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Games have to run on Low Settings...what upgrade is needed most

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October 13, 2012 3:18:25 PM

Hi everyone, I would consider myself a slightly higher than casual gamer. I've noticed that I need to run any of the more recent titles at pretty much the lowest graphics settings (Things like D3, Anno 2070, Mechwarrior Online etc.)

So i figure it must be time to upgrade. I was wondering if you could provide some input on what I should be upgrading. Is it just a matter of a sub-pay graphics card? I've been doing some reading and it seems like the VIDIA GeForce GTX 570 might be a good choice, and there was some AMD equivalent but the name escapes me. Is there a such thing as going overboard on a graphics card? Here's a list of my specs to get us started.

OS Version: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium
System RAM: 8191 MB
CPU Name: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU Q8300 @ 2.50GHz
CPU Speeds: 2499
Physical CPUs: 1
Virtual CPUs: 4
Video Card Description: NVIDIA GeForce G210
VRAM: 512 MB
Primary Display Resolution: 1920x1080
Multi-Monitor Desktop Resolution: 1920x1080
Microphone: False
Language: English (United States)
Free Hard Drive Space: 425847 MB
Total Hard Drive Space: 702212 MB
Windows Experience Index Rating: 4.7
a b U Graphics card
October 13, 2012 3:25:05 PM

Jeez, I'm surprised you can play any games with that GPU. So...um yeah, upgrade the GPU and if you plan on getting a GTX570 or equivalent, plan on upgrading your CPU, too.
October 13, 2012 3:28:11 PM

Thank you for such a quick reply and getting this discussion started. I really didn't think my CPU was so out of date. Any recommendations?
Related resources
October 13, 2012 3:29:07 PM

Upgrade you cpu. Some people say the GeForce GTX 550 ti is only good for playing mid quality games, But it can run Battlefield 3 on ultra with 30-40 fps (you may need to turn AA off) heres a link if you wanna see the card in action

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPddsNUHG_M
October 13, 2012 3:29:28 PM

Also, what motherboard do you have?
a c 216 U Graphics card
October 13, 2012 3:35:03 PM

mastermoirich said:
Thank you for such a quick reply and getting this discussion started. I really didn't think my CPU was so out of date. Any recommendations?


Your CPU is just as out of date as your GPU, but your CPU used to be pretty good and can still be used to game to some extent. However, your GPU was never meant for gaming, even when brand new.
October 13, 2012 3:38:50 PM

Cpu is fine. Not the fastest, but it should be fine. Your running one of the worst NVidia cards (x10 = worst of the series), though.
October 13, 2012 3:45:11 PM

I really appreciate all the responses. My technical knowledge is fairly low...so i ran belarc advisor

Operating System new – server roles System Model
Windows 7 Home Premium (x64) Service Pack 1 (build 7601)
Install Language: English (United States)
System Locale: English (Canada)
Installed: 25/12/2009 10:43:22 AM HP-Pavilion AU915AA-ABL p6242f
System Serial Number: MXX940008X
Asset Tag: Asset-1234
Enclosure Type: Desktop
Processor a Main Circuit Board b
2.50 gigahertz Intel Core2 Quad
64 kilobyte primary memory cache
2048 kilobyte secondary memory cache
64-bit ready
Multi-core (4 total)
Not hyper-threaded Board: PEGATRON CORPORATION Eureka3 1.02
Serial Number: 101364380002498
Bus Clock: 1333 megahertz
BIOS: American Megatrends Inc. 5.10 09/07/2009
new USB Storage Use in past 30 Days (mouse over last used for details) new Hosted Virtual Machines (mouse over name for details)
Last Used
Generic- Compact Flash -- drive 3, s/n 058F63626476, rev 1.01 11/10/2012 3:22:36 AM
Generic- MS/MS-Pro -- drive 5, s/n 058F63626476, rev 1.03 11/10/2012 3:22:36 AM
Generic- SD/MMC -- drive 2, s/n 058F63626476, rev 1.00 11/10/2012 3:22:36 AM
Generic- SM/xD-Picture -- drive 4, s/n 058F63626476, rev 1.02 11/10/2012 3:22:36 AM
KODAK SD/MMC card -- drive 1, rev 1.00 11/10/2012 3:22:35 AM None discovered
Drives new – drive encryption Memory Modules c,d
750.05 Gigabytes Usable Hard Drive Capacity
448.98 Gigabytes Hard Drive Free Space

