After not having touched my computers for a couple of years, I could need to upgrade them, but I have zero experience with building and components (other than more or less knowing their names). I live on two different places, so I have two different computers.
Because I’m so inexperienced, but interested in learning, I hope you don’t mind me including some general questions.
- Are there any sites where I can learn about the components of the computer, perhaps information about the different brands (e.g. what the different brands are known for etc.), news on components (much like MMO-C frequently posts news on the WoW front)?
- How do I best maintain my computer? I know running disk cleanup and defragmentation is good, and I should probably run it more frequently. Any rule of thumb for how often I should do this? What about drivers and BIOS? I have never really touched those things before. It sounds logical to update these things, but I have no idea how often, how important it is, or which components I should update my drivers for.
- I have never thought of running WoW in 64-bit (I assume it runs 32-bit as default). What’s the different between running in 32-bit and 64-bit?
Onto the computers themselves. I’m not really sure where I can easily read off all the components, but I’ve at least tried. By going Start -> right-click on Computer -> Device Manager I do find some components. I have also checked by typing ‘msinfo32’ and ‘dxdiag’ into the Run commandline.
Due to my inexperience I can’t really give you a budget, since I have no idea what the price ranges for the different components are. However, an explanation of usage and desired settings will hopefully help.
I mainly use the computers for WoW and Internet. I might begin frapsing and possibly also streaming in the future. I don’t need to run everything on ultra and still have a very good FPS, but I don’t want to drop below good. Again, it depends on price ranges, because I honestly have no idea what I can expect to spend if I want the computer to be so and so good.
This first computer is from 2008. I think the monitor works well, but then again, I don’ t have anything to compare with. Let me know whether you think the monitor should be switched out.
... What I’m really looking for is to upgrade some of the components on this computer. The fact that I’m currently playing with a resolution of 1200x800 instead of 1920x1080 (which is optimal with this monitor) kind of says something about how much this could need an upgrade. I’m simply not able to play on the optimal resolution comfortably. Even at this resolution I need to tweak most settings down to low.
... Despite this computer being from 2008, it has a solid amount of RAM, so I suppose I don’t need to switch out those. I suspect that I need to switch out the graphics card, though. I heard that if I invest in a good graphics card, it can last for 4-5 years.
... If it helps to find the rest of the components, the computer is a Dell Inspiron 546. I don’t even know whether I can safely upgrade the components of a premade computer like this.
Monitor: Acer V243HQ
CPU: 2x AMD Athlon(tm) 64 X2 Dual Core Processor
CPU Cooler: Can’t find one. Maybe I don’t have one?
Motherboard: Can’t find it.
Memory: 8GB, can’t find the name of it.
Storage: 450.68GB, can’t find more information about it, but it’s a HDD.
Storage: 15GB, same as a above.
Video Card: ATI Radeon HD 4300/4500 Series
Case: No idea where I can read this off, but it’s a Dell.
Power Supply: Can’t find it.
Optical Drive: HL-DT-ST DVD+ -RW GH30N ATA Device
Operating System: Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium
This other computer is from 2010. I bought this computer off a website where my starting point was a premade gaming computer. I then switch out components based on user reviews. This is the closest I have been to building a computer of my own.
... The computer still works great, but I think it might be on time to upgrade my monitor from 2002 (/grin). I have been looking at this monitor, as it’s on sale. I have no idea how good it really is, but the user reviews are mostly positive. The site is in Norwegian, but you can see the name of the screen and the price of it (in NOK), and that’s hopefully everything you need to know. Also, here is everything that has anything to do with computers that are currently on sale.
... Something I’m also very intersted in knowing is how this setup will work if I switch from 1280x1024 to 1920x1080. I currently run with mostly high settings and have 100+ FPS in 10-man raid outside combat. Is there anything I will need to upgrade?
Monitor: Dell 1800FP
CPU: 4x Intel(R) Core(TM) i5 CPU 750
CPU Cooler: Can’t find it.
Motherboard: MSI MS-7636
Memory: 4GB, can’t find the name.
Storage: 465.76GB, can’t find the name of it, but it’s a HDD.
Video Card: ATI Radeon HD 5670
Case: Cooler Master, can’t find anything else on it.
Power Supply: Can’t find it.
Optical Drive: Optiarc DVD RW AD-7240S ATA Device
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium
Keep in mind that I live in Norway. Also, if more information is needed, let me know, and I will see what I can do.