Comprehensive Gaming PC Guide Discussion - VI

100 Blood Elf Paladin
9210
If you have an older i5, I wouldn't really recommend upgrading until Haswell. Haswell is going to come in few months.

As for the GPU, I would recommend something like HD 7870 LE. 560 Ti is not a good buy right now unless you are getting it for a rock bottom price.
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100 Troll Warlock
21595
Hello, let me start off by saying I am completely retarded when it comes to stuff like upgrading computers, I tried to read through the multiple posts about everything and it was like reading chinese (but good work on those threads, I just wish I paid attention in computer class lol). With that said, I figured I would give it a shot and post in this thread asking for help instead of making my own personal thread.

The current computer I have is http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/Document.jsp?lang=en&cc=us&taskId=120&prodSeriesId=5080733&prodTypeId=12454&objectID=c02927009 (I don't know how good/bad this is, but if it's incredibly terrible please don't laugh too hard), it runs wow smooth (15-20 fps, unless in a dungeon or raid or something then it usually goes 25-30) on mostly all low settings.

But I've come to a point where I want to actually see wow, not horribly low quality textures and such. I'm sure that with my current computer it's either the graphics card or processor that is whats really holding me down. But this is where I start to get lost, I have no idea what to be looking at in terms of upgrades. That website has a rough list of what kind of processors to upgrade to, but I wanted to ask a slightly more professional opinion of which to buy.

In the end I will mainly be playing WoW, with some Starcraft and LoL occasionally thrown in, so I want to be able to run it at Good-High with a decent fps in any situation. I'd also like to only upgrade parts that are absolutely necessary (not looking for a complete overhaul) and within a budget of around $250-300 at the most.

Thank you for your time, and I hope it's not too glaringly obvious I have no idea what I'm talking about.
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100 Blood Elf Paladin
9210
You will see some FPS upgrade by moving to a Phenom II X4 CPU. But due to the poor motherboard, it only supports up to 95W.

If video card has never been upgraded from what it came with, a new video card could bring you a whole new world of experience. However, it being an HP, what you can actually get is severely limited due to the poor power supply present in this system.

Now, I assume you don't want to get a whole new PC more or less, so what you can do is:

1. Find a Phenom II X4 9xx series CPU somewhere (ensure 95W). Upgrade it over the Athlon II X2 you have.

2. Get a Radeon HD 7750 graphics card. It will work on your PC without having to get a new power supply.
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100 Troll Warlock
21595
Thank you for the response.

I've been looking at AMD's website about the Phenom II x4, and I can't quite figure which one would be best, or compatible, with my current motherboard. I tried to look up the differences between Phenom II x4 925 and 960, because my brain assumes higher numbers = better, but the 925s are all priced higher so I'm assuming it's the other way around? Anyways, if its not too much trouble could you either find a Phenom that would work with what I have, or help point me in a little better direction?

Also, the GPU I was looking at http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102969, would this work with my current computer?

Another question, if I bought the above GPU, with a recommended Phenom II x4 9xx, what would you expect my new computer be able to handle on wow? Fair-good, or good-high (on a good day)?
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100 Blood Elf Paladin
9210
That GPU will do.

With a Phenom II X4 9xx, you should be able to run WoW on high-ultra mix @ 1080p resolution with good FPS.

However, a new Phenom II X4 that will work with your PC is very expensive new:

http://pcpartpicker.com/part/amd-cpu-hd96ztwfk4dgr

So, try looking at eBay or Craigslist or something for a Phenom II X4 960T.

Failing that, you are looking at a new Intel CPU + motherboard combo that would actually be priced pretty close to what a new Phenom II X4 960T costs, but would outperform it pretty damn well in WoW.
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100 Blood Elf Paladin
9210
Upcoming update :

GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost is out and it can give HD 7850 a run for its money. Recommended!
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29 Human Paladin
130
Hey kalganized, in the near future, especially with 4K monitors will become main stream in a few years, SLI/Xfire might become more popular. Micro-shuttering has gotten to the point where it's very minimal because min frame rate is still near 60 FPS in most games so the eye won't detect it. The spikiness of SLI/Xfire has been reduces drastically due to drivers and with examples like the GTX 660/660Ti both beating a GTX 680 in min frame rate by 20-40% while cost the slightly less/slightly more, You may want to recommend it for people who play mostly newer games, especially ones that use the cry engine 3 or 2012+ DX11 graphic engines.
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100 Blood Elf Paladin
11800
Creedyz - wait, your motherboard doesn't have a pci-e 16x slot, so you can't put a new video card in it. You're stuck having to do a full upgrade, board/cpu/ram/video, and possibly case because of what's likely a proprietary case-to-motherboard connection. You could probably hack the connector if you wanted to mess with it, but it'd be a pain.

