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Need recommandations - upgrade or buy new?

Last response: in Systems
May 26, 2012 5:04:13 PM

Hello everyone,

I bought this computer like 3-4 years ago already and built it myself (mainly for playing WOW). Now I'm done with WOW and I realize that new games are asking more and I have to run them on low graphic settings... which doesn't make an optimized gaming experience : )

My actual needs:
Playing games like SkyRim, Diablo 3, EVE online at an acceptable resolution/graphic settings without any considerable lag.

Actual Setup:

Windows7 (64Bit)
Board: ASUSTeK Computer INC. P5N-E SLI 1.XX (Bus Clock: 266 megahertz)
Intel Core(TM)2 Duo - 6600 2.4ghz (64 kb prim. mem cache, 4096 kb sec. mem cache)
4GB Ram (4x 1024 DIMM)
NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTS
OS on 40 gig Raptor SATA-II

Now I'm wondering what are my options. I'm looking for the "best bang for the buck" option. Can I just (OPTION A) upgrade my video adapter and I should be ok or should I (OPTION B) consider buying a new whole setup ?

If option B is required, any recommandations ?

Thanks a lot for your time everyone,
May 26, 2012 5:14:21 PM

If I were in your shoes, I would upgrade the GPU for now ($150-250 depending on what your budget for a GPU is), crank the eye-candy as far as it can go before the GPU becomes the bottleneck, upgrade the CPU/MoBo/RAM later and dial eye-candy back down then to raise FPS up if necessary.
May 26, 2012 5:22:54 PM

I would just post all ur parts on eBay and buy a new rig if you have the money. You can get a good PC for $850-1200 depending on budget that will run many future games too.

Plus if you have a good enough case and PSU, you can salvage those along with ur ssd and hdds. Please let us know what PSU you are running and a budget though so we can recommend parts.
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May 26, 2012 6:26:38 PM

Hmm ok, thanks guys. Actually, I like both options...

I think - because it's summer time and I should pass more time outside than in front of my computer - will upgrade only my GPU as recommended by InvalidError.

And when summer will be done, I will follow elayman recommendation and sell everythying on ebay and build something new, (maybe from parts I can salvage).

So, starting with that, what GPU are you guyz recommanding that will fit my actual setup ?

I have no problem spending 150-250$ for it as long as it's worthy! Like I said, I'm looking for a "best bang for the buck" option.

Thanks a lot for your help : )

Best solution

May 26, 2012 7:09:46 PM

jeandit said:
So, starting with that, what GPU are you guyz recommanding that will fit my actual setup ?

I have no problem spending 150-250$ for it as long as it's worthy! Like I said, I'm looking for a "best bang for the buck" option.

Around the $150 price point would be HD7770 vs 550Ti while around $250 would be HD7850 vs 560Ti.

Since your original post only asked for "acceptable resolution and settings" with settings presumably meaning detail, you should be fine with the lower end of the range. There is a substantial performance improvement between ~$150 cards/GPUs and ~$250 models largely due to wider memory bus.

Personally, I spend ~$150 on graphics cards every 3-4 years and that is usually more than good enough for me.
May 26, 2012 7:14:46 PM

Thanks InvalidError : )

Does any of the choices you mentioned in your last post would be a better fit to my "future" systems (the one that I will buy in 3-4 month ? I'm just thinking about re-using)?

Thanks again !!
a b B Homebuilt system
May 26, 2012 7:23:47 PM

If you want to re-use a card, you might want to spend as much as possible on the video card. The 7850 is my personal favorite at the moment. $240, and it can reach 50% overclocks on stock cooling.

In the present rig, an E6600 will bottleneck a 7770. You might look at something around a gts 450 or 6750/7750. Those will still be a little bottlenecked, but not as badly.

Tom's card ranking chart is handy here. You can see all the cards that are roughly equivalent to each other in each tier.

There's a GTS 250 on Amazon for $55

good luck!
May 26, 2012 7:35:46 PM

Which GPU is best depends on which games you plan to play the most more than anything else. Browse the benchmarks and weigh your choices accordingly.

If you have not tried your new games with your existing setup, you might want to do that first to have a first-hand idea of how far away from your "optimized gaming experience" you might be. You might end up discovering that you are not as far away from it as you though you were.
May 29, 2012 2:45:37 AM

Best answer selected by jeandit.