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Thread: Computer help

  1. #1
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    Computer help

    So I'm looking to upgrade my rig with some better hardware but I really don't know what I need. My processor is a dual core 2.20 GHz Intel chip. No idea what the motherboard is. Graphics card is a GeForce 7100/nForce 630i and I have 4 gigs of RAM. Right now when I play half-life/portal/L4D I have to run it windowed mode to make semi-playable. I'm still getting around 15 fps in windowed mode. I'd like to upgrade my system so that I can run these games smoothly and it look good.

    I guess questions I should ask would be, what's the difference between an i5 and i7 processor? The i7 is obviously more powerful but do I need it if all I'm doing is gaming? What's a good graphics card? I have a monitor that can run full 1080p HD are there particular graphics cards that can help me maximize this? What qualities set the good graphics cards from the mediocre? If I upgrade the graphics card and/or the processor do I need to upgrade the motherboard? I'd be willing to spend an absolute max of $600 but would like to keep it around $400-$500, is this realistic?

  2. #2
    Oblivious King Traxian's Avatar
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    My first question is....do you get better FPS in windows vs full screen? Every game I've run tends to do better in Fullscreen as it doesn't have to deal with Windows overhead (as much)

    Past that, to me it looks like you need a graphics card..... the gtx400 series cards would be a great upgrade... the GTX460 is supposed to be the best bang for the buck right now since the top of the line GTX480 is still going for 400 plus... I've seen the 460 for as low as 189 with 768MB memory. (Personally I'd get a 1GB card and those are around 200-220)

    I have a GTX280 right now and love it but it doesn't do DX11... so I'm thinking of doing SLI with 2 460's.... problem is I don't really *need* it per se..... so it's just a matter of talking myself into it

  3. #3
    I have an i7 and I have noticed most of my cores aren't even being used during a lot of the games I play. I think the most important component to run solid frame rates during games is a high end graphics card with plenty of RAM. My desktop with a dual core actually runs games better than my laptop with an i7 because the graphics card on my desktop has more RAM.

    The 8 core i7 that I have is a beast though, it runs at like 300 watts and gets HOT. I have heard stories of people getting burned by laptops that have i7s.

  4. #4
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    I've been thinking about building a new computer. Here's what I've come up with so far. It runs about $1200 getting the parts from newegg.

    Sony Optiarc CD/DVD Burner Black SATA Model AD-7260S-0B - OEM

    ASUS VH222H-P Black 21.5" 5ms HDMI Widescreen Full HD 1080P LCD Monitor

    G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Dual Channel

    Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM

    Thermaltake Silent 1156 CLP0552 92mm CPU Cooler For Intel Socket LGA1156

    Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

    NZXT M59 - 001BK Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

    EVGA 012-P3-1470-AR GeForce GTX 470 (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

    PC Power and Cooling Silencer Mk II PPCMK2S750 750W ATX12V v2.2 / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS SILVER Certified ...

    Intel Core i7-870 Lynnfield 2.93GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor BX80605I7870

    ASUS P7P55 LX LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard

  5. #5
    We accidentally have 8GB RAM left over from our upgrades. They're 4x2GB 1333MHz DDR3 Corsairs. Let me know if you're interested.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traxian View Post
    My first question is....do you get better FPS in windows vs full screen? Every game I've run tends to do better in Fullscreen as it doesn't have to deal with Windows overhead (as much)
    I've noticed, for the most part, an improved frame rate when it's in windowed mode. It's not always an improvement though. Sometimes the frame rate is the same for windowed vs full screen.

    What I'll probably end up doing is upgrading the graphics card and see where that gets me. If I feel like I want to upgrade the processor I think I'll go with the i5. I don't run a lot of things at the same time so the i7 doesn't seem worth the money.

  7. #7
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    So I got a new power supply for my computer. I was all excited and installed it right away only to get this message "BOOT DISK FAILURE. INSERT SYSTEM DISK AND PRESS ENTER". I wasn't sure if that meant I needed to put in the windows 7 disk or if there was a boot disk I could use. I put the old PSU back in and it booted up just fine. I created a boot disk and then put the new PSU back in. I was still getting the boot error so I booted it from the disk to see what I could do. There was an option to repair the boot sequence (or something of that nature). I tried that and it failed. Another option on the screen was to recover the image of my computer from an existing image. While the old PSU was in I used the windows backup function to save the image of my computer on my external. So I thought that would work. I was wrong. The program that was running didn't even recognize that I was running windows. It couldn't identify which OS I was running and therefore said it wasn't gonna do any work.

