Did I buy a worthless computer?

So I bought a new computer. My old PC had given me the best of it’s 2-and-a-half year life, but there’s only so much you can ask of a machine, and besides, I wanted to play games published after 2004 (specifically, Medieval 2: Total War. I need my TW fix).

Due to grown-up priorities and a certain shortness of funds, I was forced to buy a budget machine: Dual-Core Pentium 2.8 Ghz; 1 Gigabyte RAM; 160GB hard disk; and a GeForce 7300 LE with 256MB RAM video card. Not what you’d call a monster rig, but still pretty decent, right?

Well, no. I borrowed a copy of Call of Duty 2 from a friend, and the graphics… suck. Now, I neither expect nor want the game to run at 1600X1200 with all the bells and whistles, but I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect a 1.5-year-old game to run at 800X600 without stuttering. As of now, I don’t see much of an improvement over playing Half-Life 2 with my old computer and its GeForce 4 MX - in fact, THAT ran much smoother.

So give it to me straight - is this something I can fix, or is my new PC a piece of crap?

Will I ever play M2:TW?

If you go up to a 7800 video card, things should be much better. Despite the numbering, it is a big step up from a 7300 and shouldn’t be horribly expensive. Check newegg.com for prices.

Yeah, aside from the video card, that computer is decent enough. The current round of budget video cards, 7300 included, are pretty well neutered, however. Save up for something like a x1800/x1900 from ATI or 7800/7900 from Nvidia; $200 will get you a decently powerful card that can handle any current game at ordinary resolutions.

Alessan, if you don’t mind, exactly where did you buy the machine? You can PM me if you prefer.


The 7300 LE is a budget card, not a gaming card, and is the culprit for your poor performance. Can you return the card? perhaps sell it on Ebay? And what is your left over budget? $200 can get you a really nice mid range card. I just got an X1950 Pro for my media center PC from new egg for just a few bucks over $200. Look into it.

Actually, instead of saving up for a 7800, wait a few weeks until Nvidia comes out with its new line of 8xxx cards (this is happening in a week or two). You’ll either be able to pick up a much faster card for the same price or pick up a 7800 for much less. ATI’s also supposed to come out with their new cards in a bit (no specific date other than “soon”), so the market’s going to be fairly interesting for a while.