Is it worth it to upgrade my PC?

Magix

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Hello, I've heard good stuff about this forum, hopefully you guys can give me some info : )

So I have this computer, so far I haven't had any problems with it - runs pretty much every game to my satisfaction. That being said, I don't play many hardware intensive games.
I've recently picked up Prototype 2 however, and it's apparent that my computer isn't exactly up to par. I can manage playing it on lowest settings, but it gets a little laggy at times and sometimes randomly just crashes (it's a legit copy - so I'm assuming it just runs out of memory or something).

I can't afford a whole new computer, so my question is - can I, and would it be worth it to try to upgrade my current one? The option would be to either get a new video card or a new CPU - from what I see video cards are cheaper, so that'd be the first choice. I'd be willing to put around 100$ on this, however I'm from Estonia so that doesn't really paint the whole picture.
Anyway, here's my computer.

64bit windows 7
22 inch monitor (1920x1080)
4 gb RAM
AMD Athlon II x2 245 processor (2,9 GHz)
Ati Radeon HD 4670 video card
MSI GF615M-P33 motherboard

Of course it'd have to be compatible with my old motherboard, since getting that one as well doesn't exactly fit my budget =P
As for what I use the computer for - well, a little bit of recording Minecraft and editing that in Vegas - but mostly just playing games like Minecraft, League of Legends, Counter Strike, Assassin's Creed, Prototype, CoD etc.
 

E4g1e

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It is definitely not worth the money to upgrade that system at this point: Nvidia is now no longer producing motherboard core-logic chipsets for AMD or Intel CPUs any more. In addition, almost all of the CPUs that are supported by that motherboard of yours are now EOL (End Of Life) - or no longer being produced. Third, that motherboard has a CPU TDP compatibility limit of only 95W - but some of AMD's better CPUs gor that socket have either 125W or 140W TDP ratings - too high for that mobo.
 

gkg101

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It is definitely not worth the money to upgrade that system at this point: Nvidia is now no longer producing motherboard core-logic chipsets for AMD or Intel CPUs any more. In addition, almost all of the CPUs that are supported by that motherboard of yours are now EOL (End Of Life) - or no longer being produced. Third, that motherboard has a CPU TDP compatibility limit of only 95W - but some of AMD's better CPUs gor that socket have either 125W or 140W TDP ratings - too high for that mobo.

But you could spend $100 on a video card, maybe something like a gtx 460. The Athlon II, while EOL, is still pretty capable taking advantage of decent video card
 

Dangman

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But you could spend $100 on a video card, maybe something like a gtx 460. The Athlon II, while EOL, is still pretty capable taking advantage of decent video card

No point in upgrading the GPU if the PSU isn't known.
 

Magix

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Ah, I had a feeling that would come up, but didn't feel like taking the computer apart in the middle of the night ^^

The PSU is a Compucase Altis A550-DX, 550w.
 
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E4g1e

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Ah, I had a feeling that would come up, but didn't feel like taking the computer apart in the middle of the night ^^

The PSU is a Compucase Altis A550-DX, 550w.

Now that I know, that PSU is realistically at best a sub-400W unit. HEC/Compucase's low-end units are, simply put, not of good quality to begin with.
 
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Magix

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So it wouldn't be able to handle some 1gb video card? And furthermore, if I was to get one, would it actually make a difference?

We have a nice website in Estonia that pretty much collects all retailers for computer components here, and none of them seem to offer the GTX 460 (which also happens to be the recommended GPU for prototype 2). In fact, we have GTX 275, and next is GTX 465, which is significantly more expensive (150 euros).
So I'd rather look at some Ati's. Here's a list of GPU's that seem to be available:
-snip-
 
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E4g1e

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So it wouldn't be able to handle some 1gb video card? And furthermore, if I was to get one, would it actually make a difference?

We have a nice website in Estonia that pretty much collects all retailers for computer components here, and none of them seem to offer the GTX 460 (which also happens to be the recommended GPU for prototype 2). In fact, we have GTX 275, and next is GTX 465, which is significantly more expensive (150 euros).
So I'd rather look at some Ati's. Here's a list of GPU's that seem to be available:

Radeon HD 7970
Radeon HD 7870
Radeon HD 7850
Radeon HD 7770
Radeon HD 7750
Radeon HD 6970
Radeon HD 6950
Radeon HD 6870
Radeon HD 6850
Radeon HD 6790
Radeon HD 6770
Radeon HD 6750
Radeon HD 6670
Radeon HD 6570
Radeon HD 6450
Radeon HD 5970
Radeon HD 5770
Radeon HD 5670
Radeon HD 5570
Radeon HD 5450
Radeon HD 4550
Radeon HD 4350
GeForce GTX 590
GeForce GTX 580
GeForce GTX 570
GeForce GTX 560
GeForce GTX 550
GeForce GTX 465
GeForce GTX 275
GeForce GTS 450
GeForce GT 430
GeForce GT 220
GeForce 8400 Series
GeForce 7950 Series
GeForce 6800 Series
GeForce 6200 Series
Quadro NVS Series
Matrox Millennium
Matrox M-Series

As part of a system, the higher-end GPUs all require a PSU that's capable of far greater wattage than what your current PSU is realistically capable of. In fact, I would not go for a discrete GPU that's above the HD 5570 or 6570 for AMD GPUs or the GeForce GT 430 for Nvidia (based on the list of GPUs that you posted) if you want to continue using that same low-quality HEC PSU. Unfortunately, none of those three would be an upgrade from your current HD 4670 in terms of performance.

