FOUR SEASONS GAMING
AUSTRALIAN & NEW ZEALAND GAMING LEAGUES
Discuss technology related things here, such as new hardware, PC buildilng advice, etc.
 #153  by rav
 Sun Jul 17, 2016 2:39 am
Hey guys,

So, not being a tech enthusiast, I bought a shitty aldi pc for $500 about 5 or 6 years ago. Pretty sure it was this one: http://www.pcworld.idg.com.au/review/me ... pc/434008/

It has served me well for the most part, but lately it had been playing up. Fan would sometimes burr up loudly, and then it'd never stop. This would stop the pc going to sleep, so it'd sit there making heaps of noise. Then more recently it had started to do things pretty slow, particularly struggling to open quake (the only resource intensive thing I really use it for). There were some freezes and resets during quake or even watching videos sometimes, but mostly it worked ok once quake had started up and I was playing.

I went to use it this morning, and I can't even get it to boot. Power will turn on, and the leds light up, the main fan and the little one on the gfx card both start up, but no signal is sent to the monitor. Also, no power is sent to the mouse (usb) or keyboard (ps2?). I tried using hdmi to the TV to see if it was just the monitor, but same deal.

My thought is that maybe the motherboard has died? But I really have no idea how to check if that's it or something else. After eliminating the monitor I'm all out of ideas.

Can anyone help?

If I'm right, how difficult is it to replace a motherboard? Can anyone recommend a pretty fucken cheap one that'll work with the rest of my system? Or better yet, does anyone have an old one lying about I could snake for cheap? Can offer fishing lessons to sweeten the deal.
 #154  by Grrrdian
 Sun Jul 17, 2016 3:09 am
off the top of my head, it could be cpu, motherboard or ram (prolly not ram, not in my experience anyway, haven't seen ram fail in over a decade, but not like i do this shit for a living or anything heh). probably not the power supply unit, since you say the "main fan" turns on.

anyway, assuming you have given the correct link as to what computer you have, you have a Medion Akoya E4060 D (MD8369) PC. The cpu in that is AMD A8-5500, which is a socket fm2.

according to https://pcpartpicker.com/forums/topic/2 ... otherboard, you should be able to buy one of these:
https://www.pccasegear.com/category/138 ... socket-fm2 and replace your current motherboard.

as to how hard it is, i don't htink it's particularly hard, but that might be a subjective opinion. look up some youtube videos beforehand.

ofcourse, it will only help if the motherboard has screwed up ;p
one option might be to take it to a computer store and let them troubleshoot then fix it for you.

or get a fkn upgrade lel.
 #155  by rav
 Sun Jul 17, 2016 3:56 am
Thanks Grrd.

The biggest problem is my budget. I'm a student, so I can barely even afford rent. That means upgrading the whole thing is a no go.

How much do you think a pc repair place is likely to charge for trouble shooting it and working out exactly what's wrong? Is this something I could do with a bit of guidance? Or do I need some special hardware or something?

If I decide to bite the bullet, and assume I'm right. Which mother board from those would you recommend? Definitely in the right price bracket btw! Well done.
 #157  by mickzerofive
 Sun Jul 17, 2016 4:34 am
do you have a mate with a similar rig you can swap parts with cos i'd do that. First i'd check the RAM idk what Grrrdian is saying it's pretty common RAM needs to be re-seated or is faulty/dies. I'd get another pc and try the following

1. unplug all your ram sticks and try one at a time
2. If none work try mates
3. swap item one by one (only say do ram first since it's the quickest)
 #158  by Grrrdian
 Sun Jul 17, 2016 5:34 am
do what mick said, in the extremely unlikely event that you know someone with the same rig as you :S

like I said, computer shop might be best option if you're not so technical. I don't know how much they charge, i've been doing this stuff by myself since i was literally ~6 years old. dad paid me $2 per computer i fixed, we used to bulk buy from auctions and shit, then sell on trading post.

