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What should I upgrade on my pc first for better performance?Follow

#1 Sep 18 2010 at 2:37 PM Rating: Decent
2 posts
Hello Everyone,

I am new to the forum, and I am sure this has been asked before, but perhaps not with my exact specs. Please feel free to point me to another thread though if you would rather.

I am looking to play Final Fantasy XIV on my PC. I passed the benchmark right about in the middle, and I can run the beta at 1440 x 900 or 1920 x 1080 with textures on high. Having said that, the frames per second are not ideal at 1920 x 1080 and I have to turn off the shadows and post processing effects.

My question is as follows: I am going to be upgrading my PC one bit at a time, but I am not sure what would give me the biggest improvement first. I am afraid if I go for a better graphics card first that my CPU would be the bottleneck and I might not see much of an increase.

Would someone please take a look at my specs below and suggest the best order to replace parts in? Like I said, I am only going to start with one replacement due to cost restrictions. I know my pc is not the best, but it can run FFXIV now, so I can at least play it. I just want to get better FPS and possible turn on the shadows and post processing if possible.

Here goes:

System Model: XPS 630i
BIOS: Phoenix - AwardBIOS v6.00PG
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU E8400 @ 3.00GHz (2 CPUs)


RAM:
4 GB

Graphics:
Dual 9800GT (SLI)
each has 512 MB

Should I upgrade the graphics card, the memory, or the CPU first?

Thank you so much for your time!
#2 Sep 18 2010 at 3:57 PM Rating: Decent
Edited by bsphil
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21,739 posts
Well, the E8400 is a socket LGA775 processor. It's going to be hard to get a worthwhile upgrade for an older socket. You could either get a core 2 quad for ~$300, or if you had socket LGA1366 on your mobo, you could get an i7-950 for ~$300. Unfortunately, a LGA1366 mobo would run you $200 as well.

Edited, Sep 18th 2010 5:00pm by bsphil
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#3 Sep 18 2010 at 4:36 PM Rating: Decent
First I would probably recommend the GPU. If you have the knowledge of how to do so, you can overclock the E8400 there to get a much better performance out of it. Granted of course you don't play at higher res than 1440x900, but even then turning down some of the lesser needed stuff should garner a halfway decent performance at higher resolutions.

I have an E8400 overclocked to 3.4GHz and I got a considerable improvement after overclocking. Combined with an HD5770 video card the game runs fairly smoothly except in some areas. I guess overall it depends on your budget, whichever you replace first is likely to cause bottle-necking so go with whichever you can afford right now. Soon as I can get enough cash together I'm opting to replace both motherboard and CPU with an i7.

EDIT: Speaking of motherboards, a code from Newegg for 10% off any Intel motherboard: EMCYXZV22 (Expires 9/18/2010 so use it today.)


Edited, Sep 18th 2010 3:44pm by SamusKnight
____________________________
FINAL FANTASY XIV Roleplayer

Sair Gammonari - Hyur Midlander Male - Conjurer (Somewhat retired.)
Mihana Zhralyia - Miqo'te Seeker of the Sun Female - Archer



#4Chubbyjesus, Posted: Sep 18 2010 at 6:50 PM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) Hmm im left to assume youre using a 32bit OS. Id personally upgrade to 64bit and put as much RAM in as the slots will fit.
#5 Sep 18 2010 at 7:01 PM Rating: Decent
Ok my bad, I didn't notice you were using two video cards in an SLI mode. In that case I'd probably suggest upgrading the CPU and motherboard first. I don't know about nvidia but I think ati has came out with an update to their drivers that offers improved CrossFire support for FFXIV. I don't have more than one video card right now tho so I can't really comment how effective this is. So yea, save up for a CPU and motherboard upgrade. Here's what I'm saving up for:

ASRock P55 Pro LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157171

Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor BX80605I5750
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115215

Total cost: $294.98

If you use the promo code I listed above it takes $10.00 off that price making it $284.98. Also on error on my behalf, I said I was saving for an i7, it was actually an i5.

EDIT: Looked up a different motherboard that supports both SLI and CrossFire.

BIOSTAR T5 XE CFX-SLI LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813138162&cm_re=sli-_-13-138-162-_-Product

Edited, Sep 18th 2010 6:07pm by SamusKnight
____________________________
FINAL FANTASY XIV Roleplayer

Sair Gammonari - Hyur Midlander Male - Conjurer (Somewhat retired.)
Mihana Zhralyia - Miqo'te Seeker of the Sun Female - Archer



#6 Sep 18 2010 at 7:07 PM Rating: Good
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472 posts
I'd agree with upgrading your GPU first and do your homework first on which one to buy. I am currently eyeballing the geforce 470 galaxy overclocked for around $300.00. If you are worrying about bottlenecking as you upgrade, it is much better to have a better graphic card overall in most situations. Make sure you have the power supply to push the upgrade; and one final note, wait till the game comes out, even wait a few months - you never know if the game will be much smoother down the road.

Here is some homework.

http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/high_end_gpus.html

If you decide that your current SLI configuration is enough to push the game with all of the settings that you want to turn on, then find a quad core to install.

Edited, Sep 18th 2010 9:10pm by Parsalyn
#7 Sep 18 2010 at 7:46 PM Rating: Good
I'm in a somewhat similar situation. Need to upgrade the video card, which is fine... but then the CPU, I'm stuck on a 775 socket. Currently running an e5200 at 3.3ghz, and want to upgrade to a Core2Quad Q9950 (or whichever is the 3ghz one). Of course, it's the same price if not more expensive then an i7. That being said, if I upgrade to the i7, then I need to overhaul the mobo, ram and cpu. Which in the end, costs me quite a chunk more... from what I've read for gaming and such you won't see that great for a performance increase from the CPU, so it's a tough debate.

