Getting back into PC Gaming need upgrade help

Hi everyone,

This is my first post here, but I have been a viewer of these forums for a long time. I've found a lot of great advice here that has helped me over the years but now I have a more specific question I would like to ask the community.

So I recently purchased DayZ and would like to start getting back into PC gaming. My rig is a little outdated as it was a gaming rig I built back in 2009.

Here's my specs:

EVGA nForce 780i SLI Mobo
Intel Core 2 Duo E7200 2.53ghz
2x2gb Kingston PC2-6400 5-5-5-18
EVGA GeForce GTX 260 Core 216
500gb 7200rpm Maxtor SATA HDD

I don't have a huge budged to buy new parts, So I'm trying to figure out what I should upgrade first. I was thinking possibly upgrading to 8gb ram, which leads to my other question of if I should get 4gb more ddr2 800 or up it to ddr2 1200, or maybe getting another GTX 260 Core 216 and running them in SLI because those are fairly cheap on ebay. Or would it be better to go with a new card all together instead of trying to run 2x or 3x SLI with this older card. I'm currently running everything at stock speeds and I plan to start overclocking again, I just need to get my setup working correctly (It needs a fresh install of windows on it). Any advice on what anyone thinks I should improve would be greatly appreciated
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  1. I'm in the same boat as you. I have an Intel Pentium 2.0 GHz CPU and an Nvidia 9500 GT. Old stuff. For you, I'd reccomend getting a new graphics card rather than going in SLI. There's the relatively cheap new 750 and 750 TI, which perform well with the cheapest 750 at $119, and the cheapest 750Ti at $149. They don't get much cheaper. As for the CPU, see if you can get yourself an AMD FX-6300, as it'll be a good upgrade that won't break the bank, hopefully. Your RAM will do for now, but that will need to be upgraded eventually. You'll need a new motherboard if and when you get a new CPU, but there is one for about $70 that can be overclocked and is supposed to perform really well. What's your budget, exactly? I can create a upgrade list for you.
  2. I don't really have a budget which is the big problem :-/ We are in the process of looking at houses so all spare cash goes towards our down payment fund. Which is why I'm trying to figure out what my best choice for a first upgrade will be. So my main question would be what would be the upgrade that would give me the best increase in performance now that won't break the bank?

    I know I'll need a new mobo because Intel has switched to the new socket type (I am an Intel/Nvidia guy, I don't really like AMD/ATI. Although I would be open to the idea of switching to an ATI GPU because I have heard their quality and performance has increased quite a bit since the last time I used one). A new GPU will carry over to the new mobo but most of the new mobos I see take DDR3 RAM instead of DDR2 RAM so that probably wont carry over. Would another GTX 260 core 216 perform better in SLI than a newer card such as a GTX 650? Also am I being stuck with a lower frame rate because of my GPU not being able to support the frame rate my rig can produce or because my cpu is too slow and actually bogging everything down?
  3. Anyone have any suggestions on if I should go with a new GPU first or if I should get a new CPU/Mobo/RAM combo first?
  4. I would definitely look at getting a motherboard, cpu and ddr3 ram first because it will speed your whole machine up anyway whereas a gpu will not give you any benefit with your current CPU and ram as they will bottleneck big time. What is your rough budget? Maybe i can show you some parts to get. Also what country are you in (for prices)?
  5. I am in the US. As of right now Maybe $300 - $400 as a budget. I was looking at the Intel Core i5-3350 with a basic motherboard and 2x4gb DDR3. I did see somewhere that I could get an Intel Core i5 socket 1150 for about $30 cheaper but I was not sure if there was a big difference between the socket 1150 and 1155 processors. I am also open to the option of possibly switching to AMD processors because they are a lot more inexpensive. But I do have questions about the performance of the AMD processors vs the Intel processors. I would like to stick to as cheap as possible but while still retaining pretty decent specs for gaming. I figured probably a quad core processor at least 3ghz, 8gb ddr3, and a newer more powerful video card. I will have to purchase them in pieces because of my budget which is low but like I said I also don't want to skip too much because I would like to be able to play newer games with decent frame rates.
  6. PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($229.99 @ NCIX US)
    Motherboard: MSI B85-G41 PC Mate ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($59.99 @ Amazon)
    Memory: Kingston Black 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($64.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $354.97
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-03-23 16:32 EDT-0400)

