Darbbackwards
 member, 184 posts
 My name is Brad, which is
 darb spelled backwards
Thu 19 Jan 2017
at 21:56
Re: Thinking about upgrading my PC...
It's possible that the thermal paste is old/worn and needs to be refreshed. If that doesn't help, and the fan has already been cleaned, you might want to look at a stronger fan. Just my 2 cents. I'm sure there are other things you could try, but I would personally start there.
nauthiz
 member, 506 posts
Fri 20 Jan 2017
at 01:12
Re: Thinking about upgrading my PC...
If the machine is dust free, and there's no obstructions blocking air flow (either externally around the case or inside of it), and all your fans are working correctly (spinning freely at normal speeds) then as Darbbackwards said, the next thing is to pull out the CPU and its heatsink and clean it all up, then reinstall it with fresh thermal paste.

You can Google some videos on how it's done, I'm sure, if you think you might want to try it yourself.  It's not difficult, but it can be tricky the first few times you do it.

Otherwise you'll need to find someone local to do it for you as I suggested in my other post.
Varsovian
 member, 1330 posts
Sun 22 Jan 2017
at 23:19
Re: Thinking about upgrading my PC...
Thanks. I'll take a look into all of this...

Now - let's say that I manage to deal with the heat problem. Now, let's go back to the original question. In fact, let's make it two questions:

1. If I want to upgrade the current PC to play modern games at high quality, what should I buy?

2. If I was to buy a completely new PC, what kind of configuration should I be looking for?
nauthiz
 member, 508 posts
Mon 23 Jan 2017
at 06:03
Re: Thinking about upgrading my PC...
1. The GTX 1060-6GB, plus an upgrade to 8GB (16 would be better) of RAM will get you running a lot of games that came out last year, and likely the ones coming out this year.  How well they run, is going to depend a lot on the game.

However in all cases your processor is going to hold you back.  It's just old at this point, and while still plenty functional, it isn't some flavor of i7 that a lot of new AAA visually intense games are listing as their "recommended" hardware.



2.  Unless you're dropping the cash for a new system in the next month or so, any configuration given now will likely be outdated by the time you actually make the purchase.

So, if you're thinking of going for an entirely new system, figure out how much you're willing to spend.  $500 is generally the minimum you can get away with (especially if you're re-using a case, hard drives, etc), but to get something that will run the "newest" games at "max" and continue to be viable for the next few years, you'll probably looking at $700-$1000.

Once you've got your budget saved up, given your objective and the metrics you're looking to use to judge achieving said objective by, I'd say start looking at games that have come out recently, or that are coming out within the next few months.

Look at the "recommended" system requirements to get an idea of what the developers think it will take to run their games at a level of quality they consider acceptable to experience their product.  Use those as a guideline to make sure the hardware you're planning on buying meets or exceeds those recommendations.
Varsovian
 member, 1331 posts
Mon 23 Jan 2017
at 23:23
Re: Thinking about upgrading my PC...
I see. And let's say that, somehow, I end up having money to buy a completely new PC in a month or so... what would a good configuration be?

I realize it's rather unlikely, but I'm still curious...

Oh, and one more question: how much disk space does Windows 10 need? I've looked at some PCs at one shop and they were all built with two hard drives: a small one for the system and a big one for the rest of data. Some of these PCs had their small disks at 120 GBs. Is this enough for Windows 10 or not?

I'm asking, as on previous PC, I actually ended up running into the problem of Windows XP having used up all of the free space at the system partition. So, on my current PC, I installed the system on the 1 TB drive to be on the safe side...

This message was last edited by the user at 23:36, Mon 23 Jan.

horus
 member, 38 posts
 Wayfarer of the
 Western Wastes
Tue 24 Jan 2017
at 05:17
Re: Thinking about upgrading my PC...
Varsovian:
I see. And let's say that, somehow, I end up having money to buy a completely new PC in a month or so... what would a good configuration be?

I realize it's rather unlikely, but I'm still curious...

