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What to upgrade next?

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September 21, 2012 1:47:06 PM

Looking to upgrade 1 or 2 pieces of my computer, but not sure where to start. My HD, CPU, and RAM are all the same age. Pretty old. I built this rig back in 08 or so. Newest piece if my GPU and mobo.

Mobo is a ASUS P5N-D LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 750i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard

Graphic card is a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260

HD is Western Digital Raptor X WD1500AHFD 150GB 10000 RPM SATA 1.5Gb/s 3.5

Ram is GeIL Evo One 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)

And the CPU is an Intel Core2 Quad CPU Q6600 @ 2.40GHz


Trying to decide which would be best bang in performance for my buck. RAM, an SSD, new CPU, or even a new graphic card.

Thanks guys.

More about : upgrade

September 21, 2012 1:57:39 PM

I would build a new machine with a new MB, processor and memory to go with it
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September 21, 2012 1:59:59 PM

dingo07 said:
I would build a new machine with a new MB, processor and memory to go with it

Agreed. You would be better off building a new rig in order to take advantage of any new tech.

What kind of budget do you have to work with?
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September 21, 2012 2:01:21 PM

Don't really have the money for that. Would just like to take it piece at a time.
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September 21, 2012 2:03:40 PM

COLGeek said:
Agreed. You would be better off building a new rig in order to take advantage of any new tech.

What kind of budget do you have to work with?



Couple hundred bucks. Wasn't planning on upgrade everything - like I said, just one or two items. Just looking for a performance boost, not an overclocking monster that can handle all games on max settings.
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September 21, 2012 2:08:50 PM

if all you're looking for is a perf boost, then an SSD will provide that

but again, it's old tech that is gonna hit a wall pretty soon depending on what games you play - if it hasn't already
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September 21, 2012 2:13:09 PM

Your uses of this PC (I'm going to assume primarily games), your budget, and your brand and model (not just wattage) of your PSU would be useful additional information.
Otherwise, your computer is sufficiently old, that piecemeal upgrades will ultimately be a waste of money. There are some things you can do though.
A SSD will make your entire "user experience" snappier, although it will have NO AFFECT on FPS in games. It is a worthwhile upgrade, if only because you could move it into a new system, so there's no money wasted. Choose a non-Sandforce (reliability issues) drive such as the Samsung 830 or Crucial M4. I recommend at least 120GB-128GB as you will fill a smaller one sooner rather than later.
Although it will not reach its full potential in your current system, a graphics card upgrade is another item that can be moved when you rebuild. IMHO, the best bang/buck cards these days are the HD7870 and HD7850. If you prefer nVidia, I'll get shouted down but I'd suggest a GTX560Ti or GTX570 because the GTX6xx cards have crippled compute performance. That doesn't matter in today's games, but it might in tomorrow's; it's not a chance I'd personally take, but I am sure there will be differing opinions on this.
If you upgrade your graphics card, make sure your PSU is up to the task. The HD7850 will run on a 430W Antec Earthwatts. The HD7870 and GTX560Ti should have a good 500W PSU, and the GTX570 should probably have 550W.
Do not upgrade your RAM; 4GB is still enough, and DDR2 is obsolete and won't move to a new rig.
Similarly, money spend on a slightly faster S775 CPU like a Q9450 is money wasted. By all means, consider getting a $30 cooler like the Xigmatek Gaia and overclocking your existing CPU; 3.2GHz should be easy, and 3.6GHz is not unrealistic. That cooler can also be moved to a new rig.
Hopefully that was helpful, but post more details if you think they would help us provide more relevant answers.
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September 21, 2012 2:15:39 PM

Well if you have a MicroCenter in your area, start off with the MB, processor and memory.

You can get an Ivy Bridge processor, Motherboard and Memory for less then $400. That there would be a big upgrade.


You could re used everthing else.

