New to PC gaming, have a couple questions

#1 Edited by MethodMan008 (806 posts) -

Hey duders..

So for along time I have been envious of PC games because of cool games getting quick looked and superior versions of the games I was already playing.. However, the idea of actually buying a PC and building it myself was not something I could really afford. A decent (or bad) gaming PC fell into my lap at my new job at a pawn shop because the owner had no idea what to do with it..

So for fifty bucks, I got a PC with these specs:

i5-2400 CPU @3.10GHz

12gb RAM

GeForce GT 545 w/ 4gb RAM

Thermaltake TR2 800AH2NFB

Asus P8P67 LE

1TB HDD

...

Onto my questions...

1. Did I forget to list any important components, I don't really know anything about PC hardware, the ones I listed just jump out as important to me for some reason..

2. Which component should I probably upgrade first?

3. What temperature does it start to become unsafe? I moved the PC to the carpet for a more convenient position but I saw the temperature was starting to get ~65C which seems like a lot, but again, I don't really know.

Anyhow, thanks for all the help duders. Feel free to add me on Steam if you want, I play L4D2 a lot it seems and some other stuff! :D

#2 Posted by kgb0515 (411 posts) -

I wouldn't recommend putting a pc on the floor for a number of reasons, the primary one being that carpeting works as insulation for the bottom of the case effectively trapping more heat inside your machine that would otherwise radiate out of the box. However, the most important is dust. The intake fans will suck in anything that gets stirred up from the carpet and that junk gets spackled onto the computer's vital components over time. As far as unsafe temps, my CPU and GPU usually run at 40 to 50 degrees C (up to 110 farenheit) when playing games which is around the normal range. If that were to double, I would be extremely concerned.

#3 Posted by MethodMan008 (806 posts) -

@kgb0515 said:

I wouldn't recommend putting a pc on the floor for a number of reasons, the primary one being that carpeting works as insulation for the bottom of the case effectively trapping more heat inside your machine that would otherwise radiate out of the box. However, the most important is dust. The intake fans will suck in anything that gets stirred up from the carpet and that junk gets spackled onto the computer's vital components over time. As far as unsafe temps, my CPU and GPU usually run at 40 to 50 degrees C (up to 110 farenheit) when playing games which is around the normal range. If that were to double, I would be extremely concerned.

Oops, forgot to say I moved my PC off the carpet to the end of my table, so now it's not on the floor and away from pretty much everything else so it's got plenty of room to breathe now.

#4 Posted by kgb0515 (411 posts) -

I would add that if 65C is the idle temp for your PC, move that thing onto a hard flat surface soon. Those temps might not be unsafe now, but if you start taxing the machine, they could rise pretty fast and put you in a bad way. I would put it at least 6 inches to a foot above the floor if possible.

#5 Posted by AlexW00d (6186 posts) -

For 50 bux that's pretty decent, but that card is not a gaming card, so you should probably drop some money on a new card.

If you were getting 65C idle then that's bad, and you should probably clean that thing out if it's dusty, also put a piece of wood underneath it if you wanna keep it on a carpeted floor. 65C under load is fine though.

#6 Posted by Xakura (126 posts) -

You list all the vitals, I would probably upgrade the gpu first, if you need better performance.

You ask about unsafe temperatures, cutoff depends on component, but is usually around 90-100C. 65C idle is a bit high. Google your cpu (if that is what is reaching 65) and see what others measure temperature under idle/load to be.

And by cutoff I mean the computer will shut down. Hopefully no damage, but avoid it.

#7 Posted by FritzDude (2253 posts) -
  1. Power supply (PSU), Motherboard / Mainboard (Mobo), Hard Drive (HDD) & cabinet / airflow primarily.
  2. It depends on what else is in your computer. You shouldn't be upgrading before you know if the upgrades doesn't harm or doesn't fit your machine.
  3. What component was at 65 Celsius? When playing video games or heavily using software & using hardware accelerations the temperatures will go up for obvious reasons. A modern processor, id est video card, can go up as high as 100 celsius, but that is not normal, and I would say anything over 85 Celsius is not normal. If 65 Celsius was from your mainboard or video card and it was idling I would be concerned.
#8 Posted by MethodMan008 (806 posts) -

@FritzDude:

The CPU was at ~65C during video playback and gaming when it was on the carpet.. Moved it to desk with nothing around and now it seems to run ~50C at most while gaming and playing video.

