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likwidneo
2012-10-24, 10:15 AM
So this is what my current rig looks like:

Intel Core2Quad Q8200 2.33 Ghz
Asus P5Q Deluxe Mobo (SATA 3GB PCI-Ex16 2.0 only)
WD Blue 80GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 3GB Boot Drive
Antec 650W PSU
vid card: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130448
2GB of Crucial DDR2 RAM. (Don't remember the clockspeed or other details, I had 4GB but one of the sticks died and I lost it in a fire shortly after)

As you can imagine, it does not run PS2 pretty well. I'm running it at bare minimum settings and the game looks so terrible I am genuinely discouraged from playing it much. My goal is to try to run it at default settings and 1920 x 1080 if possible without dropping under at least 24FPS in the bigger battles, 30FPS would be nice. I'm giving my hardware a little bit of an upgrade to get that done. Here's some of the stuff I'm looking at:

vid card: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130661

Boot Drive: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148442

6 additional GB of Ram: http://www.amazon.com/Crucial-Technology-CT2CP25664AA800-240-pin-PC2-6400/dp/B0011A4UZE/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=Z0QYLMIWZJF&coliid=IM45VQHR6E0UZ

http://www.amazon.com/Crucial-Technology-CT25664AA667-240-pin-PC2-5300/dp/B000FGD3WQ/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_S_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=Z0QYLMIWZJF&coliid=I7XUT7CUUMJQ2

I'm on a bit of a budget. Can't afford 4GB sticks of RAM otherwise I'd upgrade to 16GB. DDR2 Ram is expensive as sh*t now. Not sure if getting higher clockspeed/better quality RAM at this point is worth it given it's already an older system to begin with. The boot drive seems like a good option. And the vid card I'm not too sure on, that's already a bit more than I want to spend on a new vid card but from what I've already been recommended by reliable sources, anything less than that will be a marginal upgrade at best to the card I already have.

Also, for performance, should I consider upgrading to Windows7? I'm running WindowsXP SP3 atm. Does the game perform better on DX11 and if so will that performance offset the extra memory use by the OS? Right now my PC exists for one reason and one reason alone and thats PS2. So if it runs better on one OS than another I don't care about anything else. Any input would be appreciated.

P.S.: I'm probably going to start OCĂ­ng the CPU and getting a new fan/heatsink to cover it as well, although I'd rather avoid that if possible. Buying a new CPU/Mobo is out of the question on my budget currently.

Mutant
2012-10-25, 04:01 AM
1st off sorry to disappoint you but you wont be able to get 24 fps minimum in big fights with a Q8200 as your CPU.



Planetside wants at least 4 GB of usable ram so 6GB or more of ram with 64 bit windows is highly desirable. Since you are running dual channel system you need to have pairs of memory sticks so 2x2GB or 2x4GB kits are what you want. You wont use more than 8GB playing games.

For ram you will want to be running the sticks in matched pairs to run in dual channel mode. (making your current 2GB stick a bit useless).

DDR2 800 MHz would be fine (PC2-6400), At a min get a 2x2GB kit but try to get 2 2x2GB kits if you can. (they dont have to be the same brand just the same speed.)
There is loads selling 2nd hand atm, check ebay (http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_sacat=0&_from=R40&_nkw=ddr2+800&rt=nc).




For GPU Try to stretch to a GTX 660 ($220)- its 30%-50% faster than the GTX560Ti ($140) and is much more power efficient.

If you are already maxing out your budget I would drop the SSD to upgrade the GPU. The SSD wont effect your frame rate, only the initial loading times. Where as the GPU upgrade should be noticeable.




Ultimately you are going to be CPU bottle-necked almost all of the time, The added ram and new GPU will help things but i wouldn't expect any big changes. You should think hard about if its worth it to keep this system hobbling along.

likwidneo
2012-10-25, 06:40 AM
yeah actually i'm still running a 32 bit OS. If there's one thing I hate changing it's my OS. I ran on Win2k til like '07 or '08... But the question is should I get WinXP 64 for the reduced RAM usage or Win7 for DX11?

I didn't think my CPU would be that big of an issue... I'll have to look into it. What about throwing together a cheap system built around an i3 CPU? I haven't looked at specs but I'm guessing an i3 might be a step back from an 8200, but what do you think? If I built a new i3/i5 my 650w PSU should still be good right? My other big problem that I didn't mention is I've completely filled my 2 500GB HD's so I need to shell out more cash for extra storage and I've been putting it off for months, so this is starting to get expensive fast.

