Should I upgrade?

Hello good people of THW,

I am at a bit of a conundrum :( I game allot and so am thinking of making a new build but I don't know if the benefit would be worth the price?

I have an relatively new PC that was built to a small budget; hence the three core Athlon II CPU.

The hard drives rattle which doesn't worry me as I make regular backups and there is not much of value on the PC anyway. It is annoying though. I am thinking of getting a couple of those OCZ Agility 3 60GB SSD's and raid 0'ing them. Or perhaps just the one... I'm sure that one would be a big benefit, but not if 2 will be any better than one.

The GPU I have at the moment isn't all that powerful but does run my games (Skyrim on max settings but not with the best FPS). I enjoy a variety of games, but mainly FPS (BF3) and MMO's (Guild Wars).

I would like to be able to play Guild Wars 2 on Max settings with a decent FPS, when the game comes out and would like something that is relatively future-proof (well not "proof" but resistant).

The motherboard does it's job. It doesn't have much expansion for extra GPU's though and I am thinking that would be the way to go for future upgrades. (correct me if I am wrong please :))

My ram is 1600MHZ 2x2GB so maybe its worth getting some more of the same? Or bin it and get 4x4GB?

Ok, I think that's everything? No wait, CASE! I absolutely hate my case >.< It lets the hard drives rattle and the front headphone port sounds like a Darlek... If there are any suggestions on a sophisticated and sound proofed case I would really appreciate it.

Right so, finally here is my current system:

GPU: Asus AMD Radeon HD 6670 1024MB GDDR3 (800MHz Core, 1800MHz GDDR3, 480 Stream Processors, DVI, HDMI, VGA, PCIe 2.0)

CPU: AMD Triple Core Athlon II X3 455 3.2GHz 1.5MB Socket AM3 - Retail
(Triple Core Technology, 3.3GHz clock speed, 3x512KB L2 Cache, 64-Bit Technology, HyperTransport Technology, 3yr Warranty.)

MoBo: (Closest I could find) Asus M5A88-M AMD 880G (Socket AM3+) Motherboard
(AM3+ CPU, mATX, DDR3 (16GB max), 2 x USB 3, 12 x USB 2, 6 x SATA 6Gb/s, RAID, 1 x HDMI, 1 x DVI, 1 x VGA, SPDIF, 7.1 HD Audio)

RAM: 1600MHZ 2x2GB

PSU: 500W (Prefer not to change this, can do if necessary)

HDD: 2x Samsung Spin Point EcoGreen F3 SATAII NCQ 500GB 32MB Cache Hard Drive <9.0ms 5400rpm - OEM

OK so... One last thing. I would like to Overclock my system, be it current or new.


Powerful at gaming

My Budget - £1000 ($1600)

I would really appreciate any builds but more usefull is perhaps good sound advice on what parts will make more of a difference. Where should I spend the money to get the best results?

Or should I scrap the idea of a new build and either make do with what I have and be happy with it or upgrade some bits?

Thanks for all your input and advice in advance.
3 answers Last reply
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  1. Hi,

    this is what I think is a great gaming rig:

    Motherboard: ASUS P8Z68-V LX LGA 1155 Intel Z68 - $124.99

    Memory/RAM : Corsair CMZ16GX3M4A1600C9 16GB (4x4GB) DDR3 1600MHz CL9 Vengeance Memory - $89.99

    Processor : Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz $224.99

    SSD: Corsair Force Series 3 CSSD-F120GB3A-BK 2.5" - $159.99 (Run Windows & Games)

    HDD: 2x Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB - $129.99ea (Put in RAID 0)(Storage)

    Graphics Card: XFX Double D FX-795A-TDFC Radeon HD 7950 3GB - $479.99

    COOLER MASTER CM Storm Series Trooper - $149.99

    Power supply: SILVERSTONE ST1200 1200W $209.99

    LG 22X Super-Multi DVD Burner - $15.99

    Equals up to $1715.90
    This rig would be a very good gaming system.
    Has the latest ATI card in it, that are not even in Australia yet.

    Also with 2 HDD's in raid 0 for your data & run games and windows on SSD.

    Would recommend if you get a i5 2500k to overclock it, because it can easily reach 4.5Ghz

    Hope this helped :)
  2. From the post above..

    If you drop down to 8GB of memory (which is more than adequate for gaming)..

    Get a cheaper case - HAF 912 or Antec 300 come to mind..

    Get a significantly smaller power supply.. you don't need anywhere near 1200W for a single 7950..
    (I don't know your 500W would be sufficient, someone else will have to answer to that.)

    Add in a Coolermaster HYPER 212 EVO (CPU Fan, $35).

    This should get you in the general area of your budget.
  3. For 2 7950s, 750w is minimum; 850W is recommended.
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