Buy or upgrade?

Hi all,

I'm wondering if I should upgrade components of my computer, or if it would be smarter to just buy a new one. Right now I play Starcraft 2 and TF2, and I'm thinking about getting Skyrim and will most definitely be getting Diablo 3 when it comes out.

This is what I have, according to Speccy:

OS - Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
CPU - AMD Phenom II X4 810
RAM - 8 GB DDR3 @ 533MHz (7-7-7-20)
Motherboard - Foxconn Aloe, chipset vendor and model is AMD 785GSB700
Graphics - ATI Radeon HD 4200
Hard drive - 733GB Seagate ST3750528AS SCSI Disk Device (RAID)

I'm not very good with this hardware type stuff. What I think I need is a new graphics card, but if the rest of my setup isn't that good should I even bother upgrading graphics when the rest of it might need to be upgraded soon?
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More about upgrade
  1. vespir said:
    Hi all,

    I'm wondering if I should upgrade components of my computer, or if it would be smarter to just buy a new one. Right now I play Starcraft 2 and TF2, and I'm thinking about getting Skyrim and will most definitely be getting Diablo 3 when it comes out.

    This is what I have, according to Speccy:

    OS - Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
    CPU - AMD Phenom II X4 810
    RAM - 8 GB DDR3 @ 533MHz (7-7-7-20)
    Motherboard - Foxconn Aloe, chipset vendor and model is AMD 785GSB700
    Graphics - ATI Radeon HD 4200
    Hard drive - 733GB Seagate ST3750528AS SCSI Disk Device (RAID)

    I'm not very good with this hardware type stuff. What I think I need is a new graphics card, but if the rest of my setup isn't that good should I even bother upgrading graphics when the rest of it might need to be upgraded soon?


    The system is ok and would benefit from an upgrade on the gpu side. The question is how much you want to spend. From a performance standpoint 6850->6870->6950->6970->7950->7970. Note that Keppler is expected to be out soon claiming even better performance. So, determine how much you want to spend and use that as the guide and get the best upgrade gpu for the money you can.
  2. Thank you Quiet. As an afterthought, do you think I should beef up my RAM to maybe 12 gb or would the cost outweigh the benefit?
  3. vespir said:
    Thank you Quiet. As an afterthought, do you think I should beef up my RAM to maybe 12 gb or would the cost outweigh the benefit?


    Regarding RAM - anything beyond 8gb does little or nothing unless you are running some specialized software that would access it.
  4. +1 for a graphics card upgrade. The rest is pretty decent.

    What power supply do you currently have?

    Don't do anything without checking out this awesome guide:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-card-review,3107-7.html
  5. I agree a GPU upgrade would be great for your system.
  6. Thanks again to everyone, with your advice I am going to go ahead and upgrade my GPU. I have an update with request for more advice.

    My PSU is 300W. I looked at the graphics hierarchy chart, and I think I found a good deal but want a savvy opinion before I make a decision.

    The GeForce GTX 550 Ti SuperClocked Video Card - 1GB, GDDR5 is for $119.99 Cdn. after coupon and rebate ($149.99 before). http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/searchtools/item-Details.asp?EdpNo=41126&sku=E145-0552

    Will this work with my current setup? Is it worth it, or should I spend my money on another card for whatever reason? Is Nvidia good considering my setup was made integrated with Radeon?

    I also found a link describing the specs of my computer for better details http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?lc=en&dlc=en&cc=us&docname=c01859871#N1170

    Edit: after taxes and shipping, it actually costs $144.74
  7. That card is good for the price, however it requires a minimum 400w power supply. So plan on another $80 for that. It will work fine with your setup. For a bit more you could get a better card....but then again you can say "for a bit more" all the way up to $500 :).
  8. Haha I know what you mean about the "a bit more" problem. I would be willing to spend maybe 30 more dollars if it meant getting a card that would definitely be better... I wonder if that is even an option though?
  9. You may be able to upgrade the CPU as well check out your manufacturer's website to see compatible CPUs.
  10. A 6790 would be better for the same price. A 6800 series would be better for a slightly higher price.
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