My idle temp is about ~28-35 for motherboard and CPU.

I'll figure out how to determine what PSU, Mobo, and cabinet I'm using. It has a 1TB HDD.

#9 Edited by gosukiller (2324 posts) -

@MethodMan008 said:

@FritzDude:

The CPU was at ~65C during video playback and gaming when it was on the carpet.. Moved it to desk with nothing around and now it seems to run ~50C at most while gaming and playing video.

My idle temp is about ~28-35 for motherboard and CPU.

I'll figure out how to determine what PSU, Mobo, and cabinet I'm using. It has a 1TB HDD.

Anyone with a teamspooky logo is ok in my book. I recommend you get get SISOFT SANDRA to determine what mobo you have inside your PC.

#10 Edited by Devildoll (877 posts) -

The cpu is just a tiny step below what most gamers use, a 2500, so its very potent, you definetly dont need to upgrade that to run any games.

The graphics card however, is a typical wallmart pc "OMG IT HAS THE 4 GB'S!!!!!" type of card. ( big number no powa ).

12 gigs of ram is very generous, but similarly to the graphics card its probably just a lot and slow, ram in general is so fast that everything else in the computer is the bottleneck, so that's probably not an issue.

An alternative to sisoft sandra would be cpu-z, it is not as detailed as sandra, but it does show the name of the components, like cpu motherboard ram graphicscard etc, as well as some information about clockspeeds etc.

Unless anything else is strange about it, you can transform this computer into a pretty killer rig by just dumping a high end graphics card in it.

Which leads to the big question, what kind of power supply is in this computer?

This is something you probably wont be able to read through a program, you will have to either look up the model number of the pc ( if its a brand computer ) or simply open the sidepanel and read what it says on the psu (powersupply).

The box with all the cables running from it is the psu, on modern computers, its usually at the bottom instead of the top.

What we need from you is the brand and model name of the powersupply, alternatively you could take a photo of the specification sheet with all the watts and amp numbers that is stuck to the side of the psu.

And oh, you really made a bargain for 50 bucks, i would value the cpu alone at $100!

#11 Posted by Gizmo (5389 posts) -

My GPU gets to around 75C whilst playing DayZ. Newer AMD cards are good for about 95C max, anything under is fine.

#12 Edited by MethodMan008 (806 posts) -

@Devildoll said:

The graphics card however, is a typical wallmart pc "OMG IT HAS THE 4 GB'S!!!!!" type of card. ( big number no powa ).

Ahh.. I was wondering what the deal with that was. I was looking at some new cards (the new nvidia budget line) and the GTX 550 only had 1gb RAM, but I guess that is not very important?

What do you guys think about the 650 and the 660? I've got some cash coming my way to spend but I'm not looking to drop a ton on a new card.

I'm gonna try to figure out what my PSU is now. Hopefully I don't destroy my PC in the process..

Thanks for the help as always!

#13 Edited by MethodMan008 (806 posts) -

@gosukiller said:

@MethodMan008 said:

@FritzDude:

The CPU was at ~65C during video playback and gaming when it was on the carpet.. Moved it to desk with nothing around and now it seems to run ~50C at most while gaming and playing video.

My idle temp is about ~28-35 for motherboard and CPU.

I'll figure out how to determine what PSU, Mobo, and cabinet I'm using. It has a 1TB HDD.

Anyone with a teamspooky logo is ok in my book. I recommend you get get SISOFT SANDRA to determine what mobo you have inside your PC.

Thanks! If the program is to be believed, this is my motherboard.

Here is my PSU.

#14 Posted by Devildoll (877 posts) -

@MethodMan008: what the fuck?

Thats a surprisingly beefypowersupply considering the rest of the components, it'll run any single card you can fit in that case

Graphic ram needs go up the higher resolution and settings you use.

Since the 545 is relatively weak , those 4 gigs wont be needed.

