Upgrading System - want to boost gaming performance

This is my current system that I got about a year ago:

AMD phenom II x3 720

4gb ddr2 800mhz SDRAM

sapphire ati radeon hd 4850 512mb

gigabyte ga-ma790x-ud4p mobo


Antec EA650 650W PSU

Antec Three Hundred

Asus VH226H 21.5"

I'm thinking of adding another 4850 and set up crossfire (will my PSU be able to handle it?). i was also wondering if i should add some more RAM, like another 2 or 4gb (i'm running Windows 7 x64). i'm not sure if i should do anything with the CPU. for the most part, I use this computer for gaming and movie streaming. I know my monitor isn't the greatest, but i'm pretty satisfied with it for now. i'm also doing fine with the 500GB hard drive. so i'm really just looking to see what i can do about the ram/video/cpu with less than $300 (i might be able to go higher than that if it'll really make a difference) to make this setup perform a little bit better gaming wise.

Also, I currently only have the OEM cooling for the CPU and case (the case has two fans: 120mm rear fan
and 140mm top fan). nothing is overclocked, and i'm honestly not very experienced with overclocking / not sure i want to start messing with that stuff. but i figure if i'm going to stick another video card in there, i should probably look into upgrading my cooling setup as well? any suggestions there?

5 answers Last reply
More about upgrading system boost gaming performance
  1. The build is still decent. I would either go with your original plan of adding another 4850 or sell the 4850 and pick up either a 5850 or 5870. Your PSU is plenty for either option.

    You could also pick up a cooler like this to overclock the system.

    COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 compatible RR-B10-212P-G1 120mm "heatpipe direct contact" Long life sleeve CPU Cooler $29.99
  2. I just bought that heatsink at microcenter for $20. For some reason it went on sale. I'm glad I hadn't gone the day before...

    That's more or less similar to my system (at least CPU and graphics card model it's the same, and so is the fact that I'm running DDR2.) I just have a overclocking model of 4850 and can max it out in overdrive with temps never getting above 50 C.

    I'd vote for the crossfire if anything.

    And with a multiplier unlocked model CPU like we have all you have to do is change the max modifier in the BIOS to overclock.
  3. I forgot to mention that getting more RAM would be a waste of money. You won't notice the difference between 4GB, 6GB, and 8GB when it comes to gaming.
  4. You may want to look at the Gaming charts to see where x-fired 4850s are... 512 ram may be the limiting factor at the higher resolutions.

    A 5850 would be good.
  5. Thanks for the feedback everyone, that all makes a lot of sense. I'll look into getting a 5850 and handing down my 4850 to my little brother or something like that... and also thanks for the OCing tip. If it's that easy, I might as well give it a try.

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