TSSTcorp CDDVDW TS-H653R ATA Device [Optical drive]

Generic- Compact Flash USB Device [Hard drive] -- drive 3
Generic- MS/MS-Pro USB Device [Hard drive] -- drive 5
Generic- SD/MMC USB Device [Hard drive] -- drive 2
Generic- SM/xD-Picture USB Device [Hard drive] -- drive 4
KODAK SD/MMC card USB Device [Hard drive] -- drive 1
ST3750528AS [Hard drive] (750.16 GB) -- drive 0, s/n 9VP1ZBQF, rev HP34, SMART Status: Healthy 8192 Megabytes Usable Installed Memory

Slot 'DIMM0' has 2048 MB
Slot 'DIMM1' has 2048 MB
Slot 'DIMM2' has 2048 MB
Slot 'DIMM3' has 2048 MB
Local Drive Volumes new – volume encryption

c: (NTFS on drive 0) * 736.32 GB 446.52 GB free
d: (NTFS on drive 0) 13.73 GB 2.46 GB free

* Operating System is installed on c:
Network Drives
None discovered
Users (mouse over user name for details) Printers
local user accounts last logon
Chloe 16/08/2012 8:34:16 AM
Rob and Amanda 11/10/2012 4:56:37 PM (admin)
UpdatusUser 11/10/2012 3:25:20 AM
local system accounts
Administrator 30/09/2009 10:52:04 AM (admin)
Guest never
HomeGroupUser$ never

Marks a disabled account; Marks a locked account

KODAK ESP 3200 Series AiO on USB001
Microsoft Shared Fax Driver on SHRFAX:
Microsoft XPS Document Writer on XPSPort:
Controllers Display
ATA Channel 0 [Controller]
ATA Channel 1 [Controller]
Intel(R) ICH10 Family 4 port Serial ATA Storage Controller 1 - 3A20 NVIDIA GeForce G210 [Display adapter]
LG W2361 [Monitor] (23.1"vis, s/n 404508, March 2009)
Bus Adapters Multimedia
Intel(R) ICH10 Family USB Enhanced Host Controller - 3A3A
Intel(R) ICH10 Family USB Enhanced Host Controller - 3A3C
Intel(R) ICH10 Family USB Universal Host Controller - 3A34
Intel(R) ICH10 Family USB Universal Host Controller - 3A35
Intel(R) ICH10 Family USB Universal Host Controller - 3A36
Intel(R) ICH10 Family USB Universal Host Controller - 3A37
Intel(R) ICH10 Family USB Universal Host Controller - 3A38
Intel(R) ICH10 Family USB Universal Host Controller - 3A39 NVIDIA High Definition Audio (4x)
Realtek High Definition Audio
a b U Graphics card
October 13, 2012 4:38:32 PM

Is this a pre-built system? Such as a Dell or HP?
a c 75 U Graphics card
October 13, 2012 8:43:25 PM

I don't know why you'd be looking at a Geforce GTX 570. With your system, something like a Radeon HD 7850, or even just a 7770, seems more reasonable. Either would be a massive upgrade over your current graphics card. There are better graphics cards out there, but they'd probably be held back by your CPU anyway.

If you want to stick with Nvidia, the GTX 660 is about as high as it would make sense to go. A 650 Ti or 650 might be more fitting, but I consider AMD to be a bit better value for money in that segment.
October 13, 2012 8:52:29 PM

Sakkura said:
I don't know why you'd be looking at a Geforce GTX 570.



B/c I have never upgraded a pc myself before and truly have little idea of what i'm talking about. I read and read and read and come out feeling more confused.

