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RabidMongoose

Upgrading my PC

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I'm looking to upgrade my PC and need some advice. My current rig is:

AMD Athlon 64 Dual Core 6000+

4GB ram

Geforce 460

32 bit Vista

My needs are computer gaming and doing office work at home. I realise I need Windows 8.1 and I intend keeping the Geforce 460 as its still above the recommended specs of new games being released on the market. I also realise I could do with 8GB of DDR3 Ram.

I'm cluless about CPUs so what would be suitable for my needs? I'd want 2-4 years out of it before I need to upgrade again.

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Posted (edited)

All the best gaming rigs have Intel i3, i5 and especially the i7 processor. Windows 7 32bit with 4gb ram is also better, I'm told, but not being a gamer I'm not certain of this. I am certain that what many overlook is the power supply. A brand name PSU (Corsair, Thermaltake, OCZ, Coolermaster et al) is always advised.

http://www.cpubenchmark.net/

http://www.tomshardw...iew,3107-7.html

http://www.theguardi...-gaming-pc-2013

p.s. More than 4gb of ram on a 32bit system is wasted.

There are online stores which let you configure your rig (choose your own components) and they build it for you.

Edited by Eldorado

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All the best gaming rigs have Intel i3, i5 and especially the i7 processor. Windows 7 32bit with 4gb ram is also better, I'm told, but not being a gamer I'm not certain of this. I am certain that what many overlook is the power supply. A brand name PSU (Corsair, Thermaltake, OCZ, Coolermaster et al) is always advised.

http://www.cpubenchmark.net/

http://www.tomshardw...iew,3107-7.html

http://www.theguardi...-gaming-pc-2013

p.s. More than 4gb of ram on a 32bit system is wasted.

There are online stores which let you configure your rig (choose your own components) and they build it for you.

I plan to switch to Windows 8.1 (64 bit). I also need a new motherboard, cpu and DDR3 ram. I'll keep everything else with my current pc I'll just replace what I upgrade.

For the cpu I don't want overkill I simply want one that will allow me to play new games for the next 2-4 years. What are the most appropriate AMD and Intel chips for that?

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Posted (edited)

Look at those cpu charts I linked to. http://www.cpubenchmark.net/ It has high-end, medium, everyday charts.

(The CPU, RAM and Motherboard all have to be compatible with one another.)

http://www.build-gaming-computers.com/

There's some good suggestions here....

http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/id-2028778/gaming-build-500.html

Edited by Eldorado
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Posted (edited)

Check out the site Tomshardware.co.uk. They have a forum section that will help you a lot, it's full of techie nerds. As for motherboard/cpu/RAM you can often get a deal on bundles of those three items from places like Overclockers.co.uk. For what you say you want to do then an i5 cpu should be fine, but if you have extra money then go for an i7. Consider getting a good air cooler for the CPU and maybe even look into overclocking. I overclocked my i7 920 from 3.2Ghz to 3.8Ghz and its ran stable for over 1 year. My PC gets used about 14 hours a day. Also your graphics card is pretty old and only has 1Gb of on-board memory which is virtually obsolete these days. If you do chose to get a newer graphics card don't get a top spec one as they are over priced and you are better buying a model or two lower down the chain and using the saved money on something else like a good quality monitor or dual monitor set up as well as gaming keyboard and good mouse.

-EDIT-

An idea of how much you have to spend would help.

Edited by bulveye
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All the best gaming rigs have Intel i3, i5 and especially the i7 processor. Windows 7 32bit with 4gb ram is also better, I'm told, but not being a gamer I'm not certain of this. I am certain that what many overlook is the power supply. A brand name PSU (Corsair, Thermaltake, OCZ, Coolermaster et al) is always advised.

http://www.cpubenchmark.net/

http://www.tomshardw...iew,3107-7.html

http://www.theguardi...-gaming-pc-2013

p.s. More than 4gb of ram on a 32bit system is wasted.

There are online stores which let you configure your rig (choose your own components) and they build it for you.

