Advice needed - Graphics card

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  • trentusmcspliffus 22 Nov 2012 18:34:18 11 posts
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    So basically, not exactly a whizz with computer hardware, but i'm trying to tune up my pc into a decent gaming rig, however I think it's just the Graphics card holding me back now. These are my Specs:

    OS: Win 7 64-Bit
    Processor: AMD Phenom(tm) 9150e Quad-Core processor ~ 1.8GHz
    RAM: 6144MB
    DirectX: 11
    Graphics: ATI Radeon HD 3200

    don't know if I'm missing anything important in there, this is all the information I could get from runnig dxdiag, unless there are any other ways to get this sort of info?

    Basically, the long and short of it is, will an upgrade in graphics card bring me to the level i need to play more intensive games (I don't mind if it can't play everything on the highest settings of graphics, just that it will actually run new games without dying) and also are there any good graphics cards people could recommend? I'm looking for a graphics card capable of running ARMA2, Star Wars TOR, Skyrim etc.

    Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope I've provided enough info, if anymore is needed I'll be more than happy to provide it. Thanks!
  • Moot_Point 22 Nov 2012 18:43:08 4,063 posts
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    This rig is hawt!

    ================================================================================

    mowgli wrote: I thought the 1 married the .2 and founded Islam?

  • trentusmcspliffus 22 Nov 2012 18:55:16 11 posts
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    If by hot you mean in danger of exploding, sure =P right now I can play games like STALKER on the lowest graphics and it still lags :(

    @rodpad So the rest of it seems up to stratch to you? thanks, I really have no clue when it comes to internal PC stuff =P

    Edited by trentusmcspliffus at 18:56:25 22-11-2012
  • RobTheBuilder 22 Nov 2012 19:25:06 6,521 posts
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    I'd say the weakest thing is definitely the graphics card, however although your have a four core processor, the lower speed will be an issue on games that don't utilise multiple cores effectively.

    What budget do you have for upgrading? A new gfx card will boost it, but you might find a new card is hampered by the processor on some games.
  • trentusmcspliffus 22 Nov 2012 19:41:02 11 posts
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    @RobTheBuilder I'm looking at spending preferably no more than £400-500, the way I see it anymore than that and I'd probably be better off buying a whole new system, but tbh right now I'm just curious as to what else could be hampering performance, as I've already spent £150 upgrading the RAM to 6GB from 2GB
  • superdelphinus 22 Nov 2012 19:43:22 8,059 posts
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    I5 3570k and sapphire 7850 OC
  • andytheadequate 22 Nov 2012 19:47:03 8,168 posts
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    @superdelphinus - that's similar to what I've got (I have the i5 3450 though). Probably cost around £320 for them 2, depending on where you shop
  • RobTheBuilder 22 Nov 2012 19:50:10 6,521 posts
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    @trentusmcspliffus how on earth did you spend £150 on RAM??!!

    For £500 you could definitely get a good machine.
    Do you know what socket your motherboard uses? As a £250 processor and graphics card upgrade might give you a fair boost.
  • trentusmcspliffus 22 Nov 2012 20:09:39 11 posts
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    @RobTheBuilder I think it was just a pretty expensive shop tbh! it was something like £120 for 4GB, + £20-30 installation (I'd just got my first payslip from my new job and let's just say I wasn't as frugal as I am now =P) I'm not sure about the motherboard, is there any way to find out without taking it apart? Sorry, i'm such a noob lol!
  • trentusmcspliffus 22 Nov 2012 20:12:25 11 posts
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    @andytheadequate That's another problem I have, I live in Brighton and there just aren't any decent hardware outlets, is internet shopping the best place for parts? I have looked on amazon before but as I don't know much about this stuff, I have no idea if I'm being over-charged, under-charged or what!
  • Carlo 22 Nov 2012 20:14:27 18,054 posts
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    Which graphics card fully support DX11.1?

    (I'll make my mind up in a minute)

    Edited by Carlo at 20:17:54 22-11-2012

    PSN ID: Djini

  • Rusty_M 22 Nov 2012 20:16:46 4,679 posts
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    I'm not sure that CPU you have would handle ArmA II very well. You could probably do with something with a clock speed nearer 3 GHz.

    I second the comments about graphics cards.

    The world is going mad. Me? I'm doing fine.

  • RobTheBuilder 22 Nov 2012 20:34:04 6,521 posts
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    @trentusmcspliffus looking at the processor I think it's AM2+, which won't take the latest processors. Also I don't know about what power unit you have.

    If your ram is ddr3 then a new machine that uses your existing ram might be easier in the long run, but a graphics card on its own should help, and you could always swap it into a new one in a year or so.
  • trentusmcspliffus 22 Nov 2012 21:34:39 11 posts
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    @RobTheBuilder after having a look around I've found out that the default for my PC (Acer Aspire M3201) seems to be 250watts power supply and DDR2 RAM, now to me this might as well be the enigma code, but I don't know if that is any help? I really appreciate your help and patience with this, I know whats it's like trying to explain something to somebody who has very limited knowledge on the matter.
  • RobTheBuilder 22 Nov 2012 21:54:48 6,521 posts
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    @trentusmcspliffus

    250w is very low, you might struggle with an upgrade if that's all there is.
    I built mine with basic processor and cheapish graphics with 500w.

