Upgrading gaming PC $600 budget

My specs

ASUS M4A785TD-M EVO AM3 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard

AMD Phenom II X4 925 Deneb 2.8GHz Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Processor

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666)

SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card (100314-3L )

Antec EarthWatts EA650 650W Continuous Power ATX12V Ver.2.2 / EPS12V version 2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC "compatible with Core i7/Core i5" Power Supply

I was wondering what I should use my $600 on to get the best out of gaming (Skyrim, BF3, Crysis 2, Borderlands 2)

Should I get a new video card? Processor? If so, should I get a better power supply for the new card and/or processor? Should I get more RAM? What's going to give me the best performance increase and what parts do you recommend?
6 answers Last reply
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  1. Double the RAM.
    G.Skill Ripjaws 4GB (2x2GB) 1333Mhz, CL9 1.5v. $24
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231274

    Get HD7950 or GTX670 depending on how much your willing to spend.
    Sapphire HD7950. $300 ($20 rebate)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102989
    Gigabyte GTX670. $400
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125423

    Aftermarket cooling on that CPU so you can overclock.
    Coolermaster Hyper 212 EVO. $37
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103099

    New PSU.
    XFX Core 750W, 80+ Silver semi-modular. $128
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817207016

    Total (GTX670 picked): $589

    That will give you a nice frame to build from later. Would easily support a full platform upgrade if you decide to later.
  2. here's my suggestion, cpu upgrade, an ssd, and a gpu about twice as powerful as your 6870:

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($190.39 @ NCIX US)
    Motherboard: ASRock B75 PRO3-M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($77.55 @ Newegg)
    Memory: Pareema 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($19.49 @ Newegg)
    Storage: OCZ Agility 3 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($69.99 @ NCIX US)
    Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 660 2GB Video Card ($229.99 @ Amazon)
    Total: $587.41
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-09-17 07:01 EDT-0400)

    you'll keep your HDDD, RAM (adding the second 4 GB set to it), PSU, and case
  3. manofchalk said:
    Double the RAM.
    G.Skill Ripjaws 4GB (2x2GB) 1333Mhz, CL9 1.5v. $24
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231274

    Get HD7950 or GTX670 depending on how much your willing to spend.
    Sapphire HD7950. $300 ($20 rebate)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102989
    Gigabyte GTX670. $400
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125423

    Aftermarket cooling on that CPU so you can overclock.
    Coolermaster Hyper 212 EVO. $37
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103099

    New PSU.
    XFX Core 750W, 80+ Silver semi-modular. $128
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817207016

    Total (GTX670 picked): $589

    That will give you a nice frame to build from later. Would easily support a full platform upgrade if you decide to later.


    I never overclocked my CPU before. Do you know how far I can push it?
  4. On that particular CPU, I dont know. I would look around and see what others are getting on that hardware. Then undershoot that by a bit and slowly work your way up to it.

    Heres a couple of guides to AMD CPU overclocking. Though your CPU needs to be a black edition, otherwise you cant overclock without getting into some really complicated stuff.
    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/274820-29-black-edition-overclock-raising-multiplier-guide
  5. ScrewySqrl said:
    here's my suggestion, cpu upgrade, an ssd, and a gpu about twice as powerful as your 6870:

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($190.39 @ NCIX US)
    Motherboard: ASRock B75 PRO3-M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($77.55 @ Newegg)
    Memory: Pareema 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($19.49 @ Newegg)
    Storage: OCZ Agility 3 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($69.99 @ NCIX US)
    Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 660 2GB Video Card ($229.99 @ Amazon)
    Total: $587.41
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-09-17 07:01 EDT-0400)


    you'll keep your HDDD, RAM (adding the second 4 GB set to it), PSU, and case


    Can you find an AMD Chip that has the same processing power as an I5-3470?
  6. j00rtaco said:
    Can you find an AMD Chip that has the same processing power as an I5-3470?


    no, you cant. AMD's most powerful chips can more-or-less keep up in highly threaded apps, but fall behind in less threaded applications.

    here is the FX-8150 vs the i5-2500K, a 3470 is comparable to the 2500

    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/434?vs=288
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