Advices to upgrade a computer needed !

Spliffy33

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21 Sep 2013
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Hi all,

I'd like to upgrade my hardware and I have several questions to be sure I'm not wrong and I won't buy wrong stuff !
So, currently, as I said in another topic, here is my config:

- Motherboard : ASRock N68-S3 UCC (link),
- CPU : AMD Athlon II X4 640 3GHz,
- RAM : 2 x No Brand 2Go DDR3 667MHz,
- GPU : ATI Radeon HD 6770 1Go DDR3 (link),
- Hard Drives : 500Go + 1To.

First question :
As it's written on the motherboard's specifications, it has 1 PCI Express x16 slot.
And my GPU is a PCI Express 2.1 x16.
So, is my GPU running now at full power ?

I already have my little answer and I'm looking for a new motherboard where my CPU can be set (with an AM3 or AM3+ socket !?) and with, at least, a PCI Express 2.0 x16 slot and the biggest chipset !

Second question :
How difficult is it to remove my CPU from my current motherboard and set it in the new motherboard !?

Third question : About motherboard size.
My current one is a Micro-ATX but ATX ones seem to be better !
How can I be sure I can set an ATX motherboard ?
My case seems to be big enough (height : 42cm - length : 44cm - width : 18cm) ... Only a question of case size !?....

Fourth question :
About RAM.
I definitively need to buy bigger and better RAM.
But, can I buy whatever RAM I want ?
On the motherboard's webpage, there is a list of different RAM models : http://www.asrock.com/mb/memory/N68-S3 UCC.pdf
What does this list mean ?

I'm getting lost with all these technical data and compatibility restrictions !.... World of computers !!!....
 
Last edited:

glenwilson

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Do you really want to stick to a AMD CPU? If not then Intel has some new stuff out soon that maybe worth waiting for. These should generate less heat and require less power as a result.

Swapping CPU is easy. If you haven't done it before YouTube is your new best friend.

RAM - most of the things I have seen recently suggest that 8 is the sweet spot for windows and running most normal app sang games. If you do any photo or video editing then more can be useful. Unless you are over clocking the system and RAM then normal is just as good as the expensive. Branded RAM may have a better guarantee and support than unbranded but if price is a factor unbranded should be ok. I've not had any trouble with memory.

Consider an SSD, even a small one for the OS will make a big difference as long as you keep it just for that. I also use one for games which helps loading times dramatically. If you don't want an SSD consider a hybrid drive. Use one on my laptop and that speeds things up a decent amount though not as fast as an SSD.
 

parafant

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3 Mar 2014
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Somewhere in Germany
Hi all,

I'd like to upgrade my hardware and I have several questions to be sure I'm not wrong and I won't buy wrong stuff !
So, currently, as I said in another topic, here is my config:

- Motherboard : ASRock N68-S3 UCC (link),
- CPU : AMD Athlon II X4 640 3GHz,
- RAM : 2 x No Brand 2Go DDR3 667MHz,
- GPU : ATI Radeon HD 6770 1Go DDR3 (link),
- Hard Drives : 500Go + 1To.

First question :
As it's written on the motherboard's specifications, it has 1 PCI Express x16 slot.
And my GPU is a PCI Express 2.1 x16.
So, is my GPU running now at full power ?

I already have my little answer and I'm looking for a new motherboard where my CPU can be set (with an AM3 or AM3+ socket !?) and with, at least, a PCI Express 2.0 x16 slot and the biggest chipset !
All new GPU have there own power plugs directly from the powersupply, so there is no problem. ;)
New Board? Asus!


Second question :
How difficult is it to remove my CPU from my current motherboard and set it in the new motherboard !?
Its really easy. Take a AM3+ Board, they work with AM3 and if you want a new CPU, you don´t need a new Board.
You need some heatsink paste. My favorite is Arctic Silver.

Third question : About motherboard size.
My current one is a Micro-ATX but ATX ones seem to be better !
How can I be sure I can set an ATX motherboard ?
My case seems to be big enough (height : 42cm - length : 44cm - width : 18cm) ... Only a question of case size !?....


If you like fidgeting, there is no problem with your case.
Most Problem is the GPU in this little case, it needs to much space.

Fourth question : About RAM.
I definitively need to buy bigger and better RAM.
But, can I buy whatever RAM I want ?
On the motherboard's webpage, there is a list of different RAM models : http://www.asrock.com/mb/memory/N68-S3 UCC.pdf
What does this list mean ?

