Need some computer upgrade help, please! [Archive] - Glock Talk

PDA

View Full Version : Need some computer upgrade help, please!


Zombie Steve
11-30-2008, 10:38
I got Left 4 Dead last night, and realized that I'm seriously underpowered to run this game. I made the assumption that since I've been able to run HL2 and Counter-Strike that this would work (same engine?).

Anyway, I'm running 300 MHz, 512 Ram, Radeon 9800 video card (driver is up-to-date).

I'm searching around, and I'm seeing that I'd probably have to upgrade the motherboard to boost the RAM to a decent level. I'd probably want a new video card too...

My question is - for the cost of upgrading this, should I just buy a new tower? What are your thoughts? Where do you get your hardware? Is Vista as bad as I've heard?

Please be nice - I'm not really good at this stuff. I'm a guy that still has a record player in the living room. :embarassed:

Glock 19 God
11-30-2008, 10:47
You need to tell us all of the information.

I would like to know your motherboard, RAM (amount and speed), video card, and CPU.

If you bought your PC from a manufacturer just give me the model number and I can look up the specs.

Vista is NOT as bad as you have heard. It is a bunch of people jumping on the "i have to agree with them so i am cool" bandwagon. 90% of the people who have problems with Vista have a 10 year old PC, and they cant figure out why it runs like crap.

My advice, without knowing the information, would be to build your OWN pc. You can build a mid-range gaming rig that will max out L4D and play a large amount of other games at high settings for around $800.

kalashluvr
11-30-2008, 10:52
I just looked up the minimum required specs for a pc to run this game and here's what I got.


OS: Windows XP, Vista, Vista 64

CPU: 3.0GHz P4, Dual Core 2.0 or AMD64X2 (or higher)

RAM: 1 GB for XP / 2 GB for Vista

Disc Drive: DVD-ROM Drive

Hard Drive: At least 7.5 GB of free space

Video: DirectX 9 compatible video card (Video card must be 128 MB or more and should be a DirectX 9

Sound: DirectX 9.0c compatible sound cardI got Left 4 Dead last night, and realized that I'm seriously underpowered to run this game. I made the assumption that since I've been able to run HL2 and Counter-Strike that this would work (same engine?).
When you stated below that you are running a 300 megahertz, did you mean 3 Gigahertz, or 3000 Mhz?


check again, because if you are, then you probably will be better off buying a new machine or building one like stated above.







Anyway, I'm running 300 MHz, 512 Ram, Radeon 9800 video card (driver is up-to-date).

I'm searching around, and I'm seeing that I'd probably have to upgrade the motherboard to boost the RAM to a decent level. I'd probably want a new video card too...

My question is - for the cost of upgrading this, should I just buy a new tower? What are your thoughts? Where do you get your hardware? Is Vista as bad as I've heard?

Please be nice - I'm not really good at this stuff. I'm a guy that still has a record player in the living room. :embarassed:

Blitzer
11-30-2008, 10:55
Vista is so good business America has made rules against upgrading to it. ;)

Zombie Steve
11-30-2008, 11:02
Sorry again, guys. It's a Gateway 510X. I believe it's a 3.00 ghz.

I'm at work now and I'm going off the top of my head.

ETA: Pentium 4

Mr King
11-30-2008, 11:03
Vista is so good business America has made rules against upgrading to it. ;)

Dont forget MS has already announced OS7 because Vista IS so bad.:rofl:

Dragoon44
11-30-2008, 11:05
Youo are looking at a complete overhaul, the Radeon 9800 is an AGP card, while some AGP cards are available most are PCI express now, plus your looking at a new CPU, new motherboard, and new memory (DDR2)

The good news is that computer components have never been cheaper than they are now.

MyGlockRocks19
11-30-2008, 11:11
Do you feel confident to build a new system yourself? If so, check out tigerdirect.com. A new motherboard is definitely going to be needed. I've tooled around on that site just to see how low I can go, and I had a pretty good system put together for under 500 bucks shipped.

Dragoon44
11-30-2008, 11:14
Sorry again, guys. It's a Gateway 510X. I believe it's a 3.00 ghz.

