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[Homebuilt] Upgrade decisions

This is what I currently have, I don't have the budget for an entire new system, but im trying to decide what I should save for and upgrade.

Mobo- Gigabyte MA-770-DS3
Proc- AMD Athlon 64 X2 6400+ Windsor 3.2GHz
Ram- 4GB OCZ Reaper DDR2 1066
HDD- 1TB WD black edition
Video- XFX HD4890
Psw- 550W (can't remember brand for the life of me)
OS- Win7 Home pre.

This right is used for gaming. BF3,Mw3, WoW, Skyrim.

I'm starting to notice the machine struggling at certain points in newwer games.

I'm Assuming it's either the video card or proc being the bottleneck, but I can't really decide what would be a better upgrade.

If I upgrade the Proc, I'm looking at a new Mobo/Proc/Ram. This isn't out of the question, just something I have to save for.

Any advice? I've been trying to figure it out myself for a few days, but I'm at a loss. I don't SEEM to be having any issues with my Proc only being a dual core (I'm assuming the raw Clock speed helps) but I tend to see alot of people urging people to upgrade to a quad core.

If I were to upgrade either I'd try to maintain the same clock speed for the processor, just with a quad core variant. Same amount of RAM (unless you think this is the issue). As far as upgrading the video card, I'd love to spend 300$ or less.

Thank you for any/all advice guys.
16 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about homebuilt upgrade decisions
  1. Here is the list of your cpu's compatible with your mobo http://ro.gigabyte.com/support-downloads/cpu-support-popup.aspx?pid=3097
    The best upgrade is one of this CPU's:
    AMD Phenom II X4 960T : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103995
    AMD Phenom II X4 975 Black Edition : http://www.newegg.com/Product
    /Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103923
    And this 6870 video card : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102948
    Before you change the processor you must do update the BIOS.
  2. Best answer
    In order to see significant improvement on the video card front, you would have to move up to the Nvidia 560 Ti - Radeon HD 6950 range. Your PSU would be borderline for such an upgrade. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fastest-graphics-card-radeon-geforce,3085-7.html

    On the CPU front, a somewhat larger jump could be had with even the Core i3-2100 CPU(~$120), and an inexpensive($50) H-61 motherboard. I could not recommend an AMD upgrade because the best AMD CPUs are only equivalent in performance to the i3-2100 at a higher cost. The i3 would also allow for a bit of upgrade path as opposed to the AMD. BTW, the I3 is a multithreaded dual core which basically means it acts like a quad core. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-overclocking,3077-5.html

    Right now, my best advice would to be the Core i3-2100, the h-61 mobo, and DDR3 ram. If your Windows is only 32 bit, then it would be 4gb(2x2gb kit). If you have 64 bit Windows, then 8gb(2x4gb) would be best. All this could be done for around $200. The new CPU would give your GPU a bit more life at least until you could afford a new GPU.
  3. Don't need a new mobo because the quad's and even six core are supported by his mobo. http://ro.gigabyte.com/support-downloads/cpu-support-popup.aspx?pid=3097
    McCloud182 need a good new graphic card for gaming and in his budget a new cpu and an 6850 , 6870 is the best upgrade for a good gaming experience.
  4. sosofm said:
    Here is the list of your cpu's compatible with your mobo http://ro.gigabyte.com/support-downloads/cpu-support-popup.aspx?pid=3097
    The best upgrade is one of this CPU's:
    AMD Phenom II X4 960T : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103995
    AMD Phenom II X4 975 Black Edition : http://www.newegg.com/Product
    /Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103923
    And this 6870 video card : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102948
    Before you change the processor you must do update the BIOS.



    That upgrade list is for the Ma-770-UD3

    Not the DS3, which is what I have.
  5. My bad this is for your mobo http://www.gigabyte.com/support-downloads/cpu-support-popup.aspx?pid=2722
    Then the six core is out of the question. Buy a quad core compatible with your mobo and a 6850 , 6870 video card.
    Then one of this quad's :
    970 : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103893 138$
    925 : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103940 95$
  6. sosofm said:
    My bad this is for your mobo http://www.gigabyte.com/support-downloads/cpu-support-popup.aspx?pid=2722
    Then the six core is out of the question. Buy a quad core compatible with your mobo and a 6850 , 6870 video card.



