Solved

Looking to upgrade my system

I need advice on whether I should just ditch my current system and start from scratch or whether I can just upgrade my current one.
My specs are as follows:

Operating System
MS Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit SP1

CPU
AMD Phenom X4 9550
Agena 65nm Technology

RAM
6.00 GB Dual-Channel DDR2 @ 401MHz (6-6-6-18)
Motherboard
ECS Nettle3 (Socket AM2 )

Graphics
HP w2408 (1920x1200@59Hz)
256MB GeForce 9300 GE (Unknown)

Hard Drives
733GB Seagate ST375063 0AS SCSI Disk Device (RAID)

Optical Drives
DTSOFT Virtual CdRom Device
TSSTcorp CDDVDW TS-H653Q SCSI CdRom Device
TigerJet CD-ROM USB Device

Audio
Realtek High Definition Audio

If you need any more detailed info about each component let me know.
I know my video card is pretty much crap, but could I just upgrade the video card and be able to play new games, such as dishonored, skyrim, etc? If so, what card would you recommend.
I really don't want to buy/build a new system as i don't have the cash now, but please give me your recommendations.
Thank You.
69 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about looking upgrade system
  1. Afraid you will have to get a whole new system. To attempt to upgrade this one will result in a domino effect of new components.

    Case in point.
    New CPU will require a new mobo, which will require DDR3 RAM. This will also invalidate the OS if its an OEM install. New motherboards dont support SCSI, so you need a new HDD and likely optical.
    New video card because as you said, that ones crap. This will likely require a stronger PSU (depending on the wattage, quality and age of the current one).
    If you upgrade the card/PSU and not the rest of the rig, you will likely bottleneck the card.

    Whats your total budget for this upgrade? It may be possible to squeeze a gaming rig from it.
  2. I call bs on the previous poster. Your system is perfectly fine. You have a 4 core processor, that's better than most computers out there. Many people are still gaming well on 2 core chips. If you upgrade your graphics card, you will see a world of difference. That is the only component that you will need to replace. Just make sure that you have the appropriate pci-e slot and your power supply can handle it. What would be your budget for a raphics card. You can get decent ones for $150-$300
  3. manofchalk said:
    Afraid you will have to get a whole new system. To attempt to upgrade this one will result in a domino effect of new components.

    Case in point.
    New CPU will require a new mobo, which will require DDR3 RAM. This will also invalidate the OS if its an OEM install. New motherboards dont support SCSI, so you need a new HDD and likely optical.
    New video card because as you said, that ones crap. This will likely require a stronger PSU (depending on the wattage, quality and age of the current one).
    If you upgrade the card/PSU and not the rest of the rig, you will likely bottleneck the card.

    Whats your total budget for this upgrade? It may be possible to squeeze a gaming rig from it.


    I would like to spend no more than $200, if possible
  4. flexxar said:
    I call bs on the previous poster. Your system is perfectly fine. You have a 4 core processor, that's better than most computers out there. Many people are still gaming well on 2 core chips. If you upgrade your graphics card, you will see a world of difference. That is the only component that you will need to replace. Just make sure that you have the appropriate pci-e slot and your power supply can handle it. What would be your budget for a raphics card. You can get decent ones for $150-$300


    I would like to keep it under $200. I'll go to $250 max if I can get a lot more about the difference. What card would you recommend?
  5. Its a quad core from early 2008. Modern dual cores will outperform it quite easily. Aint just about the number of cores, otherwise Bulldozer would have actually been a threat to Intel.
  6. On your budget, I would get a radeon 7850 for about $180. If you're feeling frugal, you could get a 7870 for about $220. Make sure you have a pci-e slot, a 6 pin power connector to plug into it, and a 500 watt power supply (you might get by with 450 but I wouldn't go lower than that).
  7. $200 isn't enough to build a new rig off, so that option is closed.

    I would suggest getting a low end graphics card like a HD7750 or 7770. Any more than that and I suspect there will be bottle-necking.
    It will improve performance and likely wont need a PSU upgrade, though by how much I can not say.
  8. There will be no bottle-necking. That processor has similar benchmarks to the fx 8150 that was just released last year. That is the chip I currently have and I crush all games. Modern video cards are not as cpu intensive as they used to be. His chip is currently still the best offering amd has strictly for gaming. So quit feeding this guy bs
  9. If you could go to $400 then you could piece out a new rig. Otherwise, listen to manofchalk. He's giving you the best advice.

