Upgrade Question: torn between a new processor or video card

I just got a paycheck the other week and decided it was time to beef up the current system I have. The first thing that I bought was memory which was badly needed. Now I have $200 dollars left and I am wondering if I should upgrade my cpu or video card. My system is almost a year old and this is what I have in it right now.

CPU: AMD Athlon 64 3800+ (orleans core)
MOBO: ABIT KN9S
Memory: 2 GB of Corsair DDR 800
Video Card: eVga Geforce 7600 GT
HDD: 1 250 Gb Sata drive and 1 160 Gb IDE drive
OS: windows XP

I was planning on swapping either an Athlon X2 5200+ for the cpu or a X1950XT for the video card.

Anybody have an Idea
16 answers Last reply
More about upgrade question torn processor video card
  1. get the x1950xt, if you are more into gaming, as the graphics will only benfit gaming by a huge margin. but if you are not into gaming then get a 5200+ as you will see a difference in everyday usage
  2. i vote for the dual core, but i play mostly high cpu use games (sup com etc..)
  3. Rapier587 said:
    Anybody have an Idea


    Overclock the 3800+ and get the 1950 XT video card. Then you have a faster cpu and a more powerful gpu.
  4. Another vote for the graphics card - if you play games a lot then it will make more of a difference to your experience.
  5. aye dual core. You will get 3x the power by going that route. And it will only cost you $120. To get 3x the grpahics power of a 7600GT, you'd have to spend more than $120. Probably need a new psu too...
  6. I'd get a new CPU first, as far as I know the x2 6000+ is under $200. Then maybe in a couple weeks you can upgrade your graphics card. Hopefully you're not using socket 939 and agp (like me).
  7. Quote:
    Were talking about agp here right? Im not sure Id sink money into a AGP card right now, I mean save the $200 and upgrade your system later. Im still running a 7600gt and it does it for me.


    When the OP mentioned a X2 5600+ as a possible replacement cpu, I know I assumed that the video card would be PCI-e. Probably others assumed the same. I think you're right, if this is an AGP card that he's talking about, the money would be better saved for a new build.
  8. No the Abit KN9S board I have only uses PCI-e ports so I'd be looking to get a PCI-e version of the X1950XT sorry that I didn't mention that at the beginning. My bad.

    Edit: As for how I use my computer I'd say its 50% gaming and 50% work and other stuff. When i'm not playing WOW i'm usually web surfing, watching videos or doing stuff in Maple 10 or AutoCAD. I'm also interested in probably getting a copy of BioShock when it comes out.
  9. You may need a new PSU too for the x1950xt.

    Another vote for just saving for a new build.
  10. Rapier587 said:
    I just got a paycheck the other week and decided it was time to beef up the current system I have. The first thing that I bought was memory which was badly needed. Now I have $200 dollars left and I am wondering if I should upgrade my cpu or video card. My system is almost a year old and this is what I have in it right now.

    CPU: AMD Athlon 64 3800+ (orleans core)
    MOBO: ABIT KN9S
    Memory: 2 GB of Corsair DDR 800
    Video Card: eVga Geforce 7600 GT
    HDD: 1 250 Gb Sata drive and 1 160 Gb IDE drive
    OS: windows XP

    I was planning on swapping either an Athlon X2 5200+ for the cpu or a X1950XT for the video card.

    Anybody have an Idea

    The X1950XT is a good card and good choice. IF you want to play "real" DX10 games, want for the next-gen DX10 cards (early next year). For games, the video card will make the biggest difference.
    The X2 is also a good CPU and you will see a speed increase in all apps (even if the app is only 1 thread). Less waiting time.
    Other posts suggest checking your PSU - good idea.

    Simple answer. If you are playing at high-res (1600x1080) or higher, get the x1950XT and PSU (if you need a PSU)
    otherwise, the video card won't help as much at lower-res. (can't tell a difference between 80fps and 300fps)
    The rest of your PC looks good.

    After you upgrade the CPU and Video-Card, your build seems MAXed out and time for new everything if you want more performance. In that case, get a REALLY GOOD PSU when you can. It will fit nicely in your next PC.
  11. You could upgrade to an X2 CPU and a 1950pro for around $200. A X2 in 3800 or 4000 flavor will OC nicely on your board and you will have a very playable and work ready set-up.
  12. Righto, I agree with enewmen. Buying a 1950XT ain't worth it if you play at 1280X1024 cause your cpu will bottleneck it. I vote on the cpu, then later on a good DX10 card.
  13. Quote:
    You could upgrade to an X2 CPU and a 1950pro for around $200. A X2 in 3800 or 4000 flavor will OC nicely on your board and you will have a very playable and work ready set-up.

    Bingo! This is exactly what you should do. If you're gaming at 1280x1024, you want an X1950Pro. It's definately a noticeble upgrade to a 7600GT. If you OC your CPU a little you'll be fine. I say graphics now because most games are bottlenecked by graphics, not CPU power. So its better to have a more powerful GPU than CPU. Get X1950Pro now, and X2 5200 whenever. BTW, what PSU do you have?
  14. As of Right now I have a Coolmax Cp-500T 500 watt power supply. I am starting to lean toward what angelkiller, evilonigirl, crabex and enewman said about getting a X2 3800 or 4000 with a 1950 pro. still haven't completely decided yet. Too many good choices damnit. Most of the time when I play games I have them run at either 1024x768 or 1280x1024 resolution. I don't really care about the highest resolution I can get....I just want the damn game to run smoothly at decent settings.
  15. The pro and xt are only within a few dollars of each other lately on Newegg and the xt is faster.
  16. I say Opty 170 or the 165 thier about $100 now, OC the crap out of it and keep the GPU. The new steppings are gettin 2.9 easy! Or get both CPU & GPU!:)
    Opps Sorry just realized ...AM2 board....Anyway same advise ..Get an Opteron!
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