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Build Advice Looking to upgrade for Xmas, but confused on what will fit.

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by AndyGoldie, 18 Oct 2011.

  1. AndyGoldie

    AndyGoldie 60Hz for Streets, 144Hz for Sheets

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    As the title says I'm looking to upgrade my PC for Xmas as there are pleeeenty of games coming out. I can run most games just now on high / medium (depending on the game, the BF3 beta was only just slightly smooth on medium) but I want to make sure I can have everything looking pretty and running smoothly.

    My main problem is not what to graphics card to get, it's more "will it work?".
    How will I know if my PSU has enough power to run the GFX Card? Will my mobo definitely support it? Will I need additional cooling? Things like that.

    Current specs are in my signature except the PSU which is 550W. I'm also thinking about bumping my RAM up to 8gb, but if i remember correctly, your RAM will only run the same speed as your already lowest sticks? As listed in my signature it is at 669MHz but when I bought it it said 1333MHz, and 669 x 2 is 1338, nearly 1333 (this part has completely lost me) so I'm damn confused about making sure I get the right things.

    Seriously any help is appreciated. Even links to massive articles explaining how all these things works, learning skills for the future always comes in handy :)
     
  2. CrapBag

    CrapBag Multimodder

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    To be honest I would buy a 2x4GB kit of 1600mhz ram and sell yours.

    DDR3 is very cheap at the moment.

    A kit like this 1600mhz ripjaws

    As for an new graphics card anything will work in your mobo but what make and model is your psu?
     
  3. noizdaemon666

    noizdaemon666 I'm Od, Therefore I Pwn

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    Did you get the 669 from CPU-Z or something similar? If so this is correct, it's Double Data Rate so you double that to get actual speed, in your case 1333 (probably a rounding error in whichever program you used). And yeah faster RAM will downclock. As long as voltages and timings match when running at 1333 it should be fine. Though it'd be better to get a proper 8GB kit (2x4GB) then you can be confident that there will be no comptiability issues.

    Which PSU is it? If it's generic 550W, then anything remotely good graphics card wise probably will draw too much power from it.

    To be honest, you could do with dropping a quad core in there with a new PSU and graphics card. BF3 is quite well mutli-threaded so uses quad cores very well. If it's a junk PSU then I wouldn't feel comfortable using it to power a build. (If it's decent than no need to replace it.)

    To get medium-high settings in BF3 you're probably going to need something like a GTX560Ti. But it does heavily depend on budget.

    Edit: Ninjad, but +1 to getting 2x4GB 1600MHz RAM.
    Edit edit: H55 board, I'm guessing no overclocking then? That would have helped a lot.
     
  4. TheKrumpet

    TheKrumpet Once more, into the breach!

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    The 669MHz thing is likely due to your memory strap being set too low. Look around your BIOS' RAM settings and you should find something to change it.

    On-Topic, Really it all depends on what you buy. 550W should be enough for most mid-range PCs. Pretty much any modern GPU will work with that MoBo (PCIe 2.0 is still dominant). Additional cooling is an incredibly grey area that matters as much on geographical location as it does on the size of your case, existing cooling etc.

    Long story short, we need a little more information than this to advise ;).
     
  5. AndyGoldie

    AndyGoldie 60Hz for Streets, 144Hz for Sheets

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    I like this idea for the RAM. I'll most likely do that.

    Literally the only info I have on my PSU is "550W HEC Desktop Power Supply". I bought the computer pre-built due to lack of knowledge/confidence of building my own and the company recently went bust so the warranty is void, therefore I have no reason to fear upgrading it now.

    If there's a way to find it more about the PSU I'll do it, would there be much more info on the PSU it's self?


    As said above, got it pre-built so have no real info on the RAM and the PSU seems pretty generic. Is there a way I can check how much power the components are drawing from it just now?

    And on the topic of a CPU, again, how can I check to see if newer CPUs will fit in the mobo? (aka replacing the i3 I currently have for an i5)
     
  6. AndyGoldie

    AndyGoldie 60Hz for Streets, 144Hz for Sheets

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    Also forgot to mention this : I don't have an HDMI monitor so the GFX Card would have to have a DVI port on it anyway. I know this limits what I can get a fair bit.
     
  7. noizdaemon666

    noizdaemon666 I'm Od, Therefore I Pwn

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    Every graphics card currently out (within reason) has DVI on it so you're covered. If it's pre-built I would say it's a crap PSU, pop the case side off and have a look what it says on it.

    The RAM is probably generic stuff as well, though it will be 1333. Newer CPUs such as the i5 2500k won't fit your motherboard, wrong socket. You'd be looking at an i5 750/760 ideally. Get something second hand as it'll be horribly expensive new I think.

