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What to upgrade for better performance

By Predator9099 ยท 22 replies
Mar 31, 2014
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  1. I finally got a new gaming PC on January 2013. It's an Acer Predator G3620 (Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, Intel Core i7 Processor 3770, Nvidia GeForce GT640 3GB, 16GB DDR3 Memory, 2TB Hard Drive, DVD-Super Multi-Drive, Wireless LAN, Multi-in-1 Media Card Reader) When I first got it, it was amazing. My settings were on Ultra and the FPS was 60. I couldn't ask for more. But it's been a year, my FPS dropped to 20-30fps on medium settings. I tried reading all these topics on how to increase fps but it did not work. So I was thinking on upgrading my computer, but the problems is, I don't know what to upgrade. So can you please tell me what to upgrade or what to do to get better performance on my computer? (Oh, and the games I play are DayZ, ArmA, Battlefield, Call Of Duty, Need For Speed, Minecraft, KSP, Assassin Creed, F1, Medal Of Honor, DCS, Flight Sim, X-Planes, War Thunder, World of Planes/Tank, etc...)

    BTW, I'm a noob at computers..
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 31, 2014
  2. TheDreams

    TheDreams TS Evangelist Posts: 632   +68

    I can't help you with your problem, but to get the correct help you need fast, it would help if you made your titles pertaining to your question. Rather than just "helpp", for future reference.
    SNGX1275 likes this.
  3. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,990   +76

    Check for dust built-up. Also, how full is your hard drive? I would say, however, that your issue is with your video card. The Nvidia GeForce GT640 3GB is considered a budget card, not really a gamers card. Tests have shown that the average FPS is around 40. Add to this that games make the most demands of a video card I would say you are doing good at 30 FPS with a number of games you are playing.
  4. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,280   +525

    GPU for sure.. The rest of that machine looks decent, but that video card is not fast at all. Problem is, with a pre-built machine you probably don't have a power supply with capacity for a decent video card so this might be a two-part upgrade. Check your PSU and report back here - you may have to replace both the PSU and the GPU.
  5. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,482   +978

    Yeah the GPU is definitely the issue. A gaming machine with a 3770 and 16GB of RAM but a 640. Sounds like a joke to me xD.

    As for your issue OP, a GTX 640 will struggle to play any modern game on ultra at 60FPS.

    I can recommend that you upgrade your drivers to the current version by doing the following:
    1) Download the latest driver from >>here<<.
    2) Run the installer after it finishes downloading.
    3) Select the option to run a "Custom Install".
    4) Check the box at the bottom stating, "Clean install".
    5) Let the setup run.
    6) Reboot/restart your computer

    If the new driver doesnt help (it wont much), it means you need a new GPU in order to play at ultra settings. Do you have a price range? Can you determine the wattage of your PSU?

    I hope this helps.

    cliffordcooley likes this.
  6. Row1

    Row1 TS Guru Posts: 325   +13

    Predator has left the building. Joins Mar 31, one post, no follow-ups. but I just came across this note. In case he or she stumbles back here, I will put a note.
    That system supposedly has a 500 watt power supply. Assuming 70% efficiency, that psu could support 350 watts.


    The processor is noted at 77 watts tdp.

    The vid card is noted at 32 watts tdp: http://www.futuremark.com/hardware/gpu/NVIDIA GeForce GT 645M/review

    So, with the main power draws at full draw, the two main power draws are pulling 110 watts. It is unlikely that everything else is pulling more than 50 watts. The MB may pull 20 watts, and everything else ought to be in the single digits. So, that puts the entire system at 160 watts.

    He or she can buy, for about $20 at Amazon and elsewhere, a kill-a-watt meter and easily figure out how much power the system is drawing, in watts.

    I have not jumped into this argument in a long time - I guess years - but we are usually far over-estimating the power drawn by our systems under a heavy load such as gaming plus having a couple other active programs running. 450 watt psu is a lot of power.

    So, with the current power supply, this poster could reasonably add a GPU that draws 150 watts. There are a lot of GPUs under $100 that would be under 150 watts that would make a big difference in game-playing.
  7. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder TS Evangelist Posts: 2,151   +588

  8. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,800   +1,510

    [ while the PSU can cause issues, it never impedes performance (at least until it over heats) ]

    PC system performance

    a) Hardware Factors are:
    hd r/w
    bus speed
    raw cpu clock rate
    [GPU for gamers]

    Weakest link in the chain predicts the (performance) result
    cpu - bus speed - hd r/w

    this is true for both paging memory to disk as well as application throughput, but few of us have applications that r/w large volumes of data.

    Of the things shown, your CPU and bus speed are relatively fixed (yeah, you could overclock), however, the easiest change is a better performing HD.

    To improve basic performance, ensure that all EXE, OCX, DLL, and SYS files are defragmented.

    b) Software factors include:
    too many applications running
    too many tabs in your browser
    useless systems services

    Remember, less is more (the less work to do, the better the performance)
  9. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,546   +430

    Nobody else is concerned in the performance drop with the same games? I know the question was what to upgrade, but with without changing the software, hardware doesn't slow down over time.
  10. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,280   +525

    I'm not concerned with the performance drop - I just don't believe that GPU ever played all those games listed at 60 fps.
  11. Predator9099

    Predator9099 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Sorry for not following up, I had some exams. But yeah, I read everything here.

