PC Upgrading Help

By htothevack
Jul 3, 2013
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  1. Hi All,


    I'm planning on upgrading my older pc, so I'll use the PC building template as a guide for this.


    Firstly the Current Specs:
    Asus p7p55-M Mother Board
    Intel i5-750 Quad Core 2.66 ghz processor
    Ati Radeon 4300 series GPU
    350 W PSU (not sure what company, sorry!)
    1 TB HDD
    4 GB ram
    Win 7 32 Bit (prob will upgrade to 64)

      • What are you going to use the PC for? Wanted to upgrade it to the point be able to play Planetside 2 on normal (not low) settings, I kinda want to use that game as a benchmark.
      • How much is your budget? Max $600, Preferable $200-300
      • Where are you located and what sort of system do you currently have, if any? (I.e. fill out your profile) US, and the rig was intially purchased for mostly movie storage and audio production. I want to give it some more power behind the GPU if possible.
      • Are you going to buy online or from a retail store? (be sure to think about shipping costs in this case) Either
      • Are you going to re-use anything from your current rig? As much as possible
      • Do you need peripherals like a monitor, keyboard and mouse, amongst others? No
      • Have you already bought any components? no
  2. htothevack

    htothevack Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Second Half got cut off, and for some reason I cannot edit the original post :

    • Do you already have an Operating System (OS) or will you be buying one? (this may add a significant amount of cost to a low-budget system) I plan to see if Microsoft will send me a 64 bit version of Win 7
    • Will you need any aftermarket cooling, such as a CPU\GPU cooler or a watercooling setup? Hopefully not!
  3. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,749   +1,421

    You would be able to do that with a better GPU and possibly PSU, if your current PSU is not powerful enough for the new GPU. You should still have plenty of life left in your current rig, if Planet Side 2 is your benchmark. What you need is a graphics card that is rated for gaming. Check out the link below and look at the graphics cards they recommend. The minimum requirement for graphics is HD 4850, your current graphics is only 4300.

    The recommended requirements for Planet Side 2 is Core i5 661 3.33GHz.
    http://www.game-debate.com/games/index.php?g_id=2252&game=Planetside 2
    St1ckM4n likes this.
  4. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 3,383   +607

    CPU cooler to allow for overclocking, will match the latest i5 CPU's - $35

    New PSU to allow for overclocking and better GPU, pretty much required as 350W is paltry. ~$60-80

    GPU: This is where your cost will lie. I'd be aiming for a mid-high range card, which you could almost re-use in another newer build, if you go that way. The more you spend, the more awesome it'll be. $200+

    Extra 4GB RAM. You need to match the old RAM as best as possible, and ensure you have channels etc correct. Brand new 8GB kit is cheap anyway. $20-60

    64-bit Windows is highly recommended. 4GB RAM and 32 bit will be a problem.

    JC713 & GhostRyder can jump in and give you options.
    htothevack likes this.
  5. htothevack

    htothevack Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Thanks for all the info guys , I think the CPU cooler will be a good idea, seing if I coul OC the i5 to around 3 ghz it could be workable, any suggestions as to decent gpu u could get that isn't discontinued? I wanna stick with ati, I researched the radeon 6870 but it is nla , can only find used ones. Also, the psu's, are they a standard size? Do I need to worry about one not fitting?
  6. JC713

    JC713 TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 6,678   +869

    I am in the same boat as you buddy. I play Planetside 2 a lot. I have only 4GB of RAM and that is currently what is holding my PC back. But I have a 64bit OS, so PS2 can use more memory compared to running on your 32bit OS. PS2 is a very CPU intensive game rather than GPU intensive. It requires large amounts of RAM because it is not highly optimized + the large map sizes and large numbers of people.

    This is what you will need to do in order to determine what you need to upgrade:
    1) Go in game (PS2)
    2) Once you are in game, press Alt + F
    3) That will show you your FPS. But what we want to know here is what it says next to the FPS monitor. The two options are either GPU or CPU. If it says GPU, then your GPU is currently the bottleneck. If it says CPU, it means the CPU is the bottleneck (mine says CPU since I have 4GB of RAM, hence, that bottlenecks the CPU).

    You will need to upgrade your PSU, GPU, RAM, and OS definitely. Your CPU is fine. Tell me what the game says (GPU or CPU), then we can work with that.
  7. htothevack

    htothevack Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    JC713,

    I did what you said and I got the message of [GPU] with fps fluctuating between 30-40 fps (yikes) and this is with everything turned down to minimum, running in windowed mode, on the lowest resolution. As you can see I do need to upgrade! Cpu seems to be perfectly fine, I'm sure with an upgrade of ram for good measure and a new card/power supply I should be golden. What gpu are you currently using if you don't mind?

