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Looking to upgade gaming rig

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August 23, 2012 5:01:47 PM

I have a prebuilt computer and am lookin to try and make it run a bit quicker. I listed the information about it below. I believe my issue may be the graphics card but I honestly do not know anything about computers, so please bear with me.

I want to be able to do more with my desktop. I play World of Warcraft and usually can't even run it on medium settings and get over 15fps. I would really like to slowly start upgrading what I own to be able to possibly run better settings when the new expansion comes out. My budget is small so I would rather just buy one or two things at a time and eventually get the whole system to run my game better. The only other game I ever play is The Sims 2 and 3. I also own Diablo 3 but don't really play it... Need any more info just ask. Thank you in advance

iBUYPOWER Gamer Power PC, WA910i:

Key Features and Benefits:

•Intel Core i3-550 processor
3.20GHz, 4MB Cache

•4GB DDR3 system memory
Gives you the power to handle the most power-hungry applications and tons of multimedia work

•1TB SATA II hard drive
Store 666,000 photos, 285,000 songs or 526 hours of HD video and more

•24x multi-format dual-layer DVD burner
Watch DVD movies on your computer; read and write CDs and DVDs in multiple formats

•10/100/1000 Ethernet
Connect to a broadband modem or a wired broadband router with wired Ethernet

•ATI Radeon HD 5450 graphics
With 512MB dedicated graphics memory

WA910i iBUYPOWER Gamer Power PC with Intel Core i3-550 Additional Features:
•8 x USB 2.0 ports, 2 x PS/2 ports, 1 x D-Sub port, 1 x DVI port, 1 x RJ-45 Ethernet port, 3 x audio jacks
•1 x PCI Express x16 slot, 1 x PCI Express x1 slot, 2 x PCI slots; 4 x external 5.25" drive bays, 5 x internal 3.5" drive bays
•8-channel high-quality audio
•Echo Gaming Tower chassis

Software:
•Genuine Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit Edition

More about : upgade gaming rig

August 23, 2012 5:34:44 PM

Your HD5450 is definitely your biggest (but not the only) problem, and upgrading that would help, but you definitely want to start exploring the feasibility of a new system, the clarkdale socket that your i3-550 uses is a dead socket so you won't be upgrading the cpu without also changing the mobo.

You should check out options like this article http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-pc-overclock...

Or, better yet, use the template stickied at the top of these forums giving your budget for suggestions.
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August 23, 2012 7:37:21 PM

yeah the hd5450 is terrible even at 720p.. hd6670 at the very least is the way to go..
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August 28, 2012 3:40:22 PM

So if I were to upgrade my hd 5450 what would be some good options? I see mohit9260 recommends the hd6670 as an option for me. Any way I could get a couple card options to consider between? Also is there anything else I will need to purchase when I buy the card? I know I will have to find a step by step guide to walk me through how to switch it when the time comes for that. I really know nothing about this and would hate to buy a card that isn't compatible or my system just can't handle or something.

Also I'm sure this will sound dumb but I'm not really sure what the socket is. It sounds like it will be a more expensive replacement than I am looking to do at the moment but if you would give me a little more information I can use it in the future.

Thanks guys!
(and sorry for my late response back!)
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August 29, 2012 12:09:07 AM

Do you see your power supply wattage anywhere ? This ref gives different answers. http://answers.walmart.com/answers/1336/product/1526186...

To find power supply wattage open case. Look at the power supply (metal cube that wall cord plugs into). It will have a sticker that says wattage.

Hd6670 was suggested becuase it will run off the 75W in the PCie slot so no need to change power supplies. It is a strong card. It costs $75 (cheap for the performance).

A Stronger card that also will run without external power is the HD7750. It uses less power than the HD6670 but costs more.

If you truly have a 480W PSU (as two sorces say) or a 350W PSU (as one source says) then you can get a stronger card than the HD7750 without upgrading your power supply.

