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Time to upgrade your older PC?


Many of us will be religiously uttering the phrase, “New Year, New Me” as we adjust to the rolling forward with 2018. However, what about, New You, New Computer? It’s trickier to know the answer too than one would expect. Maybe you’ve had your personal machine for over a decade and it still operates decently; maybe the dial-up has just started working again… or, maybe it’s time for an upgrade. Sometimes decent just isn’t enough.

Typical warning signs may be that your machine is a chronic office beige, or perhaps it proudly flaunts that it accepts CD-ROMS. But it’s what you don’t see that determines whether it’s time for a change in computer – it’s hardware. There’s a wide market for both affordable and powerful computing out there. You just need to know when to, quite literally, pull the plug on your current machine.

Most people learn to live with the faults, the lags, the stuttering quirks that an older machine may suffer from. Eventually though, precisely balancing a power cable just to keep the computer alive can become rather tedious.

Novatech ran two different generation computers against one another, challenging their performance comparisons with in-depth benchmarking to highlight the differences in speed, graphics, and overall power – revealing that even your modest machine may be in need of an upgrade.

Choosing to buy a new computer is dependent on the range of factors, from deterred performance to the desire for new functionality features. Experts believe you should replace your computer with a newer model at least every four years. Do computers really evolve that much in that time? To find out, we compared machines that used 2010’s Intel’s Core i7 930 against a newer Intel Core i7-8700K machine. Read below to find out the results.

Time for a change

The first computer we tested was the i7 930, which had a Nvidia’s 2012 GTX 650 TI GPU. This particular model uses Bloomfield microprocessor technology, already pitting it against its i7-8700K opponent whose GTX 1050 TI GPU has recent advanced Coffee Lake architecture. The advancements in the gaps between the machines were already apparent just from the features and reliability of their two software structures.

A computer’s architecture is essential in working with the latest technology products and software. Being equipped with the latest generations is always a must. You can future-proof your PC but at the end of the day, without the right framework backing it, you will eventually find that it doesn’t even stand beside the latest machines, in terms of speed and power.

You will encounter issues down the road with your computer that can be fixed through a quick hardware upgrade if it ends up cheaper than buying a shiny new machine. Be aware that there will always be bottlenecking somewhere in your system. Once again, a hardware upgrade can be all that it takes to speed up your PC. Eventually, though, you’re swimming against the tide. A hardware upgrade won’t cut it.

The i7 930 computer encountered issues in downloading and working with certain programmes; tribulations of freezing and lag throughout the entire benchmarking process because of the heavy work-load. It is obvious that Intel has designed recent architecture with a focus on optimized features for a more demanding prosumer and casual high-GPU using gamer. The i7-8700K had a download speed that was nearly triple that of its competition (the i7 930 was even absent of regular features such as Microsoft Paint or any image editing software.)

You can see how a simple older computer can actually be generations behind what the latest technology and programmes will traditionally utilise from just checking the specs for the motherboard alone. The older i7 930 computer, whose more recent GPU may be its saving grace, has an Intel X58 chipset that was made in 2010. Even the graphics interface of the i7-8700K computer is double the strength. Imagine trying to win an online game such as Overwatch or Player Unknown with those two pitted against one another. It’s not until you get under the hood of these machines that you find the virtual cobwebs that can make running certain features near-impossible.

I7 930, with a GTX 640 TI GPU VERSUS i7-8700K, with a GTX 1050 TI

The real test came in benchmarking the i7 930 and i7-8700K with their respectable GPU’s against one another, playing three popular gaming titles and recording the results. The chosen games were: Player Unknown, Rocket League, and Counter-Strike.

As a gamer, the eight-year-old i7 930 would make you cringe at its ability to play modern games. A lot of games are CPU heavy and demand GPU’s that can meet their requirements. You may have bought an older machine that could once easily boot up Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II using its built-in GPU. But for a CPU-heavy game like Player Unknown Battleground, you need the latest hardware to fully dive into the game and receive the full, clear gaming experience.

Whilst it also ran our Frap application for recording game-play, PUBG struggled to play above four frames per second on the i7 930. The lag was unbearable on the eight-year-old machine. The experience was a continuous watching images load on the screen as the game struggled to correlate the movement with our controls. As the game started, textures failed to load and entire pieces of scenery weren’t even fully formed. Safe to say, we died pretty early on in the game, as our killer watched our character moving blindly, gasping for moments of actual control.

PUBG and Rocket League worked seamlessly on the fresh i7-8700K. The gameplay was sublime – it flowed without lag or a moments drawback. It was such an improvement that this writer is not afraid to admit that I doubled back and had a second game on each, just for the sheer fun. Everything was peaked at full settings and still reached high frames per second. The only thing that could have improved the machine would be a gaming monitor suited to benefitting the rich graphics and player movement.

The i7 930, however, did still run Rocket League perfectly. Even as an older machine, the basic game ran comfortably. An older machine can handle various low-tier games, it seems, but this restricts the player from branching onto exciting hot releases and can be rather crippling to the gamer.

Testing Counter Strike on both computers was the final challenge. With the i7-8700K, the only thing keeping the game down was my playing skills. Like with all the games, the CPU utilisation was average and benefitted from the use of all its cores and the performance tweaks that modern machines have adapted to have.  

Again, the i7 930 lost without competition. Counter-Strike, an older game with low demands by today's gaming standards, failed to even load fully when we attempted. The frames per second were shockingly low and the lag was unbelievably slow. Our gaming recording software, Frap, crashed within one minute of gaming because of it.

New year, New Me

When it comes to upgrading a personal computer, it’s about finding the perfect partner for you; a machine that won’t just be able to run the latest software, but also meet the expectations for your lifestyle – be it prosumer, gamer, or professional.

Remember, your PC should be upgraded at least once every four years to meet the growing requirements of technology. Our tests between games certainly proved that. Do your research and enquire. Novatech will be happy to help.

Buy a brand-new computer with plenty of features and storage for the next four years to host your critical functions. Heeding the age and speed of your computer can tell you if you need an upgrade.

If you type an entire sentence before it appears on your screen, it’s time for an upgrade.

If your computer struggles with even the most basic of internet searches, it’s time for an upgrade.

If you’ve just seen Novatech’s shiny, new water-cooled gaming PCs… then it’s time for an upgrade.

After all, why not make your New Year’s resolution to be: New year, New Computer?