Hardware question...

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Rath Darkblade
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Hardware question...

Post by Rath Darkblade » Thu Mar 19, 2015 1:33 am

...earlier today, I purchased a game called Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor. Unfortunately, I think my computer is not powerful enough to run this - can someone please confirm?

The minimum hardware specs for the game are:

OS: 64-bit: Vista, Win 7, Win 8.
Processor: Intel Core i5-750, 2.67 GHz. | AMD Phenom II X4 965, 3.4 GHz.
Memory: 3 GB RAM.
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460. | AMD Radeon HD 5850.
DirectX: Version 11.
Network: Broadband Internet connection.
Hard Drive: 25 GB available space.


My OS, memory, and graphics card all fine - my issue is that my processor is only an Intel Core i3-540 with 3.07GHz. I think that my processor is not powerful enough. Can I still run the game, or will it not work?

If it won't work, no biggie - I still have the receipt, and I haven't taken the plastic shrinkwrap off, so I can simply return the game. :)

Alternatively, I've also rung around to see how much it would cost to purchase and install a new processor, and the consensus seems to be that since my computer is about 5 years old, I'd need a new motherboard to be able to handle an i-5. If so, the whole exercise could cost me up to $850 or so - $100-200 for the motherboard, about $255-325 for an i5 (or $450 for an i7), and $100 for installation. Does this sound reasonable? I think that if I were to spend $850, I might as well get a new computer and be done with it! :P

What do you think, hmm? ;)

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Re: Hardware question...

Post by DeadPoolX » Thu Mar 19, 2015 1:27 pm

This video below was recorded by a guy who has a very similar setup to yours (it might actually be the same, but I don't know what you have in your PC other than your processor) and it seems to run quite well.

You won't be able to max out everything, but you still should be able to play at around medium-to-high settings.

This also assumes you've got the same video card (he's using a GeForce GTX 660) that he does, or better. If you don't, you might need to turn down the graphics more.

BTW, be aware that the video quality in this clip isn't indicative of the graphics you'll have. The video is limited to 720p at best and defaults to 360p, so it's not going to look nearly as good as it would on your monitor.
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Re: Hardware question...

Post by Rath Darkblade » Thu Mar 19, 2015 6:14 pm

Sorry, my specs are as follows:

Processor: Intel Core i3-540 with 3.07GHz
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Graphics card: AMD Radeon HD 5670

I was a little hesitant to unwrap the game because it requires an i5 processor, and I only have an i3... though now that I look at it, I think I may need to upgrade my graphics card as well - I have a Radeon HD 5670, and this game requires a Radeon HD 5850 as a minimum. :(

Would I still be okay, or do I need to upgrade? :)

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Re: Hardware question...

Post by DeadPoolX » Thu Mar 19, 2015 8:53 pm

You're going to need a new video card. From what I understand about ME:SoM, it's very GPU dependent.

Just to be sure, I checked how the Radeon HD 5670 compares against the GTX 660 (which is what the guy in the YouTube video I linked to is using), and the GTX 660 is a lot better than the Radeon HD 5670.

The ATI/AMD equivalent of the GeForce GTX 660 is a Radeon HD 7870. I have no idea how much that video card would cost in Australia, so you'd have to check and see if it's worth the expense.
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Re: Hardware question...

Post by Rath Darkblade » Fri Mar 20, 2015 6:42 am

Hmmmmm... a 7870 will set me back in the region of $250-260 - and that's assuming that my motherboard can handle it. If not, I'd need a new motherboard ($150-200) and possibly some more RAM too (another $100 minimum). So all up, this exercise could end up costing me in excess of $500, just to play a game. :?

Sheesh! I suppose I'd better look for a different game to play... never mind. :(

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Re: Hardware question...

Post by Rath Darkblade » Sun Mar 22, 2015 8:53 pm

Hmmm... follow-up. I've been ringing around to find whether I can upgrade or replace my system, as it's getting towards the end of its lifecycle; I've had my desktop for 6 years now, and normally they last for 7 or so.

It looks like I have two options:

1. This system from Centrecom.

It is $A539 ($419.41 US). It has all the hardware I need, except for the graphics card. Graphics card will cost an extra $100-150, plus installation of $45. So all up, it comes to $A735 ($571.92 US).

