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PC configuration for EU 2014/15: recommendations/discussion.

Discussion in 'Technical' started by May, Dec 5, 2014.

  1. May

    May Active Member

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    Since the log-in issues were 'solved' a few days ago, the lag and CTDs* have returned in full force for me.
    So even though I can manage to play, it's not ... uhm ideal.
    [​IMG]

    Therefore it's time to finally figure out which new PC to buy.
    Regardless of the recommendations of MA, there seem to be some parts that just don't like EU.
    Graphic cards and sound cards are the main ones I remember EU can be picky about.
    As I hear even people with new PC's having problems.

    So:
    - What should be the minimum realistic specs atm to run EU smoothly?
    - Which components should I avoid, or which ones would you recommend?
    - Which Windows version is best compatible with EU?
    - Is there a system and/or online shop that you would recommend?

    I want to buy a PC that can run EU on high settings without any problems.
    This doesn't need to be the latest or fastest model, but just something solid that will run without headaches.
    And preferably can be upgraded by myself later on.
    Something like having a double screen would be handy too, so browsing can be done simultaneously.
    Any advise/recommendations are very welcome. [​IMG]


    *
    While lately I was able to play with only a few CTDs a day, now it's like four an hour.
    At random times, but mainly when doing things like TP'ing, using the storage terminal or AH.
    (Often after one of the various lags: loot / chat / TP / terminal & inventory -lag, avatar frozen while still being able to chat, etc.)
    When crashing, the re-logging has reverted to taking a lot of time.
    Often, when finally getting past the log-in screen, it gets stuck indefinitely on the loading screen.

    While before I could log in and play on 'low' settings, now I'm not able to log in unless I'm resetting to default (= 'high') in the CL.
    That will let me log in, but my computer can't handle gameplay on 'high', so I get a CTD. Viscous circle...
    Results after trial & error: I can log in when resetting to default, and then play by moving most settings down to 'low', while keeping three of them on 'high'.

    These issues have only returned since the 'log-in problem fix' from a few days ago.
    Are they just because of low memory/crappy laptop, or do I also need to change something about my connection?
     
  2. Murkalael

    Murkalael Active Member

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    As for the crashes, don't worry,you are not an alien. I have at least 1 crash and one disconect at least per day.
    As for the hardware not much needed, all a bit of ram and a reasonable graphics card will do, of course MA need to put a little more efforts in identifying what these crashes are related, for me all started after last VU where live tiles were introduced on EU.

    This is the graphic card I use and play smoothly with some medium and some high settings without processing lag.
    http://www.nvidia.com.br/object/product-geforce-gt-430-br.html

    Only problem so far I believe is related to engine and my new installed windows 8 OS, they kinda not do well along.
     
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  3. HaKuRa

    HaKuRa Active Member

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    I will give you my config of pc (that run the game in high without any issue) ((of course lag servor i can't do anything about, i got 100GO connexion so isn't coming from me))

    - RAM 8 GB
    - Graphic card GTX 660 OC (now if you buy new pc you should find the series 7 version and more, so i would say GTX760 is good, after of course you can take better but it will cost a lot)
    - Processor i5 high end

    --------------------------------------------------------------------

    I can advice you on what pc to take but for that i would need to know where you from to can look on good sites, for exemple i'm in Romania atm, and pc are a bit more costy then in my country (France).. Yeah i know it's weird right

    I put about 1000€, more then a year ago in it, but you can find a good pc for 700 to 800€

    So again it really depends of how much money you can/want to put in it.

    E.U doesn't need that much so i guess with even less money you can find something correct to run it.
     
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  4. May

    May Active Member

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    Thanks both for the input. :biggrin2:

    So what I've gleaned so far is:
    - Windows 7
    - >7 GB RAM
    - GPU ranging from GT430 to GTX760
    - >i5

    But really, 800€? That's great; I was thinking it would be like 1500€ for a very basic PC.
    (Which I would end up going over anyway, like I usually do.)
    Guess there is a reason why it's been a long time since I bought one (by) myself. [​IMG]

    If you could point me in the right direction, that would be very much appreciated.
    I'm in the Netherlands, and a contraption under 2k€ would be nice.
    [​IMG]

    ps. What are "live tiles"?
     
