Welcome

Please register for Total War Access to use the forums. If you're an existing user, your forum details will be merged with Total War Access if you register with the same email or username. For more information please read our FAQ’s here.

Categories

PC Upgrade advice please.

OldblackeyesOldblackeyes Registered Users Posts: 136
Hi everyone I'm wondering if some of you kind folks may be able to give me some pointers on some upgrades in order to run game 3. I would like to be able to play it on launch and whilst I had been waiting for the system requirements to be published I'm thinking it might be a good idea to get some general advice ahead of time, especially with the current GPU climate. My machine is pretty damn old now (9yrs) and it was frankly a miracle that it ran game two especially since it doesn't even have a dedicated GPU. I've never done much more than change the hard drive in my PC so I'm finding it a bit of a minefiled.

I know I'm gonna need to get a new GPU, i am prepared for that to hurt. I have two questions essentially.
Am I likely to need to change the CPU or motherboard? what about other components. power supply?

So I have;
Processor: i7 3770K quad core processor which is 3.9Ghz out of the box,
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-7zzx-ud5h
Ram:16GB - should be ok here I think. Although it is old ram and 4 sticks of 4 which may not be the best.

Can I run a suitable GPU on such old hardware? and if so any tips on some to look out for? I don't need anything too fancy, just would like it to run in a stable way.
Am I SOOL and just need to build a whole new machine?

I know we concrete answers are hard without the sys req's but I'm hoping maybe some educated guesses based on game2 can be made. Any advice, guidance and pointers would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks.

Comments

  • RooivalkRooivalk Registered Users Posts: 61
    edited January 13
    I don't really know anything about device compatability, but I've gathered from from things I've read about the place that CPU can be a big bottleneck for game 2.
  • KillertutKillertut Registered Users Posts: 724
    graphic cards are backwards compatible, but if you have really old pci-e lanes on your motherboard this will hamper the performance ot the gpu. and a reminder: always check if your power supply will be able to handle the gpu, especially 3000 series from nvdidia.
  • OldblackeyesOldblackeyes Registered Users Posts: 136
    Killertut said:

    graphic cards are backwards compatible, but if you have really old pci-e lanes on your motherboard this will hamper the performance ot the gpu. and a reminder: always check if your power supply will be able to handle the gpu, especially 3000 series from nvdidia.

    Thanks, wasn't aware of this. From a quick read I should be ok there. I have should have PCIe 3.0 and sounds like there are only minimal gains (at best) to be had from PCIe 4.
  • SMARTSSMARTS Registered Users Posts: 11
    I’ve just added the following ready for next month

    32GB Corsair Vengeance PRO RGB 3200MHz (2x16GB)
    500GB Samsung 870 EVO SSD
    GPU Nvidia RTX 3060Ti

  • philosofoolphilosofool Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 917
    What resolution do you plan to play? Do you know your Power supply wattage? Can you open the side of you PC and take a clear picture of the spec sheet on the side of it?
  • HowTheStarsBurnHowTheStarsBurn Registered Users Posts: 658
    edited January 14
    Just doing a GPU will have minimal benefit. You should spend your money equally on the GPU and CPU, your CPU is ancient at this point, and you will also need a new motherboard for a new CPU. Total War is one of the games where CPU really matters. You should also have a SSD, which I'm guessing you don't currently. So, it's almost an entire new build, and probably should be close to 100%. If you can't get a GPU or other parts around MSRP, just do a prebuild, I know, I hate the idea too, but it's just better value right now.
  • RonNLRonNL Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 635
    I’m not sure if you willing to share but what is your budget?
  • DrazhoaththeAshenDrazhoaththeAshen Registered Users Posts: 461
    If you can't get a GPU or other parts around MSRP, just do a prebuild, I know, I hate the idea too, but it's just better value right now.


    This really need to be emphasized. It isn't popular, but given the current market (especially GPU) you may actually be better off going for a prebuilt PC. We live in weird times.

    That said, steer clear of the typical garbo brands that I will refrain from naming (I'm sure you know who they are. The proprietary junk they fill the case with gives them away.) Do a bit of homework and it will pay dividends. There are prebuilds out there with AMD Ryzen 5 5600X, NVMe, and RTX 3060s going for around $1k, last time I checked. That is strikingly good. Just make sure you do it through someone you trust/has a good reputation. It is easy to get had.

