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Computer Upgrade Results!!Follow

#1 Mar 01 2011 at 6:52 PM Rating: Decent
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Just in case people want to know how upgrading their PC can help FFXIV...
Note that I play at the highest possible graphics settings and even enforce a few more extra graphics settings through the nvidia control panel for good measure.


I upgraded from a dual-core 3.0 Ghz AMD Athlon II to a Phenom II 1090T
*People appear a lot faster in crowded areas

*Framerate no longer drops to 0 for a moment when traveling NorthWest of the Chocobo in Gridania (sometimes happened with the old AMD 3.0 Ghz dual-core, sometimes didn't)

*I'm still seeing CPU Utilization spike up to about 80% Usage at times. The AMD Athlon II 3.0 Ghz Used to spike up to 99% and stay there during those "choppy" moments where the controls were unresponsive. The 1090T does not have any choppy moments where the controls are unresponsive.

*Reviving after dying is no longer extremely choppy for 10-15 seconds after reviving.. It's very smooth right after revive

*Game controls no longer feel choppy or unresponsive in large behests with lots of people.

*Average GPU utilization significantly increased (I've got Overclocked GTX 470s in SLI went from ~30% usage to ~90% usage).

*Average framerates increased a little, minimum framerates increased a lot.

Installed an SSD and put just FFXIV on it.
*Teleport anywhere: "Loading Screen" time drastically reduced 10-15 sec.
*Initial game load and character selection screen loading times stayed the same though. Strange, but whatever...

Playing with the available video memory (Two GTX 470s in SLI).
FFXIV wants 815MB of Video Memory per GTX 470 at maximum graphics settings in FFXIV config, 1920x1080 resolution, 16X Anisotropic filtering enforced through nvidia control panel, Triple Buffering forced on in nvidia control panel, and 16XCSAA enforced through FFXIV config.

*Decreasing available Video Memory to 600MB by running a CUDA memory hog application in the background causes minimum framerates to drop significantly. Moving camera and running around becomes noticeably unsmooth. Although the game doesn't feel choppy with the 1090T CPU, the graphics looks like a really fast running slideshow when you starve the game of video memory.

*Note that if you don't use maximum graphics settings like I do, you probably won't need so much video memory


But yea, to summarize...

CPU upgrade from a dual-core 3.0 Ghz to a six-core 3.2 Ghz was worth every penny and by far yielded me the biggest gains. Though keep in mind I already had two GTX 470s overclocked and water cooled as I normally run them for folding@home 24/7.


Edited, Mar 1st 2011 7:56pm by Sidicas

Edited, Mar 1st 2011 7:57pm by Sidicas

Edited, Mar 1st 2011 7:58pm by Sidicas

Edited, Mar 1st 2011 7:59pm by Sidicas

Edited, Mar 1st 2011 8:02pm by Sidicas
#2 Mar 01 2011 at 7:07 PM Rating: Good
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Congrats! The game can definitely chew through a dual core, I made a similar upgrade form a Core 2 Duo E8500 to a Quad Core Q9550 and was very happy with the performance jump. Enjoy the game!
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#3 Mar 01 2011 at 7:45 PM Rating: Good
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I also upgraded my computer for FF14 and other games I wanted to play; My CPU is a Intel Core Duo 2 @ 2.53 ghz and my GPU was a ATI Radeon HD 3650 which allowed me to play the game on standard settings with extreme choppiness and I could hear my computer begging me for mercy the whole time i played. I toned down to low settings and it was more playable then but it was very ugly. I bought a new GPU ATI Radeon HD 5770 and its a world of difference. The game is very well playable on standard settings now. Not so used to fancy graphics so standard already looks very good to me :p
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#4 Mar 01 2011 at 7:56 PM Rating: Decent
I currently use an AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ (2.6GHz) Dual-Core CPU on an AM2/AM3 compatible motherboard. I have been wanting to upgrade to a better processor (Phenom whatever). At the moment I am running 4GB of RAM and have a GTX 460 GPU. On top of that my Hard Drive is a clunky 7200 rpm dinosaur.

What CPU would you recommend I upgrade to without breaking the bank? Also, would it be significantly more $$$ to get a SSD or would I be better off just getting a 10k RPM HDD? Finally, assuming I upgrade the CPU and HDD can I get away with 4GB of RAM or should I go ahead and replace the 4x1GB with 4x2GB?