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  5. HaKuRa

    HaKuRa Active Member

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    Ok, well with that budget, i can find you a really great thing, ill look into it asap
     
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  6. Craggan

    Craggan Member

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    I would stay away from the older generation Nvidia cards like the gt400 series. No point in going that far back if you can avoid it. A GTX 750 Ti with 2 gig ram will only run you about $100 USD and much better card than any 400 series. I do reccommend a quad core CPU or at least a dual core HT like the i5 or even an AMD 8600 seies. WOrd of caution tho... if you go with an AMD cpu then also get an AMD motherboard and vid card as they are designed to work together better than a mix of AMD and Nvidia. Intel works well with either video card manufacturer.
     
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  7. Norm

    Norm Member

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    For what it's worth, I run EU on an AMD system (FX-6300 cpu with Radeon R7 260X video card and 8GB RAM) and have no problems running it on high settings. I don't know much about European prices, but I built this computer in April/May of this year for less than $450 including operating system (Windows 8), but I already had the monitor.

    I ran into a few problems starting EU with Windows 8, but running in Windows 7 compatability solves those issues. Even with a 3Mb/second internet plan, I haven't run across any lag issues that others with faster connections didn't have, so I'm not sure having a superfast connection is really that big of a deal.



    EDIT: D'oh! I meant a 3 Mb/s connection - not 3Gb/s!
     
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    Last edited: Dec 7, 2014
  8. KikkiJikki

    KikkiJikki Well-Known Member Pro Users

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    I am having lots of ctds at the moment and am using a high end laptop (Alienware M18x, 32gb, 8 cores) with an ok Radeon graphics card. So far its looking like the fix is to drop the connection speed setting in the client loader - I dropped from 1 Mbit to 128 Kbit and that's helped a lot. Might be worth giving that a try while you research ur purchase.
     
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  9. Cly

    Cly Active Member

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    Pleased to hear your game is running better with the lower connection speed Kikki :)

    To OP: try the speed change first, see what if anything stabilises for you... CTD in my experience is primarily caused by loss of negotiated-speed link. Specifically: if you've told it to connect at a high speed then as soon as the comms link fails for a bit at that speed, you can CTD. For me that meant almost any time Outlook tried to fetch my mail, I was dumped. Facebook is a bandwidth hog too.

    So I learned to play without Outlook and other bandwidth hogs open and everything sorted itself out. Setting your connection speed to a value half your provider's speed or less should allow EU to maintain a stable link. So if you'r provider says'you're on a 1MB link, don't set yourself to 1Mb - rather consider 384 or similar.

    Anyway. As regards PCs and Video Cards... I have run EU very successfully on Windows 8 and 8.1 so there is no problem with getting the current version of the Windows OS. You want to try and get a current video card but as others have said you definitely do not need their flagship models. Pretty much any of the cards which currently say they have 2GB RAM should work like a bomb. I have bit of a leaning towards the ATI RADEON range, but many other gamers prefer the NVIDIA series.

    This box I am on at the moment is a Radeon 7900, which is some years old now but handles the load okay on high settings, and even Very High.

    However, the most important investment for me in a PC is RAM: I try to make sure I have 16 GB on most new machines.
    As others have said though: 8 should do fine. CPU-wise, i5's are fine (this box has one).

    Feel free to post your thoughts on what parts or specs for the machine you're thinking of getting if you want an opinion on whether the overall result will do you fine - we can likely review the parts and deliver our non-professional opinions for you :)
     
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  10. HaKuRa

    HaKuRa Active Member

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    So, i had hard time to find what sites are use to buy computers in NL, good thing i have learn to say buy : kopen :banana:

