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Need Advice on GPU and build for Total War

Hi,

I bought a Dell XPS 8500 i7-3770 (3.4ghz 8mb), 8gb DDR3 SDRAM, 1TB hard drive) a few months back that I've had tons of serious problems with, the latest being I've just discovered they put significantly inferior components in compared to what I ordered & paid for. So I'm in the process of returning it to Dell and trying to get my money back. I have 2 questions I really need help with.

First - I wanted this PC for ordinary internet browsing, writing a few letters, but mainly for playing Total War. Assuming the worst happens & Dell won't refund & demand I have to have a replacement, then I'll still not be happy with the GPU - it should have been Nvidia GeForce GT 640 1gb DDR5 which is bad enough, but instead they put in an AMD HD7570 which apparently has a 30% lower core clock speed - as per: http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/answers/id-795797/nvidia-geforce-640-1gb-amd-radeon-7570-1gb-gddr5.html.

I've seen on your site about putting a Radeon 7770 2gb gddr5 in a Dell XPS 8500 and it seemed fine (with the PCU & connections etc) : http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/367543-33-geforce-gddr5-radeon-7770-gddr5.

Can anyone confirm if I'd be able to put a Radeon 7770 2gb gddr5 in an XPS 8500 i7 (that I believe has a PCU of 400), or if there are now any even better GPU's I could put in a Dell XPS 8500 and that would work best for Total War?

Second - Assuming the best case & Dell do refund, then I'll be buying a gaming PC specifically for Total War - but I need some serious advice on that. I know this kind of question has been answered before but that was in mid 2012 and I assume things have moved on since then (like with Nvidia Keplar etc).

As must be obvious I'm a complete novice and have no chance of building a PC myself. Instead I want to buy a built gaming PC from one of 2 companies - either pcspecialist.co.uk (who don't overclock but do seem to use more of the componenets your contributors recommend), or palicomp.co.uk (who do overclock, who are local to where I live and so seem like a good idea incase it goes wrong again, but who use different component manufacturers on PCU's etc). Both offer options to upgrade all the components, but I don't know what base unit I should start with & what things I should upgrade. I daren't ask them coz I assume they'll just advise me to buy the most expensive and I'll end up with overkill or something not as good as it could be for the money & for what I'll use it for.

The Total War games I want to play on this PC are Empire & Napoleon at ultra settings, but also the upcoming Rome 2, and possibly their next couple of titles (hopefully Empire 2 & Napoleon 2). I want good framerate & playability, but most of all I want the graphics in the battles to be as good looking as possible. I'll also be getting a new monitor which will be HD (23 or 24'') with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 (but I don't know if I should get a PC that can deliver good performance at a higher resolution)? I will only be running this 1 monitor.

I'd obviously prefer to spend less, but my budget on the PC is up to £1,200, although maybe a bit higher if it was really worth it, particularly in terms of longevity.

I want an Intel CPU rather than AMD, and I'm guessing I need an i7 quad ivybridge for the upcoming Rome 2 & future Total War titles (but not sure as I've seen it previously recommended that i5 is best for gaming). I'm also guessing I need an AMD Radeon HD 7970 3 gig as I know Creative Assembly work with AMD and from what I've seen on bench tests the HD 7970 works really well for Total War Shogun 2 - however I imagine the Nvidia Keplars might have changed that. I'd also want the PC to be reasonably quiet (as Total War is a relatively quiet game & also coz I don't use headphones).

I've muddled a few possible solutions myself, which are palicomp.co.uk:

Phoenix i5 Vortex (£700), upgraded to AMD Radeon HD7970 (+£160) and i7 ivybridge (+£95) = £955. http://www.palicomp.co.uk/gaming-pcs/phoenix-i5-vortex.html

Alpha Infinity i5 ivybridge (£1,000), upgraded to AMD Radeon HD7970 (+£100) and i7 ivybridge (+£95) = £1,195 http://www.palicomp.co.uk/gaming-pcs/alpha-infinity.html