So in other words, I would strongly recommend replacing that PSU with a better unit before you upgrade the GPU.
 

Magix

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Would a 5570/6570 not be enough though?

Can't really afford more than just one component right now, if I'm gonna go for a PSU, might as well just wait a year or two and then get a whole new computer.
 

E4g1e

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Would a 5570/6570 not be enough though?

Can't really afford more than just one component right now, if I'm gonna go for a PSU, might as well just wait a year or two and then get a whole new computer.

That's exactly what I meant when I stated that the 5570 or 6570 would not be an upgrade from your current 4670. Too bad your current PSU is so low in quality that it could not handle much if any more than that. Thus, if you cannot afford upgrading more than one component, you might as well just save up for a completely new system or build at this point since it is penny wise and pound foolish to upgrade one without the other. If you upgrade the GPU without also upgrading the PSU, you might as well be left permanently with no PC at all whatsoever: That PSU could very well die out or explode on you when you do such an upgrade, and the PSU could kill some or all of the remaining components of your PC!
 

Dangman

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I concur with E4g1e: Just save your money and get a new PC later on. It's simply not a smart idea to use that crappy PSU with any decent GPU.
 

Magix

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Months have passed and I am back to pondering about my computer setup :D
Started up playing CS Global Offensive and there is no way I am currently able to pump out 100 fps, even on low settings, so considering getting that PSU + GPU combo.

If I do that, does it provide me with the possibility to upgrade even more in the future? I.e if I get a new PSU and GPU for my current mobo, could I in the future just update my mobo and CPU separately?

Thanks a lot for the help by the way
 

Dangman

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If I do that, does it provide me with the possibility to upgrade even more in the future?
Yes if you get a good PSU.
I.e if I get a new PSU and GPU for my current mobo, could I in the future just update my mobo and CPU separately?
Yes if your RAM is rated at 1.5V and below, you could potentially just update your mobo and CPU together later on.
 

Magix

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Good PSU, what does that mean? :p

Corsair CX500V2 80plus - Would this be enough? Any better alternatives?

As for the RAM, not sure how to check for that, here's the SIW screen:
http://i.imgur.com/jUPf9.png
Not a big deal to get new RAM too though. (Guessing it's not a good thing that the current two are from different manufacturers)
 

Dangman

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Yeah just replace the RAM as a precaution as well.

That Corsair is an ok PSU.
 

Magix

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Thanks. As for the GPU, can I get anything good for max 100 eur (preferably less)? Should I go for 1gb or 2gb at this point? What manufacturer? What effective difference will they result in?

It's rather confusing because just filtering by price there are 2gb ones at 40 euros, as well as 1gb ones at 100 euros. Obviously there are other things to look at, but I don't know what they are : (
 

Dangman

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Thanks. As for the GPU, can I get anything good for max 100 eur (preferably less)?
I can't say: You're in Europe which means you automatically pay more for computer hardware than we do here in the U.S and I don't know the hardware prices in Estonia. Is there any online computer hardware store that ships to Estonia that you use a lot? If so, please tell us so that we can look up the GPUs ourselves.
T
Should I go for 1gb or 2gb at this point? What manufacturer? What effective difference will they result in?

It's rather confusing because just filtering by price there are 2gb ones at 40 euros, as well as 1gb ones at 100 euros. Obviously there are other things to look at, but I don't know what they are : (
The VRAM itself is the last thing you should be looking at right now. It's the performance of the GPU itself you have to look at. Unfortunately you cannot compare based on specs alone so you basically have to read a lot of video card reviews in order to get an idea of how well a GPU performs.

With that said, 100 euros is roughly $131 USD. Generally, the 2GB VRAM cards you see in that $131 price range aren't worth the money. That apply to Estonia as well.
 

Magix

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I can't say: You're in Europe which means you automatically pay more for computer hardware than we do here in the U.S and I don't know the hardware prices in Estonia. Is there any online computer hardware store that ships to Estonia that you use a lot? If so, please tell us so that we can look up the GPUs ourselves.

Yeah, I learned that, rather depressing indeed.

Well, I use a site that essentially collects data from all Estonian retailers into one page. It's in Estonian, but should be fairly intuitive navigation. The left side menu has all the filters.

http://www.hinnavaatlus.ee/products/Arvutiriistvara/Videokaardid/

I don't really have any experience with shipping from other countries, but something tells me the taxes combined with the headache of actually figuring out payment methods (paypal or something) would not be worth the trouble.
 

