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Belinrahs
I have an ego the size of a small planet
Premium
join:2007-09-07
Nashville, MI
Reviews:
·FreedomNet Wirel..

2 edits

[Parts Check] Upgrading old-ish gaming build -- bottleneck?

Here are my current specs:
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+, 2.2 GHz
Foxconn A78AX-S mobo (AM2/AM2+ compat, but with a BIOS update it becomes AM3 compat)
NVIDIA GeForce 9500 GT
4GB ram running dual-channel
150GB SATA hard drive (yes, I know, small)
Windows 7 Pro x64

My budget is about $250, and I'm looking at this:
»www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a···14500193

Will anything, i.e. my processor, possibly bottleneck that from running at it's full capacity? Or as a bonus, what can I do with that $250 to get the best upgrade bang for my buck? Pretty much any modern game, even Minecraft, runs pretty badly on here, and I want to be able to run these reliably. I think that video card is a steal.

Thanks in advance for any help you can give!
--
Don't knock the weather. If it didn't change once in a while, nine out of ten people couldn't start a conversation.


JoelC707
Premium
join:2002-07-09
Lanett, AL
kudos:5

Honestly, anything will be an upgrade over that 9500 GT. I started out years ago with an 8500 GT (basically identical to the 9500) and I couldn't run anything that well. Even WoW struggled on that card. A CPU and GPU upgrade would be ideal and could be done within your $250 budget.

Best budget GPU (under $200) is the 6870 and can be had used for about the same price as the 550 Ti you linked. The 6870 is a little better than the 550 Ti and just a little slower than the 560 Ti but all of them would be an upgrade for you. New, the 6870 runs about $160-170 on Newegg. The 560 Ti (either version) is over $200 so it's going to cost a bit more and likely not fit your budget.

The next major question for you is what is your current PSU? You need something decent and with two 6-pin PCIe connectors to run any of the GPUs I've mentioned.

Do you have the BIOS upgraded for AM3 support yet? For the CPU, »www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a···19103904 would be a decent upgrade to what you have now. Can reuse the existing fan or get a new one if you want. That CPU plus a 6870 would be under your $250 limit.


asdfdfdfdfdf
Premium
join:2012-05-09
kudos:3
reply to Belinrahs

Your power supply could be an issue. Can you give the power supply brand and model number if you know it?

Is minecraft your primary concern or some other game?



pog4
Premium
join:2004-06-03
Kihei, HI
reply to Belinrahs

said by Belinrahs:

Will anything, i.e. my processor, possibly bottleneck that from running at it's full capacity?

At 2.2Ghz, your CPU might not meet minimum/recommended specs for many newer games. Certainly, a better GPU would make a huge difference either way but you'll still be limited IMO.

According to »www.cpu-upgrade.com/mb-Foxconn/A78AX-S.html there are a lot of options for your motherboard, though. The question, to me, is whether or not you should spend much to build around this board at all.

Your budget of $250 is not enough for a complete new build, of course. If you held on a little longer with what you have, would you be able to justify a higher budget? You could do amazing things, I think, with just a couple hundred more.
--
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koitsu
Premium,MVM
join:2002-07-16
Mountain View, CA
kudos:23
reply to Belinrahs

Without knowing what you use your system for the majority of the time, it's hard for me to tell you what part to upgrade. But if I had to make a recommendation, given that at least one (badly-written and GPU-intensive-for-no-real-reason) game was mentioned, I would say a GPU upgrade would be your best choice. If I had to recommend a card to you it would be an nVidia GTX 560 Ti. That'll run you about US$225-250, but should last you 3-4 years at least. If you want a specific model recommended to you that runs cool and is super quiet, the MSI N560GTX-TI Twin Frozr II is a wonderful card (I own one). I do not recommend the overclocked models (I prefer stablity and that my games don't start showing weird polygon problems or random dots all over things), and I have no idea how much hotter the 2GB model gets.

My 2nd recommendation, given that you're running Windows 7 64-bit would be RAM (to 8GB or more; your choice how much). Check to make sure your system can support more first though, I don't remember what your northbridge (chipset) has for a limit, nor what DIMM sizes your board supports, or how many DIMM slots there are.

You can definitely make do with a 150GB SATA drive. If you ever get desperate and start running out of disk space (or better yet, if the drive starts going bad on you), let me know and I'll be happy to exchange it with one of my working spares (note that the 2TB model is not up for grabs ). I always enjoy helping out those in need.
--
Making life hard for others since 1977.
I speak for myself and not my employer/affiliates of my employer.



Belinrahs
I have an ego the size of a small planet
Premium
join:2007-09-07
Nashville, MI
Reviews:
·FreedomNet Wirel..

1 edit
reply to Belinrahs

Minecraft isn't my primary concern - I play a lot of WoW, Binding of Isaac, etc. I like quite a few games. With my current config, even that flash game Happy Wheels lags.

I don't know the manufacturer or model number of my PSU right off, but I do know that is rated at 580W so it should be alright.



Belinrahs
I have an ego the size of a small planet
Premium
join:2007-09-07
Nashville, MI
reply to koitsu

Koitsu: check your messages, I sent you something.


asdfdfdfdfdf
Premium
join:2012-05-09
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Verizon Wireless..
reply to Belinrahs

The flash games might not be gpu or even cpu related. What version of flash are you using and do you have gpu acceleration turned on? Have you looked into tweaks for running flash games?