    So basically I just need to get a better graphic card? I was thinking that I should get a GTX 780 or even GTX Titan Black.

    (btw the country I live in sends out 230 voltz out of the outlets.)

    Oh and btw, do I need to change other things in my computer? Like my CPU? Motherboard?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 11, 2014
  12. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,800   +1,510

    The voltage, 230v @ 50hz or 120v @60hz, is just the input to the PSU. The quality and power (ie watts output) are design factors which limit the number of devices and how many total amps (P = V*A ) the devices must not exceed. Today, 99% of all PSUs are 'universal' in that they can be used on 120/240v service.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  13. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,482   +978

    A GTX 780 would play any game you throw at it at max settings (@1080P). I wouldnt bother with the Titan Black, I would use the money to buy the 780, a nice SSD, and a good PSU (750W will be safe). Also, make sure your case has good ventilation! You may just want to sell your current system and build a completely new one since adding high-end 3rd party components to OEM computers will be a pain since there are so many variable like the case that you dont have full control over. What is your budget? You can easily build a monster PC for about $1500 (like I said, you should sell your current one).

    Like I said above, think about selling your current PC and building a new one from the ground up. That will guarantee you top notch performance.
  14. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,415   +145

    A solid 550w will keep a GTX780 happy.
    A titan is a poor choice for a gaming card.
    Upgrading anything aside from that won't increase framerates.
    I'm not a fan of OEM cases but if it fits the card you're looking at it would work alright.
  15. Predator9099

    Predator9099 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I always wanted to build my own gaming PC, but the problem was, I don't know how to. @JC713 I did not think of a budget yet, but I'll tell you at late June.
  16. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,482   +978

    Sounds good! If you want to learn how to build a PC, there are great videos by Newegg on how to do it! Step by step! They are made for newbies! Here are the links: >>Part1<<, >>Part 2<<, >>Part 3<<.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  17. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,546   +430

    I second what JC713 said, and also, PC building has been pretty easy for at least 15 years now. Outside of thermal paste application for the CPU/HSF there is nothing tricky about it at all, you literally just stick things in the only location they will go.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  18. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,482   +978

    Yeah. The only other things that require a bit of thinking are placing cables in the correct headers (for example, placing a SATA cable in the 6 GB/s plug rather than the 3 GB/s one).
  19. Predator9099

    Predator9099 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Oh thanks guys, I really don't want to make a mistake because it can ruin/damage the components inside.
  20. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,482   +978

    Dont worry placing headers is easy! It just takes a bit more thinking.
  21. Cryoburner

    Cryoburner TS Rookie

    I would actually highly disagree with this suggestion. There doesn't appear to be any need for you to build a new system, unless you like throwing money away. While it might be a good idea if your entire system were dated, it's clearly not. With the exception of the graphics card, which is underpowered for a gaming system, everything else would be considered pretty high-end. Assuming your Power Supply is 500 Watts and of decent quality, that should be sufficient for almost any graphics card, outside the extreme high-end cards and multi-card setups that you really don't need.

    And for that matter, a GTX 780 would arguably be overkill if you're gaming at standard HD resolutions. You should be able to maintain 60 FPS at 1080p with max settings in almost any current game on a card costing half that much. Sure, there are a handful of exceptions like Crysis 3 that might benefit from such a card on their absolute highest 'ultra' settings, but these games still look great on their 'high' settings, and the developers mainly just include these extreme options to keep their game appearing in hardware benchmarks for years to come. For the most part, the details added by ticking a game's settings from 'high' to 'ultra' will be practically unnoticeable while playing the game anyway. If you do find that newer games require more performance in a couple years, you can always use the money you saved not going with an absolute high-end card now to buy a faster and more up to date one then.

    As for which card you should get, there are a lot of options depending on how much you're willing to spend. You likely don't need the absolute high-end though, as even an upper mid-range card would be a substantial upgrade over what you currently have. Tom's Hardware tends to have pretty good graphics card reviews, and they put out an article comparing what they consider the best cards for gaming in various price brackets each month, such as this one for May, which are worth checking out...

    Someone else mentioned the GTX 760, which would probably be a pretty good option at a reasonable cost, and should have power consumption well within what your existing PSU can provide. For a bit more, you could move up to the Radeon R9 280x or GTX 770 to give you a little more performance headroom, and their power draw under load would likely still be within the capabilities of your PSU. Unless you find that you're experiencing system instability under load, it's probably not worth upgrading the PSU right away. One thing you will likely want to do though, is open your case (preferably with your system powered down) and carefully measure how much physical space there is for a new graphics card in there. Most higher-end cards tend to be longer than their lower-end counterparts, and could potentially not fit in a smaller case. You should be able to find the exact dimensions of any specific card you're looking at online prior to purchasing it. You can also verify what kind of power supply you have while in there.

    As for the suggestion for an SSD, while they're great for making general system performance very snappy, they won't likely have much of an impact on gaming performance, aside from reduced load times. An SSD boot drive might not be bad to look into, though. Again, Tom's puts out a list each month for their current SSD recomendations, sorted by capacity...
  22. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,482   +978

    If he is going to spend that much money upgrading his system he might as well start from scratch. That will guarantee him the best performance and take the 3rd party variable away.
  23. Predator9099

    Predator9099 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Sorry for being gone again, but I have good news.

    I just got a new GTX 780 installed on my computer and a new Asus Motherboard to support it. Thanks for everyone who helped me in this thread!


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