Tech content trusted by users in North America and around the world
7,247 Reviews & Articles | 52,563 News Posts

Helping with tech questions - TweakTown's Ask the Experts - Page 1

TweakTown's Ask the Experts

Ask us a tech question!

Use the form below to submit a question for Ask the Experts.

Is there a benefit moving to the new Core i5 over my current Core i5?

Question asked by Don from United States | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | CPUs, Chipsets & SoCs Content | Posted: Apr 17, 2016 10:45 pm

I have an older Z77 with I5 3570K and was thinking about upgrading my system. How much benefit would the new I5 processor give me compared to the older one I have now? My system is mainly for gaming and I've got an R9 280X right now which I'm teetering on upgrading as well but, want to see how the new cards fair in the coming months.

Hey Don,


This is a good question and something that more people need to know. Your current Intel Core i5-3570K is still a great processor, with the new Core i5-4670K only being around 10% faster - but is it worth the additional $219? Not really.



The newer Core i5-4670K won't provide any noticeable improvement in gaming performance, but for CPU limited tasks you should see an increase. You'd be better off spending the money on your video card, and since you were on the verge of upgrading - you would've maybe spent (let's say) $350 - but now you have an additional $219 to spend. You don't need to spend all of it, but let's say you spent $499, that's only $150 extra - thanks to the savings from not buying the CPU, you can enjoy a much beefier video card.


This means you can grab something like the AMD Radeon R9 Fury for $499, and ensure you get 60FPS+ at 1080p and 1440p without a problem, and even most games at 4K will run at 60FPS+ on the R9 Fury.



For $300-$400 which GPU should I buy for 1080p 60FPS gaming?

Question asked by William from United States | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards Content | Posted: Apr 14, 2016 4:21 am

I currently have a GTX 750 Ti, I'm looking to upgrade to be able to maximize graphics quality of The Division and Dark Souls 3, (Not currently looking at VR). By maximize I mean playability. I want the game to run at 1080P 60FPS at all times on the current 1x 23" Monitor I have. I'm also on a budget of around $300-$400. Should I wait to see what pascal will be priced around (I'm sure ridiculous) or should I pull the trigger on a R9 Fury or...? idk, thats why I'm asking. ahah Thanks!

Hey there William,


OK - so you want to run Dark Souls 3 and The Division at maximum settings - with 1080p 60FPS being your goal. Well, next-gen GPUs are right around the corner - but if you did buy something now, then you could jump on the AMD Radeon R9 Fury which can be found for $499.99 on Amazon.



For $499, you're getting the GIGABYTE R9 Radeon Fury, down from its $569 list price. Not too bad at all. This card will absolutely carve through any game at 1080p, providing more than 60FPS in The Division and Dark Souls 3.


Alternatively, you can wait. NVIDIA should show off its new next-gen Pascal architecture next week at its GPU Technology Conference, and AMD is aiming for June/July for the launch of its new Polaris-based video cards. You could grab the R9 Fury now, and even sell it when the new cards arrive, as it should retain most of its value at the time.



At stock speeds, should I buy an OC/gaming motherboard, or not?

Question asked by Joseph from United States | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Motherboards Content | Posted: Mar 27, 2016 2:41 am

For 24/7 use (No OC) in very hot ambient temperatures, which one is most reliable, workstation, OC or gaming motherboards ?

Hey Joseph!


This is another great question, and something we actually get asked quite a lot. If you're using your CPU without overclocking it, and especially for 24/7 use - I would recommend a workstation motherboard.




But, this doesn't mean the OC and gaming motherboards won't be of equal quality, and would somehow cause stability issues with 24/7 use. If you asked me this 10 years ago, I would've not recommended a "gaming" or "OC" motherboard - and always workstation - purely based on the gaming motherboards being the OC motherboards back then, and they weren't the most stable.


Things have changed so much over the years, with OC and gaming motherboards becoming incredibly great, with huge stability and feature sets that make them a blend of workstation and gaming motherboards - without the workstation price tag.


At the end of the day, for ultimate stability for 24/7 use - I would recommend a workstation motherboard from the likes of ASUS. Their WS family of boards are rock freakin' solid, and built with all of the features under the sun.

With a new SSD, how do I keep my game installs and saved games?

