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Upgrade Gaming PC Advice

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Last response: in Systems
December 15, 2011 10:09:34 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: December 2011 - January 2012

Budget Range: $800-1200 range

System Usage from Most to Least Important: 3D Animation/Digital Art/Gaming

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:,

Overclocking: Yes / No / Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Yes / No / Maybe

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Full Tower
OS: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
Processor: AMD Athlon(tm) 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 6000+ (3.1GHz)
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GTX/9800 GTX+
Hard Disk: 300GB
Power Supply: 550W

Proposed Upgrade Parts

1200W Power Supply + 8GB RAM combo ($229.98)

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 590 ($750)

Liquid Cooler ($64.69)

Total: $1044.67

Additional Comments: I'm nit picky when it comes to pc games because I only like playing games on close to or max settings and I also would like to work efficiently when it comes to doing 3D work/ photoshop drawing and cut down rendering times and work on bigger pixel canvases without lag.

I'm also a newbie in building computers but am eager to learn!

Whatever graphics card option recommended I would like to SLI it with the one I have at the moment.

tl: dr
I want a quiet high end gaming pc that can take on big applications such as Maya, Photoshop, and Zbrush with ease.

More about : upgrade gaming advice

Best solution

December 15, 2011 11:07:09 PM

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 590 ($750)

Do not use a 590 with a dual core CPU, you want at minimum a quad core. You definitely want to up the RAM. You also want to make sure your motherboard will handle a GPU of that magnitude. You might just want to reuse your case, hard drive, optical, etc, and start from scratch. If you drop the 590 to a 580 you'll have plenty of cash to get an Intel i5-2500K, motherboard, and RAM.

1200W Power Supply + 8GB RAM combo ($229.98)

1200W is overkill for even 580SLI - you can get by with a 950 for not a lot of money.

Liquid Cooler ($64.69)

Not sure I'd recommend the H50 - a better suggestion would be to use a good strong air cooler like the Noctua NH-U9B.

I want a quiet high end gaming pc that can take on big applications such as Maya, Photoshop, and Zbrush with ease.

See in the end you're not going to be seeing much of an improvement by only buying 3 parts - especially with a video card as overkill as the 590 - this is what I'd recommend for your budget. A dual core CPU is a dual core CPU - it's the bare minimum in games and even programs like CS5. You want a quad core at bare minimum - that's where you'll start seeing drastic improvements.

The upgrades you've proposed, if you want my honest opinion, will be pretty useless with your current hardware - especially the video card without a good solid motherboard to back it up. This will be a better use of your money and time and still fit your budget of $1200:

PSU: PC Power & Cooling Silencer MKII - $149.99
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3P - $174.99
CPU: 3.30GHz Intel Core i5-2500K - $219.99
Cooler: Noctua NH-U9B - $59.99
RAM: 8GB G.Skill Ripjaw 1600MHz 1.5V - $49.99
Video Card: EVGA Geforce GTX 580TI - $499.99

Total: $1144.99

If you have any leftover in your budget after that I'd recommend a nice SSD like the 64GB Crucial M4 for a well rounded system.
December 21, 2011 3:04:35 PM

Best answer selected by gurzy.