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Hardware  » Need tip on how to best upgrade my PC

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28 posts found
  Pie_Rat

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/02/05
Posts: 264

 
OP  5/10/14 4:29:56 AM#1

My 3 year old PC is starting to age a little. Playing Wildstar yesterday I realized it just doesn't cut it anymore for today's MMOs.

Here's what I have:

Gigabyte X58A-UD3R mobo w/ i7 950 @ 3.07 Ghz

Radeon HD 6870 (gpu 900 Mhz, memory 1050 Mhz, 1 MB ddr5)

16gb ddr3 ram @ 1066 Mhz

2 HD @ 7200rpm (1 for system, 1 for games)

Corsair 750W PSU

I have around 300€ to upgrade it.

Would you recommend swapping the HD6870 for a GTX 770? Or is there a better way to do it?

Thanks.

Currently playing:

  Quazal.A

Advanced Member

Joined: 6/10/13
Posts: 415

5/10/14 4:43:31 AM#2

personally i would look for a bundle something like 

 

http://3xs.scan.co.uk/configurator/vb20i 

and then with the remaining cash maybe buy a SSD something like 

 

http://www.scan.co.uk/products/120gb-samsung-840-evo-sata-iii-basic-slim-7mm-3-core-mex-controller-read-540mb-s-write-410mb-s-256mb

 

once you then have a little bit of cash then look at upgrading the graphics card

 

of course this is based on fact you have a windows licence you can re-use

But in terms of your base, then the quickest upgrade you woudl see is a SSD for the Os

 

in order of keeping your motherboard

 

then i would do

SSD

CPU

GPU

 

OF course this is just me, but for £300 you could ugprade to a system that would last you another 3 years 

This post is all my opinion, but I welcome debate on anything i have put, however, personal slander / name calling belongs in game :) were of course your welcome to call me names im often found lounging about in EvE online.
Use this code for 21days trial in eve online https://secure.eveonline.com/trial/?invc=d385aff2-794a-44a4-96f1-3967ccf6d720&action=buddy

  ClippersNBA

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/13/14
Posts: 34

5/10/14 4:59:23 AM#3

You don't need to upgrade the motherboard, CPU, or power supply.

Just upgrade your video card and RAM, and get an SSD.

  syntax42

Elite Member

Joined: 3/30/07
Posts: 1085

5/10/14 5:10:01 AM#4

Your CPU is close to the best you can put in that socket.  After looking at the prices, I wouldn't buy a new CPU for that motherboard.  If you feel the need to buy a new CPU, your money would be better invested in a new motherboard and CPU using Haswell or Sandy Bridge sockets.

If you don't want to replace your motherboard and OS license, I suggest overclocking.  A $30 air cooler (Hyper Evo 212) can get you some performance gains on a budget.

 

Your video card isn't horrible, but it is a couple generations behind.  It might be the best part to replace for the budget you have.

 

A SSD would be good to have.  It won't give you FPS gains in most games, but the loading speeds make it worth the money.  It might not be something to buy for your current system, but consider one for your next system.  Use it for your OS and games.  Put media and large downloads on a hard drive.  You could probably even save a backup image of your SSD on the hard drive.

 

On the budget you stated, you're probably better off doing nothing and saving your money for a year or two.  Wildstar will have to optimize for better performance on mid-range systems like yours, or it will lose a lot of customers in the first month.  In a year or two, DDR4 will be required by all new CPUs, which is a good reason to hold out for a big upgrade until then.

  GwapoJosh

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/10/12
Posts: 998

5/10/14 5:16:03 AM#5

The only thing you should upgrade is the video card..  I'm using the i7 930 OCed to 3.6 and it never breaks a sweat.  You also have double the ram you would need for any game.   If you plan on adding texture packs to a heavily modded game (like Skyrim), I'd get a video card with 3gb of memory or more.  I hope this helps.

 

 

edit:  An SSD would be a good upgrade also.  I can't live without mine :)

"You are all going to poop yourselves." BillMurphy

13 warnings and counting for speaking it how it is..

  Pie_Rat

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/02/05
Posts: 264

 
OP  5/10/14 5:46:32 AM#6
Thanks a lot guys. Very helpful !