I appreciate the recommendations of the Radeon 7850 or 7770. Or even the GTX 660 (max). I read somewhere that the Nvidia's have Physx and that makes them better? What do you guys think.

And...if i wanted to upgrade a CPU, would i be able to do so without upgrading my MoBo too?
a b U Graphics card
October 13, 2012 9:01:41 PM

mastermoirich said:
Hi everyone, I would consider myself a slightly higher than casual gamer. I've noticed that I need to run any of the more recent titles at pretty much the lowest graphics settings (Things like D3, Anno 2070, Mechwarrior Online etc.)

So i figure it must be time to upgrade. I was wondering if you could provide some input on what I should be upgrading. Is it just a matter of a sub-pay graphics card? I've been doing some reading and it seems like the VIDIA GeForce GTX 570 might be a good choice, and there was some AMD equivalent but the name escapes me. Is there a such thing as going overboard on a graphics card? Here's a list of my specs to get us started.

OS Version: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium
System RAM: 8191 MB
CPU Name: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU Q8300 @ 2.50GHz
CPU Speeds: 2499
Physical CPUs: 1
Virtual CPUs: 4
Video Card Description: NVIDIA GeForce G210
VRAM: 512 MB
Primary Display Resolution: 1920x1080
Multi-Monitor Desktop Resolution: 1920x1080
Microphone: False
Language: English (United States)
Free Hard Drive Space: 425847 MB
Total Hard Drive Space: 702212 MB
Windows Experience Index Rating: 4.7



LOL the GPU!!!! Get a 7750 if you have a shoddy PSU, or get a 7870 since it is EASILY the best performance for price you can get!
a b U Graphics card
October 13, 2012 9:02:33 PM

1- Let us talk about your power supply at first. What do you have?
2- That is indeed a strange partitioning in your hard drive. What if your windows system crashes? it seems you store everything in c: drive. That is kinda strange
October 13, 2012 9:03:22 PM

Your processor isn't that bad if you ask me. If it doesn't make you uncomtforble I'd recommend you overclock that to say 3.5 ghz.

But before you do all that nobody has asked the most important question of them all.

What is your PSU brand/make?. We can't help much if we don't have that single piece of information.

EDIT: Seems someone beat me to the PSU part.
a b U Graphics card
October 13, 2012 9:04:23 PM

mastermoirich said:
B/c I have never upgraded a pc myself before and truly have little idea of what i'm talking about. I read and read and read and come out feeling more confused.

I appreciate the recommendations of the Radeon 7850 or 7770. Or even the GTX 660 (max). I read somewhere that the Nvidia's have Physx and that makes them better? What do you guys think.

And...if i wanted to upgrade a CPU, would i be able to do so without upgrading my MoBo too?



Even when I used Nvidia I usually turned Physx off because the performance hit is not worth the slight increase in eye candy. This generation AMD has WAYYYYY better performance for price. Last gen Nvidia was a better choice because of raw power (Besides the awesome 6670 and 6950).
a b U Graphics card
October 13, 2012 9:06:49 PM

MRC390 said:
Upgrade you cpu. Some people say the GeForce GTX 550 ti is only good for playing mid quality games, But it can run Battlefield 3 on ultra with 30-40 fps (you may need to turn AA off) heres a link if you wanna see the card in action

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPddsNUHG_M


NO NO NO NO NO NO! The 550Ti is a joke! The 7770 destroys it and is CHEAPER! The 7850 1GB is $50 more and double its performance!
a c 79 U Graphics card
October 13, 2012 9:12:35 PM

technoholic said:

2- That is indeed a strange partitioning in your hard drive. What if your windows system crashes? it seems you store everything in c: drive. That is kinda strange

the d: is likely a 'hidden' partition for the preinstalled windows & bloatware
a c 75 U Graphics card
October 13, 2012 9:14:18 PM

mastermoirich said:
And...if i wanted to upgrade a CPU, would i be able to do so without upgrading my MoBo too?