Most likely I would be doing each replacement separately (money concerns) and would not want to spend more than about $200 each time. Let me know what you think.

Edited, Mar 1st 2011 8:57pm by StateAlchemist2
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#5 Mar 01 2011 at 9:08 PM Rating: Good
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Grand Master Alchemist StateAlchemist2 wrote:
I currently use an AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ (2.6GHz) Dual-Core CPU on an AM2/AM3 compatible motherboard. I have been wanting to upgrade to a better processor (Phenom whatever). At the moment I am running 4GB of RAM and have a GTX 460 GPU. On top of that my Hard Drive is a clunky 7200 rpm dinosaur.

What CPU would you recommend I upgrade to without breaking the bank?
Look up your motherboard model on your motherboard manuf. website.. Then check out the CPU support list to see your options.. A lot of those AM2+ boards support a very wide range of CPUs. Certainly FFXIV is multi-threaded like no other game I've ever seen and it will use all 4 cores on a quad-core.. So I'd say at least, get a quad at 3.0+ Ghz per core. (Note, the newer Intel Quad's are faster than AMD Quads at a given clock speed so you'd probably want at least a 2.6+ Ghz Quad for Intel Sockets). The 1090T is a pretty neat chip in that it has a Turbo Mode where if all the cores aren't being used, it will clock up the three cores that are to 3.6 Ghz instead of the regular 3.2 Ghz that all 6 cores run at when they're busy. So for games like Starcraft II that aren't as multi-threaded as FFXIV, the 3.6 Ghz turbo mode can help a ton.



Grand Master Alchemist StateAlchemist2 wrote:

Also, would it be significantly more $$$ to get a SSD or would I be better off just getting a 10k RPM HDD?
I'd skip the SSD for FFXIV.. I'm going to reconfigure mine to use the SSD for just the operating system and I'll put all my programs on my hard drives. The SSD really isn't worth it just for FFXIV unless you have absolutely no patience for the "Now Loading" screens. That's really the only thing that it helps with, as far as I can tell.



Grand Master Alchemist StateAlchemist2 wrote:

Finally, assuming I upgrade the CPU and HDD can I get away with 4GB of RAM or should I go ahead and replace the 4x1GB with 4x2GB?
I haven't had any problems with 4GB of RAM. In fact, from what I've seen, games like Starcraft II use more RAM than FFXIV does so 4GB should be enough. At least perhaps until they start adding content to FFXIV. I've got one of those logitech keyboards that has the display so I can monitor my system stats while playing and RAM usage never goes above 75% or so with 4GB of RAM on Vista and that's only in very heavily populated areas so I don't think adding more would do much for FFXIV at this time..

I'm running 4GB myself.

Edit: So yea, for you I'm sure a big CPU upgrade would be all that you need. If you get a 10,000 RPM drive, make sure you get one of the newer series WD Raptors.. A lot of the old WD Raptors are getting outperformed by the new 7200RPM drives that have such high platter densities that the drives can pull more data per second than an older Raptor drive running at higher rotations.. This is because the new 7200 RPM drives have got so much higher density that they pull so much more data per rotation compared to the old Raptors. For an example of that, take a look at some of the new 7200RPM Samsung F3 drives compared to the older 10,000 RPM Raptors and see that they are indeed faster than the previous generation Raptors..

Edited, Mar 1st 2011 10:41pm by Sidicas
#6 Mar 01 2011 at 10:42 PM Rating: Decent
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I upgraded to two 7200 RPM 32mb cache HDDs in raid 0 and unfortunately didn't notice performance increase (hardware raid), noticed a incredible performance boost from two GTX 280s to two GTX 480s.
I upgraded an i7 920 to an i7 980X and noticed minimal increase as well, just less hitching in town.

My current setup is
2x GTX 480s
i7 980X
12 GB DDR3 1600mhz Kingston mem
Windows 7 x64 SP 1

It plays the game on near-max quality at 1080, but for keeping FPS above 45 at all times I use these settings -
Drawing Quality 8
AA x4
Ambient Occlusion off
Depth of Field On
All other settings Max

Not sure what it takes to turn everything on and have 60 FPS in ul'dah and against NMs though.
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