    Here i found 2 computers for start :

    https://www.conrad.nl/nl/game-pc-jo...cegtx970zonder-besturingssysteem-1273744.html (
    Game-PC Joy-it Intel® Core™ i7 i7-4790K (4 x 4.0 GHz) 16 GBNvidia® GeForce™GTX970zonder besturingssysteem) - 1449euro


    https://www.conrad.nl/nl/game-pc-jo...cegtx980zonder-besturingssysteem-1273418.html
    Game-PC Joy-it Intel® Core™ i7 i7-4790K (4 x 4.0 GHz) 16 GBNvidia® GeForce™GTX980zonder besturingssysteem - 1999euro


    So, i would advice you the first one at 1449euro, really it's already amazing computer, better to keep somes peds out ;) Everyones can give their opinions about those, but i think we will all be agree that the first one is pretty amazing :)

    I would like to ask you more "know" sites in NL, so i can comparate the prices and get more models to show you.

    Sorry for my english, i don't speak it that well, hope you understand all what i wrote :)

     
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  11. Murkalael

    Murkalael Active Member

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    Well, I have my current config since 2009, so I believe I've choosen well, as I can see most people outside Brazil buy already mounted pcs. Mine was 100% choosen each part, that's why I believe lasted so long.
    Current config
    AMD PhenonII X6, RAM 4Gb+4Gb, HD 1Tb+ 512Gb - VGA NVidia GT430 1Gbuilt in ram, Motherboard ASUS M2N68-AM SE2 - high end PSU

    so I believe if you find where to buy parts and build your own computer, you won't be changing it for a while, unless there's a major break on computer tech.
     
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  12. May

    May Active Member

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    Thanks very much to everyone for the help. [​IMG]

    Great suggestion about the connection speed; it's easily overlooked.
    Unfortunately I've already tried this, and every different setting possible, even in different option combinations.
    Before and after re-installing EU and (a new version of) Windows.
    Though it's still possible that I've missed the specific 'golden' combination.

    When playing EU, browsing is done on a separate PC, because the laptop can't handle both simultaneously.
    So the only things installed on this laptop, is what's needed to run EU.
    (And other games, but ofc only running 1 game at the time. Still, EU is the only one I have problems with.)

    Hence the search for new hardware. But the plethora of choice is mighty confusing to me.
    A PC is like a car to me: I can drive it, and even change a tire, that's no problem.
    But I wouldn't know if I should buy a Saab or a Honda. And what specs the engine should have. [​IMG]


    I don't really know which NL shops are good: two decades ago, I used a site where you could pick out A-brand components, and then put it together yourself.
    Since from the past I have a slight aversion to pre-made systems. (E.g. overheating GC, because the heat-sink was ill fitted with an abysmally ineffective thermal pad. Intrusive/constrictive software pre-installed. Etc.)
    After that I've been spoiled, by not having to get a PC by myself for years. (Having a friend who 'needs' the newest of the newest, means there are a lot of 'hand-me-downs'.)
    So I haven't kept up, and the result is being woefully out of date. I have no clue as to what's better or why. Sorry.

    I've looked on NL sites like: Alternate, Paradigit and Centralpoint (though I've only bought from the site you mentioned before). But I got stuck quite quickly.
    So I was already thinking I would probably have to go with an existing system, instead of composing one.
    Those two systems you showed look nice: the first one looks like a box, that's cute.
    They seem pretty much the same, except that the bigger one has a newer graphic card, a different MB and water-cooling? So the GC influences the price a lot?
    Don't think that I need/want the newer GC, if it's adding 500 pop to the price.
    (I've been running EU on 'low' without sound, so I don't 'need' extra wonderful graphics: just less CTD/lag.) :wink:
    Those 16 GB RAM; I assume I can still add some memory to that later on, right?
    For both systems it says 1 display port: is there a way to split that for 2 monitors? (At least if affordable to have 2.)
    And isn't there some sort of new HDD system? Idk the name, but is that on these?
    (I guess I should stick to NL sites; because it's probably not worth it to buy it in a country where electronics are cheaper, as the delivery cost would negate that?)


    So after reading all the posts, I think I would go for something like:
    - >16 GB RAM
    - GTX 2GB
    - i7
    - 2 displays
    - extra ventilation (smoker)
    - > 1 TB HDD
    I have a Windows 7, so don't need a OS.
    Also have a new DVD burner, so that's not really needed, but don't think it matters much in the price either way.

