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Guidance for Upgrading Desktop PC Hardware


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#1 Daveallen10

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Posted 26 April 2015 - 12:04 PM

Hello,

 

New member here - nice to meet everyone. I am looking to upgrade my current computer's hardware (graphics card, processor, motherboard -whatever it takes) so that I can play games on higher graphics settings with a better framerate. For reference, I can play Skyrim at around 25 FPS or so without AA and low shadows rez. 512x512, but with high texture settings. I would like to play games like Skyrim, Arma 3, GTA V with shadows on, AA, and higher draw distance (with good FPS).  I have a budget of about $450. A lot more than that and I might as well buy a new PC from Costco... I have once upgraded anything but memory so I will need a little guidance as to where I would be best to put my money and what my computer can handle. Would a good Graphics card and better power supply be sufficient? Should I upgraded my motherboard and processor as well? I don't really know which will help the most. If anyone  can assist it would be greatly appreciated! My specs are below, as well as the information I pulled online regarding upgrading options.

 

HP p7-1257c amd a8-3820 apu radeon HD graphics

AMD Radeon HD 6550D, PCI
 
Windows 7  - 64 Bit
8 GB RAM
Speed: PC3-10600 MB/sec
Type: DDR3-1333
 
AMD A8 3820 Processor
TDP: 65W
Operating speed: 2.5 GHz (up to 2.8 GHz turbo)
Number of cores: 4
Socket: FM1
Bus speed: 4.0 GT/s HT3
 
Motherboard
AAHD3-HB (Hibiscus)
Figure : Motherboard top view
Image of motherboard
Manufacturer: Pegatron
Form factor: uATX: 24.3 cm (9.6 inches) x 24.3 cm (9.6 inches)
Chipset: AMD Hudson-D3 FCH
Memory sockets: 2 x DDR3
Front side bus speeds: 100 MHz UMI (Unified Media Interface)
Processor socket: FM1
Expansion Slots:
PCI-Express Generation 2 speed
1 PCI Express x16
3 PCI Express x1
1 PCI Express mini card
For more details, see Hibiscus motherboard specifications
 
POWER SUPPLY
 
Internal 300W (100V-240V)
Form factor: Internal ATX
Total wattage: 300W
 
 
---upgrade info i could find------
 
Bay size
Total Bays*
13.33 cm (5.25 inch) ODD
2
8.89 cm (3.5 inch) HDD
 
Graphics Card upgrade information
Supports PCI Express x16 graphics cards
Two DVI-D ports (Both ports can be used at the same time)
Memory upgrade information
Dual channel memory architecture
Four 240-pin DDR3 DIMM sockets
Supports the following:
PC3-10600 (DDR3-1333)
PC3-12800 (DDR3-1600)
PC3-14400 (DDR3-1866)
Non-ECC memory only, unbuffered
Supports 1 GB, 2 GB or 4 GB DIMMs
Supports up to 4 GB on 32-bit* systems
Supports up to 16 GB on 64-bit system
 
Processor upgrade information
65W to 100W (processor dependent)
Socket type: FM1
Motherboard supports the following processor upgrades:
Processor
TDP
AMD A8-3850 (Liano) quad core
100W
AMD A8-3820 (Liano) quad core
65W
AMD A8-3800 (Liano) quad core
65W
AMD A6-3670K (Liano) quad core
100W
AMD A6-3650 (Liano) quad core
100W
AMD A6-3620 (Liano) quad core
65W
AMD A6-3600 (Liano) quad core
65W
AMD A4-3400 (Liano) dual core
65W
AMD E2-3200 (Liano) dual core
65W
 
 
 
"The best CPU you can get for that PC is the A8-38"
 


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#2 TheN00bBuilder

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Posted 26 April 2015 - 05:43 PM

I really appreciate all the research you did before posting. It allows us to do our job better to help you. :clapping:

 

This is pretty much a whole PC overhaul, but it is very much worth it.