Oh, and one more question: how much disk space does Windows 10 need? I've looked at some PCs at one shop and they were all built with two hard drives: a small one for the system and a big one for the rest of data. Some of these PCs had their small disks at 120 GBs. Is this enough for Windows 10 or not?

I'm asking, as on previous PC, I actually ended up running into the problem of Windows XP having used up all of the free space at the system partition. So, on my current PC, I installed the system on the 1 TB drive to be on the safe side...


The configuration would depend on your needs, of course.  From what I can see you like to game on your PC, so the fastest, meanest, most RAM-equipped video system would be a plus, as would be a Solid-State Drive for the system drive.

I won't even get into the Intel vs. AMD debate, because that is bordering on political/religious talk.  Just get as much CPU power as you can afford, and choose a system that has an upgrade path for more CPU power later.

120 GB of operating system storage should be good for the near-term, but something in the 250 GB class or higher would be better.  That way you'd have some room for storing game data that needs to move quickly.

Get a big, fast (>= 7,200 RPM, SATA 6 GB/s or SAS) conventional or hybrid hard drive for your Data Storage drive.  (Hybrid drives combine a small SSD with a larger conventional hard drive in one package to improve data transfer and caching performance.)

I don't know that I'd go with a power supply greater than 750W unless your video subsystem needs the extra power (and, if so, lucky you!)
nauthiz
 member, 509 posts
Tue 24 Jan 2017
at 10:46
Re: Thinking about upgrading my PC...
Well, assuming you're not looking to drop $4k+ for the absolute latest hardware, and not having an actual budget to work with, and knowing your requirements are to "play games at max" settings and to have it last a few years.

Something running an Intel Core i7-6800K, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080, and 16GB of the fastest RAM the board will support (and preferably with open slots for future expansion) are what I'd throw into a machine that's upper tier at the moment without getting too far out of reach.


quote:
Oh, and one more question: how much disk space does Windows 10 need? I've looked at some PCs at one shop and they were all built with two hard drives: a small one for the system and a big one for the rest of data. Some of these PCs had their small disks at 120 GBs. Is this enough for Windows 10 or not?


Those machines are likely outfitted with a Solid State hard Drive (SSD) and a traditional HDD.  SSDs have read speeds of at least 2x that of a traditional drive.  That means your machine will boot up very quickly, you won't be bottlenecked when gaming by your machine's inability to read data from the hard drive as fast as you need it, and the loading times of games on the SSD will be reduced.  The downside is that at the moment they're still pretty pricey/GB of storage capacity.

Microsoft says Windows 10 requires 20GB of storage.  Your average AAA visual blockbuster title requires around 50GB of storage.  Therefore it is recommended that you actively manage where you put things when you're using an SSD as your main drive alongside a conventional drive, only storing programs (like games) that you know need that fast speed, while storing everything else (Office programs, music library, etc) on the conventional drive.

The "hybrid" drive that horus mentioned is a way to sort of split the difference.  They use both types of technology and migrate your frequently accessed data to the faster technology while keeping the less frequent stuff on the older format.  They're a good choice for someone who wants the potential to take advantage of a bit of a speed boost, but still retain the "fire and forget" usage style.

While the SSD will help keep load and boot times to a minimum, and I would recommend using one as part of a new high end system build, you do need to be prepared to do some manual work to keep things running smoothly, so the performance really won't be a ton of help if it means untenable quality of life changes.
Varsovian
 member, 1332 posts
Tue 24 Jan 2017
at 14:53
Re: Thinking about upgrading my PC...
I see. Thanks, that was very helpful. :)

One small question: would there be a significant difference between i7-6800K and i7-6700K? I've been looking at one shop and I found a PC that seems to have the configuration you specified, but with i7-6700K.
Utsukushi
 member, 1399 posts
 I should really stay out
 of this, I know...but...
Tue 24 Jan 2017
at 16:13
Re: Thinking about upgrading my PC...
Something else to stay aware of if you get one of those two-harddrive systems that I ran into -- since the SSD drive will be the C: drive, since it has all the system stuff on it, that is where everything will most naturally go.  As Nauthiz said, you have to `actively manage' it to make sure you store everything else on the other drive.  (I wouldn't call it a "quality of life" change, but you do have to pay attention.)

