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Is it worth upgrading the graphics card on my ~5-year-old gaming PC?

Hello all,

My current build is:
CPU: Intel Q9450
RAM: 8GB DDR2
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-X48-DS5
Graphics Card: HIS Radeon HD 6870
SSD: Samsung 830 64GB
HDD: WD Green 2TB
PSU: 550W Cougar Modular


With newly-released games (like CoD: Ghosts for example), I'm getting quite terrible performance (can't play on much higher than medium settings), and I'm wondering whether upgrading just the graphics card is worth it, on account of the bottleneck my other outdated components (namely the CPU and RAM) would create.

After a bit of research, I'm currently thinking about the Gigabyte Radeon R9 280X OC as a possible upgrade.

Thanks.
8 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about worth upgrading graphics card year gaming
  1. IF you are going to upgrade you will need to upgrade your CPU. The CPU is very old and will bottleneck your GPU.
  2. Yes you definitly need a new PC, the funny part is that the Ram isnt that much slower then it seems.

    The RAMS back in the day had a much much lower CL meaning that a CL4 for example: is the same as a 1600mhz CL11. Just for the example dont take it as truth.

    Your PC is being withhold not only by the processor but mainly the motherboard. Back in those days FSB was really important.

    1600mhz if i remember correctly, now upgrading that GPU...it will run dont get me wrong but you can get crashes.

    I tried a 7950 on a Q6600, Asus P5KPL and it ran fine and crashed only once in two hours, probably due to the fact i had 2GB of ram.

    What i recommend is getting the GPU, try it and see if your satisfied, after all, my older system ran BIoshock (not that intensive but still amazing) In ultra mode. (be sure to get a new PSU)

    Your PC will nevertheless be obstructed by the old machine. I recommend going for a new PC, your motherboard cant even use the SSD to its full extense.

    Hope ive helped you sufficiently, let me know if you have any questions.
  3. AK139 said:
    IF you are going to upgrade you will need to upgrade your CPU. The CPU is very old and will bottleneck your GPU.


    He practicly has top tier CPU on a socket 775, nothing to gaine there.
  4. You have to OC your CPU to enjoy a fast card like the 280X. Fortunately you motherboard is excellent. It is not withholding anything. You can easily OC your CPU, hopefully achieving 3.2-3.5GHz.

    With OCed CPU and 280X this will be a fast PC.
  5. Bejusek said:
    You have to OC your CPU to enjoy a fast card like the 280X. Fortunately you motherboard is excellent. It is not withholding anything. You can easily OC your CPU, hopefully achieving 3.2-3.5GHz.

    With OCed CPU and 280X this will be a fast PC.


    Not my experience in Benchmarks, even when i added ram to my system and my motherboard was practicly the same as this persons was.

    I also ran benchmarks with OC on the CPU.

    BUT as stated in previous post, surely try order the GPU and see if you are satisfied and if everything will be ok!.
  6. DragonChase said:
    AK139 said:
    IF you are going to upgrade you will need to upgrade your CPU. The CPU is very old and will bottleneck your GPU.


    He practicly has top tier CPU on a socket 775, nothing to gaine there.


    Its at 2.66ghz and the architecture is about 30-50% worse than hasewell. He will get at 80-100% more performance if he upgrades to something like a 4670k
  7. Thank you all for your answers and suggestions.

    Bejusek - I've never OC'd before, I've always been afraid of breaking (or burning) something, but I guess I'll start looking into it a bit and take it slowly.

    DragonChase - is upgrading my PSU an absolute must? This calculator tells me that my system (with the R9 280X) would require 535W at maximum load, which I know is cutting it pretty close.

    Naturally, I'm planning to upgrade the entire system (leaving just the SSD and HDD) in a few months, so I'm wondering if it's wise to get the 280X now, for current games like BF4 and AC4, and then use it in my new system, or just buy the machine as a whole in a few months' time (and probably get a 290 or 290X then).
  8. Best answer
    vor said:
    Thank you all for your answers and suggestions.

    Bejusek - I've never OC'd before, I've always been afraid of breaking (or burning) something, but I guess I'll start looking into it a bit and take it slowly.

    DragonChase - is upgrading my PSU an absolute must? This calculator tells me that my system (with the R9 280X) would require 535W at maximum load, which I know is cutting it pretty close.

    Naturally, I'm planning to upgrade the entire system (leaving just the SSD and HDD) in a few months, so I'm wondering if it's wise to get the 280X now, for current games like BF4 and AC4, and then use it in my new system, or just buy the machine as a whole in a few months' time (and probably get a 290 or 290X then).


    Then it would be wise to wait, the diffrence between a 280x and 290x is big, by that time when you will buy a new machine, aftermarket coolers will be released for the card. Improving even more on performance and maybe the price will drop who knows.

    What you could do is buy a new PSU now for later, your PSU wont cut it and would never take such a big risk here.

    If you dont have a 80+Gold/platinum graded PSU wouldnt even think about trying it. Your PSU might say 550 watt, but its actualy performs like a 450watt.

    So yeah! let me know what you think and feel free to ask more.
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