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How can i get the most out of windows vista for gaming? (New Member)

Posts
11
#1
Hi I've recently restored a used DELL Vostro-200 to working order and i've also installed a salvaged GPU from one of my friends and the GPU is a AMD HD5450. I've installed the latest drivers for it and i've done a Auto-Tune on it from the AMD Catalyst software and it increased some of the settings in the Over-Drive mode, which caused my PC to freak out so i lowered some of the settings till it stopped. when i finished installing the GPU i tested its performance by running the fully up to date version of Hale-Life 2, and i noticed that it was lacking in performance and was doing slightly worse than the Intel integrated graphics in the motherboard. I've followed the Vista Forums' guide to better Performance and i change some settings to where the OS runs fast, but it didn't speed up the GPU's performance. Hopefully someone here can maybe help me fix my problem since I'll be using this vista machine for a while till i get my windows 7 PC fix. Some more about my problem is that i have the game installed on a extra HDD but it loads fast but has poor performance in the simplistic spots of the game. i've done defrags on the HDD and reinstalled the game to see if it'll work after a clear of the games files. I'm gonna try the Half-Life Lost Coast Benchmark to see what the average frame rate is and if it'll run smoother when it changes the system settings after the results are viewed. Thanks to anyone that might be able to help and I'll try my best to respond if you think you might have a solution to my problem.
 
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My Computers

System One System Two

  • Operating System
    Windows Vista Home Basic 32-Bit
    Manufacturer/Model
    DELL
    CPU
    Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU E7200 @ 2.53GHz
    Motherboard
    G33m02
    Memory
    3.00 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    AMD Radeon HD 5450 (salvaged part)
    Sound Card
    Integrated Sound card
    Monitor(s) Displays
    DELL E207WFP
    Screen Resolution
    1680x1050 60Hz
    Hard Drives
    One 40GB HDD SATA
    Manufacturers N/A
    PSU
    N/A
    Case
    OEM DELL Vostro-200 Case
    Cooling
    OEM fans
    Mouse
    DELL Mouse
    Keyboard
    DELL Keyboard
    Internet Speed
    100 MB/s
    Other Info
    OS: Windows Vista Home Basic OEM 32-Bit
  • Operating System
    Windows 7 Home premium 64-Bit
    Manufacturer/Model
    Home made "Gaming" Pc
    CPU
    AMD Athlon(TM) 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 4800+ 2.33GHz
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte GA-K8N-SLI
    Memory
    4 Gb
    Graphics card(s)
    Gt 1030 (Pny Model)
    Sound Card
    OEM/Built-in sound Chip
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dell(TM) E207WFP
    Screen Resolution
    1680x1050 60Hz
    Hard Drives
    Three HHD's installed
    Manufacturers: N/A
    PSU
    PowerHouse 500Watt
    Case
    NZXT Case
    Cooling
    Stock AMD and case colling
    Mouse
    SteelSeries Sensei [RAW] gaming mouse
    Keyboard
    Dell USB Smartcard Keyboard-Model:N/A
    Internet Speed
    100 MB/s

townsbg

~~тσωηsвg~~
Vista Guru
Gold Member
US of A

Posts
2,285
#2
Unfortunately newer graphics cards or current games are going to have a newer version of directx than is compatible with Vista. You will have to look for cards and games compatible with version 11. Really Windows 7 is becoming outated for gaming because the newest version is only available for Windows 10. FYI when you look for compatible cards look for DiectX 11 compatibility. It can't say 11.1, 11.2, or 12. As for Half-Live 2 your CPU doesn't meet the recommended requirements. You can look for a faster one but look for one that says lga 775 socket.
DirectX - Wikipedia
LGA 775 - Wikipedia
Dell Vostro 200 Series Specs
https://www.systemrequirementslab.com/cyri/requirements/half-life-2/10205
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • Operating System
    Windows 7 Pro x64
    Manufacturer/Model
    Mid 2010 iMac
    CPU
    Quad core 3.2 Ghz Intel I3
    Memory
    8 gb
    Graphics Card(s)
    ATI Radeon HD 5670 512 mb ram
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080 and 1440x900
    Hard Drives
    1 TB
  • Operating System
    Windows 2008 R2 Enterprise
    Manufacturer/Model
    Compaq Presario SR5350F
    CPU
    Pentium 2.0 gHZ Dual core E2160
    Memory
    2 gb
    Screen Resolution
    1440 x 900
    Hard Drives
    300 GB
Posts
11
#3