Unfortunately it also comes with a pre-installed 1TB HDD, and they won't replace it with the one I already have.

2. This second system from CPL.

It is $A549 ($427.19 US). It also has all the hardware I need, except for the graphics card. For the graphics card, I have three options:

a. AMD Radeon R7 240 - $85 ($66.14 US);
b. GeForce 760 - $265 ($206.20 US); or
c. GeForce 960 - $269 ($209.32 US).

It comes with a pre-installed 1TB HDD, but I can also bring in the one I have to be installed into the new computer. It would cost $25 for them to install the HDD and $50 to install drivers - but it would take them 2-3 days (?!??!) to do this. (Really? I've installed HDDs before, and the hardware side of things usually takes five minutes!) :? :P

What do you think? Do these prices look reasonable to you?

Thanks! :)

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Re: Hardware question...

Post by DeadPoolX » Mon Mar 23, 2015 12:07 pm

Before you start ordering new systems and whatnot, let's find out if your current motherboard would be compatible with a video card upgrade. It might be, in which case all you'd need to do is replace the video card and install some more RAM.

Granted, your processor would still be older, but for the time being it seems like it's enough.

So what's the type of motherboard you've got installed in your machine? If you don't know, install Speccy and it'll tell you.

If you're deadset on getting a new system (or your motherboard isn't compatible with a new video card), I'd suggest the machine from Centrecom.

I don't know if you saw this, but you get twice as much RAM in the Centrecom system (8 GB) as you do in the CPL system (4 GB). Nowadays I'd see 6 GB of RAM as the bare minimum, with 8 GB being better, and 16 GB being the best for hardcore gaming.

You won't get your current HDD in that system, but you can back up the information, wipe it, and install it yourself. Now you've got 2 TB in your PC. Plus, by doing the installation yourself (including drivers) you get it done cheaper and quicker than it would've been done with CPL.

As for the video card, it seems you'll need to buy that separately anyway, so it doesn't really matter.

BTW, don't go with the Radeon R7 240. It's a very low-end budget card and won't do you any good, especially with a GPU dependent game like ME:SoM.

You won't go wrong with the GeForce GTX 760 or 960. Both are considered middle-tier video cards, but are far better than the R7 240 and your current video card.
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Re: Hardware question...

Post by Maxor127 » Mon Mar 23, 2015 7:46 pm

Whenever a computer has problems running a new game, it's almost always because the graphics card isn't powerful enough. One issue with buying a cheap computer like the ones you listed is that they usually skimp on motherboard and power supply. The Centrecom system has an H81 motherboard which is very basic and doesn't offer a lot of features or upgradibility and is at least a couple generations old, maybe more. CPL doesn't list the type of motherboard it has. And if the PSU isn't powerful enough to running a decent graphics card, then the computer will probably shut down a lot during games. Centrecom at least comes with 8GB memory, which I think is what you should get for a new system. So between the two, I'd go with Centrecom.

Personally, I prefer building my own computers. I like knowing exactly what parts I have. The hardest part is stressing over what parts to choose. The actual building part isn't that hard as long as you know how to follow directions.

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Re: Hardware question...

Post by Rath Darkblade » Mon Mar 23, 2015 11:45 pm

DeadPoolX wrote:Before you start ordering new systems and whatnot, let's find out if your current motherboard would be compatible with a video card upgrade. It might be, in which case all you'd need to do is replace the video card and install some more RAM.

Granted, your processor would still be older, but for the time being it seems like it's enough.

So what's the type of motherboard you've got installed in your machine? If you don't know, install Speccy and it'll tell you.
I installed Speccy and it told me "Not enough storage is available to complete this operation" for every single bit of hardware I have. What the...? :shock:
DeadPoolX wrote:If you're deadset on getting a new system (or your motherboard isn't compatible with a new video card), I'd suggest the machine from Centrecom.

