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Old 7th Jul 2016, 10:03 AM DefaultAdvice on Upgrading-for dummies. #1
joandsarah77
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@ajaxsirius I am making the post here like you suggested. Spin off to this one http://www.modthesims.info/showthre...5#startcomments

Main games I want to play are Sims 2 with heavy cc use and Skyrim.
I really need to be given a small handful of options. I have been shown pages and simply find it confusing, may as well be nuro surgery.

I am going to look into this SSD item as mentioned on the above thread.

Then wanted to know what else was poor? The CPU?


Then at some point I know I will need a new graphics card. I don't want to be told what the minimum cards are, I want something decent that will will give me good graphics without being ridiculous price. I don't mind paying a few hundred but looking online I see some cards are selling at thousands, who needs that? Right now the one I have is okay but I know it's old. I would like just a few recommendations that play nicely with sims 2 and Skyrim, not needing a lot of messing around with or configuring. Just something that can be easily replaced and have it work without moneying around with it.

I don't do any of this, I just want a small list to take to a tec friend who will do whatever is needed. Hubby can do a few tweaks but he doesn't know much about computers either.

PS I want to stick to Windows 7

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Old 7th Jul 2016, 10:24 AM #2
ajaxsirius
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Hi

So you should plan your computer around Skyrim since Skyrim +mods is A LOT more demanding that The Sims 2 + mods.

You have a handful of options, and you can choose according to your budget. The best option for you would be to buy a completely new computer. If you can wait a month or so, then do that since Nvidia (one of the two companies that makes gaming video cards) is launching a new card (called the GTX 1060) next week, and it sounds like it'll be great.

So ideally I'd recommend buying a completely new computer (keep the mouse, keyboard and maybe the monitor. Which monitor are you using?) and then selling off your old one as it's still quite suitable for web browsing and other home office applications.

If you can't or don't want to completely replace it, then the first thing you should upgrade is buying a Solid State Drive (SSD). SSDs are essentially the same as traditional Hard Disk Drives (HDDs) except they are much faster, have no moving parts and are more expensive. The SSD will help with your load times only however. They wouldn't make the game run smoother. It will help during CAS when you're loading textures, colors, clothes, meshes etc. In order to recommend a particular SSD to you, I need to know which motherboard you're using. Think of the motherboard as the spine or nervous system of your computer. I need the model number and the brand. You can get this by opening up your computer and taking a look inside. It's the big rectangular circuit board to which everything else is attached. The brand and model number should be prominently written on it. You can also just take a picture and post it here and I should be able to see it.

Once you have an SSD the next upgrade would be a graphics card. You mentioned having a 9800 GT. That's like... ancient. Again, I would recommend waiting until the GTX 1060 is available in Australia.

Feel free to ask any questions I haven't covered
Old 7th Jul 2016, 10:46 AM #3
joandsarah77
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We can't afford a new computer just now, we just moved shops and uncured a lot of extra expenses which is why I said I would look into this SSD. I thought new cards did not like sims 2? That is the most important game to run well.

Okay so SSD first. I know my card is rather old lol, but it's been a good card, never given me any issues, sims 2 looks nice, skyrim looks okay. I don't have many mods for skyrim, about 12 or so, it's sims 2 with the 10Gigs of downloads. The game lags a lot on large lots.


The monitor is a Dell, had it for years. Probably as old as the card.

Do either of those show the Motherboard? Hubby thought it might?

"I dream of a better tomorrow, where chickens can cross the road and not be questioned about their motives." - Unknown
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Old 7th Jul 2016, 10:52 AM #4
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Nope those don't show the motherboard. If you're on a budget, no worries. You can still buy an SSD now, and transfer it into a new computer later down the road if you decide to buy one.

Does your computer perform better when it's on smaller lots?
Old 7th Jul 2016, 10:58 AM #5
joandsarah77
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So anything else that is poor? I will try and see if hubby has time in the morning to take the side off. Will a picture taken with an ipad do? I have a box, but from last time I posted, the motherboard I have is not the same as the box I have, my friend must have just carried parts in it or something.

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Old 7th Jul 2016, 11:06 AM #6
ajaxsirius
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joandsarah77
So anything else that is poor? I will try and see if hubby has time in the morning to take the side off. Will a picture taken with an ipad do? I have a box, but from last time I posted, the motherboard I have is not the same as the box I have, my friend must have just carried parts in it or something.


The lag may be caused by your graphics card, but that's hard to say for sure. From what I can tell your card only has 0.5GB of Video Memory. Lack of memory may be what's causing the lag. I'd still recommend getting the SSD first though, since it will provide a boost regardless since it affects a different part of your computer than the graphics card.