    Keep calm and praise Hashut
    Beautiful artwork by Matt Hancox
  • philosofoolphilosofool Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 917


    I know I'm gonna need to get a new GPU, i am prepared for that to hurt. I have two questions essentially.
    Am I likely to need to change the CPU or motherboard? what about other components. power supply?

    So I have;
    Processor: i7 3770K quad core processor which is 3.9Ghz out of the box,
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-7zzx-ud5h
    Ram:16GB - should be ok here I think. Although it is old ram and 4 sticks of 4 which may not be the best.

    Can I run a suitable GPU on such old hardware? and if so any tips on some to look out for? I don't need anything too fancy, just would like it to run in a stable way.
    Am I SOOL and just need to build a whole new machine?

    I know we concrete answers are hard without the sys req's but I'm hoping maybe some educated guesses based on game2 can be made. Any advice, guidance and pointers would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks.

    A lot depends on your budget and what you want out of the experience. Some people just want to play the game at medium settings, others want 75+ fps at Ultra @2160p.

    Another question is: would you rather drop $1500 for a great new rig or spend $700 for a mediocre card that isn't very good but will get you through the game with your present gear? GPUs are so crazy right now that you can practically get a whole new machine for ~$300-400 over what you would pay for the GPU alone. Basically, the miners have a price point and a solid rig sells for just a little than the scalpers charge for the card. You machine is old enough that if you like to play PC game some and you can afford it, the new rig route could be worth it.

    I think your processor and ram will be fine. You may experience some dips in FPS, but they shouldn't be too bad. I played TWW2 with a Ryzen 5 1600x and it was totally fine. The GPU was my bottleneck. 16GB is an ample amount of RAM.

    As far as additional components, an SSD is a must. Okay, "must" is an opinion... Your board supports SATA interface but not NVME, which is much faster. My old SATA SSD could load a campaign map in about 45 seconds. My new one takes a little under 20 seconds. A HDD can take for **** ever and I can't tell you how much I recommend an SSD for quality of life.

    GPU: I'm going to tell you right now that you will not find a good GPU for MSRP or even MSRP+25% right now. I wrote a computer script to hit BestBuy every 1 minute and notify me when they got cards in stock. I got the notifications but still couldn't get my hands on a card. I did not invent the idea to crawl Best Buy and other people actually invested money into winning that game. You can probably score a GTX1660 for about $500. It's an old card but it should be fine. For $650 to $700 you should be able to get a GTX 2060, which will be solid at 1080p. A 3060 looks like it's about $850 and will be a good card for awhile to come.

  • philosofoolphilosofool Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 917

    Just doing a GPU will have minimal benefit. You should spend your money equally on the GPU and CPU, your CPU is ancient at this point, and you will also need a new motherboard for a new CPU. Total War is one of the games where CPU really matters. You should also have a SSD, which I'm guessing you don't currently. So, it's almost an entire new build, and probably should be close to 100%. If you can't get a GPU or other parts around MSRP, just do a prebuild, I know, I hate the idea too, but it's just better value right now.

    Going from on board graphics to any dedicated GPU with 4GB of RAM would be a huge upgrade for the OP.
  • philosofoolphilosofool Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 917

    Just doing a GPU will have minimal benefit. You should spend your money equally on the GPU and CPU, your CPU is ancient at this point, and you will also need a new motherboard for a new CPU. Total War is one of the games where CPU really matters. You should also have a SSD, which I'm guessing you don't currently. So, it's almost an entire new build, and probably should be close to 100%. If you can't get a GPU or other parts around MSRP, just do a prebuild, I know, I hate the idea too, but it's just better value right now.

    Equal money on CPU and GPU makes no sense in the current market. A Ryzen 5600X is considered a premium gaming processor right now; it's $330. A GTX 1660, which is an ancient card, is like $450 right now. To get a solid card with reasonable future value is probably a 2060 and those go for around $650-700 right now. AMD cards are better for mining and not remotely price competitive. Even in a market with MSRP GPUs, most people aiming to game should spend approximately twice as much on a GPU as on a CPU. A $100 CPU and $200 GPU will get you much better performance than $150 for each. Same is true at $600 budget: a $400 GPU and $200 CPU will be much, much better than $300 on each. That's basically the difference, in a normal market, between a 60 an 70 series Nvidia card. Going from a 4 core Ryzen to 6 core Ryzen or a 4 core Intel will net you nowhere near the FPS benefit that a 60 to 70 will.