I'm getting lost with all these technical data and compatibility restrictions !.... World of computers !!!....
Same opinion like the others: 8 GB RAM definitly!
These lists are only a guideline. These are the RAM who works at it best with the Board.
But its only a guideline. The Producer dont test all RAM with his Boards.
Only thing you have to look at ist the tickrate of the board and the RAM.
If the RAM have a to fast Tickrate, it will be a. downgrade by the board and work with a lower tickrate without problems or b. it doesnt work. ;)


And for the Intel Groupies: Yes, AMD needs more Power, but a CPU with same specifications is AMD much more cheaper.
For this saving, i can burn a lot of electric power. ;)
Btw... My 8-core never runs with all cores, he alsways don´t have enough to do. :D
 

samoz83

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15 Mar 2012
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Only thing you have to look at ist the tickrate of the board and the RAM.
If the RAM have a to fast Tickrate, it will be a. downgrade by the board and work with a lower tickrate without problems or b. it doesnt work. ;)
I would also check you're getting the right voltage ram
 

Spliffy33

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21 Sep 2013
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Re : Re: Advices to upgrade a computer needed !

@glenwilson: how much for the last Intel CPU !? 2-300 €uro$ !!!... I'd rather buy a PS4 !
And I must admit I don't really know what a SSD is made for !
Earning time and starting OS faster, loading game maps faster !??...
I have "things" to roll between my fingers while loooowaaaaading !!!...

@parafant:
About GPU and MB: it's not a question of power supply but about data transfer speed, what PCI Express slot is made for : x16 2.0 is faster than x16 !
And there is no written trace about PCI Express x16 2.0 in the webpage's MB ....
OK for the heatsink paste to plug a CPU in a MB !
I was sure my case was big enough for a big MB but I have just realized the 3Go GPU sizes !!!
Indeed, my case should be a bit small !!!

I would also check you're getting the right voltage ram
@samoz : how do you check that ?

What I am thinking about :
MB : Asus A88XM-A (~65€)
CPU : AMD A8 7600 3.1GHz (~100€)
RAM : 2 x 4Go DDR3 Corsair C11 Vengeance Red 2133MHz (~90€)
 

Spliffy33

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Re : Advices to upgrade a computer needed !

Here is a photo of my PSU :
PSU.jpg
And here are some pictures of my beautiful green-lighting case :
IMG_05322.jpgIMG_0534.jpgIMG_0536.jpg

I'm now a bit confused and would like to know how many FPS do you run BF3 or BF4 with ?
Also, my Windows performance grade is 5.7 because of my main hard disk and its data transfer rate !...
7.3 for all the other criteria ! It's not so bad for a 4 or 5 years-old computer !!???...

But the problem is, sometimes (... often !), my CPU is over-heating (over 51°C) and the game freezes !

So, would I rather buy a water-cooling system than an almost-complete config !?

Other point, about BF4 recommended config :
They are talking about a 6-cores AMD CPU with a 3Go AMD Radeon HD 7870 !
I didn't find such a GPU, only with 2Go memory (no possibility to increase GPU's memory !?), that runs with PCI Express x16 2.0.
All the 3Go GPU run with a PCI Express x16 3.0.
And there are no 6-cores AMD CPU that can fit in a PCI Express 3.0 MB !
So !!!???....

In your opinion, which would be the best AMD CPU :
1. AMD A8-7600 (FM2+ socket ... can run PCIe 3.0 !) - 4 cores - 3.1GHz (Max.: 3.9) - with AMD Radeon R7 graphic controller integrated,
2. AMD FX 6350 (AM3+ socket ... can't run PCIe 3.0 !) - 6 cores - 3.9GHz (Max.: 4.2).
 

glenwilson

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Re: Re : Re: Advices to upgrade a computer needed !

Spliffy33;27578]@glenwilson: how much for the last Intel CPU !? 2-300 €uro$ !!!... I'd rather buy a PS4 !
And I must admit I don't really know what a SSD is made for !
Earning time and starting OS faster, loading game maps faster !??...
I have "things" to roll between my fingers while loooowaaaaading !!!...



Core i5 is about £160 which is fine for BF4 and most things. Not found much difference in performance compared to an i7 in other machine.

I find having Windows on a Solid State Disk rather than a Hard Disk just speeds things up. From pressing the power button to being able to use Windows takes about 20sec on my PC with an SSD. Makes it more useable because it doesn't take long to start do something and switching it off I don't tend to leave it on all the time. Even a cheap SSD (240GB for £75) will be a big difference to a "normal" rotating disk. For storage then HDD still gives best value with 4TB at about £100.

I've got a Fractal case which is nice to access when you have to but after the initial build the only time I have been in there was to remove a failed drive. Thought about building another small PC but heat can be a bit of an issue and that can lead to noise. Mine isn't silent but it isn't too intrusive in normal use and when the fans speed up when gaming the speakers tend to drown out the fan noise anyway.