Currently playing:

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13165

5/10/14 10:11:39 AM#7

That's still a capable gaming rig.  The only thing that I see as an obviously worthy upgrade is an SSD.  But if your complaint is low frame rates rather than general sluggishness, an SSD won't fix that.

 

A cursory check of the Internet finds that WildStar has a "render target scale" setting which is probably SSAA.  Try setting that to 1.0, not the max of 2.0.  If that makes the game run well, you may want to just turn that down and leave it at that.

Another thing you should try turning down is texture resolutions, on the off chance that your problem is a lack of video memory.  See how the game runs at medium resolutions and if you're happy with that resolution.  If the difference between medium and high texture resolutions makes a significant difference in your frame rates, you're running out of video memory at high resolutions.

 

You could overclock your CPU quite a bit if you have a capable cooler on it.  Bloomfield CPUs would put out a ton of heat when overclocked, but they did have a lot of overclocking headroom.

  jdnewell

Elite Member

Joined: 7/04/06
Posts: 1816

5/10/14 4:34:42 PM#8

I would not upgrade anything based on Wildstar performance. A quick google search will show that Wildstar is poorly optimized and almost everyone ( from uber rigs to old rigs) has performance issues.

If you changed anything get a new GPU. A 770 should be a nice step up from a 6870. Even then dont be suprised if performance for Wildstar is the same or worse.

  Baitness

Elite Member

Joined: 10/22/06
Posts: 148

5/10/14 6:05:01 PM#9

Throwing my hat in for overclocking the CPU.  A lot of MMOs push the CPU hard, and yours is no slouch.  If you are willing to spend some money on an aftermarket CPU fan (I like ZALMAN fans), I bet you could get quite a bit more out of that.  I kept my i7 920 at 3.6ghz and up and the damn thing never burnt out, i7 cards are tough and you are rocking a bloomfield (pre ivybridge cards run  slower, but cooler also).  If you are new to overclocking that is a great chip to learn on.

  grndzro

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/21/06
Posts: 1095

5/10/14 6:36:45 PM#10
Originally posted by Baitness

Throwing my hat in for overclocking the CPU.  A lot of MMOs push the CPU hard, and yours is no slouch.  If you are willing to spend some money on an aftermarket CPU fan (I like ZALMAN fans), I bet you could get quite a bit more out of that.  I kept my i7 920 at 3.6ghz and up and the damn thing never burnt out, i7 cards are tough and you are rocking a bloomfield (pre ivybridge cards run  slower, but cooler also).  If you are new to overclocking that is a great chip to learn on.

No VRM heatsinks. The MB wasn't designed for overclocking.

Best upgrade would be a high end motherboard and a good double fan tower heatsink.

Otherwise the system is still pretty strong. I would wait another year and then upgrade.

Keep saving your change.

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13165

5/10/14 7:51:51 PM#11
Originally posted by grndzro
Originally posted by Baitness

Throwing my hat in for overclocking the CPU.  A lot of MMOs push the CPU hard, and yours is no slouch.  If you are willing to spend some money on an aftermarket CPU fan (I like ZALMAN fans), I bet you could get quite a bit more out of that.  I kept my i7 920 at 3.6ghz and up and the damn thing never burnt out, i7 cards are tough and you are rocking a bloomfield (pre ivybridge cards run  slower, but cooler also).  If you are new to overclocking that is a great chip to learn on.

No VRM heatsinks. The MB wasn't designed for overclocking.

Best upgrade would be a high end motherboard and a good double fan tower heatsink.

Otherwise the system is still pretty strong. I would wait another year and then upgrade.

Keep saving your change.

I'm not sure what you're talking about.  Usually Gigabyte's UD-anything motherboards are very much built for overclocking.  I count 12 power phases on that motherboard, and not only are there heatsinks on the power circuitry, but one of the heatsinks has a heatpipe through it connecting it to another heatsink.

