Is my PC good enough

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Is my PC good enough

Postposted on Wed May 30, 2012 11:49 am

Hello all,

This is my first time to the board and I'm not too well versed in CPU speak so bear with me. I have a desktop that was from a private store in Fl and it seems to do the trick for me. It's not name brand per se but there are parts I recognize. Nevertheless I have been interested in picking up old hobbies like video editing and minor online gaming. The gaming would be in the veins of battlefield 3, diablo, etc while the video editing would be something like adobe or cyberlink power director. So my main question to the forum is this: What do I need to improve on my computer to make it possible to run these programs? I'm going to put my stats below.


Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU Q8200 @ 2.33GHz
Memory (RAM) 4.00 GB
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce 7050 / NVIDIA nForce 610i 3.1
Gaming graphics 1071 MB Total available graphics memory 3.0
Primary hard disk 646GB Free (932GB Total) 5.9
Windows Vista (TM) Home Premium

System
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Manufacturer MSI
Model MS-7366
Total amount of system memory 4.00 GB RAM
System type 32-bit operating system
Number of processor cores 4
64-bit capable Yes

Storage
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Total size of hard disk(s) 932 GB


Display adapter type NVIDIA GeForce 7050 / NVIDIA nForce 610i

DirectX version DirectX 9.0 or better

Network
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Network Adapter NVIDIA nForce 10/100 Mbps Ethernet
Network Adapter Microsoft Tun Miniport Adapter



So I've done a small amount of digging and I understand my processor isn't exactly leading the way but it's not necessarily lagging behind either. From my very novice estimation I'm thinking I mainly need a new graphics card and maybe another stick of RAM. Am I correct in this assumption or should I just leave this thing for dead and shoot for another PC or laptop? Btw what graphics card would you recommend? Thanks!
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Re: Is my PC good enough

Postposted on Wed May 30, 2012 12:00 pm

graphics, graphics, graphics
and make sure you have an even number of ram sticks installed, preferably in matching pairs.

as for graphics recommendation, it all depends on your budget
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Re: Is my PC good enough

Postposted on Wed May 30, 2012 12:02 pm

nolemagic wrote:From my very novice estimation I'm thinking I mainly need a new graphics card and maybe another stick of RAM.
Yes, a newer GPU would definitely be more bang for your buck (a CPU worth getting would require a new motherboard too), especially if you're willing to experiment with overclocking (which may require you to purchase an upgraded heatsink/fan).

You might see some benefit from more RAM, however a couple of caveats there: you don't want "another stick" you want to another pair of sticks, because the memory is dual channel (you could also replace the pair of sticks you probably already have with a higher-capacity pair, as it is sometimes easier to overclock with fewer DIMM slots filled). But before you go there, you'd have to acquire and install a 64bit version of Windows, because the 32bit Windows you have right now is limited to addressing 4GB of RAM (and in fact isn't even giving you the full benefit of that, because your memory-mapped peripherals such as your video card "hide" some of it). But at least you'd be upgrading to Win7 from Vista in the bargain.
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Re: Is my PC good enough

Postposted on Wed May 30, 2012 12:06 pm

You're running a 32-bit OS? In that case, you can't add any more RAM, and getting a video card with more memory would also be subject to the 4GB limitation of a 32-bit OS. If you have a full version of Vista, I am fairly certain that you can migrate over, but again, you'd need the full license and not just OEM.

Yeah, you'll probably need a new GPU for some of the newer stuff (at least to run well), and more headroom on that front will make any video editing easier.