A higher end card would be able to run those settings , but if it doesent have enough ram ,it wouldnt be able to house all the assets in memory . This would make the game stutter regardless of how powerful the graphics card is.

#15 Edited by believer258 (11640 posts) -

I would

1) Find out why it's running hot and fix that.

and

2) Buy a new graphics card. Earlier in this thread, you said you could buy a GTX 660 - that's pretty good. But I said figure out your cooling issue first for a good reason. EDIT: No, the GTX 550 is not great. Good, it will work, but you'll have to turn settings down and it's a last-gen card. You can do better even at the same price points. /EDIT.

For $50 that's pretty damn good, you just need to do those two things and you'll have a good rig on your hands!

#16 Posted by MethodMan008 (806 posts) -

@Devildoll: Nice, that is good to hear. You have an opinion on the GTX 650/660?

@believer258: I'm pretty sure the issue is fixed with the tower being moved from the carpet to an elevated wooded surface with nothing around it. Runs around 55C during video playback and gaming, and idles around 35. Do you mean the 650 is bad, or the 550? I think I typed 550 by accident in a post and edited at some point, but yeah, I mean I'm thinking of getting either the 650 or 660.. Or really any good video card on sale. I'd prefer Nvidia so I can do 3d.. I have one of those Sony 3D monitors... Not sure if it would work with my PC or not but I like to think it would. :p

#17 Posted by WasabiCurry (422 posts) -

For fifty dollars, you definitely got a potential good gaming rig. As with every one that have stated on this post. Go upgrade your GPU.

I would be bias and say go with the Nvidia Geforce GTX 660 Ti; the card is solid in my honest opinion. If you are uncertain, you can always check around the net and look at reviews, benchmarks, and the wealth of other information concerning the cards.

Hmm...would you mind telling us the refresh rate for the Sony 3D monitors? It would suck if it was 30 HZ and you get all of that screen tearing. :<

#18 Posted by MethodMan008 (806 posts) -

@WasabiCurry: It's 240hz when connected to a PS3, but when you connect to a PC it just shows up as a generic monitor with 60hz.. I would assume/hope there is a work around, but I dunno I haven't really looked into it. The monitor I use mainly with my PC is a HP2009m. It sucks... 1600x900 60hz. After a new video card (is that what people keep calling GPU :p) I'll be getting a new monitor just for my PC.

#19 Posted by Raven10 (1727 posts) -

I have a 560 ti which is a decent gaming card. Not high end, but it plays the majority of games at close to max at between 50 and 60 fps. I have the 2 GB version so I rarely run into memory bottlenecks. The 660 ti is the new model. It's not a perfect card but it should easily be able to handle most games out there. Don't expect to be maxing out Battlefield 3 or to run The Witcher 2 even close to maxed out but for any console port it would be more than enough and it will run 80% of the PC exclusives out there pretty close to maxed out. Honestly at this point in time very few games are pushing computers to their limits because of the limitations of consoles. And even running something like Battlefield 3 on medium will still look way better than the console version and should run way smoother. The 545 is not a great card, but 660 ti or better should handle most anything you throw at it. Of course if you get something like a 680 or 690 you'd probably be set for the next five years so keep that in mind.

#20 Edited by believer258 (11640 posts) -

@MethodMan008 said:

@Devildoll: Nice, that is good to hear. You have an opinion on the GTX 650/660?

@believer258: I'm pretty sure the issue is fixed with the tower being moved from the carpet to an elevated wooded surface with nothing around it. Runs around 55C during video playback and gaming, and idles around 35. Do you mean the 650 is bad, or the 550? I think I typed 550 by accident in a post and edited at some point, but yeah, I mean I'm thinking of getting either the 650 or 660.. Or really any good video card on sale. I'd prefer Nvidia so I can do 3d.. I have one of those Sony 3D monitors... Not sure if it would work with my PC or not but I like to think it would. :p

I'd say there's a hell of a leap from a 650 to a 660. According to that, the 660 can playably run BF3, 1080P, on Ultra settings (though I, personally, would bump the detail down so I could get it locked at 60 frames per second). The 650 has to be bumped down to Low for the same framerate.