    In case you think I'm full of it, I went through several graphics cards on my old i5 750 and a couple on my Ryzen 1600x. Every card upgrade made a significant difference despite both procs being pretty mid-range when I got them and very old by the time I upgraded.

    In teh current market, with his current CPU and a $600 dollar budget, I would recommend ALL of that go to his card.





  • OldblackeyesOldblackeyes Registered Users Posts: 136
    Thanks for all the responses everyone. Really helpful stuff. I'm at work at the moment so lacking the time to respond properly I'll try and do a better job when I get in. Really just running the game on like medium would be fine for now, the I could maybe do a more serious upgrade when either I have a bit more saved up or hopefully prices come down. Not sure if that's going to happen though tbh.
  • AxiosXiphosAxiosXiphos Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 7,732
    My suggestion with total war computer upgrades is focus on the CPU not the GPU; these games are incredibly Processor intensive.
  • philosofoolphilosofool Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 917

    My suggestion with total war computer upgrades is focus on the CPU not the GPU; these games are incredibly Processor intensive.

    Are there actual tests to back this up? In my experience, changing graphics settings has a big impact on frame rate. Changing unit sizes doesn't as long as the graphics specs are managable for the graphics card in the first place.
  • drogarito92drogarito92 Registered Users Posts: 521
    Should I even bother buying 2x16 GB 2666 MHZ ram? I have RX 5600 XT with Ryzen 5 2600 processor and 2x 8GB ram 2666 MHz...
  • philosofoolphilosofool Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 917

    Should I even bother buying 2x16 GB 2666 MHZ ram? I have RX 5600 XT with Ryzen 5 2600 processor and 2x 8GB ram 2666 MHz...

    No. It will make no difference.

    If you don't have an SSD but do have $100 to spend, you should consider an SSD.
  • ITA_Vae_VictisITA_Vae_Victis Senior Member ItalyRegistered Users Posts: 1,869
    I think the important premise is that since the game has not been benchmarked yet or we even have any system requirements, it's really impossible to predict what is ideal to upgrade. It could become more CPU intensive than WH2 or it could stay the same, just like it could become more GPU-intensive or it couldn't.

    That said, even though it's pretty old your current CPU is not at all bad in the grand scheme of things, and the motherboard and RAM are also fine. If you want to upgrade anything, the first thing to look at is installing a proper GPU (because really almost anything will be substantially better than integrated graphics from 9 years ago). You could probably get away with running the game acceptably with something in the range of a GTX 970 / 1060 (as you can for WH2), but if you want to future-proof a bit more you could also go a bit above that and aim for something in the range of a GTX 1080 / 2070 / 3060 (which will absolutely let you play the game at mid-high settings without performance issues, unless CA **** up optimization for everybody and at that point you can't do much about it anyway). If you really have PCIE 3.0 on the motherboard, then any modern consumer GPU should work.

    Also, don't underestimate the matter of the PSU. Since GPUs consume a lot of energy, it's possible your PC was built without a dedicated GPU in mind and was consequently equipped with a low-Wattage PSU, so you might have to change that as well. For reference, right now your PC could easily be using around 200W to operate, and a GPU could easily double that depending on what you go for. With Wattage it's also always a good idea to leave a bit of a overhead, so don't aim for something that "just fits", because in real-life scenarios there are fluctuations and even if something could in theory barely work you might encounter issues. How much overhead is best practice to leave is not universally agreed upon, but I suggest to account for at least 20% (so if your PC should in theory consume 400W at peak usage, a 500W PSU should be safe).

    In regards to GPU prices: right now everything is crazy. Depending on where you live you might be paying 2-3x RRP for anything game-capable, or it might be hard to even find a good GPU to buy at all from a trusted store (Amazon, Ebay etc. are full of scammers profiteering from the desperate situation, be very very very careful if you buy something from there). The thing is, the situation won't likely change much in the near future, so if you are planning to play WH3 in the near future you might as well buy one now because there is no guarantee that even in 6 months prices will have gone down significantly.
  • Jman5Jman5 Registered Users Posts: 1,779
    edited January 14
    OP, you need a new system entirely.

