Best Upgrade option?

I'm right now stuck with a system with the following components:

I5 650 @ 3.2Ghz
Ati Radeon Hd 5850
6Gb ddr3 ram @ 1333Mhz
1TB HDD 7200rpm
NZXT tempest Evo case

-I have 300 euros for an upgrade. Should I use it to buy a new graphics card like a gtx 570 or a hd 7870 or should I trash the bad processor and get a i5 2500k or some amd
bulldozer and upgrade the GPU later? Would the hd 5850 do for a nother couple of months?

Obviously I need a new mobo as well, so will a 100€ mobo do for this kind of a processor. WHat extras do the more expensive motherboards give. Also do i need new ram as i have 3x2GB and most mobos are dual channel so does this make any difference?

Any help appreciated :)

-I use this rig mainly for Battlefield 3 and some other games....
15 answers Last reply
More about best upgrade option
  1. Avoid Bulldozer. If I was in your shoes as you mention BF3 specifically I think I would do the CPU 1st 300 euros is enough to get an i5 and a decent motherboard. Then save a few months to get a really good GPU.
  2. wr6133 said:
    Avoid Bulldozer. If I was in your shoes as you mention BF3 specifically I think I would do the CPU 1st 300 euros is enough to get an i5 and a decent motherboard. Then save a few months to get a really good GPU.


    So would the 2500k do or should I got for Ivy Bridge? Also what extras do the more expensive motherboards give?
  3. Do you plan to overclock? If so an i5 2500k (sandybridge) and a z68 motherboard would do you. If you dont want to overclock an i5 3450 (ivybridge) and a z77 motherboard. The more you spend on the motherboard the more features like SLi, extra SATA 6GB/s etc
  4. wr6133 said:
    Do you plan to overclock? If so an i5 2500k (sandybridge) and a z68 motherboard would do you. If you dont want to overclock an i5 3450 (ivybridge) and a z77 motherboard. The more you spend on the motherboard the more features like SLi, extra SATA 6GB/s etc


    I will most likely overclock, so i guess the sandy bridge one is for me.

    http://www.msi.com/product/mb/Z68A-G43--B3-.html#/?div=Detail

    Would this mobo be good for the 2500k and doesn't this also fully support crossfireX?
  5. Yes that supports 2 way crossfire. Only negative I can see on the specs are it doesn't have a internal USB3.0 header so if you have USB 3.0 on the front of your case you would have to run a cable through to the back.
  6. wr6133 said:
    Do you plan to overclock? If so an i5 2500k (sandybridge) and a z68 motherboard would do you. If you dont want to overclock an i5 3450 (ivybridge) and a z77 motherboard.

    A z77 board would be perfectly adequate for a 2500k since you still gain native SATA-3, USB3, optional SLI, optional overclocking, etc.

    Someone buying a 3450 would be better off buying a h77 board since they are unlikely to be interested in SLI/crossfire and cannot overclock, the two main advantages of z77. A z77 board would likely be wasted on a 3450.
  7. He wants crossfire. I recommended the z68 for the sandy to save him some euros converting UK prices to euro's I see his 300 is getting squeezed.
  8. wr6133 said:
    Yes that supports 2 way crossfire. Only negative I can see on the specs are it doesn't have a internal USB3.0 header so if you have USB 3.0 on the front of your case you would have to run a cable through to the back.


    so it's a 16x/16x pcie slots or 8x/8x when crossfired, not like the typical 16x/4x that's on most mobos of this price range?
  9. I had the same setup as you, an i5 650 and a cheap motherboard and recently upgraded to an i5 2500k and an MSI GD53. Definitely go for the Z68 you get alot more features for your money than Z77 as the crossfire boards usually start around £110 whereas I picked up my GD53 for £80 off of amazon. You won't be dissapointed with the 2500k, it's brilliant!
  10. Battlefielder said:
    so it's a 16x/16x pcie slots or 8x/8x when crossfired, not like the typical 16x/4x that's on most mobos of this price range?

    Motherboards with x16/x4 "SLI" are not really intended for SLI, they are simply motherboards with a x4 slot fed from the IO Hub.

    Real SLI boards either route PCIe lanes directly from the CPU which allows glueless x8/x8 for technically free or through a PCIe switch (mechanical or IC) to optionally divert 8 lanes to a secondary slot or a PCIe routing ASIC which can enable arbitrary arrangements up to x16 per port.

    Since no GPU currently on the market needs more than 8x PCIe 3.0 lanes, motherboard manufacturers should simply do glueless x8/x8 on their PCIe 3.0 SLI boards.
  11. InvalidError said:
    Motherboards with x16/x4 "SLI" are not really intended for SLI, they are simply motherboards with a x4 slot fed from the IO Hub.

    Real SLI boards either route PCIe lanes directly from the CPU which allows glueless x8/x8 for technically free or through a PCIe switch (mechanical or IC) to optionally divert 8 lanes to a secondary slot or a PCIe routing ASIC which can enable arbitrary arrangements up to x16 per port.

    Since no GPU currently on the market needs more than 8x PCIe 3.0 lanes, motherboard manufacturers should simply do glueless x8/x8 on their PCIe 3.0 SLI boards.


    So exactly what configuration does this have, in terms of crossfire? Can you suggest any other boards that would not smash my budget too much?

    http://www.msi.com/product/mb/Z68A-G43--B3-.html#/?div=Detail
  12. your board is X16/X4 that works for crossfire

    If you really want X8/X8 you would be looking at something like this

    http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=3853#ov

    That retails around £105 here in the UK so I would guess around Euro 130 so with a 2500k should still be around your budget.
  13. wr6133 said:
    your board is X16/X4 that works for crossfire

    If you really want X8/X8 you would be looking at something like this

    http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=3853#ov

    That retails around £105 here in the UK so I would guess around Euro 130 so with a 2500k should still be around your budget.


    Well the i5 2500k retails for around 230€ in Finland so it would go over my budget, but is there a huge difference between 16x/4x and 8x/8x?
  14. Frame rates should be higher in x8/x8

    If I was you though I would buy the cheaper board, forget about crossfire and just save a few months for a really good single GPU
  15. wr6133 said:
    Frame rates should be higher in x8/x8

    If I was you though I would buy the cheaper board, forget about crossfire and just save a few months for a really good single GPU


    Ok thanks for your advice, I think I'll still manage with my overclocked 5850 for a while and then get some newer generation GPU.
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