I'm at work now and I'm going off the top of my head.

ETA: Pentium 4

And I am betting that CPU is a northwood or prescott, which means it is a 478 socket. motherboards for 478 sockets are virtually impossible to find and if you do they are bargain basic generic VIA chipsets not suitable for gaming.

The cheapest route to go if yo don't want to upgrade everything is if your current mobo will support more ram buy it, ram is dirt cheap right now, then go to newegg and look for a AGP video card. Both ATI and Nvidia still market midrange power AGP cards. ( which will still be way beyond the capabilities of your current 9800 card.

Download these utilities and run them they will tell you exatcly what hardware is in your system.

SIW
http://www3.sympatico.ca/gtopala/

PC Wizard

http://www.cpuid.org/pcwizard.php

DScottHewitt
11-30-2008, 11:18
I got Left 4 Dead last night, and realized that I'm seriously underpowered to run this game. I made the assumption that since I've been able to run HL2 and Counter-Strike that this would work (same engine?).

Anyway, I'm running 300 MHz, 512 Ram, Radeon 9800 video card (driver is up-to-date).

I'm searching around, and I'm seeing that I'd probably have to upgrade the motherboard to boost the RAM to a decent level. I'd probably want a new video card too...

My question is - for the cost of upgrading this, should I just buy a new tower? What are your thoughts? Where do you get your hardware? Is Vista as bad as I've heard?

Please be nice - I'm not really good at this stuff. I'm a guy that still has a record player in the living room. :embarassed:



PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE remember to back up any pics you took with your digital camera before you do anything.....


Scott

MyGlockRocks19
11-30-2008, 11:19
I dunno, looking around lately (I'm still stuck with AGP) it seems that a motherboard upgrade would be more cost effective than buying a mid-range AGP card. At most you'll get another year out of your rig before its completely outdated, and AGP cards are more expensive than comparable PCI-E cards.

Some of these AM2 socket mobos are just dirt cheap, and have some nice features too.

Glock 19 God
11-30-2008, 11:20
Do you feel confident to build a new system yourself? If so, check out tigerdirect.com. A new motherboard is definitely going to be needed. I've tooled around on that site just to see how low I can go, and I had a pretty good system put together for under 500 bucks shipped.

After what TigerDirect pulled on Pink Friday I will never do business with them again. I will never tell another person to support them either.

Use Newegg.

Zombie Steve
11-30-2008, 11:21
At most you'll get another year out of your rig before its completely outdated

Now I'm leaning whole new computer... suggestions?

I'm seeing some towers on some websites that are $400 or so with 2MB RAM, et cetera... is that pouring money into something that will be outdated in a few years too?

I'd like to keep it below $800 or so, but I'm open to suggestion.

MyGlockRocks19
11-30-2008, 11:22
After what TigerDirect pulled on Pink Friday I will never do business with them again. I will never tell another person to support them either.

Use Newegg.

What did they do???

Glock 19 God
11-30-2008, 11:22
Now I'm leaning whole new computer... suggestions?

If you are leaning new computer, the first step you need to complete would be to decide your budget. Once you decide that, you can start piecing one together on Newegg.com.

Glock 19 God
11-30-2008, 11:24
What did they do???

They had a marathon type webcast thing and were going to offer amazing deals on certain items. However, you would call and could hear people in the studio than they would just hang up on you. Out of the hundreds-thousands of people on Overclock.net that were trying to get some of these good deals, not a single person got one. It was all a big scam. When they unlocked the deal on the webcast you would get a hang-up answer on the phone, and the website would go down for 15 seconds. When the web page came back up every single item was magically sold.

MyGlockRocks19
11-30-2008, 11:25
Well, at the moment it looks like Intel is pulling ahead of AMD...Intel quad core processors are somewhat inexpensive at the moment. If you're looking to build a gaming rig, look into motherboards that support PCI-E 2.0, Crossfire or SLI (some do both now!) and DDR2 memory (almost ALL do). Look at the clock speeds for your RAM, the higher the better.

If you're going to build, DON'T FORGET THE CPU COOLER! Get a good one. And make sure you're buying an adequate power supply. Nowadays it seems like 350 watts or better is the word.

