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Upgrading

Discussion in 'Techno-Magic' started by Aldeth the Foppish Idiot, Dec 19, 2011.

  1. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I have 64 bit Windows 7 and it's fine with 2GB, though as I said it would be better with 4.
     
  2. Splunge

    Splunge Bhaal’s financial advisor Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I think there is a mod (or mod component) that removes certain overly-helpfull scrolls from vendors. Fortunately, it doesn't appear that Aldeth has it installed, as a Lower Resistance scroll might come in handy when he tries to convince his wife that he needs a new computer. :D
     
  3. henkie

    henkie Hammertime Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    I think a simple charm spell would suffice too. Though if you combine them it would probably be more effective ;)
     
  4. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    I have 8GB and it is nice, but for normal ues, in paticular with a decent GPU, 4 ought to suffice. Re: BTA's statement that 2GB suffice - suffice they do, but that's probably it. Win7, although far leaner than the abomination that is Vista, is still resource hungry. I'd take 4GB at least.

    Just for perspective: So far I have only used my 8GB RAM fully a couple files, and that was when doing file operations on a large number (10k+) of XML files, searching and replacing various text strings. That was to the best of my knowledge the only time I used my RAM to more than 95% and the full processing power of by Intel Quad Core 9450. I would consider that use power use.

    In summary: RAM is dirt cheap right now, go for 4 GB, and if you go for 8 GB, you won't regret it.
     
  5. Splunge

    Splunge Bhaal’s financial advisor Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Tom's Hardware has been running articles on what systems you can build at various price points. Here's a $600 budget system that's actually pretty good. There are also links to more expensive builds.

    In the $600 build, the main difference between the I5-2400 in this system and an I5-2500k is the abilty to overclock the latter, so if you're not into O/C'ing, then the 2400 is fine; OTOH, the price difference isn't much, so the 2500k might be worth it. While the 4GB of RAM in the Tom system is adequate, RAM is cheap enough that going to 8GB now saves you having to upgrade later. The 500GB hard drive might be fine depending on how many games you have loaded at once; the problem in getting something bigger is that prices are currently high.
     
  6. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    Thanks Splunge - this is probably something that's going to wait until after Christmas. Hopefully, I'll pick something out in the week between Christmas and New Year's, but I am pleased that no matter which direction I go, the computer and video card combined are probably going to cost less than $1,000.

    This one looks rather appealing as well.

    And I do like this, but it seems odd to me to see a 2GB video card for $100. I would expect the 2GB ones to be somewhere around $150.

    EDIT: Especially when Radeon's 1GB version is more!
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2011
  7. Splunge

    Splunge Bhaal’s financial advisor Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    The two video cards you're looking at aren't really comparable. The 6770 is a budget card, and the 520 is even lower end. And the card in the Tom system will knock the socks off of both. Video memory is only part of the story.
     
  8. Merlanni

    Merlanni Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Save for a new system.

    You can get a new graphics card now, but the timing is a month off. Buy hardware in Januari. A new price battle between the two major Graphics card companies is about to go into an other round when the amd 7000 serie is launched. it means that the 6000 serie goes on sale.


    If you want to upgrade the new pc later try not to buy out of the box like you most likely did with the gateway. Get a roomy case, a top brand 450/500 watt powerblock. Those two parts will survive an upgrade.

    Memory is likely to survive an upgrade, so go 8 gig ddr3. The motherboard/processor combo is the bottleneck for an upgrade, but are often sold in upgrade kits.

    The graphics card is easy: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fastest-graphics-card-radeon-geforce,3085.html Pick on you like/can afford.

    Processor: Intel core I7 2600 K or core I5 2500 K. Notice the K!

    Motherboards: Asus, Gigabyte and MSI are the top 3.

    harddisk Caviar blue series. Due to natural dissater the price of harddiske have gone trough the roof. Pity.

    SSD=fancy optional Only if there is budget left.

    A $600 setup by Toms to give an impression: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/core-i5-overclock-performance-gaming,3097.html

    ---------- Added 0 hours, 5 minutes and 43 seconds later... ----------


    large screen 24 inch: 1 gig enough.

    Why more gig on cards? For a gigantic display or more than 1 display.

