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What should I buy as an upgrade for my current PC setup?

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August 2, 2013 10:09:46 AM

This is my current PC setup:
1GB Sapphire Radeon HD 7770
Intel Pentium G860, Socket 1155, Dual Core, 3.0GHz
LiteOn IHAS124-04 24x DVD±R
Fractal Design Core 1000
500W Storm Silent LPJ19-25 PSU
MSI H61M-P31 (G3) Motherboard
4GB Corsair Value DDR3 PC3-10600 (1333)
500GB Seagate ST500DM002 Barracuda SATA 6Gb/s, 7200rpm
Windows 7 64BIT
1366x768p monitor

It is a fairly basic setup and has managed to run most games smoothly at max settings. However, it is now struggling to get decent framerate in more recent games like Arma 3 and Planetside 2, and soon with the addition of a 1080p monitor, I think it is time for an upgrade. After looking around for quite some time I think that the Nvidia GTX 660 is a suitable upgrade in my budget of ~£150, however, before buying I wanted to get some opinions from other PC users who are probably more experienced than me. Thanks in advance.
August 2, 2013 10:14:49 AM

A GTX660 is probably a good upgrade for you. Perhaps GTX760 if you can.
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.
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August 2, 2013 11:01:22 AM

Yes a GTX-660 would be a good upgrade considering the CPU you have.

Later down the road, you might want to upgrade your CPU too, I see your motherboard is a 1155 socket, so you could get something like a i5-2500 if you get more money later. The reason is that more and more games support quad-core CPUs.

You could also add more RAM later on. 4GB is ok for most games, but 8GB can make a difference in some. Try to get RAM sticks identical to the one you have, it's not a good idea to be mixing them with different brands & speed.
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August 2, 2013 11:03:55 AM

geofelt said:
A GTX660 is probably a good upgrade for you. Perhaps GTX760 if you can.
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.
Lowering resolution to 1280x720 and settings to medium/low didn't make a noticeable change (Checking Fraps)

Limiting CPU to 50% cause an FPS drop of ~60

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August 2, 2013 11:05:02 AM

MC_K7 said:
Yes a GTX-660 would be a good upgrade considering the CPU you have.

Later down the road, you might want to upgrade your CPU too, I see your motherboard is a 1155 socket, so you could get something like a i5-2500 if you get more money later. The reason is that more and more games support quad-core CPUs.

You could also add more RAM later on. 4GB is ok for most games, but 8GB can make a difference in some. Try to get RAM sticks identical to the one you have, it's not a good idea to be mixing them with different brands & speed.
I do plan to get both of those things in the future

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August 2, 2013 11:49:18 AM

I could afford a GTX 660 and an Intel i3 3220, would these 2 parts work well together, without limitation?
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August 2, 2013 1:32:28 PM

Dylzan said:
I could afford a GTX 660 and an Intel i3 3220, would these 2 parts work well together, without limitation?


I would avoid getting an i3 because it's not that much faster than your G860, plus it's also a dual-core CPU.

You could still keep your G860 + GTX-660 for a while and save more money for a i5 quad-core later down the road. But if you change your CPU, definitely go for a quad-core. The reason is that more and more games support quad-cores, so dual-cores start to show bottleneck in certain games.
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Best solution

August 2, 2013 4:30:31 PM

Your games seem to be more cpu dependent. I think in part because the low resolution makes graphics less of a limitation.
What games are you playing? BF3 multiplayer, for example is quite cpu bound.

I might be hesitant about upgrading to a i3-3220.
Your G860 has a passmark cpu rating of 2858.
By comparison, a i3-3220 is 4232. Not that big of a jump.
A i5-3350P quad would be 6220

I see nothing wrong about upgrading in two stages, the cpu, and then the gpu.
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