Upgrading my PC to run Diablo 3 better

TeamBelmont404TeamBelmont404 Registered User
I'm not terribly experienced dealing with the guts of a computer other than changing RAM and just recently upgrading my GPU, so I'm a little lost trying to research a good CPU to upgrade to. So far I've figured out that an i5 or i7 is not an option without also upgrading my motherboard, which I'm not prepared to do at this point due to a limited budget and lack of experience. Baby steps!

My current system specs are as follows:

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Asus P5K-VM mobo (Socket 775)
BIOS Date: 06/07/07 20:42:24 Ver: 08.00.12
Intel Core 2 Duo CPU E4500 @ 2.20GHz
AMD Radeon HD 6750
6GB of RAM (2x2GB and 2x1GB) (I'm assuming it's DDR2 based on mobo specs)
500w PSU (I don't remember the model offhand)
Running in 1440x900 resolution

I upgraded from an AMD Radeon HD 3850 to my currently listed graphics card thinking that was holding the system back, only to realize I mis-read the recommended requirements for the CPU (Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz for Diablo 3.) The graphics are sharper now but I'm still getting single digit framerates when a lot of physics happens in multiplayer. I also have a sneaking suspicion that the Radeon HD 6750 isn't completely an upgrade from a 3850 although I have no idea in what way.

I'm open to other suggestions, but right now I have my eye on an Intel Q8300 Core 2 Quad Processor (2.5GHz.)
So what I'm wondering is this:
Asus lists a required BIOS of 0902. How does that correspond to the version number 08.00.12? Am I comparing the wrong numbers?
Do I need to consider my PSU wattage for this?
If I'm not planning on overclocking do I need to get a new fan or can I reuse my old one?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Posts

  • urahonkyurahonky Dayton, OHRegistered User regular
    Why are you looking into the BIOS? I doubt that has anything to do with what's going on. But you're on the right track: your processor is the reason it's not running smoothly, and that Quad Core will certainly help fix that.

    I have an Intel Core 2 Duo E7400 and it runs like a champ.

  • baronfelbaronfel Registered User regular
    So I'm tending to think that your limiting factor is the CPU in this case. Let me share some links with you.

    First, we have a general graphics card tier list from Tom's Hardware. Their recommendation is that you not upgrade GPUs unless the new one is two tiers higher than your old one. Based on this, it appears it was time to upgrade for you, which you have done. Your upgrade was the equivalent of 5 tiers.

    For actual GPU numbers, take a look at this comparison, also from Tom's Hardware:
    high%201920.png

    Your card will be slightly below the 6770, which is already a champ, and you're running the game at a lower resolution. So by all reports, your GPU is fine.

    This leads me to believe that your CPU is the one bringing you down.

    As for your other questions, BIOS upgrades are nice, but often not necessary unless they fix a specific problem you were having. Your PSU wattage is fine, you have plenty of headroom. For slight overclocks you should be fine, as the intel fans are generally good coolers, just loud.

  • TeamBelmont404TeamBelmont404 Registered User
    Thanks for the advice!

    My main concern right now is making sure whatever CPU I get is compatible with my current setup.

    The BIOS didn't come up as a concern for me until I was looking up the specifications for my motherboard here. I noticed a CPU support list and found the Q8300 on that list with the stipulation that it has been supported since BIOS 0902. Incidentally, the E7400 urahonky mentioned also calls for the same BIOS version. I want to avoid doing anything with the BIOS since I've heard it can be pretty hazardous to the motherboard. Is it better to just install the CPU and see if it works fine with the current BIOS before trying to flash it?

    Does your pest control company have a plan for the undead? Call Team Belmont!
  • TychoCelchuuuTychoCelchuuu PIGEON IndiaRegistered User regular
    Doing BIOS stuff is not "hazardous to the motherboard." You just need to flash your BIOS to the latest version (or to at least 0902) if you want to use those CPUs, because they probably came out after your motherboard did so you need to update the BIOS so it knows how to use the CPUs. ASUS mobos particularly are super easy to flash, I think, at least if they still support EZFlash.

  • floobiefloobie Registered User regular
    edited June 2012
    Are you getting the Q8300 for really cheap or something? Replacing a motherboard really isn't particularly difficult or expensive. Just unplug everything, take the old one out, screw the new one in, and plug everything back in. And, going from a Core 2 Quad to even an i5 2500K would make a pretty massive difference. The former strikes me as a band-aid solution, while the latter strikes me as something you can comfortably hold onto for a few years. If this is a budget issue, fair enough. But, if you're only put off by the perceived difficulty of the job, I'd reconsider.

