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Looking to upgrade my pc.


Deemer

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Hi!

 

Hope this is the right place to post this, and if it isn't then please let me know where I should go :)

 

Lately I've gotten back into Skyrim, and as most ppl on here I mod the living shit out of it. My computer has run Skyrim pretty well for the most part since release, but as the mods get better and better my computer struggles more and more. As of now I use a lot of mods that add new items to the game etc, but very few HD textures. I use an ENB with pretty high settings as well, and my fps when running around hovers between 30-40.

 

I'd like to get better FPS while also being able to run better textures, but I'm not good enough at understanding what parts are the problem.

I'm thinking perhaps the RAM should be upgraded with something quicker, but beyond that I'm pretty green.

 

Here's my current pc specs:

 

 

Summary
        Operating System
            Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit SP1
        CPU
            Intel Core i7 3820 @ 3.60GHz    45 °C
            Sandy Bridge-E 32nm Technology
        RAM
            8,00GB Dual-Channel DDR3 @ 686MHz (9-9-9-24)
        Motherboard
            ASUSTeK COMPUTER INC. P9X79 PRO (LGA2011)    30 °C
        Graphics
            Acer S232HL (1920x1080@60Hz)
            3072MB ATI AMD Radeon HD 7900 Series (XFX Pine Group)    47 °C
        Storage
            1863GB Western Digital WDC WD20EARX-00PASB0 ATA Device (SATA)    29 °C
            119GB SAMSUNG SSD 830 Series SCSI Disk Device (SSD)    29 °C
        Optical Drives
            ATAPI iHOS104 ATA Device
        Audio
            Realtek High Definition Audio

 

 

 

Also, my operating system runs of the ssd, while my games are on the regular HD. Would a new SSD to put games on help running graphic-intensive games better?

 

The machine itself is about 2,5 years old.

 

Thanks for any help :)

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I don't know much about AMD video cards, but I think you should upgrade the GPU first. That is a great CPU if you want to upgrade that you can upgrade to a i7-4930K.

I understand that if you turn raid on there is an option to use the SSD as cache, but I don't have an ssd to try it.

 

That computer is similar to what I had about a year ago. Just with less RAM.

 

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Well you didn't really tell us what video card you have is their is a fair bit of difference between a 7990 and a 7950. An SSD will give you faster loads and a better gaming experience but it won't help your FPS. The truth is that your hardware is probably already better then what Skyrim's engine can handle as it was designed for consoles and doesn't scale well. If you go to crazy with high def textures it is possible to use more then the 3 gig's of video memory that you have so stick to the high def stuff that really makes a difference. 

 

But yeah what ritualclarity said is basically right on target.

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Well you didn't really tell us what video card you have is their is a fair bit of difference between a 7990 and a 7950. An SSD will give you faster loads and a better gaming experience but it won't help your FPS. The truth is that your hardware is probably already better then what Skyrim's engine can handle as it was designed for consoles and doesn't scale well. If you go to crazy with high def textures it is possible to use more then the 3 gig's of video memory that you have so stick to the high def stuff that really makes a difference. 

 

But yeah what ritualclarity said is basically right on target.

 

I am using a GTX670 with only 2gb of vram. It is about what the lower end 7900's would be.

http://gpuboss.com/gpus/Radeon-HD-7950-vs-GeForce-GTX-670

 

I am using very high graphic textures and many mods and most part it runs great. .. some slowdowns etc with big fight scenes etc. most of that is due to the lower vram (higher quality armors, bodies etc. more stress).

 

If money can be burned upgrade to a GTX970 (4gb) or equivalent. you can play to your hearts content as well as other games as well. Nice improvement without spending what most spend on the entire computer. However... not a substantial improvement even jumping 2 generations of GTX

http://gpuboss.com/gpus/GeForce-GTX-970-vs-GeForce-GTX-670

 

Dollar for dollar that is. Basically so long as your gpu is running the tasks no real need to upgrade. You might get a few frames quicker which might make the difference in situations where you are "almost there" Now ... the question for the rest of this community is ... is it a benifit for Skyrim to be ran on Crossfire? (or SLI for those using GTX cards) That I cannot state. I usually get cards powerfull enough to run my games single not SLI / Crossfire. I hate microstutter.

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Well you didn't really tell us what video card you have is their is a fair bit of difference between a 7990 and a 7950. An SSD will give you faster loads and a better gaming experience but it won't help your FPS. The truth is that your hardware is probably already better then what Skyrim's engine can handle as it was designed for consoles and doesn't scale well. If you go to crazy with high def textures it is possible to use more then the 3 gig's of video memory that you have so stick to the high def stuff that really makes a difference. 

