Advice on Upgrading my PC

Hanger

Standard Member
Hi, I’m a new member here, and was just hoping on some advice on what to buy to upgrade my computer.

I bought a pre built gaming PC on Amazon, and it is a little slow and laggy on flight simulator. The ram is at 90%+ when loading the game (it takes ages) and the VRAM gets to 90%+ when the game starts.

im not that experienced with computers, so I’m unsure what components will fit my computer. I’m guessing I need to upgrade my Ram from 8 to 16, and maybe upgrade my graphics card. I have 2 ram slots on my PC.

Any advice would be very welcome 😊

This was the computer I bought


4C2420F9-18DD-4DC8-8A04-91036FC20C89.jpeg
 

MooCow

Well-known Member
Flight Sim is a beast of a game, plain and simple. You can chuck even the best hardware currently available right now and it will still ask for more :D But a PC using all of it's resources is always the case, the game will take what it can - even if you have 16GB+ RAM or a 24GB GPU. No point in having it sat half empty.

Looks like it's this PC?
Amazon product
First of all - the listing is TERRIBLE! Specs mention both a 3200G and a 2300U (which is a mobile processor so I am guessing it is the 3200G onboard from that) and socket AM3 which is also wrong for either of those CPUs. AWD-IT have a lot to answer for here LOL.

Let's get your proper PC specs would be a good starting point:
Thanks for downloading Speccy - download for Speccy. The first page it shows up after the install should tell us your summary of CPU, Motherboard model, if you have 1 or 2 sticks of RAM (along with the speeds etc), the disk and confirm the GPU etc.

Based on the listing - it has a 1TB mechanical hard disk. So first upgrade I would highly recommend is an SSD either a SATA one or an M2 version dependant on the motherboard. SATA is cheaper and a massive upgrade in speed of loading games and Windows in general, an M2 is faster still but tend to be more expensive especially at larger capacities and is dependant on if the motherboard has a slot for one. If you can buy one at about 512GB in size (because, flight sim) and have less than that on the disk drive already you can clone it across using software so don't have to get into the whole reinstalling Windows thing which can be a chore for a new PC user. The 1TB mech disk can then be used for storage of bigger files with a few games on the SSD that you play frequently for speedier launching :)
Check the box that came with the PC or in the case itself to see if there is a second SATA data cable included - they are not expensive if not just need to remember to order one. Also if possible check that there is a SATA power feed too - there should be but may be buried in a bundle in the case or being used for the fans or similar.

Memory - 16GB is recommended spec from memory for flight sim - 8GB being minimum. Upgrade wise you are either looking at adding another 8GB stick, depends on if the PC has a single or dual sticks in there already to bring it to 8 (so 2x4 or is it 1x8?). If it's already a single stick then get another. If it's two sticks already then you are looking at replacing both with a new pair of 2x8GB - Ryzen CPUs love both fast memory and dual channel memory - 3200Mhz should be more than adequate for the 3200G processor. Get a matched set if you can to your existing stick.

GPU wise - depends. First, there are none available generally at the moment unless you want to pay ludicrous prices even on the second hand market. Sorry to say but it is the worst time in history to be upgrading a PC - GPU especially, I haven't known it this bad in the 25+ years I have been building them. We got new hardware scarcity, a mining-fest on the go, Covid - it's a perfect storm at the minute.
But largely it's going to come down to what you want to play and what resolution your monitor is capable of. Higher resolution means a GPU with more memory, significant cost (at the moment) and more power requirements - then we could potentially be getting into territory of upgrading the power supply too. It "says" it's a 500W unit but who knows with the quality of the rest of the listing ;) A second hand 1070TI is a significant upgrade over a 1050TI, but I can't recommend one given the prices - they have gone up 50% even on the 2nd hand market in just a few months putting them at the prices of the entry level 30XX series cards. A 1660 would roughly double your frames and WAS a sub £200 card at one point...now going for £400 or more. Sad times!

You're looking at (without the GPU) a spend of:
£50 and you are starting into known brand 500GB+ drives (Crucial, Sandisk, etc). About another 15 quid for an M2 version of the same. Would recommend the bigger capacity with Flight Sim topping in at a hefty 150GB install size! You could squeeze down to a 256GB if budget is constrained, but it's like £15 to go for double the capacity.
£60 - £80 for 2x8GB sticks of RAM - higher price being for if you want RGB or similar. Half that if you have a single 8GB stick already.

