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WHat component should I upgrade for gaming?

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June 1, 2012 3:18:25 AM

Hello guys!

I sort of need some urgent help. I live in Brazil I'm traveling to the US in 2 weeks and will take this chance to buy and upgrade some components in my computer in preparation for Guild Wars 2 release.

My current system is:

CPU:AMD Phenom II x4 695 BE 3.40 GHz
Motherboard: Asus M4A88TD-M/USB3
GPU: Asus ATI Radeon HD 6670 1GB GDDR5
PSU: 300 Watts (Not opening computer to look at brand now... )
Memory: 16GB of RAM (2x 8GB)
Monitor Resolution: 1680 X 1050
HArd Drive: I think a really slow 5400RPM one


I would like to be able to play demanding games in high settings and Play current MMOS (like Guild Wars 2) in Maxed out setting with about 45-55 FPS.

So I would like to know what I should update that will better increase my overall Gaming performace for about 200 to 260 Dollars. Is there anything that is so bad that is preventing the other hardware pieces to fully perform?

Upgrading my graphics card has been my first thought, I'm thinking about a ATI Radeon HD 6870 1gb GDDR5, which will consequntly require a PSU upgrade to at least 450 Watts right?

Also by the score that my system gets when analyzed by windows, (Hard Drive got a 5.5 while everything else was at an average of 7.3 ) I'm afraid my Hard drive is just plain awful! Should I invest in a Solid State Hard drive or just a better one?

I also plan to updrage my Monitor to a Full HD one this year just for the record.


SO, can you guys help me please? Suggestions, anything? I really don`t have that many frequent opportunities to buy parts in the US (everything in Brazil is so expensive its almost out of question to buy these things here) and I would hate regretting my buys.

Thank you so much to anyone that replies!
a b B Homebuilt system
June 1, 2012 5:19:01 AM

You have a pretty good cpu, and plenty of ram. You would see the biggest increase in gaming performance by getting a new graphics card and power supply.
Here is a 6870: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
and a powersupply: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

comes to $232.00. Your system is good enough for an even better graphics card, but a 6870 would be a huge improvemant, and will work well at your monitors resolution

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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
June 1, 2012 5:20:23 AM
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The video card is the weak point (I assume you meant a Phenom II 965, not 695)

Yes, a power supply upgrade would be a really good idea. And yes a Radeon 6870 is a very good choice in video card. Not only should you consider one with higher wattage, but amps, brand and model is important as well. You should never just stop at the wattage rating when shopping for a power supply. Theres more to it than that.

Heres thing thing about hard drives as far as the Windows Experience Index, I don't know why, but it thinks all Hard Drives are mediocre. Dunno why, but I wouldn't concern myself about it. I have a Sata III Western Digital Caviar Blue 72,000RPM drive and it only gives it a 5.9.

Meanwhile my CPU, RAM, Graphics and GAming Graphics are 7.5. . SSDs will not increase performance playing games per se, it will have a substantial impact on how fast the game (or programs) load- including Windows7 itself, but I wouldn't get all bent out of shape just because the WEI scored your hard drive that low. I think I read somewhere someone managed to get a 7.9 rating out of the Hard Drive, they ran 4 SSDs in a RAID configuration.

So the long and short of it, here are a couple good upgrades in your price budget:

Video card: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I'm not sure where you'll be shopping while in the states, do let me know.
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 1, 2012 5:48:20 AM

nekulturny said:
HA! great minds think alike


Wont argue with that. I almost linked to the exact same card as you, then noticed the Sapphire had cheaper shipping.
June 1, 2012 2:22:56 PM

Well, Thank you both for answering so fast! Well one thing is certain I'm getting that PSU since u both recommended it :D 

And yes nakulturny, I did mean a 965, my mistake.

I Plan to shop online really, so newegg or amazon links would work fine.

Another question that u have had for a while, do different Graphics card brands of the same chipset, in this case the Radeon HD 6870, really matter? I mean, I have a hard time deciding to get a XFX, Sapphire, His or Asus one. I believe te Asus one is 20 bucks more. Would it be worth since my Mother Board is Asus? Do different brands have different durability quality or is it all the same thing with different styled fans?? Thabk so much again
a b B Homebuilt system
June 1, 2012 4:36:45 PM

Usually the diffence in cards with the same chipset is the length of warranty, the cooling fan, and whether or not the card is factory overclocked. Running an Asus card on an Asus board doesnt give you any added advantage over a non-Asus card. Since they use different fans, brand might be louder than another, or run warmer. You could read the reviews on a couple different ones to see if one model is too loud for example. Also there might be different outputs on one brand versus another. The Sapphire card has 2 DVI, 1 display port, and 1 HDMI out ports, while the HIS has 2 DVI, 2 mini display ports, and 1 HDMI port. Others may have different port lay outs.


June 3, 2012 8:49:12 AM

Best answer selected by tinucle.
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