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New Graphics Card or Processor?

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  • Graphics Cards
  • Processors
  • Graphics
  • Product
Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 11, 2012 10:11:59 AM

I've run into an issue on what I should upgrade next to increase my FPS in games such as League of Legends, Starcraft 2, Vindictus and the Total War series
Processor: AMD Phenom X4 9500 2.2ghz
Graphics: Nvidia (ASUS) 560 GTX
Mobo:Gateway RS780
If i need to give more info i gladly will, not sure what else i should add.

More about : graphics card processor

a b U Graphics card
July 11, 2012 10:29:58 AM

How much are you willing to spend on the upgrade?
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July 11, 2012 10:39:10 AM

Trying to keep it under 250 total
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July 11, 2012 11:22:41 AM

I've tried to OC my CPU before, unfortunatly the MOBO is locked and won't allow me to.
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July 11, 2012 11:51:44 AM

how much fps do you get playing league of legends? you should get 100+
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July 11, 2012 11:54:01 AM

I usually get about 45-55 fps in League at everything maxed except shadows, when heavy fighting and ults go about flying i drop to about 15-20
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a b U Graphics card
July 11, 2012 12:38:40 PM

Then you may want to upgrade the CPU, use CPU-Z to see what socket your mobo uses to get an idea what CPU to get within your budget.

In the end of the day, it would just be better to get a new CPU and mobo because of not being able to OC will hold you back when upgrading GPU's and such.

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July 11, 2012 1:34:25 PM

Ofcourse, Upgrade the processor and it will give a big boost. i.e i3 2100 or Phenom II X4 965+.

GPU is fine.
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a c 291 U Graphics card
July 11, 2012 2:34:24 PM

I'd get new motherboard + RAM + CPU. Let's say:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-2120 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($117.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: MSI Z68A-G43 (B3) ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($82.55 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Value Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $240.53

The motherboard is z68 which means you'll be able to upgrade CPU in the future, and it will even allow overclocking.
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
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a c 303 U Graphics card
July 11, 2012 2:51:47 PM

I suspect that you have a relatively well balanced pc for gaming purposes.
Normally, the graphics card is the most effective upgrade, buy you already have a very good card.

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.

If a graphics card upgrade is in order, make it a significant jump, or you may be disappointed. Perhaps to a GTX670 or 7870 class card.

If a cpu upgrade is in order, can the motherboard support a stronger replacement amd X4 cpu, like the X4 955?
If not, then you are looking at a motherboard replacement, and the best gaming cpu chips will be from Intel.
Here is a link to <$200 gaming cpu review: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-gaming-cpu-cor...
Look particularly at the starcraft 2 tests.
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a c 89 U Graphics card
July 11, 2012 3:02:27 PM

^^the easiest way would be monitoring the usage% on the gpu when playing. Just have gpu-z open when playing, it will show how much usage there is on the gpu... (sensors tab) If it is constantly below say 90 when the fps is low, then it is the cpu.
Imo most likely you are being held back by the cpu.
+1 Sunius made an excellent suggestion for the upgrade already.

edit you can dl GPU-Z from here:
http://www.techpowerup.com/downloads/2137/TechPowerUp_G...
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July 11, 2012 3:11:58 PM

I want to thank all for the responses and suggestions, im going to try the CPU limiting that geo suggested first. As well as thanks to Sunius for making life much easier with the suggestions so i don't kill myself shopping XD
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a c 291 U Graphics card
July 11, 2012 3:51:31 PM

No problem, glad to help :) .
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a c 123 U Graphics card
July 11, 2012 4:08:49 PM

it's obvious that your processor is junk. those old timers weren't much better than the 939's they replaced. if you know for sure what mobo you have look into processor replacement. BIOS update.
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