Alright guys, I've got quite a few questions and this seems to be the correct place. Any help or opinions are greatly appreciated, so here we go!
I've currently got a pre-built system:
HP Pavilion Elite HPE-110F
AMD Phenom II X4 925(2.8GHz)
8GB DDR3 1333
ATI Radeon HD 4350
Everything in this is stock, running on a 32inch TV via HDMI.
What I'm looking to do is make the decision on whether I want to upgrade this rig (and the best way to go about it) or build from scratch.
I'm an avid gamer and am gearing up for games like Guild Wars 2.
I'd love to get my system running the game at 1920x1080 smoothly with respectable quality settings. My budget ranges, for upgrading I'd be looking under 500 CAD preferably, anything higher than that and I'd probably end up looking into building from scratch at a slightly higher price-point.
I have noticed some of the biggest hits to my gaming come from the video card in the rig so I was looking around and saw a lot of recommendations pointing toward the Radeon HD 7850.
My question here would be, am I looking into the right place to put more power into my pre-built system by targeting the video card?
Will upgrading ONLY the graphics card/psu(stock is only 300w) cause any severe bottle-necking due to the CPU or will it provide me with a significant boost to my performance on games? What PSU should I replace this stock with if I do decide on an HD 7850?
It doesn't feel like it's quite the time to go full on and build a new system , but what do you guys think? How would you go about getting more out of this system for a reasonable price? Is it even worth doing over a completely new build from an efficiency and monetary standpoint?
Sorry for the barrage of questions guys, and thanks in advance for any answers. I can provide any additional information required as well.
a couple of things to watch out for......pre-built out-of-the-box systems are oftentimes proprietary in nature, which means in some instances you cannot simply drop in new hardware as the physical size of the replacement and its mounting will be different from what the manufacturer designed. This is not always true, but just make sure you do your homework, I got bit by trying to upgrade my psu in my last dell.
also, if you are going to replace the cpu, make sure its replacement is the same wattage as the original. Many times, pre-built will use a lower wattage cpu (85-90 watts) so be careful not to drop in a 100-125 watt rated cpu or you run the risk of damaging the motherboard.
Thank you all for the input I'll do some physical sizing and research on the mounting and probably upgrade just the graphics card and psu for now as posted with the Antec and the 7850 if the space and mounting allows [if anyone knows off the top of their head or from past experience feel free to let me know]. The hard drive is something I can also take care of. So I'll look into all of that. Thanks again guys.