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MWard

New guy..Monitor and GPU question

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Hey guys,

 

I'm fairly new to PC gaming and fairly recently bought a second hand rig. I've got two questions that I have googled and googled and only ended up crosseyed at the end.

 

First, here are my current specs

 

Intel Xeon W3530 2.8 ghz

8 gb DDR3 

Radeon Sapphire 6950 2gb GPU

 

I am currently using a small tv as a monitor but have been looking at getting the BenQ RL2455HM monitor. It seems like a good little monitor for 60hz and it's currently on sale where I live (About $220 Cdn.) I've read that if you're looking to buy a monitor for gaming, and specifically for FPS's, you should really be looking at 120 Hz or 144Hz. In those same articles they do say that anything over 60Hz isn't really going to do you any better if your GPU can only pump out 60fps (which is a stretch on most games for my poor little computer.) I do want to build my own unit from scratch, but that's not going to happen tomorrow.

 

So, my questions are:

 

Is the BenQ a decent monitor for my current setup?

 

Would I (or even could I) be better of to upgrade my GPU without upgrading my CPU (the processor I currently have is an old socket type so my plan is to avoid putting that off til I can build an entire rig) and also get a 120Hz monitor? 

 

Sorry for all the new guy questions! I'll likely have more questions as others are answered!

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As far as I know the BenQ monitors are pretty decent, my brother got one not so long ago and has similar specs to that of your current rig and hasn't had any complaints, but I cant speak from personal experience.

I would just upgrade the GPU for now if I were you as this can be more easily transfered over to a new rig and is more important as far as gaming is concerned than the CPU.

Hope this helps

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Welcome CanuckFF!

Hopefully I can help answer some of your questions.

First of all, since the game is in pre alpha stage there are many things that need optimizing. As a result, performance currently isn't what it should be and even those with upper range rigs are having some difficulty. Because the game is in such an early state, it is also difficult to say what the minimum requirement will end up being.

With that said, I am worried that your CPU and GPU are going to be a problem, even when the game is finished.

For comparison sake, I run an i5-2500k overclocked to 4.3GHz and a GTX 770. I have difficulty on some maps getting a stable 30 FPS on lowest settings. On other maps I get 60-70 FPS on highest settings. I'm running 1680x1050 resolution.

Bottom line is you will likely need to upgrade. As far as priorities go, it's difficult for me to say. The next gen Nvidia cards will be coming out soon. It's probably a good idea to wait until then. As far as processors go, you could probably just upgrade now to an i5-4690k or if you have the cash, i7-4790k. Of course you'll need a new motherboard, RAM, possible CPU cooler.

Regarding GPU, you might also need a bigger power supply depending on your current one's specs

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Welcome CanuckFF!

Hopefully I can help answer some of your questions.

First of all, since the game is in pre alpha stage there are many things that need optimizing. As a result, performance currently isn't what it should be and even those with upper range rigs are having some difficulty. Because the game is in such an early state, it is also difficult to say what the minimum requirement will end up being.

With that said, I am worried that your CPU and GPU are going to be a problem, even when the game is finished.

For comparison sake, I run an i5-2500k overclocked to 4.3GHz and a GTX 770. I have difficulty on some maps getting a stable 30 FPS on lowest settings. On other maps I get 60-70 FPS on highest settings. I'm running 1680x1050 resolution.

Bottom line is you will likely need to upgrade. As far as priorities go, it's difficult for me to say. The next gen Nvidia cards will be coming out soon. It's probably a good idea to wait until then. As far as processors go, you could probably just upgrade now to an i5-4690k or if you have the cash, i7-4790k. Of course you'll need a new motherboard, RAM, possible CPU cooler.

Regarding GPU, you might also need a bigger power supply depending on your current one's specs

Keep in mind the "K" at the end of an intel processor means its unlocked for overclocking, so if your not going to actually overclock the processor your wasting money on the K version.

another thing to note, most video games cannot utilize more then 2 cores of a processor, an i7 is overkill in most instances for gaming unless your planning to stream and listen to music at the same time maybe.

I'm a Network Admin but I'm also cheap when it comes to tech, I try to get the best bang for my buck so I usually stick with AMD / ATI as its cheaper.

I'm using an FX 6300 (3 core processor overclocked to 4.2 Ghz) and a Radeon R9 290

I can play Battlefield 4 on ultra easily and haven't really had any problems with any games yet and my processor only cost about $130 instead of $290 for the 4690

I can also stream at the same time and I haven't really taken much of a performance hit from it.

using a 32 inch TV as a monitor though.