Starting BF4, loading the map to pulling the trigger takes about 35 secs from an SSD drive. Not timed it recently but an HDD was taking a fair bit longer to get into the game.
 

lakaelo

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think this is all a shot in the dark till you say how much many you will spend. :)

i build my little boy a decent pc this year and it works well to play bf3 and even bf4. so i will post the list with the components i take ( or camparable items ). maybe its helpfull for you. :)

1. case
you have a nice one ( MS-tech hornet ? )

2. motherboard 55.- €
Asrock FM2A88M EXTREME4+ Mainboard Sockel FM2+: Amazon.de: Computer & Zubehör

3. grafikcard 130.-€ ( for bf3 a gtx 550ti is enough but to play bf4 you need a bigger one like that to play in mid settings )
Asus NVIDIA GeForce GTX750TI OC Grafikkarte: Amazon.de: Computer & Zubehör

4. 8 GB ram 70.- €
Crucial BLS2CP4G3D1609DS1S00CEU Ballistix Sport: Amazon.de: Computer & Zubehör

5. CPU 70.- €
AMD Athlon II X4 750K Quad-Core Prozessor schwarz: Amazon.de: Computer & Zubehör

6. GPU
you run a running a 520W so this should handle the new setup as well.

all in all you have to pay around 325.- € for this bf4 setup but you can be sure its runnig the next years and next game generations.
 

Spliffy33

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21 Sep 2013
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Re : Advices to upgrade a computer needed !

@glenwilson: OK for a SSD, but I don't know how to tranfer my OS and the games on it !...

Yes : Intel CPU cost about 160£ = 200€ - AMD ~ 100€ = 80£ !...

@lakaelo : I've bought this computer 3 years ago in a used stuff store ~300€ (the case is a Raidmax one).

Your MB (Asus M5A97 R2.0) is an AM3+ socket whereas your CPU (AMD Athlon II X4 750K Black Edition) is a FM2 socket ! WTF !?

By the way, I didn't look at FM2 socket CPU and MB but it could be a good intermediate because MB can run PCIe 3.0 but no 6-cores CPU !....

Is an integrated graphic chip in a CPU very helpful ?
 
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Spliffy33

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21 Sep 2013
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Re : Re: Advices to upgrade a computer needed !

OK ! I'm looking for a FM2+ socket with surely an AMD A10 7700K 3.8GHz Black Edition CPU !...

What is the best GPU :

- VTX3D AMD Radeon R9 270 2Go GDDR5 V2 X-Edition (PCIe 2.1)
- Sapphire AMD Radeon HD7950 3Go GDDR5 with boost (PCIe 3.0)
 

glenwilson

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Re: Re : Advices to upgrade a computer needed !

"OK for a SSD, but I don't know how to tranfer my OS and the games on it !..."

If you are making mobo/cpu and other changes then I would back everything up and do a fresh install. The reason I would do that is to ensure that you have the correct drivers for any new hardware and drivers for the old hardware are removed. Windows has a utility that will clone your drive to another disk which can the be used to restore to a new disk. Or you can install the new disk to the PC, clone the existing boot drive to the new one, remove the old one and boot the drive (you will probably have to change the boot disk in BIOS as it would be on a different channel. Once it boots OK the other disk can be reinstalled and formatted as required (or kept as a backup).

For a fresh install, Windows has a utility that will back up all your data and setting but any apps/progs would need to be reinstalled.

If your copy of Windows came with the PC you may need to buy a new copy as you are only allowed to make certain changes to the PC before it starts mumping. Usually a motherboard and/or CPU change will require buying a new copy.

Other things to remember are to make a note of the Windows key before doing anything and also de-authorising software like iTunes, Phototshop and so on BEFORE you make any hardware changes - can save a few problems later.
 

Spliffy33

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21 Sep 2013
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Re : Re: Re : Advices to upgrade a computer needed !

Briliant website samoz !

... but any apps/progs would need to be reinstalled.
That would be the most binding because I'm also thinking about moving to Windows 8 !
I'll have to reload all the games !!!...
Buying Windows !??... Kidding !!!???...

Who would be interested in a Gigabyte GTX 780 OC WindForce 3Go for 270€ (~215£) + postage costs !?

How many FPS do you run BF3 and/or BF4 ?


I can run BF3 with 30 FPS in high quality, 45 in medium. But my CPU ends up over-heating each time !
Have to look better for BF4.

I wonder why I have such a Windows performance grade (7.3 with Windows 7 64bits) and have some frozen screens, even with BF2 (especially when I want to aim at an enemy - right-click) and more often with BF3, after 30 or 45 minutes playing, when they are several players around me !
 
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waxxzer

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Re: Re : Re: Re : Advices to upgrade a computer needed !

You can back-up your Origin ProgramFiles (C:\Program Files (x86)\Origin Games) if you follow Glens advice from your (now) second disk to your (new) primary disk. First install Origin and then copy files to that folder. This also works for Steam, although you need the hole directory there. Good luck choosing and building!
 

Spliffy33

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21 Sep 2013
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Re : Advices to upgrade a computer needed !

Now, I know my MB can run PCIe 2.0.
And I've been able to get over 50 FPS with BF4 on the NRU server.
So till my old 4 cores AMD CPU is not dead, I'd better invest in a better (Nvidia) GPU.

Can I run a PCIe 3.0 GPU with my PCIe 2.0 MB ?
Can I hope less CPU over-heating with better RAM or may I invest too in a water-cooling system?