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New graphics card or CPU

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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May 9, 2011 1:51:29 AM

Hello, I am looking to upgrade my CPU or graphics card, and was wondering which is the best to upgrade for performance.

My current specs are:
Dell Studio 540
Pentium Dual Core CPU ES400 @ 2.70 GHZ
4GB of ram
Nvidia Geforce 9500 GT
350 Watt PSU

The main games I play are sc2, WoW, and source engine games.

So would it make more sense to upgrade my CPU or graphics card. I can only spend around $100. I was thinking about getting the ati raedon 5770 if that's possible.

Thank you.

More about : graphics card cpu

May 9, 2011 8:01:03 PM

Well, if ur playing on low resolution, then upgrade ur CPU, but if u play at high res then take a GPU. But i dont think that a HD5770 is going to work on its full power with Pentium Dual core CPU.
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May 9, 2011 8:04:21 PM

I play on 1280 X 1024, so with that being said should I get a newer cpu or gpu? Thank you.
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May 9, 2011 8:13:29 PM

cnm221 said:
I play on 1280 X 1024, so with that being said should I get a newer cpu or gpu? Thank you.

Ur in a situation just like me :D 
I have a Intel core i5 760 quad-core 3.2Ghz
4Gb RAM
And a 8400GS :D 
If u would overclock ur CPU a bit, then u should get a HD5770 and later a better CPU.
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May 9, 2011 8:13:57 PM

with the price of a new gpu you can get a decent motherboard, cpu and ram....the 9500gt is still decent imo especially for that resolution...but your probably better off building a new pc..like getting a new power supply, motherboard, cpu, ram, case etc....what i did was just save 40 bucks a week and it added up so fast that i was able to build my sandybridge pc...cause i guarantee you your gonna want to upgrade the gpu or cpu later on or any hardware for that matter...it's always best to just buy everything new imo...i know its gonna cost a bit more then a cpu or gpu but you know what it's really worth it...knowing that everything is new in your pc...
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May 9, 2011 8:17:55 PM

Bigmac80 said:
with the price of a new gpu you can get a decent motherboard, cpu and ram....the 9500gt is still decent imo especially for that resolution...


I'm having trouble with fps in sc2, maybe it's just my cpu.
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May 9, 2011 8:24:09 PM

Your CPU... you sure it's not an E5400?

They (E5400) are extremly good dual cores with a huge OC potential. I've seen people taking them over 4ghz on air in other forums.

Chances are, though, your motherboard won't support overclocking.

What I would suggest is you buy a cheap motherboard replacement that supports overclocking for around $80 and a CPU cooler like the Hyper 212+ ($30) - although that depends on if it'll fit in your case. Then get a 5770 and you'll probably need a new PSU so that's another $150 for both (Antec or Corsair have very good, cheap 400/450W PSU)

The 9500GT is mediocre but a 5770 will pump very good performance out at your resolution.

The only other upgrade I might suggest is get Windows 7 64 bit, so that you can take full advantage of your 4 gigs RAM and also it will allow you to have DX11 features in games that support it with the 5770. Well that and maybe a HDD upgrade.

My girlfriend has an HP PC, which we upgraded to an E5400 on a Biostar mATX mobo plus 4 gigs DDR2 800 RAM (Kingston value ram) for ~$150 for all that. Also Win 7 64 bit for another $90. Then just a week ago we bought a Corsair 450CX PSU, a 5770, and a WD 7200rpm 1TB HDD and a nice 21.5" 1080p monitor. Her computer is running superbly now.
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May 9, 2011 8:31:07 PM

Thank you wolfram23. This seems like a great option for me. I do have a E5400, sorry for that (thought it said 'S').

I don't know much about overclocking, and I doubt my motherboard will support it. Although I am very interested in trying it, especially with the results that others have with this CPU.

I do have Windows 7 64-bit so that's not a problem.

Thank you for all the help! Could you possibly recommend what I should buy for this?
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May 9, 2011 8:44:58 PM

To be honest I don't know which motherboard to get... Just looking at newegg there's a TON of them for as little as $50.

I guess figure out your budget, and then look for some reviews on the ones closest to what you can afford. The more you spend, the better the board so keep that in mind.
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