Worth the upgrade?

I have been tempted to upgrade my PC for a while now and the sales are coming soon so I need to make a choice if I should wait or not.

Basically my only concerns are my processor and graphics card.

The E4300 overclocked @ 3.2 ghz has served me well for sometime but I'm curious if I upgraded to and overclocked a E7200 or a E8400 would the upgrade really be worth it?

My graphics card currently is the Sapphire 3850 256MB I hated it since day one as not only was I forced to settle for it but mine runs way to damn hot it has caused complete lockups until I used riva tuner to force the fan to go faster as it refuses to ever speed the fan up on its own no matter how hot it gets. Currently the Radeon HD 4850 seems to be in my price range and the best choice but is it really worth the upgrade?
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  1. The HD 4850 is probably going to show improvement over your 3850 regardless of processor. The 512MB of RAM that's standard on the 4850 will beat out the 256MB on that 3850, especially if you play at any higher resolutions.

    Ultimately, the E8400 or E7200 should show you improvement overall compared to your E4300, due to the larger cache on board. How big a difference, will also depend on what you're doing of course. Depends on if you're gaming (which I assume you are), and what games you're playing. Some are more CPU demanding than others. Ultimately though, the E7200 or E8400 will probably free up the 4850 a little bit better.

    How huge a difference you'll see, I'm not entirely certain.
  2. The video card should be your primary concern in upgrading at this point. As jerreece said, the 4850 should be a marked improvement.

    Regarding the processor: Honestly I don't think it'd be worth the money to upgrade it to another dual core at this time. There will be slight improvements due to the larger cache and smaller node (45nm vs. 65nm), but I really don't think you'll get a justifiable return on your money spent. Now, if you do anything that will take advantage of more cores, like heavy multitasking, the limited games that support them, video/audio editing/encoding and the like... then you would benefit more from upgrading to a quad core and clocking it to 3.0ghz+.

    Other than that, you're going to get more improved performance per dollar spent in a new video card.
  3. +1 to the GPU upgrade.

    Also, good advice from mytermom - if you plan on doing some video or serious multi-tasking, a quad might be viable, but if not, you are probably OK with you current CPU.

    Happy upgrading.
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