Where to spend my money to upgrade.

Dec 13, 2018
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Hello everyone,

Long time lurker, first time posting. Thanks for all you guys do, I have fixed a lot of problems reading these forums.

I have attached an image of my current pc specs. I took my wife's old office computer, put in a power 650w power supply and a 1gb Ati radeon HD 6850 gpu I had laying around in it.

I know it is a far cry from a gaming PC, but I only care to run a couple of racing sims. Mainly; Project Cars 1, maybe 2, Nascar 15, and if at all possible iracing. I have Project Cars 1 installed right now and it runs, even with trackir running in the background. It is on medium settings, and that is good enough for me. I do however get drops in framerates occasionally when many cars are on the screen, for instance at the start. It is playable, but I wouldn't mind a bit smoother gameplay.

Finally my question, considering I know very little about motherboards and processors and ram. Is there any upgrades that can help this system, short of buying a whole new motherboard and processor and building a new system?

Thanks in advance. I realize that the photo doesn't specify the motherboard model, I will have the pc open tonight, and I will see if I can find out anymore info.

Victor



PC Spec Photo
 
Dec 13, 2018
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Sorry I tried to post a photo with the specs but it didn't show up. Can I post a photo as a new user? I shared the link to it above via dropbox. I will try a different upload site.

Edit: Ok looks like I got it. As for how much to spend, I'd like to keep it under $250, much more than that I figure I might as well save up $600 or so and buy one of the used systems I keep seeing on local marketplace sites.



 

jwcrellin

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Dec 3, 2016
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That cpu temp is really high. I think you're running into a processor bottleneck not a gpu one. It's thermal throttling.
Used systems can be a sketchy purchase unless you know what to look for rather than the sales fluff they try to lay on top.

The cheapest way to improve the performance would probably be to replace the thermal paste on your cpu. Would you be comfortable doing that procedure?
 
Dec 13, 2018
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Yes, I have replaced a CPU on a motherboard including cleaning off the old thermal paste and re-applying. I will do that this weekend. Do you think I have done any damage to the CPU or does it throttle itself to keep from that happening?

Thanks for the reply!
 
Dec 13, 2018
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Since I am pulling the CPU fan anyway is there a CPU that will be a worthwhile upgrade? Or can you not tell since the motherboard just says a generic "lenovo" from the scan?
 

jwcrellin

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Dec 3, 2016
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You are correct, that motherboard has an FM2 socket. Any aftermarket cooler that says FM2 on it will have identical mounting system. Some coolers will require you to install a backplate, which would mean pulling the motherboard out of the case, at least partially. Realistically though you're main concern will be the height of the cooler. The most popular cheaper tower style cooler, the hyper 212 evo, will probably be too tall to fit in your case with the side panel on. You should measure the distance between the cpu face and the case side panel and shop for coolers shorter than that.
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835856118
This one may work as it is pretty petite.
 
Dec 13, 2018
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Thanks, but I was actually asking if there was a actual processor upgrade that would be worth buying for this motherboard.
 
Dec 13, 2018
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Ok, thanks for your advice so far! If I move to a motherboard and processor with a newer architecture, what would you recommend at around $250? Also would I have to replace the ram as well?
 

jwcrellin

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Dec 3, 2016
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Yes all newer platforms use ddr4 ram which in the current climate will use up a good chunk of your budget. However, ram prices are currently falling fast. Just 6 months ago a 16gb kit would run you over $140, whereas today, they can be found near $100. Waiting until Jan or Feb will likely save you another $5-$10.

To upgrade to AMD's newest socket AM4 you'd want to look at a Ryzen 3 2200G, Asus B450 Micro ATX motherboard, and 8gb of DDR4 3000 Vengence LPX ram(1 8gb stick is cheaper than a 2x4gb kit atm).

Edit: if you have the extra $65, I'd very highly recommend stepping up to the ryzen 5 2600 over the 2200g. If not, the 2200g is a great budget cpu and MILES better than your current one.
 

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