How do you figure out upgrade recommendations...

This was a bit of a (not quite) weekend project: an upgrade recommendation engine based on your current system config and what you do with it. And make it brain-dead simple.

Getting the config and activity info wasn't too bad.

But figuring out the recommendations is (not surprisingly) a bit of a challenge. I've got a first pass based on some basics but I'm sure I'm missing a bit just because there's a lot to consider.

So I do want to ask what do you take into consideration for getting a new graphics card?

There's the whole what's actually compatible including
Can the system actually take the form factor?
Do I have a big enough power supply?

Then there's will it do what I want?
What games, resolution and detail can I/do I want to run at?
Is there anything else that'll hold be back like the CPU?

And let's throw in what's my budget/is it worth it?

What obvious things have I left out? (I know I'll keep on coming up with one more thing to think about if I spend any little bit of time)

If you're interested in seeing what I've done, the minimum functional version is up and running over at The beta access code is 7fb9ff21

It's a "beta" since I'm currently in the middle of collecting out some data (parts, various compatibility considerations, matching process names to apps/games, etc.) and a combination of tweaking and rewriting how I figure out what to recommend. So anyone who's using it should expect a few bumps with the site.

I'm also trying to get more system data. Seeing what runs on what will also make it easier to make recommendations.

Also any feedback or suggestions about the way I've set up to collect the info (a small app that runs in the background) or what I show on the site is appreciated. The plan (and you can hold me to it) is to keep the site and any supporting programs free to use and absolutely non-spammy.
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More about figure upgrade recommendations
  1. I would be seriously worried about liability issues on this one
    make sure you have a strong disclaimer and possibly waiver
    in place

    also dont forget the DX11 factor
    cards like my HD 5670 are great with DX9 and Dx10
    but get brought to their knees with DX11

    this past generation of GPUs is the first to enable DX11
    and some of the DX11 cards out there are really minimal for the job
  2. Thanks for the reminder about putting in place a disclaimer/waiver.

    And yes, I'll need to figure out how to tie in DX11. Knew there was something obvious...
  3. be careful with PSU recommendations
    stick with what Nvidia/Ati recommends on their sites
    some of the PSU wattage they recommend is way overboard
    but for a reason
    for example I have a HD 5670 on a 280w Dell PSU
    which works great
    but if I remember right ATI recommends 400w
    it is well known that the HD 5670 will run on GOOD PSUs as low as 250w
    but you wouldnt want to recommend anything other than what ATI and Nvidia recommend unless you disclaim it

    as far as DX11 all of the HD 5xxx series are DX11 but most of them can barely run it
    and only at lowered settings
    so that will be tricky
  4. A lot of it is simply educated guesses from experience and having seen newegg stock recently. I honestly could not tell you exactly how i make suggestions.

    A lot of it is what they plan to use it for and at what resolution and what their budget is, for the most part with modern CPUs they arent going to get limited that much by the CPU so i tend not to consider that much. Budget and resolution automatically define the range of cards that one should be looking at in my opinion.
  5. Thanks.

    It's amazing all the things that you already process beforehand but don't know about. Which makes it a bit tricky and challenging. (I also don't have enough data to do an Amazon or Netflix style rec that goes because you have/liked this, you should look at this... Maybe at some point)

    The first things are to at least cut the list of things down based on the compatibility and budget constraints. And then sort out that list based on any available benchmark data. I'll need to enter in all that data and see how it goes...

    I'm planning on presenting the top recommendations and showing links to reviews, discussions, etc. that are meaningful. Still need to all the disclaimers but at least give them ways of helping them make up their own minds.
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