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What should I upgrade for better gaming performance? $350 budget

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April 21, 2012 10:28:16 AM

Current Setup:

Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor BX80570E8400

Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model 996580

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F1 HD753LJ 750GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive -Bare Drive

ABS Tagan ITZ Series ITZ700 700W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Certified Active PFC Power Supply

EVGA 132-CK-NF78-A1 LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 780i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard

EVGA 01G-P3-N891-AR GeForce 9800 GX2 1GB (512MB per GPU) 512-bit (256-bit per GPU) GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI ...
April 21, 2012 12:31:29 PM

GPU/ and maybe CPU. If you do upgrade CPU, then Mobo
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 21, 2012 12:44:47 PM

you really need to upgrade the MB,CPU,RAM and GPU's. to get to where you can really game with decent settings.

The 8400 Wolfdale was a great gaming CPU, but I think its nearing the end of it lifecycle.  

$350 is a tight budget to do all that. a AMD x4 965BE might be possible on that budget, but I don't think it wouldn't be a big enough performance gain. and i5 Sandybridge is the direction you would go for good true upgrade but that is ~$350 by itself. so basically you would need around $500-550 for good upgrade

that being said, a good GPU would be the best bag for the buck - HD 6870 or a HD 7850 and then save whats left over for a CPU/RAM/MB upgrade later, maybe after we see what Ivy bridge brings to the gaming table.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
if you are a nVidia fan a GTX560ti
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 21, 2012 12:45:33 PM

The CPU is fine imo. Upgrade the GPU, but you'd have to throw both of the ones you have in SLI. If you were to just upgrade the GPU, I'd go with a 7870.
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April 21, 2012 3:16:48 PM

So I think I'm going to go with a EVGA 560 Ti and upgrade from 4gb to 8gb of ram for now. My next investment will be on the CPU.
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 21, 2012 3:27:35 PM

the dual core processor isn't as good as some people would have you think. It'll play but you can't add cores. The video card sucks. This would be the only thing I would spend money on. I'd over do it as much as possible in hopes of moving it to another build in the near future.

Bad idea AMD right now. Extra cores but yours and that lack the performance of today's new stuff. Waste of money, waste even dropping a quad in yours.

Don't need more than 4gigs of memory. Another waste of money.

should have listed monitor/res. and stuff you do with machine.

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April 21, 2012 3:36:57 PM

Bah, just realized my motherboard doesn't support any more than a total of 4gb of ram. I'll just be upgrading my video card for now and hoping it makes the difference. I'm going to be using this for guild wars 2 and WoW. Current display is 23 inches with 1680x1050
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April 21, 2012 3:40:07 PM

If I just upgrade my video card and have a 400ish budget (and I'll be purchasing from best buy). Which would be the biggest bang for my buck?
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 21, 2012 3:53:54 PM

A 7870 if you want to use it all on the GPU. If you want to save for a CPU upgrade a 6870 should be great for your resolution.
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 21, 2012 4:47:28 PM

I'd get an MSI Twin Frozr II OC 7870... best possible bang for your buck.

8GB of RAM isn't completely necessary in my opinion... 4GB will last you. Are you using up all four gigabytes? Try opening task manager while gaming, and look at how much of your memory you're using.
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 22, 2012 7:44:16 AM

Best buy isn't carrying the 7870 yet and all their prices are sky high on the cards they do carry.
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 22, 2012 1:52:18 PM

^What? He never said anything about best buy... I think that might be a carry over from a different thread.

EDIT: Oops, stupid me. He did write that. Anyway, I would buy from newegg... bestbuy isn't good.
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April 22, 2012 2:26:15 PM

rwharrington87 said:
If I just upgrade my video card and have a 400ish budget (and I'll be purchasing from best buy). Which would be the biggest bang for my buck?


I wouldn't buy from BestBuy unless they were having a store closing sale on exactly what you wanted. The 7870 is now $350-ish

(http://www.nothingbutsoftware.com/catalog_type.asp?Prod...)

but should be dropping down to around $330 very soon. I would save the remaining $70 for other upgrades.
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 22, 2012 2:55:55 PM

A 6950? It's really power-hungry, and the 78xxs are a better deal.
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 22, 2012 3:16:34 PM

Yes I'd recommend a 7850 over a 6950 at the moment.
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