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Upgrade cpu or ram and ssd?

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August 20, 2013 9:01:46 AM

My specs are currently, i3 3220 3.3ghz, gtx 760,4gb ram, and no ssd.
I'm trying to decide if I should upgrade my cpu to something like a 3570k and OC it or if I should get 4 more gb of ram and get a ssd. I eventually want to upgrade both but only have the money to upgrade one of the two. I use my pc for mostly gaming (MMO's) and I do some emulation of wii and ps2 games.

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a b à CPUs
August 20, 2013 9:06:39 AM

What's your mobo?
August 20, 2013 9:09:05 AM

Thanatos Telos said:
What's your mobo?

it is a GIGABYTE GA-Z77-D3H
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August 20, 2013 9:09:09 AM

An SSD will not improve your game performance, except for minecraft, because minecraft generates new random terrain all the time.
For now, you best bet is probably to just add another 4GB of RAM, because most games these days can use up to 4-6 GB.

The CPU doesn't require any upgrade, since an i3 is more than sufficient for most games, with the exception of crysis (apparently), minecraft, skyrim, and some others.
a b à CPUs
August 20, 2013 9:10:10 AM

The ssd will make the biggest difference for the money. I wont go back to a non-ssd machine. If you can find cheap ram, my next upgrade would be to add more. I'd save up after that and replace cpu+gpu at the same time. No use doing one at a time as they would bottleneck each other.

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a b à CPUs
August 20, 2013 9:12:35 AM
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It depends if your CPU is hurting you in certain games or not. The i3-3220 is still a decent gaming CPU, but because it's a dual-core it can hurt your FPS in certain heavy games. Since you said you play MMOs, I heard that some of them can be very CPU dependent so I would say upgrade to a 3570K first.

Of course adding a SSD and more RAM down the road will be a major improvement too.
a b à CPUs
August 20, 2013 9:14:45 AM

Add the RAM and get the 3570k if you can, then.
August 20, 2013 9:14:58 AM

flexxar said:
The ssd will make the biggest difference for the money. I wont go back to a non-ssd machine. If you can find cheap ram, my next upgrade would be to add more. I'd save up after that and replace cpu+gpu at the same time. No use doing one at a time as they would bottleneck each other.


Well like I said I plan on upgrading everything eventually, (probably by the end of the year) I know my current i3 does not support pcie 3.0. I'm thinking my cpu is bottle necking my gpu or getting close doing so.
a b à CPUs
August 20, 2013 9:23:48 AM

Leer0y said:

Well like I said I plan on upgrading everything eventually, (probably by the end of the year) I know my current i3 does not support pcie 3.0. I'm thinking my cpu is bottle necking my gpu or getting close doing so.


There's not much difference between PCI 2.0 and 3.0 so you'll likely won't notice any difference. PCI 2.0 has enough bandwidth so that it won't bottleneck most cards, even the most powerful ones (or just by a very small margin). I think PCI 3.0 becomes important only for SLI and Crossfire setups. Since you only have one single GTX-760, I don't think you should see any difference between the two.

The major argument for you to upgrade your CPU, is that you would go from a dual-core to a quad-core. As I explained earlier, some games like MMOs or first-person shooters of latest generations can greatly benefit from a quad-core.
a b à CPUs
August 20, 2013 9:24:39 AM

For game performance you would get the CPU first.

For loading times, application launching and boot times you would get the SSD.

If you notice swapping when playing games you would first close all the junk you don't need while gaming, but if it's still happening then you would upgrade your RAM. If you notice swapping while gaming that is interfering with your actual game play then you would start here, but that's unlikely unless you are running a bunch of stuff while you are gaming. The vast majority of games are still 32-bit applications so the most they can even address is 4GB so upgrading to 8GB is generally so that you can keep your 150 chrome tabs while you play the game on your main monitor kind of thing.

The SSD is more of a vanity item when it comes to game performance, sure your load screens will go by quickly but in most cases you are playing online games on a team or you wait for everyone to be ready before you start things anyway (like most MMO's you take 5-10 minutes to have everyone to start an instance, then who cares if you load in 10 seconds vs the 45 seconds of the next person . . . )

Most MMO's are highly single core speed dependent, where the 3570k overclocked will work wonders over the i3.
a b à CPUs
August 20, 2013 9:31:50 AM

There are no graphics cards to date that have used the full bandwidth of pcie 2.0. There's no point in getting 3.0 any time soon. Upgrading your cpu has the potential to add a few more fps. Like going from 30 to 35 or 40. No big deal. Adding a ssd will load everything instantly. You will never again have to wait on loading: new areas in your games, applications, windows os... You"ll never again have to listen to your hard drive grinding while you wait for it to load something. It isn't a minor computer tweak like replacing cpu, gpu, or ram. It is a major evolution in computing.
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