Zombie Steve
11-30-2008, 11:28
If you are leaning new computer, the first step you need to complete would be to decide your budget. Once you decide that, you can start piecing one together on Newegg.com.

Sorry. You got this in before I edited my last post... is $400 - $500 reality? I can go quite a bit higher, but obviously would prefer not to...


I just want to shoot some zombies in this game! :crying:

MyGlockRocks19
11-30-2008, 11:28
If you don't feel comfortable building it yourself, just buy 2 of every part you get, and I'll drive up there and build it for you in exchange for the "spare parts":supergrin:

MyGlockRocks19
11-30-2008, 11:29
Its possible. You'll have to cut some corners and use some of your existing hardware, but its possible. I'm going to newegg right now, I'll PM you a parts list and see what you think if you'd like.

Glock 19 God
11-30-2008, 11:29
Well, at the moment it looks like Intel is pulling ahead of AMD...Intel quad core processors are somewhat inexpensive at the moment. If you're looking to build a gaming rig, look into motherboards that support PCI-E 2.0, Crossfire or SLI (some do both now!) and DDR2 memory (almost ALL do). Look at the clock speeds for your RAM, the higher the better.

If you're going to build, DON'T FORGET THE CPU COOLER! Get a good one. And make sure you're buying an adequate power supply. Nowadays it seems like 350 or better is the word.

Intel has left AMD in the dust. They have been ahead for almost 2 years. At least, in the hardware enthusiast, gaming, and overclocking communities. General PC users do not even know a difference since they buy Dell computers.

Do not bother with SLi. You pay twice the price and you do not get twice the performance. However, it may be worth leaving the oppotunity to go SLi after a year or two of building your system. The video card that you have to match, at that point, will be much cheaper and it will add a breath of new life into your rig.

350 PSU for a gaming rig is horirbly low. You need to get at least a 650. And, it should be one with a dedicated 12V rail. Especially if you plan on getting a quad or ever doing SLi.

Glock 19 God
11-30-2008, 11:31
Sorry. You got this in before I edited my last post... is $400 - $500 reality? I can go quite a bit higher, but obviously would prefer not to...


I just want to shoot some zombies in this game! :crying:

Well I understand that you just want to play this game. The problem is that your current system is pretty outdated. You will not really be able to use your old parts. It could be possible, but you would have to do what Dragoon stated and build a new outdated system. It just wouldnt be worth it.

For $800 you can build a rig that will max out LFD and give you at least 60 frames per second. As well as playing numerous other video games at high settings. It would also last you for years.

MyGlockRocks19
11-30-2008, 11:34
He could use existing hard drives, optical drives, etc....the case probably not. That'd knock a few bucks off.

MyGlockRocks19
11-30-2008, 11:35
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813186148

Check that out...

Zombie Steve
11-30-2008, 11:49
Still tinkering with options...

just wanted to say thanks, fellas.

MyGlockRocks19
11-30-2008, 12:03
No problem. If you have any questions about parts, specs or such, I'm glad to help. I have so few people to "talk computer" with!

Zombie Steve
11-30-2008, 12:38
No problem. If you have any questions about parts, specs or such, I'm glad to help. I have so few people to "talk computer" with!


You bet.


You'll just have to make sure and give me the "Reader's Digest" version, as I don't know what the hell I'm looking at.

There's a local place here that I called. They said to bring it in. They say they can upgrade the RAM to 2MB for about $100, and we'll look at some video cards...

While it's waaaay closer to the price range I want to stick to, I can't help but feeling that I'm polishing a turd. I have no use for a shiny turd.

Still deciding...

Glock 19 God
11-30-2008, 12:40
You bet.


You'll just have to make sure and give me the "Reader's Digest" version, as I don't know what the hell I'm looking at.

There's a local place here that I called. They said to bring it in. They say they can upgrade the RAM to 2MB for about $100, and we'll look at some video cards...

While it's waaaay closer to the price range I want to stick to, I can't help but feeling that I'm polishing a turd. I have no use for a shiny turd.

Still deciding...