    I did notice that 3 persons are using a Radeon graphic card. I thought that EU didn't go too well with ATI?
    And what's the difference? Just a price/brand name thing, like with Intel and AMD?
    Murkalael seems to do fine with an AMD & NVidia; though I guess for an amateur like me, it would be better to be safe, and stick to an Intel/Nvidia combo.
    Since I don't mind much which A-brand name it is: as long it works well for a good price.
    And that I wont have compatibility problems later on when upgrading.
    Or would it be cheaper (by then) to simply buy a new system, instead of upgrading some components?

    Sorry for the wall of text all at once: I wasn't home to answer as replies were posted.
     
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  13. Spike Black

    Spike Black Active Member

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    I've only ever bought one pre built pc all my others I've built myself and only one has had problems (NVidia amd chipset :( pos ).

    You can add more memory depending on the type and the motherboard in the system i.e. 2 x 8Gb sticks you might be able to add another 2x 8Gb but you should check with the motherboards manufacturer as to the type and specs as it's not always a simple case of anything will work. Asus publish a list of compatible dimms and their configuration with each motherboard.

    You only need the i7 with water cooling if you intend to over clock, my system is running a i7 4770k with the stock intel cooler and even in the most intensive games do I not hear that fan spin up. The graphics card is another matter, I'm still using a Radeon hd6870 and lot of sites showed that CE2 worked better with the radeon's at time of launch. The only time I hear any fans spin up is when I'm transcoding video at 100% processor.

    Here's the specs of the system I built last December.

    Case: Antec Nine Hundred Two V3, plenty of ventilation and it's quiet with the fans set low.
    Addition Side Fan: Noctua NF-S12A pwm which is very quiet.
    Powersupply: Corsair Professional Series AX 760i

    Motherboard: Asus Z87-PRO but I think a new revision is available now.
    Processor: i7 4770k
    Ram: Corsair CMZ16GX3M2A1866C10 2x 8Gb

    The graphics card is the old Radeon HD6870 I had from my previous machine and it's still going strong and is vastly better in this system than the system it was original bought for thanks to the improved data throughput of the i7.

    I still use physical hard drives not ssd's, I don't trust them enough yet, so I've got a raid 1 with WD 1TB re4 and WD 3TB red's for back and storage.

    and most of it I bought from / through Amazon as they had similar prices if not better in some cases than the PC specialists.
     
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  14. Norm

    Norm Member

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    I was in a similar situation, in that I have built my own computers before, but had not done so in a long time, therefore was behind the times on computer technology. I did a ton of research just by searching online and found quite a bit of helpful info on tomshardware.com. The biggest help, though, was pcpartpicker.com, which allows you to add all the parts to a "build" and it will tell you any compatibility issues (prices, too, but it may just be the US??). There used to be a thread on the Calypso forum specifically for discussing computer configurations and compatibility issues, so you might want to do a quick search there, too.
     
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  15. Cly

    Cly Active Member

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    Yes, they are actually rather nice. They are in fact rather highly-powered for your original stated requirements even...
    Let me answer your other questions before offering another suggestion or two.

    Yes - the Graphics card alone can suddenly constitute half the value of your PC if you try to head towards the flag-ship models available on the day. As you mentioned earlier, sometimes it's worth checking what you actually need rather than what's the latest though.

    As others have said, it depends on the slots available on your motherboard, and which slots they give you with chips already in on delivery. On the other hand, I have to tell you I have been running with 16GB on this machine since 2005 ( 9 years now) and have no need of an upgrade in RAM yet - That was why I recommended you look at 16GB originally: operating systems advance, grow in size and consume more RAM, and games also can get bulkier, use more RAM etc... But while they might push a 4GB system to have memory problems, and feasibly they might start pushing even 8GB systems one day, the amount of bloat you'd need to push a 16GB system to have RAM issues should be decades away.

