Upgrade advice

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  • quadfather 1 Oct 2012 11:26:59 12,248 posts
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    Hi all,

    Got to that time again where things are getting a bit slow and choppy on my PC.

    I'm not sure whether I need to upgrade or not, as I have been out of the upgrade loop for a while. Can you run your eyes over this and tell me how much benefit I'd get from upgrading, and what to upgrade to?

    Intel Pentium Dual-Core E6500 @ 2.50GHz
    Gigabyte GA-P43-ES3G Intel P43 Motherboard
    4GB DDR2 PC2-8500C5 DDR2
    Asus ATI Radeon HD 4870 1024MB GDDR5 (pci-e 2.0 I think)
    19" piece of shit viewsonic monitor
    standard sata 500mb hdd

    That's copied and pasted from my original order.

    Thing is, I'm noticing choppyness and slowdown on quite a few things. HL2 for example often stutters

    If I upgrade just the graphic card, do I need to think about pci-e 3.0? Also, if I get another monitor (say, 24" ), will I need a much better gfx card than I have now? (I basically run everything at 1440 x 900)

    I'm basically looking to refresh the whole thing, but if you can spot any bottleneck, I'd appreciate knowing, so I can focus on the right upgrade path. I.e., is it stupid to get a pci-e 3.0 card and put it in a 2.0 system? Or does it not matter that much

    Basically, if you had this system, what would you do with it? (cue loads of 'chuck it in the bin' quotes)

    I play mainly fps games and things like dark souls, skyrim etc.

    Edit - budget is about 200 if it's just the gfx card, 400-600 if it's multiple components. Negotiable.

    Edited by quadfather at 11:28:04 01-10-2012

    psn quaddy456, Dark Souls tips

  • THFourteen 1 Oct 2012 11:35:30 33,614 posts
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    HL2 shouldn't stutter on that. Have you tried a full reinstall with the latest drivers?
  • quadfather 1 Oct 2012 11:50:27 12,248 posts
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    I've not tried it no, to be honest. It's happening with a few other games though.

    Maybe it'd benefit from a format? Any maybe chuck in an ssd card for the C drive?

    Think it's alright specs for a while, even if I upgrade the monitor?

    psn quaddy456, Dark Souls tips

  • BigOrkWaaagh 1 Oct 2012 12:14:34 2,049 posts
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    Definitely upgrade your hard drive. Surprised you can even get Windows on 500MB ;)

    Previously midnight_walker

  • RobTheBuilder 1 Oct 2012 12:18:07 6,521 posts
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    I'm surprised that would be stuttering on HL2.
    I agree with THFourteen, I'd try updating drivers, do a malware check etc and all that to see if something is slowing it down.
  • RobTheBuilder 1 Oct 2012 12:19:30 6,521 posts
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    Personally I would say if you can fix the stuttering, wait a bit before you upgrade. 400-600 will get you a notably more powerful machine, but the longer you wait obviously the bigger the gap :)
  • quadfather 1 Oct 2012 12:40:21 12,248 posts
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    Thanks guys - i'll try that with hl2 to see if it's a non-tech issue

    I might lob in a 120gb ssd drive which will require the whole thing formatting anyway (it needs it), and see if that helps

    tempted to get a basic quad core processor. There's a nice amd bundle on ocuk going for 175

    Reckon a quad core is worth it, performance wise, against my unclocked 6500?

    and I meant to say 500gb hd :-)

    psn quaddy456, Dark Souls tips

  • bitch_tits_zero_nine 1 Oct 2012 12:49:21 6,652 posts
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    Yeah the 4870 was a great card. I built a PC for my cousin based on one and it ran Crysis pretty happily.

    Iirc, it was the generation beyond the 8800gt.
  • Deleted user 1 October 2012 12:52:19
    You're going to spend several hundred pounds upgrading so that HL2 doesn't stutter on a rig that is easily powerful enough to be running it at 100fps+

    Hardware is not the problem here.
  • bitch_tits_zero_nine 1 Oct 2012 12:56:08 6,652 posts
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    I think you might be onto something with the quad core, i mean it crossed my mind that games written with CPUs that can accommodate more threads than a dual core can cope with it could produce a bottleneck.

