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Part replacement for gaming improvement

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August 13, 2010 3:23:44 AM

Hey guys, I have a simple question. I'm lookling to get better fps in SC2 in 3v3 4v4 matches(it can dip to 6-7fps with mass units) but I am on a budget for around $350 for part replacements until D3 comes out in the future(don't want to spend more)

So if I replace the following :

- Old school ECS MCP61PM-GM AM2 mATX Motherboard --WITH-- ECS H55H-M2 LGA 1156 Intel H55 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

- Amd Phenom quad core 9500 2.2gz --WITH-- Intel Core i3-540 Clarkdale 3.06GHz

- low end 3x1gb Kingston ram --WITH-- G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666)

Can I see a significant improvement in FPS while still running decent detail (High + ) etc? My current card is a Ati Radeon 4850 on a 1920x1080 resolution



Btw, these upgrades are from newegg.ca , I'm sorry but direct links are not working on this post for some reason
a b B Homebuilt system
August 13, 2010 4:00:13 AM

Are you limited to an mATX motherboard by your case? Have you been monitoring your CPU to see if it's 100% busy, or are you just guessing? In a vacuum, it's really hard to say whether it's your CPU or GPU. Do you get better performance if you turn down the resolution? Or does the performance stay the same? What about if you turn the details down to low? Better or the same?

If you're set on replacing your CPU/Mobo/RAM, you might get better value with a Phenom II or Athlon II.

Unless you're planning to overclock a ton, the i3-540 doesn't appear to be significantly different from the Phenom II X4 965 (or a 955 with its multiplier upped by one). http://www.techspot.com/review/305-starcraft2-performan... -- even a Phenom II X2 555 has basically the same fps as the i3-540, and it's $25 cheaper.

At any rate, I would certainly expect to see some improvement, if nothing else, just from going to 2.2 GHz to 3.06 GHz should have some effect on your gaming.

Possible alternative build:
CPU - AMD Phenom II X4 955 - $160
Mobo - MSI 890GXM-G65 mATX mobo - $120 ($110 after MIR, free shipping)

or
CPU/Mobo combo - Asus M488TD-M/USB3 mATX mobo & Phenom II X4 955 - $245

and either way,
RAM - Mushkin Silverline 1600 MHz CL7 4 GB kit - $98 + $3 shipping

Or replace the Phenom II X4 with an Athlon II X3 for $75.

Without the combo, it's a little over your budget, but you'd be set for quite a while.

Sorry, just noticed the newegg.ca part. Prices shouldn't be too much more compared to newegg.com. (A little more, yes.)
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August 13, 2010 4:14:23 AM

hey guys thanks for the great replys so far. To answer some of the questions...

-I did already dust out my cpu and gpu and all of that.
-I also have a full tower and I don't believe I am limited to matx boards only, I kind of just picked what I thought fit for the price range I had in mind
-My fps seems to stay about the same even if I lower resolution, it has always kind of been like that with this build.

In my personal experience I believe my cpu and crappy mobo along with ram bottleknecks my 4850, but I am by no means a pc wiz.

My final question just comes down to whether these replacements will severely help with fps and withstand mass units better to the point where I don't dip to under 10 fps OR is it not worth even making this upgrade.
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a b B Homebuilt system
August 13, 2010 4:25:23 AM

It's really hard to say without more info. You could try downloading FRAPS or some similar program to verify your fps.

Run a game or two in each of the following configurations:
1) Low resolution (1280x1024 or so), with details cranked up to Ultra
2) High resolution (1920x1080, right?), with details all the way down

If your fps continues to stay low in config 1, upgrading your CPU should be the first step. If it goes up, consider upgrading the GPU, but check config 2.

