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Do i really need to replace my whole computer?

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Last response: in PC Gaming
December 10, 2012 9:28:39 AM

Hi, I' hoping that someone can shed light on what I really need to purchase in order to achieve my goal, Which is to have the ability to play some generally newer games well enough to not find my self feeling handicapped by frame rates.

In the Past ive played World of Warcraft, More recently Guild wars 2 and Starcraft 2. Some offline Beautiful games like The Witcher 2 and Skyrim, In all these games as the graphics get better im noticing my System falling behind but never enough that i cant tweak or find a way to bring them back up to 60 Frames per Second. Until Battlefield 3,

My system is:
Windows 8 64bit
Asus m3n78-em
AMD Phenom IIx4 955BE
8gb GSkill DDR2 800 ram
EVGA GTX260 GPU
Corsair 650w PSU

If there more Parts that are relevant i can find out what they are.

I feel like the wall i keep running into is DX11, Some of the games above allow you to select dx9/10-11 in game when your adjusting video settings. And almost consistently when i select DX11 as the option I fall below 10 fps, irrelevant of my resolution or any other settings i lower or raise, and i find that when i avoid using DX11 as an option i can have Medium/High some cases Ultra settings without coming away from 59-60-61 FPS almost reaching 100 FPS without Vertical Sync enabled. So unless I'm Missing something, my system is not new obviously but also not Weak either just outdated.

But Recently I tried to play Battlefield 3 and i found that The ability to Choose DX11 over 10 or 9 was not available.
With the Settings on Medium where i can choose it and high on textures, SSAO enabled and the settings refering to filtering above SSAO turned to 1x or off. I can get 35-40 FPS in campaign but when i go into multiplayer where i want to be i fall into 12-17 fps, Completely destroying my ability to enjoy the game, And im sure it dips lower its just 12-17 when im checking.

I have OverClocked the GTX 260 to 666 clock and 1150 memory to achieve this. Dropping all settings to low or putting them to high does not seem to have any effect on the frame rates lower or higher. Except Shadows Shadows needs to be on low or it brings me below 7 FPS.

Normally i would just buy a new machine and save the time thinking about it, choosing a machine is fun anyways, but i need to buy a Notebook for my Fiance this time around for photography. I cant just go drop 2000 Dollars on a gaming tower.

So, I basicly need to know, If i can buy a new Graphics card and make it last 6 more months till i build a all new one. or will i be swapping out the Motherboard anyways to be accomodating a Graphics Card worth having for Battlefield 3 and all other DX11 Games. My reason for focusing on the GPU is that mine only has support for DX10.

Please help and thanks for reading.

More about : replace computer

December 10, 2012 9:43:38 AM

I would say you don't need to upgrade the whole thing, just the GPU. What are you looking to spend for just a graphics card?
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December 10, 2012 10:12:18 AM

mi1ez said:
I would say you don't need to upgrade the whole thing, just the GPU. What are you looking to spend for just a graphics card?


since im planning on replacing the entire system next year some time, id like to spend as much as i need to to not feel hiccups at least on medium settings for BF3 and Starcarft 2 : Heart of the Swarm.

Ill probably turn away from the games for a while if its going to cost me more then 200 bucks

I guess as long as my mainboard doesnt get in the way of choosing any Graphics cards, I just need to know where the line is for an overkill graphics card. I want to buy one that gets the job done well but not perfectly. Ill buy the Beastly parts next year
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December 10, 2012 10:17:52 AM

you could add a gpu in the short term but nothing more than a gtx 560ti if you dont want to bottleneck in some games.
but in reality your more than likely gonna be forced to upgrade the cpu when the new consoles arrive.
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December 10, 2012 10:23:20 AM

A few thoughts.

The Phenom II x4 955BE is actually an AM3 processor and will support DDR3 ram, however this won't really give you any better performance thatn what you have.
The current FX processors are hardly any better than what you have, if you want better you'll need to switch to intel.
Your biggest bottleneck right now is your graphics card, the GTX260 is a DX10 card and does not support DX11, it's also the midrange of a series of card from about 3years ago. The current equivalent, which also supports DX11, would be the GTX650Ti/GTX660.
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December 10, 2012 10:30:19 AM

All those games are CPU bound.
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December 10, 2012 10:36:59 AM

pauls3743 said:
A few thoughts.

