Old hardware. Which should I upgrade first : CPU or GPU?

My rig is pretty old. Some games like Hitman and Dishonored 2 don't run awfully well with my current setup so I'm trying to upgrade it but I don't know which first, CPU or GPU?
Specs:
Intel core i3-4150 CPU @3.50GHz
GTX 750Ti - 2GB
8GB DDR3 Ram
1920x1080, 60hz
Windows 10

Sorry if these kind of posts are repetitive but my setup is particularly old and I'm not sure if upgrading the gpu further will put my cpu at a bottleneck.
7 answers Last reply
More about hardware upgrade cpu gpu
  1. You have a fairly balanced system now, upgrading either CPU or video card will quickly hit a bottleneck in the other. I may lean towards a faster video card like a 1060 or RX 480 (assuming your power supply and case can run the card). It really depends on the game also, but in general for gaming a newer video card should help you more, for overall better speed, a faster CPU and/or an SSD.
  2. The GPU is the weak link. You could upgrade to something like an RX 470 and get much better gaming performance. Another 8GB of RAM or a stronger CPU (Haswell i5 or i7) would help, but those can wait. Replacing that video card should be your first priority and would have the most noticeable effect.
  3. +Dave16868 What's your upgrade budget? Name two or three games that you wish to play. What is your power supply's manufacturer and model number? What are the rest of your specs? Motherboard and storage?
  4. I know Hitman needs lots and lots of videocard power.

    A test to try is this: Set your game to medium or low settings, 1080p. Run the game and observe the framerate in the area you are in. Now stop, change the resolution to 720p and leave everything else the same. Now run the game in that same area and observe the framerate. Did you gain a lot of fps by dropping down to 720p? If yes, then you could benefit most from a videocard upgrade. The bigger the gain in framerate, the more you will benefit from a better card.

    If your framerate doesn't climb that much, let's say you get 42fps at 1080p and 48fps at 720p, this means a new videocard won't help much.
  5. dontlistentome said:
    I know Hitman needs lots and lots of videocard power.

    A test to try is this: Set your game to medium or low settings, 1080p. Run the game and observe the framerate in the area you are in. Now stop, change the resolution to 720p and leave everything else the same. Now run the game in that same area and observe the framerate. Did you gain a lot of fps by dropping down to 720p? If yes, then you could benefit most from a videocard upgrade. The bigger the gain in framerate, the more you will benefit from a better card.

    If your framerate doesn't climb that much, let's say you get 42fps at 1080p and 48fps at 720p, this means a new videocard won't help much.
    I loaded dishonored 2 and at the same place i switched between 1920x1080 and 1280x720 and the difference was around 30 fps. With 44 on 1920x1080 and 75 on 1280x720. This means a video card should be the better pick right?
  6. Definitely GPU first, the i3-4150 is still a decent budget gaming cpu and not far behind this generation's g4560

    Don't worry about bottleneck because you will be upgrading the cpu as well at some point, just get a good gpu now and enjoy it.
  7. rcald2000 said:
    +Dave16868 What's your upgrade budget? Name two or three games that you wish to play. What is your power supply's manufacturer and model number? What are the rest of your specs? Motherboard and storage?
    Upgrade budget varies really, best if I keep it as low as possible but going higher may be worth it if I can get a larger boost.
    Some of the games I play are a bit graphically demanding like Dishonored 2 and Watch Dogs 2 so whatever Im getting I need it to last a few years for the upcoming games.
    I don't know anything about my power supply so I'll get back with that haha.
    Motherboard's model number is B85M-G
    as for storage I have 930GB.
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