Especially because apparently, being `close to full' is Bad for an SSD drive.  I don't know why, I just took Windows' word for it.  But know that when you get an SSD drive, you have to knock off about a quarter of its capacity just to keep empty.

It's totally a first-world-problem kind of thing, which is to say, it's not actually a problem at all.  But it's good to know about ahead of time.

And... I looked at a benchmarking site, it looks like the 6700 is actually a bit better than the 6800 for most purposes.  But according to that site, the newer 7700 is around the same price as a 6700 and a little bit faster, so maybe worth looking for that?  But it's only an 8% difference, so if you've found a good one with the 6700, that should be, you know... fine.  It's fine.  Nothing wrong with it.  You'd have been totally happy with it if you hadn't just found out there was something better.
Varsovian
 member, 1333 posts
Tue 24 Jan 2017
at 16:27
Re: Thinking about upgrading my PC...
Utsukushi:
Something else to stay aware of if you get one of those two-harddrive systems that I ran into -- since the SSD drive will be the C: drive, since it has all the system stuff on it, that is where everything will most naturally go.  As Nauthiz said, you have to `actively manage' it to make sure you store everything else on the other drive.


Okay, please tell me one thing, then: do games require to be installed on the system drive these days? Because I'm not a total noob and I know that, if I game asks for the install location, I can choose something different than the default setting :) The question is, is it possible these days? Or do games automatically install to the system drive?

And here's another question: are PCs these days sold with or without OS install disks? The current PC came with pre-installed OS, but no disk. Which means I have no way of re-installing the system if anything goes wrong. Is it a standard practice these days? And should I buy a PC with OS pre-installed, or a PC with no OS and buy my own OS set?

This message was lightly edited by the user at 17:53, Tue 24 Jan.

horus
 member, 40 posts
 Wayfarer of the
 Western Wastes
Tue 24 Jan 2017
at 17:25
Re: Thinking about upgrading my PC...
Varsovian:
<quote Utsukushi>
Something else to stay aware of if you get one of those two-harddrive systems that I ran into -- since the SSD drive will be the C: drive, since it has all the system stuff on it, that is where everything will most naturally go.  As Nauthiz said, you have to `actively manage' it to make sure you store everything else on the other drive.
</quote.

Okay, please tell me one thing, then: do games require to be installed on the system drive these days? Because I'm not a total noob and I know that, if I game asks for the install location, I can choose something different than the default setting :) The question is, is it possible these days? Or do games automatically install to the system drive?

And here's another question: are PCs these days sold with or without OS install disks? The current PC came with pre-installed OS, but no disk. Which means I have no way of re-installing the system if anything goes wrong. Is it a standard practice these days? And should I buy a PC with OS pre-installed, or a PC with no OS and buy my own OS set?


As to where games install:  it depends on the game.  The developers generally take an installer "library" and adapt it to fit their ideas.

The PC without disks thing is a rising trend:  it saves money and eases distribution for the vendor.  In most case, there will be a restore partition and/or a utility on the disk that allows the user to make a set of restore disks.  Some of these only allow one copy of the OS to be made.  With Win 10 it may be that, with your registration, you can download the OS from Microsoft, but I don't really know (I run Linux).

Failing that, free imaging tools like Clonezilla Live and Redo Backup, or commercial products like Acronis or Norton Ghost will allow you to image your system to an external hard drive or DVDs.  Then, if things go south, you at least have hole to climb back out of.

