What to upgrade first o.o;

Hey gang. Gonna take a little bit of a different approach on this one and ask about what I should do with my current system and how I should upgrade it.

I'm currently running an AMD Phenom II x4 960T @ 3.6GHz (chip is able to be unlocked and be stable, though I had no need for it) on an ASUS M4A88T-V Evo/Usb 3 motherboard with 8gigs of AMD RAM running @ stock 1333mhz. I have an older ATI MSI 5770 Hawk Edition card that's still running pretty well but as new games are coming out I feel like I'm going to need something a little bit stronger.

I'm also running a Seagate 250gb drive that's some 4? ish years old. The problem is that the drive has been reporting S.M.A.R.T. errors and a few other drive tests failing but I don't think I'm losing data and failure hasn't been imminent considering I've been getting the errors for like 2 years now lol. This is all being powered by a Rosewill Stallion 500w PSU which is not 80 plus rated. All of the parts are stationed in a Cooler Master Elite 330 case.

Now for the questions and potential future upgrades. My first question is about an SSD upgrade for the system. I was thinking of buying two of these ( ) and running them in RAID 0 for extra speed and double capacity, and it would specifically be used for a boot drive setup for some flavor of Win7 64bit. Two of these drives is basically as much as 1 single 128GB drive, and within the RAID 0 setup they would be faster. Those drives seem to be VERY reliable and one of the best on the market right now. However, despite their reliability I still hear from people that RAID setups can make things unstable and have potential for losing data.

Question/Scenario #2: The CPU/GPU situation. If better games are coming out, which is going to benefit me more? A better GPU to start out with (was thinking of an AMD MSI 7850 Twin Frozr) or would a better CPU be better for gaming for a quick fix? Keep in mind, If I get a better CPU the only way that is happening is if I switch spectrums and go to the Intel side, where an i5 2500k would be the choice...But then that would mean I would have to buy a new motherboard as well, which would shell out even more money. Mind you I'm more than likely going to make the full change to an Intel system, but I want to know if it should be done first or last.

Anyone can help me on this issue, I just thought it was a good subject to bring about and I can get some insight on what I should do. I use the computer basically for an all around system...A little high end gaming - Dirt 3, COD, Battlefield, etc. - and some media editing as well as some CAD when I get bored all @ 1920x1080. I just want to know in what order should I buy these parts in as I will eventually fully upgrade the system.
8 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about what upgrade
  1. Just keep your RIG until it start dieing or too slow for recent games even at low setting(not minimum) than buy a new one instead of upgrading since those Spec are kind of old... Wait if you can because it's worth the wait for new stuff to come out rather then upgrading to old stuff which not in production anymore like GTx 580 isn't in production anymore but It's still in stock to buy it but will run out soon...
  2. Keep the rig you've got for now. Your 960 is fine, and I'm an Intel guy, for gaming. Go with the GPU for the best improvement and bring it with you when you migrate to "our" side. Start out with the single SSD - you won't believe the speed - for your OS and do it before your HDD finally goes. Your link didn't work for me by the way.
  3. the GPU upgrade will definitely be more beneficial than a cpu upgrade for gaming. I'm thinking of buying that very card, and I only run a phII 3 x 2.6ghz 710 (though I will be upgrading that in a month or two as well, the graphics for me are more urgent- i currently have a 5770 too).

    Dunno about the SSDs, but I'd consider a new HDD first and maybe a new PSU, depending on how old that current psu is.
  4. Best answer
    FIRST should be the power supply. Older Rosewells are crap and known to die when pushed slightly. Yours is older, and with capicator ageing probaby will put out 350watt before it dies. Taking other components with it.
    Second would be a video card upgrade.,3018-7.html
    I would suggest a minimum of a GTX460 or HD6850, or higher depending on budget.

    The rest of your system,although older , is still a very capable gaming machine.
    third is HDD. Although if you are overclocking by FSB instead of multiplyer it could be the cause your smart errors.
  5. Woot. Thanks to everyone for all of the replies! @ LegendKiller, I was actually thinking of going with a single 6970 because they are starting to phase out as the new stuff comes in, but I figure if I'm going to be paying that much on a card I might as well grab something new, despite nasty driver issues with ATI/AMD.

    @Chaz21, I was definitely going to swap the new GPU over to the new system...No need to upgrade twice, right? :P. The SSD in the link was simply a Crucial M4 64gb...If I was to use one single drive I think I would use a 90GB Corsair Force 3. It would leave me enough space for my OS and updates while still having a good amount of free space to not degrade the drive quickly.

    @absorber, I felt as though the GPU upgrade was going to be beneficial first as well, however, I wasn't going to do anything major until a new PSU was put into effect. My current one is probably around as old as my hard drive, so we're looking at 4ish years, and still not 80 plus!

    @Rick_Criswell, I heard the same thing about Rosewill power supplies but that wasn't until recently with their new products. I'm actually surprised my current one hasn't died out on me yet and as I said before this current PSU by Rosewill is 4ish years old. I looked at your first link and the two new potential power supplies I was looking at are both Tier 2 units...The Corsair HX650 watt professional ( ) , and the Seasonic M12S 620 watt ( ). As for the video card, I was thinking of a 6870 but again with the phasing out I would like to use something newer and have more potential for overclocking (minor, not anything crazy). As for the HDD, I was still actually getting the errors when I was running an Athlon II x4 630, and even before then while running my Athlon II x2 65watt at stock speeds. So I'm not sure if maybe the programs used were bugging out or not, but I still think an upgrade is needed. Thank you for the links as well :D
  6. Try running Memtest on your memory.
    Memory errors written to the hard drive could give smart errors also.
  7. mmmm if it's 4 years old I'd definitely look at replacing the psu
  8. Best answer selected by xyro.
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