The Phenom II x4 955BE is actually an AM3 processor and will support DDR3 ram, however this won't really give you any better performance thatn what you have.
The current FX processors are hardly any better than what you have, if you want better you'll need to switch to intel.
Your biggest bottleneck right now is your graphics card, the GTX260 is a DX10 card and does not support DX11, it's also the midrange of a series of card from about 3years ago. The current equivalent, which also supports DX11, would be the GTX650Ti/GTX660.


That Makes sense,

Im looking at these 2 cards here ASUS GeForce GTX 660 OC DirectCU 1020MHZ 2GB 6.0GHZ GDDR5 @ $215
and EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Fermi 850MHZ 1024MB Superclocked GDDR5 @ $210 on sale near me for 160

I was thinking maybe i should just go for the newer card now, and carry it over into my build next year. But the above post suggested that i could bottleneck my CPU, does that have a negative affect on the computer or will the CPU just be holding my GPU at a certain Threshold.
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December 10, 2012 10:51:03 AM

Scott_D_Bowen said:
All those games are CPU bound.


Meaning that you think im wasting time tring to upgrade the GPU before replacing the CPU and Motherboard?
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December 10, 2012 11:39:19 AM

What is the clock on your CPU. I found overlcocking my quad core from 2.4 GHz to 3.0 Ghz doubled my BF3 multiplayer frame rate. I suspect you could probably get by if you overclock your CPU and buy a new GPU along the lines of the 560ti mentioned above.
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December 10, 2012 11:59:56 AM

OllieUK said:
What is the clock on your CPU. I found overlcocking my quad core from 2.4 GHz to 3.0 Ghz doubled my BF3 multiplayer frame rate. I suspect you could probably get by if you overclock your CPU and buy a new GPU along the lines of the 560ti mentioned above.


3.2 Ghz, Ive done nothing to it.
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December 10, 2012 12:38:57 PM

pauls3743 said:
A few thoughts.

The Phenom II x4 955BE is actually an AM3 processor and will support DDR3 ram, however this won't really give you any better performance thatn what you have.
The current FX processors are hardly any better than what you have, if you want better you'll need to switch to intel.
Your biggest bottleneck right now is your graphics card, the GTX260 is a DX10 card and does not support DX11, it's also the midrange of a series of card from about 3years ago. The current equivalent, which also supports DX11, would be the GTX650Ti/GTX660.


+1 to the RAM/CPU comments. The GTX260 is neck-to-neck with my card though (4870), which is much closer to a GTX650 or HD7750. The GTX660 is a hugely more capable card, not far off GTX580 performance.
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December 10, 2012 1:27:43 PM

OC YOUR CPU FIRST<<<<<<

it costs nothing and should impact your performance greatly.
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December 10, 2012 10:03:15 PM

The AMD Radeon 7850 is cheap now too.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It will be about the same as the others, maybe just a little less. It is cheaper though, and with overclocking it would be faster. (Though you could overclock the others too, and make them faster.)

EDIT: It is more powerful than the 560, slightly less than the 660.
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Best solution

December 11, 2012 10:28:38 AM

Looking at the 2010 CPU benchmarks here on Toms your CPU is stronger than mine (at stock speeds) and mine will run BF3 ok when paired with a decent GPU. I probably don't get 60FPS but I reckon I'm consistently over 30 at 1080p on high settings. I think I'm CPU limited as to how far I can push my CPU with the stock cooler. 3Ghz is as far as I've got and above that was giving me stability issues rather than heat issues and I didn't spend the time trying to dial it in as 3 was enough for me.

If it were me I'd probably just go for a new GPU and see how that runs, maybe overclock the CPU if it needed more. What GPU to get? Depends on whether you have a preference for AMD vs NVidia, how much you want to spend and how long you want to keep it for.

Bottlenecking won't have a negative impact. Just means that you wont get the performance that you've paid for from your GPU. Every game is different, the ones that are CPU bound will tend to bottleneck your GPU quicker. No sense in buying a £300 card if your CPU will only run it at the same speed that a £150 card would for example if you're not planning to upgrade. However if you're upgrading next year anyway no sense in buying a £150 card now to avoid bottlenecking then a £300 card in 6 months time and spending £450 overall.

EDIT: Of course there's always the option of buying one GPU now, then when you upgrade buy another of the same and go for an SLI / Xfire solution.. Soo many options..
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December 14, 2012 6:01:44 AM

Best answer selected by Mortiferousone.
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