The only reason I would buy a system without OS is to put something different on it like Linux or one of the BSDs.  If you're going to run windows, let the system vendor do the integration work for you - they generally get it as right as a Windows system can be, and the cost of the OS is bundled into the cost of the system.
Skald
 moderator, 756 posts
 Whatever it is,
 I'm against it
Wed 25 Jan 2017
at 12:42
Re: Thinking about upgrading my PC...
On a Windows 10 computer you can create a recovery USB to use to reinstall if needs be:

https://answers.microsoft.com/...52-9952-8bac34abc6c5

Note that the required space refers to actual space, not the size of the USB stick - when I created my recovery drive it said it required 16GB, but my "16GB" USB drive only had 14.3GB available, which wasn't enough - I had to use a 32GB drive in the end.
Varsovian
 member, 1334 posts
Tue 31 Jan 2017
at 17:12
Re: Thinking about upgrading my PC...
Alright! Today, I did something I've been long afraid to do: I unscrewed the CPU fan in my PC and I applied some fresh thermal paste.

It... works, actually - the PC isn't overheating anymore :))) Even Tyranny doesn't cause a catastrophic temperature raise (although it does make the PC run noticeably louder)... So, let's say that the overheating issue is fixed.

Now - as I said, the CPU is i3-2300. Let's say I refrain from buying a whole new PC and just install GeForce 1060 and upgrade RAM to 8 or 16 GBs. Would I be able to play modern games at good quality level?

Sorry that I'm asking about this again... just trying to see what the options are. I'd have trouble getting $1000 currently, but $300 for a better GPU and more RAM is affordable...

This message was last edited by the user at 17:14, Tue 31 Jan.

GreyGriffin
 member, 62 posts
 Portal Expat
 Game System Polyglot
Tue 31 Jan 2017
at 19:55
Re: Thinking about upgrading my PC...
Honestly, with a CPU like that, I'd seriously consider a new build.  Processor power isn't as important for games once you cross a certain threshold, but that threshold is probably at least a midrange i5.
horus
 member, 48 posts
 Wayfarer of the
 Western Wastes
Wed 1 Feb 2017
at 06:52
Re: Thinking about upgrading my PC...
In reply to GreyGriffin (msg # 38):

What GreyGriffin said.  For gaming, you will definitely want more CPU than you currently have, especially for MMO, FPS, and any other game genre where being fustest with the mostest is important.
Varsovian
 member, 1335 posts
Wed 1 Feb 2017
at 14:49
Re: Thinking about upgrading my PC...
Hmm. Okay then, speaking of CPUs - what would you advise to buy, i7-6700 (3.4 GHz) or i7-6700K (4.0 GHz)? I gather that the second one is probably better, but would the first one be good enough?

Also, speaking of graphic cards: GeForce 1060 or GeForce 1070? As I mentioned, I don't to play in 4K or anything... I have a 1920 x 1080 screen and I only need this resolution.
horus
 member, 50 posts
 Wayfarer of the
 Western Wastes
Thu 2 Feb 2017
at 05:44
Re: Thinking about upgrading my PC...
In reply to Varsovian (msg # 40):

You would be the one best equipped to answer the question of which was better.  Faster CPUs tend to drive up the cost of other components, too (RAM, motherboards, and peripherals all need to be matched well to the CPU to perform at their best).

For this reason, choice of CPU is often a trade-off to make the overall system more affordable.  If the board supports both CPU and does not require a great deal of component upgrades in the meanwhile, go for the faster one.  If the CPU upgrade drives  up the price of the system to intolerable heights, scale it back just a bit and see what happens before you plunk down any money.
Varsovian
 member, 1336 posts
Thu 2 Feb 2017
at 21:57
Re: Thinking about upgrading my PC...
Okay, so I did some reading on various benchmarking sites. It seems that I really should buy GeForce 1070 if I want to make sure most of the games would work good on high settings. As for the CPU, I've read that i5-6600 should be enough, as games are more GPU-reliant these days...

So: i5-6600 + GeForce 1070 + 16 GB RAM + 2 TB HDD. I can get this for about $1400. Does it sound like a good configuration?
horus
 member, 51 posts
 Wayfarer of the
 Western Wastes
Fri 3 Feb 2017
at 20:26
Re: Thinking about upgrading my PC...
Varsovian:
So: i5-6600 + GeForce 1070 + 16 GB RAM + 2 TB HDD. I can get this for about $1400. Does it sound like a good configuration?


