Upgrade advice please.....

Started by John Cartwright, August 20, 2015, 11:53:57 AM

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John Cartwright

...........despite the drain on this poor pensioner's meagre income by various offspring in further education ('don't worry Daddy, when we qualify we will be able to afford a really nice nursing home for you') and various car problems. (I feel your pain Fitz!) I might be in the position to upgrade my Spectrum ZX to something a bit more able to cope with the newer sims.

I do not feel confident to self-build, so am looking at various rigs on the cottage-industry companies one finds on Ebay or the computer fairs held at the Motorcycle Museum by Excalibur near me.
Are  integrated graphics still a thing to be avoided? I'm looking at max. £600
Any advice would be most appreciated gents! Thank you
"Take that; you rotten Swastinkers you!"
:British Pathe News 1940


Avoid integrated graphics like the plague!!!!

Are you able to salvage anything from your current machine? You might save a few quid that way. If you can post the components of your current machine, I can draw up a list of other bits you'll need. And is it just for IL2 or do you want to run RoF and BoS etc?

=CfC=Father Ted

Definitely avoid integrated graphics if you want to "fly" anything contemporary. The problem with upgrading a graphics card is that it's difficult to find something that was cutting edge a couple of years ago which should theoretically be able to run current games but be cheap.

Unfortunately £600 won't get you a hugely powerful machine.  Have a look at this:http://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/computers/intel-home-office-pc/.  This should run RoF/BoS.  I've used this firm a few times - it's good way of getting a customised system without having to build it yourself.

Here are the recommended specs for RoF:

OS: Win XP SP3, Vista, 7, 8 and 10 (32 or 64 bit)
Processor: Intel® Core® i5 / i7 2.6 GHz or comparable AMD chip
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Graphics: 1024MB video memory or higher / GeForce GTX 260 / Radeon HD5850
DirectX: Version 9.0c
Hard Drive: 10 GB available space
Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c Compatible

John Cartwright

Thanks gents, I will post my present spec and see what you think
"Take that; you rotten Swastinkers you!"
:British Pathe News 1940

John Cartwright

Processor Pentium(R) Dual-Core CPU E6600 @ 3.06GHz
Memory (RAM) 4.00 GB 6.4
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260
Gaming graphics 2271 MB Total available graphics memory
Primary hard disk 409GB Free (932GB Total)
DirectX version DirectX 10

Due to the type of digital printer I have which can only run off com port I have been tied to Windows 7 prof 32-bit
I can run Rof at medium setting except Channel map which stutters and redraws dropping to 17 FPS
"Take that; you rotten Swastinkers you!"
:British Pathe News 1940


Intel Core i5 4690K 3.5GHz Socket 1150 6MB L3 Cache Retail Boxed Processor    Â£178.82

ASRock Z97 Anniversary Socket 1150 7.1 Channel Audio ATX Motherboard    Â£60.54
8GB (4GB x2 Kit) 2400MHz DDR3 Non-ECC CL11 DIMM XMP HyperX Savage    Â£40.07

Cooler Master Seidon 120 Ver2 120mm Radiator/1x120mm Silencio Fan CPU Liquid Cooler £39.00

EVGA Supernova 750W Semi Modular 80+ Bronze Power Supply    Â£66.90
Kingston 120GB SSDNow V300 2.5inch SSD    Â£39.99    x2  £79.97
Xenta Computer Case B138A    Â£19.98
Zotac GTX 960 2GB GDDR5 DVI HDMI 3 DisplayPort PCI-E Graphics Card £145.68

A little over budget at £630.97 but very close. Do I win a prize!!


You might save a little re-using your old case and possibly the power supply. I didn't put in an optical drive but they are £20 tops and you can certainly use the one from your old machine. But most stuff now is downloaded anyway, cant remember the last disk I used. Also the hard drive, though I would recommend copying the OS to one SSD and putting your games on the other and using it as storage for everything else.

£600 actually gets you a pretty good machine!

The 4690 is a solid cpu and unlocked for overclocking
closed loop watercooling for the cpu
Decent RAM, 2 SSD's and a GTX 960

I do have a spare prolimatech megahalems that would save you £40 on the cpu cooling but it will be louder and not quite as good. Certainly more than enough for mild overclocking though.

