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Thread: What should I upgrade (and what to?)

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    Question What should I upgrade (and what to?)

    Hello all - long time since I've been here....

    I've acquired my flatmates old gaming PC in exchange for building his new one. It's from about 2009, and has an i5 760, a radeon 5770, 4gb DDR3 and a much newer SSD in it. It potters along just fine, and I mainly play CS:GO on it at 1080p, getting about 60-150fps. The issue is the FPS does still drop sometimes and it's a bit annoying. I'm also feeling like indulging myself so I thought I would upgrade it. I was wondering:

    a) Is there any point in upgrading the CPU? It would require a new motherboard, and probably RAM, and for what I use the PC for (nothing more testing than playing CS:GO) I'm not sure I'd see much of a benefit

    b) If I upgrade the GPU (which I think is clearly the correct choice), where's the value at? Do I need anything over an RX 460 4GB? Will I see no benefit because I'm likely to be CPU limited?

    Any and all advice appreciated...
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    root Member DanceswithUnix's Avatar
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    Re: What should I upgrade (and what to?)

    I would say 8GB or RAM was a minimum these days, even with an SSD to swap to. If the machine seems to be stuttering, then that is an obvious and fairly cheap thing to fix specially if you have spare ram slots on the motherboard. That won't help the maximum frame rate, but would make the machine more pleasant to use.

    The GPU is the next obvious thing. That is purely down to what you can afford. You can get a RX 460 for £90, and although some people will slate a 2GB graphics card at this low end at 1080p it shouldn't be an issue. Benchmarks are often at Ultra settings, and you don't want to be using those anyway. If you can afford it, the RX 470 can be had for about £180, I would much rather spend the money there than mess about with the CPU.

    Mind you, once you look at the RX470 you are on the slippery slope to a http://www.ebuyer.com/753965-gigabyt...0g1-gaming-4gd

    Edit: What power supply do you have? Power rating, any PCIe or Molex 4 pin connectors available on it?

    Another edit: https://arstechnica.co.uk/gadgets/20...aphics-card/2/
    Last edited by DanceswithUnix; 01-02-2017 at 02:34 PM.

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    Re: What should I upgrade (and what to?)

    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix View Post
    I would say 8GB or RAM was a minimum these days, even with an SSD to swap to. If the machine seems to be stuttering, then that is an obvious and fairly cheap thing to fix specially if you have spare ram slots on the motherboard. That won't help the maximum frame rate, but would make the machine more pleasant to use.

    The GPU is the next obvious thing. That is purely down to what you can afford. You can get a RX 460 for £90, and although some people will slate a 2GB graphics card at this low end at 1080p it shouldn't be an issue. Benchmarks are often at Ultra settings, and you don't want to be using those anyway. If you can afford it, the RX 470 can be had for about £180, I would much rather spend the money there than mess about with the CPU.

    Mind you, once you look at the RX470 you are on the slippery slope to a http://www.ebuyer.com/753965-gigabyt...0g1-gaming-4gd

    Edit: What power supply do you have? Power rating, any PCIe or Molex 4 pin connectors available on it?

    Another edit: https://arstechnica.co.uk/gadgets/20...aphics-card/2/
    The power supply isn't an issue I think, i'm sure it's a decent 500w+ unit ( I specced it out however many years ago...) and in any case will have PCIe connectors available.

    I have realised there's a slippery slope... 460 2GB - 460 4GB - 1050 Ti - 470 - 480.... so I suppose i want the cheapest one which I will get a real improvement from. To clarify, the system in general runs absolutely fine (doesn't really stutter) and it runs CS:GO smoothly, this is more of a treat than a necessary upgrade
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    Re: What should I upgrade (and what to?)

    I agree, ram sounds like a good idea. It is at least the simplest to fix. Plenty of DDR3 being sold off here and elsewhere. An extra 4GB will be around £16-20 for new and £15 from CEX Glasgow Union Street.

    The 5770 has a single PCIE power connector, so I would avoid anything with two.

    Also how dusty is it? maybe a tin of compressed air to blow it out.

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    Re: What should I upgrade (and what to?)

    I would probably get a newer PSU,as the current one will be around 7 years old. I would add another 4GB to 8GB of DDR3,and I assume the current system has a pair of 2GB DDR3 sticks?

    It might be worth mildly overclocking the CPU,as online games can be more taxing on the CPU. Regarding a new graphics card,some of the RX series can be a bit hit and miss with older motherboards,so I would check if that the motherboard model is fine.

    If you do have free Scan postage active,you can get this GTX1050 2GB for £99.99 delivered:

    https://www.scan.co.uk/products/pali...-1455mhz-boost


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    Re: What should I upgrade (and what to?)

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    I would probably get a newer PSU,as the current one will be around 7 years old. I would add another 4GB to 8GB of DDR3,and I assume the current system has a pair of 2GB DDR3 sticks?

    It might be worth mildly overclocking the CPU,as online games can be more taxing on the CPU. Regarding a new graphics card,some of the RX series can be a bit hit and miss with older motherboards,so I would check if that the motherboard model is fine.