If your fps goes up in config 2, upgrading your GPU should be the first step, and $350 should buy you a pretty decent GPU. If it stays low, upgrade the CPU.
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August 13, 2010 4:28:51 AM

Thanks for the quick replys man, very much appreciated, I will try what you stated. I just kind of figured the parts I was planning to sub were complete garbage as I bought them with a barebone kit back in the day and from sc2 requirements a 4850 should have done me well in those settings, but none the less I will go give that a try right now.

Another reason I was kind of replacing the parts I mentioned was to leave the others behind for make another pc for the family.
I will be back with a reply shortly though, thanks again.
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August 13, 2010 4:28:58 AM

Best answer selected by ushy86.
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August 13, 2010 4:30:27 AM

Shux, i didn't think "BEST ANSWER" would make it SOLVED as it is not >_<
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a b B Homebuilt system
August 13, 2010 4:37:44 AM

No worries. I'll continue to monitor this thread, hopefully others will too. Or you're welcome to post another therad.
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August 13, 2010 4:48:07 AM

Snazzy! Alright, so it seems the dips happen regardless if Im playing on 1280x1024 ULTRA settings or 1920x1080 LOW, the first noticeable dip was when units from opposing team came in our base on ULTRA 1280x1024, BUT obviously the starting fps is better at LOW graphics MAX resolution over ULTRA and 1280x1024.I just don't want to make a purchase to only regret it not playing to my standards. Is there anything else I can do to help verify where the issue is?
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a c 113 B Homebuilt system
August 13, 2010 6:22:06 AM

In a strategy game, when the number of units dictate performance, it's usually a CPU bottleneck.

This is why you want a quad core CPU, as the number of simultaneous threads being executed will impact performance directly.

This can easily be seen because the number of units IN VIEW is not an issue. It's the total number on the entire playing field that causes the slows.
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August 13, 2010 6:47:37 AM

Proximon said:
In a strategy game, when the number of units dictate performance, it's usually a CPU bottleneck.

This is why you want a quad core CPU, as the number of simultaneous threads being executed will impact performance directly.

This can easily be seen because the number of units IN VIEW is not an issue. It's the total number on the entire playing field that causes the slows.



Hmmm, so what would you recommend ? Still what you have posted up above or maybe even what cold suggested.
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August 13, 2010 7:30:15 AM

the links don't seem to work but i found the cpu and mobo, how about the ram though ?
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a c 113 B Homebuilt system
August 13, 2010 7:47:51 AM

Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model 996677

Item#:N82E16820226135

CL7

--- The Silverline that coldsleep linked is actually 7-10-10-24... and I'm not too sure about performance there. Would have to see the comparison.
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a c 113 B Homebuilt system
August 13, 2010 7:59:14 AM

New info- the SC2 game is not multi-threaded after all, only the video drivers.

Very large games will lag regardless looks like. The evidence does suggest good performance with the X4 945 though:
http://www.pcgameshardware.com/aid,705392/Starcraft-2-B...

If you wanted to use the money elsewhere perhaps this combo would do almost as well:
X2 555
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Asus 880G board
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
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a b B Homebuilt system
August 13, 2010 3:20:33 PM

Yeah, the Silverlines don't have the best timings, but they are theoretically among the cheapest 1600 MHz CL7 RAM. Was just trying to save a few bucks there. Ripjaws should only be a few $ more.

SC2 is apparently only dual-core capable, which makes sense from a "sell-as-many-copies-as-possible" standpoint, but it is unfortunate that it doesn't grab more cores if available.

Maybe split the difference and get a fast X3? The 3.1 GHz Athlon II X3 445 is actually cheaper than the 3.0 GHz version at the moment, and it appears to be the newer, lower-wattage version.
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a c 113 B Homebuilt system
August 13, 2010 5:33:50 PM

coldsleep said:

Maybe split the difference and get a fast X3? The 3.1 GHz Athlon II X3 445 is actually cheaper than the 3.0 GHz version at the moment, and it appears to be the newer, lower-wattage version.


That's another good option. I guess it just depends on how much it's only for SC2.

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