 

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: AMD FX-8320E 3.2GHz 8-Core Processor  ($128.98 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: Biostar TA970 ATX AM3+ Motherboard  ($61.98 @ Newegg)
Video Card: PowerColor Radeon R9 285 2GB TurboDuo Video Card  ($199.49 @ SuperBiiz)
Case: Ultra XBlaster V2 ATX Mid Tower Case  ($32.09 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: EVGA 500W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply  ($42.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Total: $465.53
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-04-26 18:42 EDT-0400


Sorry if I snap at you. I can't stand stupid for more than 5 minutes at a time.


#3 Daveallen10

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Posted 26 April 2015 - 08:59 PM

I really appreciate all the research you did before posting. It allows us to do our job better to help you. :clapping:

 

This is pretty much a whole PC overhaul, but it is very much worth it.

 

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: AMD FX-8320E 3.2GHz 8-Core Processor  ($128.98 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: Biostar TA970 ATX AM3+ Motherboard  ($61.98 @ Newegg)
Video Card: PowerColor Radeon R9 285 2GB TurboDuo Video Card  ($199.49 @ SuperBiiz)
Case: Ultra XBlaster V2 ATX Mid Tower Case  ($32.09 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: EVGA 500W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply  ($42.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Total: $465.53
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-04-26 18:42 EDT-0400

 

Hi NoobBuilder,

 

Wow - thanks for the breakdown and detail there. I guess what I was hoping to learn is how crucial it is to upgrade the motherboard and CPU (which would neccesitate the tower case). If I was just to get the video card and the power supply, do you think that would be sufficient? What does the CPU and motherboard really add? Not that I doubt you, I seriously just don't know what impact they have on performance. 

 

Part of it is that what you posted above is essentially constructing a whole new PC, which I have never done before and have always been afraid of screwing up. /



#4 Rocky Bennett

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Posted 27 April 2015 - 09:25 AM

If you change out your motherboard, you might want to budget for a new OS as well. That might be necessary.

594965_zpsp5exvyzm.png


#5 YeahBleeping

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Posted 27 April 2015 - 04:15 PM

Hello Dave and welcome to BC-

 

I believe your problem is two fold.  First given the processor and second the video card.  Take a look at this comparison.  Although this is NOT YOUR exact processor and in fact it is slightly faster than yours the comparison of Starcraft to a comparable Intel processor is 100% faster or 2x as fast what this shows you is that if the video card is NOT the bottleneck the fastest FPS you will achieve with that system is 33 FPS.  Now given that your actual processor is slightly slower you can see where the comparable FPS of your 25FPS is coming from.  Even though your talking about skyrim (starcraft is at least comparable)

 

So.  Your system AND your video card are holding you back.  If you enjoy gaming as I do, I understand your frustration when you want to see all that the game has to offer.

 

So what is your solution?  Well you can get a new gaming rig with a decent graphics card for around 875.00  You can configure something nice at a system builder site like magicmicro.com .

 

The reason I am spelling this all out for you is that #1 AMD systems are not really geared toward enthusiast gaming.  I would relate their processors for more of a business end type of processor.  Intel processors are simply much faster and provide the least amount of bottleneck given a comparable AMD system.  I would hate to have you purchase a new ' gaming rig' that you expect to outperform your current rig and then you only see a slight performance increase.

 

If you are simply looking to tide yourself over until you can get a new complete system then I suggest a 500 watt corsair or Antec and a 750TI Nvidia graphics card.  Which you should be able to use in your ' new rig' if you build it yourself and save a bit more money.


Edited by YeahBleeping, 27 April 2015 - 04:15 PM.


#6 Daveallen10

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Posted 27 April 2015 - 07:36 PM

Thank you both for the additional information, that is very helpful and gives me a better understanding of what upgrading really involves. I suppose I had hoped that a card and power supply alone could do the trick, but I suppose it is going to need to be a bit more than that. 