 

But yeah what ritualclarity said is basically right on target.

 

I am using a GTX670 with only 2gb of vram. It is about what the lower end 7900's would be.

http://gpuboss.com/gpus/Radeon-HD-7950-vs-GeForce-GTX-670

 

I am using very high graphic textures and many mods and most part it runs great. .. some slowdowns etc with big fight scenes etc. most of that is due to the lower vram (higher quality armors, bodies etc. more stress).

 

If money can be burned upgrade to a GTX970 (4gb) or equivalent. you can play to your hearts content as well as other games as well. Nice improvement without spending what most spend on the entire computer. However... not a substantial improvement even jumping 2 generations of GTX

http://gpuboss.com/gpus/GeForce-GTX-970-vs-GeForce-GTX-670

 

Dollar for dollar that is. Basically so long as your gpu is running the tasks no real need to upgrade. You might get a few frames quicker which might make the difference in situations where you are "almost there" Now ... the question for the rest of this community is ... is it a benifit for Skyrim to be ran on Crossfire? (or SLI for those using GTX cards) That I cannot state. I usually get cards powerfull enough to run my games single not SLI / Crossfire. I hate microstutter.

 

 

This is what shows up on my computer when I look at my GPU, so I really don't know much beyond this as for what version it is. Are you saying that 7900 series just means that it's either 7950 or 7990? If so, I'll have to look into it a bit more.

 

RAM is relatively cheap, so I could upgrade that to a 16 gb, and look into a new gpu. The 970 looks pretty nice :) An entirely new cpu is a bit on the expensive side for me at the moment :P

 

I believe it's mostly my gpu that suffers at the moment. If I don't use a headset while playing skyrim I pretty much have to crank up the volume a lot as the fan makes a lot of noise. The positive thing about that is that it gets really warm in the room now while it's full blown winter outside :P

 

I have a friend who works on an online site, so I'll see if he can hook me up with some good deals for an ssd as well :D

Thanks for the help :)

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This is what shows up on my computer when I look at my GPU, so I really don't know much beyond this as for what version it is. Are you saying that 7900 series just means that it's either 7950 or 7990? If so, I'll have to look into it a bit more.

Yes. If you have a higher end 7900 then you are really good. Doubt you need much more power however the crossfire (add another exact card) is still a question as I don't know how those work with Skyrim / ENB etc.

 

RAM is relatively cheap, so I could upgrade that to a 16 gb, and look into a new gpu. The 970 looks pretty nice :) An entirely new cpu is a bit on the expensive side for me at the moment :P

For Gaming 8 gig is really all that is required. Most of the game engines that I am aware of are 32 bit which means they can only access max of 2~3 gigs of memory. Having a bit extra (8gb ) to cover the rest of the programs and such should give enough space.

 

I believe it's mostly my gpu that suffers at the moment. If I don't use a headset while playing skyrim I pretty much have to crank up the volume a lot as the fan makes a lot of noise. The positive thing about that is that it gets really warm in the room now while it's full blown winter outside :P

This might just be because your computer needs cleaning inside. A can air and some spraying out of the dust and such could help. Some GPUs make lots of noise which is normal. It is possible one of the fans are out as well. You would need to look into that or have someone that is familiar look into that with you. It makes a load of difference with my computer to clean it 2 times a year usually.

 

Thanks for the help :)

No problem. In the end it is just a preference issue. Check into optimization tricks and such here and elsewhere to make your skyrim as effective as possible. That is likely the best avenue beyond an gaming SSD and perhaps a second card (which you will need to check with your friend after you find out what it is. They must be compatible for best results)

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Something to remember about the OP's computer.

 

Currently the 3820 is one of the few CPUs (from intel at least) that can run two GPUs in x16 each. Not even the 4790K can do that. The 3820 has a maximum of 40 PCIE lanes, and 4790K has a maximum of 16.

 

I have noticed that the x79 motherboards love RAM. I have Windows 7 x64 Ultimate, and it normally uses about 5Gb just browsing the internet.

My computer used to be

I7-3820

ASUS P9X79 LE

NVIDIA GTX 660

16GB RAM

That is before I upgraded the CPU, added RAM, and a second GPU.

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I ended up Looking at my gpu it says 7970, so I guess I'm right between 7950 and 7990. I guess that's good enough for now?

 

Something to remember about the OP's computer.

 

Currently the 3820 is one of the few CPUs (from intel at least) that can run two GPUs in x16 each. Not even the 4790K can do that. The 3820 has a maximum of 40 PCIE lanes, and 4790K has a maximum of 16.

