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Gaming PC needs an upgrade?

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February 9, 2014 4:25:58 AM

Hi, I'm probably asking something everyone wonders about: what components are worth and in need of an upgrade to have a decend (mid / high-end) gaming PC.

Currently my most played games are Battlefield 4, Natural Selection 2, PayDay 2 and Red Orchestra 2. Especially when playing Battlefield 4 (even on medium settings) the game freezes or has frame drops. I'm ofcourse not sure if it's the game or my hardware, but I'm guessing a bit of both.

I'm a Twitch streamer and would like to be able to stream BF4 while playing it on high / ultra without noticing my PC struggling to much. So my question is, what components are in need of an upgrade.

My current PC setup is:
Processor: Intel I7-2600k - 3.40 GHz
Memory: 8,00 GB
Hard Drive: Plextor PX-256M5S 256GB
Motherboard: MSI P67A-GD53
Operating System: MS Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
Video Card: EVGA GTX 580
PSU output capacity: 620 WATT

PassMark Benchmark results.

At the moment I'm hesitating whether to go for a Nvidia or AMD/ATi card and needing a CPU upgrade (combined with a new Mobo).

The new AMD GPU's are cheap, but I read the stock coolers aren't that good and demand a lot of juice from the PSU. Where the Nvidia GPU's cost more but have great performance and stability. (I don't want to start a Nvidia - AMD war here, I've had both brands but am currently on the Nvidia run because if ShadowPlay).

Can anyone advice me on my setup, thanks in advance :) 

More about : gaming upgrade

a b 4 Gaming
February 9, 2014 7:47:25 AM

I'd say a new CPU and mobo. Only do this one if you do not plan to overclock. If you do plan to overclock, then take out the 4770 and replace it with a 4770K.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-4770 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($294.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: MSI Z87-G41 PC Mate ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $384.98
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-02-09 10:47 EST-0500)

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February 9, 2014 8:16:13 AM

TheN00bBuilder said:
I'd say a new CPU and mobo. Only do this one if you do not plan to overclock. If you do plan to overclock, then take out the 4770 and replace it with a 4770K.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-4770 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($294.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: MSI Z87-G41 PC Mate ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $384.98
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-02-09 10:47 EST-0500)



Thanks for your responds.
And what is the reason to upgrade the CPU and not the GPU?
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a b 4 Gaming
February 9, 2014 8:20:41 AM

The GPU is actually pretty nice. 15th in high end GPU ratings on Passmark. The CPU is good too.

Now that I take a second look, the hardware shouldn't be the problem. That machines pretty badass. What programs do you run while gaming? That might be the problem.
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February 9, 2014 8:21:10 AM

No way that you need a CPU upgrade. There is virtually no difference between SB, IB and Haswell when it comes to gaming.

Really, the only thing you can do to see major improvements is to upgrade the graphics card. Check out hwcompare.com for GPU comparisons so you can see which route you want to go
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February 9, 2014 9:13:12 AM

TheN00bBuilder said:
The GPU is actually pretty nice. 15th in high end GPU ratings on Passmark. The CPU is good too.

Now that I take a second look, the hardware shouldn't be the problem. That machines pretty badass. What programs do you run while gaming? That might be the problem.


I've got McAfee Virus, Steam, Origin, Raptr, Dropbox, Google Drive and Chrome running.
Maybe I should try to close some one by one and see if it makes any difference.
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February 9, 2014 9:15:57 AM

OllieOxenFree said:
No way that you need a CPU upgrade. There is virtually no difference between SB, IB and Haswell when it comes to gaming.

Really, the only thing you can do to see major improvements is to upgrade the graphics card. Check out hwcompare.com for GPU comparisons so you can see which route you want to go


Thanks for the link, will look into it.
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February 9, 2014 9:29:21 AM

8Gb of ram should be enough but if the program you are using is ram intensive and/or you have a lot of programs running then you might want to upgrade the ram. I think maybe the graphics card might need an upgrade if you want maxed out settings but should be fine. I guess it is down to what you deem to be an acceptable frame rate. What resolution are you playing the game at? That could be it.
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February 9, 2014 9:31:06 AM

Tobias Radford-Taylor said:
8Gb of ram should be enough but if the program you are using is ram intensive and/or you have a lot of programs running then you might want to upgrade the ram. I think maybe the graphics card might need an upgrade if you want maxed out settings but should be fine. I guess it is down to what you deem to be an acceptable frame rate. What resolution are you playing the game at? That could be it.


