What should i upgrade

My computer is getting old, and i would like to know which part you think will give me the most benefit to upgrade.
Im playing games like cod4, which my current computer can run, but with almost all graphics turned off, and i would like to turn some eye candy on+get better fps.

I have a Samsung 22" lcd, so 1680x1050 ís the preferred resolution.

My system:

1x250gb sata 7200 hdd with windows xp pro 32bit

1x250gb sata 7200 hdd with windows vista home business 64bit

Antec 900 case

North Q godzilla 500w PSU

Gigabyte p35-DS3P Motherboard (rev 1.1)

C2D E6550 2.33 Oced to 2.7 w box cooler

1x2gb Kingston Hyperx ddr2-6400 ram

Soundblaster X-fi extreme music

Geforce 7900gt oced around 20%

I am considering either to replace my graphics card to something like a hd4850 (the sapphire toxic one) or
replace my cpu to an E8500 or Q6600 (or something similar) and buy a xigmatek cooler and oc that.

But im not really sure what part would give me the biggest upgrade, since i dont wanna spend too much money right now,
because i will probably do a bigger upgrade later when my computer cant play any of the new games properly.
14 answers Last reply
More about what upgrade
  1. Generally speaking, if you want to upgrade your gaming performance, upgrading the GPU is by far the better bet. Your CPU is fine for gaming.

    Check out the gaming charts. This, for instance is the chart with CoD4 @ 1680x1050 4xAA.

    Any more modern card (starting from 9600 or 3870/50) would offer massive performance increase over the 7900. If you want to keep the price down, you can find 9600 for $80 AR or so, but there are lots of good cards from $70 to $150 to choose from.
  2. pretty good system still, I'd upgrade the GPU 7900GT is OLD! Maybe consider upgrading the ram if you using vista, else xp 2gb should be fine. CPU you could upgrade, the e8500 is on sale for $150 at frys.com so if you sell ur old chip... get the point? :D
  3. i agree with a dual core CPU you won't have to worry about upgrading that for a while. with 2GB of Ram that should be enough enough. i go with upgrading the GPU the ATI cards seem to be good these days.

    how much ram is on your 7900?
  4. Definitely go for the GPU, your processor is more than fast enough as I am still using an athlon X2 4400 @ 2.4Ghz (S939) which gets less done per clock than your current intel chip (and is running at a slower clock) and COD4 plays really well on my system at 1680x1050 on my system with my new 9800GTX (up from a 7800GTX). So you won't see much improvement from the CPU at this point, and the graphics upgrade will be very significant.
  5. +1 to upgrading the GPU.
    Also, since you have a single RAM stick, you might get another small boost from adding a second identical stick so you can operate in dual-channel mode.
    NorthQ is on tier-5 ("Do not buy") of the old PSU quality listing at http://www.tomswiki.com/page/Tiered+PSU+Listings?t=anon
    I don't think it is safe to trust it with a higher current drain like a new video card would require. Right now, Newegg has the Antec NeoPower 650W PSU for $80 with free shipping and no rebate BS.
  6. Thanks for the answers.

    I will upgrade the GPU, probably to a hd4850. And my old 7900gt only has 256 ram.

    I made a typo, i meant to say i have 2 sticks of 1gb each.

    Regarding my PSU, i bought it cheap a long time ago, but i will test it with the new GPU before upgrading, the PSU had worked perfectly for me this far.

    I read somewhere that in games like cod4, if you are running 1680x1050 or lower, you were mostly bottlenecked by the cpu, which was the reason why i asked the question in the first place. Because i would think that the GPU would be the natural choice to upgrade for gaming. But anyway i guess they had newer cards than 7900gt ^^
  7. Good luck. Often when a cheap PSU croaks, it doesn't die alone. The rails can put out some crazy spikes before something pops. At worst, the PSU will hang on by its fingernails, while spewing very messy output until something(s) on the receiving end dies instead.
  8. Or if you really don't want to upgrade the psu, the ATI 4670 might be your best option, it's 80 bucks, and supposed to be more efficient than a lot of the other cards, but does not require an external power connector. Supposed to be near the level of a 9600 gso for performance. If you HAVE to keep that PSU, that's what I'd grab.


    On the PSU, cheap PSU's and good graphics cards don't always mix. Especially old and cheap. What are the specs on it btw?
  9. PSU specs:

    DC output +5V +3.3V +12V-1 +12V-2 -5V -12V +5VSB
    40A 35A 16A 18A 0.5A 0.5A 2.5A
    Total rated output 180W 408W 21W

    Total Load 3.3V Load 5V Load 12V-1 Load 12V-2 Load
    33% (~170W) 18A (60W) 8A (40W) 3A (36W) 3A (36W)
    50% (~250W) 18A (60W) 18A (90W) 4A (48W) 5A (60W)
    75% (~380W) 18A (60W) 18A (90W) 10A (120W) 9A (108W)
    100% (~470W) 25A (83W) 18A (90W) 12A (144W) 13A (156W)

    2 * 75Watt PCI-Express line

    Dont know if its useful, its all i could find.
  10. It should have a sticker on the side of it. See if it does and tell us the numbers from that. That may give more info.
  11. Looks like he has 16A and 18A on the 2 12v rails, if I read his infor correctly. The big thing is what the maximum power for both rails combined. I'm betting around 26-28, but that is just an estimate. If the PSU is on the Tier 5 level than it would be in your best interest to buy a PSU and a GPU together.
    What is your budget for this upgrade???
    I'd spend about $60-100 on a PSU and possibly $150 for a 4850, depending on budget. You could go the 9600gso or the 4670 route, if you want to upgrade GPU performance, but don't have the budget for another PSU.
  12. Ok, im gonna buy the sapphire toxic hd 4850 and a corsair tx650 psu, this psu will work with Nehalem too right?
  13. Should. All the connectors are supposed to be standardized.
  14. Hi all,

    I have a similar question about whether or not I should upgrade or just build a new machine. I am thinking about upgrading the GPU, CPU, and monitor. My system specs are

    Gigabyte GA-M57SLI - S4 ver 1.0
    1 gig x 2 DDR2 ram
    Nvidia 8800gt 512
    creative SB X-FI sond card
    OCZ 700 watt Game X Stream PS
    AMD 64 X2 4200
    Acer AL1916 monitor

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