Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Upgrade or Replace?

Last response: in Systems
Share
October 10, 2011 2:55:35 PM

Hey all

Almost a year ago now i grabbed a HP Pavilion a6750f off craigslist for supercheap, and threw in a powersupply and a GTS 450 to make a lowend gaming machine for maybe $400.

Its starting to get to the point where it noticeably struggles with newer games even on my relatively small monitor. (Witcher 2 @ 15-30 FPS on med settings)

I'm under the impression that the old quad core is the bottleneck, so what is my best option if I want more performance? Should i look into overclocking the old Phenom X4 9650? Can I get a newer CPU thats compatible with my M-7548 (Aspen) mobo? Or is it beyond upgrading, and I should just wait till I have the funds to build something completely new?

Budget is my main restriction.

More about : upgrade replace

October 10, 2011 3:07:15 PM

Hi there! Welcome to the forums.

Well, you have an interesting situation. Good deal when you bought it to be sure.
Yes, those old quads aren't real good. I don't think it's bottlenecking the GTS 450 though. Here's the situation.
-Your mobo is indeed compatible with newer processors, but will be stuck with DDR2 memory.
-your GTS 450 is rather old. Not a top of the line card, to be sure.

So, you can either drop in a new CPU and GPU and up the ram to 4GB (I assume you have 2GB right now), or just do a full upgrade. I would recommend a full internal upgrade, but you will lose the OS.
Can you fill out this form for me? Would certainly help in deciding the best route to take. http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261222-31-build-advic... Once you fill that out, we can move on.

Sorry for rambling ;) 
Cheers!
October 10, 2011 3:26:21 PM

striker410 said:
Yes, those old quads aren't real good. I don't think it's bottlenecking the GTS 450 though. Here's the situation.
-Your mobo is indeed compatible with newer processors, but will be stuck with DDR2 memory.
-your GTS 450 is rather old. Not a top of the line card, to be sure.

So, you can either drop in a new CPU and GPU and up the ram to 4GB (I assume you have 2GB right now), or just do a full upgrade. I would recommend a full internal upgrade, but you will lose the OS.
Can you fill out this form for me? Would certainly help in deciding the best route to take.
Cheers!


Hey thanks for the quick response, It actually has 8GB Ram, even from the manufacturer apparently.
I had just assumed it was the CPU because it games such as Witcher 2 I only gained about 10 FPS or so when changing from higher to lower settings.


As for the form I assume you're looking for what I'd be willing to do as far as a replacement goes? :


Budget Range: As low as possible

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Web surfing, Movies

Parts Not Required: Mouse, Keyboard, Monitor, I suppose the PSU is reusable.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg.com

Country of Origin: U.S.A.

Parts Preferences: N/A

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: 1280x1024
Related resources
October 10, 2011 3:43:55 PM

Wait, your res is 1280x1024?
Alright, here's what I want you to do.

Controlpanel-->Power-->SelectPlan (3 presets available), under selected plan
there's a radiobutton which says:
"change plan settings", click it.
You're in Plan Settings, one of the links says "Change advanced power settings".

Find the Processor settings. Limit the CPU to about 70%. Now play witcher, and see if there is a drop in performance. If there is, your CPU is the bottleneck.

Now, crank it back up to 100%. Then lower the res & details, to say 1024x768 on low. If you see a big change in FPS, your GPU is the problem.

I think that it's a GPU bottleneck though. Hard to say.

What's your PSU?
October 10, 2011 4:07:37 PM

Well, there's a large patch for Witcher 2 so I just pulled up Age of Conan.

I started at 30FPS in a city area, I then pulled up the power settings, dropped my CPU min and max power to 70% and I was still around 30FPS. Then I dropped my resolution to 1024x768 and I was still at 30FPS. This confused the hell out of me, so I exited AOC, tried dropping the CPU power to 50%, logged back in, and I'm now sitting at 18 FPS.


My PSU

My GPU
October 10, 2011 4:10:35 PM

Also changing in game settings from High to Low preset only gained me 4 FPS
October 10, 2011 5:12:09 PM

huh..... This is odd. I honestly don't know what to make of it! The fact that you dropped your CPU power down to 70% and it didn't change suggests a GPU bottleneck. Yet, the when you lowered the res & details but saw no change, it suggests a CPU bottleneck! I'll do some research.
October 10, 2011 5:29:40 PM

striker410 said:
huh..... This is odd. I honestly don't know what to make of it! The fact that you dropped your CPU power down to 70% and it didn't change suggests a GPU bottleneck. Yet, the when you lowered the res & details but saw no change, it suggests a CPU bottleneck! I'll do some research.


I appreciate it, I'm confused myself... which is why I'm posting here i suppose
October 11, 2011 8:33:36 PM

Yeah, I honestly haven't dug anything up. I would guess it's some CPU limiter. If it's possible for you, do a clean OS install. That might fix whatever's going wrong.
Sometimes, files go bad. Nobody knows why, but I just performed a clean install on a laptop that would freeze whenever it was under load, and the problem went away without a trace!
October 11, 2011 8:41:29 PM

AoC is an awfully taxing game.

Have you exited all other programs for these tests?
October 11, 2011 9:17:46 PM

striker410 said:
Yeah, I honestly haven't dug anything up. I would guess it's some CPU limiter. If it's possible for you, do a clean OS install. That might fix whatever's going wrong.
Sometimes, files go bad. Nobody knows why, but I just performed a clean install on a laptop that would freeze whenever it was under load, and the problem went away without a trace!


CPU limiter? Also I've never done a clean OS install and don't really know how, but is it really necessary here? I'm not having issues or errors, its just lacking in performance somehow. I just want to know how best to upgrade this old PC, or if its better for me to just save up some cash and replace it.
October 11, 2011 9:21:30 PM

Proximon said:
AoC is an awfully taxing game.

Have you exited all other programs for these tests?



I had steam and Firefox running for all the tests, the point of the tests he suggested were just to determine what the bottleneck on my PC was. The main thing that seems to gain me FPS is reducing view distance, changing the graphic detail from low to high did almost nothing, same as changing the resolution. Doesn't view distance relate to the amount of stuff my CPU has to process?
October 11, 2011 9:59:35 PM

Maybe you're running out of VRAM/bandwidth. It's a low end card.
!