$575 Best Upgrade for Skyrim?

Hello, I have an older machine.

-Phenom II X3 720 (3.2 GHz) Stock Air
-HD Radeon 4890 1 GB (910 Clock/1015 Mem)
-Gigabyte gigabyte ga-ma790x-ud4p (AM3) Mobo

I learned through casual research that Skyrim as well as other console ports are heavily CPU limited.

My system runs the game fine unmodded, and I occasionally hit 19-25 FPS in areas like Riften and Dragonsreach.

However, following a modest overclock, 3.2 GHz on stock air and voltage, my framerate rarely drops below 20, even in the rough spots.

At this point you're probably wondering what's the problem? Nothing really. The game works well enough with most settings on Ultra, and a select few on Medium and High, but that isn't good enough.

I have cash to spend, and two-year old hardware and I want more power.

I want to run ENB series mods, and super-high resolution textures.

So there you have it. I have $575 disposable income.

I was looking at getting a Phenom II X4 965, but the CPU hierarchy chart puts it at just a couple tiers below my current CPU.

Seems like a waste.

I want to get an i5 3570k, but I can't afford an aftermarket HSF, and a new GPU. I guess I could buy it and run it stock until I feel the need for more power.

The problem I'm having here is that I can afford the nice shiny CPU, but I won't have enough money for a worthy GPU.

If I'm just going to buy an HD 7850 or 7870, I may as well stick with my AM3 setup.

Saving more $$ is also an option, but with the Holidays coming up, I won't really have any funds to commit to my current build until Tax Season.

Which, that's all of five months from now, so I can wait.

Sorry for the TL;DR.

Fire away. I appreciate your time. Thanks.
3 answers Last reply
More about upgrade skyrim
  1. Definitely wait.
  2. one thing: see if you can unlock the 4th core on that X3
  3. what opsys and 32 or 64bit...and do you own the disc ? monitor and resolution........ the graphics card is probably killing you.........

    at this point in time i wouldn't put lipstick on a pig......... no insult meant, but, you're not going to gain much of anything going to a 965. AMD's processors have been lagging over the past 4 years or so and even a mediocre Intel has faster through put.

    skyrim is gpu limited more than cpu limited. you need to do more research. and last time I looked ati had bigger problems keeping up in that game for whatever reason. spit/sputter/lag.

    think about an Intel 2500 or 2500k build with one of those cards you listed above.
Ask a new question

Read More

New Build Systems