My Computers

System One System Two

  • Operating System
    Windows Vista Home Basic 32-Bit
    Manufacturer/Model
    DELL
    CPU
    Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU E7200 @ 2.53GHz
    Motherboard
    G33m02
    Memory
    3.00 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    AMD Radeon HD 5450 (salvaged part)
    Sound Card
    Integrated Sound card
    Monitor(s) Displays
    DELL E207WFP
    Screen Resolution
    1680x1050 60Hz
    Hard Drives
    One 40GB HDD SATA
    Manufacturers N/A
    PSU
    N/A
    Case
    OEM DELL Vostro-200 Case
    Cooling
    OEM fans
    Mouse
    DELL Mouse
    Keyboard
    DELL Keyboard
    Internet Speed
    100 MB/s
    Other Info
    OS: Windows Vista Home Basic OEM 32-Bit
  • Operating System
    Windows 7 Home premium 64-Bit
    Manufacturer/Model
    Home made "Gaming" Pc
    CPU
    AMD Athlon(TM) 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 4800+ 2.33GHz
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte GA-K8N-SLI
    Memory
    4 Gb
    Graphics card(s)
    Gt 1030 (Pny Model)
    Sound Card
    OEM/Built-in sound Chip
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dell(TM) E207WFP
    Screen Resolution
    1680x1050 60Hz
    Hard Drives
    Three HHD's installed
    Manufacturers: N/A
    PSU
    PowerHouse 500Watt
    Case
    NZXT Case
    Cooling
    Stock AMD and case colling
    Mouse
    SteelSeries Sensei [RAW] gaming mouse
    Keyboard
    Dell USB Smartcard Keyboard-Model:N/A
    Internet Speed
    100 MB/s
Posts
11
#4
Since i didn't tell my specs, here they are. Not being mean and all but i was able to run Half-Life 2 fine on my old gaming PC that was build in late 2004, i know i need a better GPU but i don't have the case for it right now.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • Operating System
    Windows Vista Home Basic 32-Bit
    Manufacturer/Model
    DELL
    CPU
    Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU E7200 @ 2.53GHz
    Motherboard
    G33m02
    Memory
    3.00 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    AMD Radeon HD 5450 (salvaged part)
    Sound Card
    Integrated Sound card
    Monitor(s) Displays
    DELL E207WFP
    Screen Resolution
    1680x1050 60Hz
    Hard Drives
    One 40GB HDD SATA
    Manufacturers N/A
    PSU
    N/A
    Case
    OEM DELL Vostro-200 Case
    Cooling
    OEM fans
    Mouse
    DELL Mouse
    Keyboard
    DELL Keyboard
    Internet Speed
    100 MB/s
    Other Info
    OS: Windows Vista Home Basic OEM 32-Bit
  • Operating System
    Windows 7 Home premium 64-Bit
    Manufacturer/Model
    Home made "Gaming" Pc
    CPU
    AMD Athlon(TM) 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 4800+ 2.33GHz
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte GA-K8N-SLI
    Memory
    4 Gb
    Graphics card(s)
    Gt 1030 (Pny Model)
    Sound Card
    OEM/Built-in sound Chip
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dell(TM) E207WFP
    Screen Resolution
    1680x1050 60Hz
    Hard Drives
    Three HHD's installed
    Manufacturers: N/A
    PSU
    PowerHouse 500Watt
    Case
    NZXT Case
    Cooling
    Stock AMD and case colling
    Mouse
    SteelSeries Sensei [RAW] gaming mouse
    Keyboard
    Dell USB Smartcard Keyboard-Model:N/A
    Internet Speed
    100 MB/s

