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New PC woes ... Now it goes :D

New PC woes ... Now it goes :D

Postby Spack » Fri May 30, 2014 7:46 pm

After 6 years finally decided to get some parts to upgrade my PC. Got an Intel G3440 CPU, a Gigabyte H81M-DS2V mobo, Crucial 8GB DDR3, and a Zotac GTX 660 graphics card.

Only problem is, the PC won't boot. Got just the CPU mounted on the mobo, fans spin up, PSU is fine (using it in my current PC, and also tested with the PSU from my son's PC), but no beeps, nothing. Should have been beeps with no RAM. Same with RAM in, nothing. First time I've ever had DOA parts. Will have to RMA the board and/or CPU for testing. :(

Good news I can still use the GTX 660 in my current PC, World of Tanks has gone from low settings on standard rendering on my 9600GT to medium/high settings on the improved renderer, looks a whole lot better and runs smoother. Can't wait to get the 4th gen CPU/mobo working too. And I got a free copy of Watch Dogs with the GTX 660, looking forward to playing that too - my current PC won't run it as it only has 4GB of RAM, and the game needs 6GB minimum ...
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Re: New PC woes

Postby _stu_ » Fri May 30, 2014 8:04 pm

Silly question, but does the BIOS revision on the board support the CPU? I've had a few boards where I've had to use an older chip to update the BIOS to support the newer one. Worth checking put before going through the RMA process.
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Re: New PC woes

Postby markb » Fri May 30, 2014 8:21 pm

Are you sure the PSU is rated high enough to power the new components? The 660 and new processor will draw a lot more power than what you had in previously.
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Re: New PC woes

Postby Spack » Fri May 30, 2014 9:00 pm

According to the Gigabyte website the CPU is supported by the mobo. Also the company I bought it from has this CPU listed as a popular "add-on" for the board. I will ask them to check this though, as you're right in that it needs to have the most recent BIOS and it's possible that the board wasn't updated. Problem is that I can't update the BIOS without a working CPU ...

As to the PSU power, it should have plenty. With only the CPU and RAM, using onboard video, the power draw will be really low. I've got a 500W power supply, it works fine with my E5200 + GTX 600 which combined will be pulling a lot more than 53W - the E5200 has a max TDP of 65W, and I've been running the GTX 660 through 3DMark to make sure it's working ok. The new mobo has an 8pin (4+4) supply to the CPU, and my PSU has only a 4pin connector, but I've checked and with the low power CPUs the 4pin should be plenty (the 8pin connector is required for the i7 CPUs, and some of the more power hungry i5s, the G3440 is a Celeron so just the 4pin is supposed to be fine).

I'll drop the company I bought the parts from an email over the weekend and see how it goes from there. I've had plenty of parts from them in the past, and this is the first time I've had a problem.
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Re: New PC woes

Postby Spack » Fri May 30, 2014 9:21 pm

Anyone got a spare older LGA 1150 CPU they can send me to test the board with? :\ I'll return it afterwards of course!
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Re: New PC woes

Postby Darklighter » Fri May 30, 2014 11:25 pm

It might be a daft idea but does your power unit have enough juice for all the upgrades? Erm never mind I should have read the whole thread before posting......
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Re: New PC woes

Postby KInG » Sat May 31, 2014 1:32 am

Why do u buy computer parts from other people when u could have them for cost off me?......??? Crazy fool

Ask Gav Saturday on phone about test parts well see if we can help you.

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Re: New PC woes

Postby Spack » Sat May 31, 2014 11:32 am

Just got a reply from the shop, they're arranging a free collection to take the board back, upgrade the BIOS, and test it. Great customer service.
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Re: New PC woes

Postby Spack » Tue Jun 10, 2014 8:55 pm

Still waiting for the board to come back, only got collected on Friday due to a screwup by ParcelForce. Hopefully I'll have it back before the end of the week and can crack on with playing WoT at higher settings. On my E5200 with 4GB RAM the GTX660 is barely able to push 30fps with most settings on low (textures on medium though as they look crap on low) and tends to sit around 20-25fps. SWToR runs smoothly at Very High settings (haven't tried higher yet!), so WoT is definitely CPU bound, the engine is a bit crappy in that respect as the GTX660 is way underutilised. As the G3440 is 3.3Ghz vs the current E5200 at 2.5GHz I'm hoping for a bit more oomph from the CPU, and the new CPU also has a lot more cache. And 8GB of RAM should help too - WoT with 2GB is painfully slow to load maps, it's bearable with 4GB but I'm often at 90%+ memory usage so the extra 4GB should help there too. I'll post updates as I get the system built and tested.
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Re: New PC woes

Postby Spack » Thu Jun 12, 2014 12:48 pm

Just had a call from Novatech, my board has been upgraded to the latest BIOS and tested, and will be back with me tomorrow. :D
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Re: New PC woes ... Now it goes :D

Postby Spack » Fri Jun 13, 2014 8:31 pm

Got the motherboard back today with the latest BIOS. Tested it with just the CPU and RAM and started up first time.