    I see some sites implying you can split a DisplayPort feed into 2 HDMI monitors but in general I don't believe you can feed 2 DisplayPort monitors from the same DisplayPort. DisplayPort is used for ultra-high resolution graphics though, so I think you can likely save yourself some money and simply get a card with dual HDMI capability. Unless you want a desktop with size 3840x2400 or something.

    You might be referring to Solid State Drives here? SSDs improve boot and load times radically, and are indeed quite nice to have. Their drive capacities are small (for the same price) though compared to the size you can get in regular drives for the same price.

    It might well be worth your while though to have a look at getting a 250GB SSD for your OS boot drive (and install a few key applications on that that you want to load fast) and then also adding say a 1TB normal drive where you can store images, emails, files and applications you don't use that often - that should give you the best bang for your buck all round.

    My experience with EU and the ATI cards I've used on it was: as long as you're giving the card the power it needs to do it's job, there is nothing wrong with ATI. The 5500 series (ancient now) struggled a little, but everything from the 6700 upwards has worked like a bomb with EU. The more powerful your card, the less fan noise you'll get (the fans spin up when your card has to work overtime to get the graphics done).

    It used to be once upon a time that certain motherboards would only support a certain chipset of graphics card... So your motherboard determined the graphics card you bought. Motherboards have moved away from that lately though and you should find most decent boards support either way of running cards. As to replacing versus upgrading - that also is a bit of a function of your motherboard (as in how much of it's capacity did you use out of the gates) but also there are things to consider like your case size, the power supply unit, and so on.

    If you bought everything so that it made up a complete package that basically maxed the envelope it came in then buying new is your only option. If you bought a large-capacity motherboard and only half-stocked it, you have room to grow. This is always a hard question to answer though as it depends how fast you generate disposable income and how fast you tend to want to upgrade your PC.

    You've implied the answer is "kinda like when my games demand it" which says to me that you will answer this question on a case by case basis - but in general the longer you wait between purchases the more likely you are to be buying new to take advantage of new tech.

    So, I looked for a custom built PC site in NL to give you a comparative quote for the sort of system I might build you based on your stated requirements / interests... http://gamecomputers.nl/ came up.

    I started with their middle of the range box (Axon Revolution) as a base and added a few options that I think would go well.
    - Gigabyte GA-Z97X-Gaming 3
    - Core i5 (seems plenty to run EU on my box - you can get the unlocked version if you want even more oomph but 3200 should be enough)
    - Standard Cooler
    - 16GB RAM - I pushed up a little to the 1866 clock speed stuff, but the 1600 speed stuff will do you perfectly well.
    Always get 2x8 rather than 4x4 though - that will leave you space to add 2 more chips later at need.
    - Video Card: I selected the Radeon R9 290, which PC Mag rates as Excellent.
    It comes with 2 slots for both DVI and HDMI, so as long as your monitors are HDMI you should be good to go.
    If you prefer quieter cards though, then you may need another option. You can save up to 190 Euro by taking a lower priced GTX.
    Have a look at the video card stats here to help you make a choice.
    http://www.futuremark.com/hardware/gpu/AMD Radeon R7 260X/review
    You could get a shade better out of the NVIDIA GTX970 but the cost differential may not be worth it.

    - 256GB SSD Main Drive
    - 2TB Secondary Drive - Play with these to suit your taste / budget
    - I bumped the power supply to 750W
    - You can choose a freebie , mice, monitors etc at the bottom.

    The configured price with my options came to 1440 without the monitors - and you can obviously tweak the components there. So have a look to get a rough feel for how expensive individual parts of a PC are.
     
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  16. HaKuRa

    HaKuRa Active Member

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    Thanks Cly, really good answer. Well we came out for about the same price, then the first choice i gave (9 euro dif).

    Do you think the one u manually made is more "worth it" ?
     
  17. Cly

    Cly Active Member

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    And that was partly the point: I was largely building towards the same basic value.
    As to whether I think mine is more "worth it", that's down to personal preference, really...

    From a completely personal point of view: yes, I prefer having my RAM in 2x8 instead of 4x4 and I prefer having a bit more on the PSU than required... And in general I buy ATI instead of NVIDIA. But other than case format (a useful consideration if you attend LAN parties) there is not an awful lot in it, other than maybe 2 TB second HDD instead of 1 TB - but extra HD space is cheap in general.

