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Upgrading budget gaming PC for DotA 2 and CS:GO

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October 28, 2013 8:12:16 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: This week!

Budget Range: Flexible, I can always spend more if people think it's smart for me to (will get a lot of value out of my money), and am always willing to spend less if people think that I can still get the performance that I want out of this system.

I would feel better spending less then $500 if possible, though.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: DotA 2 and CS:GO

Are you buying a monitor: No

Parts to Upgrade: CPU, Mobo, more RAM, GPU. Current PSU is Corsair 750TX 750W ATX12V/EPS12V

Do you need to buy OS: No

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg

Location: Bay area (CA, USA)

Parts Preferences: No preference

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: If it makes sense money/performance wise (and if it will be cool enough in my case)

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

The whole story:

My Mobo broke (confirmed it with the computer store), and I have been wanting to upgrade my computer anyways. Here are my current specs:

Windows 7
4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 RAM 240pin 1600 (PC3 12800)
Corsair 750TX 750W ATX12V/EPS12V psu
samsung spinpoint f3 1TB SATA internal hdd
ASRock 880G extreme3 am3 amd mobo (broken)
antec 300 illusion ATX mid tower case
HIS radeon HD 5850 1GB 256bit GDDR5 PCIe 2.1x16 gpu
amd athlon II X3 440 3.0GHz socket AM3 95W cpu

I play only two games: DotA 2 and CS:GO. DotA 2 ran perfectly fine on my current specs, but I want to upgrade to something that can run CS:GO with a higher fps. My current fps was ~50-80 and I'm looking for something that can run it at 100-200 depending on the money I would have to spend. I don't want the game to go below 60 fps at any given time if possible. (I noticed a huge difference between CSGO and the older CS games, which made CSGO much less enjoyable to play).
I was planning on upgrading the cpu, gpu, a new Mobo of course, maybe some additional RAM if needed, (also I should know if my PSU would be good enough for my upgraded parts).

I know nothing about hardware specs and performance, so that's why I am here. What do people recommend I get? Thanks!

Best solution

October 28, 2013 8:44:08 PM

Just a note: There's an extremely high chance that your monitor is 60hz. A monitor can NEVER display fps higher than it's hz. So in your case, your monitor can only display up to 60fps. That means that, whether you have 60fps or 200fps, you won't notice a difference.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-6300 3.5GHz 6-Core Processor ($119.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ Outlet PC)
Motherboard: ASRock 970 EXTREME4 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: PowerColor Radeon HD 7870 XT 2GB Video Card ($139.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8.1 - OEM (64-bit) ($96.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $471.93
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-10-28 23:41 EDT-0400)

You need to reinstall windows when you get a new motherboard.
Great cpu and motherboard combo. Allows overclocking.
Great sale on a good gpu.
Then add another set of 2x2gb of ram. Make sure you are using the exact same set you got from before.
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October 28, 2013 10:00:13 PM

realchaos said:
Just a note: There's an extremely high chance that your monitor is 60hz. A monitor can NEVER display fps higher than it's hz. So in your case, your monitor can only display up to 60fps. That means that, whether you have 60fps or 200fps, you won't notice a difference.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-6300 3.5GHz 6-Core Processor ($119.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ Outlet PC)
Motherboard: ASRock 970 EXTREME4 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: PowerColor Radeon HD 7870 XT 2GB Video Card ($139.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8.1 - OEM (64-bit) ($96.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $471.93
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-10-28 23:41 EDT-0400)

You need to reinstall windows when you get a new motherboard.
Great cpu and motherboard combo. Allows overclocking.
Great sale on a good gpu.
Then add another set of 2x2gb of ram. Make sure you are using the exact same set you got from before.


Thanks for the reply!

You are correct, I will never see >60 fps, but I notice a big difference in smoothness between CS:GO and older CS games. I believe it is because the FPS dips below 60 periodically (when turning quickly, or lots of materials/objects/textures come into view, smoke effects/etc.) and that is what makes the game feel less smooth even though when I look at the fps it tends to run at 50-80 or so. My older CS games run at 100-150 and I believe they never really dip below my refresh rate (60) so the games feel much smoother.

I wasn't planning on overclocking unless you think it will be very easy for me to do. I noticed there are tons of guides and things on overclocking and I did not want to get into it. That CPU seems like it's designed to overclock, though. Would it be very simple to do, or should I think about a different CPU?

From what I have read, the 7870 seems like a good choice for a GPU. I noticed this card linked in the October 2013 gaming GPU's article on this website. From the reviews it sounds like it runs cooler then the one that you linked (same GPU, different manufacturer). Do you think it would be a good idea to get the one that I just linked?

Other then those questions, I think your build sounds perfect for me. Thanks for the help.
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October 28, 2013 10:03:07 PM

Nowadays, overclocking is very simple. Just read one guide, which shouldn't take more than 5-10minutes, and you should be good to go.
The 7870 XT is not the same as a 7870 ghz edition. The 7870 XT is based on the Tahiti architecture (the one found in the 7900 series). It's stronger than a 7870 ghz edition but slightly weaker than a 7950. It should be called a 7930 or something. Don't get it mixed up with a regular 7870.
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October 28, 2013 10:09:06 PM

Ah, ok. I'll stick with the 7870 XT then since it is at such a low price.

Great, I think I'm settled on these upgrades. Thanks!
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