Graphic Card/other gaming upgrades

I just bought a new desktop to use for gaming and A/V editing. I thought about doing a custom build, but I decided to just get something standard so I can upgrade it as I go (I like tinkering with stuff). Here are the specs on the PC..

Dell XPS
CPU - Intel Core i5
Graphics - ATI Radeon HD 6450
Monitor - Dynex 32' LCD TV using HDMI connecton
RAM - 6g
Power Supply - Not sure, but at least 450w

I play a lot of Skyrim and Old Republic. The graphics are definitely better than a console, but I feel like they could be improved (especially on Skyrim). For A/V, I use Pinnacle Studio HD 15.

I would like to upgrade to an i7 at some point (which I know is dumb, I just want to), and I obviously want to upgrade my graphics too. What other upgrades should I consider? I know a lot of the better gaming PCs have 8-12g RAM and a bigger power supply. Should that be a priority, or should I focus on graphics first?
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  1. Best answer
    Your games will benefit more from a graphics upgrade. Pinnicale will favor a CPU upgrade over a graphics card most likely considering you have a 6450. 12GB of RAM is overkill. 6-8GB is perfect (you probably wont even use it all). If you upgrade your RAM, focus on the speed.
  2. Yeap, as candleboy said, a new graphics card is definitely the first thing to upgrade. That said, definitely find out what wattage your PSU is, and make sure you're running at least 550W.
  3. psu wattage isn't nearly as important as brand. Some good quality 380w PSU's will outperform cheap and nasty brand "600w" psu's. Please list the make and model of PSU that you have.
  4. I looked over all my specs and all I could find about the PSU was that it's 460w. It didn't say a brand or anything, so I'm assuming it's whatever comes standard with my PC.
  5. Dell power supplies tend to be crap check what it says for the power on the 12V rails, but mif your going to be getting a 6850 or better you most likely will nedd a decent brand PSU anyway. Which as stated is by far the best (& only worthwhile) upgrade for gaming.
  6. Ok, so my current plan of action is this..

    1. Replace my factory 460w PSU with one that will support a better graphics card (around 550w-600w and make sure its a good brand).

    2. Upgrade graphics card. Possibly the Radeon 6700 or 6800 series.

    3. Add 2g of RAM to make it a total of 8g (because 12 is overkill).

    4. MAYBE upgrade from i5 to i7 for my audio/video stuff.

    That all makes sense now, I just didn't really know where to start. Thanks for the help. I wish it would let me select all of your replies as "best answer" but I can only do one, so I'm gonna go with Candleboy8 since he replied first. All of your answers were really helpful though, thanks again.
  7. Best answer selected by andywilson001.
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