Here is a video card ref: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car... Look at teh table on the last page and you can see the relative performance of your HD5450. The HD5450 is a home theater card really, not a gaming card.

p.s. if you buy and swap video cards there is a trick to removing the old video card. There is a catch under the card at the end of the PCIe slot holding the card. You need to puch the catch to one side while you lift the card. If you have to tug the card STOP, you haven't released the catch. Looking at your new card may help you see how the catch works.

edit: I would not replace anything else in your system. Your CPU is OK, your 4GB memory is enough. Your disk is large enough. Just put in new video and see if you can game the way you'd like. You should see a huge improvement in gaming FPS and video quality.
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August 30, 2012 4:25:00 AM

Also thank you for the tip for changing my card! That'll definitely help when it comes time for that. The most I've ever done is opening the case so I really have no clue about this stuff!
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August 30, 2012 4:25:41 AM

I checked and I do have a 480 watt power supply. I might be able to spend up to $200 If it would greatly impact my gaming. I went to new egg and looked at both cards you suggested there and the hd 7750 has quite a few different ones listed. Like there is multiple sapphire cards, asus, HIS, and more. I don't know which would be the one i should go with in that part either...
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August 30, 2012 4:41:58 AM

forget about buying a prebuilt computer, look at the builds in my signature.
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August 30, 2012 11:27:44 PM

canddnavy said:
I checked and I do have a 480 watt power supply. I might be able to spend up to $200 If it would greatly impact my gaming. I went to new egg and looked at both cards you suggested there and the hd 7750 has quite a few different ones listed. Like there is multiple sapphire cards, asus, HIS, and more. I don't know which would be the one i should go with in that part either...



Excellent. 480W PSU gives you all the power you need for any video card that costs $200 or less.

This is a really good ref (repeating the one from above): http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...

If you are looking at up to $200 then you are looking at getting a stellar video card.

This HD7850 is exactly $200, free shipping, and is an outstanding gaming card. Entirely different class of card than the $100 low power cards like 7750, 6670, etc. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... HUGE impact on your gaming.

At a slightly lower price, look at 6870 or gtx560... At a mainstream price HD7770.
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September 3, 2012 5:40:06 PM

Thank you so much tsnor! I assume the HIS brand of the 7850 would be a good one to buy? (it's the one you linked, and I have no idea which brands are better than the other...) I think I will go ahead and get the hd7850 so I won't have to worry about upgrading again for a while!
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September 4, 2012 2:05:09 AM

Hi, many companies use the 'reference design' makign them all the same (and all pretty good). Sometimes companies do their own design -- either different cooling or different card or both. MSI built their own design for "MSI R7850 Twin Frozr" ref'd above and it came out nicely (cooler and quieter I think) but they charge extra for it.

Suggest you read reviews and pick one. I know nothing special about the HIS card I linked except the price, it was cheapest card at the time that had OK feedback.
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September 4, 2012 4:49:17 AM

the HD6870 is also a good option .. cheaper than 7850 but a little lower performance if your ok with it..
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September 4, 2012 5:49:35 AM

but if he has a lower resolution monitor which is.usually the case with pre built pc then he wont really need the extra performance of 7850. plus he also would need to upgrade his psu. so that would increase his budget. so 6870+psu is better
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September 7, 2012 5:00:37 PM

The psu in my computer is Casegears Black Steel 480w. Now I just want to be sure it will be enough for the hd 7850. Now that I've looked at this card, I really want it. It seems like it would run my game quite well. So I am really hoping the power supply will be good enough for that card? I've looked up some direcions for changing the power supply out and it looks a bit complicated. I don't want to mess up my computer... Plus I don't really want to spend money for both the card and a new power supply, the card is already at my max budget.

Also the monitor I use is an AOC 24" Widescreen LCD Monitor, 1920 x 1080, 60Hz, 5ms.

Hope that helps
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September 7, 2012 6:07:39 PM

480w is plenty, the 7850's don't draw near as much as the older cards, but that particular psu - well it's nice that its lasted this long.....

Changing a psu is not that bad and you can pick up a quality seasonic, corsair, or such for around $75, I would recommend changing it out. Personally I wouldn't run that nice new card on a cheap psu.
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September 7, 2012 8:25:44 PM

If I were to go ahead and get this card and replace the psu in a couple months do you think it would be fine? I have only had the computer since Feb of last year... I've never updated anything in it and I'm really not very tech savvy so changing the psu will be a daunting task for me... I really want to get the card and get my computer running before the new expansion to WoW comes out (9/25). But I don't have the budget for this card and a psu at the moment...


It's really not as bad to change out as it looks though? I just saw how people were saying to be sure and disharge it so it won't fry my motherboard and all that type thing... I may just be worrying over nothing but I know I don't have the money for a whole new computer if I do screw things up lol
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