or, why not consider buying a used computer from ebay or somethign? should be able to get something for <$200 or so, and it'll probably be a upgrade. you're looking to spend ~$90 or botherboard, and perhaps $50 for techincal support anyway, right? you might be able to nab something for $150 even. i honestly don't know if it's worth fixing up your old computer.

eg, this:
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/HP-8100-ELIT ... SwsTxXidWe

might be able ot get for ~$100.
i give that estimate based on http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/HP-Elite-810 ... Sw-tNXIX1O

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/HP-Elite-810 ... Sw-tNXIX1O

etc
and that's an i5 option, even if it goes for above $100, you can also make do with a core 2 duo or something, since the only intensive thing you do is quake. quake live is based on a 1999 engine, core 2 duo will do the job. easily. just search "pc -upgrade" for auctions only on ebay, in the Computers/Tablets & Networking > Desktops & All-In-Ones > PC Desktops & All-In-Ones section
 #162  by rav
 Mon Jul 18, 2016 3:32 am
Yeah, ok. I don't mind the look of the current price on that PC.

There is no mention of graphics, so I assume if I went ahead a bought a new PC like this I'm going to have to take my old card and put it in this? Will it definitely fit (I seem to remember there are a couple of diff connectors)? Or is my current card so shit that newer on-board graphics is better?

My current PC just has one HDD, which has the OS and all my shit on it. Will it be relatively easy to just move it to the new box? Or will the OS stuff get in the way?
 #166  by Grrrdian
 Mon Jul 18, 2016 9:45 am
it's a working pc, so by definition it already has a graphics card. your old computer has an integrated graphics card, doesn't it? ie it doesn't have a removable one. the "new" computer should be able to run QL ok'ish.

just try out the new comp first, and then decide on gfx card after that. it won't end at $50 haha, it will jump to $100 or so, i reckon. haha, you can use gixen.com to snipe the auction. or justsnipe.com - just 2 of the ones i've tried.

if you have a removable gfx card on old comp, and new comp one is inferior, you should be able to remove old one and fit it into the new one. basically, if it fits, it should work, though just google up the name of your graphics card and the motherboard and make sure the pci-e slots are compatible. this is easy to do.

use "cpu-z" once your have your new computer, and it will tell you the name of your motherboard (free program). then, google that up, check what pci-e slot it supports (it should be fairly easy to find info.

then, take out your old graphics card and it should have the name of itself (ie what gfx card it is) on it. google that up, see what sort of pci-e it is. if they match, it should work :> let me know if you can't figure out how to use cpu-z, i can make a quick video to help. might be one already on youtube, coz what isn't there on youtube :|
 #167  by rav
 Mon Jul 18, 2016 9:57 am
The old pc has a removable card. I want to say it was a radeon 5500, but I can't remember the exact numbers. It was a 1gb cheap piece of shit though. I know that much.

Thanks for the help Grrd. Appreciate it.
 #187  by tjone270
 Wed Jul 20, 2016 3:54 pm
raV, if you're on the Gold Coast, bring it by my office and I'll try to fix the machine for you. If I have the parts already, I'll sell them to you cheap.
 #189  by rav
 Wed Jul 20, 2016 10:49 pm
A very kind offer, but alas, I'm in Canberra. Just a short 12 hour car trip away.
 #213  by rav
 Mon Jul 25, 2016 12:33 am
So I missed that auction, as its end time coincided with my grandmas funeral service! Shame, because it went for less than $150 including postage!! Probably should have set up a sniping thing, but my mind wasn't really in the game thanks to the funeral...

So now that I'm searching myself, I'm back for more tech support. There are a few options that seem to pop up, but I can;t for the life of me work out whats what. Where do i5 vs i7 vs Core Duo's fit in? It seems there's multiple generations of each and so no firm answer? And what's a Xeon processor like, say like in this machine: http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/HP-Z800-Work ... SwbsBXjg9-

I liked the idea of having an SSD in it, and then I could just transfer my current HDD... but I can't find one! I could also transfer a ram stick or two if the motherboard had the extra slots? What's the chances of that in a cheap PC?