    CPU definitely needs replacing as it's from 2012. The Motherboard is not compatible with more modern CPUs. If your GPU is from the same time period it almost certainly needs to be replaced. Your RAM is almost certainly DDR 3 and should be upgraded to DDR4 type (or DDR5 if you really want to be on the cutting edge. Just make sure you have a compatible motherboard). Harddrive as others mentioned should be upgraded to an SSD. You can find a 1 tb SSD on amazon for about 100 bucks. Whether you go NVME or SATA is honestly not going to make much difference in practical terms. Just make sure you're not being saddled with some crappy HDD mechanical harddrive.


    As others said, GPU is going to be a big hurdle as the market is a mess for those. If you're buying a pre-made system this won't be as big a problem, though you will be paying a premium for the GPU and assembly.
    Post edited by Jman5 on
  • philosofoolphilosofool Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 917
    Jman5 said:

    OP, you need a new system entirely.

    If OP only wants to play at medium, I don't really think this is true. I played TWW on a Core i5 750. Let's see, that processor would have been about 2008 or 2009. Core i7 processors are pretty powerful, even if they are as old as his. There's plenty of RAM there and RAM type makes very little difference for gaming.

    However, his ONBOARD graphics will need an update and this may require a new PSU. A potential big hurdle there is that sometimes the big manufacturers like HP and Dell use a custom PSU that isn't really compatible with anything. He will need to check whether he needs a new PSU.

    Any graphics card that scores aroung 1060GTX will probably do medium just fine. I played TWW2 on near Ultra settings (large units) with a GTX 970 and RX 480. A little choppy but playable... at 1440p. We don't really know what sort of improvements Ultra will see, but medium is going to be an issue.
  • Dragonsteel82Dragonsteel82 Registered Users Posts: 163
    edited January 14
    SMARTS said:

    I’ve just added the following ready for next month

    32GB Corsair Vengeance PRO RGB 3200MHz (2x16GB)
    500GB Samsung 870 EVO SSD
    GPU Nvidia RTX 3060Ti

    This guy is right.

    I have an older PC than you, and it runs fine. I'm on a 2600k processor and a 1070 gtx. I get about 50 fps on high and ultra graphics on a 1440p monitor.

    You should get a decent CPU cooler, either air tower or AIO. Like a Corsair h115 or noctua ds air tower. Overclock the cpu to 4.5 ghz like I did. You'll mostly be GPU limited anyway.

    Other option is to build a cheap 12400 system with a b series board. That will upgrade your platform right now, and ddr4 is cheap. Single thread is very good on alder lake and would be sufficient for a good while.

    Yes, a modern processor would be great, but anybody saying you have to upgrade your CPU is an idiot. Your CPU will run things fine, just not optimal. Don't splurge on anything over really a 3060ti performance, as your CPU will start effecting frame times.

    I'm going to upgrade at zen 4 when ddr5 becomes cheaper and Intel works on the memory controller from alder lake to raptor lake. Series 4000 Nvidia should launch then too and ideally the market cools down a bit.
  • KlausTheKatKlausTheKat Registered Users Posts: 587
    edited January 14
    You need a few upgrades if we are being really honest, both CPU and GPU, you also didnt mention (or i missed) what your game is stored on, SSD is leagues better than HDD, NVMe M.2 Drive is even better.

    With all that in mind, plus the current GFX card market... Get a new prebuilt. (I know I know..)

    I'm basically reiterating this post:

    Just doing a GPU will have minimal benefit. You should spend your money equally on the GPU and CPU, your CPU is ancient at this point, and you will also need a new motherboard for a new CPU. Total War is one of the games where CPU really matters. You should also have a SSD, which I'm guessing you don't currently. So, it's almost an entire new build, and probably should be close to 100%. If you can't get a GPU or other parts around MSRP, just do a prebuild, I know, I hate the idea too, but it's just better value right now.

  • OldblackeyesOldblackeyes Registered Users Posts: 136
    Again thanks everyone. Lot's to digest here. To answer a few questions, according to the manufacturers website the motherboard is PCIe3 but I will check the board to be sure. Im fairly sure ram is DD3
    I do actually have a SSD, although it is a bit small.

    I have both an SSD and HDD and both are nearing capacity, I need to buy new storage regardless, It's a music production PC and does that job just grand so it won't be getting retired.