    Look at the CPU Mark scores

    AMD Phenom 9550 Quad-Core 2,453
    Intel Core i3-2100 @ 3.10GHz 3,487

    My lowly dual core sandy bridge i3 scores 1034 points more, it's time for an upgrade. And CPU Mark takes into account the amount of cores working.
  10. You are mistaking that CPU for a Phenom II , it isn't.
    Its part of the original Phenom range, as you can see by the fact its on the AM2 socket.
    If you want to see a comparison between this chip and the 8150, here it is.
    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/21?vs=434

    Pay attention to what is posted.
  11. dscudella said:
    If you could go to $400 then you could piece out a new rig. Otherwise, listen to manofchalk. He's giving you the best advice.


    Let's say that I might be able to go up to 400 (if I wait for my paycheck). Would I be able to build a decent/powerful rig for only $400? I want to hear your suggestions on how one would accomplish this.
  12. You two can't be serious. Moors Law is no longer in effect. It may be a processor from 2008, but computer chips haven't come very far since then. This processor beats a core 2 duo, he has more than enough ram, and the rest of the parts are prefectly fine. He would be an itiot to throw that out. Remember, all he really wants to do is play some games. The xbox 360 came out in 2005 and has 3 cores. That this is still going strong and microsoft is not about to retire it. So plz keep your retarded advice to yourselves.
  13. Now I really don't know whether I can do as flexxar suggests, or listen to manofchalk. I'm really a noob at this so I don't know what option is best.
  14. riahim said:
    Let's say that I might be able to go up to 400 (if I wait for my paycheck). Would I be able to build a decent/powerful rig for only $400? I want to hear your suggestions on how one would accomplish this.


    OK, are you in the US? If not, what country? Do you want the budget met with or without rebates (Pay $400 now and no rebates, pay $450 now, get better performance, but wait for your $50 in rebates)?
  15. manofchalk said:
    $200 isn't enough to build a new rig off, so that option is closed.

    I would suggest getting a low end graphics card like a HD7750 or 7770. Any more than that and I suspect there will be bottle-necking.
    It will improve performance and likely wont need a PSU upgrade, though by how much I can not say.


    Do you think this will be strong enough to play modern games or will it still not accomplish this task?
  16. dscudella said:
    OK, are you in the US? If not, what country? Do you want the budget met with or without rebates (Pay $400 now and no rebates, pay $450 now, get better performance, but wait for your $50 in rebates)?


    I am located in the United States. Now when you say rebates, are they rebates that you have to use with that particular company or can the money be used anywhere. If I'm not bound to using the rebate with them, I would rather pay $450 now (assuming I can get that money) and have better performance.
  17. So, the fact that this 4yr old processor can outperform another 4/5yr old processor is supposed to mean something?

    The Xbox360 still performs well because developers make games for the Xbox360. They wouldn't make a game it couldn't handle. Also they know exactly whats in it and what software its running, so they can optimize games for better performance on it.
    Also to imply that an Xbox360 is a great gaming machine is laughable. The things runs BF3 at a PC equivalent of low settings 720p.
  18. I have a bachelors degree in IT, a masters degree in telecommunications, ccna, A+, network+, and security+. I build networks for the government and I've been building pcs since the pentium 2, but I clearly don't know what I'm talking about. So go ahead and get your advice from these kids.
  19. flexxar said:
    You two can't be serious. Moors Law is no longer in effect. It may be a processor from 2008, but computer chips haven't come very far since then. This processor beats a core 2 duo, he has more than enough ram, and the rest of the parts are prefectly fine. He would be an itiot to throw that out. Remember, all he really wants to do is play some games. The xbox 360 came out in 2005 and has 3 cores. That this is still going strong and microsoft is not about to retire it. So plz keep your retarded advice to yourselves.


    You really don't know of what you speak.
    CPU Mark: AMD Phenom 9550 Quad-Core 2,453
    CPU Mark It's highlighted.

    CPU Mark: Intel Core i3-2100 @ 3.10GHz 3,487
    CPU Mark It's highlighted.

    Not even close...1034 points behind a modern day dual core.
  20. 2005 was over 7 years ago, not 4-5
  21. I really don't want to start a war here. Since I am a noob at this, I really don't know who is right or wrong. I'd hate to shoot anyone down.
  22. I will admit super budget rigs aren't my forte, their are people much better at this kind of thing.

    Whether a rebate will return outright cash, store credit or some other compensation will depend on who you get the rebate from.
  23. manofchalk don't feed the troll. It's quite obvious what he's trying to do.
  24. manofchalk said:
    I will admit super budget rigs aren't my forte, their are people much better at this kind of thing.

    Whether a rebate will return outright cash, store credit or some other compensation will depend on who you get the rebate from.


    If I do upgrade my video card to one of the two that you suggested will I be able to play modern games or will it still not be strong enough?
  25. I wont argue that a i3 is 42% faster, but when the i3 is still over 2x the speed that you need to play modern games, his current processor has more than enough power.
  26. Budget rigs are tough, a lot harder than say a $600-$700 rig because of the restrictions.