 

I guess I would feel more comfortable starting with the graphics card and power supply, seeing what kind of increase I get, and move on from there. I agree that buying a new rig entirely probably won't give me a big enough performance boost to be worth the cost. 



#7 TheN00bBuilder

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Posted 27 April 2015 - 08:18 PM

Sounds good. And why buy a new OS? Windows 7 is fine, and all Windows 7 get a free upgrade to Windows 10 once it comes out.


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#8 TheN00bBuilder

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Posted 27 April 2015 - 08:20 PM

Hello Dave and welcome to BC-

 

I believe your problem is two fold.  First given the processor and second the video card.  Take a look at this comparison.  Although this is NOT YOUR exact processor and in fact it is slightly faster than yours the comparison of Starcraft to a comparable Intel processor is 100% faster or 2x as fast what this shows you is that if the video card is NOT the bottleneck the fastest FPS you will achieve with that system is 33 FPS.  Now given that your actual processor is slightly slower you can see where the comparable FPS of your 25FPS is coming from.  Even though your talking about skyrim (starcraft is at least comparable)

 

So.  Your system AND your video card are holding you back.  If you enjoy gaming as I do, I understand your frustration when you want to see all that the game has to offer.

 

So what is your solution?  Well you can get a new gaming rig with a decent graphics card for around 875.00  You can configure something nice at a system builder site like magicmicro.com .

 

The reason I am spelling this all out for you is that #1 AMD systems are not really geared toward enthusiast gaming.  I would relate their processors for more of a business end type of processor.  Intel processors are simply much faster and provide the least amount of bottleneck given a comparable AMD system.  I would hate to have you purchase a new ' gaming rig' that you expect to outperform your current rig and then you only see a slight performance increase.

 

If you are simply looking to tide yourself over until you can get a new complete system then I suggest a 500 watt corsair or Antec and a 750TI Nvidia graphics card.  Which you should be able to use in your ' new rig' if you build it yourself and save a bit more money.

 

Oh my wow. This is filled with SO MUCH Intel Fanboyism. Go leave if you are going to be like that. AMD is fine for gaming. If anything, Intel is for businesses...


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#9 YeahBleeping

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Posted 27 April 2015 - 08:21 PM

Sounds good. And why buy a new OS? Windows 7 is fine, and all Windows 7 get a free upgrade to Windows 10 once it comes out.

 

Because if you have an OEM version of windows (like dell / HP / some other system builder) Than you can only install it on one system.  Windows installation product keys are tied to the motherboard.  If you try to install windows on a new system that has the same product code you will not be able to ' activate windows '.  That's why.



#10 YeahBleeping

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Posted 27 April 2015 - 08:24 PM

I fully admit that I am an intel Fanboy but the fact remains, Intel processors when compared to AMD are MUCH faster than AMD.  Thank you for your suggestion but I think I'll stick around.  Theres nothing 'wrong' with AMD .. but for an enthusiast gaming rig an Inel build will always be faster than AMD until AMD comes out with something better which it can't because it always lags a bit behind Intel which is fine because it pushes intel to be that much better. 

 

I am not here to argue which processor is better. I was trying to help the OP with his original question.  If you want to debate processors start a new thread somewhere and you can invite me to it if you want I may or may not grace it with a response.


Edited by YeahBleeping, 27 April 2015 - 08:26 PM.


#11 DJBPace07

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Posted 28 April 2015 - 08:41 AM

AMD and Intel both have their uses.  I've been using the old FX-8150 with no issues in gaming.  Most games utilize the GPU more heavily than the CPU, so it really isn't necessary to go overboard on the processor.  Nevertheless, you should get a decent CPU such as an i5/i7 or an FX-8000.  If you want to go Intel and are gaming, I suggest going with an i5 4440 or better processor.

 

Use caution with PC Part Picker, they may send you all over the internet to get the best price and they don't explain why they chose those parts.  You still need to do the research.


3939.png

 





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