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View Full Version : What to upgrade first to get better play?



kath602
01-13-2014, 08:29 PM
Hi all
To make a long story short the computer I normally play games had water damage, sadly both the processor and graphics card I had were toast, but I do have another computer I am currently using, sadly it is not up to full specs as I would like. On average I get around 5-7FPS while playing AC4, and only 1/2 FPS while watching cut scenes, all with the specs on the lowest they can go and with major lag.
I've been dealing with it for now but it's getting somewhat ridiculous (as you can imagine)

The down side is that I also have a limited amount of money, so unless I can find cheap alternatives I can't upgrade both my processor and graphics.

My comp specs:

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
8GB ram
AMD Athlon II X2 250 3.00GHz
ATI Radeon HD 4250

So what I'd like to know, is what would be more worth my money to upgrade, which would help my FPS problem?
Any suggestions on what to buy also would be appreciated too

Thanks,
Kath

strigoi1958
01-14-2014, 01:09 AM
Hi Kath, it depends on how much you've got to spend. Although the game uses the Cpu it only uses 1 core, so personally I'd go for a better graphics card. If you're talking under 150 (or $200) I'd look at an R9 270 2GB or a HD 7870 (but I think that uses more power :confused:.... so depends on your psu as well).
If you have less than that to spend then maybe an R7 260 overclock or a gtx 660.... If you don't mind pre-owned or refurbished then you'll find gtx 670's around quite cheap.

Frag_Maniac
01-14-2014, 01:41 AM
Helps to know your budget, what res you play at, and MB model. It would also help if you tell us what region of the globe you're in so we can look at parts prices in your area. Your CPU is socket AM3, but AM3 MB's can vary from 95w-125w CPU power support. AMD has great flexibility on CPU generations with their MB sockets, so if you can afford it and your MB supports it, this would be a great upgrade CPU. This is an optional upgrade. This game WILL run on your CPU, but other games made more for quad CPUs will definitely benefit from this. The reason I mention it too is because there probably won't be AM3 CPUs available much longer. (didn't know what region so I used Amazon USA. Newegg USA is pretty much out of AM3 CPUs).
http://www.amazon.com/AMD-HDZ955FBGMBOX-Phenom-3-2GHz-Retail/dp/B002TQYUAE/ref=sr_1_2?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1389659428&sr=1-2

On GPU, again, it depends what you can afford, but you CAN get a very good one that will play this game at decent settings for well under $300 USD, or even under $200. Always best to get the best you can afford on GPU, but you need to be aware that GPUs have a certain power requirement, so you should mention what PSU you have. I'm sure it will be quite low though, because your GPU is very low power. Look inside your case if you're not sure. It's a metal box with all the wires coming out of it. There should be a sticker on it with the brand, model, and power (+12v) specs. You can get a PSU adequate to run most GPUs for as little as $30. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139027

Using one core of CPU is a bit of an exaggeration though. What it does is use 100% of core 1, and a bit over 50% of cores 2-3, and that's on an old i7 950 at a mere 3.2GHz.

So it ends up using over 2 and a half cores total, meaning a quad core CPU is still going to yield better performance than a dual core. Note that the below bench is with HyperThreading turned off as well, so there's only 4 physical cores being used, and no virtual cores.

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/800x600q90/827/3v6g.jpg

strigoi1958
01-14-2014, 01:56 AM
Thanks Frag I hoped you'd pop up. Kath if you get to memory4 and want to catch the sage... he's right here :D. I know you like steam Frag but you'd make a great mod on this forum.

Frag_Maniac
01-14-2014, 02:27 AM
Thanks Frag I hoped you'd pop up. Kath if you get to memory4 and want to catch the sage... he's right here :D. I know you like steam Frag but you'd make a great mod on this forum.

LOL, yeah I try to fill in when the mods are swamped with tech probs and spam bots. Too much time on my hands I guess.

I thought I found Kath a better deal on the GPU with an ASUS 660 Ti for $170 after rebate and promo code, but it turned out to be a 660 that wasn't placed properly in Newegg's filter search. Too bad the AMD prices went up. There's still GTX 760s for $240 though, which is a pretty good deal. There's reference models as low as $230, but I think I like this Zotac Amp for $240.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814500307

strigoi1958
01-14-2014, 03:07 AM
yes that's a great card and wouldn't need updating for a few years as well... It's very similar to the performance of my 670 ! ! ! (maybe better :D for a lot less than I paid)

kath602
01-14-2014, 09:19 AM
Hi there, thanks for the replies

To answer I have a 880G Extreme3 which can be found at http://www.asrock.com/mb/AMD/880G%20Extreme3/?cat=Specifications
My PSU is a 750w

As for location, at the moment I am in Spain, but do purchase stuff from the UK often

I do have a spare CPU which is a AMD Phenom II Dual core 555 3.2GHz which if it is better I can always switch to it.

