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Upgrade CPU or GPU, or even both? Under $400

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November 28, 2013 1:45:08 PM

I'm looking to upgrade my gaming rig, and I don't know what I should upgrade for under $400. Should I switch over to Intel and get an i7 4770k with a new motherboard? Or stick with my current AMD processor and just upgrade my GPU? Or even switch over to Intel, and wait later to get a better GPU? It would mean a lot to me if someone could help, thank you for your time.

My current specs:
CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965
GPU: 1023MB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti (MSI)
Motherboard: Gigabyte 970A-DS3P
RAM: 8GB DDR3
OS: Windows 8.1 Pro 64 bit
SSD: Samsung 840 EVO 250GB
HDD: Western Digital WDC WD10EADS-65L5B1
Sound Card: ASUS Xonar D1

More about : upgrade cpu gpu 400

a b å Intel
a b à CPUs
a b À AMD
a b V Motherboard
November 28, 2013 1:49:14 PM

You can definitely upgrade both. You have a good AM3+ motherboard, so you can grab the FX-8320 for ~$130. And then add the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO for ~$30 and overclock the cpu.
Then that leaves you with about $250 for a gpu. The GTX 760 fits this price point very nicely. Then you'll have a build that can play all modern games at high-max at 1080p.
Just need to make sure that your psu will work with these new components. What is the brand and model of the psu?
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November 28, 2013 2:00:23 PM

realchaos said:
You can definitely upgrade both. You have a good AM3+ motherboard, so you can grab the FX-8320 for ~$130. And then add the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO for ~$30 and overclock the cpu.
Then that leaves you with about $250 for a gpu. The GTX 760 fits this price point very nicely. Then you'll have a build that can play all modern games at high-max at 1080p.
Just need to make sure that your psu will work with these new components. What is the brand and model of the psu?


Thanks for the reply. I don't know exactly the type of power supply I have, but it is a Thermaltake 600w.
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a b å Intel
a b à CPUs
a b À AMD
a b V Motherboard
November 28, 2013 2:06:31 PM

Hmm...
Thermaltake does not make the best psus, so it's more advised to get a better quality psu with this upgrade.

If you can go a bit over, then you can go for this:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-8320 3.5GHz 8-Core Processor ($129.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 760 2GB Video Card ($246.30 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: XFX 650W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($44.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $421.28
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-11-28 17:05 EST-0500)

Otherwise, you can go for a 7950 with a cpu cooler:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-8320 3.5GHz 8-Core Processor ($129.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ OutletPC)
Video Card: HIS Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($203.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: XFX 650W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($44.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $408.94
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-11-28 17:06 EST-0500)
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November 30, 2013 5:14:11 PM

realchaos said:
Hmm...
Thermaltake does not make the best psus, so it's more advised to get a better quality psu with this upgrade.

If you can go a bit over, then you can go for this:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-8320 3.5GHz 8-Core Processor ($129.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 760 2GB Video Card ($246.30 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: XFX 650W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($44.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $421.28
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-11-28 17:05 EST-0500)

Otherwise, you can go for a 7950 with a cpu cooler:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-8320 3.5GHz 8-Core Processor ($129.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ OutletPC)
Video Card: HIS Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($203.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: XFX 650W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($44.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $408.94
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-11-28 17:06 EST-0500)


Thanks! How do you think it will run current games e.g. Battlefield 4? Could I run most games on high settings in 1080p while maintaining at least 60fps?
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Best solution

a b å Intel
a b à CPUs
a b À AMD
a b V Motherboard
November 30, 2013 5:22:41 PM

Yeah you should be able to play most games at 1080p at ultra with 60fps, but with the higher end games like BF4, Metro Last Light, Crysis 3, etc. then you need to tweak the settings a bit.
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November 30, 2013 5:27:46 PM

Would it be better to get the Intel i7 4770k and a new motherboard? (since my motherboard is has an AMD chipset) Would that really help at all? Or at least in the long run?
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a b å Intel
a b à CPUs
a b À AMD
a b V Motherboard
November 30, 2013 6:16:27 PM

Going Intel will show a performance increase over AMD, but then you'll need a new OS which will cost an extra $100.
It's better to just stick with your motherboard so you can get a new GPU which will show the most performance increase.
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