Hardware upgrade suggestions

I am currently looking to improve the hardware of my PC to run games in higher details and run multiple consuming softwares at the same time.

About 2 and a half years ago a friend of mine built a computer for me. It was intended to be used primarily for 3D software and multitasking such as 3DS Max, Maya, UDK, Photoshop, etc. and not a lot for gaming. However, as I have started to play games on PC recently, I noticed a small lack of graphical performance for some of the more consuming games like Planetside 2 and Far Cry 3. I would also like to optimize my build for 3D renders and such.

Here is my current setup:
I also have two displays connected.

I have looked around a little and come to the conclusion that it would be a good start to upgrade my RAM to 16gb and get a better video card (correct me if I'm wrong).

Does anyone have any suggestions on what to upgrade and such?

As I have stated, I would use the upgraded build for my school works, which means a LOT of multitasking with huge software (3D softwares and game engines for example), and I would also like it to be better for gaming in general and run most of the games at a considerably high graphical setting.

My budget is around 500$ if that's reasonable for what I'm asking (feel free to suggest alternate or more expensive solutions if needed)

If you need any more specific information about my hardware I would be pleased to provide you with it.

PS: I am not really knowledgeable when it comes down to PC components and similar things, so I would be very pleased if you could not get too technical with me (or at least try to explain simply)

5 answers Last reply
More about hardware upgrade suggestions
  1. If your intent is to improve gaming then the best investment is in a upgrade of your GPU. I would buy a GTX 670 or AMD 7970 or 7950. You don't list a PSU in your specs so I assume it is not in need of an upgrade.

    The addition of RAM is optional: it seems that, for gaming, the optimal amount of RAM is 8 GB. I run 16 GB, but, in games there is a small, but noticable degradation in game performance. However the upside of additional RAM is improved multitasking.
  2. i agree with 670 or 7950, along that line.

    also keep in mind that you need a decent psu, one of us here learned the hard way (he has a thread here), his psu broke down, popped twice he said. he's using a cheap psu i believe
  3. Right you are cons29, a quality PSU is a must, but he does not list the current PSU and I can't advise based on the lack of information. mistermgd, listen to cons29 about a quality PSU.
  4. I opened my computer case and looked for my PSU so here is my current build with the PSU added:

    What I have concluded from the comments so far:
    I should get a GTX 670 or AMD 7970 or 7950. I would also like to upgrade my RAM to 16 GB for improved multitasking, even if you said that there is a little drop in performance in games compared to 8GB (that's weird, I always thought the more the better).

    So now I have checked on that pcpartpicker site, and there are tons of GPU with GTX 670 and AMD 7950 chipsets. What are the general differences? They also range from 300$ to 600$. Which one would you specifically suggest?

    Also, for RAM, should I get 2x8GB? I have the same issue as with the GPU, there are tons of similar looking (to me) models and variations of RAM on the site. So again, which one would you specifically recommend?

    Thanks for the protips!
  5. I also have an Antec Nine Hundred case if it can be of any use.
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