Vid card might not be too big of an issue. I'm probably holding off on all the big purchases til black friday/cyber monday so i might be able to get something sweeter, but I'm trying to keep that under $150 if possible. Here's hoping for a $99 GTX 660 on Black Friday! :(

Goku
2012-10-25, 11:12 AM
Here is what I would do.

You are extremely CPU bound right now. A new video card won't be do anything. Your mobo is decent, given you don't have much money overclocking is your best solution. Looking into a Coolermaster Hyper 212+ or EVO as they are cheap good coolers that will suit what you are doing.

You need more RAM ASAP. 4GB min is needed for this game. I don't even know how you are running this on 2GB. You are also probably running into a memory bandwidth issue from not running in dual channel from only having one stick.

In terms of the OS I would gun for Win 7 64-bit. XP is dead to me as far as I'm concerned, time to get with a more current OS. For the record PS2 doesn't use DX11 as far as I'm aware, so that will not net any performance boost.

In terms of a video card your system will probably start get bottlenecked by anything higher than a 560 Ti anyway for PS2. Unless you plan on getting a entire new system in a year I would settle on one of those, or find a great deal on a 660.

What is the actual amount of money you can spend on upgrading? Its hard to give specific parts if I don't have a budget to play with.

likwidneo
2012-10-25, 02:05 PM
Here is what I would do.

You are extremely CPU bound right now. A new video card won't be do anything. Your mobo is decent, given you don't have much money overclocking is your best solution. Looking into a Coolermaster Hyper 212+ or EVO as they are cheap good coolers that will suit what you are doing.

You need more RAM ASAP. 4GB min is needed for this game. I don't even know how you are running this on 2GB. You are also probably running into a memory bandwidth issue from not running in dual channel from only having one stick.

In terms of the OS I would gun for Win 7 64-bit. XP is dead to me as far as I'm concerned, time to get with a more current OS. For the record PS2 doesn't use DX11 as far as I'm aware, so that will not net any performance boost.

In terms of a video card your system will probably start get bottlenecked by anything higher than a 560 Ti anyway for PS2. Unless you plan on getting a entire new system in a year I would settle on one of those, or find a great deal on a 660.

What is the actual amount of money you can spend on upgrading? Its hard to give specific parts if I don't have a budget to play with.

I can run the game on bare minimum skeleton settings, but the moment i get into the big infantry fights the game is guaranteed to crap out on me within 2-3 minutes...

Budget I'm pretty flexible, I haven't set one per say I'm just trying to be conservative and am probably looking to pick up whatever offers I can get on Black Friday/Cyber Monday. But I shelled out $1500 for this rig a little over 3 1/2 years ago and I'm not ready to do something like that right now. My biggest research list is running at $655.93 so I guess we can call that the absolute maximum, but really I'm hoping Black Friday can keep me under $500, maybe even closer to $400 if possible.

As far as the OS, are you saying that PS2 will perform better on Win7 than XP? If it doesn't I wouldn't even bother with it otherwise, it's not an issue for me. I don't care about anything else.

These are the 2 options I'm looking at right now, one being a face lift built around the existing CPU/board and the other being a new CPU and board:

http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx?WishListNumber=20586405

http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx?WishListNumber=25550267

I've been consulting with a friend who's always been very reliable on hardware advice for many many years and both him and I don't understand whats the big issue with the CPU? Most modern games throw the heavier load of the calculations on the GPU's with the physX engines and what not. I know some of the older MMO's were very CPU intensive because they relied heavily on DirectDraw, but I figure in 2012 PS2 wouldn't be dealing with these issues? I can play just about any modern game on my machine without any problems beyond the occasional stutter with the RAM bottleneck...

brucethemoose
2012-10-25, 06:51 PM
Why is the GTX 560 still so popular?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814202004

Get that one. It costs the same, and is a whole faster. Nvidia's GTX 600 card in that price bracket would also be fine.

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/543?vs=549


Windows 8 just came out today, and it might actually be cheaper, and the game will run faster than on XP (as long as you add more RAM). Look into that.


It's really not that bad now, once you overclock your CPU, it'll be just fine. That PSU could handle 2 7850s and an OC'd CPU, don't even worry about that.

Goku
2012-10-25, 06:53 PM
Thats still a month away, so there really isn't any point in piecing something together now.