    So at this point I'm at a loss of what to do. I've tried messing around with the BIOS a little bit. And by messing around I mean changing some of the boot sequence (i.e. boot from CD first, HD second, etc.). I don't really know what I'm doing so I was hoping someone from here could help me out. Is it possible that my power supply just isn't compatible with my mobo? I'd like to avoid re-installing windows if at all possible (I don't even know if that would fix the problem). halp!

  8. #8
    Oblivious King Traxian's Avatar
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    Sounds like the power lead to your hard drive might be faulty... or the new PSU isn't putting out the correct voltages.

    Can you verify that the hard drive is even spinning up?

  9. #9
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    Was going to say, while quality has improved over the years, you can still get bad feeds on individual plugs/cables.
    I put the old PSU back in and it booted up just fine.
    That right there strengthens the likelyhood of it. You have 2 options:
    A)(less risky, more research intensive) Check the feeds on the power plugs with a voltmeter, against the labled supply rate (typically 5V and 12V +/-5%, more voltage info here)

    B)(more risky, faster results) Try using a different power plug strand than the one you did last time (or just another plug if the strands only have 1 plug each). If it works, tag the defective one and don't use it, or reserve it for a non-essential device (secondary DVD drive or such).

    edit: Take a look at the comments section on the product page you linked...
    Pros: Had some interesting things going on with it initially. I don't know if it was overheating or what but it would randomly shut down, sometimes only after a minute of operation. I checked the build, it didn't seem like anything was shorting out. Anyways, ran great for 2 months afterwards.

    Cons: Died on me after 2 months... mobo won't power up or hold a stable power light. Can't RMA it though so I am going to contact the manufacturer. I got a Corsair 850TX v2 and it seems to be pretty stable from the getgo.
    There seems to be some failure rates posted about this power supply and I think it could be due to heavy requirements of some people's rigs...via sheer number of drives, vid cards, cooling and OC'ing.
    Pros: Lots of power

    Cons: Not very reliable

    Other Thoughts: Blew after 24 days, it had less than 30 hours of use on it and was sitting on a 800watt UPS.
    edit^2: It's a good brand, you may just have gotten a bad product. Try the steps, request a new one from newegg if you want, away you go.
    Last edited by nyyx; 03-03-2011 at 08:58 AM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traxian View Post
    Sounds like the power lead to your hard drive might be faulty... or the new PSU isn't putting out the correct voltages.

    Can you verify that the hard drive is even spinning up?
    I can't confirm that the HD is spinning up. I'll check it tonight when I get home.

    Quote Originally Posted by nyyx View Post
    Was going to say, while quality has improved over the years, you can still get bad feeds on individual plugs/cables.


    That right there strengthens the likelyhood of it. You have 2 options:
    A)(less risky, more research intensive) Check the feeds on the power plugs with a voltmeter, against the labled supply rate (typically 5V and 12V +/-5%, more voltage info here)
    I'll check this out and see if there's anything faulty with the plugs although my gut feeling is there's nothing wrong

    B)(more risky, faster results) Try using a different power plug strand than the one you did last time (or just another plug if the strands only have 1 plug each). If it works, tag the defective one and don't use it, or reserve it for a non-essential device (secondary DVD drive or such).
    I guess I could try this too and see what happens although I may have already tried this. When I was swapping out the new PSU for the old PSU (and vise versa) I think I just grabbed whatever plug was nearest my hand at the time. So, again, my gut feeling is that this won't work.

    edit: Take a look at the comments section on the product page you linked...




    edit^2: It's a good brand, you may just have gotten a bad product. Try the steps, request a new one from newegg if you want, away you go.
    Although I've never had a PSU crap out on me I'm pretty sure there's nothing wrong with the unit. It doesn't seem to me that there's an issue with power.

    There was one time last night where I turned the computer on and it started making a horrible noise. It sounded like a cable was hitting one of the fans. I turned it off, took the box out of the cubby in my desk and laid it flat on the floor. I reconnected the cables to the back of the case and turned it on. There wasn't any noise so I was happy with that so I let it continue to boot up. To my surprise it started to boot up normally! I was shocked. It got to the point to where I could see my desktop. But it was reeeeally laggy and sluggish. So I thought a reboot would fix it. Maybe a bad choice in hindsight but when it started to reboot I got the boot error again.

    Although I have a different situation I have pretty much the same problem as this guy

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