Looking to upgrade. what first?

hello there i am beginning to look at upgrades for my pc which i build early this year. i mainly game and surf the internet.

here are its current specs.

Intel core i3 2120 @ 3.4 Ghz
4gb DDR3 ram @ 1333 mhz
Asus P8H61-MLE/USB3
Sapphire Radeon hd 6770 OC 1gb gddr5
1x 500gb hard drive
1x 200 gb hard drive
500w Novatech 80 plus psu

i dont know what is holding back my pc in gaming as i can run most games at full at 1280 x 1024 but i am noticing a few games which are slowing down for me. all help is appreciated
6 answers Last reply
More about looking upgrade first
  1. The graphics card is the primary upgrade for games. Even if the CPU is slow (core i3 is fast), you would see an improvement. The Radeon HD 6770 is pretty powerful for 1280x1024 resolution so I don't think that's really your problem either.

    You should decribe what type of slow down you are experiencing and what games you are playing.

    Your problem might be driver related. If you installed an updated graphic driver recently, then try uninstalling it and install an older version. Sometime new drivers comes with new problems. It also could be that the Windows Registery is overbloated, a cleaning install of Windows should take fix that issue.
  2. ok for example skyrim without any mods that increase performance i have to play on like medium to lower settings to run at playable fps. at high settings i generally get around 50 fps but it is not stable at all. other games such as ghost recon online ( i know its in beta so probably isnt optimized) but i would have thought i could play it at high settings but yet again the fps keeps dipping bellow 60 fps.

    is there a way i could monitor gpu and cpu usage while playing games so i could give you a more detailed explanation or something?
  3. Well if you are expecting 50+ FPS, then I suppose you need to look for a more powerful card then. Frame rates are generally not constant, they vary based on what is going in the game which is partially based on where in the game you are and what you are doing. For example, are you merely running thru a forest, or are you fighting multiple enemies in that forest?

    I dont know much about Ghost Recon Online. As you said it is in beta and you are also at the mercy of the internet itself. If you have high ping times then that could be a problem.

    The Radeon HD 6770 is just a re-branded Radeon HD 5770 so graphics card is actually a little older than you think.
  4. hmmm. ok what graphics card would you suggest? and also would adding any more ram be any benifit? and how long do you think my i3 will last me in terms of gaming?
  5. Before upgrading the graphics card, I recommend you try a clean install of Windows if it has been a while since you installed it. If it's a fairly recent install like 6 - 9 months then I doubt a fresh install will change anything.

    Here's benchmarks some relatively inexpensive graphic cards in Skyrim. The test rig has a Core i7 920 @ 3.8GHz. The Sandy Bridge Core i3 series is actually a little more powerful than the older 1st generation Core i series so performance should be comparable, but the i7 920 will be just a tiny bit faster. Skyrim only makes use of two CPU cores.

    Source: http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/ASUS/HD_7750/1.html

    If you want to see benchmarks for more powerful and expensive cards, then click the following link. Note that depending on what your current power supply is, it may also need to be upgraded as well.

  6. i installed msi afturburner and another program to monitor cpu and gpu usage ingame. now it says my gpu is running at 90% but only at 400mhz WTF! when my gpu is overclocked to liek 920 mhz and its only using 50% of cpu. how do i make it use more? (Ghost recon online btw)
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