There's always the members market here too which is worth keeping an eye on. People are often letting things go cheaper than ebay and picking up an 8GB stick of RAM may not be too much trouble either from there ;)

Others may be along in the morning with considerations I haven't accounted for - but we can give some pointers on how to install the upgrades and stuff for you too.
 

Hanger

Standard Member
Flight Sim is a beast of a game, plain and simple. You can chuck even the best hardware currently available right now and it will still ask for more :D But a PC using all of it's resources is always the case, the game will take what it can - even if you have 16GB+ RAM or a 24GB GPU. No point in having it sat half empty.

Looks like it's this PC?
Amazon product
First of all - the listing is TERRIBLE! Specs mention both a 3200G and a 2300U (which is a mobile processor so I am guessing it is the 3200G onboard from that) and socket AM3 which is also wrong for either of those CPUs. AWD-IT have a lot to answer for here LOL.

Let's get your proper PC specs would be a good starting point:
Thanks for downloading Speccy - download for Speccy. The first page it shows up after the install should tell us your summary of CPU, Motherboard model, if you have 1 or 2 sticks of RAM (along with the speeds etc), the disk and confirm the GPU etc.

Based on the listing - it has a 1TB mechanical hard disk. So first upgrade I would highly recommend is an SSD either a SATA one or an M2 version dependant on the motherboard. SATA is cheaper and a massive upgrade in speed of loading games and Windows in general, an M2 is faster still but tend to be more expensive especially at larger capacities and is dependant on if the motherboard has a slot for one. If you can buy one at about 512GB in size (because, flight sim) and have less than that on the disk drive already you can clone it across using software so don't have to get into the whole reinstalling Windows thing which can be a chore for a new PC user. The 1TB mech disk can then be used for storage of bigger files with a few games on the SSD that you play frequently for speedier launching :)
Check the box that came with the PC or in the case itself to see if there is a second SATA data cable included - they are not expensive if not just need to remember to order one. Also if possible check that there is a SATA power feed too - there should be but may be buried in a bundle in the case or being used for the fans or similar.

Memory - 16GB is recommended spec from memory for flight sim - 8GB being minimum. Upgrade wise you are either looking at adding another 8GB stick, depends on if the PC has a single or dual sticks in there already to bring it to 8 (so 2x4 or is it 1x8?). If it's already a single stick then get another. If it's two sticks already then you are looking at replacing both with a new pair of 2x8GB - Ryzen CPUs love both fast memory and dual channel memory - 3200Mhz should be more than adequate for the 3200G processor. Get a matched set if you can to your existing stick.

GPU wise - depends. First, there are none available generally at the moment unless you want to pay ludicrous prices even on the second hand market. Sorry to say but it is the worst time in history to be upgrading a PC - GPU especially, I haven't known it this bad in the 25+ years I have been building them. We got new hardware scarcity, a mining-fest on the go, Covid - it's a perfect storm at the minute.
But largely it's going to come down to what you want to play and what resolution your monitor is capable of. Higher resolution means a GPU with more memory, significant cost (at the moment) and more power requirements - then we could potentially be getting into territory of upgrading the power supply too. It "says" it's a 500W unit but who knows with the quality of the rest of the listing ;) A second hand 1070TI is a significant upgrade over a 1050TI, but I can't recommend one given the prices - they have gone up 50% even on the 2nd hand market in just a few months putting them at the prices of the entry level 30XX series cards. A 1660 would roughly double your frames and WAS a sub £200 card at one point...now going for £400 or more. Sad times!

You're looking at (without the GPU) a spend of:
£50 and you are starting into known brand 500GB+ drives (Crucial, Sandisk, etc). About another 15 quid for an M2 version of the same. Would recommend the bigger capacity with Flight Sim topping in at a hefty 150GB install size! You could squeeze down to a 256GB if budget is constrained, but it's like £15 to go for double the capacity.
£60 - £80 for 2x8GB sticks of RAM - higher price being for if you want RGB or similar. Half that if you have a single 8GB stick already.

There's always the members market here too which is worth keeping an eye on. People are often letting things go cheaper than ebay and picking up an 8GB stick of RAM may not be too much trouble either from there ;)

Others may be along in the morning with considerations I haven't accounted for - but we can give some pointers on how to install the upgrades and stuff for you too.

I really appreciate the well thought out response 😊

budget isn’t a major issue for me, however I’m not going to pay double for something just because of the Covid situation. So il wait a while for the market to settle before I upgrade my Graphics card.