Sorry wrong button.. Topic not answered yet.
I'm running the game on 1920 x 1080.
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February 9, 2014 9:39:14 AM

Btw. Max temperatures when playing BF4 : GPU 90 degrees / CPU 77 degrees. Is that normal?
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February 9, 2014 10:03:57 AM

Oke fun fact, actually turning off Raptr (the gamers app to track your games and ingame chat) is causing the lagg and frame drops..
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February 9, 2014 7:46:55 PM

Your temps are definitely high. Everyone has there own opinion as to how hot is too hot. I don't go over 70c on CPU and 85c on GPU. Some cards run hot but that seems a bit high for a 580. Are you overclocked? Maybe you need to clean some dust out. If not maybe an upgrade in cooling components. Heat is a killer.
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February 9, 2014 11:15:23 PM

OllieOxenFree said:
Your temps are definitely high. Everyone has there own opinion as to how hot is too hot. I don't go over 70c on CPU and 85c on GPU. Some cards run hot but that seems a bit high for a 580. Are you overclocked? Maybe you need to clean some dust out. If not maybe an upgrade in cooling components. Heat is a killer.


No I'm not overclocked, i never 'risk' that. The weird part is about 2 month ago I did clean out the PC from dust and then it was around 70 I think (not sure with bf4 load).
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Best solution

a b 4 Gaming
February 9, 2014 11:33:10 PM

nvidias 4xx and 5xx series is running hot.
For gaming you would see the biggest performance increase from upgrading your GPU.
i7 2600k is still considered high-end and is still performing well, you might want to look into a better cooler, if you still are running on stockcoolers.
Well, choosing between nVidia and AMD isn't easy, just find which feature is most helpful for you.
780ti > 290x > 290 => 780 > 770=> 280x > 760=>270x > 270.
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February 9, 2014 11:59:54 PM

I had a 2500K and a triple slot 570. I now have a 4770K. BF4 runs just about the same on both (only upgraded b/c I get discounted parts). A new GPU is what you need. 100% sure about that.
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February 10, 2014 12:03:34 AM

vmN said:
nvidias 4xx and 5xx series is running hot.
For gaming you would see the biggest performance increase from upgrading your GPU.
i7 2600k is still considered high-end and is still performing well, you might want to look into a better cooler, if you still are running on stockcoolers.
Well, choosing between nVidia and AMD isn't easy, just find which feature is most helpful for you.
780ti > 290x > 290 => 780 > 770=> 280x > 760=>270x > 270.


Thanks for the breakdown on GPU's.
I guess it all comes down to what price I'm willing to pay.
The PSU is still powerful enough to serve the machine afterwards?

For the CPU I'm still on stock-cooler, and last year I was indeed considering a cooler replacement.
Do you have some recommendations on coolers?
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February 10, 2014 12:05:24 AM

Illumynization said:
I had a 2500K and a triple slot 570. I now have a 4770K. BF4 runs just about the same on both (only upgraded b/c I get discounted parts). A new GPU is what you need. 100% sure about that.


Thanks for the confirmation :) 
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a b 4 Gaming
February 10, 2014 12:31:27 AM

kwijl said:
For the CPU I'm still on stock-cooler, and last year I was indeed considering a cooler replacement.
Do you have some recommendations on coolers?


I normally recommend these two:
Lower price, but still good performance: Cooler Master hyper 212 evo
Higher price: and higher performance: Noctua NH-D14
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February 10, 2014 1:53:56 AM

vmN said:
kwijl said:
For the CPU I'm still on stock-cooler, and last year I was indeed considering a cooler replacement.
Do you have some recommendations on coolers?


I normally recommend these two:
Lower price, but still good performance: Cooler Master hyper 212 evo
Higher price: and higher performance: Noctua NH-D14


Thanks I will look into that, and gonna pick me a new GPU if I can finally decide between AMD and nVidia xD
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February 12, 2014 3:25:00 AM

kwijl said:
vmN said:
kwijl said:
For the CPU I'm still on stock-cooler, and last year I was indeed considering a cooler replacement.
Do you have some recommendations on coolers?