If you still get lag after installing the SSD then next step would be to get a new graphics card.

A photo of the motherboard with an ipad should be fine as long as there's proper lighting. The box won't do since it doesn't match what's inside your computer.
Old 7th Jul 2016, 11:09 AM #7
joandsarah77
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The box is a ASUS which I think is the same brand. Hopefully I can get that in the morning if dh doesn't have to leave early. It's 7pm now he doesn't want to do it now plus I have my game loaded.

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Old 7th Jul 2016, 2:32 PM #8
marka93
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Ok it comes down to how much do you want to spend on your computer for upgrades.

Your CPU is just above the min to run Skyrim and as far as a video card goes I would look for any of the Nvidia 660, 760, 860 or 960 you could go with either a 460 or 560 but if you do go with the 2 Gb for 460 and 3Gb on the 560 but make sure there brand new.
Like I said in the other thread I have no knowledge on the 10 series of cards.

Now if you have a high budget then go with Nvidia 680, 780, 880 and 980 cards or higher.

Getting an SSD drive means you will start all over by installing your OP system and updates and games again, yes an SSD drive will boot up your computer in under 1 min but I have seen no increase in starting up my Sims 2 game at all but you having a lot of CC's may see a slight increase in load time.
Soon I will go back to my normal hard drive because I don't really like my set up at this time.

All my Beginning Hoods here at MTS. http://www.modthesims.info/member.php?u=7749491
All my Beginning Hoods as Shopping Districts plus Old Town. http://www.modthesims.info/download.php?t=523417
MooVille, a tribute to Mootilda and her fabulous lots http://www.modthesims.info/download.php?t=534158
Old 7th Jul 2016, 4:47 PM #9
ajaxsirius
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marka93
Your CPU is just above the min to run Skyrim and as far as a video card goes I would look for any of the Nvidia 660, 760, 860 or 960 you could go with either a 460 or 560 but if you do go with the 2 Gb for 460 and 3Gb on the 560 but make sure there brand new.
Like I said in the other thread I have no knowledge on the 10 series of cards.

Now if you have a high budget then go with Nvidia 680, 780, 880 and 980 cards or higher.

Getting an SSD drive means you will start all over by installing your OP system and updates and games again, yes an SSD drive will boot up your computer in under 1 min but I have seen no increase in starting up my Sims 2 game at all but you having a lot of CC's may see a slight increase in load time.
Soon I will go back to my normal hard drive because I don't really like my set up at this time.


I would be very wary of recommending older cards such as the 600 and 700 series. This is especially true for 400 and 500 series. The 800 series does not exist for desktop cards. The older 600 and 700 series perform worse than their 900 series counterparts (compare GTX 760 to 960, GTX 770 to GTX 970 etc.), and should ideally be cheaper. However the retail prices of unopened cards is rarely adjusted to keep them competitive. Let's look at the GTX 670s, 770s and 970s for example.

In Australia the GTX 770 retails for about 430 AUD (eg. #1, #2). Where as the GTX 970 retails for about 500 AUD (eg. #1, #2). I couldn't even find any GTX 670s online new. Forget about 470s and 570s. So a retail GTX 770 is ~14% cheaper than a GTX 970, but it's atleast 20% slower (sometimes even 30% slower #1, #2, #3 ). Not only that but it has less lifetime. Nvidia is going to stop supporting the GTX 770 before it stops supporting the GTX 970. The GTX 770 has less features, generates more heat and noise. It consumes more power. Why would you pay more for something slower?

The only reason to get a GTX 770 over a GTX 970 is if you can get a good deal. And to get that you would have to buy used, and you would have to go hunting. At that's not something that someone like Jo is gonna do or is equipped to do. She would need to go see the sellers, assess the condition of the card. Test the card. Negotiate the deal. Install it after. All a seller has to do is say something like "I paid 500 AUD for this, I'll give it to you for 400. No? 350, final offer." It would be worth 200 at best.

As for the SSD you wouldn't necessarily have to re-install the OS. You could add it as an independent drive and only install The Sims there and Redirect The My Documents folder to a new folder on the SSD (open Properties of "My Documents" folder on the HDD, go to the location tab and choose the "Move..." option).
Last edited by ajaxsirius : 7th Jul 2016 at 5:01 PM.
Old 7th Jul 2016, 6:27 PM #10
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Where I am at I can still get brand new 660 - 990 cards and that is why I said only buy the 460 or the 560 brand new cards for people who don't have the funds for the higher price cards.