Anyway, if you happen spot anymore good deals like the last one let me know (ie. plz help me!!! :D ). My searching is not finding anything for quite as cheap, or as good.... but that's only as far as I can tell.

I kind of have one eye on this: http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Cheap-Deskto ... SwEjFXfMAj

But with 9 bids and a few days to go, I feel its going to jump in price significantly.
 #216  by Grrrdian
 Mon Jul 25, 2016 9:24 am
rule #1 when on budget: beggars can't be choosers.
try to get an i7, failing that, get i5, failing that, settle for core 2 duo.
don't worry about the generations, at $150 for complete pc, you're basically trying to get whatever you can.

SSD is a luxury item. you're lucky if you get it, don't expect it. you don't NEED it either, it just ensures a faster boot up time. big deal (if you're on a budget, shouldn't be overly worried about this. waiting 30 seconds more isn't going to kill you - esp if you don't turn off pc in the first place).

if you're only going to play QL, RAM isn't an issue. as far as you're concerned, RAM is a luxury as well. it won't make a massive difference in performance. try to get 4gb though.

here:

http://www.ebay.com.au/sch/PC-Desktops- ... -sff+-form

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Acer-Veriton ... SwZVlXjbqj

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Desktop-Comp ... SwuhhXVQY9

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Dell-Inspiro ... Swd3dXFzMp

which city do you live in? there's a few pickup only items. you might have more luck getting a pick up item, because fewer people bid on them (ie way less people living in victoria, and there's at least 2 pcs i just saw that are pickup only in vic), AND you dont have to pay for postage etc. check the first link i posted above, scroll through and see.
 #218  by rav
 Mon Jul 25, 2016 9:41 am
if you're only going to play QL, RAM isn't an issue. as far as you're concerned, RAM is a luxury as well. it won't make a massive difference in performance. try to get 4gb though.
Well, yeah kinda. I do do other things, like open a thousand chrome tabs that sit for days when I'm doing research for my thesis. And coming from a 4gb RAM machine, I certainly wouldn't mind a bit more. Seems like there's a few going with 6 or 8gb of RAM, so I might aim for one of those firstly. Looks like most of them are name brands with specific model numbers, so I can usually look up if they have slots available for extra RAM. I assume I can just chuck it in from my old machine? Or is it more complicated than that?

I'm in Canberra, so no chance to pickup from any decent metro center. Postage ranges from $25 to $45, so its not too bad, but yeah, it can take up a decent proportion of the budget.

I might go pick up some of my payment for soccer, then I could kick in a little bit more. It'd be nice to be able to spend $400 or so and not have to worry.
 #222  by Grrrdian
 Tue Jul 26, 2016 2:13 am
yeah, 4gb should be minimum, but get whatever you can with $150 i suppose. RAM is very cheap anyway, focus on cpu and gfx card if possible, can always upgrade RAM easily later on. esp if cpu is new (ie it fits on a new'ish motherbaord, therefore allowing newer sorts of ram, which should be easier/cheaper to find). and newer cpus will last you longer.

eg i'm still using i5-2500k (2nd gen core i5), think i got that mid to late 2011, and i'm still using it without any complaints whatsoever. can play all the games i want (eg db, ow, etc etc) at 720p 120fps+ stable, sometimes even 1080p 120fps stable. depends on how optimised the game is and how much you can turn gfx down :>

general rule for buying computers: get the best cpu + gfx card you can find for the money you have.

edit; yes, ram is easy to upgrade. just have to make sure you have compatible ram types. ie ddr X and make sure the motherboard supports that particular DDR X. fairly easy to figure out.
 #227  by rav
 Wed Jul 27, 2016 12:02 am
Picked up this one for $81 posted: http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/HP-8000-Elit ... true&rt=nc

I know you had taken SFF from your search terms, but I went through the technical sheet, and looks like I should be able to put in the old GFX card and more RAM if mine is the right sort... though I've got a feeling mine is SODIMM and I'll need UDIMM (if that's even a thing and that makes sense).