    So to OP: these options are very similar in terms of price and there is nothing at all wrong with Hakura's option :) Mine was intended to show you that if you were willing to cut back a shade from the i7 and the 4GB NVIDIA card, you could do some things like customise the Hard Drives you wanted, improve power supply and change your RAM options for the same price range.

    So mine was not a statement of "I feel this is better" - it was a suggestion that you could consider other options for the funds available.
     
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  18. May

    May Active Member

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    I thought about Amazon/Ebay, but I probably would wind up with compatible components.
    So I'll play it safe and stick to computer sites for now. :smile:

    Thanks for those links. The pcpartpicker is handy when you know what you're looking for.
    Still a bit too advanced for me though, I think. And unfortunately I can't buy from places like NewEgg.
    But bookmarked it for when I get the hang of things.
    I didn't manage to find a newish computer configuration thread on PCF.
    Latest I found was from 2012, and they recommended: "decent gfx (but not top line), 2 to 3 gb ram, dual core 2 to 3 ghz processor".
    Which kinda shows how fast the technology goes. :android:

    Atm I use this: Intel Core 2 Duo CPU P8600 @ 2.40Ghz, 4.0GB RAM, Nvidia Geforce 9600M GT
    Which from experience is way too small for EU. That's why I got the feeling that the more memory, the better.
    But yeah, starting at 16 GB sounds like a good plan.
    No, I don't need huge wall-covering screens, just the possibility to have EU and a browser open at the same time. Without having to tab over, and without choking the machine. So a card with dual HDMI capability should be fine.
    Unless it's possible to do this on a single (bit wider) screen.
    I think I've seen screenshots of both windows side by side on 1 monitor. Though Idk how wide/huge that screen was.
    LG 25UM65 P is the first/cheapest monitor on the list that mentions the angle thingie.
    Since I have strong glare during the day, I thought that could help?
    Could I have EU and a browser side by side on that monitor, without problems?
    So they're not very commonly used yet? (I saw that Spike doesn't use it.)
    If I set it up like that: it wont give any problems for those other programs?
    Like a penalty to be slower, because it has to go through 2 different sorts of HDD?
    From the site I understand that an unlocked version makes it able to overclock. Is that to be recommended? Or is it better to just buy a bit higher MHz/i7 then? (warranty void?)
    At least, I thought i5 and i7 were like the sort of processor (e.g.Pentium 3 or 4), and within those you have different Mhz values available.
    So could a high Mhz i5 be as powerful as a low Mhz i7?
    I don't remember what the 2x8 stands for. Is that having 2 memory slots available?
    Then what does the 8 stand for? It's 1 stick you get on the configuration, right?
    Also saw that there is an option to put 2 graphic cards. Is there any sense in getting 2 smaller ones instead of 1 big one? Or is that more for multitasking?
    Power supply to 750W? I think I always had 450W; are new PC's using so much more electricity?
    Like a noticeable rise for an EU addict player?[/QUOTE]


    Thanks for both kind of configurations: it's given me a better idea of within which parameters I should look.
    As an unaware customer, it's very easy to just click the biggest of each.

    An OS question: I have a MS Windows 7 Ulimate 32-bit SP1.
    Would getting a Windows 8 64-bit make any difference for EU? Or is it not worth the change?

    And a connection question:
    Is there anything I can add to make my connection better/smoother?
    Or is that still completely dependent of my modem and provider?

    I appreciate all the help and the detailed replies, it makes it all a lot clearer. [​IMG]
    And it might even help others who are looking to buy a new PC.
    Sorry if some questions sound a bit ignorant: hehe still learning.
     
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  19. Cly

    Cly Active Member

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    Then yes: you likely do not even need the HDMI monitors: you would do fine with DVI ones as well - could probably re-use your existing one depending what it is and what connectors it supports.

