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Old 06-11-2012, 08:02 AM   #1
Heskey
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Default Building a new gaming PC

Hi all,

My current PC is about 4-5 years old, with an updated GFX card which is now 2.5 years old. It runs most things on medium to high with some FPS drops, but now I have some money behind me I'm thinking about upgrading the whole thing so I can run the likes of Skyrim, Battlefield 3, Diablo 3, and Guild Wars 2 (when it's out) on the highest graphics, seamlessly (without going nuts on top of the range stuff that'll drop in price in 3 months).

It plays BF3 on medium with barely any issue, Skyrim on medium-high with some FPS issue (annoying as an archer!), Diablo 3 on high with some FPS issues, and in the recent GW2 beta weekend it performed atrociously even on 'best performance' pre-set. Granted the beta probably wasn't optimised for everyone's system, but given all my friends were playing on highest graphics with next to no FPS issues, and one friend was experiencing similar performance to me on a laptop, it made me think now's probably a good time to upgrade.

I've dabbled in ARMA 2, and though I have my own reservations with the appearance/coding of that game, I have to play at everything low to get somewhere near playable.

It's been a while since I was heavily 'into' gaming/computers and so I'm out of touch with hardware completely. I've been Googling and trying to learn what I can about today's RAM, GPUs and CPUs but it's all double-dutch to me. I was wondering if anyone can help me out? I've been using this thread for guidance.

I'll list my current PC specs (that I'm aware of) below, and have attached a DXDiag (64-bit) from last night in two-parts for your information due to upload size limit per file.

My Current PC Spec:

CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad CPU Q6600 @ 2.40 GHz (4 CPUs), ~2.4GHz
CPU Cooling: ASUS Silent Knight II fan (Ref 1, Ref 2 (box))
MOBO: ASUS P5K-E WiFi (supports DDR2 1066MHz) (Ref 1)
RAM/Memory: 4x 2GB Corsair DDR2 800MHz (Ref 1, Ref 2, Ref 3, Ref 4)
GPU: ATI Radeon HD 5850 1GB GDDR5 Memory, PCI-E 2.0 BUS, (XFX Brand) (Ref 1, Ref 2, Ref 3, Ref 4, Ref 5 (box))
PSU: Corsair HX 520W Modular Power Supply (Ref 1, Ref 2)
HDD: 500GB disk (Can't remember brand or type but device manager says 'ATA Device'. Pretty sure it's Maxtor)

Additional Pictures of my PC here.

Overall I'm pretty happy with the system, but it is holding me back a little bit these days. My friend's think a new graphics card is all it really needs; but if I've got the cash, I figure I may as well get a new system and keep it all in-sync rather than shell out for a card that's maximum compatible with this system, and would be out-of-date if I upgraded anything else.

As I said, I've read that thread and have looked into i5 and i7 INTEL processors, Sandybridge, Ivybridge, i3750, 8GB+ RAM, DDR3, 1333 or 1600 or more MHz, GPUs with 1 or 2GB, SSD drives, and processors with port LGA1155... But ultimately, I'm not massively technical, and so without the background knowledge it really doesn't make sense to me, reading review articles talking about hyperthreading and virtual cores; I don't understand it, or how that translates for gaming.

I have all the peripherals, but will probably be looking at a whole new case and everything inside it (unless the PSU is still okay etc.), including disk drive, and HDD (500GB just isn't enough these days it seems!).

My preferred retailer is scan.co.uk, and my budget is flexible around ?500-?1000... Without going crazy.

If anyone can offer me any help, or point me some way in the right direction, I'd be grateful.

Thanks!
Attached Files
File Type: txt 20120611-DxDiag - Part 1.txt (15.6 KB, 3 views)
File Type: txt 20120611-DxDiag - Part 2.txt (11.4 KB, 0 views)


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Last edited by Heskey; 06-11-2012 at 09:48 AM..
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Old 06-11-2012, 12:01 PM   #2
[R-CON]Psyrus
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Default Re: Building a new gaming PC

As an interim measure, have you tried cranking up the volts and overclocking that Q6600? If it's a G0 stepping it should overclock quite well, to around 3.2-3.5 GHZ with some extra volts. I had my G0 sit at 3.2ghz for years at stock volts (or I may have given it a tiny bump, can't remember..)