Question asked by Chris from United States | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Storage Content | Posted: Mar 25, 2016 6:29 am

Im looking to buy a SSD but dont know how to keep all my games and game saves on the current drive, is there anyway that i can do this?

Hey there Chris,


This is a great question, as so many gamers don't know if they can keep their old games and game saves when they upgrade their storage. Upgrading to a new SSD is awesome, but it's not a great experience when you lose your game installations or game saves.




So, if you're using Steam - you can choose your installation path for all of your Steam games, if you haven't already. You can find that by going to Steam, and up the top clicking 'View' and then 'Settings'. From there, you'll need to click 'Downloads' and then at the top of the Downloads section, you'll see 'Steam Library Folders'. Click this - as it lets you install your games on a single, or multiple drives.


Once you've clicked into the Steam Library Folders, you will have access to adding a library folder. Here, you can add in another drive so that Steam will detect it, and allow you to install (or move) your games there. It's quite easy once you get into the menu, and start shifting your games around.


As for your game saves, this is much harder. Each game will store the saved game files somewhere different on your drive, with some of them being found in the game installation folder (in your steamapps folder) and some in your Documents folder in Windows. You'll need to Google things like 'The Witcher 3 game saves' to find out where the games you've got installed, are storing your game saves.


Alternatively, you can clone your SSD and move it to the new drive - but this is something I don't recommend. It's a much smoother, faster experience to format a fresh SSD and start completely new. But, it's an option you can use.


If you have any issues, feel free to reach out and we'll help you along the way!

Do I need a whole room for VR gaming, or could I use my study?

Question asked by Mac from United States | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Gaming Content | Posted: Mar 19, 2016 5:45 pm

I'm super interested in VR gaming on the PC - it seems to be all we hear about now.


I'm a big FPS gamer, I am totally into Battlefield 4. So, my question, well questions, relates to VR. Firstly, am I going to need a whole new dedicated room in my home for VR gaming or could I just game in VR in my study as I do now? I'm concerned about bumping into my desk and chairs etc.


The second part of the question, do I have to game in VR when standing up to gain the best experience? I mean, what if I just sat down on my chair as usual and gamed in VR? I'm a keyboard and mouse guy, and I think it would take a lot of adjustment or feel strange to game while standing up.


I'd love to hear your opinions here. I'm ready to pull the trigger on a new VR rig and VR equipment, but I want to know what you think first.

Hey there Mac,


This is a great question, and definitely something that everyone needs to think about. I've just spent the past week at the Game Developers Conference where I tried every VR experience I could. From the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift to the PlayStation VR and even a few in between.




In my opinion, there will be two options for you. The first, is the sit-down VR experience, where you won't need much more room than you use for PC gaming now. You'll need somewhere for the little box attached to the Vive or Rift, and the headset itself when it's not on your head - but other than that the VR experience while sitting down is great.


I can see many people going for the seated experience, and there are, and will be countless more VR games made for the seated VR experience. But... the whole room VR that the HTC Vive is capable of, is truly something else - and if you've got the room, you won't regret it.


I played some awesome games at GDC 2016 like Budget Cuts and Valve's 'The Lab' which made use of the entire room. Not once did I bang myself into a chair or the wall, as the Vive has a 'grid overlay' when you get near a wall or object in the real-world.


This stops you from hurting yourself, or damaging something in your room - but the benefits of the whole room VR experience outweigh it all. Walking around in the VR world, as well as the real-world, creates a sense of presence that makes you feel like you're there - instead of sitting down, and walking around in VR.


Sitting down and walking around in games has become our lives now, and it feels normal - but when you stand up and you're on your feet walking around in real life... as well as the VR world, it really does a great job of tricking your brain into thinking you're there... right there in the VR world, except your legs in the real-world are moving, your arms are moving, your entire body is moving.


Don't worry - I'm a mouse and keyboard guy too, and the adjustment period for standing up and gaming comes quite naturally. Once you do it a few times you get used to it quickly, and then you don't want to sit down and play boring games with the mouse and keyboard - you want to keep going, and play as many VR games as possible.


But I think the seated VR experience is still needed, as you would get tired walking around for hours and hours in the VR world - but it is just walking (usually slowly) around the VR world. The experience though, is unlike anything you've ever tried.


My opinion - go for the whole room experience, and grab yourself the HTC Vive.

Will overclocking my Core i7-4790 improve my gaming performance?