townsbg

~~тσωηsвg~~
Vista Guru
Gold Member
US of A

Posts
2,285
#5
I was going based upon the listed specs. It looks like you have gotten an upgrade. Really the only other thing that you can do is get a better graphics card or try to overclock your current one. That is very tricky to do safely and I don't know enough about that to help you. Maybe someone else will help.
 
Last edited:

My Computers

System One System Two

  • Operating System
    Windows 7 Pro x64
    Manufacturer/Model
    Mid 2010 iMac
    CPU
    Quad core 3.2 Ghz Intel I3
    Memory
    8 gb
    Graphics Card(s)
    ATI Radeon HD 5670 512 mb ram
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080 and 1440x900
    Hard Drives
    1 TB
  • Operating System
    Windows 2008 R2 Enterprise
    Manufacturer/Model
    Compaq Presario SR5350F
    CPU
    Pentium 2.0 gHZ Dual core E2160
    Memory
    2 gb
    Screen Resolution
    1440 x 900
    Hard Drives
    300 GB
Posts
11
#6
I've used the AMD Over-Drive auto tune option which made my computer freak out a little. Anyways i might try and find a better GPU when i go to my local Micro-center store this Saturday with my friends. I have around $100 and a amazon $25 gift card from one of my friends. IDK if i should look there for one or on eBay? What do you people think i should look for, just remember I'm on a cheap GPU budget so a decent GPU for a decent price would be nice. Thank you. (Sorry i didn't post my specs in my original post.)
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • Operating System
    Windows Vista Home Basic 32-Bit
    Manufacturer/Model
    DELL
    CPU
    Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU E7200 @ 2.53GHz
    Motherboard
    G33m02
    Memory
    3.00 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    AMD Radeon HD 5450 (salvaged part)
    Sound Card
    Integrated Sound card
    Monitor(s) Displays
    DELL E207WFP
    Screen Resolution
    1680x1050 60Hz
    Hard Drives
    One 40GB HDD SATA
    Manufacturers N/A
    PSU
    N/A
    Case
    OEM DELL Vostro-200 Case
    Cooling
    OEM fans
    Mouse
    DELL Mouse
    Keyboard
    DELL Keyboard
    Internet Speed
    100 MB/s
    Other Info
    OS: Windows Vista Home Basic OEM 32-Bit
  • Operating System
    Windows 7 Home premium 64-Bit
    Manufacturer/Model
    Home made "Gaming" Pc
    CPU
    AMD Athlon(TM) 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 4800+ 2.33GHz
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte GA-K8N-SLI
    Memory
    4 Gb
    Graphics card(s)
    Gt 1030 (Pny Model)
    Sound Card
    OEM/Built-in sound Chip
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dell(TM) E207WFP
    Screen Resolution
    1680x1050 60Hz
    Hard Drives
    Three HHD's installed
    Manufacturers: N/A
    PSU
    PowerHouse 500Watt
    Case
    NZXT Case
    Cooling
    Stock AMD and case colling
    Mouse
    SteelSeries Sensei [RAW] gaming mouse
    Keyboard
    Dell USB Smartcard Keyboard-Model:N/A
    Internet Speed
    100 MB/s

