fine - 2.8ghz Pentium. But Im wondering how much ram to buy and what AGP card to get for relatively good FPS. TBH, I think he will only play @ 1024 x 768 as only has a 15" TFT. But the scope to be able to play at 1024 x 1280 later on would be good.

    So, do I buy another 256 ram for cheap, or go 512 to make it 768? Or do I by 3 x 256 to make it a gig? Im not bothered about what the absolute quickest will be, so dont need to be told to buy 2 x 1gig of ram and a new PCI-E mobo. Hes a student and hence on a major buget. Im thinking ATI card since these are slightly more optimized for Half Life 2 engine.

    So, basically whats the cheapest way to get best FPS and absolutely minimal to preferably NO lag due to system performance.
     
  2. Naffa

    Capodecina

    Joined: 4 Sep 2005

    Posts: 11,455

    Location: Bristol

    if you only want it for css on a budget, this will run it at max at 1024x768

    amd athlon xp 3200+
    1gb ddr
    ATi 9800pro
    mobo for around £35-£50. Asus maybe.

    although id recomend a 64 bit cpu + pci express graphics as it provides greater scope for upgrade in the future, but as i said. this spec will run css at max. very vague, but gives you an idea for the requirement.
     
  3. Dace

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 15 Mar 2005

    Posts: 2,367

    Location: Long Eaton, Nottingham

    I'd go with a 6600GT card and an extra stick of 512mb RAM.

    It should then play HL2 without problems.
     
  4. mrgubby

    Mobster

    Joined: 21 Oct 2002

    Posts: 4,919

    Location: 30 miles north of London

    My son plays CS:S on our spare machine at 800x600 medium graphics on a 1.3GHz Athlon/512Mb/GF3 & is perfectly happy with it
     
  5. ScarySquirrel

    Capodecina

    Joined: 13 Jan 2004

    Posts: 23,546

    Location: South East

    i would agree with naffa completely, although as he said i personally would look towards the future as well. however is your main concern is playing CSS properly that will do the job, although for a little more i think upgrading from 9800 pro to something else may be more beneficial.

    i use to run it on AMD 2600, 1gb of RAM and 9800pro, not the best but ran ok. Source engine is very CPU dependent, remember that
     
  6. William

    Capodecina

    Joined: 26 Jul 2003

    Posts: 10,948

    Location: Derby

    OcUK Value 1GB (2x512MB) PC3200 184pin DDR Memory Dual Channel Kit (MY-004-OK)

    owerColor ATI Radeon X800 GTO 128MB DDR TV-Out/DVI (PCI-Express) - Retail (GX-053-PC)

    Total Cost = £74.95 + £39.95 = £114.90 + VAT

    That will run alot of things quite happily.

    I think your best option would be to scour around the members market looking for a 512mb or 1gb set of memory and a second hand ATi 9600 or 9800pro.

    My brother has:

    Barton 2500xp
    512mb Ram
    9600 pro

    He runs CSS at 1280x1024 using medium/low details at around 40fps.

    You could probably pick the second hand gear up for around £40-60, It does not have future proofing though, then again the option costing twice as much does not really have that either. :)
     
  7. lemonkettaz

    Capodecina

    Joined: 28 Nov 2005

    Posts: 11,806

    css ran great on my old pc which im selling for £180

    gigabyte dual bios k7 triton mobo via chipset
    amd xp 3000 2.1ghz
    1gb pc3200 dual channel
    radeon 9600pro 128mb
     
  8. HangTime

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 25 Oct 2002

    Posts: 28,103

    Location: Hampshire

    512meg ram and a secondhand agp card should do the trick.... 6800/x800, something of that order. Total cost should be well under £150
     
  9. sharingan_sasuk

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 8 Apr 2004

    Posts: 2,054

    He can only use AGP
     
  10. William

    Capodecina

    Joined: 26 Jul 2003

    Posts: 10,948

    Location: Derby

    Ahhhh damn AGP, no you can't get one for £40 but you can get one for £80. :p ;)

    I will come back with alternate card.

    Edit: I saw your sly edit you! :p

    Leadtek WinFast GeForce 6600 GT 128MB DDR3 TV-Out/DVI (AGP) - Retail (GX-050-LT) £81.95 from the ocuk, good card wont break the bank, but the second hand option is still by far the best at least for the graphics card.