As you say, the hardware isn't bad, it's still decently respectable... but if you want to play modern games on high settings, you will indeed need an upgrade. I'm a little sick right now so can't be bothered to do a bunch of research, but a great starting point is the recommendations found at this link.
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Old 06-11-2012, 02:27 PM   #3
Atkinson
Default Re: Building a new gaming PC

CPU:
Intel CPU Core i5 3570K Quad Core IvyBridge Processor Retail - BX80637I53570K - Scan.co.uk
Mobo:
ASRock Z77 Extreme 4 Intel Z77 Socket 1155 Motherboard - Scan.co.uk
RAM:
Any DDR3 1333Mhz with 1.5V should be sufficient.
GPU:
6870/560ti or better
SSD:
128Gb for Win7 and games. Rest of the stuff to regular HDD.
PSU:
Use the current one u have.

And u are good to go.


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Old 06-13-2012, 04:11 AM   #4
Heskey
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Default Re: Building a new gaming PC

Thanks for your comments guys, seems to be similar to what I'm seeing elsewhere, so some consistency is a good thing.

Could you please explain what SSD is to me please? I've never heard of it before, or this concept of mixing storage across two platforms?


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Old 06-13-2012, 05:41 AM   #5
whatshisname55

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Default Re: Building a new gaming PC

SSD is Solid State Drive. It's similar to RAM except built to store data permanently like a HDD. It's way faster than any HDD but obviously more expensive. In the US they're usually around $1 per 1GB.

You can store different files on separate partitions. Your C: drive is a partition. If you use multiple storage devices each one will be a different partition and you can choose which one you want to install each program on.

As Atkinson said, you would want to use your SSD as the primary partition and install the OS and games (plus any other programs you use a lot) because they spend the most time reading and writing data to the drive. Any other files or rarely used programs can be stored on the HDD partition since you won't need the extra speed for them.
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Old 06-13-2012, 06:15 PM   #6
Heskey
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Default Re: Building a new gaming PC

But assuming when you say 'partition' you mean use it whole, rather than divvying them up into smaller partitions?

I.E. Partition 1 = SSD, Partition 2 = HDD?


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Old 06-13-2012, 06:26 PM   #7
MaSSive

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Default Re: Building a new gaming PC

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heskey View Post
But assuming when you say 'partition' you mean use it whole, rather than divvying them up into smaller partitions?

I.E. Partition 1 = SSD, Partition 2 = HDD?
Its not really important and is up to you to format it and use as many partitions you like or need.

For example you can purchase 128 GB SSD and split it in two partitions, which will be under Windows C and D, if you of course install operating system on primary partition of SSD. You can then use your HDD and partition it in same way, and if system is not on it, those partitions will be assigned drive letters, E, F and so on.

No need to worry about that really. I recommend you to use SSD as a single partition or use complete drive as one single primary partition, on which you will install your system and applications and games. Then use your HDD as data storage and split it to an many partitions you want, but its not necessary.


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Old 06-14-2012, 05:33 AM   #8
Heskey
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Default Re: Building a new gaming PC

Thanks for the explanation. I seem to remember a few years ago, lots of people were shouting about the benefits of making a separate partition for installing your OS on only, like a safe-zone that wouldn't get slowed down by any other storage/applications on the same partition. Is this still the case? I'm guessing not as you're suggesting games/applications/OS on SDD, and general storage on HDD.

My only thought is I have a 500GB HDD currently, and I'm down to 50GB - apart from music and some TV shows, most of that IS games, which surely all won't fit on an SSD at how pricey they are?


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Old 06-14-2012, 10:47 AM   #9
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Default Re: Building a new gaming PC

Then just install resource hungry games and the ones you play most on SSD. For example Arma2 runs much more better if ran from SSD. BF2:PR also has some benefits.

Rest of the games simply reinstall on HDD.


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Old 06-14-2012, 01:18 PM   #10
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Default Re: Building a new gaming PC

And no, separate partitions do not improve speed. Since they are still on the same drive they are using the same platters and arm and I/O.
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