What should I upgrade?

Hi everyone, I'm looking at upgrading my computer but I can't decide what to upgrade first. I'm looking at spending $200 to $300 and obviously the lower the better. My computer is nothing special but I do a lot of gaming on it. I don't do anything like video editing. It's pretty much just for surfing the web and gaming. Just can't decide what the best bang for my buck would be.

Here are my computer specs:

AMD X2 64 2.2gHz over clocked to 2.95 gHz
Corsair H50 Liquid CPU cooler
2x2gb Patriot Extreme DRR2 800 at 983.8 mHz
Asus M2N-SLI motherboard
2X EVGA 7800GTX in SLI
Hitachi 1TB Hard Drive
Rosewill 600 watt power supply
Cooler Master Storm Scout case
HP DVD Burner

Just for the record I was thinking a video card but I'm still not sure.

Thanks for the input guys.
13 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about what upgrade
  1. I would either suggest a new CPU or definitely graphics card. Or both!

    CPU: AMD Athlon II X2 250 Regor 3.0GHz ----- $68

    GPU: EVGA 768-P3-1360-TR GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) 768MB----- $210

    Total: $278 (gives you room to squeeze shipping in).
  2. I agree to a point.

    Video card is certainly the way to go for more gaming performance, but I would hesitate to run that card from a Rosewill PSU. Call me biased, but Rosewill doesn't inspire confidence in me. I may be mistaken, but I think that motherboard uses pci-e 1.0 and you would be limited by that as well.

    OP, are you running an OS that can use DirectX 11?

    My inclination would be to shop for a used card for now and start dreaming of a new build once cash was a little more abundant.
    (That is just me, though. Spartan discipline punctuated by orgies of spending)
  3. RandomText said:

    Spartan discipline punctuated by orgies of spending)

  4. Sorry I forgot to say I'm running windows 7 64bit. And as much as I would like to get a new power supply the rosewill has actually done just fine. And as for waiting until I have the money to build a whole new machine that will probably be atleast a year but most likely more so for now I think upgradeing what I have would be best.

    Oh and yes the motherboard only supports PCIe 1.0 not 2.0.

    As you can see I have queit the delima lol. So what do you guys think? A gtx 460 and a lower end CPU or maybe a $150ish CPU and video card?

    Thanks again
  5. I would go for more video card and skip the CPU upgrade. It would surprise me if you noticed any gaming increases with a newer cpu, plus when you upgrade it is a dead end, a video card you can potentially sli/crossfire.

    Depending on what resolution you are running you could go several ways. If you are looking at that 460 I would say look at the 5830 as well, there seems to be a sapphire version on that site that is cheaper (AR) and has 1Gb of memory.

    Make sure the trusty Rosewill has the connectors needed for the modern cards.
  6. Run these two tests to give you some idea:

    1) Run your games, but reduce the resolution and eye candy to a minimum. This will simulate what will happen if you upgrade to a stronger graphics card. If your FPS improves, it indicates that your cpu is capable of driving a stronger graphics card to higher levels of FPS.

    2) Keeping your graphics resolution and settings the same, reduce your cpu power. Do this by removing the overclock, or by using windows power management to set a maximum cpu% of perhaps 70%. If your FPS drops significantly, it indicates that your current cpu is a limiting factor, and that a faster cpu would help.

    Most of the time, a better graphics system will be the answer, particularly at higher resolutions. X2 @2.95 is usually sufficient.
  7. I say go to the ASUS website and see what CPUs your specific board will support. If it supports Athlon IIs then I would go with the goats suggestion. If the board only supports up to the original Phenoms though, then for now just upgrade to a GTX 460 for now and save up to upgrade the rest latter.
  8. Sorry I wasn't sure about the compatibility of my suggestion.
    I agree with RandomText though about investing in something you can apply to a new build in the future. 460's in SLI are great from what I've heard.
  9. So the motherboard I have supports AM2/AM2+ CPU's but AM3's are backwards compatible with the socket so if I wanted to I could run a new Phenom II X4 CPU.

    And I didn't mean the Rosewill PSU is this awesome PSU lol. I just meant it hasn't died yet. And it has 2 6 pin power connectors so it will be ok.

    And just in case you are curious here is a link to my mobo:

    Thanks again guys
  10. Forgot one more thing. I actually was originally looking at the 5830 but then a few days later the gtx460 came out and so far from what I can tell the 460 is a little bit better. But I still haven't ruled out the 5830 since it is a little cheaper and that means I could buy something else as well.
  11. Best answer
    I am planning a new build myself and have also voted the 460 over the 5830. I think I saw somewhere on TH that the 460 is between the 5830 and 5850 in terms of performance (and does very well in SLI).
  12. Yup that's basically the same thing I've found too.
  13. Best answer selected by beranimus.
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