  Loke666

Elite Member

Joined: 10/29/07
Posts: 16452

5/10/14 8:09:53 PM#12
Originally posted by Baitness

Throwing my hat in for overclocking the CPU.  A lot of MMOs push the CPU hard, and yours is no slouch.  If you are willing to spend some money on an aftermarket CPU fan (I like ZALMAN fans), I bet you could get quite a bit more out of that.  I kept my i7 920 at 3.6ghz and up and the damn thing never burnt out, i7 cards are tough and you are rocking a bloomfield (pre ivybridge cards run  slower, but cooler also).  If you are new to overclocking that is a great chip to learn on.

The processor is fine as it is, the problem here is possibly that the GFX card is a bit old.

But frankly would I consider re-installing windows and avoid installing any none essential background programs. Windows like to fill up itself with junk that slows things down. It is my opinion that it is made on purpose so people think their computer is getting slow after a while and buy a new one.... Yeah, it is a conspiracy theory.

Also, judging a computers performance on a beta game is not that great as Quizz said, MMO tends to be rather unoptimized until 6 months or so after release.

Having the latest drivers is also a good idea.

It is pretty rare that it is the CPU slowing a computer down in games unless you upgraded the GFX card in a really old computer. The GFX card really do a lot of the work here. There are a few games that are CPU heavy though but not that many.

The ram is fine and while an SSD is sweet it wont affect the framerate.

My advice: First re-install windows and try a benchmark program to see how the computer performs. If it scored too bad then get a new GPU (and yeah, the 770 should improve things). But if possible, wait a while with the upgrade because the computer is still pretty good and it is usually better to wait a while and save up a few extra quids and get a high end graphicscard when a new is released. Then again, if it wont perform well enough for you when the computer is optimized an upgrade is the only good choice.

  Baitness

Elite Member

Joined: 10/22/06
Posts: 148

5/10/14 8:15:12 PM#13
Originally posted by Loke666
Originally posted by Baitness

Throwing my hat in for overclocking the CPU.  A lot of MMOs push the CPU hard, and yours is no slouch.  If you are willing to spend some money on an aftermarket CPU fan (I like ZALMAN fans), I bet you could get quite a bit more out of that.  I kept my i7 920 at 3.6ghz and up and the damn thing never burnt out, i7 cards are tough and you are rocking a bloomfield (pre ivybridge cards run  slower, but cooler also).  If you are new to overclocking that is a great chip to learn on.

The processor is fine as it is, the problem here is possibly that the GFX card is a bit old.

But frankly would I consider re-installing windows and avoid installing any none essential background programs. Windows like to fill up itself with junk that slows things down. It is my opinion that it is made on purpose so people think their computer is getting slow after a while and buy a new one.... Yeah, it is a conspiracy theory.

Also, judging a computers performance on a beta game is not that great as Quizz said, MMO tends to be rather unoptimized until 6 months or so after release.

Having the latest drivers is also a good idea.

It is pretty rare that it is the CPU slowing a computer down in games unless you upgraded the GFX card in a really old computer. The GFX card really do a lot of the work here. There are a few games that are CPU heavy though but not that many.

The ram is fine and while an SSD is sweet it wont affect the framerate.

My advice: First re-install windows and try a benchmark program to see how the computer performs. If it scored too bad then get a new GPU (and yeah, the 770 should improve things). But if possible, wait a while with the upgrade because the computer is still pretty good and it is usually better to wait a while and save up a few extra quids and get a high end graphicscard when a new is released. Then again, if it wont perform well enough for you when the computer is optimized an upgrade is the only good choice.

Made my recommendation for playing MMOs, and I stand by it!  Most MMOs I play are cpu limited, not GPU limited.  On top of that, an aftermarket fan is inexpensive and overclocking can provide a great boost.  Go go overclock.

 

EDIT:  Actually for the amount he is willing to spend he could absolutely do both.  A GTX 770 plus an aftermarket CPU fan should cost ~380 USD, which is within his price range iirc.  He should be able to grab a 3.8 GHz OC quite easily.  His computer has the PSU to handle both, he will give his PC a huge upgrade quite easily.

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13165

5/10/14 8:31:23 PM#14
Originally posted by Loke666

Also, judging a computers performance on a beta game is not that great as Quizz said, MMO tends to be rather unoptimized until 6 months or so after release.

There can be situations where a game doesn't play nicely with certain hardware or drivers and the company doesn't realize this until they have a beta and let a zillion people with diverse hardware come in and try it.