Why 32 bit with 4gb of RAM? Wouldn't 64-bit with 8GB RAM be more desirable?

Windows 8.1 is great. Improved memory and file management over windows 7.

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Why 32 bit with 4gb of RAM? Wouldn't 64-bit with 8GB RAM be more desirable?

Windows 8.1 is great. Improved memory and file management over windows 7.

8GB Ram on a 64 bit system seems the standard for 2-4 years worth of gaming so I agree.

I notice the websites talk up i5 and i7 but are they really needed? Surely they're both beyond the maximum specs of even new games being released onto the market?

I can get an AMD A10 6800k for under £100. Will I get 2-4 years out of it?

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8GB Ram on a 64 bit system seems the standard for 2-4 years worth of gaming so I agree.

I notice the websites talk up i5 and i7 but are they really needed? Surely they're both beyond the maximum specs of even new games being released onto the market?

I can get an AMD A10 6800k for under £100. Will I get 2-4 years out of it?

'Serious gamers' don't use AMD CPU's. At least if you believe most the threads on Tomshardware, although it could just be fanboys and snobbery, you will need to check comparison charts for details info. It's free to join that site and there is a section for new build/upgrade. They will help you with everything as a lot of them have experience building several PC's a year.

My attitude to a new PC is that as my hobby is gaming then I can justify spending what I want on it within reason. My current rig: i7 920 @ 3.8Ghz, 12Gb Kingston Hyper-X RAM, 256GB Samsung SSD, (+5 x HDDs), Sapphire R9 290 Tri-X, Coolmaster 850W PSU, Coolmaster HAF case. I also have 224 games on Steam and it can play most of them maxed out at 1920x1200. BUT some games still drop into the low 20 FPS area on full settings. So Consider if you want to spend a little money now you will be struggling with new games in a year so. Spend a lot now and get something like an R9 280x with your system, then in 3 years time just sell that graphics card and get a new one to stay ahead on top of the game. I originally had the PC running at 3.2Ghz, and had 2xHD5870 (crossfire) and only 6GB or RAM. Recently I was gonna drop £1700 on a new rig and sell the old one, but in the end just overclocked cpu, added RAM and got a new graphics card, and the difference was amazing. Could finally choose 'ULTRA' settings on virtually every game that had that option! And still have 8xAA + 16xAF switch on.

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Posted (edited)

'Serious gamers' don't use AMD CPU's. At least if you believe most the threads on Tomshardware, although it could just be fanboys and snobbery, you will need to check comparison charts for details info. It's free to join that site and there is a section for new build/upgrade. They will help you with everything as a lot of them have experience building several PC's a year.

My attitude to a new PC is that as my hobby is gaming then I can justify spending what I want on it within reason. My current rig: i7 920 @ 3.8Ghz, 12Gb Kingston Hyper-X RAM, 256GB Samsung SSD, (+5 x HDDs), Sapphire R9 290 Tri-X, Coolmaster 850W PSU, Coolmaster HAF case. I also have 224 games on Steam and it can play most of them maxed out at 1920x1200. BUT some games still drop into the low 20 FPS area on full settings. So Consider if you want to spend a little money now you will be struggling with new games in a year so. Spend a lot now and get something like an R9 280x with your system, then in 3 years time just sell that graphics card and get a new one to stay ahead on top of the game. I originally had the PC running at 3.2Ghz, and had 2xHD5870 (crossfire) and only 6GB or RAM. Recently I was gonna drop £1700 on a new rig and sell the old one, but in the end just overclocked cpu, added RAM and got a new graphics card, and the difference was amazing. Could finally choose 'ULTRA' settings on virtually every game that had that option! And still have 8xAA + 16xAF switch on.

You need that because of the extreme resolutions you're playing in Mr Fanboy lol.

I just want a computer capable of regular gaming.

Edited by RabidMongoose

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To be able to make practical suggestions you would have to indicate the budget you have for upgrading.

