Jump to content



Photo
- - - - -

Need help upgrading PC


  • Please log in to reply
36 replies to this topic

#1 ProphetZero

ProphetZero

    CAGiversary!

  • CAGiversary!

Posted 15 December 2012 - 07:34 PM

My wife's only uses the PC she has to play World of Warcraft but in order to play the latest expansion we need to get her an upgrade. I just got 4 gigs of ram installed and it runs a little faster but on low settings and lags just a bit still.

Here is what she has- Athlon 64 X2 Duel Core 6000+ and Radeon HD 3200. G. Skill 4 gig (4 x 1gb) 240-pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800.

What do I need? I did a little research and was recommended I upgrade the graphics card and I think the processor needs upgrading too? I'm not very good at this kind of thing and still learning.

#2 ProphetZero

ProphetZero

    CAGiversary!

  • CAGiversary!

Posted 15 December 2012 - 07:36 PM

Some website recommends I get Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 4000+ and ATI Radeon HD 2900 GT but I really need help on this.

#3 JBaz

JBaz

    CAGiversary!

  • CAGiversary!

Posted 15 December 2012 - 08:42 PM

First, we need to know more about your system specs. Primarily what motherboard you have. You can easily find this out by downloading a free program called CPU-Z. Go to the mainboard tab and tell us what you have. Also, what power supply would be a good followup question and is this a pre-built OEM computer like HP or Dell?

The HD 3200 tends to be paired as the onboard graphics for a number of low-end motherboards during those days (some still are) so I would say all that needs to be in order would be to actually plant in a discrete gpu card. I wouldn't even touch the CPU since you are running a very old Athlon 64 X2 dual core from 2007 and would be a waste of money since you are tide down to the AM2 platform.

Depending on how much you love your wife and willing to spend on her, dictates the proper course of action in an upgrade path. If just the gpu is needed or can be upgraded, then something like a $50-100 graphics card like the GTX 650 or AMD 6670 or 7770 would fit the budget nicely. If you got more money to play with, then there's better options to give you more bang per buck.

If I had a cool wife that plays PC games, I would build her a new PC right now. $500-600 would tremendously give you 100 folds in PC gaming abilities.
Posted Image

#4 ProphetZero

ProphetZero

    CAGiversary!

  • CAGiversary!

Posted 15 December 2012 - 10:46 PM

Gigabyte AMD 780G. Its a custom built computer. My cousin built it for her and built mine so I'm learning now that I moved and have to upgrade hers on my own. She only plays WoW and that's casually when she gets time from work. Other than that she uses the PC for facebook and email. She just needs the minimum to run the game on normal settings.

#5 evilw0n

evilw0n

    Deals & Games

  • CAGiversary!

Posted 16 December 2012 - 12:44 AM

At this time you only need to upgrade the GPU. As was alluded to earlier, if you are thinking about the CPU then you should scrap the whole thing.

An AMD 6670, 6750, 6850 - but I'd also think about the 7750 at that point. Any of those or any of the nVidia cards would do. I would only say AMD since you are currently using that and it would be the least hassle on upgrading the drivers.

#6 ProphetZero

ProphetZero

    CAGiversary!

  • CAGiversary!

Posted 16 December 2012 - 01:19 AM

cool ill look into AMD ones you posted and link my finds in a little bit!

#7 ProphetZero

ProphetZero

    CAGiversary!

  • CAGiversary!

Posted 16 December 2012 - 01:21 AM

Never mind those are way too expensive starting at $80. I'm looking for cheap minimum requirements as she is not a gamer and only needs something good enough to play WoW.

#8 pacifickarma

pacifickarma

    Master of Orion

  • CAGiversary!

Posted 16 December 2012 - 01:22 AM

Never mind those are way too expensive starting at $80. I'm looking for cheap minimum requirements as she is not a gamer and only needs something good enough to play WoW.


Wanna buy a used 4850 or 5770?

#9 ProphetZero

ProphetZero

    CAGiversary!

  • CAGiversary!

Posted 16 December 2012 - 01:24 AM

Might as well depending on the cost and if they work. I had to go ebay for the ram.

#10 JBaz

JBaz

    CAGiversary!

  • CAGiversary!