    You would be best hunting for a 9800pro, these have been a stalwart card for around 2 years now, and plenty of people here still use them and swear by them, myself included. :)
     
    Last edited: 9 Jan 2006
  11. Andelusion

    Capodecina

    Joined: 1 Oct 2003

    Posts: 14,332

    Location: Huddersfield

    I play CS:S with max details on everything, max AA and max AF at 1280x1024 with FPS never dipping below 40fps on:

    Athlon 2500 @2.2ghz
    512mb DDR400
    6800GT (clocked to Ultra)
    NF7

    :)
     
  12. ScarySquirrel

    Capodecina

    Joined: 13 Jan 2004

    Posts: 23,546

    Location: South East

    that is impressive, if i did that on my AMD 2600 and X800 XT when i had it, im pretty sure it would have only got about 40FPS
     
  13. 4T5

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 30 Aug 2004

    Posts: 27,746

    Location: Middle of England

    Personally i would hang out in the Members market and pick up a 2nd hand 9800pro thats modable to Xt speeds.
    I would also do the same to get a Gig of geil.
    Loads of folk are upgrading at the moment to either PCI-E or higher end cards so both the above shouldn't cost you more than a Hundred quid.
    I ran a 9800XT and a Gig of Geil last year and it loved Source. I also sold my Gig of Geil for 45 quid i think it was.
    MM is the Budget route and my advice.
     
  14. Andelusion

    Capodecina

    Joined: 1 Oct 2003

    Posts: 14,332

    Location: Huddersfield

    I know i'm suprised my system seems to cope with CSS alright, maps take a long time to load due to the 512mb of ram but there's rarely laggy moments apart from maybe a load of nades going off, besides that it's pretty rock solid.
     
  15. sniper007

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    Joined: 18 Jan 2005

    Posts: 1,110

    Ok guys youve all been a great help. Def get myself in MM. Slight noob question though as Ive never really been in the know with regard to AGP cards - I notice AGP slots can be 4x or 8x. How can I tell what the slot is on his MOBO and if it is only 4x, does that mean I would be waisting money spending it on a top end AGP card as they are designed to run at 8x? i.e. should I buy lower end that only does 4x. Am I talking complete pap?

    :)
     
  16. William

    Capodecina

    Joined: 26 Jul 2003

    Posts: 10,948

    Location: Derby

    Its basically the maximum speed of the AGP slot, most motherboards and cards in the last few years are all 8x, I certainly would place my money on a motherboard running a 2.8 pentium processor to have a 8x AGP slot.

    To find out, get in to bios and hunt around, its usually in some catagory like onboard mechanisms or CPU or somthing like that.
     
  17. fullfat

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 20 Jul 2005

    Posts: 1,653

    Location: Nottingham

    get another 512mb stick of ram and a 9700pro.
    that should be more than able to get CSS going at 1024x768.
    a 9700pro is about the lowest id go, maybe get a 6600gt if you can afford it.
     
  18. HangTime

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 25 Oct 2002

    Posts: 28,103

    Location: Hampshire

    Not necessarily, for example the I845E chipset only goes up to 4x, and those boards can take a p4-2.8b no problem.

    At the end of the day it doesn't really matter though, you can still slot an 8x AGP into a 4x mobo and have it run at 4x speed with negligible performance drop.
     
  19. Parmesan

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 22 Jan 2004

    Posts: 2,322

    Location: Next to the ketchup...

    I Still play CSS on a 2500 barton at 3200 speeds, 1 gig of crucial, a 9600XT and it runs perfectly well at 1024x768 with all meduim setting and some AA.

    Get decent FPS all the time, even got some low lvl HDR on but that tends to attack the FPS when there are lots of players ona server.
     
  20. sniper007

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    Joined: 18 Jan 2005

    Posts: 1,110

    OK update: I am 99% sure his AGP slot is x4. Does this mean in buying say a 9800pro, that it would be crippled by the x4 slot and that I should buy something lower end? Whats the best route to take for max fps on x4 slot AGP. Budget of £100 max but preferably cheaper.
    Think Ive decided to go with 1 x 512mb ram and will get best card you guys suggest for x4 AGP slot.
    Also, he only has a budget PSu that came with the build...not sure on wattage, but I assume this would cope with any AGP card?


    Thanks for help!
     
    Last edited: 10 Jan 2006