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Posted (edited)

Why 32 bit with 4gb of RAM? Wouldn't 64-bit with 8GB RAM be more desirable?

Windows 8.1 is great. Improved memory and file management over windows 7.

Cos Windows 8 is a bloody nightmare.

Am using Win8 as I type, on this laptop. It's a touchscreen OS and so great that MS are rushing to complete Windows 9.

http://www.techradar...ndows-8-1218497

http://www.networkwo...ws-8-has-failed

http://betanews.com/...-is-staggering/

http://www.zdnet.com...ail-7000016222/

If you're a serious gamer it's an Intel i7 cpu, decent amount of ram, decent PSU and GTX Titan video card you need. In my opinion

Edited by Eldorado

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Lets suppose I get a new motherboard with USB 3.0.

My next question is do I go for a full 8GB of 1600MHZ ram or a smaller amount and top it up with a USB 3.0 stick? I suppose what I'm asking is if the USB 3.0 SuperSpeed is faster than the ram?

I can get a 32GB stick for £10.

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8GB Ram on a 64 bit system seems the standard for 2-4 years worth of gaming so I agree.

I notice the websites talk up i5 and i7 but are they really needed? Surely they're both beyond the maximum specs of even new games being released onto the market?

I can get an AMD A10 6800k for under £100. Will I get 2-4 years out of it?

There's a lot of talk about Intel simply because of their product naming convention. Which has done very well for them in sales.

Most computer games have hit a brick wall as far as resources use goes. There's always a game pushing the barriers of course.

It comes down to what games you enjoy playing. One of the biggest kick starter projects involving controlling space ships and the like is gonna be huge.

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Posted (edited)

Cos Windows 8 is a bloody nightmare.

Am using Win8 as I type, on this laptop. It's a touchscreen OS and so great that MS are rushing to complete Windows 9.

http://www.techradar...ndows-8-1218497

http://www.networkwo...ws-8-has-failed

http://betanews.com/...-is-staggering/

http://www.zdnet.com...ail-7000016222/

If you're a serious gamer it's an Intel i7 cpu, decent amount of ram, decent PSU and GTX Titan video card you need. In my opinion

Have you updated to 8.1?

Windows 8 is perhaps not too great. Windows 8.1 however is a great improvement.

Windows 8.1, to me, has what windows 7 should have had. Notably with the included virtual drive implementation and aforementioned efficiency increase.

I have devices running windows 8.1, windows 7, windows xp, mac mavericks, windows 8.1 RT, ubuntu, raspbian, iOS and android. I can say it doesnt match up too badly against the rest. Even giving the new "start button" a go, mainly only have been using windows key + i and hasn't been too much of an inconvenience at all, especially with improved search times as well compared to windows 7 on the same rig.

I only upgraded to 8.1 because I can get it for free (legally). Otherwise I probably wouldn't have felt the absolute great need to spend over $100 on a new OS.

Otherwise I haven't encountered many issues at all. Actually none off the top of my head relating directly to use of the OS in the last couple months I've had it.

I have an AMD CPU and graphics card in my computer. I get the impressed that AMD are more targeted towards gamers. The lat update for my card included a program called raptr. I am deliberating whether I truly need it or not but it analyses games you play in terms of your hardware and recommends adjustments to either satisfy mostly quality or performance.

Edited by Orcseeker

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Posted (edited)

Have you updated to 8.1?

Windows 8 is perhaps not too great. Windows 8.1 however is a great improvement.

Aye... it's actually 8.1 I'm using. I hear what you're saying but I still don't think it's a good OS for a desktop and using the mouse. Plus I've had to install third-party programs to get a proper Start button and collect my email from the POP accounts I have.

Microsoft's attempts to make it more mouse friendly have resulted in more of a mess, in my opinion, but of course this could be down to me not taking the time to fully familiarise myself with the OS and it's configuration options.

