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What should I upgrade first?

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July 21, 2012 4:44:39 AM

Hello, I am interested in joining the PC master race of gaming, but my rig can barely handle modern games. I am new to computers, so I have no idea what to upgrade first.
My specs are as follows:
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-965P-S3
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 @2.13ghz OCed to about 3.00ghz.
Graphics Card: ATi Radeon HD 4670
PSU: ThermalTake XP550 np
I just need to know what order I should upgrade.

More about : upgrade

a c 118 B Homebuilt system
July 21, 2012 4:47:48 AM

Honestly.. everything... But the video card is probably the weakest link. What kind of budget do you have? I assume that rig doesn't have Windows 7. If you're still running XP, plan on upgrading that too.
July 21, 2012 5:04:35 AM

We are in fact running Windows 7, very stably surprisingly, 64bit as well. The video card is actually fairly decent in games such as Max Payne 3, Far Cry 2, Crysis Warhead (not OG Crysis), BF3 at low settings and resolution and etc. Our budget is quite low, we would settle for about $500, Canadian.
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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
July 21, 2012 5:19:29 AM
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Alrite, understand that you cannot overclock with this CPU. If you want an overclockable CPU, get either an i5-2500K or 3570K.

I think I'm going to end up going over budget, but if you find it to be too much at once, I would start with the video card and port it to the new motherboard/CPU when you have more funding.

Ideally, you need to upgrade the power supply as well. That is a very low quality power supply, made by a company known to lie about the power supply's capabilities, in fact they did with that family of units:
http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Thermaltake-Pure...

I went a little heavy on the video card because of BF3, that game you want as hardcore video card as you can get.

CPU- i5-2400 $195
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Motherboard Asus P8Z77 $135
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Video Card- Sapphire 7850 $250
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

RAM- Gskill 8GB (2x4) $45
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

Seasonic power supply- $62
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
July 21, 2012 5:25:05 AM

Many thanks friend, we actually did Overclock our CPU, I noticed a small load time improvement. If we do upgrade our GPU to the recommended one from our current one, how much of a performance increase should we expect?
a b B Homebuilt system
July 21, 2012 5:27:41 AM

A HUGE difference. But the c2d will not let it stretch its legs.
a c 118 B Homebuilt system
July 21, 2012 5:29:47 AM

tehgeneration said:
Many thanks friend, we actually did Overclock our CPU, I noticed a small load time improvement. If we do upgrade our GPU to the recommended one from our current one, how much of a performance increase should we expect?

You're welcome, yes like zooted said, the Core2Duo will bottleneck the 7850.

Yes the core2duo can be overclocked, I meant the 2400 CPU i recommended, you cannot overclock that one.
July 21, 2012 5:32:54 AM

Oh, thanks for the clarification. I guess I'll have to save up for an improved CPU/Motherboard. Thanks, you've been a great help.
July 21, 2012 5:34:55 AM

I had further questions, mind if I ask them?
a b B Homebuilt system
July 21, 2012 5:36:26 AM

Sure, why would anyone mind?
July 21, 2012 5:38:14 AM

Okay, how much a bottleneck shall I expect, should I upgrade my card to a HD 7850?
a b B Homebuilt system
July 21, 2012 5:42:38 AM

It will be bottle necked, but you should still be able to run games at playable rates(aside from heavily cpu bound games.) You could upgrade the card for now to hold you over until you can get a new cpu/mobo/ram.
a c 118 B Homebuilt system
July 21, 2012 5:45:48 AM

Its really hard to answer how much exactly it will be bottlenecked without actually benching it, but it will depend in part what type of games you play and at what settings. IT probably will bottleneck quite a bit though considering its a nearly 5 year old CPU.
July 21, 2012 6:35:42 AM

Best answer selected by TehGENeration.
July 21, 2012 10:25:19 PM

Would a 560 ti be a suitable replacement?
a c 118 B Homebuilt system
July 21, 2012 10:30:38 PM

It would yes, the 7850 is slightly better, but only slightly. You can see how they stack up against one another here:
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/549?vs=547

You should also know that the 7850 can overclock further than the 560 TI can, should you decide to take advantage of that.
July 21, 2012 10:37:51 PM

I don't think I'll try overclocking, I've tried many times with my current card to no avail. The card keep freezing up, I might be doing something wrong, I don't know.
July 21, 2012 10:41:25 PM

Seems that the 560 ti has problems with high resolutions, so I'm gonna have to go with the HD 7850. Thanks guys, I've gained a greater understanding of computers now.
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