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#3933942 - 04/03/14 03:50 PM First reformat on my 2 year old gaming PC  
Joined: Nov 2006
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kestrel79 Offline
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kestrel79  Offline
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I've had my gaming PC build now for over 2 years, have yet to do a reformat with W7 64. I think it's about time to clean house. Some basic questions...

-Do I need to backup my Steam games? Or will they automatically redownload when I reinstall Steam?
-Should I download the latest drivers and BIOS on a thumb drive before hand?

Now some minor upgrade questions...

-Adding 2 more 4gb sticks for a total of 16gb of RAM, worth it?
-never had a SSD, maybe get a small one for windows and some flight sims? Good brands?
-aftermarket CPU cooler...good one for my system? I have always used stock heatsink and fan, never overclocked anything but would like to try and boost things a bit.

Any other tips that would be helpful? This is mainly a gaming PC so I don't have tons of files that need backing up or anything. Just pretty much games.


Intel i5 2500k // Asus P8P67 // 16GB G.Skill RAM // RX480 8GB // 27" monitor // VKB Black Mamba Mk.III // Warthog Throttle // TFRP Pedals // W7
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#3934010 - 04/03/14 06:06 PM Re: First reformat on my 2 year old gaming PC [Re: kestrel79]  
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Jedi Master Offline
Entil'zha
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Steam needs to be reinstalled. After that, you need to reinstall each Steam game you want. There are 2 ways to do this:

Fresh

Backup/restore directory and pick install in Steam. Steam will "recover" installation and you will avoid most files being DL'd. It's faster than a DL in most cases, although not as fast as you might think (it could be 10 mins or so to recover the average game).


As for drivers, always a good idea to have them in an easily accessible location like a thumb drive or DVD or external HD. BIOS you can ignore. Never update the BIOS on a long-working PC unless there's a problem the update addresses.

RAM is tricky. Going from 2 to 4 sticks increases your RAM, but you run into issues of reliability and speed (because if they're not perfectly matched the overall speed can drop to lower than the slowest of the pairs), so I favor going with a matched pair of 8s over 4 4s.




The Jedi Master


The anteater is wearing the bagel because he's a reindeer princess. -- my 4 yr old daughter
#3934025 - 04/03/14 06:17 PM Re: First reformat on my 2 year old gaming PC [Re: kestrel79]  
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Raw Kryptonite Offline
Beat the Kobayashi Maru
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Might plan ahead for next time. Use the new SSD for your OS, use a large drive like your current one for game/steam installations and a backup image of the OS.


·Steam: Raw Kryptonite ·MWO & Elite Dangerous: Defcon Won ·Meager youtube channel
·Intel i5-9600K ·EVGA GTX1070 FTW 8GB ·EVGA CLC 120 Cooler
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· CORSAIR CARBIDE AIR 540 case ·BenQ BL3200PT monitor
#3934070 - 04/03/14 06:54 PM Re: First reformat on my 2 year old gaming PC [Re: Jedi Master]  
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dutch Offline
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Originally Posted By: Jedi Master
S
RAM is tricky. Going from 2 to 4 sticks increases your RAM, but you run into issues of reliability and speed (because if they're not perfectly matched the overall speed can drop to lower than the slowest of the pairs), so I favor going with a matched pair of 8s over 4 4s.



As long if he stays to the same type, he will not notice not any difference in system speed and if so he can manually adjust them to equal. edit: I mean inhere: same brand, same Gb, same series/type/version. Think you should put in your old RAM in the same colored slot and the new one in the other color, to take full advantage of dual-channel. Read you manual on that.

Make also a print screen of your maps and desktop.

On my system I have on one 500gb HD; two Win7-64 boot sectors and on my 256Gb SSD a Win8.1 bootsector, which I did put in later.
About the SSD, you will see not much improvement in RoF but the advantage is that you can use now two boot sectors. One your old OS unchanged and one complete new on the SSD. Old boot can be used for family and the SSD boot for your tweaked OS and games. Get a 200 or more Gb SSD because when getting more on more Gb on your SSD, the SSD will become slower.

RAM and SSD are rather cheap, so yes I would go for the SSD and the extra RAM in the conditions as explained.

