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Upgrade CPU/Mobo or GPU

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August 18, 2012 2:40:12 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: Within the next month

Budget Range: $300-$400

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Mainly gaming (Guild Wars 2). Music & Internet.

Are you buying a monitor: Will be purchasing a 24" 1080p monitor soon.


Parts to Upgrade: CPU/Mobo or GPU

Do you need to buy OS: No.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com or microcenter or whatever is cheaper

Location: Covina, CA

Parts Preferences: Intel CPU - ASUS mobo

Overclocking: Maybe later.

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe later.

Your Monitor Resolution: Whatever fits a 24" monitor when I get it.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Old PC, works great but lags when there are a lot of people around me in the game.



I currently have the following system:

Mobo - ASUS A8n Premium
CPU - AMD Athlon 64 4000+ 2.4ghz
GPU - GeForce 8800GTS 512
Case - Thermaltake Soprano - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Memory - 3 GB because the 4th slot doesn't work.
PSU - 430W that came with the Thermaltake case.

So I believe that if I upgrade the CPU and Mobo for now and than upgrade the GPU later, at least for now it would give me improvement? Please correct me if I'm wrong. I would like to get the i5-2500k (unless there's something better now), along with a Z77 mobo, preferably ASUS. I was originally going to get the Z68 mobo, but if I get the Z77 mobo I could always upgrade that later correct? I would also like to know if the PSU and Case will be ok for the new mobo.

Hope this all makes sense. Thanks for any help you can give me.

More about : upgrade cpu mobo gpu

a b B Homebuilt system
August 18, 2012 4:35:55 AM

Yes, a Z77 ATX MOBO will work just fine in that case.

Your system will run faster with a new CPU, but with what you've said it's possible that your computer could be overloading the CPU or the GPU while playing. Honestly I'd suggest upgrading both, but if you can't afford it just go for the CPU.

If you live near a Microcenter, you can get an i5 3570k for $189 plus $50 off any Z77 MB.
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August 18, 2012 4:54:40 AM

IMO if you have $400 I would use ~170 for a phenom ii x4 965 with an am3 mobo and use the rest for a midrange graphic card around a GTX 560-ish
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b à CPUs
a b C Monitor
August 18, 2012 5:12:17 AM

you say you have 3-400 dollars now to make an upgrade.......... the rest of the stuff... monitor/cpu, etc............. is this in reality or is it your fantasy ? and when will you be getting it if at all......... reason I ask is you need a lot. The processor is slow, the video card is junk in the description you gave about your gaming experience and if you get a 24" monitor with your current set up you will be crawling" around while people run around you and slaughter you.

and with the cpu/motherboard upgrade you have to add ram. what you have won't work.


and is that a 939 processor...............
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August 18, 2012 5:39:19 AM

Yup, 939 processor. I built this back in 2005 and up until now it's been great. It's done good through the games I've played, but than Guild Wars 2 came out and seems to be more graphic intensive, however I played the very first beta, so of course the game wasn't optimized much at all yet. 5fps is horrible!

The monitor will come later, later after the CPU/Mobo upgrade and now probably gpu. I'm trying to focus on the inside computer parts before I go and get any monitor. I've been looking around and found the deal with microcenter for $50 with the i5 3570k, like JMer mentioned. I was first looking at the ASUS Z77-V PRO because I personally like ASUS since my current system is still up and running after 7 years. But than I saw the AsRock Z77 Extreme4 which I see people recommending, which is cheaper. The ASUS Z77 PRO might have a lot of features that I won't ever use, but I am the type of person who would rather get it now in case later down the road I do end up needing it. I want something that is going to last me another few years, like my current system did.

I think my best bet because of budget, is to piece it together within the next few months. Right now I have $400 to put towards this and than next month I'll have a little more. I was just trying to see if I could get away with upgrading the CPU/Mobo or GPU now and get a decent improvement and than upgrade the rest as I go. I was going to purchase the CPU/Mobo within the next couple weeks, as my money comes in throughout the month. I also didn't even think about the RAM. I'll have to look into that as well. So I guess at least for now, if I could get an idea on a complete build, mainly CPU, mobo, GPU, RAM, I can focus on getting those items purchased once I have the money for it, hopefully within the next few months to have it all purchased, including cpu, mobo, gpu and ram.

