Computer upgradin'


So, i'm looking to upgrade my desktop so that I can play WoW in ultra. I think it is my graphics card which is holding me back, but I know very little about computers.

Motherboard: ASUSTeK Computer INC. Model: M4A78LT-M Rev X.0x Graphics card: AMD Radeon HD 5450 Memory: 1024MB RAM: 4 GB DDR3, PC3- 10700 (667MHz), manufacturer: Nanya Technology, part number: M2F2G64CB88B7N-CG CPU: AMD Phenom(tm) II X6 1055T Processor (6 CPUs), ~2.8GHz OS: Windows 7 (6.1) Home Premium Edition 64-bit. Service Pack 1. DirectX 11.

Aside from that, my desktop has always been incredibly loud, with the fans seeming to be working over time as soon as I boot it up. About 6 months ago, I took apart the computer and found that the bracket on my heatsync was cracked, and so it hadn't been attached properly for at least 3 years (when I had last cleaned it). I reattached the heatsync with some new paste and bracket, but the thing is as loud as ever. I'm thinking i'll have to take it into some shop to see if they can tell me whats up.

But yeah, any advice on what parts I should replace would be great!

Posted 3 years ago     Legacy #1 - View post

i would replace it all lawl..

i bet it would cost you more to "have it checked out" than to buy new parts (if you can afford it)

Atleast, that's how it works in Norway.

Posted 3 years ago     Legacy #2 - View post

To be honest I do agree with Loshack, if your going to upgrade any part of your current setup then your need to upgrade other parts like motherbroad to support the new tech etc. I personally avoid AMD as I find Intel better overall specially for gaming but AMD is cheaper.

May we know your current budget? So we may look into it in more detail for you

Posted 3 years ago     Legacy #3 - View post

Rob could you double check the motherboard model number? I can't find record of it anywhere. How much memory is on your graphics card? If CPU-Z doesn't tell you then the "AMD Gaming Evolved" program thingy should. The missus has an AMD card and this is the program that alerts her to driver updates and "optimises" the graphical settings of games for her rig, I assume you have access to this program too.

Posted 3 years ago     Legacy #4 - View post

I was worried you would say that I'm not really in a position to be spending more than £200, but if y'all think i'd just be better off buying a whole new computer then I'll wait 'till I can afford that.

Sorry Herf, there was indeed a typo with the motherboard. I've edited that in my first post and added the memory on the graphics card.

Posted 3 years ago     Legacy #5 - View post

While WoW looks like a graphically intensive game it relies a lot on your processor, this is what makes it so backwards compatible and able to run on toasters. This processor is almost the absolute best that your motherboard can handle - The FX 8350. It uses the maximum amount of juice that your processor slot can handle. If you pick this you should also invest in a bigger or better CPU cooler. Here it is from Scan and Here it is from Amazon. Both are roughly £130.

That last processor alone takes up most of your budget. With the FX 6300 you'll still see a huge increase of performance but at a much nicer price point. Here it is from Scan and Here it is from Amazon. It's roughly £80.

So a processor is going to give you the most bang for your buck when you're talking about a pure WoW machine. The next thing to upgrade is your graphics card, this is where my knowledge falters a bit - I'm not great with AMD cards, I've just never owned one before, so I don't know the ins and outs. <Some time passes> The cards I've found have been underwhelming upgrades for the price. This is the bit where your motherboard is really holding you back - You've only got one graphics card slot and it's old tech, pcie 2.0 compared to today's 3.0. These days when peoples graphics cards are getting old and subpar the answer is simple: Buy a second card of the same type as your old one and run them in tandem, this almost doubles your graphical performance, but you don't have this option. So yeah, I've given up on this front, someone else is gonna have to weigh in.

Your RAM: this one is simple, and there are tons of options at a whole host of price points. Your motherboard can handle 16gb of ram in total across four slots, so you're going to want 4 sticks of 4gb. At the minute you have 4gb - If this is just one stick of ram then you can save some money and buy 3 more sticks OF THE EXACT SAME MODEL. I wouldn't suggest this though - your current ram runs at speed 667mhz which is terribly slow by today's standards, your motherboard can handle up to the maximum of 1800mhz but is most comfortable with 1333mhz. If you choose over 1333mhz then please ensure your cooling system is up to snuff and cleaned regularly. Here are your options from Scan and Here are your options from Amazon. You can't really go wrong with RAM as long as all your sticks are of the same exact model.

