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#4494882 - 10/27/19 09:15 PM Why I Am Insistent On Upgrading One's Computer  
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 364
RIBob Offline
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RIBob  Offline
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Initially posted elsewhere. Posted here as potentially useful information. YMMV.

Today, I installed BoB II (Wings of Victory) into my Win 10 computer, along with a specific patch which is intended to allow running the game on win 10. It seems (with some little investigation) to have allowed the game to run properly.

Why am I posting this here, in an EAW forum? Because the fundamental lessons learned are valuable ones, and pertain to EAW users.

When I investigated the Graphics settings within the game on the win 10 computer, the game had set almost all the Gfx settings on the maximum level possible. When I compared these same game-set settings to my very inferior Win 7 computer, I found that quite a few Gfx settings could not be set to max, and some not near max. Comparing the same game, win 7 versus win 10, revealed that the game looked MUCH better and played at least as well in Win 10.

This is the second experience I have had in playing old games suitably modified for playing on Win 10. See my posts here about Crimson Skies game. This is the second--of two--old games that I have successfully installed into Win 10, and which games looked and played a LOT better than in Win 7.

Now, the fundamental point to all this IS NOT that the games be able to be played on Win 10. That is another, important issue; Another topic.

What IS pertinent is that my win 10 machine has a fairly modern CPU, a fairly modern Graphics card, and is running on SSDs.
Since my Win 7 machine also runs on SSDs, and has a decent, but ancient, Core 2 Duo CPU, and a vintage Nvidia GT 730 Gfx card, and since the Gfx features on the win 7 computer are relatively limited vice the Win 10 computer, I have come to some tentative conclusions.

On the Win 10 computer, either the vastly better CPU (8th Gen I7), and/or the equally, and vastly better Nvidia 2060 OC PRO Gfx card allow the inherent Gfx features to become available to the user. Even on these vintage games. Obviously the Win 7 computer, as configured, disallows many Gfx features, and the Win 10 computer allows such. I don't know the point in-between these two end points wherein lies the "sweet spot", but I reckon that "spot" is moving upwards, all the time, in order to accommodate modern games.

That said, Win 7 computer users might want to investigate whether or not their CPU can be upgraded to a more modern one, and whether their Gfx card can be upgraded. Gfx card major upgrade will probably involve a Power Supply Unit (PSU) upgrade. Your old Win 7 computer might, or might not, be able to be upgraded to a point where the Gfx features of these old games will be fully accessible.

The physical dimensions/configuration of your existing win 7 computer is a factor. My Win 7 computer is a Small Form Factor, and thus quite limited in the allowable upgrades to its components. Those having much larger computers, such as tower computers, might find upgrading of various components much easier. My Win 10 computer, unlike my Win 7 computer, has the internal room to allow upgrading the Gfx card, and the required PSU. I bought it for that exact reason.

In sum, the fairly decent Win 7 computer I have is upgraded to its' max. It's old, and if the CPU fails, it is not replaceable, since it is permanently attached to the MoBo. My win 10 computer runs all vintage games that I can find/install/patch at full-on Gfx settings, and that difference is VERY apparent while looking at the monitor. The win 10 computer has never stuttered even with IL-2 with full-on Gfx settings. With some games, the enabling of ALL inherent Gfx features has been visually stunning. Other games a detectable improvement.

.So, even if staying within the win 7 universe, consider upgrading your existing computer to handle FAR better CPUs and FAR better Gfx cards. I suggest some investigating at the following link, as they are quite objective, and pull no punches: https://www.tomshardware.com/

I have personally replaced CPUs and installed cloned SSDs (in place of the former HDDs) in my computers, including my laptop. If I can do it, so can you. If reluctant, such improvements are easily and inexpensively done by your competent computer guy. Note that accessing the computer's drive unit is fairly simple, and accessing the CPU requires some further digging. So, upgrading the CPU makes a upgrade of the drive a more-or-less simple thing.

Based on my personal experiences with games formerly played on Win 7 system, and the same games being played on Win 10 system, the difference in the visual results can be dramatic. It goes without saying that with the modern computer, game "'stuttering" is a thing of the past. I attribute most of this to the modern Gfx card, which the new Power Supply allows, Your Win 7 system, intelligently upgraded, can give you visual results, and frame rates, heretofore unobtainable.

Submitted for your consideration.