I would say that analogy would fit the situation perfectly.

Also, keep in mind, you would be upgrading DDR RAM. When the game requirements say the RAM requirement, they are talking about DDR2 RAM.

Big difference in capabilities and performance.

Big Al 24
11-30-2008, 23:16
Since I am the cause of his problem, I PMed him a link to the XS builders guide which has good suggestions of builds...

http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?t=185136

Are you comfortable building your rig, or are you going to buy a whole system from an OEM?

Usually upgrading after a couple of years is just polishing a turd. Who knows how long they will take to look at it and what they will charge you. In the end you'll end up a couple of hundred dollars down with only minor performance improvement.

Or you can look for packages...

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/Category/category_slc.asp?Nav=|c:6||c:2627||c:2630|

Sorry I encouraged you to buy what will ultimately become a $500 game!

MyGlockRocks19
11-30-2008, 23:32
Sorry, I'm a little late getting back to this, but Glock 19 God is right...you'd only be extending the service life of an already outdated system. Its kind of like throwing money at a broken down car that just going to break down again 6 months down the road, when it would cost just as much (or just a bit more) to buy a newer, more dependable car.

The rig I'm running is more powerful than yours by about 1/2, but it still wouldn't run Left 4 Dead. I know, because I want to play it too! But I'm still stuck with AGP, which is about as dead as VHS, and my mobo is un-upgradable to anything NEAR what Dell's cheapest offering can handle. Back in the day, it was a bad mama jama, but its dead technology now.

Trust me, don't upgrade what you've got. Its tempting to stick with what you've got, but in the end, you're better off if you resign it to the kids room and let them play Disney games on it. It may seem cheaper to upgrade an old system, but in the long run, you get more use out of spending a few extra bucks and building a new one. You'll get a lot more use out of it.

Zombie Steve
12-01-2008, 06:48
Don't sweat it, Big Al... bound to happen sooner or later, and the prospect of a zombie whacking game was just too much to resist.

I'll be able to take it in to the guys that sold me the rig this morning. I'll let you know what comes of it.

I'm still going back and forth. If $250 buys me some time and the game actually runs, I may just skip the next step of soon-to-be-outdated technology. :supergrin:

Zombie Steve
12-01-2008, 17:07
I went in to the local place this morning... wound up getting 4 sticks of 512RAM and a new 512 video card (don't remember model name... ATI, anyway) for $130! To me, that's cheap enough for me to justify polishing a turd.

I thought this was going to be waay more expensive.

I went home, installed everything, turned on my computer and .... nothing. I was sure I screwed something up. I took it back over and they discovered it was just one bad stick of RAM. I was REALLY late for work, so I don't have it hooked up at home yet, but it was running ok there after they swapped out the problem child.

Thanks again for the advice - I went with the Band-Aid for now... I don't know how much more I could upgrade from here, so next time I'm probably going to start from scratch and be bugging you guys for advice again.

Hopefully I'll be whacking zombies tonight!

Big Al 24
12-01-2008, 23:20
Good Luck! I hope to see you in there soon.

Glock 19 God
12-02-2008, 19:42
What is the verdict?

Are you play ing L4D?

How is the performace (frames per second)?

What settings do you have it at?

Big Al 24
12-02-2008, 22:38
I'm playing it at 1680x1050 with fairly steady 60 fps and max settings. It droops down during heavy horde scenes, but it never gets choppy or laggy. I have no complaints unless I upgrade my monitor which will lead me to upgrade other things. And I really like the game.

Zombie Steve
12-02-2008, 23:05
Well, I don't know what L4D is...

I got to play the game for the first time tonight (single player mode to get my bearings). No lagging at all. I don't know how to check frames per second yet...
I'm just using default settings as far as resolution goes. I haven't got in to mess with it much. Too excited to play the game.

Verdict - shooting zombies is fun! This may be the coolest game ever.

Big Al 24
12-03-2008, 01:02
Enable the developer console in the options menu, then use the "`" key (under escape) to bring up the console. You can type cl_showfps 1 or net_graph (1-6) pick which one you like. Glad to see that you got it running and are happy.