    A slogan like: look this card had 2 gigh memory is marketing. The mspeed is more important. memory type GDDR5 is best
     
  9. Splunge

    Splunge Bhaal’s financial advisor Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I forgot to mention the part about monitor size. If your monitor is 24" or less, its native resolution is either 1920x1200 (16:10) or 1920x1080 (16:9) or lower; for this, 1GB of video RAM is enough. 2GB becomes important only with a resolution above 1920xXXXX, and your only goint to get that if your monitor is ~30" or more. Of course, that's based on games and monitors out now; I don't know whether 2GB will become important on a 24" screen in the future.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2011
  10. henkie

    henkie Hammertime Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Merlanni has some good suggestions, but I'd not go for such an expensive processor. As I said before, CPU power is not necessary for good performance in game, only if you have heavy applications like photo/video editing or coding (compiling), you'll want a heavy duty CPU like what Merlanni suggests. Otherwise, I'd go for a lower end CPU which will still be more than enough for most applications and invest more money in a faster videocard. This will be more noticeable in most games.

    Like Splunge and Merlanni suggest, the amount of memory is not leading for the performance of a videocard. More important than the amount is the speed of the memory, the bandwidth and the speed of the processing units (GPU). If you see (G)DDR3 on the specification of a videocard, you can be sure it's a low budget one. The GTX520 has this type of memory. You'll want the GDDR5 type of memory, like the HD6770 has. This is also a fairly budget card, though.

    The Gateway you linked has the typical thing you see on prebuilt PCs. It has a mid to high end processor, quite a lot of memory and a descent amount of hdd space, and a lot of people look no further than this and think it's a good deal. And are then disappointed by the poor performance in games. This is because it doesn't have a separate videocard, but an onboard Intel chipset, which can be outperformed easily by even the most budget separate videocards. Don't buy this unless you intend to add a separate videocard!

    Also it doesn't say what type of harddisk it is. Some disks are much slower than others and will make your system feel sluggish even if all the rest is not.

    About the videocard memory amount discussion, I don't know why you guys involve the resolution here. What you want for high end performance, is to have enough VRAM so that your videocard can just retrieve all textures from VRAM instead of having to wait until it's loaded from your HDD. And textures are not resolution dependent (unless you're playing Rage), so the relation between monitor resolution and VRAM amount is not clear to me.

    There are some games that have later gotten very high resolution texture packages available for download, like for instance in the Complete mods for STALKER games or some of the high texture packs for Oblivion, and for these things you'll want a lot of VRAM. For high resolution, your videocard just needs to render more pixels and this costs GPU power and bandwidth. Here the speed of your GPU (the CPU of the videocard) and the speed at which the data can be transfered (bandwidth) are more important.
     
  11. Splunge

    Splunge Bhaal’s financial advisor Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Don't ask me for technical details, but for instance, this is from AnandTech in a January 2011 review of the Radeon 6950 1GB:

    Maybe that's just for this card, but I've seen similar comments elsewhere when generally talking about 1GB vs 2GB.
     
  12. henkie

    henkie Hammertime Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Probably I've jumped to the wrong conclusions then, based on some things that I read in passing. Still, I think that for very high resolution textures you'd still want extra VRAM. But apparently also for higher resolutions.

    Are you also planning on getting a new monitor, Aldeth? And if so, what type/resolution did you have in mind?
     
  13. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    I wasn't intending on a new monitor. I mean, that is also about 6 years old, and it's your typical flat screen monitor. I don't know the size (I guess the diagonal could be 24", but I'd say it's less). Now you guys are making my head hurt.

    I always figured that I would have to purchase a video card separately. I thought the ones you got with the computer itself were typically crap. And I really guess I don't know much about video cards at all. I figured if I stuck to a name brand (like Nvidia or Radeon) that had a decent amount of memory that I'd be OK.
     
  14. Splunge

    Splunge Bhaal’s financial advisor Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Nope. Video RAM is one of the less important factors. The link Merlanni gave is good (http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fastest-graphics-card-radeon-geforce,3085.html), and for each of the cards, you can search Tom's or AnandTech for reviews of similar cards if you want something different but comparable. And I agree with others - stay away from pre-built stuff. Go to ibuypower or cyberpowerpc and build your own (or more accurately have them build it for you according to your specs). And if you need help, come back here :) I went to NCIX (which is like the other two, but in Canada), and had no problem. And I am not at all a techie (although I did have to do some research first).
     