I normally recommend these two:
Lower price, but still good performance: Cooler Master hyper 212 evo
Higher price: and higher performance: Noctua NH-D14


Thanks I will look into that, and gonna pick me a new GPU if I can finally decide between AMD and nVidia xD


I personnally prefer nvidia. on certain cards you can argue better heat, noise, enrgy used and performance but they are more expensive than AMD. Also you could think about shadowplay for nvidia and mantle for amd. I'm still a bit confused about what mantle is but i think it is a new way of rendering that could potentially give better performance.
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a b 4 Gaming
February 12, 2014 3:41:58 AM

Tobias Radford-Taylor said:
kwijl said:
vmN said:
kwijl said:
For the CPU I'm still on stock-cooler, and last year I was indeed considering a cooler replacement.
Do you have some recommendations on coolers?


I normally recommend these two:
Lower price, but still good performance: Cooler Master hyper 212 evo
Higher price: and higher performance: Noctua NH-D14


Thanks I will look into that, and gonna pick me a new GPU if I can finally decide between AMD and nVidia xD


I personnally prefer nvidia. on certain cards you can argue better heat, noise, enrgy used and performance but they are more expensive than AMD. Also you could think about shadowplay for nvidia and mantle for amd. I'm still a bit confused about what mantle is but i think it is a new way of rendering that could potentially give better performance.

Mantle is a new API, a computer language that speak more directly to the hardware, meaning it's harder to code in, but could squize out some more performance.

We could compare it to some normal computer languages:
DirecX = VB
mantle = c++.



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February 12, 2014 4:09:13 AM

Tobias Radford-Taylor said:
kwijl said:
vmN said:
kwijl said:
For the CPU I'm still on stock-cooler, and last year I was indeed considering a cooler replacement.
Do you have some recommendations on coolers?


I normally recommend these two:
Lower price, but still good performance: Cooler Master hyper 212 evo
Higher price: and higher performance: Noctua NH-D14


Thanks I will look into that, and gonna pick me a new GPU if I can finally decide between AMD and nVidia xD


I personnally prefer nvidia. on certain cards you can argue better heat, noise, enrgy used and performance but they are more expensive than AMD. Also you could think about shadowplay for nvidia and mantle for amd. I'm still a bit confused about what mantle is but i think it is a new way of rendering that could potentially give better performance.


That is exactly my point of view as well.
The reason I would go for an AMD is price and Mantle that could bring better performance for BF4.
Otherwise as vmN states in his card comparison, the 780ti could be a great investment.
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February 12, 2014 12:27:38 PM

vmN said:
Tobias Radford-Taylor said:
kwijl said:
vmN said:
kwijl said:
For the CPU I'm still on stock-cooler, and last year I was indeed considering a cooler replacement.
Do you have some recommendations on coolers?


I normally recommend these two:
Lower price, but still good performance: Cooler Master hyper 212 evo
Higher price: and higher performance: Noctua NH-D14


Thanks I will look into that, and gonna pick me a new GPU if I can finally decide between AMD and nVidia xD


I personnally prefer nvidia. on certain cards you can argue better heat, noise, enrgy used and performance but they are more expensive than AMD. Also you could think about shadowplay for nvidia and mantle for amd. I'm still a bit confused about what mantle is but i think it is a new way of rendering that could potentially give better performance.

Mantle is a new API, a computer language that speak more directly to the hardware, meaning it's harder to code in, but could squize out some more performance.

We could compare it to some normal computer languages:
DirecX = VB
mantle = c++.





OMG! DirectX is in VB? thought all you could do with DirectX was forms and calculators and things like that. (or is that VB.NET?) (I don't know that much about software and programming.)
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February 14, 2014 12:56:25 AM

I did some dusting off and here is an temp update:

CPU max: OLD: 77 NEW: 63
GPU max: OLD: 90 NEW: 83

I changed the FAN configuration a bit.
Also checked all the wires, since I got a BSOD everytime I closed a game, and the dump blamed NT Kernel & System.

Still thinking about replacing CPU FAN and upgrading the GPU later on.
Or maybe I sell this machine and get myself a fully pimped AlienWare X51 :) 
Thanks for all the help guys! Appreciate it! :) 
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