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Worth Upgrading this Computer for Gaming?

Last response: in Video Games
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December 9, 2012 5:38:01 PM

Hello, I got a desktop from I believe 2009. I haven't used it for gaming in a while though. I want to see if I can upgrade it and bring it back to life though. Right now I'm playing games on my newer laptop. I play Planetside 2, Rift, and TeamFortress 2 through Steam.

These are the specs of the laptop:

Laptop: Windows 7, 64-Bit
Processor: Intel(R) Core (TM) i3-2330M CPU @ 2.20 GHz
RAM: 4.00 GB
Graphics: Intel(R) HP Graphics Family
Model: HP Pavilion g7-1260us Notebook PC

And these are the specs of the old desktop:

Desktop: Windows 7 64-Bit
Processor: AMD Athlon (tm) IIx4 620 2.60 GHz
RAM: 6.00 GB (5.75 usable)
Graphics Card: NVIDIA GEForce 9100
Model: a4316f
Monitor: 2009m

These are the Recommended Specs for Planetside 2:
Recommended Requirements
Core i5-661 3.33GHz
Phenom II X4 910
GeForce GTX 560
Radeon HD 6870
RAM: 6 GB
Win 7 64
DX 11
HDD Space: 15 GB

My goal is to play it on at least medium, maybe 35-50 fps on my desktop. Right now I've been playing the games on my laptop because I've been cleaning up the desktop, and i'm only getting about 10-15 fps on all low settings in Planetside 2 on my laptop.

How could I improve the desktop? I'd be willing to spend from maybe 500-700$. Is it worth it? Is the PC too old for heavy games like Planetside 2? If I upgrade it, will it at least be able to play Planetside 2 better than the laptop? If not, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Sorry this was a little confusing, but I haven't bothered to try any games on the desktop because I didn't want to bother, figured it wouldn't run stuff better than the laptop. I've got very little idea of what I'm doing with computers, so all the guidance I can get would be lovely. Thanks!
December 9, 2012 5:48:18 PM

If you would invest approx. 100 more dolars you should be able to build really STRONG desktop ! I hope someone like Sunius will help you build a VERY good pc :)  He is wandering around this area alot ! He really helped me and so will do to you !
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December 9, 2012 5:57:44 PM

Really? That's awesome! Hopefully I can get that help, thank you!
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December 9, 2012 5:58:57 PM

Yeah, Sunius usually has a way of getting what you want within your budget. For $500 - $700 you should probably just build a new PC. Not much would be worth salvaging from your old desktop. Maybe the RAM or case, depending how big it is.
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December 9, 2012 6:01:57 PM

Mando if you can you can look up my thread calling nVidia blablabla running minecraft , he showed me a very good desktop setup (you will find it , its a screenshot)
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December 9, 2012 6:02:30 PM

voiidwulf said:
Yeah, Sunius usually has a way of getting what you want within your budget. For $500 - $700 you should probably just build a new PC. Not much would be worth salvaging from your old desktop. Maybe the RAM or case, depending how big it is.


Hmm alright Voiidwulf, thanks for that info. I feared I wouldn't be able to salvage too much from it.
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December 9, 2012 6:03:15 PM

digrs said:
Mando if you can you can look up my thread calling nVidia blablabla running minecraft , he showed me a very good desktop setup (you will find it , its a screenshot)


Ok cool!
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December 9, 2012 6:14:58 PM

So , what do you say ?
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December 9, 2012 6:38:21 PM

digrs said:
So , what do you say ?

Sadly I couldnt find the thread.
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Best solution

a b D Laptop
December 9, 2012 7:46:03 PM

Hey, the desktop still looks pretty decent, apart from the graphics card (or rather the lack of it). My suggestion is to upgrade the power supply unit and the graphics card and not touch the CPU/motherboard/RAM for now. If the graphics card upgrade will make the game playable for you, then you will not have to spend any extra money. However, if it doesn't, you could get a decent Phenom II Black Edition with a CPU cooler and OC it. That would save you the hassle/costs of getting new motherboard and windows.

I take you're from US since you said dollars? If so, I'd suggest this combo:

Corsair CX 500 - $59.99
EVGA GTX 660 FTW Signature Edition 2 GB - $229.99

Total: $289.98

Also, you haven't mentioned the size of your case, so check whether the components will fit inside it before buying stuff.
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December 9, 2012 9:00:14 PM

Sunius said:
Hey, the desktop still looks pretty decent, apart from the graphics card (or rather the lack of it). My suggestion is to upgrade the power supply unit and the graphics card and not touch the CPU/motherboard/RAM for now. If the graphics card upgrade will make the game playable for you, then you will not have to spend any extra money. However, if it doesn't, you could get a decent Phenom II Black Edition with a CPU cooler and OC it. That would save you the hassle/costs of getting new motherboard and windows.

I take you're from US since you said dollars? If so, I'd suggest this combo:

Corsair CX 500 - $59.99
EVGA GTX 660 FTW Signature Edition 2 GB - $229.99

Total: $289.98

Also, you haven't mentioned the size of your case, so check whether the components will fit inside it before buying stuff.