Yes the 600 series cards are harder to find but they still play Skyrim great for a 660 card and on very high graphics and I do use the high texture packs for Skyrim using the Nvidia GTX 660 card.

I also said this up in my post
Quote:
Now if you have a high budget then go with Nvidia 680, 780, 880 and 980 cards or higher.


I jumped between the 660 to a 970 card my self so I did not know that no desktop 800 series are out there.

If you buy a brand new card where I am at the manufacturer has to honer the warranty of that card no matter when it was sold or when they stop supporting said card for software.

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All my Beginning Hoods as Shopping Districts plus Old Town. http://www.modthesims.info/download.php?t=523417
MooVille, a tribute to Mootilda and her fabulous lots http://www.modthesims.info/download.php?t=534158
Old 8th Jul 2016, 12:02 AM #11
joandsarah77
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Dh says he will open it tomorrow because he needs a new hose for his air compressor and he says if he's opening the side he wants to be able to dust it. So I will back with a picture of the motherboard tomorrow.

Gummi said something about using an SSD and imaging? Was that the correct word? So I would not need to reinstall. I am nervous about reinstalling since last time I only got my no cd mod to work on what I thought was a fluke. I own all the disks, two sets actually but I want to keep them nice and keep sucurom off.

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Old 8th Jul 2016, 1:09 AM #12
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I think you may be better off "cloning" rather than taking an "image" of the HDD onto your SSD. Meaning exact file-to-file copies of your entire HDD. The idea of cloning is that by making an exact copy of all your files from the HDD to the SSD, you should be able to boot up your computer from the SSD afterwards just be switching the cables. The system should be able to find all the data it needs in the correct directories without an issue.

Imaging will make one big zip-type archive file (not ".zip" files, but a file format akin to an archive) of the contents of your HDD. It's used for backup purposes if your HDD becomes corrupt.

Now how to clone the disk, ask your tech friend to do it. Like I mentioned in the previous thread, I had a CD with software that was able to clone my old HDD onto the new SSD. Now, hopefully this link shows up at your end in Australia?

Kingston SSDNow V100 128GB

As I mentioned also, it's an okay SSD, not top of the line, it does the job just fine. For a long-term investment, I'd recommend Samsung 850 PRO. You can probably get a 256gb version in order to have sufficient space to expand your compulsive hoarding collection of custom content.

There are models of Samsung's SSDs that end in "PRO" or "EVO". The PRO versions are supposed to last longer, in terms of the number of times your can read and write data.

Check out my latest version of Superman's Classic Uniform for The Sims 2.
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Old 8th Jul 2016, 1:26 AM #13
joandsarah77
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I will take a list to my tec friend and (it's helpful if I have the correct words) and ask him if he can do what is needed. Also I will leave it to him to buy the stuff since he can get it cheaper, he use to work for microsoft.

That links shows. hehe, compulsive hoarding is correct, I have files all over the place, cc and backups going back to 2007. I think the poor guy nearly has a heart attack anytime he sees my computer.

Something mid range is probably best. PRO, okay.

"I dream of a better tomorrow, where chickens can cross the road and not be questioned about their motives." - Unknown
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Old 8th Jul 2016, 2:13 AM #14
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Forgot to mention that for the price, EVO is less expensive than PRO models. The EVO models have higher market share, and in terms of read/write speeds, they're about the same. So the main differences are the durability of the PRO over the EVO, and 6gb more space in the PRO vs. EVO.

Check out my latest version of Superman's Classic Uniform for The Sims 2.
See what images I have posted on DeviantArt as well related to The Sims 2 and designs.
Also check out My Website to see my superhero uniform creations for The Sims 2. THANKS!!!
Old 8th Jul 2016, 2:19 AM #15
joandsarah77
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Shows as only being about $70 there http://www.newegg.com/global/au/Pro...CFQsDvAodDqgJWQ Where does it show up as Pro though?

"I dream of a better tomorrow, where chickens can cross the road and not be questioned about their motives." - Unknown
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Old 8th Jul 2016, 2:28 AM #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joandsarah77
Shows as only being about $70 there http://www.newegg.com/global/au/Pro...CFQsDvAodDqgJWQ Where does it show up as Pro though?
Oh I was talking about the Samsung 850 PRO seen here vs. the Samsung 850 EVO here.

Check out my latest version of Superman's Classic Uniform for The Sims 2.
See what images I have posted on DeviantArt as well related to The Sims 2 and designs.
Also check out My Website to see my superhero uniform creations for The Sims 2. THANKS!!!
Old 8th Jul 2016, 2:38 AM #17
joandsarah77
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Okay I see PRO and EVO on the names there. I thought $70 seemed really cheap. I would always spend a bit extra and get something better.

