Quantcast

Maximum PC

It is currently Wed Jul 23, 2014 6:50 pm

All times are UTC - 8 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 4 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Suggestions? Old hardware, looking to get back to PC gaming
PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 7:26 pm 
8086
8086

Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2013 6:46 pm
Posts: 2
So, as a preface to why I'm looking for advice here: at one time I was big into PC gaming. I went out and bought the most expensive mainstream PC available. I got a Dell (forgive me) XPS Gen 3 desktop. I got a set of Klipsch 5.1 pro media speakers, a 20.1 inch Dell 2004FP display--big stuff at the time. Anyway, after I got an Xbox 360, and lost the time to spend on my PC, I needed a Mac (please forgive me) to do design work for school. Recently, I have found Xbox games to be lackluster. They don't have any of the great 1600x1200 graphics, the dynamic 5.1 sound or intense experience of a mouse, a keyboard and upgrade-fun of the PC.

What I am finding now is that PC gaming has become much more processor-intensive--back when I bought the PC, the GPU often lagged behind the CPU. I have been using the Dell XPS as a loud, expensive server. I haven't completely abandoned it. It still has two WD 10k RPM Raptors in RAID 0 and I've added a 1TB RAID 0 array of Seagate drives for storage. I've found a good deal on an ATI (apparently now it's AMD?) 6770 graphics card. I slapped that graphics card in to try some old games. The RAM (DDR2 back when that was new) is maxed out at 4GB and the processor is the P4 Extreme Edition--which was essentially a server chip in a PC package back when Intel was lagging behind AMD.

Recently, I was given a copy of Mafia 2. I played the orginal Mafia on my Dell and was impressed by the story and graphics so I thought this might be a fun game to play. The graphics are amazing at 1600x1200. I pushed all of the settings to max, and used overrides on others to push them. The game ran slow. So I dropped all of the graphics settings to their lowest. Still ran slow. I figured the weak point in my machine is the processor. Game loads in seconds and the cinematic scenes run smooth. When I play a mission, the game is stuttering.

My burning question is this: what hardware should I be looking at to get back into PC gaming? The hard drives are fast (not as fast as SSD, I'm told), the GPU is midlevel but decent, the RAM is junk (DDR3 speeds are faster than some CPU caches), the motherboard is ancient, the display and other peripherals are still good and I have a 600W PSU from another computer. I've been lurking around the Newegg site trying to find some ideas, but every review has a different spin. I want to play new games at least at 30FPS. Eye candy is great, but the processor seems to be the biggest deciding factor with new builds. AMD has cheap and apparently decent CPU's, Intel seems to have beaten AMD to a pulp with processor features, and motherboard manufacturers have oodles of choices now--does Foxconn still make them? I am familiar with building a PC, but its been a while.

I'm just looking for a little advice on the best midrange mobo/CPU platform to buy. And hopefully use some of the hardware I've already got.

Thanks, the recently-again n00b


Top
  Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Suggestions? Old hardware, looking to get back to PC gam
PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 11:33 am 
Little Foot
Little Foot

Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2006 4:58 am
Posts: 107
here are some ideas:

build a budget rig around your 6770 as a cost effective solution to get some game on, use your psu / hdds / gpu you already have
Quote:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-2120 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($116.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: MSI H61M-P31 (G3) Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($49.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: Samsung 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($44.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Rosewill Blackbone ATX Mid Tower Case ($31.99 @ Amazon)
Base Total: $233.96
Shipping: $9.98
Total: $243.94

the caveat is, all modern games @ 30 fps / high will probably not be attainable. Solution? more $$ :wink:

some good bang-per-buck here, use your hdd / psu only
Quote:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Performance ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($119.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Samsung 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($44.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: OCZ Agility 3 60GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($64.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: HIS Radeon HD 7870 2GB Video Card ($199.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Zalman Z9 Plus ATX Mid Tower Case ($54.99 @ Newegg)
Base Total: $774.93
Promo Discounts: -$10.00
Mail-in Rebates: -$40.00
Total: $724.93


Now, for the old dell - since it is a decent reliable nearly-workstation class pc, I would consider getting another 2 x 1Tb drives and grab a 2G~4Gb USB stick for freenas, in a raid-z1 you get ~2.7T usable would be awesome for backups, media, or both 8)

one Q I do have, what is your current PSU (brand, model, etc) if it's not up to par there are a couple of killer deals on Antec Neo series PSUs at the 'egg

Antec Neo Eco 400W $30
Antec Neo Eco 620W $50 w/ $20 MIR
:shock:

Well I am sure there will be many other suggestions, cheers mate


Top
  Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Suggestions? Old hardware, looking to get back to PC gam
PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 12:25 pm 
Clawhammer
Clawhammer
User avatar

Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2005 6:22 pm
Posts: 4406
Location: In the closet
^ Good advice up top here. I'd advise against the Agility 3 ssd. So many better choice today and 60Gb is fine for OS only, not much else. If you're shopping shoot for 120 to 256.


Top
  Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Suggestions? Old hardware, looking to get back to PC gam
PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 2:51 pm 
8086
8086

Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2013 6:46 pm
Posts: 2
Thanks! The PSU is only about a year old Thermaltake 600W with some nifty cable management. Not entirely sure on the specs because it still is sitting in an old computer.

I figure I'll keep the old dell for a while but the thing is LOUD. I have to find a spot in the basement for it. The P4EE is hot and 9 fans makes alot of noise. Funny thing is I already have an old PowerMac G5 that works as a server and it is alot quieter and better to look at. Decisions decisions...

I am blown away at how much modern PC gaming relies on the CPU. Physics, game AI, particle generation and audio seem to need at least a true dual core if not a multithreaded dual core processor just to keep up. Back when I was still gaming on the PC, the biggest bottleneck was always the GPU--even when I had a $600 graphics card.

Thanks again for the pricing info!


Top
  Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 4 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 8 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group