Posted 16 December 2012 - 02:17 AM

5770 is still going for 65-80 + shipping on ebay. If you just need the bare mins, then look at the HD 6570 1GB on sale for $40 @ newegg right now or the HD 6670 1GB for $50 @ microcenter. That should easily net your wife 40+ fps on low settings at 720p.

#11 ProphetZero

ProphetZero

    CAGiversary!

  • CAGiversary!

Posted 16 December 2012 - 02:33 AM

With my RAM being DDR2 wouldn't my graphics card have to be the same?

#12 gindias

gindias

    Cubs Still Suck!

  • CAGiversary!

Posted 16 December 2012 - 03:26 AM

I have this in an old P4 machine and it runs WoW with no problems at all, $31 at amazon. Keep in mind your not going to be playing anything like BF3 or GW2 with this thing but I have played been playing EQ/FO3 and GW for a few years on it.

If you might play other games down the road then the 6670 is something you should be looking at as far as affordable cards go. As somebody already posted they can be had for around $60 after rebates. Personally I would be looking at the 7750 or even 7770 if you have a 6pin on your power supply better bang for the buck over the 6670 cards right now.

http://www.amazon.co...rds=evga 8400gs

#13 JBaz

JBaz

    CAGiversary!

  • CAGiversary!

Posted 16 December 2012 - 04:41 AM

With my RAM being DDR2 wouldn't my graphics card have to be the same?

No. VRAM DDR is only allocated to the graphics card. It has nothing to do with your system memory.

I have this in an old P4 machine and it runs WoW with no problems at all, $31 at amazon. Keep in mind your not going to be playing anything like BF3 or GW2 with this thing but I have played been playing EQ/FO3 and GW for a few years on it.

If you might play other games down the road then the 6670 is something you should be looking at as far as affordable cards go. As somebody already posted they can be had for around $60 after rebates. Personally I would be looking at the 7750 or even 7770 if you have a 6pin on your power supply better bang for the buck over the 6670 cards right now.

http://www.amazon.co...rds=evga 8400gs

The cheap HD 6450's that run for $5-15 AR all the time (MSI 6450 $15, got the same one for HTPC for $7 AR 8 months ago) are faster than the more expensive and old 8400 GS cards. That's older than OP's AMD X2 cpu!

8400gs wouldn't be that much of a step up from OP's bare minimum HD 3200.

#14 gindias

gindias

    Cubs Still Suck!

  • CAGiversary!

Posted 16 December 2012 - 05:20 AM

No. VRAM DDR is only allocated to the graphics card. It has nothing to do with your system memory.


The cheap HD 6450's that run for $5-15 AR all the time (MSI 6450 $15, got the same one for HTPC for $7 AR 8 months ago) are faster than the more expensive and old 8400 GS cards. That's older than OP's AMD X2 cpu!

8400gs wouldn't be that much of a step up from OP's bare minimum HD 3200.


He wanted a cheap solution and I offered something from personal experience that is cheap and more than meets his needs. I dont spend my Saturday nights looking for cheap parts and compairing bench marks, I guess I should have recommended a $600 new build instead.

#15 ProphetZero

ProphetZero

    CAGiversary!

  • CAGiversary!

Posted 16 December 2012 - 06:24 AM

Hey what you recommended is cool man. I'd like to look through all recommendations so I have a better selection of what I know will work for her PC so I can choose one.

#16 evilw0n

evilw0n

    Deals & Games

  • CAGiversary!

Posted 16 December 2012 - 02:31 PM

Your response to my post is why I dislike helping most people, including my relatives, with computer issues. You state something and do not give us all of the information. If you wanted a sub-$30 GPU then you should have stated that in the beginning or at least what your range is. I am not upset but remember that the more information you give, the better the responses will be for what you are looking for. $80 for a GPU is still "cheap" for gaming purposes, including for WoW.

#17 JBaz

JBaz

    CAGiversary!

  • CAGiversary!

Posted 16 December 2012 - 05:58 PM

He wanted a cheap solution and I offered something from personal experience that is cheap and more than meets his needs. I dont spend my Saturday nights looking for cheap parts and compairing bench marks, I guess I should have recommended a $600 new build instead.

I don't spend my saturday's comparing benchmarks, I already retain that information from my vast experience and knowledge with pc parts. I build PC's every month or two in every price bracket so I tend to know a lot about pc part solutions off hand and staying within budget (or below).