Not really. There are better CPUs available for your motherboard, but they're not huge improvements and the prices tend to be rather ridiculous because they're out of production and everyone with an old motherboard (like you) are trying to get their hands on an upgrade. Still, you can get some more mileage out of your CPU. It's your graphics card that really cripples gaming performance.
October 13, 2012 9:17:40 PM

PSU = Bestec
Model ATX0300D5WC
Output 300w max

Is that what u guys are looking for?
a b U Graphics card
October 13, 2012 9:22:47 PM

Yes, a PSU (power supply unit) basically feeds your motherboard and other stuff in your computer case. Graphics cards are kinda power hungry and many of them require you to have a nice quality psu. I think your PSU is not a good one
October 13, 2012 9:30:20 PM

Ok...so what output am i looking for?
a c 75 U Graphics card
October 13, 2012 9:32:38 PM

Yeah with that PSU you'd probably have to stick to the lower-end cards. Something like the HD 7750 would probably still work.

I'd probably recommend a new power supply anyway though. It does mean there's a bit more work to do with the installation, but it's fairly straightforward (plugs pretty much only fit what they're supposed to be plugged into, and you'll be able to see what's plugged in where with your old power supply).
October 13, 2012 9:34:57 PM

Depending on which GPU you decide to go with, you will probably want at least a 450-550w PSU. The GPU you have now barely draws any power compared to a 560/660.

I know this has been said a bit already in this thread, but you won't be able to max out many games with your CPU. It is definitely not a bad CPU, just not great for games.. so that would put you at I would say a radeon 7770 or geforce 650ti max like a few others have said, no reason to go much higher.
a b U Graphics card
October 13, 2012 9:41:51 PM

after upping the psu, i wonder if that cpu can hold a 7850 1gb one?
October 13, 2012 10:20:13 PM

Does my cpu limit me to getting a 1gb Vid card?
October 13, 2012 10:36:02 PM

and what is the difference between
Asus AMD ATI Radeon HD 7870-DC2-2GD5 2GB Video Card Graphics Card HDMi, DP, DVI $194.00

Asus AMD Radeon HD 7870 2GB GDDR5 2DVI/HDMI/Disp​layPort PCI-Express Video Card A $303.00

a b U Graphics card
October 13, 2012 10:41:04 PM

mastermoirich said:
and what is the difference between
Asus AMD ATI Radeon HD 7870-DC2-2GD5 2GB Video Card Graphics Card HDMi, DP, DVI $194.00

Asus AMD Radeon HD 7870 2GB GDDR5 2DVI/HDMI/Disp​layPort PCI-Express Video Card A $303.00


One is cheapest. LOL
Anonymous
a c 117 U Graphics card
October 13, 2012 10:48:47 PM

upon further review . . (getting ready to watch some games tomorrow :lol:  )

HPs usually has horrible PSUs whereas dells are much better.

the G210 uses ~25- 30 watts. under gaming conditions a 7750 uses ~45-50 watts and 7770 ~75-80 watts with a PCI power connection and both use under 20 watts idle.

a 300 watt max (not continuous) best tech may or may not handle a 7750. now since it is a HP prebuild and will have a "locked" bios, overclocking; which will increase the power consumption, is out the window.

a 350 watt PSU will be enough for either the 7750 or the 7770 but the 7770 need a PCI power connection. i would suggest the CORSAIR Builder Series CX430 V2 $44.99 $34.99 after $10.00 rebate(s)

a 500 watt PSU may be a bit much . .but that is the same price and worth highly considering.

edit: since the bios is locked= no overclocking, getting a 7850 or higher wouldn't be a great choice unless you know you will carry it over to another build.
October 13, 2012 10:52:54 PM

LoL thanks cpt.

i guess what i was asking was, what is the difference, and is it worthwhile between a DC2-2GD5 and a GDDR5....
October 13, 2012 10:55:11 PM

My brother has an HP with those specs and playing there was a sad story. We upgraded the PSU to an ULTRA 650w and I sold him my Sapphire HD 6850. Now he can max out every game at his resolution (1366x768 I think). The PSU in those HP desktops is cheap, ugly and won't live up to the task of handling a gaming graohics card.