I will upgrade the ram and get an ssd card like you have advised though, and see how games run after that.

I do want to upgrade the screen aswell as the one I have the brightness isn’t great, but I’m gonna wait til the shops re open so I can see them before I buy.

This was the summary when I ran Speccy on my computer this morning.

5A74B07B-C49E-4056-9AE7-309AA95D2A54.jpeg


Thanks again for all you’re help and advice, it has been really helpful 😊
 

MooCow

Well-known Member
So looking at that:
RAM - looks to be dual channel - that is that you have 2 sticks in there already (2 x 4GB sticks) so you would be looking at a change to 2x8GB sticks for an upgrade. It's also relatively slow to what your CPU can support. The previously mention 8x2 DDR4 3200 should be a decent upgrade and more in line with your CPUs supported memory speed. You may need to make some changes in the BIOS to get the speed out of it but we can help with that once you have it in hand - not too difficult but can be a bit daunting to a newbie. Well worth the effort getting comfortable which such things though IMO - will make you more confident and a better understanding of how the PC works.

Motherboard is this - GA-A320M-H (rev. 1.x) Key Features | Motherboard - GIGABYTE Global - so you have the option of going for the SATA or M2 version SSD. SSD in general is a massive uplift over the mechanical drive you have presently anyway. The uplift from SATA to M2 while on paper looks incredible, in real world it doesn't feel that much different IMO as it's the access times that make it "feel" much better than a mechanical disk. You have plenty of SATA ports on the motherboard, so you should be golden. Just need to check if you have a SATA cable - though they are only like a quid anyway if not and a SATA power connector free an accessible. Only other thing you will need is a screwdriver to get in the case and mount the drive ;) M2 SSD is easier to install though - so up to you - it's powered and data feed is from the motherboard with no cables.

CPU is odd - it doesn't match up with the specs of the machine - the 3200G is a Ryzen 3 not a Ryzen 5 series - it's possibly that they have moved it up to a 3400G instead - worth having a look at the CPU details just to be sure, but it looks like they may have upgraded you.
 

Hanger

Standard Member
So looking at that:
RAM - looks to be dual channel - that is that you have 2 sticks in there already (2 x 4GB sticks) so you would be looking at a change to 2x8GB sticks for an upgrade. It's also relatively slow to what your CPU can support. The previously mention 8x2 DDR4 3200 should be a decent upgrade and more in line with your CPUs supported memory speed. You may need to make some changes in the BIOS to get the speed out of it but we can help with that once you have it in hand - not too difficult but can be a bit daunting to a newbie. Well worth the effort getting comfortable which such things though IMO - will make you more confident and a better understanding of how the PC works.

Motherboard is this - GA-A320M-H (rev. 1.x) Key Features | Motherboard - GIGABYTE Global - so you have the option of going for the SATA or M2 version SSD. SSD in general is a massive uplift over the mechanical drive you have presently anyway. The uplift from SATA to M2 while on paper looks incredible, in real world it doesn't feel that much different IMO as it's the access times that make it "feel" much better than a mechanical disk. You have plenty of SATA ports on the motherboard, so you should be golden. Just need to check if you have a SATA cable - though they are only like a quid anyway if not and a SATA power connector free an accessible. Only other thing you will need is a screwdriver to get in the case and mount the drive ;) M2 SSD is easier to install though - so up to you - it's powered and data feed is from the motherboard with no cables.

CPU is odd - it doesn't match up with the specs of the machine - the 3200G is a Ryzen 3 not a Ryzen 5 series - it's possibly that they have moved it up to a 3400G instead - worth having a look at the CPU details just to be sure, but it looks like they may have upgraded you.

thanks my friend.

good to hear that my PC is better than I was anticipating, as since buying have read lots of bad things about pre built Amazon computers 😂

il watch demonstrations on YouTube on how to do it, but if I need any more assistance il ask on here. I ordered a 1tb m2, as I play a lot of games. Have previously been a console gamer. I’m guessing that will still be alright to install on my pc

This is what I ordered.
5909A970-DDE3-4AF6-A511-C6FA4AA9771C.jpeg
63ACADC0-4575-4E0F-8A3A-0C63A819852B.jpeg

Thanks again for all you’re help, I wouldn’t of had a clue otherwise 😊 il have a go at installing them tomorrow once they arrive.
 