Are you located near any Micro Centers (http://microcenter.com/)? They have great in store combos, so that will save you $$$ right there.

We can at least figure out what you should be looking for (range of items), so you aren't going crazy looking for all the deals. If anything you probably will buy your rig parts piece by piece between Black Friday and XMas to get the best deals available.

Regarding the OS speed I doubt you will notice any difference between XP and 7 in terms of performance.

In terms of PS2. This game is extremely CPU bound. You are better leveraging yourself with a better CPU (i5) as opposed to a higher budget GPU/low budget CPU (i3). In terms of PhysX? I'm not really sure what you are thinking with that. There is only a handful of games that support GPU accelerated PhysX, so offloading calculations to the GPU to take load off the CPU doesn't apply to most games. There is CPU based PhysX also, but that doesn't have anything to do with the GPU as it can only be processed on the CPU. Other modern games that are still CPU bound is BF3 with 64 player and Skyrim. Neither of those are MMOs. I'm not saying your CPU is awful, but in more recent games that bring current hardware to its knees there will be noticeable difference. One reason your CPU has been so good is due to all the ports from console to PC holding back the hardware.

Mutant
2012-10-26, 03:46 AM
Goku hits the nail on the head, PS2 is unlike any other game for PC load.
From what I have seen there are two requirements of CPU loading for PS2;

You need a total CPU processing power over a given limit, The game uses many threads quite well, this total limit does not seem to high and the Q8200 prob is not far from it.

The other requirements seems to be that PS2 also requires a single thread to have a given amount of processing power (while PS2 uses quite a lot of threads well there is something in the code that just does not thread well - this is something connected to a lot of activity going on around)
The required single threaded performance is quite high to not suffer severe drops in fps.


So the problem with the Q8200 is that while it is a quad core the single threaded performance is quite low. It was mid/low end when it was released, having the lowest single threaded performance of any Intel CPU in that 2nd Core2 generation (The dual cores only went down to 2.53GHz)





This is what i would do if your really want to keep spending down (but i think a new system will provide better long term value);

Get Ram 4GB for < $50
Get cooler for < $25
Overclock your Q8200.

If you become GPU bound by a GPU, < $200 GTX660


The other lowish cost option is to upgrade your CPU to a Q9550 that would give you a 15-20% performance increase, It should just slot into your existing system but you will struggle to get one (2nd hand) under $100.

This might make the difference between <10 fps and ~15 fps in big fights.

likwidneo
2012-10-31, 09:01 PM
Well I took my machine over to my friends house this Saturday, popped some extra ram in it and did some bench tests and it actually held up very well. So I went ahead and bought a couple of sticks of DDR2, I'm up to 6GB now (PC-8500 btw) and I got 2 more on the way. The extra RAM made all the difference.

I hopped on Thebes earlier tonight and got into the big back and forth rumble at Zurivan. I am getting a solid 15-20 FPS at 1080p with max settings, 30FPS in the warp gate. St 1366x768 medium settings that number jumps up to 60FPS in the warp gate. I got into some very hairy situations with vehicle explosions piercing through large amounts of close quarters infantry fire on both sides and I still didnt dip below 10-12FPS, again with everything maxed out.

I'm probably going to do some fraps later this weekend just to make sure I wasn't seeing things with my FPS numbers, but overall it felt really, really smooth even at max settings, no stuttering or lag. I'm very confident at this point that my Q8200 is more than capable of running this game even maxed out and without overclocking, and the real workhorse for this game like most other modern games is not the CPU, but the GPU. I'm probably just going to shell out good money on a GPU on Black Friday and that will be all she wrote. If I'm lucky I might be able to pick up something like this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130687 on a killer deal.

Goku
2012-11-01, 09:08 PM
570 is a okay card, but is power hungry and over priced compared to what is out now. I would just stick to looking at the 7870, 7950, 660 (Ti). You're CPU is going to present a bottleneck on these cards in just about any game IMO. Not as much as PS2 though. Obviously there will still be a massive jump from what you have now.

mpbond
2012-11-09, 10:04 AM
go to microcenter before 11-11. Last weekend, I bought an i5-3570k for $169, a GA-Z77X-UD3H for $95, and 8GB of the DDR3 Samsung value ram for $48. I'm still using my GTX280 and I get around 45fps in combat with particles on high, rendering quality all the way up and everything else on low at 1920x1080.

You may have to talk to a manager to make them match their flyer price because it wasn't packaging out at the register.