I find it so annoying that I've just bought Win7 64bit along with the new HDD that I badly need. (My largest HDD is starting to make those growling noises and I fear losing all my stuff again. I lost about 250gb of movies, music and personal photos, and documents, when I fried an old motherboard and had never backed-up my stuff. Grrr).

Edit to add: If getting a new PC, decide what you need, what you can afford, do a little homework and go for it. And don't ask geeks or serious gamers for advice cos you will end up doing a helluva lot of homework and spending a fortune on a system you don't need. lol

Edited by Eldorado
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Aye... it's actually 8.1 I'm using. I hear what you're saying but I still don't think it's a good OS for a desktop and using the mouse. Plus I've had to install third-party programs to get a proper Start button and collect my email from the POP accounts I have.

Microsoft's attempts to make it more mouse friendly have resulted in more of a mess, in my opinion, but of course this could be down to me not taking the time to fully familiarise myself with the OS and it's configuration options.

I find it so annoying that I've just bought Win7 64bit along with the new HDD that I badly need. (My largest HDD is starting to make those growling noises and I fear losing all my stuff again. I lost about 250gb of movies, music and personal photos, and documents, when I fried an old motherboard and had never backed-up my stuff. Grrr).

Edit to add: If getting a new PC, decide what you need, what you can afford, do a little homework and go for it. And don't ask geeks or serious gamers for advice cos you will end up doing a helluva lot of homework and spending a fortune on a system you don't need. lol

Noted, I realise that i7s and i5s are way beyond the recommended specs of even the most demanding of new games. They're mean't for video editing and rendering not for computer gaming.

Wiki says the maximum speed of a USB 3.0 stick is 1.25 GB/S, DDR2 is about 400 MB/S and DDR is 6 GB/S. I assume games dont require 1.25 GB/S to be churned around and won't for years to come yet. Is that right? If so I might only get 4GB DDR3 and make the rest up with a USB 3.0 Stick.

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There's a lot of talk about Intel simply because of their product naming convention. Which has done very well for them in sales.

Most computer games have hit a brick wall as far as resources use goes. There's always a game pushing the barriers of course.

It comes down to what games you enjoy playing. One of the biggest kick starter projects involving controlling space ships and the like is gonna be huge.

David Braben does like to produce quality games. The advertised spec for Elite Dangerous is currently a 2ghz quad core.

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Lets suppose I get a new motherboard with USB 3.0.

My next question is do I go for a full 8GB of 1600MHZ ram or a smaller amount and top it up with a USB 3.0 stick? I suppose what I'm asking is if the USB 3.0 SuperSpeed is faster than the ram?

I can get a 32GB stick for £10.

USB 3.0 is pretty much standard on the latest motherboards but it is not a substitute for RAM so get 8GB of DDR3 (2x4GB) on a board with four memory slots in case your needs change in the future and 16Gb's is desired. An i3 CPU is a very powerful CPU and more than enough for most users needs but I prefer 4 cores so use an i5 in my gaming computer. An i7 isn't necessary for most folks.

Haven't buillt with AMD since the Core 2's came out and can't see myself using an AMD chip again as the performance doesn't come close to Intel's latest offerings.

As said above, make sure your PSU is solid or replace it but that said, I have been using the same PC Power & Cooling 750 watt for a decade now and it is still running like new.

Think about using a 240GB or larger SSD for the OS and programs as teh performance boost is remarkable. You can get a good quality 240GB Kingston SSD for just over $100 US nowadays if you catch Newegg on a speical deal. Use a large and cheap HDD for storage.

I personally like Windows 8.1 as it is a solid and fast OS but many can't get past the GUI change. Install it on a SSD and the system boots from cold iron in about 20 seconds.

Aye... it's actually 8.1 I'm using. I hear what you're saying but I still don't think it's a good OS for a desktop and using the mouse. Plus I've had to install third-party programs to get a proper Start button and collect my email from the POP accounts I have.

Microsoft's attempts to make it more mouse friendly have resulted in more of a mess, in my opinion, but of course this could be down to me not taking the time to fully familiarise myself with the OS and it's configuration options.