Question asked by Giric from Philippines | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | CPUs, Chipsets & SoCs Content | Posted: Mar 11, 2016 5:53 am

Good day sir, I have already read about this from other forums but I just want to know your opinion. I have an i7-4790 paired with H97 mobo and I know i can't do OC. My question is do I/We really need to overclock the cpu for gaming? or will overclocking give a big impact (let's say fps) in gaming? Thank you.

Hey there Giric,


Everyone is going to have a different answer to this one, but I think there's so many ways of tackling this question is that it's a hard one to answer. Depending on the game, yes - overclocking your CPU will provide you with more performance. In some games, you won't notice any additional performance whatsoever.




If you're in a CPU bound game, then the difference between your stock clocks and an extra 300-500MHz might be worth it. The Core i7-4790 that you've got is plenty powerful at stock clocks, but is it worth upgrading your cooling and motherboard? Probably not. You've asked if overclocking has a "big impact" on performance for games, and I will say no - no it doesn't - most of the time. As I said, in some games you might notice a difference - but they have to be games where they're CPU bound (where the CPU is the slowest part of the equation, with the GPU not being stressed as much).


I'm going to open this up to our readers though, as they'll provide you with some great insight into various games and whether they're CPU limited - as well as providing you with some advice on whether you should indeed, overclock that Core i7-4790.

I want to build an insane VR gaming PC, what should I buy?

Question asked by James from United States | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Computer Systems Content | Posted: Mar 6, 2016 3:47 am



I'm building a new VR gaming PC next month and want to know what I should build if I was the best experience possible for both the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. I also want to know, should I buy the GPU now, or wait?

Hey James,


We have a new VR gaming PC series coming soon, where we're going to use our be quiet! Silent Base 800 system powered by the Intel Core i7-6700K and a slew of crazy hardware for our VR gaming goodness. This is where I'd start, but it comes down to how much money you want to spend. If you're looking at $2000+, you can get a pretty damn good system that will see you through VR gaming without an issue.




You're going to want something that can handle 2560x1440 (or so, if we're talking monitor resolutions here - with the VR headsets handling things differently) at 90FPS and above. Now, you mentioned that you want to know whether you should buy the GPU now or wait - which is a hard one. If you buy it now, you can enjoy VR gaming as soon as next month - but the next-gen GPUs are going to smash through VR gaming way better than today's video cards.


Let's take things back a step, and talk specs. I'd suggest getting yourself a decent Core i7-6700K (there's no need to jump to the Core i7-5960X), a decent Z170 motherboard from GIGABYTE or ASUS (we're using the GIGABYTE Z170X-Gaming 7 motherboard. You're going to want to get yourself 16-32GB of DDR4 RAM (anything from the likes or Corsair or Kingston will be great), as well as a decently fast SSD. The SSD isn't required, but it makes the entire experience of using your PC ultra-fast.


From there, it'll come down to which video card you buy that will depend on the PSU required - but I would suggest something in the 800-850W range. Why 800-850W? It'll allow you to upgrade to a multi-GPU system without needing to upgrade in the future, whereas if you buy a 500W PSU now (which would be absolutely fine even with the best GPU on the market inside) - it limits your upgrade path quite a bit.


Now, the GPU. Both sides have great video cards for VR gaming right now, with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti and AMD Radeon R9 Fury X being able to handle 90FPS+ VR gaming experiences. But, and this is a big but - I would wait. Both AMD and NVIDIA are poised to unveil something next-gen related in the coming weeks, with GDC and GTC right around the corner. The next-gen cards are going to be launcing in June/July - which is only a few months away.


If you can wait, these new cards are going to be insanely fast for VR gaming - somethign worth waiting, and saving a little more money up for.

I want to build a new PC, should I buy everything now, or wait?

Question asked by Chris from United States | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Computer Systems Content | Posted: Mar 2, 2016 10:59 pm

Buy now or buy later, I've been looking to buy /build a new computer,I'm wondering if I should do it now or wait,I'm not up to date on new hardware advances and don't want to waste money if somthing new and better is coming out

Hey there Chris,


This is a question that gets asked a lot, and it's very hard to answer. If you left the decision up to me, I'd say wait. There are new CPUs, GPUs and various other technologies that will be unleashed onto the public in the next few months - culminating with a nerd overload at Computex in June. If you can wait it out, you're going to benefit, big time.




