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What is the better upgrade?

Last response: in Systems
August 1, 2012 10:31:28 PM

I won a $300 gift card at work and I want to use it to upgrade my PC. I'm thinking of either upgrading the cpu, mobo, & ram or my video card.

So I have:

AMD Phenom 2 x4 3.4ghz
MSI 790FX-GD70 mobo
4GB DDR3 1600

Proposed upgrade:

$100ish lga 1155 mobo
8GB DDR3 1600

Or I can spend about $50.00 and upgrade my 2GB 5870 to a 3GB 7950.


More about : upgrade

August 1, 2012 10:34:09 PM

im gonna go with GFX card.
August 1, 2012 10:37:15 PM

thanks for the quick response. that's one for the 7950!
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August 1, 2012 10:41:39 PM

did you ever consider covering every square inch of your case inside and out with LED fans? thats enough money for like.... 54 120mm LED fans :D 
hint hint
August 1, 2012 10:46:51 PM

DinoDinoDino said:
did you ever consider covering every square inch of your case inside and out with LED fans? thats enough money for like.... 54 120mm LED fans :D 
hint hint

HAHA, now there's an idea!
August 1, 2012 10:47:55 PM

Or you can buy 3 $100 Gift Cards, and yourself feel like you've won even more then a single card!
a b B Homebuilt system
August 1, 2012 10:48:54 PM

My vote goes to the GPU. You'd get more performance by upgrading to a hd 7950.

If you were to upgrade the CPU, mobo and RAM, you'd want to put a little more than $300 in it. I'd be shooting for a i5 3570k ($220), $140ish mobo, and RAM is usually around $30 for a 4gb kit.

Best solution

a c 83 B Homebuilt system
August 1, 2012 10:50:32 PM

In what way do you feel your pc is lacking?
It looks to me like you have a relatively well balanced pc.

If it is FPS for gaming, then the usual recommendation is to upgrade the video card.
In this case, the 5870 is already a good card, so a meaningful jump would be to a 7970 or GTX670 class card

If you are lacking in cpu power for your games , or whatever, the 2500K is a good jump.

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.

Unless one of those options do not clearly identify a problem, here are some other suggestions:

1) 4gb of ram is a bit substandard by today's standards. 8gb would be better.

2) A SSD is one of the best performance upgrades you can buy. It will cost <$1 per gb. The bigger the better for performance.

3) Buy a second monitor. The increased display area is wonderful for web browsing. when gaming, use one for gaming, and the other for e-mail, performance monitors, etc.

August 1, 2012 10:56:12 PM

Great response geofelt! Thank you! I didn't even think of a 2nd monitor and now I really like that idea. I'll try those test and post the results later tonight.
August 6, 2012 8:30:14 PM

Best answer selected by codyw9524.