    My laptop has a 570m, which, according to Tomshardware is about the same as a 4870, and it can run GTA IV smoothly and this game famously runs better on a quad core.
  • bitch_tits_zero_nine 1 Oct 2012 12:57:41 6,652 posts
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    Yeah hl2 should be comfortable for dual core.
  • quadfather 1 Oct 2012 12:58:35 12,248 posts
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    Aargh. wrote:
    You're going to spend several hundred pounds upgrading so that HL2 doesn't stutter on a rig that is easily powerful enough to be running it at 100fps+

    Hardware is not the problem here.
    Agreed on this. But it's not just hl, it's a lot of games. I think it's probably a case of the hl install or issues with the install, but overall, when using the PC, it's generally getting slow for everything

    psn quaddy456, Dark Souls tips

  • quadfather 1 Oct 2012 12:59:31 12,248 posts
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    bitch_tits_zero_nine wrote:
    I think you might be onto something with the quad core, i mean it crossed my mind that games written with CPUs that can accommodate more threads than a dual core can cope with it could produce a bottleneck.

    My laptop has a 570m, which, according to Tomshardware is about the same as a 4870, and it can run GTA IV smoothly and this game famously runs better on a quad core.
    Yeah, I am toying with the idea of it, plus a ssd to give the os a boost

    and for 175 quid - quad cpu, new mobo, 4gb ram. Seems pretty good to me

    psn quaddy456, Dark Souls tips

  • Deleted user 1 October 2012 13:01:22
    quadfather wrote:
    Aargh. wrote:
    You're going to spend several hundred pounds upgrading so that HL2 doesn't stutter on a rig that is easily powerful enough to be running it at 100fps+

    Hardware is not the problem here.
    Agreed on this. But it's not just hl, it's a lot of games. I think it's probably a case of the hl install or issues with the install, but overall, when using the PC, it's generally getting slow for everything
    And it shouldn't be. Check what else is running, check viruses, do a clean up and sort your drivers.
  • Deleted user 1 October 2012 13:02:18
    Or waste 200.
  • RobTheBuilder 1 Oct 2012 14:16:29 6,521 posts
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    If you go onto Toms hardware CPU/GFX card articles they have a table at the end which shows the rought performance groupings. You can see then if the AMD quad core will be fast enough to make it worthwhile, I would think that going for a quad i3 or i5 would be better for gaming even if it costs a little more.

    Edited by RobTheBuilder at 14:17:26 01-10-2012
  • quadfather 1 Oct 2012 14:33:04 12,248 posts
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    @Aargh - yes, I need to do this. And putting a ssd in and doing a format complements this task nicely.

    @RobTheBuilder - nice one, I'll have a look on Tom's site

    psn quaddy456, Dark Souls tips

  • quadfather 1 Oct 2012 15:44:52 12,248 posts
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    Ok, will I get a decent speed increase if I choose a decent ssd (samsung 830 for example) and put it on a sata 2 connection? Or would it be better to upgrade to sata 3?

    psn quaddy456, Dark Souls tips

  • Deleted user 1 October 2012 15:48:30
    You don't need to do it. Your configuration is fine to play the games you've mentioned at max settings with no effort.

    Thinking you need to buy an SSD to get HL2 running smoothly is insane.
  • mikew1985 1 Oct 2012 16:02:26 12,791 posts
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    Just try the reformat on your existing system and see how it goes. You should be perfectly fine for 99% of games with that system.

    An SSD is a nice to have but it's not bottlenecking your gaming performance.
  • quadfather 1 Oct 2012 16:12:28 12,248 posts
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    @Aargh - It's not really to get hl2 running smoothly - I can probably sort that with your previous suggestion. It's mainly to overhaul the general speed of the pc. It's old and slow

    Edited by quadfather at 16:12:48 01-10-2012

    psn quaddy456, Dark Souls tips

  • quadfather 1 Oct 2012 16:14:04 12,248 posts
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    @mikew1985 - true. And I don't know the performance gain with a ssd on a sata 2 system as opposed to a sata 3 system

    psn quaddy456, Dark Souls tips

  • Deleted user 1 October 2012 16:15:22
    And it shouldn't be. At the very most do a clean install but I don't think you really need to do that either.
  • quadfather 1 Oct 2012 16:20:13 12,248 posts
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    Yes, I'm going to start with the small bits first - clean install, see how it goes, format if not, then see how that goes etc.

    That TomsHardware gpu/cpu discussion is quite useful for getting up to speed. Hopefully I should be able to make a decision on upgrading or not, cost/benefits wise.

    psn quaddy456, Dark Souls tips

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