IMG_20140613_135533419.jpg


Built the new system, moved over the hard disk, and then ran into problems due to the SATA chipset drivers being different. Quick tinker with the registry in a command prompt from the Windows repair options, 5 reboots installing new drivers, and the PC is up and running :) Just starting up a few 3DMark benchmarks to see how much difference it's made. Windows experience values have jumped from 5.9 for E5200 and 6.8 for 9600GT to 7.1 for G3440 and 7.9 for GTX660. :eusa_dance

3DMark11 just finished - using the same GTX660, the score has jumped from P3935 to P5531. Weee.

EDIT: Just fired up WoT, with the same settings as yesterday my fps has jumped from 25-30fps to a pretty steady 59-61fps :D Now to turn up the settings.

EDIT: this is just getting silly. Switched to High preset, getting 55-60fps ... going higher

EDIT: set it to Maximum, and it's running 45fps with loads of tanks in view, and up to 60fps elsewhere. Who needs an i3/i5/i7 when this low end processor will do 60fps? Any more is a waste of resources :P

EDIT: tried it with vsync off, pulling 90fps at Maximum settings. Muhahahahaha
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Re: New PC woes ... Now it goes :D

Postby Spack » Thu Jun 26, 2014 5:57 pm

My brother-in-law asked If I could upgrade his PC too, but on a smaller budget. It's CPU and graphics card were the same as my old PC, an Intel E5200 and NVidia 9600GT, however it had only 2GB RAM. Unfortunately the motherboard would only take 2GB, but as I had just upgraded my own PC and swapped out my parts for my son's PC I now had a spare board that could take 4GB although it had an E3200 processor.

After checking the spare board specs, and keeping the cost as low as possible, I could upgrade the CPU which should have a significant improvement with World of Tanks due to it being heavy on CPU usage. As the board was an LGA775 that ruled out any of the newer processors, but still left plenty of options. Given that WoT, and many other games, are single threaded there seemed little point in shelling out for a quad core processor, and the E8600 seemed a much better option - highest clock speed of any LGA775 CPU, and the jump from 2.5GHz to 3.33GHz as stock should make a big difference. A quick check on eBay, and ignoring the ridiculous 2nd hand price of almost £270 a seller was after, I found a used one for £38 - a relative bargain! It arrived yesterday, and took very little time to fit in the spare board. First stop was to run some benchmarks, namely 3DMark, which revealed a hefty increase (around 44%) in the CPU bound tests:

Ice Storm
E3200+9600GT: 30257
E5200+9600GT: 41086
E5200+GTX660: 46336
E8600+9600GT: 59214

The last result showed that the Ice Storm test is very much limited by the CPU, as switching out the 9600GT for the GTX660 with the E5200 resulted in a much lower score than the E8600+9600GT.

Cloud Gate
E3200+9600GT: 2692
E5200+9600GT: 3690
E5200+GTX660: 6020
E8600+9600GT: 4555

The Could Gate test utilises the graphics card a lot more, so I wasn't expecting as big an increase. However, it's clear that the faster CPU does help here too, as the increase was around 23%. The GTX660 does much better on this test as the 9600GT can't keep up with it.

So far so good, the benchmarks show the CPU is much better, and now it's time to fire up World of Tanks.

With the E5200+9600GT I had originally, and with the changes to the graphics in 9.1, the game runs like a dog with the improved graphics. I had been managing to just about pull 25fps in the standard graphics with much of it set to off or low. With the E8600 I picked the improved engine and low settings, and was surprised to see the fps pushing over 40fps. With settings at medium, which look stunning on a 19" non-HD screen, it ran easily at 25fps-30fps. A few more tweaks (shadows to low, decals to low) and the game looks great and runs at over 30fps consistently, which feels smooth and is very playable. I didn't test the standard engine, but may do that later - the goal here was to get WoT looking good and playing well with just a CPU upgrade.

What this does show is how reliant on the CPU World of Tanks is. As a fairly quick swap, the E5200 to E8600 upgrade is definitely worth it, and doesn't require new RAM or motherboard. I did look at the Q6xxx series processors, but given the requirement to get games running better the higher price for a lower clock speed and extra cores that will hardly be used didn't make sense. With overclocking I'm sure this PC will be able to go higher, but it's great at stock speeds and I wouldn't want to risk pushing it for an extra 2-5fps or so.
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