MooCow

Well-known Member
Yup - I just bought pretty much the same parts the other day LOL
I am building a new server PC at the minute and opted for the same M2 drive and the same RAM (albeit the higher speed version for me personally)

Just make sure your PC is off before starting any changes to the hardware is the first thing to consider.
Memory will feel tight to install but it will "click" into place - worth placing the PC on it's side if you can so that you are pressing directly down on it rather than trying to push it from the side with it stood up.
 

Hanger

Standard Member
That’s good to hear then mate 😊 Must be good parts if you are using them too.

Thanks for all the help and advice, really appreciate it 👍
 

Hanger

Standard Member
Hi mate having a few issues so far.

I installed both into the machine at the same time, and now my computer doesn’t seem to be working.

first of all the ram was lighting up (1 more bright than the other) but I wasn’t getting any picture on my screen and my mouse and keyboard weren’t lighting up.

then I turned the computer off and went back in to make sure I had installed the ram correctly so I went back in and checked it and everything seemed to be alright. But now I’ve turned my computer back on nothing is working. The mouse, keyboard and monitor are not getting any response and my new ram isn’t lighting up.

not sure what I have done wrong to be honest. Sorry to ask for more help, but im
Abit unsure of what to do?
 

alphaomega16

Distinguished Member
Try your old ram back in the system to see if that changes anything.
 

MooCow

Well-known Member
RAM requires quite a firm hand - firmer than you may expect. They really take both thumbs pressing them home to get them in properly. Just installed mine a moment ago for my new server and even after doing it so many times, it always makes me cringe :D
From what you are saying with them not lighting up properly initially it could very well be that they just need seating correctly as it sounds like a poor connection to me from that.
 

Hanger

Standard Member
Just tried the old ram and still nothing. Maybe it is down to me not being firm enough with them. Il have another go at it👍
 

Hanger

Standard Member
It’s working now. Really appreciate the advise from both of you.

You where right MooCow you do need to force them in a lot more than what feels comfortable.

Thought I’d messed up my computer 😂 Just relieved it’s all working again now.

Thankyou so much 👍
 

MooCow

Well-known Member
No problem mate, I just swapped out my RAM on my main PC and in the middle of building my server so know exactly how you felt - they make horrible crunching sounds too which doesn't help LOL.
 

Hanger

Standard Member
Just played flight simulator with the new upgrades in place, and all I can say is wow.

Even plays the game smoothly on high end graphics settings. Those 2 upgrades have made a huge difference. Thankyou so much 👍
 

alphaomega16

Distinguished Member
I am glad you got it going, SSD's make a night and day difference over mechanical for anything other than storage.

I am the most paranoid about installing the ram as sometimes you really need to give it some wellie to get it in there good.
 

Hanger

Standard Member
I am glad you got it going, SSD's make a night and day difference over mechanical for anything other than storage.

I am the most paranoid about installing the ram as sometimes you really need to give it some wellie to get it in there good.

Yeah something has made a difference on games. Haven’t noticed much difference navigating around windows though.

I did copy the hard disk across to the SSD using a programme. But I’m not 100% sure that windows is using the SSD to boot up rather than the existing hard drive.

is there a way of telling?
 

Delvey

Distinguished Member
I install my RAM with one of these

download (3).jpeg





P.S not really don't try and install RAM with a hammer
 

sykotik

Distinguished Member
Yeah something has made a difference on games. Haven’t noticed much difference navigating around windows though.

I did copy the hard disk across to the SSD using a programme. But I’m not 100% sure that windows is using the SSD to boot up rather than the existing hard drive.

is there a way of telling?
Remove the old boot drive , it might fire up the pc straight away, if not you need to go into bios and change the boot order of the drives .
More than likely it will start straight tho.
 

Hanger

Standard Member
Remove the old boot drive , it might fire up the pc straight away, if not you need to go into bios and change the boot order of the drives .
More than likely it will start straight tho.

thanks mate. I went into bios and it and worked out how to change the order. It runs a lot faster now. Thanks for you’re help 👍
 

alphaomega16

Distinguished Member
Yeah something has made a difference on games. Haven’t noticed much difference navigating around windows though.

I did copy the hard disk across to the SSD using a programme. But I’m not 100% sure that windows is using the SSD to boot up rather than the existing hard drive.

is there a way of telling?
Running around windows won't seem much different depending on how old the windows install is (found they slow down after a while on mechanical drives) but having games on SSD can help a lot with loading times and environments as you move.

Boot up and down after going from Mechanical to SSD can be quite noticeable though, when I done new PC for dad with a 250gb ssd boot drive windows installed quicker than his old system even shut down lol.
 

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