Posted 3 years ago     Legacy #6 - View post

Also you should look at SSD hard drives as I'm almost sure you're still using a HDD platter. Your hard drive connection type is SATA 3gb/s, you can pick an SSD that's designed for 6gb/s with no downside other than you wont be using it to it's fullest potential. Using an SSD will drastically increase your loading screen times, but wont do much to improve your frame rates outside of the first 10 seconds of combat - After this point the hard drive has loaded everything it needs usually.

If you get an SSD you'll want to install Windows and WoW on it and that's it. Every other program goes onto a seperate hard drive. I run a 120g SSD for Windows and another 250g SSD for games with a 3tb old style hard drive for storage.

Posted 3 years ago     Legacy #7 - View post

jez, just save your £ and buy a new rig that will surpase all of these "new" upgrades

Posted 3 years ago     Legacy #8 - View post

I think Herf succinctly covered the majority of what I would've brought to this discussion but I echo all the above upgrading parts will work out more expensive in the long run... any newer graphics card and by new you want to be looking at 900 series Nvidia standard at least to avoid throwing bad money after good.

Most of which will be throttled by your CPU which is whats holding your rig back, all MMO's are tied to CPU speed all a graphics card does is render, those render operations have to be processed in order to get to your display as well as information sent to the card to render so imagine trying to fit an elephant through a hosepipe and that's essentially what you would do by replacing your card only.

For low budget look for i5 equivalent mobo/cpu builds which will allow you to attach a powerful enough card to your system in order to get your ultra settings. (provided you up clock the CPU a little, depending on its age)

i7 is what I would advise for example I picked up an i7 gaming laptop for my missus cost me about £700 from Scan.co.uk and it runs WoW/SWTOR and various other games maxed out with zero issues. You will be able to get an equivalent system out of a build for around the same price (cheaper if you carry over drives and other periphals from your current system).

But in short your system above:

Motherboard - Old and operating at more or less its peak due to CPU CPU - It benches below an i6 by a significant margin RAM - 4 gig used to be a large amount 6 years ago now its baseline while not massively important more speeds up loading times GPU - My bench values it at $24 and about 5% of a Nvidia Geforce GTX960 may seem replacing this is a no brainer but your CPU will throttle anything much higher than it. Drives - In my opinion SSD's are a luxury not a necessity so dont worry too much about them if you fix the core of your desktop a 7200rpm 2 TB SATA will serve you fine. (Clicky for example)

I would advise looking at Scan's 3XS "overclocked bundles" you can re-configure them in the way you want according to your budget and they come pre-built and pre clocked like this

Posted 3 years ago     Legacy #9 - View post

I used the Scan's 3XS system its very good service

I would advise if your planning to buy a laptop for £700 is to build your own with Scans 3XS building the motherbroad, cpu and cooling, I built my own i7 4790K 8gb with a small ssd and 2nd 2tb hdd for under £700.

If your planning to use this as a stepping stone then Herf suggestion is very good, but in a year or two you may need to upgrade depending on what games you will be playing.

Posted 3 years ago     Legacy #10 - View post

Very small point.... bear in mind even if you decide just to upgrade your graphics card and deal with the fact it will be bottlenecked. (a GTX560ti would be a decent choice for this) (sorry I only work with nvidia cards ..) but you will need a new Power supply most likely I didn't notice you mention the power supply in your specs so can't say what it will be capable of just going to run with the assumption that due to the parts you have they built it with a stock PSU 240v, for most newer cards you need almost double that same if you are increasing the quality of your other parts too for manufacturer in power supplies I recommend Corsair good quality and good cooling. Also they can survive being drenched in cola and still keep kicking although I don't advise testing this out it wasn't an intentional discovery on my part.

Posted 3 years ago     Legacy #11 - View post