Start by taking a look at the most recent system guide and see what falls in your price range. You might be able to charge up your current PC to get your work done, but if something newer and more powerful is around what you'd be willing to pay for, that might be a better long-term investment.
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Re: Is my PC good enough

Postposted on Wed May 30, 2012 12:10 pm

With those parts....i don't see an upg path. You're better off building a new one. Got 2 questions:
1. Budget?
2. At what resolution would you like to game?
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Re: Is my PC good enough

Postposted on Wed May 30, 2012 12:21 pm

That system is adequate -- not fast, but adequate -- for a novice to start taking up gaming and some basic video editing. Suggest bumping the graphics card up to something newer, and then focus on software. When you start running into walls, then it will be time to think about building a new system.
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Re: Is my PC good enough

Postposted on Wed May 30, 2012 12:26 pm

no
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Re: Is my PC good enough

Postposted on Wed May 30, 2012 12:36 pm

Pick up the cheapest Nvidia 560ti card you can find and call it a day. Something around $200 would work out well with your existing hardware.

You did not mention what PSU you were using, but check that for two things:

1) It physically offers a 6 pin PCIe power cable to plug into the new card
2) The PSU offers enough amps on the +12 rail to power the new card.

I'd also recommend overclocking your 8200 to 2.8-3ghz using a CoolerMaster Hyper 212+ (or Evo) to replace your stock heatsink.
This is assuming you do not have an OEM off the shelf PC that does not offer any adjustments to the chips frontside bus.

See here for details -> http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/overclock-phenom-pentium,2366-12.html
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Re: Is my PC good enough

Postposted on Wed May 30, 2012 12:55 pm

You did not mention what PSU you were using, but check that for two things:

1) It physically offers a 6 pin PCIe power cable to plug into the new card
2) The PSU offers enough amps on the +12 rail to power the new card.

I'd also recommend overclocking your 8200 to 2.8-3ghz using a CoolerMaster Hyper 212+ (or Evo) to replace your stock heatsink.
This is assuming you do not have an OEM off the shelf PC that does not offer any adjustments to the chips frontside bus.



Huh? What is the PSU and is installing a coolermaster hyper 212 something i can do on my own no? Thanks for the advice I was probably going to do exactly what you said and pick up a 560ti and call it a day. However I was reading a reply saying I should get the 64bit Win 7....is it necessary? I'm assuming it is. I just am wondering if it is cost effective to get the 200 vid card, 150 OS, 80 in RAM, or just sell the thing for parts and try to buy one/ build my own. Building my own would be tough though not knowing what to really get processor wise.
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Re: Is my PC good enough

Postposted on Wed May 30, 2012 1:03 pm

nolemagic wrote:Huh? What is the PSU and is installing a coolermaster hyper 212 something i can do on my own no? Thanks for the advice I was probably going to do exactly what you said and pick up a 560ti and call it a day. However I was reading a reply saying I should get the 64bit Win 7....is it necessary? I'm assuming it is. I just am wondering if it is cost effective to get the 200 vid card, 150 OS, 80 in RAM, or just sell the thing for parts and try to buy one/ build my own. Building my own would be tough though not knowing what to really get processor wise.

PSU is the power supply.

Yes, you can install a cooler on your own...you can do almost anything to a desktop on your own.

Yes, you need a 64-bit OS (Win 7). Your memory is going to be throttled pretty hardcore if you do not update that, which would limit the benefit of getting the new card.

Now read this again.
superjawes wrote:Start by taking a look at the most recent system guide and see what falls in your price range. You might be able to charge up your current PC to get your work done, but if something newer and more powerful is around what you'd be willing to pay for, that might be a better long-term investment.

Even if you choose to upgrade your current system (minus the CPU, mobo, and RAM), that will at least explain why parts are cost effective. But like I said there, the long-term investment might do you more good.
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Re: Is my PC good enough

Postposted on Wed May 30, 2012 1:10 pm

nolemagic wrote:
You did not mention what PSU you were using, but check that for two things:

1) It physically offers a 6 pin PCIe power cable to plug into the new card
2) The PSU offers enough amps on the +12 rail to power the new card.

I'd also recommend overclocking your 8200 to 2.8-3ghz using a CoolerMaster Hyper 212+ (or Evo) to replace your stock heatsink.
This is assuming you do not have an OEM off the shelf PC that does not offer any adjustments to the chips frontside bus.