Phoenix i7 Ninja (£1,300), with free choices between ASUS P8Z77-V LX or Gigabyte Z77-D3H (which is best?), and free choices between Nvidia GeForce GTX680 2GB or AMD Radeon HD7970 3GB (which is best?). http://www.palicomp.co.uk/gaming-pcs/phoenix-i7-ninja.html

That Phoenix i7 is probably too much though, as on all of these I'd probably want to get the options of extreme noise reduction (+£40), silent fans (+£10), and hidden cables (+£25). But if you people thought it was really worth it I'd try to find the money. However, it obviously all depends what CPU & GPU you think is right for me. I'd also be very glad of any suggestions on other component upgrades I should go for.

OR - pcspecialist.co.uk:
this is much more simple, there seems to be one good base option for me, the Vortex 1000 - http://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/view/Vortex-1000-gaming-pc/

Again I'd need help with which CPU & GPU (or GPU's) I should get for Total War. When I opt for i7 ivybridge 3770k (3.5ghz) and an AMD Radeon 3gb HD7970 the price comes out at £1,233, which is around my top limit but maybe worth it?

OR - palicomp.co.uk offer to build an entirely custom PC to your own specs - so maybe it would be best for someone to suggest a PC build that would be perfect for Total War with components total between £800 to £1000 and I can then get them to quote on building it?

Sorry to throw all of this at your site in one go but I need to work out my options now coz as soon as I contact Dell I'll be returning this PC and won't have access to the Internet again until I get my new PC, by which point it will be too late to ask.
Thank you.
4 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about advice gpu build total war
  1. Best answer
    The second palicomp build at 1000 quid is enough,infact, quite abit over the top,but it'll play everything you throw at it and then some.
    You can add £80 for z77 v motherboard and £50 for XFX 850w. This will expand your upgradability in future,though I doubt you'll need it.
    Don't knock building a PC till you try it,with your budget you'd build something sweet
  2. Thanks for responding allanitomwesh that's really helpful and it gives me a way forward. I will definitely get the mobo & pcu upgrade as you suggest.

    By the way, I wouldn't dream of knocking PC building, I'd love to be able to do it. But we are all good & bad at various things & although I'm not too sure what I'm good at, I know I'm really bad with technical stuff. It's not the components & putting them together that would be my problem, it's the operating system & programs I'd need to load & fiddle with to get the whole thing working & stable, I wouldn't stand a chance. To be honest, I still find it hard to believe that computers could actually work and that they're not really just magic.

    Thank you for your help.
  3. Your welcome,just pick a solution.
  4. MaxWWFC said:
    Hi,

    I bought a Dell XPS 8500 i7-3770 (3.4ghz 8mb), 8gb DDR3 SDRAM, 1TB hard drive) a few months back that I've had tons of serious problems with, the latest being I've just discovered they put significantly inferior components in compared to what I ordered & paid for. So I'm in the process of returning it to Dell and trying to get my money back. I have 2 questions I really need help with.

    First - I wanted this PC for ordinary internet browsing, writing a few letters, but mainly for playing Total War. Assuming the worst happens & Dell won't refund & demand I have to have a replacement, then I'll still not be happy with the GPU - it should have been Nvidia GeForce GT 640 1gb DDR5 which is bad enough, but instead they put in an AMD HD7570 which apparently has a 30% lower core clock speed - as per: http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/answers/id-795797/nvidia-geforce-640-1gb-amd-radeon-7570-1gb-gddr5.html.

    I've seen on your site about putting a Radeon 7770 2gb gddr5 in a Dell XPS 8500 and it seemed fine (with the PCU & connections etc) : http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/367543-33-geforce-gddr5-radeon-7770-gddr5.

    Can anyone confirm if I'd be able to put a Radeon 7770 2gb gddr5 in an XPS 8500 i7 (that I believe has a PCU of 400), or if there are now any even better GPU's I could put in a Dell XPS 8500 and that would work best for Total War?

    Second - Assuming the best case & Dell do refund, then I'll be buying a gaming PC specifically for Total War - but I need some serious advice on that. I know this kind of question has been answered before but that was in mid 2012 and I assume things have moved on since then (like with Nvidia Keplar etc).