The best way to test WoW and determine if you are graphics limited or more cpu limited is to choose an area where you are having problems and play with the resolution drastically reduced to a very low resolution. If performance increases are big then a graphics upgrade should help. If performance is still crap then you likely have a different problem.



Belinrahs
I have an ego the size of a small planet
Premium
join:2007-09-07
Nashville, MI
Reviews:
·FreedomNet Wirel..

WoW really isn't that terrible on my current config. At my current settings, I think somewhere between low and medium, and 1920x1080, I get an average of 30-40 FPS, and in really intense situations with lots of particle effects, etc it dips down to maybe 10. It's other games that are more of an issue.


asdfdfdfdfdf
Premium
join:2012-05-09
kudos:3

"It's other games that are more of an issue."

The flash games you mention? What version of flash are you using and do you have gpu acceleration turned on?



Belinrahs
I have an ego the size of a small planet
Premium
join:2007-09-07
Nashville, MI

Since reinstalling Windows 7 due to some problem with upgrading the BIOS, Flash games seem to be fine, but Binding of Isaac is as slow as ever. I'm using the latest version of Flash and as far as I know, GPU acceleration should be on.



pnjunction
Teksavvy Extreme
Premium
join:2008-01-24
Toronto, ON
kudos:1
reply to Belinrahs

That x2 4200+ is probably really sucking wind right now. If you really can update the BIOS for am3 compatibility the A6-3650 can be had from newegg for $80/100 for oem/retail (without/with cooler). If not you can still get a phenom ii x4 for about $100.

After that you could still get the 550ti and stay within your budget, but for less than $150 I would really recommend the radeon 6850. Of course you can spend more to get 6870 or 560ti but I think with a $250 budget the quad-core CPU and the 6850 will do nicely. (Assuming you PSU holds up, you'll probably want to have either a quality 450W or a 500+W)

The RAM is probably OK for a while as long as you don't leave a ton of stuff open while you play 3d games. The hard drive is hurting a bit, newer larger ones are faster, but that will really only affect loading times.


asdfdfdfdfdf
Premium
join:2012-05-09
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Verizon Wireless..
reply to Belinrahs

I think binding of isaac is flash based also.
I would try disabling flash hardware acceleration. It can sometimes actually help performance.

If you right click the object when viewing something like a flash video and then choose settings and the display tab. The hardware acceleration check box should be there.



Belinrahs
I have an ego the size of a small planet
Premium
join:2007-09-07
Nashville, MI
reply to pnjunction

The A6-3650 is socket FM1 according to Newegg. Not sure that it'd be compatible with what I have. It also appears to be CPU+GPU AIO so that might be more than I need. I will look at the Phenom, though.



Belinrahs
I have an ego the size of a small planet
Premium
join:2007-09-07
Nashville, MI
Reviews:
·FreedomNet Wirel..
reply to Belinrahs

Well, I've done the deal and I've bought a Phenom II X4 965 BE for about $120 and a HIS Radeon HD 6850 IceQ X Turbo 1 GB (256bit) GDDR5 for $160. I bought from Amazon rather than Newegg simply because I have Prime and the Amazon.com Visa so I get triple rewards points if I buy from Amazon. Hoping to get a newer hard drive here in the near future - I think the main thing holding me back at this point is a severe lack of free space on my HDD. Short of that bit, the hard drive does run like a champ.

EDIT: koitsu See Profile has been generous enough to donate a larger hard drive in exchange for my current one. Big props for helping me out!
--
Don't knock the weather. If it didn't change once in a while, nine out of ten people couldn't start a conversation.



pnjunction
Teksavvy Extreme
Premium
join:2008-01-24
Toronto, ON
kudos:1

Oops my bad forgot that those use a different socket.

Best of luck installing the phenom ii x4 and the 6850 it should be a nice boost for the money.


asdfdfdfdfdf
Premium
join:2012-05-09
kudos:3
reply to Belinrahs

Not sure your motherboard will be happy with a 125w cpu. Let us know how it goes for future reference.



Belinrahs
I have an ego the size of a small planet
Premium
join:2007-09-07
Nashville, MI
Reviews:
·FreedomNet Wirel..

I wondered that myself, but on »www.cpu-upgrade.com/mb-Foxconn/A78AX-S.html there are two 125W CPUs listed, but that is only listing AM2/AM2+ CPUs, so presumably it'll take my 125W AM3.



SysOp

join:2001-04-18
Douglasville, GA
Reviews:
·MetroPCS
reply to Belinrahs

You are on the right track.

Video card is most important.

Get a 1 or 2Tb HDD (high density=faster)

Before you buy check it out on passmark.

»www.passmark.com/index.html



Belinrahs
I have an ego the size of a small planet
Premium
join:2007-09-07
Nashville, MI

The drive that's coming is a WDC WD1002FAEX, and Passmark rating is here: »www.harddrivebenchmark.net/hdd.p···1002FAEX



XT0RT
S3x, Drugs, War

join:2001-07-28
Edmonton, AB
reply to Belinrahs

The most recent BIOS for that board shows support for Phenom II X6 processors and two of them are rated at 125W. Putting a Phenom II X4 BE into that board shouldn't be an issue.

Remember that CPU Upgrade is a website based from user input. It may not always be accurate.

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Core i7 2720QM : GTX 460M (485M R.I.P) : 16GB DDR3-1333 : 320GB x 2 in RAID 0 : Windows 7 Professional x64 SP1
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