Last edited by dutch; 04/03/14 07:12 PM.
#3934362 - 04/04/14 09:04 AM Re: First reformat on my 2 year old gaming PC [Re: kestrel79]  
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- Ice Offline
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You don't have to backup your Steam games, Steam will re-download them when you ask it to. Or you can backup/copy your entire \Steam\SteamApps\common folder, paste it back in after reinstalling Steam -- this way, you will keep most of the data and Steam will only have to do little work to complete the re-install. Remember though: Your savegames are not necessarily on the Steam folder. Find out where your savegames are kept and make sure to make copies.

8GB vs 16GB isn't really much difference. Are you doing anything where you notice you're hitting your 8GB RAM limit? You won't get much performance boost when going 16GB and I think it's pointless unless you go up to maybe 32GB and make a RAM drive. The money spent on the RAM might be better off placed into buying a bigger SSD. Or two SSDs, one for OS, one for games. You'd want at least 120+GB for OS and programs, and then as-big-as-you-can-afford for games. Even then, you might want to split your game install -- keep some on a HDD and some on a SSD. You can move Steam games from HDD to SSD and vice versa with some simple tools. I do this so that the games I play often are on SSD and those I play only once a month are on the HDD.

Aftermarket cooler -- depends on your CPU but do take a look at COolerMaster Hyper 212 (or 212+ or 212 Evo, it has different names IIRC). Cheap cooler but does work well.


- Ice
#3934624 - 04/04/14 05:30 PM Re: First reformat on my 2 year old gaming PC [Re: kestrel79]  
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dutch Offline
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Ice has it right, was mistaken, in my mind it was 4Gb total and upgrade it to 8Gb. In this case 8Gb is normally sufficient. Why not pm Krytonite, here above, he seems to have 16Gb so he must have any experience.

Try first the extra more then 240Gb SSD for your gaming OS so you have two OS boots. Make this SSD boot mean and lean, so it bring you extra performance by killing all the ballast not needed for gaming. On my RoF boot I use not even a virusscan, but you can use MS because of the low system load. edit: but like I explained earlier you will not notice any performance improvement for RoF, only because the SSD are cheap and you can now have your regular OS/HD besides a game OS.

About overclocking do first your readings on how and try it with PC case open.
Before buying a cooler check always the dimensions, not only the height but also the space between the cooler and the top of your RAM. Good and not to expensive ones are Sythe Mugen, Hyper series and Therminalright true spirit 140. I am running a i5-2500k on a Scythe Mugen2 REV-b dualfan and my son uses the Therminalright using the big 140mm fan, both with a low noise level.

See you are running triple screen setup, so why not going for an extra HD7950 and run it in Crossfire, most [second hand] HD7950 are not that expensive.


Last edited by dutch; 04/05/14 07:49 AM.
#3934663 - 04/04/14 06:24 PM Re: First reformat on my 2 year old gaming PC [Re: kestrel79]  
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Raw Kryptonite Offline
Beat the Kobayashi Maru
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IMO 8GB is plenty. I rarely get over 30% utilized.
I went 16 just because it was fairly cheap to do so, and I figured as long as I'd have the pc, it would eventually be useful. It's just $50 now for an extra 8GB, but in a few years, it could go up as memory advances and this gets outdated.


·Steam: Raw Kryptonite ·MWO & Elite Dangerous: Defcon Won ·Meager youtube channel
·Intel i5-9600K ·EVGA GTX1070 FTW 8GB ·EVGA CLC 120 Cooler
·16 GB Patriot Memory VIPER 4 3000MHz ·GIGABYTE Z390 AORUS PRO WiFi Mobo
· CORSAIR CARBIDE AIR 540 case ·BenQ BL3200PT monitor
#3934710 - 04/04/14 07:38 PM Re: First reformat on my 2 year old gaming PC [Re: kestrel79]  
Joined: Feb 2000
Posts: 49,716
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Entil'zha
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Sierra Hotel

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Space Coast, USA
DCS World is the only program I have that takes me over 40% or so of my 8GB...and then it can go into the 70s and even 80s at times!



The Jedi Master


The anteater is wearing the bagel because he's a reindeer princess. -- my 4 yr old daughter

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