Magix

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How about the 7750 instead? Seems to be recommended by tomshardware as well, and it's 80 euros.
http://www.hinnavaatlus.ee/products/Arvutiriistvara/Videokaardid/277378/

The cheap side of me is shoving me towards the 6670, at around 58 euros. If all I want is CS global offensive at 128 fps and to be able to run modern games on medium settings without problem, would that be a wise decision? Or would I end up smacking myself in the face 6 months in because it'll be too outdated?
http://www.hinnavaatlus.ee/products/Arvutiriistvara/Videokaardid/256454/

Also, are those actually compatible with my MSI GF615M-P33 mobo?

Gah, lots of questions, I hope I'm not annoying you =P
 

Dangman

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Any of the GPUs should work with your mobo. I don't recommend the HD 6670 at all. I'd still recommend the HD 7770 as that would increase your chance of not being disappointed with the performance later on.

For future reference, avoid Tom's Hardware for any sort of hardware advice. They're not all that good.
 

Magix

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How about this one? : D

Tagan Piperock III 700W

Sorry, just trying to buy from people in Estonia, should come a bit cheaper, so there are several possibilities
Someone is selling this for 40 eur
 

Magix

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Time has passed, and I have acquired the Corsair CX 500w and a Corsair Carbide 200R case. I should be getting a video card soon. I'm looking for stuff around the 100 euro price range from this page:
http://www.hinnavaatlus.ee/products/Arvutiriistvara/Videokaardid/?Order=MinPrice&START=300

So I will probably be getting the Sapphire HD 7770. There is also a small chance I can get a GTX 560 for a bit cheaper, am I right in assuming that would be better? Can my computer run it?
 

Dangman

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Stick with the HD 7770. It's gonna use significantly less power.
 

Magix

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Right, HD 7770 installed, happy with it! :)
Here are some comparisons I did, though kind of unreliable since looking at different spots, using averages, etc

FPS with HD 4670:
Minecraft 13w11a: 29 fps max smooth lighting, 61 disabled
CSGO: 96-104, 80 during shots, 46 in smoke
GW2: autodetect 50, best appearance 19
_______________________________________

FPS with HD 7770:
Minecraft 13w11a: 32 max smooth lighting, 62 disabled
CSGO: 125-140 at times, shooting brings down by 10, smoke does not affect fps, ~90 with high settings
GW2: best performance 50, best appearance 35

Out of curiosity, what motherboard and CPU would you recommend to supplement these? I assume it would be something of an i5. Computer is used for gaming (modern games), and some small video editing/rendering in Sony Vegas. As for the motherboard features: I don't know what most of the words mean, so can't answer - USB 3.0 would be nice.
I won't actually be buying anything for quite some time, just trying to get an idea of what budget I'm in for. Current setup:

Case: Corsair 200R
PSU: Corsair CX500
GPU: Sapphire HD7770
CPU: AMD Athlon II x2 245 processor (2,9 GHz)
RAM: 4 gb
Mobo: MSI GF615M-P33 motherboard
22 inch monitor (1920x1080)
64bit Win 7
 
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Zefiris

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Right, HD 7770 installed, happy with it! :)
Here are some comparisons I did, though kind of unreliable since looking at different spots, using averages, etc



Out of curiosity, what motherboard and CPU would you recommend to supplement these? I assume it would be something of an i5. Computer is used for gaming (modern games), and some small video editing/rendering in Sony Vegas. As for the motherboard features: I don't know what most of the words mean, so can't answer - USB 3.0 would be nice.
I won't actually be buying anything for quite some time, just trying to get an idea of what budget I'm in for. Current setup:

Case: Corsair 200R
PSU: Corsair CX500
GPU: Sapphire HD7770
CPU: AMD Athlon II x2 245 processor (2,9 GHz)
RAM: 4 gb
Mobo: MSI GF615M-P33 motherboard
22 inch monitor (1920x1080)
64bit Win 7

Probably an i5 processor paired with a b75 motherboard, which cost about US$250 in total. You might also wanna consider bumping the RAM to 8gb, as 4gb can be insufficient when you have multiple processes running, not to mention video editing demands a fair bit of RAM as well.
 

Magix

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Dangman

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Well first of all, what RAM set do you have now? Exact model please.
 

Magix

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IrY6wCg.png
 

Magix

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Out of curiosity, if I get that new ram, can I stick one of the old ones into my mothers laptop?
Here's her current ram:
gQxfbDm.png

Mobo: Samsung N250P

Logically the things to look for should be the Max Bandwith - if it matches, it's good?
 
D

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Laptop RAM and motherboard RAM are not the same. They are physically different.
 

Magix

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Yup, I'll prolly get an i3 or a used i5 along with some motherboard in the next couple of months.

Am I right that if there's a 'k' in the end, it's for overclocking, and other than that it's just more expensive = more powerful?
 
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