As for price range, I am pretty flexible but the cheaper it is the better. But I am broke.

Hope this helps a bit more, do appreciate the help! Will have a look at some of the links you supplied.

Edit: Forgot to mention what res I'm playing at, my screen is a 1600x900, but right now I'm playing on the lowest, without much luck

Frag_Maniac
01-14-2014, 07:13 PM
Put the Phenom CPU in, but don't OC it if you only have the stock cooler. The PSU is good enough to run any GPU out today, but your response on budget isn't definitive enough to recommend anything regarding a better GPU, and a bit contradictory. You say you want to upgrade, then say you're broke. Obviously if you want to upgrade you must have SOME amount of money coming in soon. We're not psychic, we have no clue what you can afford. In a game like this it's best to get the best GPU you can manage to buy. It's rather non constructive for us to take time to recommend GPUs, only for you to come back and say you can't afford them, so please be precise.

kath602
01-15-2014, 11:37 AM
Sorry for my dry sense of humour there saying I was broke.
I'm in the process of building a new computer, but I wanted something temporarily on the system I have now, as it will be a while before the new one is up and running. Because of that I'm not looking for fancy GPU's more like in the price range of 50 - 100, but the lower it is, obviously, the better.
Also I will swap over the CPU as suggested, have looked at the links you gave and done some searching myself, and I found a few cards such as the AMD Radeon HD 6570 which seems to have the right sort of specs, would appreciate any feedback regarding it or other suggestions you have.

Also sorry for my slower posting, I've been out and about during the days.
Thanks for your time

Frag_Maniac
01-15-2014, 11:48 AM
...I found a few cards such as the AMD Radeon HD 6570 which seems to have the right sort of specs, would appreciate any feedback regarding it or other suggestions you have.

Oh lord no, that is WAY too weak a GPU. It scores only 752 on Passmark. To give you an idea, we had a guy here who's 765m laptop GPU rates just over 2000 on Passmark, and it was miserable for him to try and play the game on any settings.

It's late here so I'm gonna crash, but I'll get back to you and see what I can find.

strigoi1958
01-15-2014, 01:33 PM
you can find refurbished 7850's and 7870's on ebay or used gtx 660's around the 100 mark... cheaper if you want to bid. if you could get another 20 you might find a r9 270 but if you want new it would be a r7 260 2gb around 105 but I'd personally have a gtx 660 ti then 660 then r9 270.... whichever you can find. I know what it's like for you... my brother lives in Roquetas de mar near Almeria and often asks me to get things and post them to him.... luckily they're coming back to the UK to live soon :D

kath602
01-15-2014, 03:06 PM
Hi again, thanks for the suggestions, after looking at what you listed out I looked locally for some which could be shipped from within Spain and found a good cost one which is the AMD Radeon R7 240 at new, which I would prefer over reconditioned. Do you think this could pass?

Just to add, I don't mind if I have to lower my game settings or end up with only with 20-30 FPS, as any money I can save will go towards a better computer I'll be building over the next few months.

And again, thanks for your help.

strigoi1958
01-15-2014, 04:38 PM
I think the R7 240 is not any where good enough (it's also right at the bottom of your price range 50ish) and it's optimum resolution is 1366 x 768 so lower than your monitor... it's cheap because it is barely better than integrated graphics..... I think if you cannot afford to go to the 100 mark, I'd wait and spend money on the new build as you will get a poor AC4 on that... if you even get it at all.
It is a lot less than the minimum requirements I'm afraid to say, and it's possible you would only see AC4 in under 10 FPS... sort of like watching a film in slow motion :o

Frag_Maniac
01-16-2014, 12:11 AM
Best deal I've seen so far in the UK near your price point:

VTX R9 270 X Edition 124 lbs
http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Graphics+Cards/AMD+Radeon/Radeon+R9+270/VTX3D+AMD+Radeon+R9+270+X+Edition+2GB+GDDR5+Graphi cs+Card+?productId=59332

^^^This is nearly equivalent to our US pricing on the R9 270 right now. Unfortunately the UK area is harder to find good deals. I would not quibble over going slightly over budget though, it will be worth it in the long run. I did check for refurbs as well on eBay UK. I bought a Sapphire card via a refurb on eBay that served me well, but I couldn't find any worthwhile on eBay UK, and refurbs are not something you want to buy just anywhere or any brand. Reason I trusted the Sapphire refurb is 1) Sapphire refurbs them in their factory, 2) they're the biggest AMD chip buyer, and 3) they warranty them from manufacture date, so I had about a 2 yr warranty on it.