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Upgrade entire computer? Or just my video card?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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August 21, 2011 11:24:13 PM

I am currently running the following system:
E8400 C2D @ 3.85ghz at 1.3vcore (100% stable, could push it higher)
HIS Radeon 4870 1GB
4GB 1066 ddr2

I am a poor college student but I could attempt to sell my current system and upgrade to an i5 2500k... I just want to know if it would be worth it.

I am looking at buying a gtx 560 ti or an AMD 6950... I could buy it now.

I would have to sell my current PC and wait a couple of months in order to upgrade everything else.

Would I notice a substantial performance increase in game if I upgraded to the i5?

I play Rift, WoW, and I want to play BF3, MW3, SWTOR, Guild wars 2, etc.




a c 217 U Graphics card
August 21, 2011 11:26:48 PM

What resolution do you play at?

I many cases, you should see a big improvement with a GTX 560, but games which like more than 2 cores will still be limited by the CPU, though most games perform good with 2 cores.

If you were to start over with a new system, you'd likely want the 560 ti for the graphics anyways (depending on resolution), so it is not a loss to get the 560 ti now and upgrade the system later.
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August 21, 2011 11:29:04 PM

I play at 1920x1080
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a c 217 U Graphics card
August 21, 2011 11:29:52 PM

A 560ti should be great for that resolution what is your PSU? You'll want to make sure it can power the card as well.
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August 21, 2011 11:33:52 PM

A 750w 80 certified PSU. It can handle it, I'm just wondering if my CPU would be a major bottleneck. I've read a lot recently and I just can't see if it would really be a major bottleneck at that resolution. Higher resolutions tend to be more GPU dependent from what I can gather.
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a b U Graphics card
August 21, 2011 11:42:56 PM

That's definitely a tough one. The E8400 was a great cpu but using a dual core now is definitely holding you back in a lot of games and obviously it'll just get worse.

In saying that, as an MMO gamer myself I know that your particular games will be running fine on what you have. I'm also looking forward to SWTOR and GW2 but I think because they are aimed at the mainstream your current system will be more than good enough. Upgrading to a 560 or 6950 won't achieve much though, not with your cpu.

It's a tough one yeah. In your favour you should get some decent cash back for the cpu on ebay. I'd definitely go with a new cpu first, keep the 4870 and see how it works with your new 2500K and if it's not working out it's something else to aim for.
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August 21, 2011 11:49:16 PM

I guess i could try selling the parts on ebay.

The e8400 seems to go for around $90 used...

My motherboard appears to be selling for around $120 used. O.O

I could scrape together the extra money to get a good mobo and the CPU and then upgrade my RAM and GPU when I get a chance.

That's a good idea, thanks.

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a b U Graphics card
August 21, 2011 11:55:53 PM

Yeah you tend to find that certain pc parts hold their value very well on ebay and the E-8xxx's are one of them. Obviously if you had a high-end mobo to go with it it's even better. :) 

But yeah in your situation it's probably best to upgrade a part at a time. Also - your memory is probably worth more than DDR3 is now, I know that's crazy but DDR2 memory is more expensive than DDR3 in many cases. I noticed you said it was 1066, is it Corsair Dominator? If so that's gonna net you a good amount back as well, in fact chances are any 1066 DDR2 will get you some cash back which you can use to get cheaper DDR3 with.
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August 21, 2011 11:58:44 PM

The memory is G-Skill.

I like their stuff.
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August 22, 2011 12:27:23 AM

Best answer selected by Stewch.
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