As for finding cheap parts and comparing different price values, I use the website, PC part picker (as most people do now days) since it literally takes all of 5 seconds to find the part I'm looking for and to see if anything is on sale in different areas (besides looking at other daily deal sites like slickdeals, fatwallet, etc.), as well as to see a 6 month price history; although some insanely good sales don't get recorded on part picker since some promo codes or rebates don't show up automatically with their search crawlers. I actually was in the middle of playing planetside 2 between deaths and only took all of 30 seconds to post my reply to your post.

If you didn't understand that "recommending" the $600 PC build as a joke, then you should just read the whole post again.


The 8400gs was a good budget card back in 2007, but now, its too old and too expensive compared to all of the cheap "display" cards in the sub $30 market that offer twice the performance with HDMI connections and the ability to offload HD video transcoding from the cpu. Shit, even the Zotac GT 610 is $10 AR on newegg is about on par with the 8400 GS. Btw, Intel HD 3000 gpu built onto many CPU's now day's is about the same speed as an 8800 GT.

The only way someone now days buys an old 8k series card new is if it was free after rebates or they live in India or Russia where decent pc parts are hard to find and insanely expensive.


Since OP failed to give us a budget initially, most of us assumed an entry level discrete card in the $50-100 price range to give the best bang for buck value in performance. Even the cheap $40 HD 6570 is a huge step up from the $15 HD 6450 or the $30 8400GS and would be the bare min to recommend in terms of value and abilities in this price range. It really depends on what the resolution of the monitor and/or the resolution OP's wife plans to play with.



I'm re-downloading WOW right now and I'll throw my HD 6450 into my old e6600 (2006) computer to simulate OP's computer; CPU is a little slower but its the only thing I have left that's close. I'll run some benchmarks with some other cards I have laying around, but not too sure how well that assessment would be since I won't be able to fight in instances, or the very least in larger areas with lots of mobs, to get more appropriate normal gameplay fps or to test the new expansion pack; don't feel like spending the money to reactivate my account and I haven't played since Cataclysm came out in 2010.

#18 ProphetZero

ProphetZero

    CAGiversary!

  • CAGiversary!

Posted 16 December 2012 - 10:05 PM

I didn't know I would offend anyone by not including a price range. I actually didn't even consider one cause I assumed a cheap card that would be good enough to run the game well wouldn't be over $50. I did mention I don't know a lot about computers so forgive me if I forget to include anything as I don't do this often. I'm used to my cousin finding the parts for me and installing them for me without having to do much anything except buy the stuff.

#19 JBaz

JBaz

    CAGiversary!

  • CAGiversary!

Posted 16 December 2012 - 10:19 PM

If you could figure out what resolution your monitor or what resolution your wife plays the game at would help us a bit more to figure out which card would best suit your needs.

#20 ProphetZero

ProphetZero

    CAGiversary!

  • CAGiversary!

Posted 17 December 2012 - 03:44 AM

Here is the monitor I bought here earlier this year- http://www.newegg.co...N82E16824236117

#21 JBaz

JBaz

    CAGiversary!

  • CAGiversary!

Posted 17 December 2012 - 05:17 AM

Ok, loaded up Mists of Pandaria and just played around for a bit around the starter locations. Went into town, fought a little outside and explored the open land areas for a short while. Benchmark was done using Fraps.

Test machine:

Intel E6600 2.40 GHz
4GB DDR2 800
320GB 7200 HDD
XP Pro 32bit OS


AMD HD 6450 1GB:

Low Settings

High: 62
Low: 42
Average: 54

Fair Settings

High: 38
Low: 22
Average: 28

Good Settings

High: 22
Low: 11
Average: 13


Nvidia 8800 GTS 640MB:

Low Settings

High: 90
Low: 44
Average: 72

Fair Settings

High: 68
Low: 32
Average: 50

Good Settings

High: 43
Low: 24
Average: 30


I wished my 8600 GT card was still working since it would have been perfect to throw it into the test, but it died early this year, which prompted me to replace it with the 6450. With these numbers, the 6450 is in fact a decent card to play old games on, but as you can tell it bogs severely on normal/good settings; completely unplayable. Fair settings had playable frame rates in the high 20's and low 30's for the most part. Compared to my $400 8800 GTS 640 from half a decade ago, the $7 HD 6450 is about 1/2 the speed; the fact that it does all this on some 27w of power is pretty impressive.

