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My Computer needs Improving... HELP!


Luna_Natsume

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So I got my tax refund today, and I am in the market for a new computer. Last year I used the money to buy a bunch of furniture, carpet cleaner, home improvement junk... This year, I want a SMASHING new computer. Currently I have a LOT of issues with my compy. Tons of lag whenever I use particle effects like smoke or fire, my FPS drop abysmally whenever I use antialiasing or enable ANY shadows. Ideally I want to have all my settings at maximum and have Oblivion/Skyrim play better than my current comp does with the lower settings.

 

My Current Comp:

Gateway DX4200-09

AMD Phenom Quad-Core 9100e 1.80 GHz

4.00 GB Ram

64-bit OS

ATI Radeon 4350 HD videocard

Windows Vista Home Premium

 

Now what would you guys suggest I do to upgrade. I am relatively Computer Illiterate, I can install hard/software and perform basic maintainance like clearing caches and cleaning the dust out of my CPU/fans. Should I get a whole new setup, just a new video card... other suggestions? I need to keep my budget on the low end. Nothing more than 1k for the entire shebang, but less would be better.

 

End result I desire: I want to install my games and when I go to my video settings, the recommended settings are almost all at the high end (or above) and my fps are noticeably better than I have now with my lower settings. Help me achieve my dream.

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lol well 1k and under is still pretty good.

it looks like your video card is the problem.

 

that card is pretty underpowered for gaming, i mean if you are willing to spend it you could get a really good card or one that will play the games decently but won't hurt too much.

 

you could go amd and get something like a 6950 or maybe a nvidia 560 ti either would run any game pretty well without hurting your wallet.

 

a good site is newegg.com that is where i get all of the part i get.

now judging from your pc you probably will need to get a new power supply. i've found the best way to do it is to see how many watts your pc uses and will use with the new parts and give it some extra room.

ie: requires 600 watts get 650 or 700.

 

that processor might be a bit low on the speed, i believe the min is 2.0ghz, you won't get really high settings with it.

 

i'd advise you to get a an intel chip because amd really screwed up this round.

 

of course this depends on how much you want to spend :)

 

 

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processor, ram, motherboard and a new graphics card. That said you will most likely need a new OS or fresh install if swapping from amd to intel. Its also possible to use your existing OS hdd with all new components but its highly recommended to fresh install with anything other than windows 7.

 

If your looking for top end performance I would say an intel i-5 2500k 220 @ newegg, pick any z68 motherboard from Asus, msi, gigabyte, or asrock. I personally recommend the evga z68 sli or ftw motherboard. Once you picked your motherboard you can select your ram 8 gigs of ddr3 1600 G.skill averages for about 50 to 70 bucks (start with 8 as you can always add more later). grand total for everything minus the video card shouldn't be much more than 500. that just leaves you picking a gpu that will tear through games. I would say the 580's are your best bet but they are very pricey for an end of the fermi line with kepler on the way soon. an ati 6970 would work well as well as a gtx 570 or 6950. all are fully capable of running high or ultra settings but keep in mind that vram is important for future proofing your video card. the more vram the better. My personal recommendation for a video card would be the gtx 580 3GB edition of say the hell with it and get a gtx 580 classified ultra like I did for all my machines. out of the box it will pull 58 fps average in the unigen heaven benchmark with a single card. The down side is the card retails for 549 bucks.

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I got a new pc by the end of last year, if it helps you: intel i5 2500 (the 2500K version overclocks more, but I got mine from 3.3ghz to 3.6ghz and dont plan on going higher), gigabyte p67x-ud3-b3 and more recently a geforce 560 TI, run everything fine on maximum (skyrim at 60fps with 4xAA and 16x anisotropic).

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Soooo... this is what I ended up with:

 

HP Pavilion H8 1214

AMD FX-6100 Six-core Processor

10gb DDR3

Radeon HD 7450 Graphics Card with 1GB DDR3 Dedicated Memory

1.5 terabyte Harddrive

Windows 7

 

It was a pre-built at bestbuy, the sales guy called it 'the thug'. Apparently it is equipped to handle just about ANY game I could possibly throw at it, and it only cost me $720.

 

Whatcha think, did I do good?