    But, indeed, if the physics effects in Diablo III are causing major slow-downs, that is a sign that the processor isn't keeping up.

    floobie on
  • chr1sh4ll3ttb3chr1sh4ll3ttb3 A dagger in the dark is worth a thousand swords in the morningRegistered User regular
    I had a P5B-VM motherboard, and had to flash it to upgrade from a 1.8 Ghz Core 2 Duo to a 2.4 Ghz Core 2 Quad. It had to do with the different processor microarchitectures, apparently. The original processor was a 65 nm chip, whereas the upgrade chip (given to me for free by Mr Monroe, and I just recently passed it on to Lindsay Lohan) was a 45 nm chip.

    The BIOS flash was simple as pie. I personally had to download the new firmware to an empty USB, then boot into the BIOS setup screen, insert the USB stick, select EZYflash and press enter.

  • GaslightGaslight Registered User regular
    The original processor was a 65 nm chip, whereas the upgrade chip (given to me for free by Mr Monroe, and I just recently passed it on to Lindsay Lohan) was a 45 nm chip.

    This warms my cold, gnarled heart.

    bowen wrote: »
    The bacteria in your poop exist everywhere.
  • TeamBelmont404TeamBelmont404 Registered User
    ASUS mobos particularly are super easy to flash, I think, at least if they still support EZFlash.
    I looked into it and my mobo does indeed support EZFlash. Huzzah! Also, I will have to update it as my revision is 0401.

    floobie wrote: »
    If this is a budget issue, fair enough. But, if you're only put off by the perceived difficulty of the job, I'd reconsider.
    Part of it is the perceived difficulty (which I'm realizing isn't that bad,) but mostly it's the budget. My original budget was spent on the graphics card, and now the CPU that I get is going to be a birthday present. Asking for a mobo on top of that would be too much, not to mention I would possibly have to replace my DDR2 RAM with DDR3. I will have to make do with just this one thing until I have more disposable income.

    The BIOS flash was simple as pie. I personally had to download the new firmware to an empty USB, then boot into the BIOS setup screen, insert the USB stick, select EZYflash and press enter.
    It's a relief to know that's all it takes.

    Gaslight wrote: »
    The original processor was a 65 nm chip, whereas the upgrade chip (given to me for free by Mr Monroe, and I just recently passed it on to Lindsay Lohan) was a 45 nm chip.


    This warms my cold, gnarled heart.
    Be careful that it doesn't overheat! That could be unhealthy.


    Thanks again to everyone for the info, you've been a great help! I think that covers all the questions and concerns that I had, at least until I get down to actually installing the CPU.

    Does your pest control company have a plan for the undead? Call Team Belmont!
  • tsmvengytsmvengy Registered User regular
    I have to ask, how much is the processor costing? For the prices I'm seeing ($140) you're getting close to the cost of just upgrading CPU/mobo/RAM, especially if you have a Microcenter nearby.

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  • TeamBelmont404TeamBelmont404 Registered User
    tsmvengy wrote: »
    I have to ask, how much is the processor costing? For the prices I'm seeing ($140) you're getting close to the cost of just upgrading CPU/mobo/RAM, especially if you have a Microcenter nearby.

    It's technically free since it's a birthday present, which works because free is the only thing in my budget for now. I've already picked it out and asked for it at this point, so there's that too.

    Next time I upgrade I'm going to save my money to build a new system from the ground up. I'll still have this current system as a secondary, which will be that much better for the CPU I'm going to be putting into it soon. That way I'll have two complete systems, whereas if I upgrade the mobo and cpu right now and salvage the rest of the parts, I'll have a better system sooner but only one that's complete. This would prevent me from, for example, borrowing/giving my secondary PC to a friend so they can play a game they normally couldn't.

    The closest Microcenter is an hour and a half away. Now that I'm aware of just how awesome their deals are though, I'll definitely make that trip for my next system. Thanks!

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  • Monkey Ball WarriorMonkey Ball Warrior A collection of mediocre hats Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    So my radeon 5770 should be able to do 1920x1080 with most of the shiny's on? Because it stutters rather a lot, and I have a fairly beefy CPU (3ghz Phenom II 4X).