    I would recommend this, and then for gpu, what games are you thinking of playing, just dayz or like bf4? This wouldn't need to be upgraded at all so would set you up for a long time or you could get a cheaper cpu if you want a gpu with your budget now?
  7. Actually I would be looking at both of those games probably. I play a lot of bf3, dayz, cs, gmod, and l4d2. That is about what I was looking at for the cpu/mobo/ram combo so that's pretty good. Do you think it is worth the extra $80 for the 3.4ghz core i5 vs the 3ghz core i5? Frys has this one for $149 but If I will see a pretty significant improvement from the 3.0ghz to the 3.4ghz then I will go with that one. Also frys has a core i7 3.2ghz with 8mb cache and hyperthreading for $150.99 where as that i5 has 4mb cache and does not have hyperthreading, would it be better to go with the i5 or i7? I think the i7 is the older generation. But the i7 is a socket 1366 instead of a socket 1150, is the socket 1366 worse than the 1150?. Thanks for all of the information :-) It has been a while since I have built a new gaming computer so I am kind of out of the loop on the new tech that is available.
  8. So it looks like the Kingston Black RAM went off sale at newegg before I could pick some up. What would be a good alternative for around that price?
    Amazon has this kingston hyperx red for $64.99 with prime
    What do you think about that?
    Also after quite a bit of research between the i5-4670K and the i7 that fry's has for $149.99 I am going to go with the i5 because it is a much better processor.
    For a motherboard I was was trying to find some alternate options because that one is no longer on sale at amazon either. If you have any other suggestions I would love to hear them.
  9. You can always check, they'll compare hundreds of parts and prices. Highly reccomend it.
  10. Yeah for a cpu, the i5 4670k is the best you will ever need for gaming. Unfortunately I'm in the UK so I can't give you any prices. That ram looks good, as long as it is 1600mhz or higher with CL9 a a known brand like kingston or corsair, then it will be fine. I can't really find a mobo that is a good enough price. The one I normally recommend is this because it is so cheap in the UK. Still not a bad price, can you find it anywhere else?.
  11. Also use which is what I've been using to look at prices although doesn't always have every part.
  12. XtraSweat said:
    Also use which is what I've been using to look at prices although doesn't always have every part.

  13. Alright so I picked up 2x4GB DDR3 1600 Kingston HyperX Black. I am going to go to fry's this weekend to pick up a new motherboard and CPU. I am interested in getting the Intel Core i5 4670K CPU but I am worried about what motherboard I get because I read that some don't support overclocking which would make getting the unlocked i5 pointless. There are a few different boards I am looking at: (The links are to newegg because they have a full specs list but I am buying it from fry's)

    MSI H81M-E33 V2 - $44.99 -
    Asus H81M-K - $55.99 -
    MSI CSM-H81M-P32 - $59.99 -
    Asus H81M-PLUS - $64.99 -
    Asus H81I-PLUS - $76.79 -

    and if none of those will work for overclocking, I read you need a Z81 chipset to overclock your CPU but when I looked up the ASUS H81M-K it said that it had the ability to overclock, then I will go with one of these:

    MSI Z87-G43 - $104.99 -
    ASUS Z87-K - $108.79 -
  14. This article here ( seems to agree that you need a Z81 chipset to overclock.
  15. That's what I thought butI was looking at the Asus H81M-K and it says it has CPU overclocking capabilities in the BIOS. I had read that forum post before I posted mine but I just want to make sure before I go out and spend the extra $50 to get the Z87 chipset mobo because my budget that I have right now for upgrading is towards it's limit.
  16. Best answer
    I read the product page for the ASUS H81M-K, and the only instance I saw for overclocking was the integrated graphics. Maybe you read that and misunderstood? I know I do that a lot haha.
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