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Which upgrade is most important?

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June 16, 2013 4:28:08 PM

I just finished my new build but think I went too entry-level and want to start upgrading (again). Which of these is most important to do first?

1) Current Video Card: MSI GTX 660 2GB 192-bit
Possible upgrade: 2nd MSI GTX 660 for SLI - $215

2) Current Motherboard: ASUS M5A97 R2.0
Possible upgrade: GIGABYTE GA-990FXA-UD3 - $150

3) Current Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB
Possible upgrade: 8GB of the same memory for a total of 16GB - $72

Other components in my build:
Samsung 120GB SSD
Seagate 1TB HDD
AMD FX-6350
Antec 1100 case
Corsair AX760i PSU
Corsair H80i water cooler
Enermax 120mm fans (x4)
Corsair 120mm high static pressure (x4)

I am sure that someone wants to say "sell the old card and just upgrade to a 680 rather than SLI" and trust me, as much as I would love that I don't want to drop more than a couple hundred right now after already being into this $1500.

Thanks!

Picture of current build: http://goo.gl/PudJa

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June 16, 2013 4:36:10 PM

tpalazzo said:
I just finished my new build but think I went too entry-level and want to start upgrading (again). Which of these is most important to do first?

1) Current Video Card: MSI GTX 660 2GB 192-bit
Possible upgrade: 2nd MSI GTX 660 for SLI - $215

2) Current Motherboard: ASUS M5A97 R2.0
Possible upgrade: GIGABYTE GA-990FXA-UD3 - $150

3) Current Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB
Possible upgrade: 8GB of the same memory for a total of 16GB - $72

Other components in my build:
Samsung 120GB SSD
Seagate 1TB HDD
AMD FX-6350
Antec 1100 case
Corsair AX760i PSU
Corsair H80i water cooler
Enermax 120mm fans (x4)
Corsair 120mm high static pressure (x4)

I am sure that someone wants to say "sell the old card and just upgrade to a 680 rather than SLI" and trust me, as much as I would love that I don't want to drop more than a couple hundred right now after already being into this $1500.

Thanks!


Get a higher-end GPU and overclock your CPU. Don't go the with SLI configuration because you won't be able to get maximum performance with the motherboard 16x/4x.
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a b U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
June 16, 2013 4:38:14 PM

Memory and motherboard upgrades will yield almost no tangible results in games. I would chuck the GTX 660 on fleabae and pick up an HD7870 XT or HD7950. They come with 4 games, which you can choose to sell if you want. Honestly, you could potentially upgrade your video card and end up with nothing out of pocket after you sell the GTX 660 and the 4 games.

Beyond that, the only other logical decision would be to pick up an FX-8350 and sell your FX-6350. You could do some seriously overclocking with the H80i you have.
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June 16, 2013 4:47:13 PM

Like Aredflyingbird said, I'd upgrade the gpu. The HD7870 XT is a great bang for the buck gpu comparable to the 7900 series. A lot of people call it the 7930 for this reason.
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June 16, 2013 6:21:08 PM

All great responses, thank you. If I had a motherboard with 2 PCI-e's that were x16 would that change any of your responses to lean towards GTX 660 in SLI? Granted, if I were to be in this scenario it would require an additional $150 to have that mobo but humor me.

I went back and forth between Radeon 78xx and GeForce 6xx. I ended up going with GeForce because of how many better reviews there were on Newegg for them. It seemed that Radeons always had reviews saying cards were DOA or died shortly after and I didn't see any of that with nVidia. I've currently got my CPU OC'd and have active cooling on the chipsets and everything is very stable. Even with the GTX 660 my games and my design programs are running great but I guess I just want more so I can satisfy this obsession. So, even though I was trying to avoid it, the consensus here is to ditch the GTX 660 and go with one single higher-end card? My follow-up question is answered in 100 other forums but I'll ask it here as well... what should I replace it with? All I have heard in this post is ATI but usually I read people raving about GTX 670's or 680's. Thoughts on staying with nVidia?
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a b U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
June 16, 2013 6:45:28 PM

tpalazzo said:
All great responses, thank you. If I had a motherboard with 2 PCI-e's that were x16 would that change any of your responses to lean towards GTX 660 in SLI? Granted, if I were to be in this scenario it would require an additional $150 to have that mobo but humor me.

I went back and forth between Radeon 78xx and GeForce 6xx. I ended up going with GeForce because of how many better reviews there were on Newegg for them. It seemed that Radeons always had reviews saying cards were DOA or died shortly after and I didn't see any of that with nVidia. I've currently got my CPU OC'd and have active cooling on the chipsets and everything is very stable. Even with the GTX 660 my games and my design programs are running great but I guess I just want more so I can satisfy this obsession. So, even though I was trying to avoid it, the consensus here is to ditch the GTX 660 and go with one single higher-end card? My follow-up question is answered in 100 other forums but I'll ask it here as well... what should I replace it with? All I have heard in this post is ATI but usually I read people raving about GTX 670's or 680's. Thoughts on staying with nVidia?


Nobody worth their salt will advise you to switch motherboards. It is just a waste of money and used motherboards are a bigger PITA to resell than graphics cards.

When you factor in the free games you get with AMD's Never Settle bundle, you get the most bang for your buck vs nVidia. The 7870 XT and HD7950 are logical choices as they come with 4 games that can easily be resold. Like I said before, if you sell the games that come with either of those cards and sell your GTX 660, chances are you will have spent almost nothing in the end. Once you finish your graphics card swap. I would trade that FX6350 up for an FX8350.
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