 

I have noticed that the x79 motherboards love RAM. I have Windows 7 x64 Ultimate, and it normally uses about 5Gb just browsing the internet.

My computer used to be

I7-3820

ASUS P9X79 LE

NVIDIA GTX 660

16GB RAM

That is before I upgraded the CPU, added RAM, and a second GPU.

 

Yes, just by running windows alone it seems I use somewhere around 50% of the ram at any one time. That's why I figure buying a little more RAM, which is pretty cheap, won't hurt. Is it better to have 4x4gb or 2x8gb of ram?
 

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A very important factor is the resolution you're running your game at. I'm using a GTX 980 with ENB + HD textures and can barely run Skyrim at 40-60 FPS using my 2560x1440 monitor. :)

 

If I were still running at 1920x1080, I'd probably get 80 FPS with the same mods and ENB (even though Skyrim shouldn't be run above 60 FPS because of the physics bugs).

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I ended up Looking at my gpu it says 7970, so I guess I'm right between 7950 and 7990. I guess that's good enough for now?

Yes. unless the other state it would be a benifit to get two of them..

 

Currently the 3820 is one of the few CPUs (from intel at least) that can run two GPUs in x16 each. Not even the 4790K can do that. The 3820 has a maximum of 40 PCIE lanes, and 4790K has a maximum of 16.

Yep. Reason for me to state the possiblity of having two gpu.

 

I have noticed that the x79 motherboards love RAM. I have Windows 7 x64 Ultimate, and it normally uses about 5Gb just browsing the internet.

Just because a computer is using ram don't mean it needs the ram. Depends on the programs. The problem would be if it starts to max out the ram and then has to page the data. That is when you would need more ram. Otherwise it could just be wasteful ram usage which would just get changed out as the computer needs it. Still 16 gigs couldn't hurt. I run 16 myself but rarely use more than 6 or 7. (even gaming with Skyrim I only use about 5~6 gigs with music and downloads running in the background.. lol.

 

Yes, just by running windows alone it seems I use somewhere around 50% of the ram at any one time. That's why I figure buying a little more RAM, which is pretty cheap, won't hurt. Is it better to have 4x4gb or 2x8gb of ram?

 

I am old school.. well sort of. I prefer all the available slots to be filled with the same size / make of matched ram. In any case currently it is stated it don't matter on most retail motherboards.

 

A very important factor is the resolution you're running your game at. I'm using a GTX 980 with ENB + HD textures and can barely run Skyrim at 40-60 FPS using my 2560x1440 monitor. :)

 

If I were still running at 1920x1080, I'd probably get 80 FPS with the same mods and ENB (even though Skyrim shouldn't be run above 60 FPS because of the physics bugs).

True, so true Cell. The OP hasn't stated what the resolution is. If it is very high it will become more and more difficult to obtain good FPS. I however am just as happy running at 30 FPS provided it is stable and constant 30FPS. For Fallout in the past I even framelocked it at 30. Helped when I had an older weaker gpu.

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After re-reading this I'm not sure anymore.

 

 

 

 

Currently the 3820 is one of the few CPUs (from intel at least) that can run two GPUs in x16 each. Not even the 4790K can do that. The 3820 has a maximum of 40 PCIE lanes, and 4790K has a maximum of 16.

Yep. Reason for me to state the possiblity of having two gpu.

 

No reason to guess if I have two gpus or not. I said it already.

 

 


 

I have noticed that the x79 motherboards love RAM. I have Windows 7 x64 Ultimate, and it normally uses about 5Gb just browsing the internet.

Just because a computer is using ram don't mean it needs the ram. Depends on the programs. The problem would be if it starts to max out the ram and then has to page the data. That is when you would need more ram. Otherwise it could just be wasteful ram usage which would just get changed out as the computer needs it. Still 16 gigs couldn't hurt. I run 16 myself but rarely use more than 6 or 7. (even gaming with Skyrim I only use about 5~6 gigs with music and downloads running in the background.. lol.

 

 

It was intended as an example of why more then 8Gb can be usefull for some systems.

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I ended up Looking at my gpu it says 7970, so I guess I'm right between 7950 and 7990. I guess that's good enough for now?

 

Something to remember about the OP's computer.

 

Currently the 3820 is one of the few CPUs (from intel at least) that can run two GPUs in x16 each. Not even the 4790K can do that. The 3820 has a maximum of 40 PCIE lanes, and 4790K has a maximum of 16.

 

I have noticed that the x79 motherboards love RAM. I have Windows 7 x64 Ultimate, and it normally uses about 5Gb just browsing the internet.