  15. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Make sure of the Power Supply, that Gateway link doesn't give you the Power Supply info. I have owned 2 Gateways in my life, both had the PS blow. Otherwise they were solid machines and handled any new game I purchased.
     
  16. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    Well, if I do design my own and have someone build it for me, I'm going to need a lot of help from you guys. Just in the last few days of asking what I thought were a few simple questions here, I realize I don't even know what I don't know.

    All I know for sure at this point is I'll like want/need 8 GB RAM. Well, it's a start...

    You see, this is what I mean. Even if they gave me all the information I could possibly ever want to know, it wouldn't make a difference if it were written in English or Dwarvish. I don't know what the difference is between a good power supply or a bad power supply. I mean, really? There's a way you can tell if the power supply is good or not? Power supplies aren't standard parts that are pretty much the same no matter what type of computer you buy?

    EDIT: And now I have 11,000 posts. God - how many hours have I spent on this site???
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2011
  17. Merlanni

    Merlanni Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    how about this: http://www.cyberpowerpc.com/ select z68

    You will be blown away by the amount of options you can select. take your time. Take a long time.

    for gaming add graphics card amd 6850/6870 or nvidia 550/560.

    with the power supply add a 80+ supply You will earn it back with the electrical bill. The cooler master silent pro is a high end power supply. it is worth it.

    It is not cheap more like expensive, but you get the idea.

    They go to far with the details, and the site itself is tricky.

    ---------- Added 0 hours, 18 minutes and 56 seconds later... ----------

    This site is not so tech heavy, but a very well respected site.
    http://www.tomshardware.com/

    The system builder marathon 600 is more what I had in mind. it also shows how tricky cyberpower pc can be.
     
  18. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    Cyberpower makes my head hurt. I don't know enough to make an intelligent decision on that website. There are just so many choices for each component, and I have no idea in most cases when going up or down a level in price is a good idea or not. I'm willing to spend more money for more performance, but sometimes it seems like more money will not necessarily result in more performance.

    Perhaps I can better explain this by example. It seems like you can get a budget gaming PC for $600-$700. I will gladly spend $800-$1000 if that means I'm getting a much better PC. And it seems like you can get a significantly better PC if you're will to pay an extra $200-$300. The issue I'm having is I don't know where that extra money is best used.

    I guess my question at this point, is assuming a budget of around $900 (say anywhere between $800-$1000), what components should I prioritize for that, and what components are not as worrisome?
     
  19. Splunge

    Splunge Bhaal’s financial advisor Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    The good thing about Cyberpowerpc (or ibuypower) is that you pick a system (the Z68 is a great choice), and it gives you a starting point. Then you just make the changes you want.

    Personally, I would take the Z68 build, and change the following:
    - change the video card to at least a Radeon 6850 (or a GeForce GTX 550 Ti if you prefer Nvidea)
    - get the Coolermaster Silent Pro 600W power supply that Merlanni recommended. More wattage than needed, but since PSU's tend to degrade over time, and you're probably going to hold onto the computer for a few years, it makes sense to go this route. Plus you have capacity to add another GPU.

    And that's it. I think everything else is adequate. It would be nice to know the speciic hard drive brand, but aside from that, you should be good to go. Total price $920.
     
  20. Merlanni

    Merlanni Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Just to be sure, it looks like there is no windows 7 installed on the z68. add about a hundred more.

    always hard to decide. If you take a pre build out of the box with good but not top grade components you will save money. And money counts these days

    Why do I pick the I5 2500K processor? It is on the sweet spot of price/performance. It also means $1000 with a decent videocard and an excellent Power Supply. everywhere I look it is around $1000.

    To warn you not to rush I say it once again. Hardware prices tend to drop in January. I know for sure that intel is lowering prices for CPU's in the next month or so. AMD launches the new video-card series, meaning that the current one drops(6850/6870). Any holiday discount will be negated by that.

    A little trivia: the Powers supply functions best when it uses between 50- to 75% of its power.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2011
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