Hi there. I'm a new poster looking for some advice on how to upgrade my current system. I'm looking to spend ~$500 on one or more upgrades. After doing some reading, I'm pretty sure that my GPU (ATI 4600 series) is my bottleneck but I can't quite be sure as my processor is a little old too. Also, in looking for a PGU upgrade, should I be concerned about upgrading my 700W PSU. Anyway, system specs are below and I'm running on a 1440x900 monitor and I'm currently looking at a 7870 or a GTX 560. Any advice would be great.
MoBo - Gigabyte EP45-UD3L
PSU- AcePower 700W
Processor - 2.67 gigahertz Intel Core2 Quad
GPU - ATI Radeon HD 4600 Series
First of all you PSU should be fine so long as you don't start running two 7870's. You are correct in the 4600 being a point of issue. I've run a lesser CPU playing COD BO which is a GPU hog. Bump up your GPU and you should be good for a bit. After that you're looking at more extensive upgrades.
The i7-920 is fine if that is what you have as a processor.
The 4600 series card is pretty outdated now, though.
I would keep my eye on the 7870.
However, unlike the previous poster I have zero faith in AcePower to be able to manage such a card. The brand sounds like it is both cheap and generic to me, and cheap generic PSUs don't tend to do well with parts that aren't budget oriented.
I would trust a name brand PSU with half that wattage more than I would trust the PSU you have now in terms of powering a 7870 successfully.
my question about your psu id how long have you had it and how much do u run it? couple years at 24/7 or like, couple hours a day for a year? if it works well for your current parts, ont get anything that uses too too much more power than the 4600, then later on with other upgrades upgrade it to a better brand. also use compressed air can to clean any dust out of it., computer parts, especially power supplies, hate dust and if you are opening the thing up anyway you may as well clean it.
While 775 socket CPU should be fine I'll have to agree with Raiddinn on the psu. I have seen even a few months old inexpensive psu burn up with current power demands from modern equipment. So go with the 7870 and get a brand name psu with at least 650 watts and at least 2-6 pin power connectors to run that awesome video card.
I like this SeaSonic X Series X650 Gold ((SS-650KM Active PFC F3)) 650W ATX12V V2.3/EPS 12V V2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Full Modular Active PFC Power Supply. It's on newegg for less that $140 - (I'd give you a link but for some reason my post page no longer has those amenities available). This will put you right at the $500 mark and give you a little room to grow.
Top of the line, gold rated, crossfire and sli ready, fully modular, silent fan, > 87% efficiency, single rail with 54 Amps on it and 4 pcie power connectors. Yeah, might be kinda high end but it should last a lifetime and handle future upgrades. I like it. Suggest what you like and give him choices, that's what he asked for.