So much depends on your use case.  Find the games you want to play with the highest system requirements and compare.

As for price, if you are in the US and building yourself, you can probably get it cheaper, but cheaper is not always better.  What motherboard, case, and PSU are you looking at?  (Motherboards vary widely as to implementation and quality, as do PSU and cases.)

Good Hunting,
D
Varsovian
 member, 1337 posts
Fri 3 Feb 2017
at 21:46
Re: Thinking about upgrading my PC...
Admittedly, I don't know the details of the components... I was using a configuration builder at one big and reliable tech shop I know. The builders allows to modify a pre-designed configuration - unfortunately, it doesn't give the details regarding the manufacturers etc. But I do trust the shop not to sell builds made with crap components...

I guess I could try to choose the specific components myself and order such a PC built, but I don't know enough of hardware to be sure that such a configuration would work... I think I'd prefer to stick with modifying an existing configuration based on options provided by the shop - I built my current PC that way and I had no trouble with it. Although that was at another shop I can't use nowadays...
horus
 member, 53 posts
 Wayfarer of the
 Western Wastes
Sat 4 Feb 2017
at 06:35
Re: Thinking about upgrading my PC...
In reply to Varsovian (msg # 44):

That's a valid approach.  If you have a relationship with a vendor you can trust, go with it.
Varsovian
 member, 1338 posts
Sat 11 Feb 2017
at 17:18
Re: Thinking about upgrading my PC...
Okay, here's a somewhat related question:

My old PC. Do you think it would be possible to sell it? If so, how much should I charge for it, if I was to be honest? It's still not a bad PC and it would be enough for someone to watch movies, do image editing, browse the web etc, as well as run even some relatively recent games. The only downside is that it's not a new rig...
horus
 member, 63 posts
 Wayfarer of the
 Western Wastes
Sat 11 Feb 2017
at 22:24
Re: Thinking about upgrading my PC...
In reply to Varsovian (msg # 46):

Possible to sell... I gotta be careful here, no mention of where or how to sell it. (Commercial traffic ist verboten here.)

Sure, if the system is still in working condition, you may be able to sell it, but all things for a price, Effendi.

I get how you may wish to sell this system to defray part of the cost of building another, but set your expectations realistically, based on the system's age, condition, and outfitting.

Something you may consider is donating the system to a charitable cause you can support and taking the tax write-off.  I don't want to get into too much detail here, but that might be a win-win, depending on your situation.

Good Hunting,
D
Varsovian
 member, 1339 posts
Sat 11 Feb 2017
at 22:38
Re: Thinking about upgrading my PC...
horus:
Possible to sell... I gotta be careful here, no mention of where or how to sell it. (Commercial traffic ist verboten here.)


Of course. I don't intend to sell it here, ask for directions etc. Just asking for opinion whether such a PC is sellable at all.

quote:
Sure, if the system is still in working condition, you may be able to sell it, but all things for a price, Effendi.

I get how you may wish to sell this system to defray part of the cost of building another, but set your expectations realistically, based on the system's age, condition, and outfitting.


Oh, I know that - that's why I'm asking. :) I want to know what's realistic with a PC like that.

quote:
Something you may consider is donating the system to a charitable cause you can support and taking the tax write-off.  I don't want to get into too much detail here, but that might be a win-win, depending on your situation.


I don't think we have this kind of tax write-offs here, I'm afraid... Although donating the PC to a charity is a good idea in general.

This message was last edited by the user at 22:39, Sat 11 Feb.

horus
 member, 64 posts
 Wayfarer of the
 Western Wastes
Sun 12 Feb 2017
at 02:40
Re: Thinking about upgrading my PC...
To figure out what's realistic, look in your area for prices of similarly equipped systems and their conditions.  If yours is in reasonably close to the same condition and equipped as well, then it might be able to command close to the same sale price.  A lot depends on where and how you sell it...

Good Hunting,
D