Get the 660 TI if you can spring for that, or better yet, a GTX 670.

#21 Posted by Pimpsandwich (72 posts) -

@WasabiCurry said:

I would be bias and say go with the Nvidia Geforce GTX 660 Ti; the card is solid in my honest opinion.

I concur, I've been nothing short of happy with my GTX 660 Ti so far.

#22 Posted by HadesTimes (802 posts) -

Going to agree with most folks here. Upgrade to 660 TI or GTX 670. Also, power supply and cooling issues seem like they might be a problem for you. So check to make sure everything is running at the right temp. But usually more is better when using Nvidia. So a nice big power supply and a nice big fan couldn't hurt.

#23 Posted by believer258 (11640 posts) -

@HadesTimes said:

Going to agree with most folks here. Upgrade to 660 TI or GTX 670. Also, power supply and cooling issues seem like they might be a problem for you. So check to make sure everything is running at the right temp. But usually more is better when using Nvidia. So a nice big power supply and a nice big fan couldn't hurt.

He posted his power supply earlier, I believe it was an 800W. Which isn't the only thing that matters but it seems all right.

, I didn't mention this one before because I forgot, but check your case dimensions before picking up a new card. It should be in the specs on the page where you buy the card, so just do some measurements and make sure you've got enough space.

#24 Posted by MethodMan008 (806 posts) -

@believer258:

Yeah I do want to get another fan..

That makes me think there is a slot for another fan but I don't see one when I look inside the case.

Upon further research while making this post, I found my case on the internet (I'm pretty sure it's the same, not sure where to find a model number on the actual case, but they look the same).

Here is the case.. I don't have a fan on top yet, I see right where it would screw in, but not where it would plug into the motherboard, but it must be there somewhere since it shows up in the ASUS dashboard thing.

Any recommendations for a good fan? :p

#25 Edited by Devildoll (877 posts) -

@MethodMan008: your motherboard has the ability to connect 2 additional fans, in addition to the cpu fan.

from the screenshot there, i'd guess one slot is free.

the case you got has one fanslot in the front, side and back, as well as two in the top.

priority is the front and back, a side fan could also be great as it dumps cool air onto the graphics card.

best is of course if you can fill all the slots, even if you only have two connectors, you can hook some up directly to the power supply instead of the motherboards, you can buy adapters for that.

im not that read up on fan models at the moment, but i personally use scythe fans, they work.

A 660 would be great btw.

@believer258 said:

He posted his power supply earlier, I believe it was an 800W. Which isn't the only thing that matters but it seems all right.

what other things do you have in mind?

#26 Posted by believer258 (11640 posts) -

@Devildoll said:

@MethodMan008: your motherboard has the ability to connect 2 additional fans, in addition to the cpu fan.

from the screenshot there, i'd guess one slot is free.

the case you got has one fanslot in the front, side and back, as well as two in the top.

priority is the front and back, a side fan could also be great as it dumps cool air onto the graphics card.

best is of course if you can fill all the slots, even if you only have two connectors, you can hook some up directly to the power supply instead of the motherboards, you can buy adapters for that.

im not that read up on fan models at the moment, but i personally use scythe fans, they work.

A 660 would be great btw.

@believer258 said:

He posted his power supply earlier, I believe it was an 800W. Which isn't the only thing that matters but it seems all right.

what other things do you have in mind?

Simple quality and namebrand stuff. Not anything in particular, but a namebrand power supply made with good parts is better than a no-name power supply with the same ratings because the latter probably isn't as well made.

But a PSU doesn't seem to be his problem, even if it isn't a big name one, so I'd stick with it for the time being.

#27 Edited by Devildoll (877 posts) -

@believer258: the oem for this psu is fsp, so its probably not going to be an issue.

Edit:

its also bronze certified, so the components are measuring up to a certain standard.

#28 Posted by MethodMan008 (806 posts) -

Thanks again for all the help duders!

I'm getting a HP 1900x1200 monitor from work tomorrow.. For 100 bucks... So double what I paid for the entire computer.. :P

I'm also gonna order a GTX 660 pretty soon. Whoooooo PC gaming! :D

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