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4 year old gaming PC... Worth it to upgrade?

Last response: in Systems
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July 28, 2013 11:42:58 PM

Hey guys =) Thanks for taking the time to read this!!

So I need to re-unite myself with my hardcore gaming side again after a very long year! And of course I need a system that I can let roam to max settings on available games...

So this is my problem, I had a monster of a PC as a gift 4 and a half years ago which I've been using, but its not liking starcraft 2 on anything higher than medium settings at 1920x1080 (mainly the lighting stuff)... I'm no tech idiot and I've got a feeling it can be saved, but I'd much love some top advice from the true experts ^^

I was thinking of buying a new graphics card (Radeon HD 7890 2GB or so?) to replace the old one (I think there is only one x16 PCI slot), and a small SSD to keep my games and windows on for quick loading (64GB or so?).

Budget wise, I'm at a cap of around £300 ish for upgrading... Would prefer to stay in the 'best bang for buck' range, 40FPS on any game on any setting would leave me a happy ^^

If the setup can' be upgraded, or it's pointless to upgrade, my student loan comes through in a few months if you think it's worth the wait =)

Here are the specs from the invoice

Power - 550W PSU

CPU - AMD Phenom II X4 920 Quad AM2+ (2.8GHz, 8MB Cache)

Motherboard - ASUS M4A78 Pro AMD Socket AM2+ Phenom ATX Mainboard

Memory - 8GB 800MHz Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM (4 x 2GB)

HDD - 1TB Serial ATA 2 Hard Drive with 32MB Buffer (Samsung HD103SI ATA Device)

Graphics - 1GB ATI HD 4850 Graphics Accelerator - DVI, DIrectX 10.1 PCI Express 2

- 512MB Onboard ATI Radeon HD 3300 GPU - Hybrid CrossFireX Technology

(Can anyone explain WTF this is?)

Windows Experience Index
Processor - 7.2
Memory (RAM) - 7.4
Graphics - 7.3
Gaming Graphics - 7.3
Primary Hard Disk - 5.9

Thanks again! Let me know what you think!

*Edit - Misspelt some things
July 29, 2013 10:47:54 AM

Thanks! So you reckon the processor is good enough to not bother worrying about? A card upgrade would be enough to get some good graphics rolling?

With the card you recommended, is there any way to check if it's compatible with my motherboard? Or should I not worry about that
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July 29, 2013 2:04:28 PM

Most gamers still use AM2+ Quad Cores due to their cheapness and availability. As long as your mobo has a PCIE x16 slot, it should work absolutely fine.
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July 30, 2013 12:51:44 AM

I'll order the card you recommended today then, thanks =)

Yer I'm pretty sure it has a PCEI 16x slot, but only one of them.

Sorry, what do you mean by PCIe 3.0, a new type of PCIE x16 slot? How much will it limit me in the long run?
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July 30, 2013 12:57:47 AM

Subressor said:
I'll order the card you recommended today then, thanks =)

Yer I'm pretty sure it has a PCEI 16x slot, but only one of them.

Sorry, what do you mean by PCIe 3.0, a new type of PCIE x16 slot? How much will it limit me in the long run?

PCIe 3.0 or PCIe Gen 3 is the latest generation in PCIe technology. It's the same slot, just more bandwidth. As far as I know, the performance gain is marginal, but might get wider when we start getting to newer, more powerful cards.
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July 30, 2013 3:58:24 AM

Interesting, ok so at the moment there's no real performance difference? Sweet, if there is any performance difference later along the line then that'll prompt a new PC build.

Ordered the card from amazon, so that should get this PC back in the decent graphics range then?

And for the SSD is there anything I need to be aware of, like a special connection or something? Or is it just as simple as it sounds and bang it in?
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July 30, 2013 5:52:26 AM

Just get a SATA SSD and a 3.5 to 2.5 inch bay adapter, and you'll be set.
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