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Need to know priority of upgrades for prebuilt PC

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Last response: in Systems
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August 17, 2012 8:30:29 PM

My specs are as follows:

CPU Phenom II Quad X4 955 3.2GHz (3.6GHz+ O/C);
CPU Cooler = Cooler Master Hyper 212;
Memory = 4GB DDR3 1333MHz G-Skill;
Video Card = ATI Radeon HD 6850 1GB GDDR5 256bit;
Hard Drive Primary = WD Caviar 500GB SATA;
DVD Drive = 24x DVD+-RW SATA;
Power Supply = Antec EarthWatts 650W;
Sound Card = Integrated Surround 7.1;
Monitor = 20" Acer LCD 1600x900;
OS - Windows = Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit;
Fans = 2 fans, Blue LED
Motherboard = AMD 880G Chipset;

I use my PC mostly for gaming, and I would like to know which parts are most needing an upgrade. I don't really have a set budget, graphics cards should be under $400 (not including PSU, if I need one), as well as CPUs.

More about : priority upgrades prebuilt

August 17, 2012 8:50:50 PM

I would upgrade your Videocard but you don't need the newest cards since your monitor resolution is low. I would get a 24" LCD and a new VC.
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August 17, 2012 9:01:52 PM

Jetton said:
My specs are as follows:

CPU Phenom II Quad X4 955 3.2GHz (3.6GHz+ O/C);
CPU Cooler = Cooler Master Hyper 212;
Memory = 4GB DDR3 1333MHz G-Skill;
Video Card = ATI Radeon HD 6850 1GB GDDR5 256bit;
Hard Drive Primary = WD Caviar 500GB SATA;
DVD Drive = 24x DVD+-RW SATA;
Power Supply = Antec EarthWatts 650W;
Sound Card = Integrated Surround 7.1;
Monitor = 20" Acer LCD 1600x900;
OS - Windows = Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit;
Fans = 2 fans, Blue LED
Motherboard = AMD 880G Chipset;

I use my PC mostly for gaming, and I would like to know which parts are most needing an upgrade. I don't really have a set budget, graphics cards should be under $400 (not including PSU, if I need one), as well as CPUs.


i'd get a second 6850 and a nice 23" monitor.

There is a guy called azeem40,send him a PM he is the boss when it comes to monitors around here, i can help you with the insides of your PC only.
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August 17, 2012 9:23:45 PM

if i were you
monitor,
then add memory (optional, this is a low cost)
then SSD
then video card (will need to be bigger purchase to get a significant improvement, 6850 isn't thaat bad)
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August 17, 2012 9:24:50 PM

The HD6850 will probably have microstutter when Crossfired. That bothers some people more than others, but it isn't a chance I'd care to take, so I would not recommend that others take it.
Your PSU is sufficient for any single graphics card out there.
As far as what is "most needing an upgrade," what does not run as well as you would like? Your system looks pretty well balanced to me. It won't help FPS, but the overall feel of your PC would be dramatically improved by adding a SSD. I would recommend a non-Sandforce drive (e.g. a Samsung 830 or Corsair M4) of at least 120GB. If you do anything you really care about, get a second identical 500GB drive to run in RAID1 with the one you have. Consider something like an external 1TB-2TB drive for backups.
I hesitate to suggest what else you might improve without knowing what feels weak to you, however if you cannot play your games with graphical settings as high as you'd like, a HD7850 would be a substantial upgrade over what you have now. If you have some games that have PhysX effects you'd like to see, then a GTX560Ti or GTX570 would be nice choices. I'm reluctant to suggest a Kepler (i.e. GTX6xx) card because of the gimped compute performance. It may not matter today, but it might matter next month or next year; again it isn't a chance I'm willing to take myself, so I won't recommend it to others.
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August 17, 2012 9:28:22 PM

raytseng said:
if i were you
monitor,
then add memory (optional, this is a low cost)
then SSD
then video card (will need to be bigger purchase to get a significant improvement, 6850 isn't thaat bad)


Hmmm i disagree with you, more RAM is not needed (although it will come in handy sometime) the SSD will only speed up launching/booting/loading/ times, it will not do anything for the frame rate.