    "I resent the entire notion of a body as an ante and then raise you a generalized dissatisfaction with physicality itself" -- Tycho
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    It's nothing real GPU intensive. Not sure where a 5770 falls, but I have two 560Tis and it never tops 35% or so. Meaning a single 560Ti should be able to run full shinies at full fps. Not sure what other issue you might be having, though.

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    Also, if you're looking at C2Q processors, make sure to do some research. Some overclock better than others, and a low clock rate may be fine for apps that can use multiple cores but will gimp you in single core apps.

  • chr1sh4ll3ttb3chr1sh4ll3ttb3 A dagger in the dark is worth a thousand swords in the morningRegistered User regular
    For the price of one of the better c2q procs, you can get an H61 mobo and an i3. A Q9550 still commands an outlay somewhere near $200...

    Of course, you can just get one of these, and with a decent motherboard and a nice aftermarket cooler, overclock it to somewhere around 3.3GHz (Tom's hardware has a step-by-step guide).

  • StormwatcherStormwatcher Blegh BlughRegistered User regular
    C2D E8400 3GHz
    Excellent C2D, and more power per core means more useful in most games. I don't know if D3 gets the extra power from more than 2 cores.

    Steam: Stormwatcher | PSN: Stormwatcher33 | Switch: 5961-4777-3491
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  • Reis2Reis2 Registered User regular
    I've got these specs currently (I built this back in 2008):

    XFX 780i mobo
    E8400 @ 3.0ghz
    2gb DDR2 RAM
    8800 GT

    D3 has been running pretty choppy and I'd like to upgrade my RAM, processor, mobo and video card. I'd like to future-proof myself somewhat (2-3 years) with these upgrades. In terms of budget, I'd like to spend no more than $500-600. Any ideas?

    世界は美しくなんかない。それ故に、美しい。
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  • a5ehrena5ehren AtlantaRegistered User regular
    Reis2 wrote: »
    I've got these specs currently (I built this back in 2008):

    XFX 780i mobo
    E8400 @ 3.0ghz
    2gb DDR2 RAM
    8800 GT

    D3 has been running pretty choppy and I'd like to upgrade my RAM, processor, mobo and video card. I'd like to future-proof myself somewhat (2-3 years) with these upgrades. In terms of budget, I'd like to spend no more than $500-600. Any ideas?

    You'd probably be better off going to the general "computer build thread" at the top of the forum. Generally, the recommendation is going be an ASUS P67 mobo + i5-2500K + 8GB of DDR3, though.

  • chr1sh4ll3ttb3chr1sh4ll3ttb3 A dagger in the dark is worth a thousand swords in the morningRegistered User regular
    maqiqi wrote: »
    From the CPU performance, three generations of i5 i5 is not much difference between the frequency efficiency and second-generation, the final product will widen the gap with high-frequency integrated at the same level gap may be less than 10% to 15%. 2500 will be in GPU performance, nuclear and nuclear remarkable 2000, will become the standard of most of the three generations of i3/i5/i7, only a few products have more nuclear remarkable 4000 performance, significant nuclear 2500 relatively generation product improvement is obvious, in particular, is very good overclocking performance, hardware-accelerated video conversion acceleration is also very practical, but DX11, we can ignore, play DX11 obediently bought significant independence.

    I don't know who you are, but you're quite clearly trying to get these forums put under NSA surveillance.

    I have some bad news for you, they already are. The old anime threads saw to that...

  • StormwatcherStormwatcher Blegh BlughRegistered User regular
    maqiqi wrote: »
    play DX11 obediently bought significant independence.
    Well, duh, everyone knows that.

    Steam: Stormwatcher | PSN: Stormwatcher33 | Switch: 5961-4777-3491
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  • histronichistronic Registered User regular
    edited June 2012
    Sorry, I'm not trying to hijack this thread but I have a question about how well these specs will run Diablo 3:

    - Intel Celeron Dual Core E1600 @ 2.4GHz
    - Intel DG41RQ Motherboard (Intel G41 chipset)
    - 4GB (2x2GB) dual-channel DDR2
    - XFX Geforce 8600GTS DDR3
    - Antec True430 430W low-noise power supply

    Again, not trying to hijack the thread, just don't want to make a new thread for this. Does anyone know if D3 would be playable on that computer and if so how well?

    histronic on
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  • Monkey Ball WarriorMonkey Ball Warrior A collection of mediocre hats Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Maybe I'm just old but the word "Celeron" makes me involuntarily wince.