townsbg

~~тσωηsвg~~
Vista Guru
Gold Member
US of A

Posts
2,285
#7
I'm not up to date on the latest graphics however I'm not so sure that you can get a better one than what you have for only $100 and I've never bought a graphics card from Amazon. You might do better to save until you can afford a more substantial one but if you do get one make sure that it says DirectX 11. Also look for 7 drivers; those should work with Vista and the card won't do you much good without them. As for ebay I don't think I would buy one from there. It could come used and busted. The same thing goes for Amazon because there are private sellers on Amazon.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • Operating System
    Windows 7 Pro x64
    Manufacturer/Model
    Mid 2010 iMac
    CPU
    Quad core 3.2 Ghz Intel I3
    Memory
    8 gb
    Graphics Card(s)
    ATI Radeon HD 5670 512 mb ram
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080 and 1440x900
    Hard Drives
    1 TB
  • Operating System
    Windows 2008 R2 Enterprise
    Manufacturer/Model
    Compaq Presario SR5350F
    CPU
    Pentium 2.0 gHZ Dual core E2160
    Memory
    2 gb
    Screen Resolution
    1440 x 900
    Hard Drives
    300 GB

johngalt

Antidisestablishmentarianist
Vista Guru
3rd Rock

Posts
3,944
#8
If all you want to do is play HalfLife - any modern graphics card for that price will do - because they will still seriously outclass anything you have right now.

I built my rig when Vista was jsut transitioning to Windows 7, and I've stayed with it but upgraded lots of stuff piecemeal - currently I'm running an nVidia GTX 970 for graphics with an nVidia 560 Ti 448 core dedicated to PhysX.

For example: https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=lp_284...=284822&ie=UTF8&qid=1515732517&rnid=386442011

These are all the video cards listed at price points between $50 and $100 USD. As you can see there the first one that comes up is an nVidia 1030-based card. For a comparison with your listed HD5450, see UserBenchmark: AMD Radeon HD 5450 vs Nvidia GT 1030

Obviously a heck of a lot more power, and that first card is not made for high-end gaming, but will handle Half-Life 2 relatively easily. And since you have the gift card for Amazon, I'd do some more research - the main things you're going to have to worry about are:

  1. Space - a full sized GA (Graphics Accelerator, which we now collectively call graphics cards) can be 14+ inches long, and may not fit in your case - so you have to be careful
  2. Power - some of the higher powered cards also require not one but 2 power plugs - if the PSU in that case is not modular, it may not have the required type of power plug required by modern GAs, or it may not have enough of the ones you need. Fortunately, though, most cards also come with adapters that can be plugged into a Molex connector (the power connector used on older non-SATA HDs), and older PSUs should have at least 1 spare Molex available
  3. The PCIe slot - an older machine like that may not have full PCIe 2.x or 3.x (whatever the card that you want to purchase requires).
The biggest issue here is that Dell is notorious for using very proprietary hardware, especially motherboards, PSUs and cases. So much so that it gets to be a major PITA to try to upgrade too many components in the machine, which is exactly what Dell wants - rather than making it easily upgradeable, they want you, the end user, to get frustrated and go out and buy a new machine.

Some pics of the inside of the case would be very beneficial in terms of figuring out these things, as well as a closeup of the motherboard part number, or else you could check the machines Service tag yourself and gte an accurate parts listing (as well as manuals and other things)
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Insider Preview current build
    Manufacturer/Model
    The Beast Model V
    CPU
    Intel Core i7 965 EE @ 3.6 GHz
    Motherboard
    eVGA X58 Classified3
    Memory
    3 * 4GB Mushkin Enhanced Redline CL7 DDR3 1600 MHz (PC3-12800)
    Graphics Card(s)
    eVGA GTX 970
    Sound Card
    Realtek HD Audio (onboard)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 * Lenovo LT2323pwA
    Screen Resolution
    2 * 1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    SanDisk Ultra SDSSDHII-960G-G25 SATA III SSD (System)
    Crucial MX100 CT256MX100SSD1 SATA III SSD (User Tree)
    2 * Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST31000528AS SATA II
    Seagate ST1500DL001 7200 RPM SATA II
    Intel SSDSA2M080G2GC SATA II SSD
    PSU
    Thermaltake Black Widow TX TR2 850W 80+ Bronze Semi-Mod ATX
    Case
    ThermalTake Level 10 GT (Black)
    Cooling
    Corsair H100 (CPU) + Air (2 * 210 mm + 3 * 120mm fans)
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master
    Keyboard
    Logitech G15 (gen 2)
    Internet Speed
    Cable: 330+ Mbps down / 30+ Mbps up
  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Insider Preview (current)
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo ThinkPad E545
    CPU
    AMD A6-5350M APU
    Motherboard
    Lenovo
    Memory
    8 GB
    Graphics card(s)
    Radeon HD (Embedded)
    Sound Card
    Conextant 20671 SmartAudio HD
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Lenovo 15"
    Screen Resolution
    1680 * 1050
    Hard Drives
    INTEL SSDSC2CW180A
    PSU
    Lenovo
    Case
    Lenovo
    Cooling
    Lenovo
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master | Synaptics TouchPad
    Keyboard
    Lenovo
    Internet Speed
    330+ Mbps downstream | 30+ Mbps upstream