I don't know if you saw this, but you get twice as much RAM in the Centrecom system (8 GB) as you do in the CPL system (4 GB). Nowadays I'd see 6 GB of RAM as the bare minimum, with 8 GB being better, and 16 GB being the best for hardcore gaming.
Whoops! I overlooked that. :oops: Yes, I wouldn't go for a system with 4 GB of RAM, particularly as I already have that much.
DeadPoolX wrote:BTW, don't go with the Radeon R7 240. It's a very low-end budget card and won't do you any good, especially with a GPU dependent game like ME:SoM.

You won't go wrong with the GeForce GTX 760 or 960. Both are considered middle-tier video cards, but are far better than the R7 240 and your current video card.
Hmm. Yes, I thought I might save money by going for the R7 240 - the shop assistant told me that the 240 was the "new batch" from AMD. But considering the price, and what you've told me, I think the shop assistant is an idiot. :P
Maxor127 wrote:Whenever a computer has problems running a new game, it's almost always because the graphics card isn't powerful enough. One issue with buying a cheap computer like the ones you listed is that they usually skimp on motherboard and power supply. The Centrecom system has an H81 motherboard which is very basic and doesn't offer a lot of features or upgradibility and is at least a couple generations old, maybe more. CPL doesn't list the type of motherboard it has. And if the PSU isn't powerful enough to running a decent graphics card, then the computer will probably shut down a lot during games. Centrecom at least comes with 8GB memory, which I think is what you should get for a new system. So between the two, I'd go with Centrecom.
Hmm... well, unfortunately, I cannot afford to spend thousands of dollars on store-bought systems. I've looked at different systems from five different retailers, and these two will have to be it - but I know enough to ask for decent GPUs and decent motherboards.
Maxor127 wrote:Personally, I prefer building my own computers. I like knowing exactly what parts I have. The hardest part is stressing over what parts to choose. The actual building part isn't that hard as long as you know how to follow directions.
I agree with you, in that I prefer to have my own parts. Unfortunately, I don't know enough to build my own PC; I know how to install RAM, HDDs and CD/DVD drives, but not much else. :(

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Re: Hardware question...

Post by DeadPoolX » Wed Mar 25, 2015 1:23 am

Truth be told, you don't save much by building your own system unless you can get parts at wholesale prices.

That said, by building your own system you get to choose what you want. That's a big deal as many vendors will skimp on certain components or use proprietary parts.

I remember when Maia and I were looking for new systems, and we priced out each part we wanted, and at best, we'd save maybe $100 by building it ourselves. We decided we valued our time and blood pressure levels over saving an extra $100.

Of course... Maia and I didn't get our systems from any of the big name vendors. There's a local store here that's been around for years called Mother Computers, so we went there.

Basically, we got to pick and choose which parts we wanted (including OS, which was good because we wanted Windows 7, not Windows 8) and they merely put it together. So in a sense, that was the same as building it ourselves since the only real advantage to building your own machine is control over what goes into it.
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Re: Hardware question...

Post by Collector » Wed Mar 25, 2015 3:02 am

DeadPoolX wrote:Truth be told, you don't save much by building your own system unless you can get parts at wholesale prices.
the only real advantage to building your own machine is control over what goes into it.
This, although it can be had cheaper too, even if not by a great deal. Without an unlimited budget, some corners usually need to be cut. Building it yourself allows you choose what you skimp on and what you want to put in a little more. To me stability is one of the most important things. Many manufacturers often cheap out on the most important components for stability. I never skimp on the chipset (especially the north bridge) or PSU. I always look for a motherboard with an Intel chipset for Intel CPUs or AMD for AMD CPUs. For the CPU I try to get pretty close to top of the line, but not bleeding edge. My reasoning is that the faster the longer usable lifespan. I look for the biggest bang for the buck. Usually this is one or two steps back from the latest.

Where I try to save money is where many will not. Unless you really want to play the very latest high demanding games most will not get that much out of a high end graphics card. Most will be happy with a middle of the line. The more usable a machine is a couple years down the road the more it is worth upgrading components. A newer, more powerful graphics card and more RAM make for a nice upgrade to get a couple more years or more out of a PC. You can also stager the cost a bit by recycling parts from your old PC for the new one. For example, if you did a fat graphics card upgrade it might still be good enough to migrate to your new machine, depending on your needs.
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