My computer used to be

I7-3820

ASUS P9X79 LE

NVIDIA GTX 660

16GB RAM

That is before I upgraded the CPU, added RAM, and a second GPU.

 

Yes, just by running windows alone it seems I use somewhere around 50% of the ram at any one time. That's why I figure buying a little more RAM, which is pretty cheap, won't hurt. Is it better to have 4x4gb or 2x8gb of ram?

 

 

That depends on if you want to add more ram later, but I doubt you would need to very soon. I say get the one you can get a better deal on.

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After re-reading this I'm not sure anymore.

 

 

 

 

Currently the 3820 is one of the few CPUs (from intel at least) that can run two GPUs in x16 each. Not even the 4790K can do that. The 3820 has a maximum of 40 PCIE lanes, and 4790K has a maximum of 16.

Yep. Reason for me to state the possiblity of having two gpu.

 

No reason to guess if I have two gpus or not. I said it already.

 

 

 

I have noticed that the x79 motherboards love RAM. I have Windows 7 x64 Ultimate, and it normally uses about 5Gb just browsing the internet.

Just because a computer is using ram don't mean it needs the ram. Depends on the programs. The problem would be if it starts to max out the ram and then has to page the data. That is when you would need more ram. Otherwise it could just be wasteful ram usage which would just get changed out as the computer needs it. Still 16 gigs couldn't hurt. I run 16 myself but rarely use more than 6 or 7. (even gaming with Skyrim I only use about 5~6 gigs with music and downloads running in the background.. lol.

 

 

It was intended as an example of why more then 8Gb can be useful for some systems.

It may be useful. I haven't heard that the hardware itself ( other than the required reserved memory for system resources drivers etc) caused a major issue with requiring more ram. One example of this is the old systems with 32 bit hardware. some had a memory accessible which was 2.7~2.8 gigs. however my system (old) which ran a 32 bit xp could only access 2.3gigs or so of ram. This was according to my research at the time caused by the higher requirements of the system drivers. In the case of the x79 chipset I don't see it needing 2~3 gigs more just to operate, however I could be wrong considering the PCIx lanes are greater and it has more than 500 pins (connections) more than the standard 1150~1155 chips.

 

If someone has a duel monitor run a memory monitor (system resources) etc and see if it does indeed start to move beyond 6~7gigs. If so having more would be excellent. If not too much more memory is used then it is likely the system is just reserving (holding) commonly used data in the memory.

 

The above is guess work based on my experiences. I don't see more than 5~6 gigs on a 8 core AMD with a single graphic card running most games with all sorts of stuff running in the background.

 

You are correct however. More than 8 gigs (up to 16 ) can be very useful for some systems. However not necessarily required. That was my point. Test and check to see if that upgrade is useful. If not save more money for future upgrades like a newer graphics card, second graphics card or more SSD's. Purchases that are more "bang for the buck".

 

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The above is guess work based on my experiences. I don't see more than 5~6 gigs on a 8 core AMD with a single graphic card running most games with all sorts of stuff running in the background.

 

 

Skyrim is running as I type this.

With Skyrim using 1.4GB the total used ram is at 6.4Gb.

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That is close to what I get. The differences might be some software running in the background that you aren't aware of. Not bad. Again if 16 gigs makes you confortable then great. There is no harm in it. If you plan on keeping this for the future (3~5 more years) then I would say do it. DDR3 memory will only go up in price as the newer memory DDR4 goes into main stream. First get an SSD for your gaming (or at least the majority of your games) then perhaps 16 gigs of memory. It is cheap and will give you more breathing room. Doubt you would exceed 16 gigs with normal use. Our member here Prideslayer has 32 gigs (If memory serves me correctly)  and he does software development and runs VM's ;). besides the various mods and managers he is working on for us. :D Then perhaps.. maybe another card (same type etc) for crossfire if someone here can advise it for Skyrim. If you are playing lots of other games that are more modern and stressful on the computer then I would say it might be a nice improvement.

 

Upgrades

  1. Gaming SSD drive
  2. memory 16gigs
  3. second GPU (crossfire)
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OP if you end up buying more RAM don't buy as much as I did when I added after 16gb. I had wanted to fill a board to its RAM capcity for some time, and ended up with 64Gb of RAM. Great for RAM drives, but not much else. I wont be buying that much RAM again anytime soon.

 

PS

If anyone really wants to super crazy on RAM with an x79 board buy one that has a bios update for intelligent memory 16gb ddr3. Then add 8 sticks for 128Gb.

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