Need upgrade suggestions.

First time posting on here and in the hopes I can get some upgrade advice. Looking to be able to play WoW and BF:BC2. My current system spec:

MB: Asus M3N78-VM AM2+ Nvidia 8200 Chipset
CPU: AMD Athlon X2 7750 BE
GPU: VisionTek HD 4650 512MB DDR2
Memory: Kingston HyperX 4GB (2 – 2GB)
PSU – Thermaltake 430 Watts
Case: Antec 900

I have been going back and forth trying to figure out what I can do with this system. I have $200 now for a slight upgrade and I just can’t seem to know where to start. Do I upgrade the GPU first and build around it in the future? Or do I upgrade the CPU/MB and upgrade GPU later? Chances are if I upgrade the CPU/MB I may need to upgrade the memory as well from DDR2 to DDR3 and I’m sure I can’t do that for $200. Or hold off till I can come up with more money and start from scratch. Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance.
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  1. Best answer
    First, get a decent $20 -$30 CPU cooler and overclock your CPU. You might get it to 3.2 with a good cooler. Read an overclocking guide on AMD phenoms to learn more

    XIGMATEK Gaia SD1283 $29.99

    You can use that cooler latter on too when you upgrade the rest. Now as for the GPU it depends on your resolution. I mean if you're doing 1440x900 or lower than a 5770/677 is more than enough and they go for around $120. If you use a resolution higher than that you may want to look at a 6850

    HIS H685F1GD $159.99

    Since you didn't list your PSU model I don't know if it's crappy or not. There are a few different 430W models by them. Even so the 6850 isn't terribly power hungry so as long as the PSU isn't total crap it should handle the worst case power draw
  2. Thanks for the quick reply.

    I never tried overclocking my CPU in the fear of damaging the unit especially since I don’t have the experience. I will look into the guide you suggested.

    Regarding my PSU it’s a Thermaltake TR2 W0070 430.

    As far as the GPU goes my system is currently hooked up to a 22” Viewsonic LCD at 1680x1050 resolution. So my guesses go with 6850. I never really played around with the resolutions always kept it on the monitors default resolution.

    Again, thanks you for the advice.
  3. To help clarify your options, run these two tests:

    1) Run your games, but lower your resolution and eye candy.
    If your FPS increases, it indicates that your cpu is strong enough to drive a better graphics configuration.

    2) Limit your cpu, either by reducing the OC, or, in windows power management, limit the maximum cpu% to something like 70%.
    If your FPS drops significantly, it is an indicator that your cpu is the limiting factor, and a cpu upgrade is in order.

    It is possible that both tests are positive, indicating that you have a well balanced system, and both cpu and gpu need to be upgraded to get better gaming FPS.

    As a rule, you get better results by upgrading the graphics card first.
  4. ugh, not a great PSU. It's ok, but it doesn't really hold up under %100 load

    I suppose your PSU would be fine in daily operation, but I wouldn't try stressing it by running furmark or something just to see if it can. You essentially have a 350W PSU and your system may not be more than that, but if it was me I wouldn't be comfortable. You may want to consider this replacement PSU

    Antec High Current Gamer Series HCG-520 $54.99

    but that would require you to step down a notch on the GPU, perhaps to a 6790

    PowerColor AX6790 $139.99

    You could of course just go with a 5770/6770 and not worry about replacing the PSU. The 5770 is efficient enough that you wouldn't really have to worry about it.
  5. Hmm...i guess it would have helped if i did some research before purchasing the PSU. It sucks that I paid for a 430Watt PSU and only getting 350 out of it. Nice.

    I guess I'm just going to stick with this PSU for now and go with the HD 5770/6770 option to be on the safe side. Hopefully I'll be able to see a diffrence in performance than with my HD4650.

    I'll upgrade the PSU when I upgrade the rest of the system hopefully with a AMD Phenom II X4 955 or better.

    But for now I'll just have to make due with what I have untill I have the funds to fully upgrade.

    Thanks again for the advice.
  6. Yeah well, hindsight :D. Anyway a 5770/6770 and a good CPU cooler to overclock your CPU will make a world of difference. Of course, you won't get much more than 3.2Ghz out of a 7750BE (though I managed to get 3.0 out of one with a stock cooler :D ), but you'll see a big difference with the GPU upgrade. The 4650 is less than half as fast as a 5770 and you have a crippled version with slower DDR2 RAM. You'll be happy.
  7. Just a quick update.

    Oddly enough the Thermaltake PSU I had was still within my 30days with 2days left, so I took the sucker out and replaced it with a Corsair GS600. Also replaced my HD4650 with an XFX HD6770 and I must say, “WOW, what a big difference.”

    I’ll be picking up a good CPU cooler sometime this week and overclock my CPU. But for the meantime, I’m extremely happy. Thanks for the help.
  8. Yup, that 6770 should be more than twice as fast for ya :D. Read a Phenom Overclocking guide and have fun gaming :D
  9. Best answer selected by Silentstorm.
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