    "I resent the entire notion of a body as an ante and then raise you a generalized dissatisfaction with physicality itself" -- Tycho
  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    Going by these system requirements, this CPU chart, and this GPU chart, you're right around the minimum requirements. It'll run, barely.

  • histronichistronic Registered User regular
    edited June 2012
    Thanks! I plan on buying that PC over the weekend and then slowly upgrading it.

    histronic on
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  • TychoCelchuuuTychoCelchuuu PIGEON IndiaRegistered User regular
    histronic wrote: »
    Thanks! I plan on buying that PC over the weekend and then slowly upgrading it.
    This is not a very good computer to slowly upgrade. What are you spending on it? We could probably build you a better one.

  • histronichistronic Registered User regular
    edited June 2012
    histronic wrote: »
    Thanks! I plan on buying that PC over the weekend and then slowly upgrading it.
    This is not a very good computer to slowly upgrade. What are you spending on it? We could probably build you a better one.

    That one is $100. I have an old cooler master case with a better power supply I will probably transfer it into. My first upgrade would probably be the CPU. If you think you can build me a better one, I've got roughly $400 to spend on a computer right now, I'm not looking for anything amazing though, just something that is reasonably quick and can run Diablo 3 and maybe some CS: Source.

    histronic on
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  • TychoCelchuuuTychoCelchuuu PIGEON IndiaRegistered User regular
    edited June 2012
    histronic wrote: »
    histronic wrote: »
    Thanks! I plan on buying that PC over the weekend and then slowly upgrading it.
    This is not a very good computer to slowly upgrade. What are you spending on it? We could probably build you a better one.

    That one is $100. I have an old cooler master case with a better power supply I will probably transfer it into. My first upgrade would probably be the CPU. If you think you can build me a better one, I've got roughly $400 to spend on a computer right now, I'm not looking for anything amazing though, just something that is reasonably quick and can run Diablo 3 and maybe some CS: Source.
    An i3 plus your pick of a motherboard plus some RAM plus a video card and you've got money left over. With this computer you'd be buying I don't think you could even upgrade to much of a good CPU. I'm not even sure why we're in some silly Diablo 3 topic talking to me (I don't know anything): get yourself over to the computer build thread.

    TychoCelchuuu on
  • chr1sh4ll3ttb3chr1sh4ll3ttb3 A dagger in the dark is worth a thousand swords in the morningRegistered User regular
    Tychos suggestion will literally shit all over the computer you are thinking of buying, AFTER you have upgraded it about as far as you can go.

  • TychoCelchuuuTychoCelchuuu PIGEON IndiaRegistered User regular
    I don't know if it will literally shit all over it, but it will blow it out of the water performance-wise.

  • chr1sh4ll3ttb3chr1sh4ll3ttb3 A dagger in the dark is worth a thousand swords in the morningRegistered User regular
    POO WILL LITERALLY FLY ALL OVER THE PLACE

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    Yeah, if $100 was your budget I'd say take what you can get. But if you can go up to $300 or $400, you can do better and leave yourself a LOT more room to upgrade by listening to these gents, or the computer build thread. Buying socket 775 at this point is just limiting your upgrade options for the future, AND probably making them more expensive to boot.

  • histronichistronic Registered User regular
    edited June 2012
    Thanks a lot for all the advice guys. The problem is I don't have Windows, and that $100 computer comes with Windows 7 loaded on the hard drive. If I were to get it and then get a new mobo/CPU/RAM, would the hard drive still run Windows for me? Otherwise I may be able to get a student copy of Win7 from my girlfriend. I haven't built a computer in 8 years, or even played games on one in over 3, so I'm just trying to get back into it and I can't really remember all the ins and outs of what goes into building them. I'm really not worried about playing Battlefield 3 on Ultra High settings though, I just want to play a few older games like League of Legends and Counter Strike: Source, and then Diablo 3. You can reply to this post in the computer build thread since that may be a better place for this discussion.

    histronic on
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  • TychoCelchuuuTychoCelchuuu PIGEON IndiaRegistered User regular
    If it comes with an OEM copy of Windows you won't be able to transfer the license to a new computer.

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