Thank you Sunius! I will definitely look into getting those, but I will check the size of the case first. As I said I am a "beginner" to computers and don't know too much about the building aspect. How do I check the size of the case and if the components fit? I assume I have to manually open the case? And I'm guessing I need to check if that graphics car and power supply will fit/be able to be used. Thanks again for ALL the help I appreciate it!
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December 9, 2012 9:40:53 PM

I typed in my model # in google and I found my tower. Looks just like mine, so Im assuming it is right. This is the link:
http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/Docume...

This is what expansions it has: Expansion Slots:
1 PCI Express x16 slot for graphics card
2 PCI Express x1 slots
1 PCI slot
1 PCI Express x1 minicard slot

Will that tell me if my graphics card will fit? How do I know if my power supply will too? Thanks again!
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December 9, 2012 11:40:57 PM

mandolinfan said:
I typed in my model # in google and I found my tower. Looks just like mine, so Im assuming it is right. This is the link:
http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/Docume...

This is what expansions it has: Expansion Slots:
1 PCI Express x16 slot for graphics card
2 PCI Express x1 slots
1 PCI slot
1 PCI Express x1 minicard slot

Will that tell me if my graphics card will fit? How do I know if my power supply will too? Thanks again!


It should fit fine in there. The video card goes in the PCI-e x16 slot.
Power supplies are the same size, so you should have no issues there either.
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December 9, 2012 11:43:44 PM

voiidwulf said:
It should fit fine in there. The video card goes in the PCI-e x16 slot.
Power supplies are the same size, so you should have no issues there either.

Thank you!
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a b D Laptop
December 10, 2012 3:37:39 AM

Well, it should fit, but you should still make sure before buying: open up the case and measure the distance from the HDD bays to the back of your case - that card is long, so the distance should be at least 10 inches.
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December 10, 2012 9:09:10 AM

Just slap a better video card in it.
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a b D Laptop
December 10, 2012 10:29:22 AM

well you could put a 660 in and add a new psu. then watch your fps bounce around for 5-60fps... you will need a new cpu to stabalise that... amd phenom 2 960 or there abouts if you want to save money...
but if you have 500-600 the a complete upgrade to an i5 system using your current case and keeping your hdds if there sata. a bundel on new egg will cost 350 for cpu-board ram and a 1tb hdd add 150-170 for the gpu and the other 80 on a 550wpsu and your done.

seriously if you just bang in the 660 your system will bottleneck on virtually every game the amd athlon 620 can only handle a gtx 270 without bottlenecking so anything more will cause issues and the higher you go from that the worse they will be.

build a balanced system or pay the price...

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December 10, 2012 8:10:04 PM

HEXiT said:
well you could put a 660 in and add a new psu. then watch your fps bounce around for 5-60fps... you will need a new cpu to stabalise that... amd phenom 2 960 or there abouts if you want to save money...
but if you have 500-600 the a complete upgrade to an i5 system using your current case and keeping your hdds if there sata. a bundel on new egg will cost 350 for cpu-board ram and a 1tb hdd add 150-170 for the gpu and the other 80 on a 550wpsu and your done.

seriously if you just bang in the 660 your system will bottleneck on virtually every game the amd athlon 620 can only handle a gtx 270 without bottlenecking so anything more will cause issues and the higher you go from that the worse they will be.

build a balanced system or pay the price...


Alright well now I am definitely unsure about this stuff. So if I do just get the power supply and the graphics card it will bottleneck? I need a new processor too? A definite answer would be greatly appreciated as I am not that skilled with computer building yet. On a side note, I'm not looking to play any games super smooth on ultra, or maybe even high. I just want a smooth gameplay maybe on medium or some high settings. I'm playing with all low settings and 50% rendering right now on my laptop at 10-20 fps on Planetside 2, so I bet anything will be better at this point haha. Thanks! :) 
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a b D Laptop
December 10, 2012 8:28:38 PM

Athlon x4 isn't that bad. Sure, it's not the latest, but if you want to save money, it will do just fine. I'm sure it will let you run the game on at least 40 fps.

Also, no way it will drop to 5 fps. Literally, no way.

Lastly, if after the upgrade you don't get the performance you want, you could always slap Phenom II in for $90.
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December 10, 2012 8:31:48 PM

Sunius said:
Athlon x4 isn't that bad. Sure, it's not the latest, but if you want to save money, it will do just fine. I'm sure it will let you run the game on at least 40 fps.

Also, no way it will drop to 5 fps. Literally, no way.

Lastly, if after the upgrade you don't get the performance you want, you could always slap Phenom II in for $90.

Thank you Sunius! The thought of dropping to 5 fps is scary haha. So i'll try the set-up with the graphics card and power supply. If after I feel like I like a better performance then yes I will definitely invest in the Phenom II. Or maybe even get it right from the start just incase. Thanks everyone!
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December 17, 2012 11:39:30 PM

Best answer selected by mandolinfan.
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