townsbg

~~тσωηsвg~~
Vista Guru
Gold Member
US of A

Posts
2,285
#9
This is a mini-tower so he won't have a lot of room.
Dimensions & Weight

  • Width 6.7 in
  • Depth 17.1 in
  • Height 14.3 in
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • Operating System
    Windows 7 Pro x64
    Manufacturer/Model
    Mid 2010 iMac
    CPU
    Quad core 3.2 Ghz Intel I3
    Memory
    8 gb
    Graphics Card(s)
    ATI Radeon HD 5670 512 mb ram
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080 and 1440x900
    Hard Drives
    1 TB
  • Operating System
    Windows 2008 R2 Enterprise
    Manufacturer/Model
    Compaq Presario SR5350F
    CPU
    Pentium 2.0 gHZ Dual core E2160
    Memory
    2 gb
    Screen Resolution
    1440 x 900
    Hard Drives
    300 GB

johngalt

Antidisestablishmentarianist
Vista Guru
3rd Rock

Posts
3,944
#10

My Computers

System One System Two

  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Insider Preview current build
    Manufacturer/Model
    The Beast Model V
    CPU
    Intel Core i7 965 EE @ 3.6 GHz
    Motherboard
    eVGA X58 Classified3
    Memory
    3 * 4GB Mushkin Enhanced Redline CL7 DDR3 1600 MHz (PC3-12800)
    Graphics Card(s)
    eVGA GTX 970
    Sound Card
    Realtek HD Audio (onboard)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 * Lenovo LT2323pwA
    Screen Resolution
    2 * 1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    SanDisk Ultra SDSSDHII-960G-G25 SATA III SSD (System)
    Crucial MX100 CT256MX100SSD1 SATA III SSD (User Tree)
    2 * Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST31000528AS SATA II
    Seagate ST1500DL001 7200 RPM SATA II
    Intel SSDSA2M080G2GC SATA II SSD
    PSU
    Thermaltake Black Widow TX TR2 850W 80+ Bronze Semi-Mod ATX
    Case
    ThermalTake Level 10 GT (Black)
    Cooling
    Corsair H100 (CPU) + Air (2 * 210 mm + 3 * 120mm fans)
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master
    Keyboard
    Logitech G15 (gen 2)
    Internet Speed
    Cable: 330+ Mbps down / 30+ Mbps up
  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Insider Preview (current)
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo ThinkPad E545
    CPU
    AMD A6-5350M APU
    Motherboard
    Lenovo
    Memory
    8 GB
    Graphics card(s)
    Radeon HD (Embedded)
    Sound Card
    Conextant 20671 SmartAudio HD
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Lenovo 15"
    Screen Resolution
    1680 * 1050
    Hard Drives
    INTEL SSDSC2CW180A
    PSU
    Lenovo
    Case
    Lenovo
    Cooling
    Lenovo
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master | Synaptics TouchPad
    Keyboard
    Lenovo
    Internet Speed
    330+ Mbps downstream | 30+ Mbps upstream