But any more general performance optimizations that are going to be done need to be done long before release.  Lower level engine stuff like that needs to be done early, as making changes to widely used code can break a lot of things that were previously working.  That's fine if you're pre-alpha and have time to track down the bugs you create.  It's not fine once you're close to release and going to be launching with a bunch of brand new bugs.

  Ridelynn

Elite Member

Joined: 12/19/10
Posts: 3319

5/10/14 8:50:23 PM#15


Originally posted by Quizzical

Originally posted by Loke666 Also, judging a computers performance on a beta game is not that great as Quizz said, MMO tends to be rather unoptimized until 6 months or so after release.
There can be situations where a game doesn't play nicely with certain hardware or drivers and the company doesn't realize this until they have a beta and let a zillion people with diverse hardware come in and try it.

But any more general performance optimizations that are going to be done need to be done long before release.  Lower level engine stuff like that needs to be done early, as making changes to widely used code can break a lot of things that were previously working.  That's fine if you're pre-alpha and have time to track down the bugs you create.  It's not fine once you're close to release and going to be launching with a bunch of brand new bugs.


You say that, and yet - most new releases have horrible performance upon release, and they don't tend to firm up and get "good" until a few months in.

~Most~ of the time it's not so much in the graphical code, but usually in server and networking. A few times it's actually graphic code -- the GW2 Wv3 culling bug, FFXIV 2.0 had something similar in very busy events, SWTOR in generally everything, etc etc.

I wouldn't put a lot of stock into a judging a game's performance that's a brand new release.

FYI -- I have a i7 920, with no overclock at 2.66GHz and it will play Wildstar acceptably on Medium settings with a 6970. It will still hiccup occasionally, but I attribute that more to the game than the computer. Slower CPU, faster GPU - so I'd say if your looking for appreciably more performance, new Video card is where you need to look.

  farfanugon

Novice Member

Joined: 10/19/08
Posts: 427

blaw blaw blaw

5/10/14 8:58:11 PM#16

I Have Just 1 Thing to Say ...
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[url=http://www.sapphiretech.com[/url]

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13165

5/10/14 9:57:28 PM#17
Originally posted by Ridelynn

~Most~ of the time it's not so much in the graphical code, but usually in server and networking. A few times it's actually graphic code -- the GW2 Wv3 culling bug, FFXIV 2.0 had something similar in very busy events, SWTOR in generally everything, etc etc.

Bad server and networking code shouldn't cause poor frame rates.  That's harder to debug and optimize early on because there really isn't any good substitute for letting a bunch of random people in and seeing what happens.

  Pie_Rat

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/02/05
Posts: 264

 
OP  5/11/14 3:03:51 AM#18

Thanks again for your input people, you've been very helpful.

I've decided to go for a cheap factory OCed GTX 660 + a 80€ SSD for now.

This should give me a small FPS boost and a major decrease in load lag and load times (exactly what I need in Darkfall), and should allow me to wait comfortably another couple years before making a major upgrade.

I knew about the Wildstar issues but I'm also getting borderline unplayable performance in other new games too so it was definitely time to change something.

I'm too chicken to OC my CPU, never done it before and this is also my work computer so I can't get too adventurous with it.

That being said, I just realized I have a Corsair A70 cpu fan and it seems to be a pretty good one so I might dabble with some OC when I have the cash to replace the CPU if I fry it.

Currently playing:

  Phry

Elite Member

Joined: 7/01/04
Posts: 5075

5/11/14 3:12:32 AM#19
The only thing i see in the system that really needs an upgrade, is the GPU, its kind of old, and only has 1gb of gddr5.. its also easy and relatively cheap thing to fix, and unless go for a really high end gpu anyway, its probably not worth upgrading the mobo/cpu/ram anyway as the benefits would be not all that great, at least for gaming. 
  Baitness

Elite Member

Joined: 10/22/06
Posts: 148

5/11/14 5:24:57 AM#20
Good luck bro, do look into the overclocking sometime, you have a good chip for it, you can likely oc on stock voltage nicely. SSDs are a great performance booster as well for mmorpgs, I bet you will be happy with your choice.
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