Dec 23, 2020
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Hello,

I just discovered this forum and am new to gaming PCs in general. Thank you in advance for any help!

Background - for the past couple months my 10 year old son has been using a gaming PC rather than Xbox to play Minecraft. He likes to play PvP games on servers with add-on texture packs. He's really fast with his mouse clicking "jitter clicking" but the system can't always keep up and will not place a block when he is bridging, resulting in falling into the void. He has figured out how to run an FPS tracker and it will usually be in the 100-200 range, but will occasionally drop into the 20s, which is when he falls.

The PC came with a i7 4770k processor, which, from my research is not the bottleneck. It appears the GTX 745 graphics card is. I've included a link to HP's site with specs for my system if that helps. Mine has the 32 gb RAM option and a 3 TB HDD.

I've purchased an MSI GTX 1650 GPU to upgrade performance. I also bought an upgraded PSU with a Corsair CX 650 watt 80+ bronze rated unit.

Best estimate, I know no guarantees, will this help performance and is it doable without changing other components? Trying not to spend too much as we are making a build list for a from-scratch gaming PC that we will start buying components for once the rtx 3080 is available (at MSRP). Thinking this upgrade will be good practice for us.

https://support.hp.com/us-en/document/c04451476

Thanks again!
 

QwerkyPengwen

Splendid
Ambassador
as stated, your upgrades are fine.
As long as the PSU is of good build quality (the 80+ rating has no bearing on this) and you know that both the PSU and the GPU can fit inside the prebuilt case (usually space is very restrictive) then those are the only two upgrades you NEED.

As for an additional upgrade you can consider at some point, is adding an SSD into the system and backing up important data, then wiping both drives and installing windows clean onto the SSD and making it your boot drive and minecraft drive with everything else going onto the HDD (can easily get by with a fairly cheap 240/250/256GB SSD)
 
Certainly the GTX745 was indeed keeping performance in the mud. Entry level GPU even 8 years ago!

A GTX1650 should now allow very good to adequate performance in most games at 1080P with varying levels of detail, depending on the game's complexity/level of available quality.
 

QwerkyPengwen

Splendid
Ambassador
as stated, your upgrades are fine.
As long as the PSU is of good build quality (the 80+ rating has no bearing on this) and you know that both the PSU and the GPU can fit inside the prebuilt case (usually space is very restrictive) then those are the only two upgrades you NEED.

As for an additional upgrade you can consider at some point, is adding an SSD into the system and backing up important data, then wiping both drives and installing windows clean onto the SSD and making it your boot drive and minecraft drive with everything else going onto the HDD (can easily get by with a fairly cheap 240/250/256GB SSD)
 
Dec 23, 2020
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Thank you for quick replies! I like the SSD idea, too. Thing takes forever to boot. This is all new to me - sure I can get it figured out though.

Any sage advice for a first-timer? We've been watching YouTube videos on PC building so getting a feel for it, but definitely no substitute for experience!
 

QwerkyPengwen

Splendid
Ambassador
chances are your pre built machine doesn't support the M.2 connection on the motherboard (seeing as how it has a 4th gen Intel CPU) so a 2.5" form factor SSD would be what you go with, especially since chances are, there is an empty drive cage slot inside the system where you can mount it.

And SSD will load windows a lot faster, and make everything a bit more responsive.

Doesn't need to be the most high end thing though.
right now you can get the Kingston A400 240GB SSD for $26 on Amazon (best price/lowest cost SSD at 240GB+ on PCPP right now as well and it's a quality enough drive)

As for the process of doing a clean install, you can come back to the forums to get more specific instructions by all means when the time comes.

A general guide can be found here

Best advice to go along with the tutorial is this:
Install the SSD.
Load up the windows installer and go to custom install like the tutorial says.
Then, delete all partitions on the HDD.
Turn off PC, disconnect power cable, hold power button for 10 seconds.
Then unplug one end of the cable that connects the HDD to the motherboard.
Then get the PC booted up again, and install to the SSD.

The reason for removing any other storage devices when installing Windows is so that you keep it from installing the MBR to a drive other than the one you are installing Windows to.

If you end up getting the MBR installed on a different drive, then what happens is, in the event that this other drive dies, or you just remove it or whatever, and it's no longer in the system, then your installation of Windows won't boot because now the MBR is missing since it was on that other drive (MBR stands for Master Boot Record)

Other than this little thing, use the guide I linked for installing Windows clean.
Make sure to back up important data (like documents, pictures, etc. basically anything that you will lose forever if you don't back it up. use a cloud service if you need to for backup. plenty of them available. Google Drive, Microsoft One Drive, Dropbox, Mega, etc.)

Here is the SSD. normally $35, currently discounted to $26
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N5IB20Q
 
Dec 23, 2020
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Hey everyone, thank you so much for the support. The new PSU and GPU are installed.

Only hiccup we had was I missed the PCI connection to the GPU first go-around, but luckily side panel on HP easy on and off. Translating the mess of wires from the proprietary PSU for the HP to the Corsair took a minute, but actually very intuitive once you spend a minute.

On userbenchmark site our graphics rating went from 10th percentile (tree trunk haha) to 39th percentile (sail boat) and overall PC rating rating went from 49th to 60th. It appears the old i7 4770k processor is still holding it’s own! More importantly, gameplay much better for my son! Unless he ropes me into a multiplayer using my laptop, about the only thing I play is the original Diablo on gog so I didn’t need the upgrade!

256 gb Crucial 2.5” SSD is ordered. May be coming back for help on that one!

Thanks again, great forum.
 

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