Inline advert (2nd and 3rd post)

#4495883 - 11/03/19 10:12 PM Re: Why I Am Insistent On Upgrading One's Computer [Re: RIBob]  
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RIBob Offline
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RIBob  Offline
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Following my own advice, and also putting my money where my mouth is, so to speak, I am taking my Dell OptiPlex 790 SFF computer out of storage, and upgrading it. As-is, it has an (upgraded) 2nd gen I7 CPU, and (also upgraded) 16 GB RAM This might be a fair replication of the computers many users of EAW are now using. Or maybe not. Can't help that; it's what I have on-hand, and with which to experiment.

I would caution any and all computer users that using any computer configuration other than a "tower" style can seriously reduce one's possible choice of upgrade components. My SSF (Small Form Factor)-related upgrades will (hopefully) not show size (SFF) related constraints that other computer uses might encounter. I would suggest NEVER buying any sort of computer that is less than full-size "tower" type computer, in order to retain vital, future, upgrading options. In short, NEVER buy another computer that is not a full-scale Tower computer. Tower computers allow many upgrades. SFF factor computers allow very few.

.l propose upgrading my stored Win 7 Pro OPSys computer with initial upgrades with a 2 Tb SSD, and also install a secondary 2 Tb SSD, as there are connections for such. The benefits of SSD vice HDD have long been settled, with the SSDs being wholly superior in every way. Granted, upgrading to SSDs is an expense, but also allows much faster access speeds. At my age, I have little time to waste. How much is your wasted time worth?

Where I will be sticking my neck out a little bit is installing an Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti graphics card, which is vastly better than the Nvidia GT 730 Gfx card currently used in my Win 7 computer. The 1050I is quite on the edge as to power requirements, but I have some info that it will do, especially given the reduced power requirements of the SSDs vice the former HDDs.

For those considering upgrading their computers: It's all a balancing act between how much power your Power Supply Unit (PSU) provides, how much power your GFX card draws, and how much power your CPU draws--that is taken as a whole along with the MotherBoard requirements. PSU Wattage power MUST exceed the Watteage power of the components which draw power from the PSU, with at least a 10% allowance

Power supplies are often upgradeable, depending on one's computer Buy the best you can afford. Cheap PSUs run the risk of failure, or worse, a fire. I decided on a Seasonics 600W Platinum fanless unit, for another computer, and it has worked flawlessly. DO NOT cheap-out on this component. In short, have enough power to run things, with at least 10% unallocated overhead.

For this budget re-vamping, I am using the OEM 240W (non-upgradeable) PSU, and hoping my Gfx card info is reliable. We'll see. I know the Nvidis GT 1030 Gfx card will work in this application, but the Nvidia GT 1050 has a LOT more capability vice the 1030.

All the above said, note that I still retain the Nvidia GT 730 Gfx card, and the Nvidia GT 1030 cards as backups, in case the Nvidia 1050 card fails to work. Always nice to have backups.

I'll update, as time allows. Stay tuned.

Last edited by RIBob; 11/08/19 07:10 PM.
#4496109 - 11/05/19 06:57 PM Re: Why I Am Insistent On Upgrading One's Computer [Re: RIBob]  
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SkyHigh Offline
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Ireland
Thank you for a lot of very useful technical information.

#4496552 - 11/08/19 07:08 PM Re: Why I Am Insistent On Upgrading One's Computer [Re: SkyHigh]  
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RIBob Offline
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RIBob  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2018
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Originally Posted by SkyHigh
Thank you for a lot of very useful technical information.


Thank you, Sir! I hope the info contained in this thread will be of some use.

To continue, the following is a link that is concerned with stress-testing computers: https://www.pcworld.com/article/202...how-to-stress-test-your-pc-hardware.html

Performing such tests will reveal weak points in one's computer, and if such are present, will also suggest possible improvements. Such might be as elementary as simple wire-re-routing to provide better cooling air flow, perhaps the installation of additional fans are required, or even liquid cooling.

A very basic evaluation of one's Power Supply Unit is to connect an in-line $20 "Kill-A-Watt" meter to your computer's power cord, and then run your most demanding game, with everything set to the max. If your wattage draw is no more than 90% of the max wattage output of your PSU, you should be OK. The max output wattage of your PSU will be written somewhere on it. Rely on no other figure other than what is printed on your PSU.

The "Kill-A-Watt" meter is an essential tool for those who wish to know which devices use how much power, and when such power is consumed. Sometimes surprising sources of energy wastage can be discovered. The "Kill-A-Watt meter is a very useful tool.


Last edited by RIBob; 11/08/19 07:22 PM.

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