    In general 2 small screens will likely be cheaper than one super-great large one.
    I run 24 inch monitors, at 1920x1200 or similar resolutions, and find that even if I just want EU and LBML open side by side, the windows get cramped. Having a second screen is in fact worth the effort I think.
    But once you have 2, they can both be 17 inch or 19 inches and still be fine.

    2 x 24-inches side by side will run you out of physical space to put them usually unless you have a nice wide desk you're not sharing with anyone else...

    However, EU can run in windowed mode and at that point it's up to you what you find comfortable in terms of screen real estate and resolution inside EU: it is entirely possible to fit a simple browser either alongside or say below your EU window on a single monitor.
    LG 25UM65 P is an "ultra-wide" though, and its resolution is:
    • 2560 x 1080
    So that gives you space for 1600 x 1080 as well as 900 x 1080 web browser next to it. So that would work if you want it.

    My recommendation for glare is usually shades or moving your desk :)

    Solid State Drives are expensive compared to standard technologies, but their capacity is going up and the prices are coming down. So they are starting to be used more. They make life MUCH faster when booting Windows and large programs as their read-speed is just much much faster. So for the amount of time I spend waiting for things to load, they are worth their weight in gold.

    Your mileage may vary :)

    They will not not make any programs on the other drive load more slowly than it would usually take to load a program from that drive.
    Just the programs on the faster drive will load faster.

    I don't usually overclock my machines, no. There are gamers and enthusiasts who like trying to push machines as fast as they will go to get epic performance out... But I'm a human and the PC at 3.2 GHz has plenty of time to respond to my requests for a mouse click... The perk for the unlocked version in my opinion would be that it runs at 3.5 GHz - which is a decent amount faster than 3 or 3.2.

    That said, 3 or 3.2 is standard at the moment anyway pretty much - and you don't need more really. The speed at which your CPU runs is essentially an indicator of how many instructions per second it can handle with higher numbers meaning more. I confess I set that option mostly because it looked like good value for money and represented a small amount of extra future-proofing for you :)

    Yes, and no... i5 and i7 are like the sorts of processors... But MHz alone will not make an i5 as powerful as an i7. The i7 has specific technological advantages and features which make it an inherently more powerful system in general. The question was whether you needed the power of the current top-end chips from Intel or whether for your purposes an i5 would work as well... And given your current information supplied, the i5 seems like it would work. i7 is a lovely chip (I have one on the other box) but I have to say that I cannot tell the difference when playing EU on this box or that box, once I set the same graphics options on both.

    2 sticks of RAM, both 8 GB in size. This is opposed to 4 sticks of RAM of size 4GB each. They do no market single 16GB chips for desktop PCs at present.
    If your motherboard supports 4 slots, then having 2x8 now allows you to add another 2x8 later for 32GB total.

    Twin Graphics cards support is there for 2 reason really:
    1) people who really like to wave their dicks around about how flash their PC is...
    If you have nothing better to do with your time and games are your life, it is possible to put 2 high-powered cards together in a "cross fire" or "SLI" configuration and get even more power of them by using them as a single unit sort of.

    2) businesses who want special graphics display outputs
    - Stock market PC walls, Surveillance camera feed displays, etc - a whole bank of side by side screens showing similar info.

    You definitely don't seem to need #2, and #1 is not recommended for non-technical enthusiasts as it adds a lot of complexity for not a whole lot of reward unless you really want to play EU spread across say 3 monitors at once. So in general, I would recommend getting one decent card and plugging both monitors into that.

    Power is a funny thing. Many PSUs have a listed rating but are measured to actually output lower levels. Graphics cards are funny - they are measured to have a certain range of draw and in general that draw has reduced and become better - but a fritzy power supply or one that dips occasionally under heavy load can cause issues for your RAM, leave you with weird blue-screens and all sorts.

    So in general, I give boxes more power supply than I think they will likely need even if I add another HDD or something later, and in general they never die on me even though I keep them on largely 24/7. The web-site believes the 650W will do you just fine though. So 750 is admittedly just me being me.

    This is, perhaps surprisingly, one of your biggest upgrade options.
    There is a feature of 32-bit operating systems many people are not aware of: they CANNOT use more than 4 GB of RAM.
    The address space ends there.