    No problem.

    It looks like fromt he list, the highest my board would take is the

    Phenom x4 9850 @ 2.5ghz.

    Anything higher then that has a N/A for the bios revision, so I guess that means I couldn't use them?

    That quite a downclock for the core from what I already have :(

    I don't HAVE to upgrade both the proc AND the video card. I'd prolly choose one or the other.


    So either New

    board/proc/ram

    or

    videocard

    Which ever would give me the most performance gain I suppose.
  7. tlmck said:
    In order to see significant improvement on the video card front, you would have to move up to the Nvidia 560 Ti - Radeon HD 6950 range. Your PSU would be borderline for such an upgrade. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fastest-graphics-card-radeon-geforce,3085-7.html

    On the CPU front, a somewhat larger jump could be had with even the Core i3-2100 CPU(~$120), and an inexpensive($50) H-61 motherboard. I could not recommend an AMD upgrade because the best AMD CPUs are only equivalent in performance to the i3-2100 at a higher cost. The i3 would also allow for a bit of upgrade path as opposed to the AMD. BTW, the I3 is a multithreaded dual core which basically means it acts like a quad core. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-overclocking,3077-5.html

    Right now, my best advice would to be the Core i3-2100, the h-61 mobo, and DDR3 ram. If your Windows is only 32 bit, then it would be 4gb(2x2gb kit). If you have 64 bit Windows, then 8gb(2x4gb) would be best. All this could be done for around $200. The new CPU would give your GPU a bit more life at least until you could afford a new GPU.



    So moving from a 3.0~ x2 to an intel x2 would be an upgrade?

    So something like this?

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115077

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157246

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231307 x2 sticks
  8. sosofm said:
    Don't need a new mobo because the quad's and even six core are supported by his mobo. http://ro.gigabyte.com/support-downloads/cpu-support-popup.aspx?pid=3097
    McCloud182 need a good new graphic card for gaming and in his budget a new cpu and an 6850 , 6870 is the best upgrade for a good gaming experience.


    I was referring to CPU upgrades beyond his current motherboard. Also, the US Gigabyte site I checked had a bunch of N/A's listed on most modern processors. The socket 1155 still had more upgrade in it.
  9. Yeah, I don't think any of the newer procs would work at all with my current motherboard.

    Would you recommend those parts I listed in my previous reply?
  10. mccloud182 said:



    Don't let the ghz fool you, it is more about new tech, instruction sets, etc...

    I was thinking more along the lines of this mobo - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128527

    The i3-2100 is the best value. the higher numbers do not get you anything but higher cost. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115078

    For the ram, if you are buying a 4gb stick for eventual move to 8gb total, that will be fine. If you plan on staying with 4 gb, a dual channel pair would be better. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231426
  11. Yeah I was thinking I'll move to 8gb at some point, I don't seem to have any Ram limitations currently.

    The only reason I looked at the board I listed previously was for the sata6gb. Which right now isn't a huge deal, but if I ever want to get an SSD, it would make sense.
  12. If you wanted to move to SSD, the a board with the z68 chip set would be more appropriate, and more expensive at this time. It is sort of made to be SSD friendly in various ways. The price will come down later in the year when all the new Ivy Bridge chips and motherboards hit the market in force. I just happen to get mine on a one day manager's special at Microcenter for $79.99. It is normally a $125 board. it is listed in my member config. http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/configuration.php?config=tomshardwareus.inc&pseudo=tlmck

    BTW. If you happen to live near a Microcenter, they have the best prices on processors. However, you have to buy them in the store. There is a location box at the top of their home page you can check out. For instance, the Core i3-2100 is only $99.99. http://www.microcenter.com/
  13. Sadly I don't live anywhere near a microcenter :(

    I live In NC. My only options locally are bestbuy :P

    I'll prolly just shop around the various online stores and see where I can get the best prices.
  14. Best answer selected by mccloud182.
  15. Bummer. Microcenter really needs to open more stores. It is a great place for computer stuff, and some of the deals they have at times are insane.
  16. This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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