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Assistance with Upgrading?

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July 1, 2013 1:29:29 AM

Background: I've had an ASUS Essentio CM1730 (http://www.asus.com/Desktops/Essentio_CM1730/#specifica...), and I wasn't into the gaming and electronic business. I figured when people said desktops are better, I didn't know ALL were not the same. I had a low budget and simply upgraded my graphics card to a AMD Radeon HD 6670, for it would accustom to the PSU of an actual wage of 300w, rather than the displayed 350w. Some important specifications were not listed: CPU: AMD Athlon II X2 220 2.8GHz, and obviously AMD Radeon HD 6670. It did well, but not enough in this modern age of graphical advancements in gaming. I was allowed to play on High texture settings and such, but some such as anti-aliasing, shadow, etc. were turned down to maintain a playable framerate, 10-30 FPS. However, it was quite visible that the lag affected the gameplay, I didn't want to turn down the settings any further.

Main Idea: Details of my computer listed above, but now I'm saving up and I want professional help or merely someone who owns a budget computer that runs well. REQUIREMENTS I want the cheapest possible upgrades, that allows me to play on at least settings no lower than high, with other graphical improvements maxed out at a framerate that is steady and fast. Not exactly what I said, but the idea of a beast computer for the cheapest. My budget is let's say $600.

More about : assistance upgrading

a b ) Power supply
a b à CPUs
July 1, 2013 1:51:48 AM

It has to be done the other way around. Give us your budget and then we will maximize the performance you can squeeze out of it.
Please specify your display resolution used for gaming.

What I can tell you now, is that you are facing a total rebuild. What you can keep is the case, odd, hdd and peripherals.
July 1, 2013 1:29:10 PM

Bejusek said:
It has to be done the other way around. Give us your budget and then we will maximize the performance you can squeeze out of it.
Please specify your display resolution used for gaming.

What I can tell you now, is that you are facing a total rebuild. What you can keep is the case, odd, hdd and peripherals.


Hmm, I'm not trying to go for a whole rebuild. I don't want exactly maxed out settings, I just want great quality, with a steady framerate. It's kind of hard to explain settings as some games are stronger than others. Perhaps a way to put it is a famous gaming commentator's computer, obviously great quality for their fans. But they might not be considered a whole enthusiast with a $5000 computer. Well I've set my budget to $600, I can go for $800. I don't know what you're trying to aspire, but I believe that you know that I can't simple replace parts... Alright, continue...

Related resources
a b ) Power supply
a b à CPUs
July 1, 2013 2:07:58 PM

Ok. Let's see.
Option one. Motherboard stays:
MOBO: as is (check compatibility),
CPU: Phenom x4 965 + cooling (CM EVO 212, will it fit in the case?) $120, maybe less with used CPU,
RAM: Up to 8GB (at least 4GB) buy the same sticks as you have now if possible $50,
GPU: Best that will fit the budget, GTX760? May be a bit too much tough, CPU can be a bottleneck $250,
PSU: You will need a new one. Seasonic S/M 12II620 looks like a good choice $70.
Total: Around $500 give or take. You can consider SSD to speed things up.

Option2 - Faster with mainboard swap:
MOBO: Asrock B75 pro3 $85,
CPU: Intel i5 3350P, box cooling $180.
Rest as above.
Total without SSD: $645.

In both options you have to take out the mainboard to rebuild the system ;) 
July 2, 2013 10:02:31 AM

Bejusek said:
Ok. Let's see.
Option one. Motherboard stays:
MOBO: as is (check compatibility),
CPU: Phenom x4 965 + cooling (CM EVO 212, will it fit in the case?) $120, maybe less with used CPU,
RAM: Up to 8GB (at least 4GB) buy the same sticks as you have now if possible $50,
GPU: Best that will fit the budget, GTX760? May be a bit too much tough, CPU can be a bottleneck $250,
PSU: You will need a new one. Seasonic S/M 12II620 looks like a good choice $70.
Total: Around $500 give or take. You can consider SSD to speed things up.

Option2 - Faster with mainboard swap:
MOBO: Asrock B75 pro3 $85,
CPU: Intel i5 3350P, box cooling $180.
Rest as above.
Total without SSD: $645.

In both options you have to take out the mainboard to rebuild the system ;) 


Thanks for your input! However, you said the CPU would bottleneck the GPU, and I prefer the first option. So what would you have in mind? Can I stick in 2x4GB of RAM with my current ones, or would it be incompatible? Also, might you be able to explain or link me to a video that would perfectly fit this set of upgrades? I'll need some guidance to know I won't screw up my system.

