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Getting help with upgrading my junky PC


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#1
iCake

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Hello to you all guys. I'm sure glad to be here. So here's my current rig:

 

CPU - AMD Phenom 9500 Quad-Core 2200 Mhz

GPU - Gigabyte Geforce GTX 750 TI OC Windforce

Memory - 2x Apacer 2 Gb 333 Mhz DDR 2

HDD -  Samsung HD321KJ 320 Gb 7200 rpm

Motherboard - ESC GeForce 7050M-M Chipset nForce 560 Southbridge nForce 630a

Windows 7 Professional x64

 

So the thing is I think that something from that list seriosly bottlenecks my videocard, in particular I suspect it's the CPU. For example:

 

Skyrim:

 

Resolution: 1440x900

Stock GPU frequencies

Graphic settings - default high settings assigned by the Skyrim launcher.

Anti-aliasing 8x

FPS - min: 27, max 92

 

The same setting but the anti-aliasing off, virtually the same FPS

 

The first settings but with the addition of 8x transparency anti-aliasing forced through Nvidia control panel:

Virtually the same level of perfomance

 

 

After tweaking Skyrim INI to enable CPU threaded calculations in the game and telling (not literally, through INI tweaks :D ) the game engine explicitly I have more than 2 cores:

 

The first settings:

FPS: 32 - 102

 

So now I think that My CPU is the bottleneck.

 

Also, and this is very important, I have to use this software "AMD Fusion Utility for Desktops v 1.1" to enable a feature called "boost your HDD performance". If I don't do that the Skyrim FPS are effectevly a half of what I provided. I don't know how that boosting feature works but I'd like to be able to stop using it, because I suspect that it's not very healthy for my HDD.

 

So the HDD can also be a bottleneck.

 

So the question is:

 

Which hardware can I replace to get the full or at least the best possible advantage out of my graphics card. Or should I throw my junky PC into a trashcan and build a new one from scratch?

 

Thak you all in advance. Sorry for making this post a little too long


Edited by iCake, 28 June 2014 - 09:05 AM.

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#2
phillpower2

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:welcome:    iCake

 

Couple of questions if I may;

 

What is the brand and model name or number of your PSU.

You have post that your Ram is 2x Apacer 2 Gb 333 Mhz DDR 2 - is it possible that you have 533MHz DDR2 Ram 

 

Your MB will accept up to 16GB of Ram and as you have a 64-bit OS you should upgrade the Ram to 2 X 4GB sticks of appropriate Ram;

 

Use the Crucial system scanner tool to find the best recommended Ram for your system, no need to purchase from there, write down the details and shop around for the best deal http://www.crucial.com/systemscanner/?click=true let us know what is suggested and we can also look for you.


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#3
iCake

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SPU - ISO 450-PP. I googled this one and found out that this PSU is manufactured in my country, so it must be garbage... Oh, that's bad :) Also it's nominal power is 350W and I have no idea if it's enough for my rig.

 

About memory, that is what the crucial scanner has returned, I'm not sure what it means though:

DDR PC2 5300

 

Scanner suggestions:

 

Memory - CT773744 - 4GB kit (2GBx2) DDR2 PC2-6400 Unbuffered NON-ECC 1.8V 256Meg x 64 - $71.99

SSD - CT3812866 - Crucial M500 240GB 2.5-inch Internal SSD - $111.01

HDD - ST1000DM003 - Seagate Barracuda HDD 1 TB SATA-600 - $62.99


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#4
phillpower2

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Your present PSU is underpowered and will be damaging not only the video card but also the other hardware as it will be being deprived of the clean and stable power that it needs, your card requires a quality brand 400W PSU, see here

 

Regarding the Crucial scanner tool, please post the link to the results page for us.


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#5
iCake

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Oh, that's just great. Getting a new PSU tomorrow then. Any suggestion as to what PSU will be best for my system? I'd really appreciate that because I lack the proper knowledge of wich PSU brands are considered good and so on.

 

As for the link you provided for my videocard. That was not exactly the right one, my videocard is OC and the stock frequencies are 1215/5400 MHz, if that even matters though.

 

Here's the link to the rucial scan.

 

http://www.crucial.c...D880AAB31D926C3

 

Thanks a lot for all your help


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#6
phillpower2

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Hold off on the PSU until you have decided what you wish to do with the other potential upgrades.

