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Need tip on how to best upgrade my PC

ScambugScambug TortugaPosts: 389Member

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.

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Comments

  • Quazal.AQuazal.A PrestonPosts: 498Member Uncommon

    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

  • ClippersNBAClippersNBA Los Angeles, CAPosts: 39Member

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

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

  • syntax42syntax42 Columbus, OHPosts: 1,305Member Uncommon

    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.

  • GwapoJoshGwapoJosh Auburn, INPosts: 989Member Uncommon

    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
    image

  • ScambugScambug TortugaPosts: 389Member
    Thanks a lot guys. Very helpful !
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,779Member Uncommon

    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.

  • jdnewelljdnewell Spring Hill, TNPosts: 2,150Member Uncommon

    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.

  • BaitnessBaitness Posts: 316Member Uncommon

    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.

  • grndzrogrndzro Reno, NVPosts: 1,150Member
    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.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,779Member Uncommon
    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.

  • Loke666Loke666 MalmöPosts: 17,967Member Uncommon
    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.

  • BaitnessBaitness Posts: 316Member Uncommon
    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.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,779Member Uncommon
    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.

  • RidelynnRidelynn Fresno, CAPosts: 4,174Member Uncommon


    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.

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  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,779Member Uncommon
    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.

  • ScambugScambug TortugaPosts: 389Member

    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.

  • PhryPhry HampshirePosts: 6,289Member Uncommon
    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.  image
  • BaitnessBaitness Posts: 316Member Uncommon
    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.
  • MalinkadinkMalinkadink From, NJPosts: 79Member

    The whole system does look pretty dated indeed, a new build entirely would do you good but thats out of the question with 300 euros for a budget. Best thing you can do is upgrade the gpu and ram, although personally i would sink all that money into a gpu like an R9 290 which has an amazing value to performance ratio.

    Others have said an SSD which i can agree would give a dramatic improvement in multitasking and load times but overall game performance would not really compared to a 7200rpm hard drive.

     

     

  • RidelynnRidelynn Fresno, CAPosts: 4,174Member Uncommon

    Oh I didn't catch that -- 16Gb of RAM on a Socket 1366.. it should be a clean multiple of 3, because that's a triple-channel chipset. 12G in matched triplets would probably run faster than 16G with unused or mismatched sockets.

    Also, with regard to OCing.... if you leave voltage alone, it's nearly impossible to "fry" the CPU. If you go too far with it, the system will either restart/reset to default BIOS settings (and let you try again), or overheat and throttle back/eventually restart.

    It isn't until you start playing with voltages that you can seriously damage a CPU on a modern system with all the safety features they have built in.

  • syntax42syntax42 Columbus, OHPosts: 1,305Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Pie_Rat

    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.

    Don't be scared of overheating your CPU.  They have built-in thermal protection that shuts the system off immediately before the temperature gets hot enough to cause immediate damage.  As long as you have a good cooler on your CPU, you don't need to worry about heat causing damage.  Just monitor the temperatures for a couple days after to make sure it doesn't get too hot.

    Voltage can kill your CPU faster than heat.  I'm no overclocking expert, so I can't give good advice on increasing the voltage.  Read what others have said is a good voltage for overclocking your specific CPU on other forums and don't try to go over that.  

    Overall, I would guess a 10 to 25 percent increase in clock speed is possible with a good air cooler.  I wouldn't push it past 20%, unless you know you have a good CPU for it.

  • RobsolfRobsolf Grand Rapids, MIPosts: 4,247Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by ClippersNBA

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

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

    This, except I would recommend the SSD first.  Especially if it seems like you have decent FPS but sometimes get short video freezes from time to time.  What can seem like bad video performance can often be hitching, as the system accesses your drive to load assets on the fly.

    Lotro and Marvel Heroes did that to me; I had 60 frames about 95% of the time, and then the video would just stop or jerk for about 300 milliseconds.  Installing the OS and games on an SSD cured it entirely.

    The video card is another good one to replace.  I'm running a twin Frozr III 6970, and even it's starting to show its age.

  • RidelynnRidelynn Fresno, CAPosts: 4,174Member Uncommon

    Nehalems have been known to go over well over 4GHz on air, often times with no voltage increase. It's chip dependent, but they traditionally have had a lot of room to OC.

    I hit 4.3Ghz on mine with stock voltage, but that was with a water cooler and doing some weird RAM timing tricks. Just have to ratchet up the BCLK a little bit at a time until it starts acting quirky, then start ratcheting back down until it stays stable through a stress test.

  • ScambugScambug TortugaPosts: 389Member

    Just received the GTX 660. HUGE fps increase in Wildstar, small increase in Darkfall. Still waiting for the SSD.

    You've reassured me about OCing the CPU and actually my work would benefit from it aswell. I'm a music producer and my setup is very CPU intensive.

    ps: and yeah my RAM wasn't setup properly, thanks for pointing that out.

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