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What to upgrade?

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June 20, 2012 10:46:44 AM

Hey guys here are my specs first. I am from the UK.

Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU E4500 @ 2.20GHz
Motherboard: ECS 945GCT-M2
RAM: 2GB DDR2
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260 (Zotac)
Case: Cooler Master Praetorian 730
Resolution: 1360x768

My motherboard and CPU failed on me last year but I got them replaced (except the mobo to keep the price down) I also upgraded my GPU and everything is running nicely at a decent FPS.

I know that my CPU and RAM are old and I am wanting to upgrade but I am wanting to upgrade the GPU (A GTX 560i 2GB) as-well I'm just not sure which.

I can run newish games (MP3) at around 15-25 fps, I find it playable.

My budget is around £200-£300 but this may get higher closer to the end of the year.

Thanks for your time.

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a b B Homebuilt system
a b à CPUs
June 20, 2012 11:13:06 AM

Save up for a new system IMO.
June 20, 2012 7:06:19 PM

By new you mean upgrade them all at once? I would be keeping things like the case, PSU, HDD ect
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b à CPUs
June 20, 2012 7:11:31 PM

I mean get a new mobo, CPU and GPU, yes.
a b B Homebuilt system
a b à CPUs
June 20, 2012 7:14:25 PM

Your cpu would never keep up with a gTX560ti, so that tells you what to upgrade first.

Pentium G, H61 mobo, 8GB ddr3 would run about $150 (US) Same setup with i3 about $200 (US)
a b à CPUs
June 20, 2012 7:19:17 PM

I was in your position last year - and I went the way you're going; as in trying to upgrade things one at a time, starting in order or priority.

BUT

Now I look back, I really regret it, I wish (as @FinneousPJ says above) that I just saved up for a complete system build later on.


That said, if your adamant that you want to upgrade, a new Mobo+CPU combo can easily be found:


i5-2400 Quad core CPU + Asus P8H61 mobo for only £225

http://compare.ebay.co.uk/like/140542973947?var=lv&ltyp...


That leaves you £75, Id suggest using to get:

£35 - 8GB RAM
£40 - New Case


Then just save up for a new GPU later down the line
a c 84 B Homebuilt system
a c 309 à CPUs
June 20, 2012 7:29:36 PM

I suspect you have a reasonably balanced system.
Perhaps 2gb is not sufficient, but I would not put more money into ddr2 ram.

As a rule, the graphics card will be the best upgrade for a gaming system.

To help clarify your options, run these two tests:

a) Run your games, but lower your resolution and eye candy.
If your FPS increases, it indicates that your cpu is strong enough to drive a better graphics configuration.

b) Limit your cpu, either by reducing the OC, or, in windows power management, limit the maximum cpu% to something like 50%.

Go to control panel/power options/change plan settings/change advanced power settings/processor power management/maximum processor state/
set to 50% and see how you do.

If your FPS drops significantly, it is an indicator that your cpu is the limiting factor, and a cpu upgrade is in order.

It is possible that both tests are positive, indicating that you have a well balanced system, and both cpu and gpu need to be upgraded to get better gaming FPS.

It is likely that your psu will be sufficient for a modern 28nm graphics upgrade.
Keeping case and drives is ok too.

You might want to look at an upgrade to your 1360x768 monitor too.
June 20, 2012 7:34:12 PM

I can't edit my posts as I just found out..

@Gall, does that mobo support SLI or 1600 ram for possible future upgrades as I could not see it in the desc? Unless I am missing something?

@Geo, New CPU it seems, also my monitor is my TV :p 
a b B Homebuilt system
a b à CPUs
June 20, 2012 7:34:46 PM

Your GPU is already faster than your CPU. Your next move should be a new cpu board and ram.

Just for fun I did some 3dmark 06 tests on some of my old computers a while back.

I have a core2duo 2.18. It scored a 9000 with a 8800GT, it scored the same 9,000 with a gts250 and then the same 9000 with a gtx470. The point here is the cpu board or ram were the slowest part of the computer which prevents the gpu from really stretching its legs. I then droped a core2duo 2.66 in it and the score jumped up to 11,000 for the 8800gt, 12000 for the gts 250 and around 13,000 for the gtx470.

I then did the same test use the stalker benchmark. Again all 3 video cards got about the same score. on the 2.18 and a little bit of a lift from the 2.66.

Point is a new cpu is the way to go but spending money on an outdated 775 chip will only give you a little bit of a lift. Better to go i3-i5-i7.

I would do a i5 for around 200 a new board for around 100 and ram for around 100. Then in a year or so get a new gpu.
June 20, 2012 7:41:36 PM

@Buck, you speaking $? £100 for ram seems a bit steep
a b B Homebuilt system
a b à CPUs
June 20, 2012 7:49:57 PM

I was just giving examples... In the US there is a 2x8gb 16gb ddr3 1600 kit on newegg.com home page for $95 dollars. Most likely overkill.
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