If you can wait until Star Citizen or Oculus rift is released I'll have a GTX 660Ti going spare as well but it's a little dated now. More than enough for IL2 and RoF though.

John Cartwright

'prolimatech megahalems'; I had to Google that. I thought you might be sending me up in the tradition of 'go to stores and ask for a long weight, striped paint and some sky-hooks' :)

Thanks very much for the gen Fitz. A good case we have with a newish 850w power unit. Son no.2 says I should be able to build from the list given. Plenty of instructional vids on YT!
What's Overclockers service like now does anybody know? we had terrible problems with lack of communication regarding faulty and missing components, but that was a few years back and I gather they have since sharpened their act somewhat.

Thanks again for help chaps.

P.S. Crickey; haven't SSDs come down in price!

As to your prize Fitz, that'll be the warm glow within generated by the knowledge you have helped an old fart out in his dotage.
"Take that; you rotten Swastinkers you!"
:British Pathe News 1940


Hi BD,

I've had hit and miss service from Overclockers. I tend to use Ebuyer as I've never had a big problem with them and they replaced a DOA component for me with with no hassle. This is also where I got the prices from (They have just e-mailed me with limited offers on SSD's so if you're quick you could save a few quid or get some bigger drives as well).

PC building is pretty simple and I seem to remember walking Woof and Bounder through basic overclocking as well so you should be fine doing a self build. Most bits can only go in one place anyway! As long as you read the manuals you'll be fine. Sometimes you have to be particular about which slots you use for the RAM and graphics cards as but the manual will make that clear.

Losing the case and psu will bring it nicely under budget, though you might want to look at upgrading the graphics card if you have some spare cash. Let me know and I'll see what the next level up would cost.

John Cartwright

I'm still VAT registered so that will help!
Busy time at the moment with moving Simon down to accommodation for his placement year working at DSTL Porton, and Jenny up to King's London, clearing my late father-in-law's house up for sale and working with a very traumatised and demanding new Labrador rescue. Maybe get down to it after a week or so.
Your expertise much appreciated.
"Take that; you rotten Swastinkers you!"
:British Pathe News 1940


No Worries, I'll be on call for pc building assistance


Hello all,

BD, you current machine is a virtual clone of the one I 'retired' for my current rig.


I have an i7 4770 chip but I see mostly i5 chips in gaming computers, is there a difference? My current rig is out of warranty so I might be persuaded to try overclocking. Any advice?

Perhaps we should revive Killarigs  8).

Pip, pip,
Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.


Hi Chufy, i think i5 is good enough, and the top i7 is more expensive ,
so the cost margin is determining..for most of the people,, in my view.

hot on your tail....whoops your tail's'gone..


Quote from: CfC_Conky on August 22, 2015, 06:58:53 AM
Hello all,

BD, you current machine is a virtual clone of the one I 'retired' for my current rig.


I have an i7 4770 chip but I see mostly i5 chips in gaming computers, is there a difference? My current rig is out of warranty so I might be persuaded to try overclocking. Any advice?

Perhaps we should revive Killarigs  8).

Pip, pip,

Hi Conky,

It can get complicated as there is a bit of a crossover but basically i7's generally have larger caches and quad core i7's will hyperthread to 8 threads whereas i5's top out at 4 threads. i7's tend to have higher clock speeds as well. You do pay for the extras though!

For the sort of gaming we do, the extra threads won't be of much use (though the i5 I chose is a quad core rather than dual). There isn't a huge amount out there that will really take advantage of more than 4 threads. If money is no object, go with the i7 but you can get a good i5 chip if you choose wisely.

With regards to overclocking, let me know the following:

Is it a K series chip? (i7 4770K)
What is your motherboard model
What is your current max load temp of the cpu
What sort of cpu cooler do you have

Let me know and I'll start looking at putting a little guide together.



BD......even I managed to build my machine but the only problem I had was driver installation and two attempts at Windows 7......MSI board was geared up for 8 and caused issues.

Saitek in particular are notorious and still cause me problems. Apparently if you change USB terminals you have to do a complete re-install of Saitek drivers to fix it and they can't accept USB 3 terminals easily.

Fitz will help chose the stuff and you can watch endless videos on how to put it together. Much better value in the end.

I have my old MSI NVIDIA 460 if you want it to tide you over. Let me know. Works well if you tweak the settings with NVIDIA Inspector.