    I did make sure to buy a PSU with a lot of extra capacity but then I wasn't planning on adding a GPU at the time and I know they are the biggest electricity hogs. I was unaware that some manufacturers forced you into using proprietary PSU's I'll have to keep an eye out for that. I should have the details of the PSU in paperwork somewhere, the PC is not really in a position where it's easy to open up at the moment. I could but I'm being lazy.

    There seems to be a divide between folks saying a new GPU should be sufficient and those saying a whole new rig is needed. I'm leaning towards just checking the benchmarks for TWWH2 and picking up a GPU around the 1060 range, maybe a little better and seeing how I get on. Maybe just because I'm being Cheap but budget is tight. I'm also thinking If it is insufficient I'll likely still be able to sell it on at close to what I payed. I'll know right away if it ain't gonna do the trick.
    that being said a careful cost-benefit of new rig vs GPU is probably in order.
  • Jman5Jman5 Registered Users Posts: 1,779
    edited January 14
    Do what works for your budget as that is obviously more important than any other concerns. However in general the CPU is the more important piece of hardware for Total War than GPU. Especially if you're still using a 1080p monitor.

    I'm just a little worried you're going to blow your budget on an overpriced GPU and not really see much gains because of the older motherboard and ancient CPU is bottlenecking everything.

    Of the things you mentioned, I would say the RAM is probably the least critical upgrade. I would rank it: CPU/Motherboard->GPU-> RAM.

    An alternative strategy which I am not certain is viable, is that instead of getting a CPU and GPU, you get a modern CPU with an integrated graphics chip (APU). Then you could hold off on a new GPU until the budget allows for it. Again, I have no idea if modern APUs can handle Total War as dedicated modern GPUs are much better, but it's worth exploring if your budget is tight. If I had to guess, I would say at best you would be looking at 30-40 fps 1080p with this approach.
  • brago90brago90 Registered Users Posts: 1,286
    Your processor is third generation, if you want to change something start there. If you do I recommend that you jump directly to the 12th generation of intel processors, this involves changing the motherboard due to the change in structure of those new processors.

    However, we are in a bubble so it may not be the best time to make updates...
  • OldblackeyesOldblackeyes Registered Users Posts: 136
    Nice. Good find. I was looking myself earlier but couldn't find anything that reached so far back into the ancient aeons of 2013. Funnily enough I've been looking at that GPU too. Fits my budget, benches slightly better than the 1060s from what I've seen and at a better price point, and you can actually buy them!
  • drogarito92drogarito92 Registered Users Posts: 521

    Should I even bother buying 2x16 GB 2666 MHZ ram? I have RX 5600 XT with Ryzen 5 2600 processor and 2x 8GB ram 2666 MHz...

    No. It will make no difference.

    If you don't have an SSD but do have $100 to spend, you should consider an SSD.
    I have an SSD but it's 480 gb. My motherboard does not support that faster NVMe version of SDD. So I was thinking about ram upgrade...
  • Dragonsteel82Dragonsteel82 Registered Users Posts: 163
    I follow PC hardware and benchmarks quite a bit.

    A new platform is good and would be nice. However, you do not NEED a new CPU.

    As I have iterated, you're better over clocking it with a decent cooler to get a performance uplift.

    If you do not overclock it, your leaving like 25 to 30% performance on the table, and depending on resolution, will start to see those frame time impacts.

    Again, I have an older CPU and platform and it still up and running just fine.

    As others said, a 12th gen alder lake with a ddr4 board is great, and would provide a new platform. The new CPUs would increase the lows on fps.

    You will get more out of a new GPU than anything.
  • OldblackeyesOldblackeyes Registered Users Posts: 136

    I follow PC hardware and benchmarks quite a bit.

    A new platform is good and would be nice. However, you do not NEED a new CPU.

    As I have iterated, you're better over clocking it with a decent cooler to get a performance uplift.

    If you do not overclock it, your leaving like 25 to 30% performance on the table, and depending on resolution, will start to see those frame time impacts.

    Again, I have an older CPU and platform and it still up and running just fine.

    As others said, a 12th gen alder lake with a ddr4 board is great, and would provide a new platform. The new CPUs would increase the lows on fps.

    You will get more out of a new GPU than anything.

    I do already overclock it up to 4.2ghz. Not sure it's really been necessary up til now.
Sign In or Register to comment.