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Skyrim and Oblivion tend to have a bigger cpu bottleneck rather than gpu, unlike most other games which tend to scale more with increasing gpu power, so if you are gunning straight for Skyrim keep that in mind.

 

If you live near a Microcenter they have i5-2500k for $180 and a combo deal of $50 off selected motherboard.

The i5-2500k is, in general, the best price per performance cpu for gaming, in fact for most game it is enough to cause a powerful gpu to bottleneck, however this isn't the case for Skyrim. The i7-2600k (~$280) and i7-2700k(~$350) should, in theory, provide better frame rate for Skyrim than the i5. But the i7s are also much more expensive for arguably marginal gain.

 

For motherboard if you plan to SLI or Crossfire make sure the two PCI-E 2.0 slots are at least x8/x8 and preferably both SLI and Crossfire compatible, so you don't "lock" yourself down to either AMD or Nvidia and have options to switch it up if you really want to. A fairly basic SLI/Crossfire enable motherboard should be around $110 to around $160, fancier ones go up to about $200, you might be able to pick one up for as low as $80 if you plan on only sticking with 1 video card. As a side note ASRock Extreme3 Gen3 and ASRock Extreme4 Gen 3 support the next generation Intel cpu, Ivy Bridge, along with PCI-E3.0 I think some of Asus motherboard has that also.

 

RAM is fairly easy, 8GB should be fine, either 2x4GB DDR3-1333 or 2x4GB DDR3-1600 should serve you well. DDR3-1333 is cheaper, but with some discount you should be able to pick up DDR3-1600 for pretty good price as well. Try to get one that is 1.5V or lower, some people reports having problems with higher voltage ram. Don't pay more than $50.

 

GPU is another big decision, as I mention earlier benchmarks show Skyrim actually pushes your cpu harder than your gpu, which is opposite of most other games. So if you are focusing on Skyrim it is, in theory, more worthwhile to spend money towards the CPU than the GPU. You should focus your hunt for gpu among these cards: AMD 6950, 6970, 7950, 7970, and Nvidia 560Ti, 570. I skip the 580 for Nvidia because the pricing of 7950 is cheaper than 580 and 7970 is the same price as the 580 3GB, while the two AMD cards are no worse than the 580 in the grand scheme of things. Unless nvidia drop their pricing there is little reason to get the 580 at this moment in time. Nvidia is suppose to release their new cards soon tho, so that might cause some prices to shift around.

 

Power Supply, how big your psu needs to be depend greatly on what cpu and gpu you pick, but regardless you shouldn't need higher than 800w, even 750w should be more than enough for 2 580 with i7 overclocked. Check around for some psu calculator base on what parts you get.

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The quad core AMD cpu's rate higher in terms of performance over their 6 core CPU's if you want to go that route. The videocard you picked rates slightly higher than the nvidia 570 though, but if you want to save money you could grab a 560ti448 core too and get comparable performance.

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Soooo... this is what I ended up with:

 

HP Pavilion H8 1214

AMD FX-6100 Six-core Processor

10gb DDR3

Radeon HD 7450 Graphics Card with 1GB DDR3 Dedicated Memory

1.5 terabyte Harddrive

Windows 7

 

It was a pre-built at bestbuy' date=' the sales guy called it 'the thug'. Apparently it is equipped to handle just about ANY game I could possibly throw at it, and it only cost me $720.

 

Whatcha think, did I do good?

[/quote']

 

No for For 720 usd its meh, you dont need 10 gb of ram and FX 6100 is not good enough for serious gaming, 7450 is not such a great card.

Here is a build i came up with from newegg.

 

CPU Cooler [uMobo ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 121$

CPU get a 2500k 229$

Video Card MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II 269 $

Chassis NZXT Crafted Series Tempest 410 Black Steel 59$

Hard Drive SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 1TB 159$

Memory G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 46$rl=http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103065]Hyper 212 Plus [/url] 29$

PSU Antec High Current Gamer Series HCG-750 99$

Total 1011

I know its a lil bit over the budget, but it will be a completely beast rig and you always can reuse parts from your old PC like hard drives and chassis and fans. If you have any questions please ask away :)

750watt psu is enough to sli second 560 ti down the road or if you are feeling like you can throw some extra cash right now please do lol :)

 

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