Huh? What is the PSU and is installing a coolermaster hyper 212 something i can do on my own no? Thanks for the advice I was probably going to do exactly what you said and pick up a 560ti and call it a day. However I was reading a reply saying I should get the 64bit Win 7....is it necessary? I'm assuming it is. I just am wondering if it is cost effective to get the 200 vid card, 150 OS, 80 in RAM, or just sell the thing for parts and try to buy one/ build my own. Building my own would be tough though not knowing what to really get processor wise.


Simply adding a 560ti to the machine you have should be enough for what it sounds like you're looking to do. It won't be an ideal gaming machine, but it'll allow you to play most of what's out there.
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Re: Is my PC good enough

Postposted on Wed May 30, 2012 1:11 pm

Jawes,

You linked system guide but it takes me to a page that is very confusing and scary lol. Do you mean system guide in my control panel? What I'm afraid of as far as trying to piece mine together is that 1. I won't really know what to get (although I'm confident i can educate myself enough to the point i'll get something decent) and 2. My processor or other parts go out of date before I'm done piecing it all together. Unfortunately I got a lot of things to buy and not enough money to buy them so the vid card seemed to be a short term solution. $400 is cheaper than 800 you know what i mean.
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Re: Is my PC good enough

Postposted on Wed May 30, 2012 1:12 pm

nolemagic wrote:Huh? What is the PSU and is installing a coolermaster hyper 212 something i can do on my own no? Thanks for the advice I was probably going to do exactly what you said and pick up a 560ti and call it a day. However I was reading a reply saying I should get the 64bit Win 7....is it necessary? I'm assuming it is. I just am wondering if it is cost effective to get the 200 vid card, 150 OS, 80 in RAM, or just sell the thing for parts and try to buy one/ build my own. Building my own would be tough though not knowing what to really get processor wise.

The TR community is biased somewhat strongly toward top-performance at any cost, so you're going to get a lot of responses along the lines of "that system is sooo old, you need to upgrade everything, like, last year", but based on the description of what you want to do, I don't think that's necessary. You listed three completely different application profiles as being things you would like to try, but aren't doing yet (action FPS gaming, mixed action/RTS gaming, video editing). You can actually do all three of those with the system you've got now, albeit not at maximum settings and speed. But certainly enough to figure out what your "niche" is, before building out a brand new box.

The graphics card is your weakest link, that would definitely be worth upgrading.

Meanwhile the resale on your existing parts is pretty poor and would do almost nothing to support your upgrade, you can buy similar refurb Dells all day long for $300 and those come with a warranty.
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Re: Is my PC good enough

Postposted on Wed May 30, 2012 1:20 pm

nolemagic wrote:Jawes,

You linked system guide but it takes me to a page that is very confusing and scary lol. Do you mean system guide in my control panel? What I'm afraid of as far as trying to piece mine together is that 1. I won't really know what to get (although I'm confident i can educate myself enough to the point i'll get something decent) and 2. My processor or other parts go out of date before I'm done piecing it all together. Unfortunately I got a lot of things to buy and not enough money to buy them so the vid card seemed to be a short term solution. $400 is cheaper than 800 you know what i mean.

Okay, that was comments...here is the first page

You shouldn't buy your core components individually since they devalue pretty quickly. In fact, your system has several things that have been long removed from the TR guides (DDR2 RAM, Core 2-era CPUs, Nvidia 7000 series GPUs). I presented the guide because, yes, it is more expensive, but so is trying to build something piece by piece and getting good performance. Replacing your GPU might kick the can down the road, but if you're going to stick with PC gaming and editing, you will probably be looking to get a much stronger workstation, and you'll have to replace everything anyway.

Only you can figure out what you need for sure. Just consider all your options before spending a lot of money ($200 is still a lot of money).