A second 6850 on the other hand will be VERY usefull for gaming @1080p specially if you want to have the luxury of maxing out every game and turning up all the filters
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August 17, 2012 9:31:00 PM

Onus said:
The HD6850 will probably have microstutter when Crossfired. That bothers some people more than others, but it isn't a chance I'd care to take, so I would not recommend that others take it.
.

That microstutter thing is Bull Sht i have 4 GTX 680s and i've NEVER experienced that, even in heavy games.
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August 17, 2012 10:34:49 PM

Thanks for all the nice feedback! I think I'll buy a new videocard, possibly some ram and a new SD (over a course of time). Does anyone have any suggestions for a card in the 250-400 dollar range? Preferably AMD. I could also go with aqualipt's idea, but I think I'd feel better with a brand new card as this one seems to have some issues (I won't go into detail).
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August 17, 2012 10:40:15 PM

Jetton said:
Thanks for all the nice feedback! I think I'll buy a new videocard, possibly some ram and a new SD (over a course of time). Does anyone have any suggestions for a card in the 250-400 dollar range? Preferably AMD. I could also go with aqualipt's idea, but I think I'd feel better with a brand new card as this one seems to have some issues (I won't go into detail).


GTX670 ≥7970>7950≥GTX660ti>7870>7850
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August 17, 2012 10:42:25 PM

aqualipt said:
GTX670 ≥7970>7950≥GTX660ti>7870>7850


Thanks! But would this work with my current PSU?
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August 17, 2012 10:43:50 PM

Jetton said:
Thanks! But would this work with my current PSU?


Yep!
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Best solution

August 17, 2012 11:05:26 PM

Jetton said:
My specs are as follows:

CPU Phenom II Quad X4 955 3.2GHz (3.6GHz+ O/C);
CPU Cooler = Cooler Master Hyper 212;
Memory = 4GB DDR3 1333MHz G-Skill;
Video Card = ATI Radeon HD 6850 1GB GDDR5 256bit;
Hard Drive Primary = WD Caviar 500GB SATA;
DVD Drive = 24x DVD+-RW SATA;
Power Supply = Antec EarthWatts 650W;
Sound Card = Integrated Surround 7.1;
Monitor = 20" Acer LCD 1600x900;
OS - Windows = Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit;
Fans = 2 fans, Blue LED
Motherboard = AMD 880G Chipset;

I use my PC mostly for gaming, and I would like to know which parts are most needing an upgrade. I don't really have a set budget, graphics cards should be under $400 (not including PSU, if I need one), as well as CPUs.


Most of your PC looks pretty sound for gaming. If I were to make a suggestion, I'd say drop 250$ to go up to an HD 7850, I made the identical upgrade myself and I am very satisfied with my choice. If you want to go even further than that, you can pick yourself up a 7950 for 350$ which would yield even more of a performance boost, but if I were to make a recommendation, I'd say go HD 7580 and get yourself an SSD drive, now that SSD prices are plummeting.
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August 17, 2012 11:05:46 PM

aqualipt said:
That microstutter thing is Bull Sht i have 4 GTX 680s and i've NEVER experienced that, even in heavy games.

Of course you haven't! And you probably wouldn't with only two of them either. Two much weaker HD6850s are another matter. Look up and read the past article on Tom's. I think Techpowerup did a good article too, going in depth on the timing of alternate frame rendering.

OP, if you're going to get a higher resolution monitor, get it, then see how much of a performance hit you take.
I'm not rich, but I'm able to meet my needs, and my wants are reasonable, so most of them too. Even getting a HD7870 for 1920x1080 was a little awkward for me, but I expect it will last for years. With HardOCP suggesting that a HD7970 was probably overkill for 1920x1080, I don't think you need to spend more than the cost of a HD7870 or HD7950 for plenty of longevity, especially if every possible setting doesn't have to be on UltraMaxOhWow! for you to enjoy your games.


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August 17, 2012 11:15:58 PM

bctande1 said:
Most of your PC looks pretty sound for gaming...if I were to make a recommendation, I'd say go HD 7580 and get yourself an SSD drive, now that SSD prices are plummeting.

A sound and balanced recommendation.
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August 18, 2012 2:17:05 AM

More great replies from everyone, thanks a bunch!
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August 18, 2012 2:21:33 AM

Jetton said:
More great replies from everyone, thanks a bunch!


You're welcome, pick a best answer to close this thread
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August 18, 2012 3:57:12 PM

Best answer selected by Jetton.
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