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Keep in mind the "K" at the end of an intel processor means its unlocked for overclocking, so if your not going to actually overclock the processor your wasting money on the K version.

another thing to note, most video games cannot utilize more then 2 cores of a processor, an i7 is overkill in most instances for gaming unless your planning to stream and listen to music at the same time maybe.

I'm a Network Admin but I'm also cheap when it comes to tech, I try to get the best bang for my buck so I usually stick with AMD / ATI as its cheaper.

I'm using an FX 6300 (3 core processor overclocked to 4.2 Ghz) and a Radeon R9 290

I can play Battlefield 4 on ultra easily and haven't really had any problems with any games yet and my processor only cost about $130 instead of $290 for the 4690

I can also stream at the same time and I haven't really taken much of a performance hit from it.

using a 32 inch TV as a monitor though.

Good points. I too can play BF4 ultra with great performance but that is not the case with Squad unfortunately. Obviously it's not optimized yet but then again, there are no guarantees as to how well it will be optimized.

OP, you might be better off taking the wait and see approach. Have you purchased the game already?

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Thanks for the replies, guys. Yes, I purchased the Squad Leader package. I hadn't really thought about performance as I was generally able to hack my way through Arma, but perhaps I bit of more than I can chew with Squad and this rig. Looking at my cheapest alternatives now.

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you still have a pretty decent GPU, I haven't played squad yet but I'm guessing you can lower the graphics? if so then you would probably be able to play decent on medium - high.
this is just speculation though, I'm not sure.

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Just out of curiosity, would you guys recommend against getting a prebuilt?

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The right deal on a prebuilt can work.

 

I'd say hold on to your cash for a couple weeks till Squad Leaders get their keys. Play with it for a bit, see what performance you can eek out of it, and go from there.

 

The graphics settings in this game give a lot of room for performance gains.

Alternately, if you've got the cash, Brisk has enlightened me to this site: http://www.logicalincrements.com/

I'd say using that as a benchmark for cost/return is going to give you a good idea on what kind of deal you're getting, prebuilt or custom.

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You really need to watch what GPU you are considering.  Take nvidia based, their current cards are what is referred to as 3rd Generation.  This is very important when considering just slapping it into an existing, older, motherboard.  Most likely the board will only really support 1st gen and possibly/probably 2nd gen cards.  The new one might work fine but in a handicapped fashion.  It wont hit the marks that you expected from the advertisements.  The other thing is power supply.  The newer the card the heftier the ps needs to be.  Power connections have to be factored in as well since the newer cards require two different cable connectors. 

 

There is lots to think of when upgrading and you are doing the right thing by asking your questions now instead of being upset later.

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If you want to build a custom PC but your too nervous you'll break something or pick incompatible parts use this:
http://www.memoryexpress.com/SystemConfig/Default.aspx

They Ship anywhere in Canada, and it won't let you pick a part thats incompatible with the other parts (Within Reason)
So if you pick an AMD FX 6300 processor it will only show motherboards with the AM3+ slot.
They also only charge $40 to put it all together for you, so you pick the parts, shell out $40 and they ship it to your door.

I use these guys locally alot, they are really good.

Just be careful when your picking out a power supply unit and use this guy:
http://outervision.com/power-supply-calculator

Always add 100 watts or so just to be safe, if it says 390 watts go with like a 500 or 550 watt at least (the more watts the longer she will last / allow you to upgrade / add more parts)

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Any decent brand 1080p monitor will do finely. 

 

Squad is a tactical team based fps not a arcade ... tactical awareness and pure skills wins you the game.

Not solely good and uber fps.

 

You could have a squad with the best computers, the best systems and it will still be defeated by the sl that uses his brain and wits... and plays in 720p in 25fps. They would still get stomped and beaten over and over.

Just get one secondhand and save yourself hundreds of dollars. Monitors don't break down easily.

I have a second 21inch 1080p monitor here from Acer I bought 2nd hand with guarantee on it still for a month for about 75 us dollars. (40 euro). And I could of bought even cheaper ones that were of fine quality.

 

Then put away the extra money for a upgrade on your pc parts. Cooler to overclock, new gpu, ssd. Etc.

If you have no ssd it will make your load times and everything else run a lot faster for instance.

 

At least that is what I would do.

 

Good luck!  ;):) :)

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Thanks MURay for your reply. I was just looking at and considering replacing just my GPU, but the computer is going on four old now and maybe that's not the answer. I notice you're also from Canada, do you have any recommendations for a decent setup in the 1000 Canadian range? That would include everything but peripherals. 

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Thanks for the links SC! And thanks for the suggestion on the monitor MD, that had never really occurred to me. 