    And only really way to check power draw is to put a monitor on your plug socket that reads the amount of power being drawn from it. But if it's a generic PSU it won't be able to produce anywhere near it's stated 550W and most of that won't be on the all important 12V rail (the one that supplies power to almost everything in your computer lol)
     
  8. AndyGoldie

    AndyGoldie 60Hz for Streets, 144Hz for Sheets

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    Right scrap the CPU idea just now then. I'm not for getting another mobo as of right now.

    So basically if I want a newer card, get a better PSU (recommended voltage)? Get a new card, and get a 8gig RAM bundle. So am I right in saying : Only certain CPU's fit certain mobo's, but graphics card's generally fit anything but need the right amount of voltage to run efficiently?
     
  9. CrapBag

    CrapBag Multimodder

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    ........and almost definitely won't have 2 six pin pci-e cables for the graphics card which leaves you having to use molex to pci-e adaptors which I'm really not fond of.
     
  10. noizdaemon666

    noizdaemon666 I'm Od, Therefore I Pwn

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    You need something decent which has AMPs (voltages on PSUs are standard 3.3, 5 and 12, plus a couple of others) coming out its 12V rail like there's no tomorrow basically lol Antec TruePower 650W, Corsair HX650, certain OCZs and Cooler Masters.. Really depends on your budget. You're looking at £60+ probably for a good one.

    PCI-E is a universal standard so all graphics cards technically fit every motherboard with a 16X PCI-E slot.

    Forget to mention that, good point. I hate molex adaptors of any kind. Things shouldn't be adapted when it comes to powering a computer.
     
  11. AndyGoldie

    AndyGoldie 60Hz for Streets, 144Hz for Sheets

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    Alright well I think i've established that I have to upgrade the PSU along with the GPU. So new question :

    Any recommendations? I basically want to be able to run the likes of Skyrim at the high settings and maybe BF3 on High (I don't really care for ultra, just want it to look nice, not photo realistic).

    I mainly just want games that run smooth as one thing that truly bothers me is when games have sudden drops in FPS which affect gameplay.
     
  12. CrapBag

    CrapBag Multimodder

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    Do we have a budget to work to here?
     
  13. noizdaemon666

    noizdaemon666 I'm Od, Therefore I Pwn

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    Yeah, budget pwease? :D But as a rough idea you're looking at at least a GTX560Ti at about £180 off Scan.
     
  14. AndyGoldie

    AndyGoldie 60Hz for Streets, 144Hz for Sheets

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    Realistically have no idea. Depends on how well Xmas goes and if I get this new job soon enough.

    Rough estimate : £150 - £300, and that's for both the PSU and the GPU.

    If you think i'll need to go higher then do say, after all I did come here for advice and it does depend on circumstances :)
     
  15. CrapBag

    CrapBag Multimodder

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    1GB gigabyte OC 560 TI £186.67
    Thermaltake SP-530PCWEU PSU £49.36
    8GB (2x4GB) Corsair DDR3 Vengeance Jet Black, PC3-12800 (1600), Non-ECC, CAS 9-9-9-24, XMP, 1.50V £41.98

    £278.25

    Something like that.
     
  16. noizdaemon666

    noizdaemon666 I'm Od, Therefore I Pwn

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    Go for a HX650 power supply £95 and a GTX560Ti £180. Prices from Scan :)

    Or get a cheaper PSU like an Antec and change up to a GTX570 for similar amount overall.

    Edit: oh yeah memory. Go for CrapBag's if you want, but I'd try and get a better PSU, I'm not fond of Thermaltake stuff, but that's just me.
     
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  17. CrapBag

    CrapBag Multimodder

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    Thats the recommended psu on both the budget pc and mid range pc in custom pc, it won an award a couple of mags back.

    I've got a 750w TT psu in my wifes pc been running for upto 5 hours a day for the last 3 years, it was also recommended by jonny guru.
     
  18. AndyGoldie

    AndyGoldie 60Hz for Streets, 144Hz for Sheets

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    I'm liking the sound of CrapBags choice. But i'm a bit confused with it. I have a 550 but the Thermaltake one is 530? Doesn't that remove the whole point of getting a new one?
     
  19. CrapBag

    CrapBag Multimodder

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    No because it's not just about wattage, it's about efficiency, how much current that can be provided on the rails etc.

    For instance just because your psu says its a 550w doesn't mean it can actually produce that, cheap generic psu's rarely can provide the power they state. Also I doubt your generic psu has the connections you are going to need.

    Bit-techs review
     
    Last edited: 18 Oct 2011
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  20. AndyGoldie

    AndyGoldie 60Hz for Streets, 144Hz for Sheets

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    Ah alright. Well thanks both of you for your help then. Just need to wait till money day comes and get some new kit.
     

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