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Advice required: Upgrade GPU vs New Build

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 2, 2012 7:35:46 PM

Hey Guys,

This is something that I can't really search the forums for an answer so any advice/help/recommendations are much appreciated!

My current system is as follows:
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ (2.6GHz)
MOBO: ASUS M2N DH (Chipset: nVidia nForce 430 MCP)
4GB RAM
600W PSU (random brand)
Win XP
GPU: GeForce 9800 GT 512MB OC (Core clock: 625Mhz; Shader clock: 1566Mhz)

My current setup handles newer games like Batman: Arkham Asylum decently (>35 fps @ 1680 x 1050 @ high settings), but its not amazing. I'm looking to be able to play newer games like BF3, Skyrim, maybe SWTOR, @ 1680 x 1050 on high-max settings and I'm certain my GPU is not up to the task.

Question time:
With my 4 year old CPU and MOBO, is it still worth upgrading my GPU (say, HD 6850 / HD6870 / etc)? Or would it be a waste of money due to the old CPU/MOBO and I should do a New Build instead?

Thanks in advance!
January 2, 2012 7:38:29 PM

tiching99 said:
Hey Guys,

This is something that I can't really search the forums for an answer so any advice/help/recommendations are much appreciated!

My current system is as follows:
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ (2.6GHz)
MOBO: ASUS M2N DH (Chipset: nVidia nForce 430 MCP)
4GB RAM
600W PSU (random brand)
Win XP
GPU: GeForce 9800 GT 512MB OC (Core clock: 625Mhz; Shader clock: 1566Mhz)

My current setup handles newer games like Batman: Arkham Asylum decently (>35 fps @ 1680 x 1050 @ high settings), but its not amazing. I'm looking to be able to play newer games like BF3, Skyrim, maybe SWTOR, @ 1680 x 1050 on high-max settings and I'm certain my GPU is not up to the task.

Question time:
With my 4 year old CPU and MOBO, is it still worth upgrading my GPU (say, HD 6850 / HD6870 / etc)? Or would it be a waste of money due to the old CPU/MOBO and I should do a New Build instead?

Thanks in advance!



Without a doubt make a new build!
a c 254 U Graphics card
January 2, 2012 7:43:04 PM

What budget money amount do you have to work with if you went with a new build. Sometimes it makes more sense to build a new computer then to try to upgrade an old system with a new part. A new computer doesn't have to be a monster build to play games at high settings.
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a c 199 U Graphics card
January 2, 2012 7:46:59 PM

Your CPU is old and slow by current standards. Skyrim in particular needs a fast CPU. Your mobo has no upgrade path, so it also has to be replaced. You'll need some DDR3 RAM, and a "600W" "random brand" PSU is not something I'd trust in a new build.
Unless your budget is extremely tight, Intel on socket 1155 is the way to go. Take a look at the recent $600 SBM build for a starting point of reference.
a b U Graphics card
January 2, 2012 7:48:05 PM

Even an i3 instead of the i5 in the $600 build will work wonders.
a b U Graphics card
January 2, 2012 8:39:20 PM

+1 for new build, your cpu will bottleneck any further gpu upgrades anyways so dont change it now.

what is your budget exactly?
January 2, 2012 10:40:51 PM

Wow quick replies! Thanks for the responses.

Looks like its an overwhelming "yes" for the New Build. TBH, I was already researching a New Build, but as a non-expert, wanted to be sure that I wasn't replacing my com prematurely ... now I'm sure!

My budget is about £700-£750 ... not really sure how that translates into USD as the VAT (sales tax) here skews the prices.

In a nutshell, I am looking at:
Core-i5 2500k
Z68 Mobo (not decided which yet)
2X4GB RAM
HD 6850
1TB HDD (Caviar Black)
Corsair TX650 / TX750 (not decided which one yet as I am considering getting a crossfire / SLI ready MOBO for futureproofing)
HSF (also not decided yet).

Fairly confident that this build will be able to play Skyrim/BF3, max settings @ 1680 x 1050 (correct me if I'm wrong!). I had a look at the $600 SBM (Dec) build - that looks interesting too ...

I've still got some queries on the build but this is probably not the right forum so I'll post a new one on the New Build forum - will post a link here when that post is up. Thanks again!
a c 199 U Graphics card
January 2, 2012 11:55:36 PM

I think that's a good build. A stronger GPU might be nice, but when compared to what you have, that's a nice foundation build. A TX650 can easily handle the power requirements of Crossfired HD6850s; you won't need a pair of them at 1680x1050, but might think about it for the highest possible settings at 1920x1080.
January 3, 2012 7:40:03 PM

So anyway I've posted a new thread on the correct forum (New Build).

If anyone's interested, it's here.

Thanks again for the help.
!