Oh and I remember I attempted this long ago and kept a text document of some components, might you consider one of them?:
Asus Radeon HD 7770
AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition 3.4GHz
Corsair 8GB
Corsair 650w Power Supply
and Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM
for a Grand Total of $399.95 (budget was this before)
a b ) Power supply
a b à CPUs
July 2, 2013 11:57:54 PM

Components you chose are pretty much what I thought about. Only difference is a graphicsc card, thus the higher total price.
Phenom X4 965 offers performance comparable to i3-3220. It is slightly slower. Its drawback is a high power consumption and this means high thermal output. Its advantage are 4 real cores and great OC potential. OC is also up to the mainboard, which in your case can prove to be troublesome.
For GTX760 the i3-3220 is usually considered a minimum. Because of that, I think that not overclocked x4 965 may have some troubles feeding it with data fast enough. But in $250 range, GTX 760 is a best buy and I recommend to buy it.

Please provide screenshots of CPU-Z CPU, Maiboard, Memory, SPD and Graphics tabs.
This will allow us to determine what compononets are compatible with your current maiboard and answer questions about RAM.

EDIT:
HWinfo system summary tab screenshot will be faster :) 
July 9, 2013 11:41:06 PM

Bejusek said:
Components you chose are pretty much what I thought about. Only difference is a graphicsc card, thus the higher total price.
Phenom X4 965 offers performance comparable to i3-3220. It is slightly slower. Its drawback is a high power consumption and this means high thermal output. Its advantage are 4 real cores and great OC potential. OC is also up to the mainboard, which in your case can prove to be troublesome.
For GTX760 the i3-3220 is usually considered a minimum. Because of that, I think that not overclocked x4 965 may have some troubles feeding it with data fast enough. But in $250 range, GTX 760 is a best buy and I recommend to buy it.

Please provide screenshots of CPU-Z CPU, Maiboard, Memory, SPD and Graphics tabs.
This will allow us to determine what compononets are compatible with your current maiboard and answer questions about RAM.

EDIT:
HWinfo system summary tab screenshot will be faster :) 

Understood. However, sorry for the late reply, kind of feel embarrassed and helpless not knowing most of this stuff, but I'm also eager to get this done. It may take a while for me to upload some photos, I'm heading on a vacation. As always, your help is appreciated :) 

Best solution

a b ) Power supply
a b À AMD
a b à CPUs
a b Ĉ ASUS
July 19, 2013 8:49:47 AM
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For this "that allows me to play on at least settings no lower than high, with other graphical improvements maxed out at a framerate that is steady and fast" you need to spend more than $600 on a computer, unless you play older games that don't need much power. To play everything on High settings, unless you buy a used system, you are looking at $1,000. On a totally new build. Do not waste time on trying to upgrade what you have.

There are a lot of system ideas here http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/forum-31.html


http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/budget-mini-itx-gam...
http://www.tomshardware.com/answers/id-1738344/gaming-b...



If you have a decent case you can use that for the new system.

The upgrades you want to do will get you to Medium settings in many games, but not High with a lot of options turned on.
September 9, 2013 10:59:36 PM

hang-the-9 said:
For this "that allows me to play on at least settings no lower than high, with other graphical improvements maxed out at a framerate that is steady and fast" you need to spend more than $600 on a computer, unless you play older games that don't need much power. To play everything on High settings, unless you buy a used system, you are looking at $1,000. On a totally new build. Do not waste time on trying to upgrade what you have.

There are a lot of system ideas here http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/forum-31.html


http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/budget-mini-itx-gam...
http://www.tomshardware.com/answers/id-1738344/gaming-b...



If you have a decent case you can use that for the new system.

The upgrades you want to do will get you to Medium settings in many games, but not High with a lot of options turned on.


That completely turns me down, but, thanks for your support. I've completely forgotten about this post, due to my lack of saving (Xbox One and game pre-orders,etc.). Anyways, on Tom's Hardware, I've learned from the pros, that a "cheap" system can not afford high settings. I've believed it was cheap due to YouTube having few benchmarks running on high (few tweaks) on builds that cost $300-500. I'm trying to put my future on computer engineering, and being a sophomore in high school, can be pretty tough. Although, I've taken steps towards engineering by myself. Well, enough of my personal life, but I will keep your link in mind for the future. But I believe that upgrading myself is easier for me to learn the ways. :)  Thanks for concluding this.
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