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What is holding my PC back?

Last response: in Components
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November 16, 2013 3:33:28 PM

I've recently noticed while playing some newer games that my PC seems to not be able to handle them that well, but it handles mostly every other game perfectly.
I'm fairly certain that my motherboard needs an upgrade, and possibly my HD - but I just want to know exactly how bottlenecked my system is.
I also know that this isn't a spectacular rig - but it's does exactly what I need it to, and Im only a kid without an unlimited budget. However, I have money to buy upgrades.

Specs:
CPU: AMD A8 3870 3Ghz with Radeon HD graphics
GPU: AMD Radeon HD 7850
PSU: CoolerMaster 600w
Memory: 8GB DDR3
Motherboard: AMD Gigabyte GA-A55M-DS2
OS: Win 7 64-bit
HDD: Western Digital WD Green WD10EADS 1TB 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s

More about : holding back

November 16, 2013 3:40:00 PM

If it's newer games, you should try to update the Graphics card driver.
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a b V Motherboard
November 16, 2013 3:40:12 PM

Green drives aren't meant to be system drives, they run at a slower speed than standard drives.
7200 on the standard vs 5400* on green
Also that drive is using the older SATA 3Gb/s, instead of the current SATA 6Gb/s.

*does not actually specify, WD advertise it as Intelliseek
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a c 93 V Motherboard
a b À AMD
November 16, 2013 3:42:56 PM

For gaming performance, the CPU is the main problem. It's a quad core though, so it's not like your performance is totally crippled by it. The hard drive is really poor for a boot drive, but it shouldn't affect gaming. The power supply is also pretty poor, but again shouldn't affect performance (short of going poof and just ending it).
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November 16, 2013 3:50:42 PM

As Sakkura metioned, that processor really isn't doing you any favors. It's not a bad processor by any means, but it isn't really much of a performer either. It's based on the same architecture as AMD's Phenom II's and Athlon II's, so it's definitely a little old now. Realistically the biggest issue is probably the clock speed and lack of L3 Cache. 3.0Ghz isn't all that much, and L3 Cache can make some meaningful differences in games. If your 3870 is a 3870K, I'd look into overclocking it a bit. If not, you're probably largely stuck with the performance you have now. Any improvement would have to come from a new platform. (CPU and Motherboard)

This hierarchy that Tom's provides will probably help illustrate it a little better. There's nothing wrong with the 3rd tier down, but there's definitely room for improvement.

*Edit* Might be helpful if I actually provided the link: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-review-o...
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November 16, 2013 3:57:06 PM

Sakkura said:
For gaming performance, the CPU is the main problem. It's a quad core though, so it's not like your performance is totally crippled by it. The hard drive is really poor for a boot drive, but it shouldn't affect gaming. The power supply is also pretty poor, but again shouldn't affect performance (short of going poof and just ending it).


Thanks for the quick reply. That being said - if I was to say buy a better CPU - would that improve my performance, or would you recommend that I get a proper motherboard first?
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a c 93 V Motherboard
a b À AMD
November 16, 2013 4:02:15 PM

lp231 said:
Thanks for the quick reply. That being said - if I was to say buy a better CPU - would that improve my performance, or would you recommend that I get a proper motherboard first?

Your motherboard wouldn't support any huge CPU upgrade. The options for that platform are just somewhat limited.
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November 16, 2013 4:07:29 PM

Sakkura said:
For gaming performance, the CPU is the main problem. It's a quad core though, so it's not like your performance is totally crippled by it. The hard drive is really poor for a boot drive, but it shouldn't affect gaming. The power supply is also pretty poor, but again shouldn't affect performance (short of going poof and just ending it).


Sakkura said:
lp231 said:
Thanks for the quick reply. That being said - if I was to say buy a better CPU - would that improve my performance, or would you recommend that I get a proper motherboard first?

Your motherboard wouldn't support any huge CPU upgrade. The options for that platform are just somewhat limited.


Okay - thanks again for all your help, I very much appreciate it.
if it isn't too much to ask, might you possibly be able to recommend a motherboard/cpu combination for me? The prices do not matter at the moment - but I don't need anything very powerful.
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a c 93 V Motherboard
a b À AMD
November 16, 2013 4:12:05 PM

For something reasonably affordable, maybe a Gigabyte GA-970A-UD3 and AMD FX-6300. For a something faster, maybe a Core i5-4670K and ASRock Z87 Extreme3.
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