So my recommendation is:
- Get a reliable PSU with at least 500w
- Then you upgrade your GPU to something like the HD 7770
October 13, 2012 10:59:15 PM

Ok...so it is safe to assume at this point i am buying a PSU. Likely the Cosair Builder Series Cx500w ATX12V V2.3 80Plus Cert, Active PFC Power Supply.

So we seem to have some differing opinions on the graphics card. Are my assertions below correct?
The AMD 7770 probably all the card my cpu can handle.
The AMD 7850 Might be the max my setup can handle.
The AMD 7870 Probably too much of an upgrade, but may carry over to a new build in 2 years or so.

edit: SAPPHIRE 100312-3L Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card A decent upgrade but not as good as the 7770?
Anonymous
a c 117 U Graphics card
October 13, 2012 11:08:30 PM

mastermoirich said:
Ok...so it is safe to assume at this point i am buying a PSU. Likely the Cosair Builder Series Cx500w ATX12V V2.3 80Plus Cert, Active PFC Power Supply.

So we seem to have some differing opinions on the graphics card. Are my assertions below correct?
The AMD 7770 probably all the card my cpu can handle.
The AMD 7850 Might be the max my setup can handle.
The AMD 7870 Probably too much of an upgrade, but may carry over to a new build in 2 years or so.

edit: SAPPHIRE 100312-3L Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card A decent upgrade but not as good as the 7770?

if you are satisfied playing games like, "D3, Anno 2070, Mechwarrior Online" the 7770 will perform admirably @ med/high settings.

if you are looking at playing games like crysis2 or BF3 then a 7850 with some glancing at the 7870 to handle that. and start saving ~$350 for a new motherboard, cpu and ram . . .
Anonymous
a c 117 U Graphics card
October 13, 2012 11:18:27 PM

mastermoirich said:
How's this for a new processor? Is it even an upgrade? and what sort of mobo would i need.

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

(As you can see, I am having a really hard time limiting my decisions to a simple upgrade or a tad more complex)

(at the risk of upsetting people) . .a FX cpu is less than desirable for gaming.

give this a read even though its last months:
Best Gaming CPUs For The Money: September 2012
Anonymous
a c 117 U Graphics card
October 13, 2012 11:31:40 PM

this is what a *super cheap* build will get you:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Pentium G850 2.9GHz Dual-Core Processor ($64.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: Biostar H61MLC Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($54.91 @ Compuvest)
Memory: G.Skill NS 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7850 1GB Video Card ($169.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 500W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($34.99 @ Newegg)
Total (before mail-in rebates): $374.87
Mail-in Rebates: $-30.00
Total: $344.87

you may want to ask in the builders forum about more/better options if you are interested:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/forum-31.html

also keep in mind that changing your motherboard may require you to purchase another copy of windows. (~$100)
October 13, 2012 11:43:47 PM

Ok i'm sure this will rate as a super noob question but why does a motherboard require a new copy of windows? I thought it was registered on a hard drive?

Also...is 4GB of that RAM actually better than the 8GB i have now?

Would i not be able to bump up to the 7870 with that new build? 2GB?

I will definitely ask also in the Builders Forum
a b U Graphics card
October 13, 2012 11:51:21 PM

mastermoirich said:
LoL thanks cpt.

i guess what i was asking was, what is the difference, and is it worthwhile between a DC2-2GD5 and a GDDR5....


I am not trying to be condescending or offend you, but it is clear you don't know what you are talking about because that question made no sense. They all use GDDR5.

Just wait for a $215-$230 model to come back in stock. They sell out quick but you will see one a week usually for a about a day.


Also for future advice, I just buy the cheapest version of the card type I want while making sure it has 4/5+ reviews...
October 14, 2012 12:03:40 AM

CaptainTom said:
I am not trying to be condescending or offend you, but it is clear you don't know what you are talking about because that question made no sense. They all use GDDR5.