    As must be obvious I'm a complete novice and have no chance of building a PC myself. Instead I want to buy a built gaming PC from one of 2 companies - either pcspecialist.co.uk (who don't overclock but do seem to use more of the componenets your contributors recommend), or palicomp.co.uk (who do overclock, who are local to where I live and so seem like a good idea incase it goes wrong again, but who use different component manufacturers on PCU's etc). Both offer options to upgrade all the components, but I don't know what base unit I should start with & what things I should upgrade. I daren't ask them coz I assume they'll just advise me to buy the most expensive and I'll end up with overkill or something not as good as it could be for the money & for what I'll use it for.

    The Total War games I want to play on this PC are Empire & Napoleon at ultra settings, but also the upcoming Rome 2, and possibly their next couple of titles (hopefully Empire 2 & Napoleon 2). I want good framerate & playability, but most of all I want the graphics in the battles to be as good looking as possible. I'll also be getting a new monitor which will be HD (23 or 24'') with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 (but I don't know if I should get a PC that can deliver good performance at a higher resolution)? I will only be running this 1 monitor.

    I'd obviously prefer to spend less, but my budget on the PC is up to £1,200, although maybe a bit higher if it was really worth it, particularly in terms of longevity.

    I want an Intel CPU rather than AMD, and I'm guessing I need an i7 quad ivybridge for the upcoming Rome 2 & future Total War titles (but not sure as I've seen it previously recommended that i5 is best for gaming). I'm also guessing I need an AMD Radeon HD 7970 3 gig as I know Creative Assembly work with AMD and from what I've seen on bench tests the HD 7970 works really well for Total War Shogun 2 - however I imagine the Nvidia Keplars might have changed that. I'd also want the PC to be reasonably quiet (as Total War is a relatively quiet game & also coz I don't use headphones).

    I've muddled a few possible solutions myself, which are palicomp.co.uk:

    Phoenix i5 Vortex (£700), upgraded to AMD Radeon HD7970 (+£160) and i7 ivybridge (+£95) = £955. http://www.palicomp.co.uk/gaming-pcs/phoenix-i5-vortex.html

    Alpha Infinity i5 ivybridge (£1,000), upgraded to AMD Radeon HD7970 (+£100) and i7 ivybridge (+£95) = £1,195 http://www.palicomp.co.uk/gaming-pcs/alpha-infinity.html

    Phoenix i7 Ninja (£1,300), with free choices between ASUS P8Z77-V LX or Gigabyte Z77-D3H (which is best?), and free choices between Nvidia GeForce GTX680 2GB or AMD Radeon HD7970 3GB (which is best?). http://www.palicomp.co.uk/gaming-pcs/phoenix-i7-ninja.html

    That Phoenix i7 is probably too much though, as on all of these I'd probably want to get the options of extreme noise reduction (+£40), silent fans (+£10), and hidden cables (+£25). But if you people thought it was really worth it I'd try to find the money. However, it obviously all depends what CPU & GPU you think is right for me. I'd also be very glad of any suggestions on other component upgrades I should go for.

    OR - pcspecialist.co.uk:
    this is much more simple, there seems to be one good base option for me, the Vortex 1000 - http://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/view/Vortex-1000-gaming-pc/

    Again I'd need help with which CPU & GPU (or GPU's) I should get for Total War. When I opt for i7 ivybridge 3770k (3.5ghz) and an AMD Radeon 3gb HD7970 the price comes out at £1,233, which is around my top limit but maybe worth it?

    OR - palicomp.co.uk offer to build an entirely custom PC to your own specs - so maybe it would be best for someone to suggest a PC build that would be perfect for Total War with components total between £800 to £1000 and I can then get them to quote on building it?

    Sorry to throw all of this at your site in one go but I need to work out my options now coz as soon as I contact Dell I'll be returning this PC and won't have access to the Internet again until I get my new PC, by which point it will be too late to ask.
    Thank you.


    Anonymous said:
    Your welcome,just pick a solution.
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