Either way, couldn't turn it down for that price, especially at this stage in my masters.... need a PC ASAP.

Thanks for the help Grrrd, really appreciate it man.
 #231  by Grrrdian
 Wed Jul 27, 2016 8:07 am
np

i took out SFF because small form factor machines can be tiny, sometimes limiting upgrade options. quite a few seem to use those intel atom processors too.

you seem to have gotten a good deal though. best of luck with it! hopefully it does everything you need it to do :)
 #244  by rav
 Sat Jul 30, 2016 12:22 am
So the PC arrived today. It was pretty small, and looking at the back, straight away I could see a problem with how big my old gfx card was and how big the slot it was supposed to fit into was. It fit fine into the PCIe slot obviously, but the card is wider than the PC case, and didn't fit in there at all. The ports also weren't going to fit out the tiny slots for it.

I took the side off, mangled the back a bit get it to fit physically. Held it in place with a rubber band (lolz), and then booted it up.

Exactly the same problem as in my last PC, ahhaa. Nothing sent to the monitor! I fear that maybe it was the GFX card all along, ahaha. I don't know anyone with a spare card I could test with though. Everyone I know has macbooks.

Anyone have an old working card just lying around they wanna send me?

At least the new PC is an upgrade on pretty much everything except gfx. Any suggestions on cheap semi-decent GFX cards if I can determine that's the problem?

Edit: My old card is Radeon 5670 - so wouldn't mind something better than that.
 #246  by Grrrdian
 Sat Jul 30, 2016 8:35 am
hmm, the thing that threw me off was that you said the pc wasn't sending power to mouse and keyboard. that was unrelated to graphics card, so i didn't mention it.

in any case, if it's not working with the graphics card, use the old one (or is that built in?) for the time being. when you're finding a card, be sure to check the physical size specs to make sure it'll fit.

and i wouldn't advise mangling shit or using rubber bands to get stuff to fit. you might wreck your mobo or something.

also (don't want to say 'i told you so'), that's why i took out SFF ;p they're fine for work machines, but for gaming pcs they can be a headache, esp if you want to upgrade shit.

edit; most gaming gfx cards are absolute monsters (size wise) nowadays. i had a couple, but absolute no way they'd fit into an SFF machine. best bet might be to just take it to a computer store and have them test out the graphics card. they might test for free and then sell you an appropriate graphics card. at the very least, you'll be able to find out what cards will fit in your pc, then you can potentially use staticice.com.au to find a cheap(er) price.
 #248  by rav
 Sun Jul 31, 2016 12:08 am
Yeah, so the GFX on the new machine is built in, and its real bad. It's not working well with windows 10, only supports directx 10 I think. The brightness of the screen fades in and out, and I can't get QL to even open the main menu properly! Though maybe its partly user error.

The old GFX card won't show anything on the monitor when I plug it in. The fan goes off and running, and because I had to have the side off, it was crazy loud! But even when I tried to use the on board video out with the GFX card in, I couldn't get signal to the monitor. Is it just a case of plugging it in and turning the PC on though? Or do I need to do something beforehand?

Yeah, you're right about it not sending power to the mouse and keyboard. That was definitely true, but I forgot about it. I can definitely confirm it wasn't the RAM, as that went into the new PC and is working fine.

Yeah, you done told me so on the SFF. It was just pretty hard to turn down that price, and after reading PCIe slot, I thought I was good to go, ahhah. I guess that's what you get for never bothering to learn any of this stuff, but wanting to make use of it! Even if in the end it just gets me through my masters then it was well worth it. I had to pay bills and rent last week as well, so I didn't have heaps of wiggle room anyway.

What about, and this is probably my last option before I give up on gaming for at least another 6 months... what if I moved everything over to the other case of my old machine? What considerations do I need to make before I do that? The only things I really need to move over are motherboard and harddrive, right? Are motherboards somewhat standard with where their slots line up with the case slots and stuff? Or nah?