NVIDIA will be launching their next-gen Pascal architecture soon, with the current rumors suggesting the company will unveil a new Pascal-based GeForce GTX Titan X successor next month at the GPU Technology Conference. AMD is teasing that it wants to "spice things up" at the Game Developers Conference in less than two weeks, where we should be introduced to the enthusiast version of the Polaris architecture - or an official reveal of the Radeon R9 Fury X2.


As for CPUs and motherboards - there are a lot of changes coming this year with Intel's new HEDT as well as AMD's upcoming AM4 platform. You're going to have a lot to choose from, and even if you don't go the high-end route - the high-end gear that will be released soon, will push down the current mid-range and high-end hardware. This will result in huge savings for you, and anyone else who decides to wait out the upgrade game.

What should I be looking for in a 'good' motherboard?

Question asked by Charlie from Philippines | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Motherboards Content | Posted: Mar 1, 2016 6:01 am

hello, i red you're post on fb.. that i could ask an expert about computer parts... my question probably wont get answered but i will ask anyway... here goes.. so far i can identify... what a gaming pc needs.. and priority... 1st: good board, 2nd: good vcard 3rd: processor 4th: rams.. 8gb or higher.. 5th: enough voltage from power supply.. now the question is, how do i know a good motherboard? i am planning to build a wrig.. with budget limit..about $841.45... i just used Google currency converter.. i might be wrong... what parts should i get... at least the important ones? the ones that works well with each other... and deliver that gaming pc performance.. thank you TweakTown... hope to hear from you soon

Hey Charlie!


OK, motherboards are both a tricky one and an easy one. In the way that they're tricky, is that for someone who doesn't know much about the technology side of the motherboard - they seem incredibly difficult to understand. Which socket? Which RAM? Is a bigger board better? Is the smaller board slower?




All motherboard manufacturers have made it easier than ever to make the motherboard buying experience an easy one. You need to find out which CPU you'll be buying, and buy a motherboard with that socket. So if you were buying a Core i3 or Core i5 processor, then you'd need an LGA 1151 motherboard. If you were buying the AMD FX-8350 for example, then you'd need an AM3+ motherboard.


I would suggest spending $100-$150 on a motherboard, with the maximum being $200. These days, a $100-$150 board is going to be great, and it'll give you everything you need: enough PCIe ports, plenty of storage connectivity, USB 3.0 (or USB Type-C), and sometimes, even on-board Wi-Fi.


You could spend $150 or $400 on a motherboard, and 90% of people wouldn't be able to find a difference in performance if you were only using a mid-range CPU, video card and RAM. The higher-end motherboards are great for people who want to run crazy-fast RAM, multi-GPU setups, and want to overclock their CPU as much as they can.


For everyone else, motherboard purchasing should be easy - and it is! You can trust the big brands like GIGABYTE, ASUS, MSI and others without a problem.

$1000 to spend on a 4K gaming upgrade, do it now, or wait?

Question asked by Jody from United States | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards Content | Posted: Feb 29, 2016 3:38 am

I'm ready to upgrade to 4k gaming. I have a limited budget of $1000. Should I wait or what do you suggest to upgrade now? My system consists of ; ASUS Z87-A, Core i7 4770K, Inland 600 watt PSU, EVGA GTX 760, Acer X243W Display.

Hey there Jody,


This is a good question, and with both AMD and NVIDIA preparing their next-gen GPUs, I would wait. This doesn't mean it's the right decision, but it's what I would recommend. But first, I don't know whether the $1000 budget you have in place is for your GPU and a 4K display, or just the GPU. If it's for both the GPU and display, I would still wait.




NVIDIA should be unveiling its new Pascal-based GPUs at their GPU Technology Conference in early April while AMD is set to tease something from their new Polaris architecture at the Game Developers Conference which kicks off on March 14. The cards should launch in the June/July time frame, which is only 3-4 months. If you can wait it out, I would really suggest you do as it's not only going to be great when it comes to new GPUs - but the older video cards should drop in price, too.


This would leave you with the option of buying a current-gen GTX 900 series or R9 390 series card and the 4K display for under $1000, or buy whatever $500 (or so) video card from the next-gen cards, and pick up a new 4K display at the time. Whatever you do, it's going to be great - you're going to love 4K gaming.