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Battle of the year, my PC vs AoC...

1857 Views 14 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  cjmarquardt
Right then, I'm trying to run Age of Conan on a reasonably budget computer I bought about 9months ago.
I get alot of lag, dc's, low fps, and whilst its playable, I would love to play it properly, so I'm going to upgrade a few things, but I'd like to know my PC's weaknesses in running it.
Here's my rig:
NVIDIA GeForce 8400GS
Vista 32bit
Duo Intel Core @ 1.80GHz
Creatix SAA7131, Hybrid ca[putre device
300 GB hard disk space.

Appreciate that a PC is like a barrel, and it'll leak if only one of the boards is short, so advice on which of my board is shortest would be great :D
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What mother board and power supply or brand name and model number of your pc?
Before upgrading any components, you need to make sure the power supply unit (PSU) can handle the extra load. If you're going to be installing a high-end graphics card, you'll probably need something like a 650W PSU with at least 26A/+12V.

Open your case and post back with the details from the PSU label (make/model, total watts, amps for +12V)

You're ok for RAM, CPU and hard drive size. It's just the graphics card that needs replacing, and possibly the motherboard if yours is an older model. For new games like Conan, you'll need a GeForce 8800 or similar.

What is your monitor's native resolution, and what resolution do you normally play games at? If it's very high you'll need a 512mb graphics card. If you play at less than approx 1280x1024 then you might get away with a slightly cheaper 256mb card.
I have 16A/+12V 300W :S
Run at 1280 by 1028 natively, for my prefered quality/performance balance, but thats with the limits of my current 8400 GS, not much room for experimentation graphics wise with it.

Going to put in another 2GB of RAM, as its only £40.

What card would you recommend?
Whats the best card I could use with my PSU?
Adding another 2gb RAM to make a total of 4gb will not give you much of a performance increase. It will allow you to have more programs open at once, but you won't notice any difference in games - the graphics won't look any better and the speed will be the same as with 2gb.

Note: 32bit operating systems can only use 3-3.5gb RAM. You need a 64bit OS to use 4gb and higher.

With only 16A/+12V on your 300W PSU, you're very limited in your choice of graphics card upgrades. AGP cards need a minimum of 18A. You might get away with 16A, but expect components to have a shorter lifetime, and possible crashes when under stress. PCIE card need 26A so you can forget about getting a high-end card for the latest games.

If I was you, I would consider upgrading the PSU and motherboard so you can fit a PCIE card. Of course, this won't be cheap, but your current system is reaching the end of its upgradeability and is unsuitable for modern 3D games like Age Of Conan.
Hey Cjm,
I am also a big fan of AoC. Any issues with this subject are answered here
It is full of tips to pump the best performance possible out of your machine.
Ok guys, your help is very much appreciated, and just want to offer my thanks for your advice so far.

Unfortunately, I'm a poor student in the later half of my A levels (What not in university? you're still a school boy!) and my meagre amount of money has to be prioritised with festival tickets, alchohol for the festivals, holidays and driving lessons (at around £25 a pop!).

I'm going to jam in another 1GB of RAM, so I can have iTunes blaring whilst I play and multitask, but in terms of upgrading my graphics card (and by proxy my motherboard and PSU), I'm too consticted by budget to invest.

Well, with Age of Conan in its infancy and considering the amount of teething problems its having, and they ask for over £10 a month for what imho (humble, not honest) is a glorified open beta, I may have to go back to WoW, simply due to hardware restrictions. I left due to mild boredom, but mainly a networking issue that made me more of a liability than an assest in endgame raiding (Which turned out to be a ****ing broken cable!!! 9 months of frustration... /sigh)

I have a *mild* alternative in the form of my mum's laptop, which she will be unpleased that I will be monopolising for online games she disproves of anyway, but use it or lose it tbh!

Here's the specs:

32-bit Vista
3GB ram
Intel Duo 1.6Ghz each
Nvidia 9300M G

I don't think its much of an upgrade, but meh.

Any thoughts?
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Depending on how clean your the operating system is on your lap top it should run fine with default settings. When I say clean I'm talking about no spy/add ware, plenty of disk space, and a maintained hard drive (disk clean ups and de-fragmentation) Make sure you have "bloom" turned off in game and your distance view lowered. The game is a resource pig.
The only advice I can think of other then that is... Don't go back to WoW :p
Conan with my current setup is just not enjoyable to play.
Low fps'd to death too many times, its fugly to look at on my comp, riddled with bugs and lack of content.
I like the game, but its as FC said, a platform to build on. It will be awesome when I have a decent computer, and when its got through its issues, and I can focus on endgame PvE, which is so much better than leveling.
Got a 70 T5 mage with a great guild I was sorry to leave in WoW, which plays fine, and I enjoy.

Playability WoW > Aoc
Performance WoW > Aoc
Socially WoW > Aoc
Not to bash AoC at all, but in my situation, I think WoW is just the way forward.

Thanks for your wisdom guys!

But I think in the battle, my PC has lost...
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If Warcraft is the main priority for your PC then an upgrade is not necessary :)
I was kind of kidding about the "don't play wow remark" Primarily because I can't get my son off the thing and I often read the debates on the AoC forums :p I'm sure its a great game, 9 million people can't be wrong.
10million! :p
Here's some perspective:

Looking at a 8600GT as thats what Nvidia recommends for 300W output,
its a £50ish upgrade.

Is it worth upgrading (taken that I can't afford to upgrade my motherboard/PSU/OS)?

And how can I tell my motherboard type? (PCI etc.)
Do a search for cpu-z. It's a small program that tells you detailed specs about your machine such as motherboard type.
As for your upgrade, its all a matter of personal preference. What I do is set a marker when I am going to upgrade and do the whole shebang. The reason being, upgrading piece by piece is cumbersome and often requires you to buy additional upgrades to be compatible with the upgrade you just purchased and it might be a week before you get your machine working. By setting a date and doing one massive upgrade you know you are getting all the latest hardware and you know its compatible with each other. Again, its all about personal preference and budget.
The 300W recommended by nvidia doesn't take into account the rest of your components which also require power. The amps on the +12V line are more relevant than the total wattage for gamers.

To see how much power your computer needs to run smoothly, enter your full system specs into this power calculator and set Capacitor Aging to 25%. Click the Calculate button, then add 30% to the total to allow for PSU inefficiency.

I don't think the 8600GT will give you enough of a performance boost to justify the extra cost. You would be better off saving up for a good quality PSU and a motherboard with a PCIEx16 slot. That will give you a solid foundation for any other upgrades and will allow you to fit any high-end graphics card.

Ok, I'm going to take your advice and save up for a decent rig.
Looking at all the components, it really shows how building your own PC is infinitely cheaper than buying one o_O
So I think I'll go back to WoW until I have the money, and then enjoy AoC the way its meant to be played.
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