And if, say I was planning to play quake champions when it surfaced... how new (read expensive) a GFX card do you reckon I'd need to play that with at least 125fps? I assume this would pretty much be a guess though, because I doubt they've released that sort of info yet?
 #249  by Boschy
 Sun Jul 31, 2016 6:24 am
i doubt QC will come out before mid-late 2017, so if thats the only thing you wanna buy a new video card for just wait till the game comes out and just buy some cheap amd card the fits in your case to play QL till then

just a guess but to play it at 120fps id say you would probably need a GTX970 or better
 #250  by mickzerofive
 Sun Jul 31, 2016 1:01 pm
i doubt QC will come out before mid-late 2017, so if thats the only thing you wanna buy a new video card for just wait till the game comes out and just buy some cheap amd card the fits in your case to play QL till then

just a guess but to play it at 120fps id say you would probably need a GTX970 or better
from what i've heard from sources the game is very far along.
 #252  by Grrrdian
 Sun Jul 31, 2016 8:59 pm
you should be able to move over shit from old computer to new one, I see no reason why not.

motherboard installation slots are standard, big mobo or small. i am pretty sure that everything should fit. will you be able to do it easily though?

why not just buy a new graphics card? not too expensive, something that will fit. might be able to purchase an older generation gfx card second hand from ebay, maybe.

and with regards to playing QC with 125 fps, i'm pretty sure you'll need to upgrade everything ;p newer games are pretty cpu intensive too. and without having any foreknowledge, i'm going to second boschy's opinion: gtx 970 or better. just a guess though.

you have to remember, quake live is using an engine from 1999. it's a world apart from latest engine games. i have an i5 2500k (overclocked) and a gtx 970, and my fps dips below 100 in dirty bomb on 720p sometimes - while using an fps config. db is pretty unoptimised, but still!
 #331  by wynne
 Tue Aug 16, 2016 4:51 am
Still offline Rav?

I got an old GPU lying around if you want it. its a GTX 670 from memory, runs QL fine.

I only upgraded to run new Doom on better settings and because its fans are noisy.

Message me your deets and i'll post it down..
 #338  by stelf
 Wed Aug 17, 2016 7:42 am
Hi Rav,

In some situations you can switch motherboards between cases. However the form factor and motherboard setup/style/layout on your HP may make it a little bit difficult to transition into a standard ATX case, particularly the orientation of the PCI-E lane.

If you take a look at this photo: Image

you will see that the PCI-E lane at the top has access to the an external slot for the video connections. If you try to put the motherboard from the HP in your old case you would have to try to position it lower in the case so that your PCI-E slot is in line with a rear access point on your old case. This can be problematic as you most likely won't have mounting points for the screws to secure the motherboard to the case that far down. You will also run into the problem of the motherboard physically not fitting in the case due to how far down you have to mount it the case, that meaning that it will literally hit the bottom of your case. But, if you do manage to just clear the bottom of the case you would have to cut a I/O access point out of the bottom of the rear of the case to access your USB etc. connections. And if you have your power supply at the bottom of your old you will have to relocate (read: engineer) that to the top of your case.

I have added a photo of your HP motherboard for an easy comparison: Image

Long story short it could be quite difficult if not impossible. These made to order HP machines aren't easy to transplant and are designed to work with the cases provided. We would have to see some close up pictures of your current case/setup to investigate further.

*Edit: Assumed you had a standard ATX case - Just looked at your Aldi machine and it looks like you won't be able to transplant it without doing major reconstructive surgery to your case.
 #353  by rav
 Sat Aug 20, 2016 8:50 am
Thanks for that Stelf.. because I probably would have tried that in the end.

GoandGet was nice enough to send me a small form GFX card, so I'm back in the game! Looks like everything's coming up ravhouse!

Thanks everyone for the help and very generous offers, I really appreciate it! I'm sure you'll see a similar thread in here the day I have enough money to buy a decent machine. So probably about a year from now... if I can get a grad job.