The 8800 GTS is about 2x faster than the 8600 GT and the 8600 GT is about 2-3x faster than the 8400 GS; you can only surmise that the 8400 GS will not even get close to playable frame rates on good settings, let alone fair, at 1200p resolutions.


Again, do note these were not in high action gameplay area's so expect slower frames per second in instances or where there's a lot of people/mobs.
Posted Image

#22 ProphetZero

ProphetZero

    CAGiversary!

  • CAGiversary!

Posted 17 December 2012 - 05:38 AM

Damn man you know your stuff.

#23 ProphetZero

ProphetZero

    CAGiversary!

  • CAGiversary!

Posted 17 December 2012 - 05:47 AM

Would a 8800GT 512mb work?

#24 ProphetZero

ProphetZero

    CAGiversary!

  • CAGiversary!

Posted 17 December 2012 - 05:51 AM

NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT I noticed there are other branded cards like Gigabyte. Not sure if there is a difference. I'm looking on ebay for all of this btw if anyone wants to help as it seems to be the cheapest.

#25 JBaz

JBaz

    CAGiversary!

  • CAGiversary!

Posted 17 December 2012 - 06:10 AM

The 8800 GT 512 is actually a newer card (by a year) than my 8800 GTS 640 and slightly faster by about 10-20%; uses the newer G92 core instead of the G80.

It was by far the best budget gaming card on the market and is to date the definition of "best value card". When it came out with its price point of $200-250, it just jaw dropped everyone in the PC gaming industry when it performed better than a $400 card of the same series. People were wondering if nvidia marketing people even knew that the 8800 GT performed that good.

Everything since then has been gauged "is this card the 8800 GT of this generation". Similar to something if Ferrari made an entry level sports car in the $60k price range that looked and performed better than the Enzo. It was that earth shattering back in the day. I remember when I got my 8800 GTS 640 new and then 6 months later the 8800 GT came out and was instantly pissed, but I had to have it for a summer lan party and impress all of my friends...


Why would you ask anyhow? Find one for a good price?

#26 JBaz

JBaz

    CAGiversary!

  • CAGiversary!

Posted 17 December 2012 - 06:34 AM

Honestly, I'd still recommend the $40 HD 6570 1GB.

Its slightly faster than the Geforce GT 240, which is a re-baged 9800 GT, of which is a die shrunk from 65nm to 55nm, based on the same chip in the 8800 GT.... Nvidia just loves recycling old products and mask it as new ones, specially in their entry level and mid level products.

It's also power sipping at 60w vs. the 8800 GTS/9800 GT 140w and supports directx 11 instead of 10, plus its more modern, silent, smaller and has better HD video acceleration abilities for playback.

#27 ProphetZero

ProphetZero

    CAGiversary!

  • CAGiversary!

Posted 17 December 2012 - 06:39 AM

Well I found a few 8800 GT 512's on ebay for 0.99 for bidding with some days left I might bid on and try to win under $40 if you think that would be a great card to buy for my wife's PC. How good would it run the latest WoW?

#28 ProphetZero

ProphetZero

    CAGiversary!

  • CAGiversary!

Posted 17 December 2012 - 06:44 AM

I really want it to run well on normal settings without lag that's why I'm asking. You said before the 6570 would run it on low settings but what would you recommend to run it on the good settings?

#29 JBaz

JBaz

    CAGiversary!

  • CAGiversary!

Posted 17 December 2012 - 06:59 AM

6570 matches or is better than the 8800 GT, so expect similar figures above to my 8800 GTS on good settings. And when I said "low" settings to the 6570 statement, I meant normal... my bad

Atleast I have some real benches that mimics your current wife's desktop for the exact game she is looking to play.

As far as getting an 8800 GT on ebay, can't hurt to try if you can get one cheap, but be warned, make sure you read the description FULLY!!! Lots of them on ebay are sold as "parts only" or in other words... DOA or broken. Working ones seem to go for about $20-40 shipped still unless you run a mac... then the same card is $150... lol

Stupid macs.

#30 ProphetZero

ProphetZero

    CAGiversary!

  • CAGiversary!

Posted 17 December 2012 - 07:03 AM

These are what I'm watching on my ebay page- http://www.ebay.com/...984.m1423.l2649

http://www.ebay.com/...984.m1423.l2649

Should I just get the 6570 instead?