Here’s my current machine: XFX nForce 750i/9300 775 mATX Motherboard, Intel Core2 Quad 2.66 Ghz, 4 Gigs OCZ 800Mhz RAM, OCZ 700 watt power supply.
Video: Radeon XFX HD 5770 1gig.
My gaming is suffering. I'd like to upgrade the video card to get some performance – I mostly play various MMOs (wow, swtor, guild wars). I’m looking for recommendations what would be ideal to get some better performance as a new computer just isn't in my budget right now. Are there any other upgrades to get some better gaming performance? Faster (or more) RAM maybe? Better video card (my first guess) I’d like to keep my budget to $400-500.
I'll be heading to Microcenter tomorrow for some shopping.
I would get faster ram like DDR3-1600 speed. I would get a GTX 750ti it is a great card and your cpu probably won't bottleneck the performance that it can give. I recommend the Gigabyte GTX 750ti it can play BF4 on Ultra at about 40fps when overclocked which is pretty darn good for a sub $200 card
That type of game needs a fast CPU more than a fast graphics card.
That is a old mobo, finding any useful CPU upgrade will almost certainly need you to search through Craiglist or Ebay, new LGA775 quads are rare and can be expensive.
Adding RAM will also be of little help (besides you'll need a 64 bit version of your operating system to use more than 4 Gb anyway so if it's 32 bit you're stuck with 4Gb).
Before spending anything, check the BIOS options and see if you can overclock the existing quad-it's the cheapest way to boost performance-just be aware that although you can BRIEFLY test an overclock on the stock cooler, for sustained use you'll need to install better cooling for the CPU.
After you get all of that just put it in your old case and use all your existing parts to basically build a semi-new computer. It will be leaps and bounds better than what you have now. You can order all the parts from the microcenter website and pick them up in the store.
^@ sknight: Expect plenty of replies like ours, because you really can upgrade to a pretty well new rig for your budget.
Also, theonerm2 suggests a mATX motherboard, I suggested a full sized board missing the mATX board you have, me bad.
TBH, our options will offer similar performance (R9 270x is basically a slightly tweaked HD7870) and the FX6300 isn't much slower/faster in games than the dual core i3 I suggested).
Your PSU is powerful and in your budget you can massively improve your rig.If you buy a graphic card in between $400-$500 your processor will bottelneck it. Its better to get a new processor, graphic card , ram and motherboard.
^ Agreed, there's no real performance gains with an i7 for gaming.
We're straying well away from a upgrade within budget towards a far more expensive all new system, can you clarify your position? Would you prefer to hang on for a while then build new or go for an i3/7870 type of upgrade and, maybe, drop an i5 in later?
Whichever option you choose, you may need to factor a new operating system into the cost, if you have a retail version of Windows you'll almost certainly be able to reinstall to the existing HDD (best option is scrub the current drive then reinstall so you have a pristine new OS) land activate it with the new MB/CPU, if your OS is an OEM license you will need a new one, it will not transfer to a new build.
I took your advice and realised that cheaping out for a quick solution wasn't going to cure my problems. I went ahead and salvaged what I could from my old machine, and basically built an all new machine - posting from it now. The i7 will come in handy with Ableton and Vegas. And gaming couldn;t be smoother so far.
i7-4770k 3.5ghz, 8GB DDR3, 120GB SSD, 1TB SATA, ASRock Z87, EVGA GTX760 2GB, OCZ 700Watt PSU, in a green military Corsair case, 7 fans, Green Cathode Lighting.
Looks good - runs GREAT. And only ran me about $747.98+tax in upgrades - over budget, but couldn't be happier.
Glad to see you're happy with the new setup, it's pretty much what I think most of us would have suggested, the GTX760 is a great card for its price and Asrock do make some very good, high value 'boards, only difference would have been an i5 rather than the i7.
Few points for the future:
That 'K' series i7 overclocks well, even on an inexpensive cooler like the Coolermaster 212 Evo and the motherboard will support overclocking, maybe not something for now, but in a few years time you can OC and give the system a boost.
If it's the motherboard I'm thinking of it'll handle SLI, again, not for now, but it might be the least expensive graphics upgrade in a few years time.
I'm gaming perfectly well on a 4 year old i5 750 (OC@3.4GHz but still inferior to your stock i7) plus a HD7950 (about equal to the GTX760) so...Enjoy the new system for some years to come, mate.