    So in order to access and use the full power of modern PCs, you really do need a 64-bit OS.
    Doesn't really matter if you get Windows 7 64-bit, Vista-64-bit or Windows 8 64-bit... Just organise a 64-bit OS :)

    Without it, all your RAM above 4 GB is just window dressing.

    Hmmm. I don't know if I would recommend any software that attempts to improve your connection - that sounds a bit like the sort of stuff hackers would sell to gain access to your machine :)

    In general, you can use various applications like SpeedTest.net and maybe get into the details of your Modem's config pages to see what the line attenuation and noise and so on are...

    Your connection speed will come down to
    - How fast your Internet Package is
    - how many other people on your block are all using the same physical cabling to get their internet
    - how clear / good quality your phone / modem line is
    - how good the link to Sweden is doing on any given day

    This means that some of the issues can be at your end. Some can be because of your neighbours. Some can be because of your phone company. Some can be because of your ISP. And some can be because some idiot in Kazakstan thinks today is the day to show Siemens what an evil corporate they really are...

    So usually I'd suggest taking the number from SpeedTest and setting your connection to a third or less of that.
    Then hopefully regardless how busy your website searches get while playing, and what your email client does, you should have spare bandwidth for EU.

    Always welcome... There are no silly questions and this is an area that you can spend forever in and still be learning...
    Good luck out there and happy to have helped even a little
    :)
     
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  20. Spike Black

    Spike Black Active Member

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    Well I'm now on my 5th personal build and I've another 6 or 7 for work I think, lost count tbh.

    I went through the same argument over the i5 or the i7, in the past a lot of games wouldn't take advantage of the i7's extra tech but a few are now and can give them a big boost. In the end I just went for the i7.

    http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2014-core-i5-4690k-core-i7-4790k-review

    If you're only using the i7 and a standard motherboard then a 450w psu is fine but when you start adding graphics cards some can require another 100w - 200w especially at the high end. Add an allowance for future graphics card upgrades and capacitor aging, how long are you planning on keeping the machine, then it can mean going for a 640-750w makes sense.
    As Cly said a stable power supply is a must for a graphics card, I know people who would spend £10 and wonder why their machine is unstable under load, I'd rather spend £150 on a good one. The one I use is a Corsair which started out as a Seasonic unit.

    http://www.10stripe.com/featured/psu/brand.php

    This page can help http://www.extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp

    Making your connection smoother can simply be getting a new telephone cable fitted, I boosted my dsl speed from 1.9Mb/s to 3.5Mb/s simply because the cable going to my house was old and corroded - noise and clicking on the line is an indicator. I'm now on fibre at 45Mb/s although it's been higher at nearly 70Mb/s but to get that on wireless I had to have a new router - an Asus RT-AC68U which allows me to max out my connection.

    Check out http://www.pingtest.net/ as raw speed isn't always an indicator of quality. If the ping is high or varies a lot then it could be the ISP, like the one I've at work which is completely crap, 10Mb/s connection but I it barely manages 200kb/s downloads.

    The reasons why I didn't use ssd's were the cost and the capacity, my Steam folder is currently 328Gb, my Uplay folder is 60Gb and my Origin folder is 76Gb plus, 464Gb total, I don't just play EU as you might be able to tell from my sig. A few other games are around 20-30Gb in addition and then my windows folder is 27Gb. Then add saved games which even after compressing some can be in the 1-2Gb range. It made more sense to me to just keep it simple and use physicals. Plus I always run raid 1, I could have used ssd caching but I've lost too many drives over the years to trust a single unit anymore and £300 - £500 for a 512Gb unit (at the time) didn't seem cost effective as I'm not worried by loading times.

    If I only used my pc for EU then I'd use an ssd and one physical for monthly image backups e.g. 250Gb Samsung Pro (better warranty) and a WD 3Tb red.

    http://www.samsung.com/global/business/semiconductor/minisite/SSD/global/html/support/warranty.html
     
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    Last edited: Dec 7, 2014

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