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Need help upgrading my gaming PC


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#1 KiwiFruit

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Posted 10 October 2015 - 09:27 PM

Had this computer built for me in 2011, figured it's time for an upgrade. Problem is, I don't know anything about building PC's, which is why I'm here looking for help/suggestions! 

 

Here is my current setup: 

 
Case: Thermaltake V4 Black Edition Gaming Chassis Mid Tower Steel Computer Case Fully Black Powdered Interior VM30001W2Z 
Other: XIGMATEK FCB (Fluid Circulative Bearing) Cooling System XLF-F1254 120mm White LED Black Case Fan  
 
The person who built this said I shouldn't have to get a new case when it came time to upgrade, so I'm more curious as to what everyone's thoughts are on which components I need to change out (maybe all of them if necessary.) 
 
I'd like to not spend more than $400 if possible. Thank you in advance for the help! 


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#2 jonuk76

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Posted 10 October 2015 - 10:37 PM

What is the reason for upgrade?  Your budget won't allow for all parts to be changed, at least not to anything that would resemble a gaming PC, and the OEM editions of Windows are technically tied to the original motherboard.  If you are looking for an improvement in performance in games, the best I could suggest is a more recent graphics card and possibly a RAM upgrade (the board only has two slots, so that would entail replacing the existing memory).  Your motherboard will also take a Phenom X6 processor.  In terms of what will make the most immediate difference I suspect the GPU will be the most noticeable.  I wouldn't necessarily suggest going out and buying a $400 GPU though.


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#3 KiwiFruit

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Posted 11 October 2015 - 03:48 PM

What is the reason for upgrade?  Your budget won't allow for all parts to be changed, at least not to anything that would resemble a gaming PC, and the OEM editions of Windows are technically tied to the original motherboard.  If you are looking for an improvement in performance in games, the best I could suggest is a more recent graphics card and possibly a RAM upgrade (the board only has two slots, so that would entail replacing the existing memory).  Your motherboard will also take a Phenom X6 processor.  In terms of what will make the most immediate difference I suspect the GPU will be the most noticeable.  I wouldn't necessarily suggest going out and buying a $400 GPU though.

I really just want to be able to run newer games, because it's starting to get to a point where it's harder for my computer to run new releases. For example, I can play GTA V, but it seems to put my comp under a lot of stress, so I'd like to upgrade the components that will make it easier for my PC to run newer titles. The problem is, I don't know which components need to be upgraded and which ones I can leave alone for a while. 

 

Thank you so much for your response! Do you have any suggestions on what brand of graphics card and memory I should consider? 

 

Btw sorry if I sound dumb, I don't really know what I'm doing.



#4 jonuk76

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Posted 11 October 2015 - 06:41 PM

More games are starting to recommend 8Gb, and it's a relatively cheap upgrade at the moment.. I suggest using the Crucial memory selector, as they guarantee compatibility if you use it (just in case of any unforeseen compatibility problems).  On older motherboards, there can be compatibility issues with some newer memory. Entering your motherboard code came up with this which looks reasonable - http://www.crucial.com/usa/en/a880gu3/CT4178109

 

For GPU, a Geforce GTX 960 will be a significant upgrade over a HD 4850 (i.e. massively more powerful, 7 years is a long time in GPU development), while not being too expensive.  You can see one similar reviewed here.  I suspect the CPU is going to be a limiting factor for some things, but you should see an immediate improvement from the GPU upgrade.

 

EDIT I just noticed your HDD is a fairly sluggish model - really not recommended to use as a system drive.  That will make a lot of things seem slow.  An SSD e.g. this, while perhaps a bit of a luxury, would be a nice upgrade, but otherwise even a modern cheap 1Tb HDD would perform a lot better. 

 

There's always the argument over should you patch up an old PC vs replacing, but I think doing a complete replacement of everything bar the case, for something that will play games for a good while, a realistic budget is more like double what you want to spend (and upwards).


Edited by jonuk76, 11 October 2015 - 06:56 PM.

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#5 SEANIA

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Posted 11 October 2015 - 09:24 PM

Like to add that the current minimum to run all games current made is-

8GB of RAM

Nvidia GTX 960 or AMD R9 380 (4GB variants of either would be preferred)

For CPU either a FX 8150 or a i5 4430.

 

A six core Phenom should be close enough to reach the CPU requirement like Jonuk suggests. Used obviously. Currently on ebay they go for around 95$.

You only have two RAM slots, both are filled, and DDR3 doesn't come in a 6GB stick format. A 8GB stick of DDR3 is 45$-ish new. 

As for video card, both the 960 and 380 are between 200$ and 230$ depending on variant. So...whatever your brand preference is. 

 

All other parts are sufficient. However taking the free upgrade to Windows 10 offered by Microsoft would provide better support for all the DX12 games that are coming out. Games also run better on windows 10 regardless of support for DX12. Seriously, up to a 40% in some games when moving from windows 7 to windows 10. 


99% of the time, I edit for type-o's and grammar. I'll note it if that's not the case. 

I write near essays for most my responses, and then try to condense as best I can to the introduction of one. Less is more. Let me know if I post to much. 

I do a lot of spacing for readability. Let me know if that makes my posts seem to big. 


#6 Captain_Chicken

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Posted 19 October 2015 - 06:12 PM

I have personally had 3 seagate drives fail in the past three years (2 1tb drives and 1 2tb drive) so personally I don't trust them. You can also read this article here on them. For $7 more you can get a much more reliable drive such as this one.


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#7 jonuk76

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Posted 20 October 2015 - 02:14 AM

I've been lucky so far, but I have one of the Seagates with a particularly bad failure rate (the 3Tb model) performing light duties in an external enclosure.  Interesting stuff though, although have to bear in mind in that particular environment I should think they are getting more intense use than in most systems.


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