Also, the board has a 95w tdp limit. It might boot 125w tdp cpus, but you can't be sure. The best 95w Phenom IIs are:

1. Phenom II x4 B99 (business class), 3.3ghz

2. Phenom II x4 B97 or Phenom II x4 955 version HDX955WFK4DGM (OEM non-black edition), 3.2ghz

3. Phenom II x4 B95 or Phenom II x4 945 HDX945WFK4DGI or HDX945WFK4DGM but *not* HDX945FBK4DGI, or the Phenom II x4 960T version HD96ZTWFK4DGR but *not* HD960TFBK4DGR, all 3ghz.

Refer to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_AMD_Phenom_microprocessors#.22Zosma.22_.28E0.2C_45_nm.2C_Quad-core.29

Zosma is a cut down Thuban 6-core (960T), while Deneb is the native quad.

That said, you can't add a video card to your board, so don't bother with the cpu either. It's ground-up or bust.
Edited by Selvaganesh on 3/27/2013 1:43 PM PDT
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100 Troll Warlock
21595
03/27/2013 09:27 AMPosted by Selvaganesh
Creedyz - wait, your motherboard doesn't have a pci-e slot, so you can't put a new video card in it. You're stuck having to do a full upgrade, board/cpu/ram/video, and possibly case because of what's likely a proprietary case-to-motherboard connection. You could probably hack the connector if you wanted to mess with it, but it'd be a pain.


Well that's never good to hear... especially after I already bought the parts.

But I checked the website for my computer (http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/Document.jsp?lang=en&cc=us&taskId=120&prodSeriesId=5080733&prodTypeId=12454&objectID=c02927009) and it does say Expansion Slots: 2 PCI Express x1 slots. Is this what you mean and you might've just skimmed over it real quick? If not then I guess I get to cancel some orders... lol.

03/27/2013 09:27 AMPosted by Selvaganesh
or the Phenom II x4 960T version HD96ZTWFK4DGR


This is the one that Kalganized recommended from pcpartpicker, so I believe I'm covered there.

And after some google searching and crash-course learning about PCI-E slots, the GPU I asked about (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102969) seems like it should work, but some clarity on this would be nice.
Edited by Creedyz on 3/27/2013 1:18 PM PDT
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100 Blood Elf Paladin
11800
Video cards run in a pci-e 16x slot, not the 1x slots. :(

You can keep the video card, but you might as well cancel or send the rest back and look at new board/cpu/ram options.
Edited by Selvaganesh on 3/27/2013 1:42 PM PDT
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100 Blood Elf Paladin
9210
Creedyz: I'm so sorry! I actually never expected that the mobo wouldn't come with a PCI-E 16x slot.

What you can do is just buy a new motherboard now as well as a new computer case, and re-use everything else.

Example motherboard:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128565

This motherboard supports latest AMD FX CPUs after BIOS update. You can use existing CPU for the time being if you so wish.

Example case:

(microATX)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811352009

(ATX)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811146075
Edited by Kalganized on 3/27/2013 4:49 PM PDT
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100 Troll Warlock
21595
03/27/2013 04:45 PMPosted by Kalganized
Creedyz: I'm so sorry! I actually never expected that the mobo wouldn't come with a PCI-E 16x slot.


Yeah it's ok lol. I asked my friend and he showed me that slot on other mobos and it clicked in my head.

Anyways, are you sure I need a new case? I don't mind dropping the extra money for a new mobo, but my friend says the mobo you linked should be ok with my current case. But I wan't to make sure before I buy anything else lol.
Edited by Creedyz on 3/27/2013 6:32 PM PDT
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100 Blood Elf Paladin
9210
I would think it should work too, I'm not 100% sure if the I/O shield (those covering protecting the ports at the back of the case) is something you can take out and replace on an HP case.

It probably is though.

I assume you only bought the graphics card? If so, you can consider buying an AMD FX-6300 (after BIOS update on the motherboard if it's not version F3 already) instead of a Phenom II CPU.
Edited by Kalganized on 3/27/2013 6:34 PM PDT
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100 Troll Warlock
21595
I bought the graphics card and the Phenom II. But I believe I can still get a refund in the Phenom and turn around and buy the AMD FX-6300, would you recommend that or should I just stay with the Phenom?

Also, is http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819113286 what you are talking about to replace to Phenom if you recommend it instead?
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100 Blood Elf Paladin
9210
Try to get a refund on the Phenom and buy the FX-6300 instead. If not, the Phenom II X4 will still provide you with good min FPS boost over Athlon.

Yes, that would be that.

If you bought the Phenom II CPU from NewEgg, you may have to jump through hoops to get them to accept returns / do replacement.