I suppose you get the whole new setup, you'll be good for quite sometime, where as if you just go to the Core2quad, you'll be good for awhile, but not nearly as long. What's frustrating is my PC runs every other game out there with no issues, FFXIV is just so poorly programmed it requires such a ridiculous rig. So I think just going to the Core2quad and going to 8gigs DDR2 ram + a new video card would be cheaper and get similar effects.
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#8 Sep 18 2010 at 7:52 PM Rating: Decent
Edited by bsphil
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21,739 posts
Chubbyjesus wrote:
Hmm im left to assume youre using a 32bit OS. Id personally upgrade to 64bit and put as much RAM in as the slots will fit.

Everything else isnt too bad. Im not sure if FF14 supports SLI or Crossfire, but usually its not quite used in current gaming. Id scrap the 2 for a single card thats better performance, if the 64bit upgrade didnt boost you.
FFXIV is 32-bit.
____________________________
His Excellency Aethien wrote:
Almalieque wrote:
If no one debated with me, then I wouldn't post here anymore.
Take the hint guys, please take the hint.
gbaji wrote:
I'm not getting my news from anywhere Joph.
#9 Sep 18 2010 at 8:18 PM Rating: Decent
Thief's Knife
*****
15,053 posts
It's really a bad time to upgrade your computer right now. Sandy Bridge is coming out before the end of the year as well as ATI's 6xxx series graphics cards and both are going to push down the priced on what's available now.



Edited, Sep 18th 2010 11:19pm by Lobivopis
____________________________
Final Fantasy XI 12-14-11 Update wrote:
Adjust the resolution of menus.
The main screen resolution for "FINAL FANTASY XI" is dependent on the "Overlay Graphics Resolution" setting.
If the Overlay Graphics Resolution is set higher than the Menu Resolution, menus will be automatically resized.


I thought of it first:

http://ffxi.allakhazam.com/forum.html?forum=10&mid=130073657654872218#20
#10 Sep 18 2010 at 8:21 PM Rating: Decent
Thief's Knife
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15,053 posts
bsphil wrote:
FFXIV is 32-bit.


Indeed it is. But strangely it runs slightly faster in 64-bit Windows 7 than it does in 32-bit windows including XP.



Edited, Sep 18th 2010 11:23pm by Lobivopis
____________________________
Final Fantasy XI 12-14-11 Update wrote:
Adjust the resolution of menus.
The main screen resolution for "FINAL FANTASY XI" is dependent on the "Overlay Graphics Resolution" setting.
If the Overlay Graphics Resolution is set higher than the Menu Resolution, menus will be automatically resized.


I thought of it first:

http://ffxi.allakhazam.com/forum.html?forum=10&mid=130073657654872218#20
#11 Sep 18 2010 at 8:28 PM Rating: Decent
Thief's Knife
*****
15,053 posts
Chubbyjesus wrote:
Everything else isnt too bad. Im not sure if FF14 supports SLI or Crossfire


Applications never support Crossfire or SLI. Multi-GPU support is always driver side not application side. On applications where generic settings do not work or are inefficient ATI and Nvidia will release a profile that fixes the problem. It is up to the GPU manufacturer to make this work not the game developer. If it were up to the game developer to support multiple GPUs then Crossfire and SLI would work with very few games.



Edited, Sep 18th 2010 11:29pm by Lobivopis
____________________________
Final Fantasy XI 12-14-11 Update wrote:
Adjust the resolution of menus.
The main screen resolution for "FINAL FANTASY XI" is dependent on the "Overlay Graphics Resolution" setting.
If the Overlay Graphics Resolution is set higher than the Menu Resolution, menus will be automatically resized.


I thought of it first:

http://ffxi.allakhazam.com/forum.html?forum=10&mid=130073657654872218#20
#12 Sep 18 2010 at 8:43 PM Rating: Decent
Thief's Knife
*****
15,053 posts
Montsegurnephcreep wrote:
FFXIV is just so poorly programmed it requires such a ridiculous rig.




Part of the problem is simply that FFXIV is a multi platform game and not a PC specific game. It looks as though they want one common source for all versions of the game.

What they are probably doing is to have one main source for the game client that is the same for all versions. And then have platform specific modules (DirectX for PC, DirectX for 360*, whatever API PS3 uses). That way they can just modify the main source code and compile it for all three platforms rather than having to maintain three different forks. It also makes it a lot easier to ensure that the client acts exactly the same on all platforms.

Of course the downside is that except for the platform specific code they really can't optimize the main code for any one platform.


Also, DirectX 10 is more efficient at the kinds of graphics tricks they are using that DirectX 9.0c. so that's also killing performance.


*DirectX for the 360 is similar, but not identical to DirectX for the PC. It's more hardware specific. The 360 is a lot less PC-like than the original Xbox and renders the screen in tiles using 10MB of RAM internal to the GPU. The 360 also has 512 megabytes of unified memory where both the GPU and CPU(s) can access the same memory instead of having separate texture RAM and system RAM.



Edited, Sep 19th 2010 12:08am by Lobivopis
____________________________
Final Fantasy XI 12-14-11 Update wrote:
Adjust the resolution of menus.
The main screen resolution for "FINAL FANTASY XI" is dependent on the "Overlay Graphics Resolution" setting.
If the Overlay Graphics Resolution is set higher than the Menu Resolution, menus will be automatically resized.


I thought of it first:

http://ffxi.allakhazam.com/forum.html?forum=10&mid=130073657654872218#20
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