    If you do have free Scan postage active,you can get this GTX1050 2GB for £99.99 delivered:

    https://www.scan.co.uk/products/pali...-1455mhz-boost

    Thanks Cat - it's an ASUS P7P55D I'm pretty sure. An extra 4 GB of RAM is definitely a good idea and basically free. I'll check what the PSU model is when I'm home.
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    Re: What should I upgrade (and what to?)

    I think Macman was telling me that CS:GO in particular was CPU bound more than GPU and that he got a huge uptick in performance with a new CPU.

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    Re: What should I upgrade (and what to?)

    Quote Originally Posted by nibbler View Post
    ..., this is more of a treat than a necessary upgrade
    Depends on how good you think you have been then

    Hard to find a straight comparison, but the numbers should be silly enough that some estimation won't hurt. Roughly, an RX480 is as fast as an R9 290. That gets us back to the same era of graphics card, so ignoring the power consumption figures for the 290 you are looking at roughly:

    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/product/1078?vs=1068

    For the RX460 instead of a 480, roughly halve the 290 score, so should still be quite a bit faster. But mainly, I am guessing your 5770 has just 1GB of ram on it and in a lot of modern games that is below minimum spec.

    Your CPU is again hard to find comparative benchmarks. Anandtech do list it, but not for modern games: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/product/1078?vs=1068
    I suspect that is a "downhill with the wind behind it" view as compression will use the latest media instructions which games won't see. That is a notable jump, but for a very notable price, the GPU upgrade is a bigger leap for less money.

    As Cat suggests, a mild overclock may get some of that difference gap closed for no money.

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    Re: What should I upgrade (and what to?)

    Yep CSGO is CPU based more than GPU.

    Only thing I would recommend first of all before splashing.

    Latest driver? Uninstall the crap? Clean the PC out? Free of dust? Cable Management? Just to try and maximise the Air flow.

    Then get info such as your FPS to show whilst running whilst playing CSGO and see if there is any particular pattern to the problem your having?

    Me personally if I was given a PC, I'd wipe it clean and reinstall windows and CSGO. I'm OCD with that sort of thing, I need a clean PC and uninstall whatever I'll never use or whatever I am unlikely to use.

    Feel free to add me btw - be happy to team up on MM if you ever fancied it? I'm Silver 4 atm but tend to finish most games top of the group.

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    Re: What should I upgrade (and what to?)

    Quote Originally Posted by Macman View Post
    Yep CSGO is CPU based more than GPU.

    Only thing I would recommend first of all before splashing.

    Latest driver? Uninstall the crap? Clean the PC out? Free of dust? Cable Management? Just to try and maximise the Air flow.

    Then get info such as your FPS to show whilst running whilst playing CSGO and see if there is any particular pattern to the problem your having?

    Me personally if I was given a PC, I'd wipe it clean and reinstall windows and CSGO. I'm OCD with that sort of thing, I need a clean PC and uninstall whatever I'll never use or whatever I am unlikely to use.

    Feel free to add me btw - be happy to team up on MM if you ever fancied it? I'm Silver 4 atm but tend to finish most games top of the group.
    It's mainly when there are lots of smokes. I mean it's really not a big deal, or a major issue... perhaps I misspoke. I have minor FPS issues in some situations but broadly speaking the game runs smoothly.

    I'm DMG so we can't play together in MM sadly...

    I use net_graph 1 and I drop to maybe 50 fps at worst which sounds fine but for some reason is very noticeable in CS GO. I definitely need to do a clean install. The current install is windows 8.1 from my old laptop when I moved the SSD over to the computer. Was going to reinstall then it just worked so I decided to ignore it lol.
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    Re: What should I upgrade (and what to?)

    Try turning the graphics right down, lower resolution if necessary, and if the frame rate stays the same you are CPU limited.

    Smoke sounds like GPU though.

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    Re: What should I upgrade (and what to?)

    Quote Originally Posted by nibbler View Post
    I'm DMG so we can't play together in MM sadly...
    I'm sure we can, I've joined in with folk who were Novas or Supremes?

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    Re: What should I upgrade (and what to?)

    Quote Originally Posted by Macman View Post
    I'm sure we can, I've joined in with folk who were Novas or Supremes?
    You need a full 5 stack if ranks are that far apart so it can be difficult - feel free to add me though: nickb1993 is my username
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    Re: What should I upgrade (and what to?)

    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix View Post
    Try turning the graphics right down, lower resolution if necessary, and if the frame rate stays the same you are CPU limited.

    Smoke sounds like GPU though.
    Yeah I mean at this stage I'm pretty happy to chalk it up to the GPU and buy a new one - can always upgrade the CPU and motherboard at a later date (which I probably will do anyway).
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    Re: What should I upgrade (and what to?)

    Sometimes useful to think - if I were building a new PC and looking to do it on the cheap, which components would I take with me and which would I leave behind? If CS is CPU-bound and that's all you play then you should upgrade that, otherwise it sounds like what everyone else is saying - PSU, RAM, GPU - is on point. May as well do them all at once, treat or not.

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    Re: What should I upgrade (and what to?)

    Overclock the CPU a bit and add a newer card - that should bump up the framerates. Also remember the HD5770 has not been supported for quite a while now.


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