Good luck! :D
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Re: Is my PC good enough

Postposted on Wed May 30, 2012 1:53 pm

ya money is always an issue. These are really personal hobbies. The BF3 is just because i'm annoyed with xbox version, and the videos i edit are simple (family vids, DBZ music vids, etc). However my grand scheme was to find a way to connect the desktop to my TV and maybe run a dual monitor.
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Re: Is my PC good enough

Postposted on Wed May 30, 2012 4:03 pm

superjawes wrote:You're running a 32-bit OS? In that case, you can't add any more RAM, and getting a video card with more memory would also be subject to the 4GB limitation of a 32-bit OS. If you have a full version of Vista, I am fairly certain that you can migrate over, but again, you'd need the full license and not just OEM.
You can migrate, but going from 32bit to 64bit is always a clean install, never an upgrade install. You can install a separate 64bit Windows/System etc to the same HD and then use the migration wizard to copy over your settings, etc, though you'll probably have to reinstall at least some of your apps. Alternatively, you could install to a completely different system drive -- which leads to a suggestion: have you considered an SSD for system and apps? They're still pretty pricey, but they can provide a nice boost in a lot of everyday activities. Note, however, that video tends to require a lot more space than you will find on any remotely affordable SSD, so you'll still be using your HD for that (though the video editing application itself could reside on the SSD).

Yes, when it comes to upgrades, there are plenty of ways to spend money.
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Re: Is my PC good enough

Postposted on Wed May 30, 2012 7:23 pm

nolemagic wrote:Hello all. This is my first time to the board...
Welcome to the Tech Report!

nolemagic wrote:I have been interested in picking up old hobbies like video editing and minor online gaming. The gaming would be in the veins of battlefield 3, diablo, etc while the video editing would be something like adobe or cyberlink power director. What do I need to improve on my computer to make it possible to run these programs?
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU Q8200 @ 2.33GHz
Motherboard: MSI model MS-7366
Memory (RAM) 4.00 GB
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce 7050 / NVIDIA nForce 610i 3.1
Primary hard disk 646GB Free (932GB Total)
Windows Vista (TM) Home Premium 32-bit operating system
By far the weakest component of your existing PC is the integrated graphics. You're not going to have an enjoyable 3D gaming experience unless you add a graphics card. The rest of your system is adequate for current games and for the applications that you described.

Your upgrade path beyond adding a graphics card is limited. Your existing MSI P6NGM motherboard cannot support more than the 2x2 GiB of DDR2 memory that you already have installed.

I suggest that you purchase a new graphics card and see how your computer performs at the tasks that you want it to do. It should handle those applications well enough. If you find that you want more performance, that would be the time to buy processor + motherboard + memory + OS + SSD all together. Your graphics card can be moved to the new PC when you upgrade.

I'll suggest the Radeon HD7850 as a very good gaming graphics card for just under $250.
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Re: Is my PC good enough

Postposted on Thu May 31, 2012 11:24 am

Still no word on what power supply you have or what its rated wattage is? I wouldn't purchase anything until you figure out how many watts your power supply is. Moreso, all graphics card suggestions thus far are void until we can verify that your power supply can power it.
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Re: Is my PC good enough

Postposted on Fri Jun 01, 2012 5:06 pm

I'm doing something very similar to you with very similar hardware ( Q8400 instead, and a Radeon 4870 ). I recently picked up another 4GB of RAM and it was a nightmare to get running correctly. I'm hoping you don't run into the same issues. Mine was because my motherboard was acting funny when all 4 slots were filled.

Using it for Premiere is pretty good. The results aren't amazing, but it doesn't slow down very much. I haven't felt that it was "lagging" much on me.

Edit: Just saw that you're basically maxed out at 2x2GB, so nevermind about the hardware issues. I agree with the above, get the graphics card and see how it is. Any more upgrades after that probably aren't worth it.
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Re: Is my PC good enough

Postposted on Mon Jun 18, 2012 4:43 am

Hey man,
First of all, i would ask you a question why do you need a upgraded RAM or CPU.

As a gamer, you are supposed to upgraded it to accommadate Latest PC game.

While you just wanna check your mails or connect to the internet, i do not think it is necessary to boost it.
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