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Computer Upgrade Advice

Computer Upgrade Advice

Howdy helpful Weavers!

I am about to upgrade a couple of parts on my computer and before I pull the trigger on the deal, was curious if anyone had misgivings on my choices. I'm planning on trying to order tonight.

Old gear was a GTX 250 and a 200 GB IDE hard drive (don't know how to check really, just what one of my computer friends said told me) BTW, all of my games and system are operating just fine, just have a bit of money set aside and want to upgrade.

The hard drive that my group of chronies are pushing me towards is "Any Western Digital Black series" and luckily they fall into my budget. I found two on Newegg, 1 TB and 2 TB at $110 and $180. I was told to "Not Bother" with Seagate ONLY because 2/4 friends recently have had multiple Seagate HD's fail. They know that it will happen to any companies HD, but are just a little gun shy. A question regarding the size difference, should I just spring the extra $70 and get the 2 TB? Price seems fine in my book, is there any technical reasons not to? Or have anyone experienced excessive problems with 2 TB HDs?

Here are the two HDs I was looking at for more in depth review if anyone cares to look.

The video card I am looking at is a GTX 650 TI. I was told to stay away from ATI(are they still called ATI?) cards solely based on recent driver problems my only ATI friend is having, though I'm told the bang for the buck goes to ATI these days. I was originally only gonna spend $100-$150 which I found the non TI version starting at $95, but it seemed so easy to just up my price point and get this one for $167.

OH, one question I have! When looking at the GTX 650 TI I see cards with 1GB or RAM and cards with 2GB of RAM with only a nominal price difference... Why is that?

Thanks in advance Myth-Weavers!

Make sure your motherboard has a free sata-slot available for that hard disk, and a free PCI express slot for that graphics card.
You can keep the old HD, as it takes an IDE slot your not using with the new HD anyway.

And more specifically you want to make sure that your MoBo supports the Sata 6.0 as opposed to the prior generation Sata 3.0 too!

Edit: Oh, and RAM is CHEAP! Thus pricing wise... there's not much difference. Bang for your buck you typically want to go for the one with more RAM onboard. *shrug*

Edit 2: On the ATI vs. "others" deal... I think its one of those phantom hardware preference wars that exists more than anything else. I've had ATI cards and supported machines with ATI cards, as well as others of course, and they've had no more or less driver compatibility issues than others. There have been a few rare cases of late breaking game updates taking a week or two to get applicable driver updates for the ATI hardware. Simply not upgrading to the new patch for the games or rolling them back as needed for that week or two always solves the problem.

There are a lot of games these days that have sprung up with ATI driver problems, which is probably where your friends are coming from. I've gone with NVidia the last decade and never had a problem, so if you do any gaming, that would be my suggestion.

As far as the card itself, sorry I can't say. I picked up a 560 recently which works beautifully, but I don't know how that 650 measures up alongside it. There are a lot of comparison websites though, if you're at all interested in looking them up. It never hurts to have more RAM on your card, but that 2 GB of RAM isn't going to do jack if your card's bus speed sucks ass. So inquire about that sort of thing (I'm not as tech-savvy as I'd like to be, so I don't want to keep rambling and accidentally give you bad advice).

How much actual RAM are you sitting on, what's your CPU, and which operating system are you using?

Funny, I picked up Borderlands 2, Guild Wars 2, X-Com, and a few others in the past six months and had no issues on 3 different ATI carded machines at all. Didn't have any issues with Skyrim, or other games last year either. Guess I got lucky? Edit: Are the games more in line with things like Call of Duty, Battlefield, etc.? I don't play any of those, simply not my thing.

The card RAM will still matter for onboard functionality so if you're playing games that use features of the card itself then regardless of the bus speed on it there is still typically an advantage. Since the price difference is so close to negligible there's no reason to not go with the one with more.

Also, if you really care about game speeds look into how to run your games out of a RAM disk. I've done it forever and other than explicit game saves to your hard disk it makes SUCH a difference. I've never bothered with SSDs because any time I care about that type of speed its a simple process to simply create a temporary RAM disk. *shrug*

*Shrugs* It's not an "always on/off" kinda thing. Some people have problems, and those problems tend to be related to ATI cards. Not every person has an issue, but whenever I hear the issues cropping up, it's always ATI cards that are struggling.

I'm not saying that card RAM is unimportant, and indeed there's no reason to get a lower RAM card of the exact same specs, assuming money isn't an issue. But there are plenty of cards that have more RAM, yet worse performance than the lower RAM cards, because their bus speed sucks ass. All I'm saying is to check into it, because the amount of RAM a card has is not the only factor in buying a new GPU.

True. I guess I was suggesting that all things being equal springing for the additional ram can't actually hurt and since the price difference is so small you might as well.

Originally Posted by Bbender View Post
Make sure your motherboard has a free sata-slot available for that hard disk, and a free PCI express slot for that graphics card.
Originally Posted by Ryfte View Post
And more specifically you want to make sure that your MoBo supports the Sata 6.0 as opposed to the prior generation Sata 3.0 too!
I meant to get my post up much sooner than a few hours before my purchase for things just like that. For whatever reason, I did not check to see if I had compatible hardware. No idea why, it's the most basic of computer buying... didn't even think of it.

Just got the pieces today(went with the 2 TB HD) and will see if they will work... being this dumb, it's a wonder I get anything right.

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