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Need help upgrading my gaming PC

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November 5, 2011 9:28:05 PM

Hey,

So I'm planning on upgrading my pc and I would love some help and tips from you guys.

OS Windows 7 ultimate 32 bit
Processor: intel (r) core (tm) i7 cpu 920 @ 2.67 ghz (8cpus), ~2.7ghz
Ram: 4096MB ram
video card: geforce GTX 260
Memory: 500GB

Please note, I totally suck at computer hardware and stuff. But I thought that I'd rather ask people who know about this and are not financially involved (I.E the guy from the it store around the block)

I've asked this same question on another forum and they suggested that I'd get a 128GB SDD.

But as there were no real "gamers" there, they couldn't really help further.

So I would absolutely love some feedback about my current system and where I should improve if I wish to play future high demanding games (diablo III :>>>) on high graphic settings with good flowing FPS.


Thanks in advance!

More about : upgrading gaming

November 5, 2011 9:32:17 PM

That is good, the 920 is roughly comparable to the lower i5 Sandy Bridge, so that needs no upgrading. An SSD would improve workflow for heavy rendering and the like but if you're a gamer an SSD only improves level loads. The graphics card is a massive bottleneck, I'd severely recommend getting at least a GTX 560 Ti/570 or 6870/6950 and getting higher clocked RAM at 8 gbs. Check your RAM usage though- if it doesn't normally go above 50% when you're not gaming, you don't need to upgrade. Your graphics is the main thing.
November 5, 2011 10:01:20 PM

Thanks for the info :) 
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November 5, 2011 10:09:56 PM

All you need is a GPU upgrade as deathofzero said
a b B Homebuilt system
November 5, 2011 10:12:59 PM

Don't buy a 2x4GB set. The 1366 has triple channel RAM so you want to buy a third 2GB stick matching your current ones. After that a HD6950.
November 5, 2011 10:37:03 PM

FinneousPJ said:
Don't buy a 2x4GB set. The 1366 has triple channel RAM so you want to buy a third 2GB stick matching your current ones. After that a HD6950.


Alright, so I Just pop open my pc and look at my rams, and just buy a matching 2gb stick? And what about the gtx 570, or would you say that the price difference isn't worth the performance?

(Thanks for your help btw :sol:  )
a c 84 B Homebuilt system
November 5, 2011 11:04:17 PM

1) Gaming performance is largely driven by the power of the graphics card. In this case, an upgrade from a GTX260 would be worthwhile. If you upgrade the card, make it a significant jump, or you may be disappointed. Something like a GTX560ti or GTX570.

2) A stronger graphics card may need a stronger psu.
Here is what EVGA recommends for their graphics cards:

GTX550ti needs 400w with 24a on the 12v rails plus one 6-pin PCI-E power lead.

GTX560 needs 450w with 24a on the 12v rails plus two 6-pin PCI-E power leads.

GTX560Ti needs 500w with 30a on the 12v rails plus two 6-pin PCI-E power leads.

GTX570 needs 550w with 38a on the 12v rails plus two 6-pin PCI-E power leads.

GTX580 needs 600w with 42a on the 12v rails plus one 6-pin and one 8-pin PCI-E power lead.

GTX590 needs 700w with 50a on the 12v rails plus two 8-pin PCI-E power leads or 4 6-pin power leads.

3) No game I know of requires more than 2gb, possibly 3gb. Unless you are doing heavy multitasking, you do not require more.
I find it strange that you have 4gb on a i7-920 based motherboard. As a rule, those motherboards will have 6 ram slots, and be populated with 6gb of ram. Possibly, you are using a 32 bit os which can only address 4gb.
To verify what you have, download and run cpu-z. It will identify your motherboard, and your ram.

The i7-920 has an excellent ram controller, able to keep the cpu fed from any speed ram. No real need to change there. At issue is perhaps 1-3% real app performance. 6gb would be the sweet spot for size.