I opened your first link, took the name and Googled Australian-shopping and that's what popped up, the $70 one.

If I tell him that name and pro I'm sure he can get that or something comparable, we may have different brands etc over here. It's more making sure I know the correct type of thing to ask for then an exact brand. Some things have expensive shipping which I want to avoid.

"I dream of a better tomorrow, where chickens can cross the road and not be questioned about their motives." - Unknown
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Old 8th Jul 2016, 6:17 AM #18
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Hey Jo,

Since your motherboard is most likely from 2009 era just like the rest of your parts, there is a chance that you have one of the slower SATA-II ports. If that's the case there's no point in getting the "Samsung 850"s and it would make more sense to go with the cheaper "Kingston SSDNow" series. That's why I wanted to checkout your motherboard.

SATA-I, SATA-II and SATA-III are basically just names given to standardized ports. So any device labelled "SATA-III" will be able to connect to a "SATA-III" port on your motherboard (if you have one) using a "SATA" cable. SATA-III is faster than SATA-II and SATA-II is faster than SATA-I. They are also generally backward compatible, which means you can connect older devices to new ports and vice-versa, although they will operate at the slower speed.

If your motherboard has only the older SATA-II ports, you'd be limited to 300Mbps max. That's half the max read speed of a Samsung EVO and 2/3 the max read speed of a Kingston SSDNow. So there wouldn't much benefit from paying extra for the faster Samsung EVO since both cards would be capped at 300Mbps anyway.

Like I mentioned previously, if you want to avoid a re-install and all the imaging shenanigans that's doable. You could add the SSD as an independent drive and only install The Sims there and Redirect The My Documents folder to a new folder on the SSD (open Properties of "My Documents" folder on the HDD, go to the location tab and choose the "Move..." option).
Old 8th Jul 2016, 9:58 AM #19
joandsarah77
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He had no time today to get this hose so yeah... tomorrow I hope.

I think I may have had 2 motherboards, but I'm not sure. I have had this one quite awhile. My c drive is rather full is that why it's loading slowly? I recently added sim city 4 to it as well. My game is installed on the D drive that was put in a couple of years ago. Guess we will know more once I can get a picture of it.

"I dream of a better tomorrow, where chickens can cross the road and not be questioned about their motives." - Unknown
~Call me Jo~
Old 9th Jul 2016, 11:34 AM #20
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Okay so it's going to be longer, he checked the air compressor this morning and the dogs have chewed the lead, so we need to get a new one. It's Sunday here tomorrow, so it will be Monday before he can get one.

"I dream of a better tomorrow, where chickens can cross the road and not be questioned about their motives." - Unknown
~Call me Jo~
Old 9th Jul 2016, 4:17 PM #21
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Ok. Does your husband know how to boot the PC into BIOS? he could get it from there.
Old 10th Jul 2016, 12:16 AM #22
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He says "Do you turn it off, start it and hit F12?"

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Old 10th Jul 2016, 12:32 AM #23
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@joandsarah77

Here, try this link from Crucial.com.

Download the Crucial System Scanner, save it to your Desktop, then execute the scan of the file. It will tell you about your motherboard and chipset.

I think the point your husband was trying to get at was that when the computer turns on, there are lines of information on a black screen that have options leading to the BIOS. The F12 option is one of the ways that you could get into the BIOS, but that varies from system to system. My system says to hit DEL (the delete key) to enter the BIOS. All of this occurs before the operating system loads up and starts.

Check out my latest version of Superman's Classic Uniform for The Sims 2.
See what images I have posted on DeviantArt as well related to The Sims 2 and designs.
Also check out My Website to see my superhero uniform creations for The Sims 2. THANKS!!!
Last edited by d_dgjdhh : 10th Jul 2016 at 1:36 AM.
Old 10th Jul 2016, 4:28 AM #24
joandsarah77
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Thanks, I thought it was an ASUS since that was the same brand I had before.


"I dream of a better tomorrow, where chickens can cross the road and not be questioned about their motives." - Unknown
~Call me Jo~
Old 10th Jul 2016, 4:51 AM #25
ajaxsirius
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Yea I was right. If that's the motherboard you have then you only have the slower SATA-II connectors. In that case you should at some of the cheaper SSDs like the Kingston SSDNow series.

Some other brands you can look at and shop prices for:

Crucial BX100 250GB
MyDigitalSSD BP5e 240GB
OCZ Trion 150 240GB
PNY CS2211 240GB
SanDisk Ultra II 240GB
 


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