 

That is odd with the video card as I googled what you post in your OP, the card is also the OC Windward version

 

Looking at possible Ram upgrades I don`t think it is a financially viable option, an example of what I found here

 

You are welcome btw  :)


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#7
iCake

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Here is the exact GPU I have

 

http://www.eteknix.c...cs-card-review/

 

Sorry for deluding you a little here, I didn't know my videocard was 2x OC :D

 

Why is the DDR2 ram so pricey? I thought the current standard is DDR3 and DDR2 is somewhat if not completely outdated.

 

Aslo why did you sugget I uprgrade the RAM? I thought it was the CPU that bottlenecked my PC. Or am I talking about something that I don't really understand here? :D


Edited by iCake, 28 June 2014 - 12:33 PM.

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#8
phillpower2

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Yours is most likely a newer and better version of the same card as at my link so the PSU requirement will be the same or greater.

 

The price of the Ram is most likely the manufacturers cashing in on people that still need to use the DDR2 spec.

 

Upgrading the Ram is the most cost effective improvement you can make where DDR3 is concerned and having 8GB of Ram allows you to get the best out of a 64 - bit OS

 

I asked in my reply #2

You have post that your Ram is 2x Apacer 2 Gb 333 Mhz DDR 2 - is it possible that you have 533MHz DDR2 Ram 

 

 

You did not answer but the Crucial tool tells us that you do have 533MHz Ram and suggests upgrading to 800MHz Ram but only 2 X 2GB sticks of it, I will have to check properly but up to now I suspect it is because Crucial do not provide 4GB modules of that spec of Ram even though your MB will accept it.

 

You have a quad core CPU but not all cores will be used when gaming but the slower speed of your Ram will bottleneck the GPU and the CPU, the latter not so much though.

 

FWIW;

DDR2 5300 is 667 Front side bus speed
DDR2 6400 is 800 Front Side Bus speed

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#9
iCake

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Thanks for expaling that to me.

 

So basically what I really need is a CPU with higher frequency and a faster ram to make the most out of my rig? Am I about right?

 

And sorry for not answering you question there. It's all a bit new to me, so I got confused. Glad the scan had provided the info you needed though


Edited by iCake, 28 June 2014 - 01:39 PM.

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#10
phillpower2

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Unfortunately you are caught between a rock and a hard place due to the expensive cost of the Ram and the marginal increase in CPU speed that upgrading to the 9750 would gain for you, 200MHz to be exact.

 

The ECS homepage for your MB is also rather vague as it says the board can handle up to 16GB of Ram but that they have only tested up to 4GB  :headscratch:

 

 

MEMORY º Dual-channel DDR2 memory architecture
º 2 x 240-pin DDR2 DIMM socket support up to 16 GB*
º Support DDR2 800/667/533/400 DDR2 SDRAM
º * (Due to the DRAM maximum size is 2GB at present, the memory maximum size we have tested is 4GB)
Due to the operating system limitation, the actual memory size may be less than 4GB for the reservation for system usage under Windows® 32-bit OS.
For Windows® 64-bit OS with 64-bit CPU, there is no such limitation

 


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#11
iCake

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So the only real approvement I can hope for is new Ram. Will it be worth the funds and trouble though, I'm not even sure :(


Edited by iCake, 28 June 2014 - 02:31 PM.

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#12
iCake

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One more thing. Can I by any chance overclock my current CPU. That combined with new Ram could make up for all the trouble and money spending


Edited by iCake, 28 June 2014 - 02:45 PM.

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#13
phillpower2

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Sorry but I have to be honest and say that I do not think paying such an amount of cash for the Ram upgrade is worth it  :(

 

As for overclocking the CPU, this is something that I do not do so cannot advise you.


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#14
iCake

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Okay, let's make it serious then. How about if I get a brand new motherboard? That's gonna be a much bigger investment though, but at least it should be worth it. So then it's gonna be a new CPU, new DDR III Ram, new PSU.

 

What be the most effective combination of those components then as I don't even have the faintest idea. There is one thing I'm quite sure of though, I'll be better off with an Intel CPU


Edited by iCake, 28 June 2014 - 03:06 PM.

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#15
phillpower2

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AMD also make very good CPUs and they cost considerably less than Intel chips do (I don't have any AMD CPUs btw)

 

To make the most appropriate suggestions we need to know your maximum budget (a rough idea will do) what country you will purchase the parts and whether your Windows 7 disk is the full retail or OEM type, the latter cannot be reused with a new MB and that is why we ask.


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