Just wait for a $215-$230 model to come back in stock. They sell out quick but you will see one a week usually for a about a day.


Also for future advice, I just buy the cheapest version of the card type I want while making sure it has 4/5+ reviews...


No i wasnt offended...it actually made me laugh because I KNOW i don't know what i'm talking about. I couldn't believe one was $130ish more than the other and they were the same...thats all..

a b U Graphics card
October 14, 2012 1:03:44 AM

do you have the money in your budget to build a new pc? Would you be comfortable putting tab A into slot B? Pre-built PC's are very rarely worth putting the money into to upgrade. After all is said and done you are 80% there to building a new pc with the power supply and GPU upgrade. It's already 4 years old, which is about the life expectancy of a pre-built pc before it really becomes limited, as you've found out.

OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) copies of Windows are tied to the motherboard. It may be stored on the HDD, but once you replace the mobo, as far as an OEM copy of Windows is concerned, it's on a new pc and is pirated.

PC's are pretty much modular. You plug parts together, follow a few simple instructions and cautions, ask questions if you are unsure (which you are doing) and it "usually" works.
October 14, 2012 1:07:07 AM

No i don't have the budget to spend more than $400. I like what you said about pre-builts not worth upgrading....i think it might just be best to grab the graphics card and power supply (that are good enough to possibly carry into a full self-built machine in 2 yrs)
October 14, 2012 1:11:25 AM

Your CPU isn't great. But it isn't bad either (alot faster than my POS). Like many others have said that GPU is pretty low end. A good GPU upgrade and you should be playing on high settings in no time.
October 14, 2012 1:13:19 AM

Ok so the question is this...considering the new PSU

AMD 7870
or
AMD 7850

1GB or 2GB?

Will either of these be good enough to carry over toa brand new homebuilt system in 2 yrs
October 14, 2012 1:15:32 AM

Well I would obviously always recommend a better graphics card and more VRAM over a lesser option. So my question to you is what do you really want to spend? And yes a 7850 will still be pretty usable in 2 years.
a b U Graphics card
October 14, 2012 1:21:36 AM

mastermoirich said:
Ok so the question is this...considering the new PSU

AMD 7870
or
AMD 7850

1GB or 2GB?

Will either of these be good enough to carry over toa brand new homebuilt system in 2 yrs


2gb ram since you plan on carrying it over and as far as 7870 and 7850, that depends on your budget. I tend to try and buy the best GPU I can afford. I'm still using GPU's I bought four years ago, they still work pretty well, but are starting to show their age on newer games. I'm not running everything on ultra any longer on those cards.
October 14, 2012 1:28:26 AM

I'm not adverse to buying the 7870 if it is a worthwhile upgrade over the 7850. Or if one will last until the new system while the other will not.

I also tend to make the purchase that provides the most bang for my buck. Gaining say 10% increase in performance for double the price doesn't seem worth it.
Anonymous
a c 117 U Graphics card
October 14, 2012 1:34:24 AM

mastermoirich said:
Ok i'm sure this will rate as a super noob question but why does a motherboard require a new copy of windows? I thought it was registered on a hard drive?

Also...is 4GB of that RAM actually better than the 8GB i have now?

Would i not be able to bump up to the 7870 with that new build? 2GB?

I will definitely ask also in the Builders Forum

just to follow up . . .

windows is tied to the motherboard. some folks have been able to call the automated system and were able to get another key after upgrading their motherboard. though since you have an HP and not a "home brew" it may be tied to the manufacturer also.

actually the 4gbs is ddr3 and yours is most likely ddr2, half the speed of ddr3 so . .yes as odd as it sounds.

i'll chime in on the 1gb vs 2gb vram thought; since you are gaming on a single 1080 monitor, you really do not *need* more than 1gb. at a higher resolution such as 1400 or multi monitors, then you will need more.


p.s. watch out for the fanboys over there :/  . . .
!