Tuesday, 13 September 2016

omracer's Steambox: an i3 upgrade

Now, with the new month shortly in, it was time to really focus on this PC, which has been stable but for gaming and streaming, its been almost impossible to get smooth framerates, so it had to be an upgrade. Now I could of gone with a GTX but since the HD72A is useful for console streaming, the CPU upgrade was the best choice. So, I manged to get the i3 for £106.79 including DPD delivery from Scan. Amazon have it cheaper to be fair. The Video is below

The Performance of the Celeron

Now this one is actually quite ok, well for the average person or really for someone that just wants internet use. Since the Graphics are perfect for video watching, casual video conversion and entry way graphics powered.  There were moments when some games are just not worth running but this celeron was never meant to be intel's suggestion of a gaming iGPU.

The video conversion in handbrake

The settings for rocket league

the low framerate for HM 2 when in game

Similar framerate for RR unbounded

Rollercoaster Tycoon World is weak but looks nice

Beautiful but very slow on the celeron for sonic lost world

The i3.

The design of the i3 is more like the core design of the skylake series with the speed blur and the colour was the same as the Celeron compared to the i5 which is teal and i7 which is red/pink. But the features are different, like hyperthreading and also speed step technology, also with the Intel HD 530, it was a new feature.
The i3's box

The features

The barcodes and details

The chip itself

The back with warranty mini info

Comparing the boxes for the i3 and celeron

Inside the box is exactly the same as the celeron which is with the same fan and same packet. Which was ideal to help me list the G3900 on eBay to sell, well someone hasn't sold it secondhand on there in the UK. But the it was fitting.

The Fitting

Now this was nerve-racking sue to the possible problem of the CPU pins being bent on the board. But that was OK. I managed to safely get the heatsink off and swapped the CPU.

Getting the CPU in with cables around it
Then it was a case of getting the heatsink back on, which seemed easy but it was a nightmare to get back on and the push clip system is never 100% after fitting and refitting. But then it was the posting after getting it done.

The Setting up and off things

This is the moment, to make sure it actually does work straight away or is it a RMA. But I turned it on and with luck, omracer came up and it booted to windows,  with the graphics drivers off since I removed them and big picture mode being laggy. But that was sorted out with a graphics driver, but one thing I noticed, the max frequency was 1.99ghz. This was odd .

Then I panicked since this could f been a due to CPU pin issue but after a call to scan who slightly sassily gave me the advice of bios settings, which were already setup and a load optimised defaults and SORTED. it was at 3.7Ghz. But nowhere on the internet had this problem, which 2 GHz is less than the celeron and also 100% CPU usage in rocket league.

I say this now. Load optimised defaults after you upgrade a CPU or this happens. 

The Testing

Now this was working, it was time to test things. So I tested with the help of MSI afterburner and the Xbox game bar

  • Rocket league
  • Ridge racer unbounded
  • Goat Simulator*
  • Sonic lost world
  • Hotline Miami 2
  • Handbrake
  • Arkham origins*
  • Rollercoaster tycoon world

Which the games were surprised in the fps boost. Like I could play Hotline Miami 2 in 1080p at 60Fps. Steam big picture mode could render at 1080p where as before it struggled to render 720p.

Rocket league has a small boost, but I could play 60fps with the right tweaks.

The settings on quality

The settings for performance

it looks nice 

Ridge racer unbounded was still 22ish FPS but more smoother that the ps3 version, since the Ps3 version had some lag on certain parts. But then it was Goat Simulator and the main menu was smoother but still not 60fps, this was actually on par with my laptop with the GT650m.

The settings for Goat Simulator

Then it comes to Sonic Lost World, that doubled in Framerate, really, it did. from 20 to 40fps and that was when recording.
The framerate in this is pretty good, nearly playable. 

Then it was time to see a light boost in Rollercoaster Tycoon world, which was hitting over 15 and nearly getting to 20 fps in game. 

The settings used

The nice colour in the park

Then it was Batman: Arkham Origins, now this game is apparently poorly optimised but there was about 20 fps hanging in there, this isn't ideal for iGPUs whatsoever.

The settings used for Origins

Finally, we have handbrake, from video conversion. Which was double the framerate when converting a MPEG2 VOB to Mp4 with intel Quicksync. This might be ideal for people with media streaming or Kodi using (like me). Settings are. Intel quicksync h.264, 1000kbps, 640x360, best speed. 

the higher FPS rate when converting


So then, it means that pretty much this i3 has got alot going for it, its not the perfect in the world but it can pack a punch with some graphics in games. This is ideal for a budget in steamboxes that want a bit more power, but not ideal for the PCMR race that wants to do it on a budget. 

This means more gaming videos can be done soon, like Rocket League, pacman championship edition 2 and Sonic Lost World and more. Enjoy Soon