    Sorry for OT, but quick question if you or anyone else can offer, I am running an OEM version of win 7 home x32 that came installed on this computer. I downloaded (legally) the win 7 iso for 64x . In theory I should be able to do a clean install using my 32 bit product key, no? I contact Microsoft and they want me to shell out 200 beans to re-buy a product I already own :(
  8. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,749   +1,421

    If $160/$200 for the HD 7800 series is too high for your budget, at least get the HD 7750 or greater.
    The 7800 series requires at least 500W's. Here are a few links.
    It's my understanding Windows keys are not bit specific.However I've had an argument before with someone suggesting OEM installs were bit specific. The response they give was not satisfactory to me. Their reasoning was based on the OEM disk only being packaged with one bit version. The way I see it as a system builder, you would know which bit version you want and therefor would not need both versions packaged.

    I wish I could give you an answer, but I can't. The only advice I can give is try and see if the 64-bit version will activate with your OEM key. I'm willing to bet your OEM sticker on the case is the same as mine, and does not have an indication of a bit specific requirement. If Microsoft has a problem with you doing so, they can clarify their rules and regulations more clearly for the end user to read.
    htothevack likes this.
  9. JC713

    JC713 TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 6,678   +869

    I have a ATI 5730/6570M in my laptop. I run the game on medium at 30-40 FPS. This game is not reliant on the GPU as much. I Recommend upgrading the RAM to 8GB. I also recommend clean installing Win 7 64 bit with the copy you downloaded. Just mount the image and put in the product key you have. Finally, you will need at least a 500W PSU + a decent GPU (bold in my recommendations means that a component is least recommended). I think a nVidia Geforce GTX 650, GTX 650Ti, or GTX 650Ti Boost will be more than enough to run at medium - ultra settings (with tweaks). I recommend lowering shadows to low-medium since they eat up CPU resources, despite having a good CPU and enough RAM. On the AMD side , I recommend a AMD 7750, 7770, 7790, or 7850. Those are the GPUs you would need to play the game at high settings with some tweaks in game. The lower end cards in bold have a low core count and slow memory bandwidth, making them less favorable for PS2. They are good choices over your old GPU though, so dont hesitate to buy them, especially if that is all your budget allows.

    Since PS2 is a pretty unoptimized game, read these two guides on how to improve performance: 1) http://goo.gl/lBjT6 2) http://goo.gl/bg8Bi.
    htothevack likes this.
  10. htothevack

    htothevack Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Wow, again Thank You JC713 and cliffordcooley for the very detailed and easy to understand info! I'm going to go in on my Newegg shopping spree and I'll post my results when I get the stuff in. I'm gonna step away from the computer stuff for now and enjoy the great (but muggy) outdoors.If you are in the US, Enjoy your 4th of July!
    JC713 and cliffordcooley like this.
  11. JC713

    JC713 TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 6,678   +869

    No problem man! I just have a few more comments. I see no difference between shadows being ultra and shadows being low. There are very little differences that you will not notice. Shadows being on low will eat up much less resources vs ultra shadows. Just good to know. You have to try it out on your own to see what suits your eye candy needs better xD. The guides helped gain me huge performance increases, so put some time aside once you get your new build together to optimize the game so that it runs at the best settings it can, while still maintaining a high frame rate. Best of luck :D.
     
  12. htothevack

    htothevack Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    I will do that, thanks. Maybe I'll see you out on the battlefield! PM me for my account if you'd like, (I'm still a huge noob to PS2 but I was kickin *** for the 5 minutes it was running!)

    Also, st1ckm4n I did not give you props for your info as well, sorry about that! *likes all around*
    JC713 and St1ckM4n like this.
  13. htothevack

    htothevack Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Update

    I received my Parts today, and I want to thank everyone again for all your help and suggestions!

    I ended up getting:

    Sapphire Ati Radeon 7790 - $124 - $10 Rebate (This came pre-overclocked by sapphire)
    Coolermaster RS500 - $49.99 - $20 Rebate
    Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB Ram Kit 2X4GB - $76
    And since I was under budget a cheap HDMI cable that works greatNippon Labs Hdmi Cable $6.99

    NewEgg had a combo bundle that took another $10 of the order for the PSU and RAM bringing it to a Grand total of $248 plus shipping.

    After rebates, not too bad for just bit shy over $200.

    Everything hooked up, the machine runs amazingly, ultra settings at 1680X1050 (best Native ratio for my monitor) on PS2 runs at a smooth 60 fps, but I lowered the load to medium setting for an awesome 110 -120 FPS, of course this was in the loading area so I'm sure it will fluctuate greatly depending on the chaos!

    Again thanks a million to JC713, St1ckm4n and cliffordcooley for your suggestions!
    JC713 and cliffordcooley like this.
  14. JC713

    JC713 TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 6,678   +869

    Great to hear! Best of luck.
  15. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,749   +1,421

    Don't mention it, we love helping out where we can. :)

    Congrats on everything going together smoothly. (y)
  16. htothevack

    htothevack Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Update

    Had to replace the Sapphire card because of random blackouts of my screen. It would go black but you can hear ambient sound playing in the background, but the computer was frozen. I replace it with the 2gb ASUS version of the HD 7709 since I have an ASUS Mobo and the problem went away.
  17. JC713

    JC713 TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 6,678   +869

    Good to hear!


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