Gaming Rig Upgrade - CPU & GPU (RAM&MOBO?)

Hello all! I've been surfing for info a while now and am astonished at how helpful you all in this forum can be!! I figured I would post for some advice from those much wiser than I :) (I hope this is the right area to do it! If not, feel free to move my post, sorry!)

I'm a big BF3 fan, and with all the great games out/coming out this year, I'd like to upgrade a bit to try and max some settings (currently only get about 25-30FPS on a good day when maxed in Metro 2033)

I primarily use my pc for gaming. I do some web design but I'm moving all that over to a "work PC", so that's irrelevant now. I also like to record gameplay and upload it to YouTube. I've got two 1920x1080 res monitors, but use only one while gaming at the moment.

I'd say I wanna spend <$700 on an upgrade. Preferably much less, but I do want quality parts that will last for a bit.

I built my first and current rig a little over a year ago and it is as follows:


Intel i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66 GHz

G.Skill Ripjaw 8GB DDR3 1333

SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 5870 2GB

(sometimes enable crossfire with HIS Radeon HD 5830 1GB, not sure if it helps or hinders)

Cooler Master 850w Modular (Also think I have a ~600w PSU somewhere, this was just when I want to crossfire)

Cooler Master Hyper 520 CPU Cooler (not getting much use of it yet though!)

HDD 1TB 72,000RPM 3GB/s

A few questions:

1) Are my CPU & RAM slowing my gpu down? Or is the 2GB GPU memory not helping as much as I think it is?

2) Is it worth overclocking my CPU? Or should I just replace it? I honestly have no idea how to OC, but might be able to get help from friends and research.
I was checking out articles, and saw the i5-2400 (or slightly better -2500K) was recommended, but I would have to update my MOBO, since mine's LGA1156 (apparently that's old :P).

3) If I upgrade my GPU, is the HD 6870 a significant jump from my 5870 2GB? Or should I go up to HD6950 (which can unlock to 6970 if I figure that out :P) I'm leaning toward the 6950...

4) 8GB of RAM seems like plenty to me, but I know that 1333 speed is really dragging me down. My current board says it supports DDR3 2200/1333/1066/800... I think my mobo is holding me back here. I'd like to get at LEAST some 1600 RAM.

The i5-2400 and 6950 would put me at about $430, plus a new board and much needed RAM... I think I could get in under 700, but I want to make sure I have the best stuff. Any ideas/suggestions? I would love to learn more and get the best bang for my buck! Thanks so much for reading!
7 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about gaming upgrade mobo
  1. My suggestion would be go for a good Gigabyte / Asus 1155 P67 Board.

    Get an i5 2500k

    Get 8GB of RAM at 1600MHz

    And stick with your GPU for now.

    The 5870 is (although starting to get dated) a solid card, and I would hold off till the nVidia 600 / ATI 7k series comes out next year.
  2. Thanks for replying so fast! :D
    Will the ram and cpu really boost my gaming enough to get 40-60 fps in a high-end game? I'm not one who could ever spend more than ~$300 on a gpu, that's just too much for me, so I won't be getting the new series when they come out anyway
  3. I really don't see anything seriously wrong with your present system.
    A new gpu would help you more then anything and a 5870 is no slouch.
    Sure you could buy a new SB platform but that too will be soon outdone by X79 early next year.
    New ram won't do anything imo to improve gaming performance.
    I would wait a few months.
    MSI GeForce GTX 570 Fermi - $289.99 USD/After Mail In Rebate: $259.99 USD
  4. Best answer
    Upgrading to Sandy Bridge form that would be a massive waste of money. That CPU is plenty powerful, especially if you overclock it. It could easily last you 2 more years. Your RAM is perfectly fine as well, you would notice 0 difference at all in gaming by upgrading it.

    Overclock that CPU past 3GHZ and get yourself a good GPU. An HD 6950 or GTX 560TI would be a good choice, or you could get a 6970 or GTX 570 if you want to spend more money. I have a 6950 and can max pretty much everything out at 1920x1080. The newer 6950s won't unlock to 6970s though.

    With a nice GPU and an OC on that CPU your rig would be a great gaming machine for a while yet.,1.html
  5. Although, you do have a solid processor....

    BF3 in particular is *Extremely* Processor heavy, almost to the point where the CPU is more important than the GPU.

    You shouldn't have much trouble with your system, especially if you OC it though...
  6. Thanks so much everyone!
    I have been hearing all around that I should mainly just OC up to and beyond 3GHz, then I'll check performance and possibly pick up a new GPU and/or wait for newer tech to come out. Much appreciated!
  7. Best answer selected by Epwna.
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