    Ddr2 is slower than DDR3 which you would buy if building now.

    Given that you would likely have to replace the power unit to put in a good graphics card you may be better of buying a new machine. Im not sure where is cheapest if you aren't building it yourself, hopefully another EG'er can help on that (I always build mine)
  • RobTheBuilder 22 Nov 2012 21:56:26 6,521 posts
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    Oh and yes, the Internet will be FAR cheaper for components, though a ready built PC will vary.

    Most PC parts shops have HUGE mark ups.
  • trentusmcspliffus 23 Nov 2012 00:11:56 11 posts
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    @RobTheBuilder Ok, thank you (and everybody else who commented) for your help :) I do know somebody who could put it all together if I got all the components, so I will probably go that route, as I have been told that it's alot cheaper to build it yourself too!
  • RobTheBuilder 23 Nov 2012 00:18:04 6,521 posts
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    @trentusmcspliffus yeah it's much cheaper. There's a thread on budget pc building, so will be some tips on choices on there. I recommend looking at Scan for components.
  • RobTheBuilder 24 Nov 2012 15:10:30 6,521 posts
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    @trentusmcspliffus check the link for an xfx 7850 on the budget PC thread. Absolute bargain you should seriously get.
  • Mekanik 24 Nov 2012 15:24:37 3,521 posts
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    I bought Mrs Mek an i5 3450(or something) with 4gb ram and 6850/7750(cant remember what) for around 500 quid. For the too-lazy-to-build brigade.

    From dino pc. Not bad and it's been solid in the 6-8 months she's used it.

    You would definitely get a better/cheaper pc if you build it yourself though as has been said.
  • Deleted user 24 November 2012 15:30:25
    trentusmcspliffus wrote:
    as I've already spent £150 upgrading the RAM to 6GB from 2GB
    How did you manage that!? 0_o
  • Maturin 24 Nov 2012 15:34:06 2,994 posts
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    Crikey I just spent £50 putting 16GB in s new build.
  • trentusmcspliffus 24 Nov 2012 19:19:43 11 posts
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    @RobTheBuilder If I were to get the 7850, do you think I could install this (http://www.novatech.co.uk/products/components/powersupplies/nov-psu500.html) onto my current rig? I was thinking also about this (http://www.novatech.co.uk/products/components/processors/amdpiledriverfx/adufd8350frhkbox.html) it seems like the 3 of them are well within my budget and seem to tackle all the issues I have.
  • RobTheBuilder 24 Nov 2012 19:42:29 6,521 posts
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    @trentusmcspliffus I think you may have an am2 motherboard, so I'm not sure if it will work.
    The cards are easy enough to install if you follow the instructions though.
  • RobTheBuilder 24 Nov 2012 19:46:19 6,521 posts
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    Processors are more difficult to do, but I seriously doubt your motherboard would work with that one, even if it did you would be limited by the motherboard.

    Plus you would definitely need a new power unit anyway, so would end up being better to buy a new one anyway.
  • trentusmcspliffus 24 Nov 2012 22:16:16 11 posts
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    @RobTheBuilder I'm looking at this motherboard atm (http://www.novatech.co.uk/products/components/motherboards/amdam3plus970chipset/970a-g46.html), it seems like a good deal to me, would that be compatible with the other parts I've been looking at?
  • RobTheBuilder 24 Nov 2012 22:24:27 6,521 posts
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    Yeah as long as its an AM3/AM3+ processor I believe it will be fine.

    There's a huge choice of motherboards so worth making sure you get a decent one. MSI are good (my am3 is MSI), Asus are usually good too. Alternatively a processor/motherboard/ram bundle from Scan might be a worthwhile option.

    Might be worth getting a 600/650w power unit, you prob won't need that much but better to have capacity. Do some google searches as there are many good and many shit brands.
  • trentusmcspliffus 24 Nov 2012 22:26:07 11 posts
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    @RobTheBuilder brilliant, thanks again for all your help, a little DIY could be fun too! always nice to have a little project.
  • FutileResistor 24 Nov 2012 22:31:54 1,230 posts
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    @trentusmcspliffus

    Unfortunately the AMD Phenom 9150e was a energy efficient oriented CPU and not really overclockable to any great degree. At most you might get it to 2GHz and that's even if your motherboard supports overclocking. you really need a CPU at 3GHz and above for gaming.

    You would be better off selling or repurposing that system and starting from scratch.

    Here's my advice.

    i3-3120 CPU £90
    H61 motherboard with usb3 and Sata 6 £40
    8GB DDR3 1600MHz Corsair Vengeance RAM £27
    Corsair 430CX PSU £35
    Decent generic case £20
    Radeon 7850 1GB £125
    7200rpm 500GB hard drive £40 (optional)
    Samsung 830 128GB SSD £75 (optional)

    That's £337 (if you re-use your current hard drive) for a very decent system which would play just about any game at max settings 1080p at 60 plus fps.

    £377 for the with hard drive option.

    Just over £400 for the SSD option with your old hard drive as the data drive.

    Or if you're not comfortable building your own PC.

    Get something like this and stick in a Radeon 7850 for pretty much the same result.

    Edited by FutileResistor at 22:32:53 24-11-2012
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