It's very possible that the power supply only come with 4-pin CPU power plug, which may or may not be a problem. I would consider replacing the power supply if you want to be on the safe side.
Edited by Kalganized on 3/27/2013 8:12 PM PDT
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29 Human Paladin
130
Kalg, take a look at this: http://www.rwlabs.com/article.php?cat=&id=798&pagenumber=4

GTX 650 TI Boost SLI (costs 340 dollars) just pisses on the competition. Also note, overclocking the GTX 650 TI Boost will have a greater effect than normal b/c it's 192x2 compared to 192x1.
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100 Blood Elf Paladin
11800
Creedyz - there's only one reason I mentioned the possible need for a new case, and that's the way the power/reset switches and power/HD LEDs connect to the board. Often, OEM computers put all the connections in one plug that connects to the board. Not all boards have the exact same pin layout for the buttons and LEDs, so it's possible you could throw a new board in the case but not be able to turn it on because the connector has the wrong pin layout for your new board. It's something that can be messed with and fixed, but it's annoying, and a new case sets you up for more upgrades down the road as well.

I looked a the picture of the board again, and I think the case connections look fairly standard, but I just had a look inside an HP I have here that I'm troubleshooting, and it has a proprietary case plug. :\ It does look like the I/O shield will pop out though, so that's good.

Just look inside your case and follow the wires that come from the case and connect to the board. If they all connect in a single plug, you could run into the issue I'm talking about.

All of that said, here's a micro atx board for cheap that has SATA 6gb/s and USB 3.0 tacked on - always nice to have the new features: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157323

And yeah, since you have to do a new board, the FX-6300 would be better than the Phenom II.

Something else to consider however is an Intel I3, which lags a bit behind the 6300 in encoding type apps but hangs in games and beats it in WoW. It would also go easier on your oem power supply.
Edited by Selvaganesh on 3/28/2013 7:38 PM PDT
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100 Troll Warlock
21595
Greetings Kalg and Selv! My new motherboard and graphics card came today, so I have been busy installing them.

I eventually got everything plugged in, screwed down, and powered up. But some things I have been noticing:

- The power button on the case has no effect when I plug the power cable back in. The computer immediately starts running and the only way I can turn it off is to directly unplug the cable from the back of the case (this is probably an incredibly terrible idea, but I figure it's the only option when the computer wont shut off any other way). I'm fairly positive I plugged the cord into the right plug on the mobo because the button does light up, it's just unresponsive.
- The new motherboard is quite loud, I assume its just because the motherboard is setting up and such and it will calm down once everything is settled? Or is it something to do with my old processor? (still waiting for the new one to arrive)
- It's probably nothing, but the SATA cables - I have them plugged into the DVD drive, and the HDD, but do they specifically go into any plug on the mobo? Or are they all generic and it doesn't matter?

That's all mostly pre-startup issues. However being the noob I am with computer, I completely forgot I would need to reinstall Windows 7 on the new motherboard. After some googling I discovered this post http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/31418-63-installing-windows-motherboard. The main poster says the license is locked to the PC, but another post says that's only true if the chipset is different between the mobos. My old one is AMD 760G, and the new one says North Bridge AMD 760G and South Bridge AMD SB710.

- Does the South Bridge make any difference? Can I burn a copy of Windows 7 from the internet (I remember reading about downloading an ISO file and some other things and that it would work if I punch in my product key) or do I have to go rebuy a whole new license for Windows 7?

Sorry for all the questions, I don't want to screw anything up lol.

Oh, one other minor issue is that the System fan plug is on the opposite side of where it's mounted on the case. I already looked up extension cords for it, but I figured I would tell you guys about that little hiccup :P
Edited by Creedyz on 4/1/2013 9:38 PM PDT
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100 Blood Elf Paladin
9210
1. You probably have the - and + part of the power switch cable (that connects to the mobo) flipped. Try connecting it opposite way.

2. Motherboard can't be loud... o_O Do you mean it has a high whine sound? Can you pinpoint exactly where you hear this loud noise?

3. Generic, but they are listed in order of connection in BIOS.

4. You do not need a whole new license, but you may be asked to re-authenticate. Do not panic. Just re-authenticate by calling Microsoft (if it tells you to), and tell them you upgraded your PC. They will give you a new key.

5. You can probably use molex cable instead (it probably comes with it).
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100 Troll Warlock
21595
@1, I'll give that a shot tomorrow when I reopen it thank you. I'll also check the BIOS about the sata cables as well.

@2, I meant the CPU, I'm tired and can only have nightmares of the motherboard right now lol.

@4, That's basically what I was gonna try. I heard I would have to call them or just enter my current key into it, but either way I give it a shot and see what happens.

Is #5 about the system fan thing?
Edited by Creedyz on 4/1/2013 11:04 PM PDT
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