4) I love the SSD. It will make everything feel much snappier. But, there will be minimal benefit to gaming outside of initial and level loads.
120gb is a good size if you have the budget. Intel and Samsung seem to be the most reliable today.
November 6, 2011 1:12:58 AM

Hey thanks for the helpfull post, I've downloaded cpu-z. I'm not sure what info you would require (I'm may have mentioned it earlier, but I'm a big noob when it comes ot these things, hehe)
a c 84 B Homebuilt system
November 6, 2011 1:59:29 AM

BuffaloAAGent said:
Hey thanks for the helpfull post, I've downloaded cpu-z. I'm not sure what info you would require (I'm may have mentioned it earlier, but I'm a big noob when it comes ot these things, hehe)

1) Go to the spd tab, and tell us what you see for each of the ram slots.

2) On the mainboard tab, what does it say for manufacturer and model.
a b B Homebuilt system
November 6, 2011 2:29:11 AM

The 560 Ti 900Mhz would be a significant upgrade .... keep the 260 for PhysX if ya have the MoBo slot and PSU juice

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

I'm kinda confused how ya wound up w/ 4GB ona tri channel MoBo..... 32 bit OS's can only use about 3.5 GB so more RAM won't have any benefit.

As for the SSD, ....well let me put it this way.....on my son's box, if he boots off the HD (Barracuda XT), it boots in 21.2 seconds .... if he boots off the SSD (550 MBps model) , it boots in 15.6 seconds.

Not exactly anything to get excited about.
a b B Homebuilt system
November 6, 2011 3:32:40 AM

I am in agreement with most of the posts.

GTX560ti or GTX570 is a worth while upgrade. I would definitely take either over the HD6900 series as Nvidia does DX11 significantly better than AMD.
November 6, 2011 9:20:17 AM

geofelt said:
1) Go to the spd tab, and tell us what you see for each of the ram slots.

2) On the mainboard tab, what does it say for manufacturer and model.



1. memory ddr3 - 2048 MBytes - PC3 10700h (667 MHz) - kingston x2

2. Intel corporation - DX58SO - AAE29331-501
November 6, 2011 3:59:22 PM

JackNaylorPE said:
The 560 Ti 900Mhz would be a significant upgrade .... keep the 260 for PhysX if ya have the MoBo slot and PSU juice

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...


Hey thanks, but could you please explain what you mean by using my 260 for physix? So would that mean I would use two graphic cards, the new 570 as my main card and the 260 for a limited amount of task?



JackNaylorPE said:




I'm kinda confused how ya wound up w/ 4GB ona tri channel MoBo..... 32 bit OS's can only use about 3.5 GB so more RAM won't have any benefit.

.


I was foolish to go to an IT store and trust their judgement about my gaming pc :non:  so that what I wound up. Also, you suggest getting an 64 bit os?
a c 84 B Homebuilt system
November 6, 2011 4:10:51 PM

Your motherboard is a unique sort of X58 motherboard with 4 ram slots, they usually have 6. o matter, double channel operation is almost as efficient as triple. Not enough difference to worry about.

A 32 bit OS can use 4gb at the most, you actually have about 3.5gb available. So, if you want to increase your ram, you will need to change to a 64 bit version of windows 7.

Adding another one or two sticks of ram would lokely work, so long as it closely matches the existing ram in voltage, speed and latencies. If you are in doubt, you could get a 6gb or 8gb kit for about $50. Check the ram vendor's web site configurator to verify that it is supported on your motherboard.

Some games can use the physx capability of nvidia cards, but on balance it is not a big deal. You are probably better off marketing your GTX26o on e-bay and using the proceeds on a stronger graphics card.
a b B Homebuilt system
November 6, 2011 4:15:59 PM

That's weird. Regardless of the motherboard however the i7 has a triple channel memory controller, so IMO get third stick of RAM. Not that it's necessary at the moment but at least you can be certain you're getting the most out of your system and you won't have to upgrade until you change platforms altogether. I also have an i7 and don't see upgrading for a while yet, it's still so strong :D 
November 6, 2011 8:56:26 PM

geofelt said:
Your motherboard is a unique sort of X58 motherboard with 4 ram slots, they usually have 6. o matter, double channel operation is almost as efficient as triple. Not enough difference to worry about.

