Help picking an upgrade for my system..

Happy 4th to peeps in the USA, and a good day to our international friends!!! :D

I got a rig a week ago for free and from what I've been told, it's a "Mid" Tier gaming rig from people on these forums.....I can run most games with settings set back.

I've decided what GPU I'm upgrading to for now.....

However, next few months, I will want a new CPU and Motherboard. I have a decent grasp on GPU's but am clueless when it comes to CPU's

Current Rig:
CPU: AMD Phemon II X4 955 @ 3.2Ghz
CPU Cooler: Zalman CNPS9500A-LED 92mm Blue Led w/ Arctic Silver thermal paste
Motherboard: Asrock Extreme3 870 w/ Sata3 and USB 3.0
GPU: EVGA FPB Geforce GTX 460 768mb Upgrading to Gtx 65O ti Boost
Case: BRAND NEW Thermaltake Chaser A31 w/ (4) 120mm Fans, 3 are blue led
Power Supply: Cooler Master Silent Pro M600 Modular
RAM: Corsair XMS3 6gb DDR3 1333
HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black 640gb SATA 6.0gb/s
OS: Windows 7 64bit Ultimate

Obviously, I want to keep the case....RAM, SSD, HD, GPU and Power Supply . I cannot afford to start with new components on each build......

I'm not drawn to AMD or Intel as I dont know anything......I want my next upgrade for Cpu to last at least 2 years.......I don't have a ton of money

Thanks for helping and the long post!
22 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about picking upgrade system
  1. What configuration is your RAM in? 3x2GB?
  2. That is correct 3x2gb!!!
  3. RunDougRun said:
    That is correct 3x2gb!!!

    Okay... You may have to replace the RAM, as tri-channel RAM is not supported in most current motherboards; however, that should only be $50 or so. What is your limit (in terms of budget) on this upgrade?
  4. Best answer
    For gaming, the graphics card Is all important. Your GTX650ti is an improvement, but not so significant that you will be really Wowed.;
    My suggestion would be to upgrade the graphics card to a GTX760 or even 770 and keep the X4 a bit longer.

    You did not mention your budget, but if you wanted to upgrade, the cpu, you are looking at a motherboard upgrade too.
    The x4 is reasonably capable, but at higher price points, the intel cores are faster on a clock for clock basis.
    Perhaps a i5-3350P or 3570K and a z77 based motherboard.
  5. Do not worry about 3 sticks of ram. The first two will operate in dual channel mode, and the odd stick will be in single channel mode.
    6gb is good for a gamer.
  6. geofelt said:
    Do not worry about 3 sticks of ram. The first two will operate in dual channel mode, and the odd stick will be in single channel mode.
    6gb is good for a gamer.

    You are right; I was simply speaking in terms of the best optimization.
  7. You could OC your Phenom II to get more juice out of it. Unless you want to get an FX 8320 or i5 3470 I don't see any real reason to upgrade, since I don't think an i3 3220 or FX 6300 would be a worthy upgrade. I also think if you get a new CPU and motherboard you should invest in more RAM as well.
  8. I guess whatever is the most "Future Proof" and cost effective with what I have....
    I can keep the mother board/cpu combo for now and than spend 200.00 on a GPU. I will have to do it in stages.....
    Unfortunatly I cant tackle all areas at once!!!

    My temps are always low according to SpeedFan.......The Motherboard I have has a "Overclock" Feature on it that I always turn on....Idle Cpu temp is around 30-32. Under load (If thats what it's called when running a game etc) is 47

    So maybe I should go the overclocking route??? I DEF cannot afford to burn this thing up lol.....

    I have 150-200 right now to upgrade one component......Thats about it for now!!!!
    I didn't realize that my CPU is not as bad as a I thought!!!
  9. Yeah it's still good. If you want future proof 8320 is your best bang for the buck. So I suggest getting a Radeon 7870 now and 8320 later, even Steamroller if it's out when you plan to upgrade.
  10. Radeon 7870 Now......What is a slight step down?
    is 8320 AMD FX???

    What's Steamroller?

    Okay so the 8320 is a Processor which is an upgrade from my current one....
    That Radeon Card will make my System a lot more current......

    In the meantime, what about overclocking......I downloaded AMD Overdrive and it seems pretty straight forward....Adjust the sliders to desired Clock Speed....Watch Temps.......

    What would be a resonable overclock? Is it work it?
  11. To help clarify your options, run these two tests:

    a) Run your games, but lower your resolution and eye candy.
    If your FPS increases, it indicates that your cpu is strong enough to drive a better graphics configuration.
    If your FPS stays the same, you are likely cpu limited.

    b) Limit your cpu, either by reducing the OC, or, in windows power management, limit the maximum cpu% to something like 50%.
    This will simulate what a lack of cpu power will do.

    Go to control panel/power options/change plan settings/change advanced power settings/processor power management/maximum processor state/
    set to 50% and see how you do.

    If your FPS drops significantly, it is an indicator that your cpu is the limiting factor, and a cpu upgrade is in order.

    It is possible that both tests are positive, indicating that you have a well balanced system, and both cpu and gpu need to be upgraded to get better gaming FPS.
  12. I only have 1 game currently lol
    World of Tanks!!!!
    I don't think that game is a huge strain on my PC.

    I will try iy though~
  13. Okay:
    Graphics Turned down to bare mininum on World of Tanks- 126-130fps
    Cpu down 50% 45-57fps

    Cpu to 100% and Graphics to Max 55-78fps

    This was the only game I could test
  14. Try overclocking in the bios, not using software.
  15. What would be a decent overclock?
    I have 4 fans in the case total......My temps always seem low with SpeedFan. I've never attempted to overclock any cpu lol!
  16. Maybe try to get it to 4GHz on comfortable temps. Nothing above 55C.
  17. nothing above 55 using SpeedFan? Is it hard to switch the clock speed in Bios?
  18. Not hard at all, and nothing above 55C using speedfan, HWmonitor, ect.
  19. SO I change it in Bios.....
    How should I "Test" the overclock....Playing a game? Surf the Net???

    In my Bios there is a "Quick Overclock" feature.....I went for the 4.0ghz choice and Windows wouldn't start....
    Now I'm on the 3.6 choice and everything seems stable.

    I also have the UCC Asrock Overclock feature when I boot up.....Should I do both?

    Current Cpu Temp (After 20 minutes of a game) is 56.0.

    I don't notice anything different other than the increased temp. If I go back to stock my CPU drops down to 45 under full load.

  20. Try Prime95 for stress testing. And is it possible to manually overclock and set the voltages?
  21. Yeah the choices were a bit overwhelming....
    What about AMD Overdrive?

    I don't want to screw anything up
  22. You probably won't. If it won't post just reset the CMOs. Always try bios first. You may have to enable something for it.
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