 

I've had a lot of issues asking these kinds of questions on other forums where people really just wanted to make you feel like an idiot, thanks guys for being wicked helpful!

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Man I love everything about Nova Scotia and have spent time touring around there and enjoying Digby and Halifax to name a few.  Some of the very best people that I have met are or were from there!!

 

Let me take a look around some sites and I will send you some recommendations to add to those that have been presented already!  Thanks for the kind remarks about the members here! 

 

Cheers,

Ray

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also check out any local stores in Nova Scotia,
alot of specialty computer stores will have a clearance section of opened / returned items / certified refurb.

thats how I got my video card,
R9 290 (4GB retail for $399) I paid $200 at memory express clearance and I love it and have had no issues. (and then I sold my old HD 7850 for $100 so really the r9 only cost me $100)


Man I love everything about Nova Scotia and have spent time touring around there and enjoying Digby and Halifax to name a few.  Some of the very best people that I have met are or were from there!!

 

Let me take a look around some sites and I will send you some recommendations to add to those that have been presented already!  Thanks for the kind remarks about the members here! 

 

Cheers,

Ray

I'm also actually from Nova Scotia so I always help out a fellow maritimer lol.
I'm from Cape Breton.

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I'm a mainlander but don't hold it against me. I'm from Springhill, so I know about coal mines. That's a thing, right?

 

 

Sorry about Anne Murray. 

 

Edit: I saw you were in Alberta, and half thought you might be a Nova Scotian haha

 

Ray, believe it or not in my 27 years I've never made it south of Halifax in Nova Scotia! I hear good things about the south shore though

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3 best e-tailers to buy parts in Canada:

 

NCIX

Canada Computers

Memory Express

 

Some have suggested Tiger Direct. I find them expensive and often their 'sale' prices are higher then some e-tailers' regular prices.

 

Find a part you're looking for and wait for it to go on sale at the above. Alternatively, Kijiji can be a great source for finding new, unopened parts.

 

Good luck, dood.

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One choice......http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=7_1203_1446_1448&item_id=086120

 

 

and one that I quickly spec'd out...

 

BTOS001710 - Canada Computers System Configurator V1.0
Cavalier IGC-I Gaming System
Quotation
Date: 09/15/2015
Item Code    Qty    Description
CPUI003720    1    Intel Core i5-4590 Quad-Core Processor | Socket LGA1150, 3.3Ghz, 6MB L3 Cache, 22nm | (Retail Boxed) Gen4 (BX80646I54590)
MBAS004701    1    ASUS Z97-A Socket 1150 Intel Z97 Chipset | Dual Channel DDR3 3200(O.C.) MHz, 2x PCI-Express 3.0 x16 | Dual GLAN, 4x SATA 6.0Gb/s, 6x USB 3.0, 8x USB 2.0 | Display Port/DVI/HDMI/D-Sub, ATX
RAMK007020    1    Kingston HyperX Fury Red 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600MHz CL10 DIMMs (HX316C10FRK2/8)
SMKT002561    1    Kingston HyperX FURY 240GB SATA 6Gb/s Solid State Drive (SSD), Read: 500MB/s Write: 500MB/s (SHFS37A/240G)
VCAS002892    1    ASUS GeForce GTX 750 Ti 2GB GDDR5 (GTX750TI-OC-2GD5) | 1072 MHz Clock, 5400 MHz Memory | PCI-Express 3.0, DVI, HDMI
DVLG000965    1    LG (GH24NSC0) Internal 24x DVD-Writer, OEM| Black, SATA, M-DISC
CSTT001456    1    Thermaltake Versa H23 Window Mid-Tower Chassis (CA-1B1-00M1WN-01)
PSTT000607    1    Thermaltake Smart Power 750W 80Plus Bronze Certified Power Supply (SP-750P)
FNCM000795    1    Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO Direct Heat Pipe CPU Cooler R2, Intel 2011/1366/1156/1155/1150/775* and AMD FM1/AM3+/AM3/AM2+/AM2 (RR-212E-20PK-R2)
SWMS003775    1    Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64-Bit English OEM DVD
LA-SYSTEM3    1    System Build, 1 yr parts & labour standard warranty

Summary:    $1323.90
Instant Rebate:    $0.00
Mail-In Rebate:    $40.00
Price:    $1283.90

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You guys are awesome. Have you had any experience dealing with Canada Computers? Their prices seem a lot more on the mark than tigerdirect and maybe even newegg.

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if you have a laptop or tower right now that you bought pre-built you can steal the windows 7 key off the sticker,
It won't be in use unless you reformatted yourself.

then upgrade to 10 from 7. save you a bit of coin.

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