A 32 bit OS can use 4gb at the most, you actually have about 3.5gb available. So, if you want to increase your ram, you will need to change to a 64 bit version of windows 7.

Adding another one or two sticks of ram would lokely work, so long as it closely matches the existing ram in voltage, speed and latencies. If you are in doubt, you could get a 6gb or 8gb kit for about $50. Check the ram vendor's web site configurator to verify that it is supported on your motherboard.

Some games can use the physx capability of nvidia cards, but on balance it is not a big deal. You are probably better off marketing your GTX26o on e-bay and using the proceeds on a stronger graphics card.


Thanks for all your help :love: 
November 7, 2011 6:28:52 PM

geofelt said:
1) Gaming performance is largely driven by the power of the graphics card. In this case, an upgrade from a GTX260 would be worthwhile. If you upgrade the card, make it a significant jump, or you may be disappointed. Something like a GTX560ti or GTX570.

2) A stronger graphics card may need a stronger psu.
Here is what EVGA recommends for their graphics cards:

GTX550ti needs 400w with 24a on the 12v rails plus one 6-pin PCI-E power lead.

GTX560 needs 450w with 24a on the 12v rails plus two 6-pin PCI-E power leads.

GTX560Ti needs 500w with 30a on the 12v rails plus two 6-pin PCI-E power leads.

GTX570 needs 550w with 38a on the 12v rails plus two 6-pin PCI-E power leads.

GTX580 needs 600w with 42a on the 12v rails plus one 6-pin and one 8-pin PCI-E power lead.

GTX590 needs 700w with 50a on the 12v rails plus two 8-pin PCI-E power leads or 4 6-pin power leads.

3) No game I know of requires more than 2gb, possibly 3gb. Unless you are doing heavy multitasking, you do not require more.
I find it strange that you have 4gb on a i7-920 based motherboard. As a rule, those motherboards will have 6 ram slots, and be populated with 6gb of ram. Possibly, you are using a 32 bit os which can only address 4gb.
To verify what you have, download and run cpu-z. It will identify your motherboard, and your ram.

The i7-920 has an excellent ram controller, able to keep the cpu fed from any speed ram. No real need to change there. At issue is perhaps 1-3% real app performance. 6gb would be the sweet spot for size.

4) I love the SSD. It will make everything feel much snappier. But, there will be minimal benefit to gaming outside of initial and level loads.
120gb is a good size if you have the budget. Intel and Samsung seem to be the most reliable today.



Hmm, I went to the it store today and they guy suggested I'd get a price equivalent raedon instead of the 570 he told me it would be a better choise performance wise. Any of that true or he trying to sell me *** he has in stock rather then having to order it ;) ?
a b B Homebuilt system
November 7, 2011 6:43:47 PM

He's right the 570 isn't very good price/performance wise.
a c 84 B Homebuilt system
November 7, 2011 6:46:31 PM

BuffaloAAGent said:
Hmm, I went to the it store today and they guy suggested I'd get a price equivalent raedon instead of the 570 he told me it would be a better choise performance wise. Any of that true or he trying to sell me *** he has in stock rather then having to order it ;) ?


The graphics card market is very competitive today. At the same price point, you will get about the same performance between amd and nvidia.
Each camp has their fans. If you mostly play a certain game, then look for benchmarks using that game. Otherwise get the best card you feel comfortable paying for.

If all else is equal, I would upgrade using the same type(amd/nvidia) just to make the change easier. You won't have to change graphics drivers.

Out of curiosity, ask what two cards he is comparing, and what the price is.
!