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September 21, 2012 2:19:17 PM

I see there were a lot of posts while I was typing my epistle. Looks like I just expounded on what they said.
Since you're not looking to max every game you play, I think the SSD is probably the way to go. Second choice, if your PSU is up to it, is a HD7850, which is a jump up from what you have.
If your PSU is weak, then replacing it in preparation for future upgrades or a rebuild would be a good idea. Something like a 650W Antec Earthwatts would be a solid budget choice; one of the 80+ Gold Seasonics would be another nice step up.
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September 21, 2012 7:22:20 PM

SSD. I had the exact same system as you but with a GTX 460. All your components are still "good enough" but you'll be wasting $$ upgrading CPU/MOBO/GPU unless they are done together. Best bet is SSD or save up for the big 3 combo.
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October 5, 2012 1:13:25 AM

I'm looking for an FPS increase in the game i'm playing (The Secret World) I got it on the lowest settings, and sometimes get bad FPS drops, down to as low as 15. I know this is due some to the game itself being buggy, but I was just curious if a new GPU upgrade would bump my FPS to at least a comfortable status.

Afterburner says GPU 95% usage is my normal high. Does that mean it's a bottleneck issue with my CPU, RAM, or HDD? Or does that merit a GPU upgrade?

I was considering buying a new CPU, that is compatible with me p5n d, then buy a 560 ti. Would that be worth my while?

Thanks.
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October 5, 2012 1:16:08 AM

Onus said:
I see there were a lot of posts while I was typing my epistle. Looks like I just expounded on what they said.
Since you're not looking to max every game you play, I think the SSD is probably the way to go. Second choice, if your PSU is up to it, is a HD7850, which is a jump up from what you have.
If your PSU is weak, then replacing it in preparation for future upgrades or a rebuild would be a good idea. Something like a 650W Antec Earthwatts would be a solid budget choice; one of the 80+ Gold Seasonics would be another nice step up.


I have a 780w PnC PSU. But do you think my q6600 quad could handle a hd7850?
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October 5, 2012 1:32:47 AM

If Afterburner reports your GPU usage is 95%, then that's quite possibly your bottleneck, and a GPU upgrade would improve FPS. A GTX260 is on the same tier as a HD5770, so getting a GTX560Ti or HD7850 would be big steps up.
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October 5, 2012 1:47:58 AM

Onus said:
If Afterburner reports your GPU usage is 95%, then that's quite possibly your bottleneck, and a GPU upgrade would improve FPS. A GTX260 is on the same tier as a HD5770, so getting a GTX560Ti or HD7850 would be big steps up.


Would? or wouldn't? Bottlenecking would mean my CPU is holding back my current GPU, which means a GPU upgarde would not increase my performance... correct?
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October 5, 2012 1:59:59 AM

you need new mobo , DDR3 ram , new gpu like hd 7770
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October 5, 2012 2:14:37 AM

mrdowntownkiller said:
you need new mobo , DDR3 ram , new gpu like hd 7770


Not looking to spend all that much, at this time. Just want to see a good increase in FPS, not needing to run everything on max settings.

Just simply want to know if a Q6600 quad core on a p5n-d mobo would be able to handle a gtx 560 ti / HD 7850 without bottlenecking?
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October 5, 2012 2:20:36 AM

dont buy a gtx 560ti anyway , the gtx 660 non ti at the same price and much much better.
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October 5, 2012 2:31:24 AM

mrdowntownkiller said:
dont buy a gtx 560ti anyway , the gtx 660 non ti at the same price and much much better.


There's a good deal on the HD 7770 on newegg. Is that a decent card? I don't know much about Radeon.
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October 5, 2012 10:01:54 AM

If your graphics card is at 95%+, it's working as hard as it can, meaning it is most likely your limitation. A HD7850 would be a significant step up.
There will ALWAYS be a "bottleneck," i.e. some component that, if improved, would make a difference in FPS. Right now, it seems to be your graphics card. If you improve that, the CPU may become the new bottleneck, but you may not care if you're getting the FPS you want.

Edit: The HD7770 is a step up from what you have, but not a large one. You'll no doubt see some improvement, but you might see a disproportionately larger improvement from a HD6870 or HD7850; i.e. more bang/buck.
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October 5, 2012 11:27:39 AM

^ +1 i think you should go with the HD 7770 its nice card its better from its rival the 550ti and am sad to say this , but i would recommend to go with the gtx 660 non ti if u wanna see a lot better fps and performance and good luck :) 
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