I find it so annoying that I've just bought Win7 64bit along with the new HDD that I badly need. (My largest HDD is starting to make those growling noises and I fear losing all my stuff again. I lost about 250gb of movies, music and personal photos, and documents, when I fried an old motherboard and had never backed-up my stuff. Grrr).

Edit to add: If getting a new PC, decide what you need, what you can afford, do a little homework and go for it. And don't ask geeks or serious gamers for advice cos you will end up doing a helluva lot of homework and spending a fortune on a system you don't need. lol

Definitely change out that HDD as you are about to lose your data. At teh very least, get your valuable data onto a back up drive of some kind now. As far as your losing your data from a motherboard dying you should have no problem getting it off of the HDD from that system. Just get an external adapter and plug the 250GB into it and then access it from your new system. I do it all the time for my customers when their old computer dies and they failed to back up their data.

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USB 3.0 is pretty much standard on the latest motherboards but it is not a substitute for RAM.

I dont understand why its not suitable for using as ram.

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Aye... it's actually 8.1 I'm using. I hear what you're saying but I still don't think it's a good OS for a desktop and using the mouse. Plus I've had to install third-party programs to get a proper Start button and collect my email from the POP accounts I have.

Microsoft's attempts to make it more mouse friendly have resulted in more of a mess, in my opinion, but of course this could be down to me not taking the time to fully familiarise myself with the OS and it's configuration options.

I find it so annoying that I've just bought Win7 64bit along with the new HDD that I badly need. (My largest HDD is starting to make those growling noises and I fear losing all my stuff again. I lost about 250gb of movies, music and personal photos, and documents, when I fried an old motherboard and had never backed-up my stuff. Grrr).

Edit to add: If getting a new PC, decide what you need, what you can afford, do a little homework and go for it. And don't ask geeks or serious gamers for advice cos you will end up doing a helluva lot of homework and spending a fortune on a system you don't need. lol

Are you using the tiled interface? I never use it. I boot to desktop. Use the windows + i keys on the keyboard for easy access of the side bar. I have found myself moving the mouse to the top right hand corner more than once to get the bar to show up so I've given up on that method.

I dislike the action they've taken in making the UI heavily based on tablet interfaces. Although that can be completely avoided as I have been doing.

Ouch. You looked into data recovery services? Expensive but could be worth your time.

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I dont understand why its not suitable for using as ram.

What you are thinking of is called Readyboost. You can use a memory stick to speed up boot times and store cache in readyboost mode but the performance increase will be negligible and in some instances may slow things down. RAM is on a much faster bus than USB 3.0, utilizes much faster chips and operates in dual channel mode and double data rate. RAM is controlled by the memory controller which calls up data in a much different way than the USB controller and RAM is volatile which means that when power is turned off the RAM zeroes out. Readyboost will try and augment RAM but it is no substitute for the real thing.

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Ouch. You looked into data recovery services? Expensive but could be worth your time.

I boot into the desktop, too. (On my Win 8.1 the 'Start' button just took me back to the 'Modern UI' so I installed 'Start Menu 8' from the Filehippo. My McAfee anti-virus objected though and I had to create an exception. pfft)

I tried to recover my data, I have some Paragon recovery software, but no joy. That particular hard drive is dead as a dodo. Even SeaTools couldn't read it properly and it was a Seagate drive too. I still have it and will try again in the future. Paying for a recovery would break my heart. I am Scottish, after all.

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He can get one of these http://www.newegg.co...N82E16817153066 and easily gget the data off as long as the drive wasn't damaged physically.

I believe it is indeed physically damaged, amigo. (It was almost a full pint of beer that went directly into the open pc case. There were no survivors. Grrr.)

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If I get the A10 6800K it has a HD 8670d built int.

Is it worth my money getting a motherboard that does crossfire to take advantage of that integrated graphics capability?

Will the HD 8670d play all games? How does it compare to my current dedicated geforce 460 SE?

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