I also have liked AMD CPU's but from what I have been reading on the forums, most people recommend Intel over AMD now for gaming.
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b à CPUs
a b C Monitor
August 18, 2012 5:56:05 AM

I have an Asrock H77 pro4-M and a xeon E3-1230 v2 for my work machine. So far so good on the board.

if you have 400 to spend right now............ get the CPU/MOBO?RAM........................ NOW!............... video cards are always easier to buy because it's just one item. But you need all three of the others/better to get it over with quick.

Remember, you don't have to spend 200 on a mother board. they are important but not as important as the processor. 3570k is a good one. You should be able to get all three items for under your budget.

If you do online purchases at newegg or any other......... they have a "bill me later " thing if you qualify. Might be something you'd be interested in. You can spend the cash on the first three items and a high/high-mid card that way. Then you could have everything at once. $50 a month is nothing to pay off.
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August 19, 2012 5:15:42 PM

Ok, so I am thinking of going with the following from Microcenter:

CPU - i5-3570k
Mobo - AsRock Z77 Extreme4
RAM - Gotta look for this. I know Newegg has 8GB on saleor had, but can't find it at the moment.

So now my question is, GPU. I was looking at EVGA 550ti, but is the 560ti that much better for the price? The EVGA 550ti is on sale for $139 after rebate on Newegg, but the 560ti is quite a bit more expensive. What would you recommend or is there something that would perform better than these for around the same price?
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b à CPUs
a b C Monitor
August 19, 2012 6:17:39 PM

Junk......... both of them. Get a 2gig card somewhere between the 6950 2gig and upwards. Don't waste your time on bottom feeder 1gig cards. they don't perform well at high resolutions and fail if you like to turn up eye candy. Throw DX11 and tessellation into the mix and you'll realize how quickly you turned the start of a good build into horse manure.
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a b B Homebuilt system
August 20, 2012 3:10:10 AM

Before you get anything, get a good PSU. While the other parts are obviously important, the PSU is the most important, most overlooked part of most builds. You don't need to spend a lot, but pick up a Corsair 650W PSU first thing with the Mobo, CPU and RAM. Then next month buy a GTX560 or if you want to spend a little more get a Radeon 6950 or for phenomenal cosmic power, in terms of Guild Wars 2 anyway, get a GTX 480. Incredible perfomance/price ratio.

Good luck!
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August 20, 2012 6:03:18 AM

I already had plans to purchase a new PSU considering my old one the fan in it works only when it wants too and sometimes makes annoying noises, but thanks for the heads up on that!

Couple questions, if I plan to use SLI or XFire, I will need 750W is that correct? Or will 650W handle that?

Also, if I decide to OC, would the PSU matter between those 2?
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a b B Homebuilt system
August 20, 2012 7:47:49 AM

In your situation I would go with the Corsair TX750W PSU and look into getting a current gen card like the 7850 or GTX660 when it is released if Nvidia is your flavor. The TX750 is the cheapest Corsair to offer 4 PCI Express connectors which you would need to Crossfire or SLI any of the GPUs being discussed.

It will cost you a little more now, but since you plan to Crossfire/SLI anyway, getting the better GPU will not only last you longer as a single card solution, but in a dual card setup as well.

I'd go with the Microcenter deal for the processor and board now as well as the PSU and RAM if you can afford it. If not, definitely jump on that deal with the processor and mobo now, that's a no brainer, and then watch for a Newegg weekly deal or shell shocker on everything else. Speaking of which Corsair PSUs are 15% off right now at Newegg, just sayin.
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August 20, 2012 7:24:23 PM

Is there any recommended manufacturer if I go with the 7850? XFX, Sapphire, MSI, ASUS? And what would be the better card? Each company seems to have like two or three different cards. I see one of the differences is 1GB between 2GB, of course I'd go with the 2GB but for instance on the two cards below, I don't really see a difference between the two.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (Does this one just have more features?)

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

Thank you for all the help!

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