    What is your current case?
    Do you need to buy an Operating System (if you do this will severely hamper the process)?
    What resolution does your monitor display at (more for my knowledge, not really pertinent)?
    Do you want to stick to AMD or does it matter?
  27. So now I'm a "troll" for giving this guy far better advice than anyone else here? Do you even know how to build a computer?
  28. Those cards will be able to play games at decent settings.
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7770-7750-benchmark,3135-6.html
    If you lower the settings a bit or play less intensive games I can see it being very playable @1080p.

    Though whether the rest of the rig will bottleneck it is the question. I suspect it wont, or it will only be a minor bottleneck, but I am not sure.
  29. dscudella said:
    Budget rigs are tough, a lot harder than say a $600-$700 rig because of the restrictions.

    What is your current case?
    Do you need to buy an Operating System (if you do this will severely hamper the process)?
    What resolution does your monitor display at (more for my knowledge, not really pertinent)?
    Do you want to stick to AMD or does it matter?


    My current case is this one: HP Pavilion Elite m9357c Desktop PC. I don't remember adding or removing anything thing from this pre-built computer. Maybe a power supply, but don't remember. As for the case goes, it is the exact one.
    Am I able to use the same operating system I'm currently using? If not, I may need a new one, but don't calculate that into the $400 price.
    My resolution is 1920 by 1200.
    It does not matter if we stick with AMD
  30. flexxar said:
    So now I'm a "troll" for giving this guy far better advice than anyone else here? Do you even know how to build a computer?


    Let's break down the points you made in this thread that you call "giving advice".

    "i3 is still over 2x the speed that you need to play modern games" No

    "The xbox 360 came out in 2005 and has 3 cores. That this is still going strong and microsoft is not about to retire it" Because games are written specifically for the hardware and run at low settings at 720p. Highly optimized for OLD hardware. No

    "That processor has similar benchmarks to the fx 8150 that was just released last year" No

    "I would get a radeon 7850 for about $180. If you're feeling frugal, you could get a 7870 for about $220, There won't be a bottleneck" No

    "You have a 4 core processor, that's better than most computers out there" No

    Yes, you're either trolling or purposely giving bad information. In other words, trolling :)
  31. flexxar, you are just making yourself look dumb. Rattling off certifications means nothing and just shows that you are trying to compensate for a lack of knowledge somewhere.

    First of all, this chip is OLD. The AM2 socket has been dead for some time now.

    Second, most modern games with the exception of maybe 2, only use one or two cores of the processor. Even a Pentium G620 will blow this chip out of the water.

    Third, this chip will bottleneck anything greater than a 7750 or 7770.

    Fourth, it would be best to just save some more money and build a new rig. With 500 dollars you can build a system capable of running modern games at high settings.

    FWIW, I am a 20 year old Petroleum Geology major in my third year. I have no technology certifications. I just like to tinker and work on computers in my downtime and I have built quite a few decent systems. Manofchalk will tell you that I have posted tons of excellent builds and given plenty of worthwhile advice. Its never a good idea to come barging into a thread when you don't have your facts straight.
  32. Did anyone else here advise him on what to verfiy before purchasing a new card? I know the "troll" did. You are really going to tell him to go out and buy a graphics card without making sure it will fit in his system?
  33. ^ Did you?
    I remember you saying something along the lines of a 7850/7870 above.
  34. tiny voices said:
    flexxar, you are just making yourself look dumb. Rattling off certifications means nothing and just shows that you are trying to compensate for a lack of knowledge somewhere.

    First of all, this chip is OLD. The AM2 socket has been dead for some time now.

    Second, most modern games with the exception of maybe 2, only use one or two cores of the processor. Even a Pentium G620 will blow this chip out of the water.

    Third, this chip will bottleneck anything greater than a 7750 or 7770.

    Fourth, it would be best to just save some more money and build a new rig. With 500 dollars you can build a system capable of running modern games at high settings.

    FWIW, I am a 20 year old Petroleum Geology major in my third year. I have no technology certifications. I just like to tinker and work on computers in my downtime and I have built quite a few decent systems. Manofchalk will tell you that I have posted tons of excellent builds and given plenty of worthwhile advice. Its never a good idea to come barging into a thread when you don't have your facts straight.


    LOL <3 Tiny Voices

    Alrighty, this was a QUICK mock up for a system. It's $450 out of pocket now. $410 once your rebate checks come in. It's not going to break any benchmarks but it is a very capable rig. I went Intel, the CPU & Mobo can be switched for AMD.

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Pentium G860 3.0GHz Dual-Core Processor ($68.99 @ Mac Mall)
    Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg)
    Memory: G.Skill NS 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($19.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($54.99 @ NCIX US)
    Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7770 1GB Video Card ($99.99 @ Newegg)
    Case: Antec One ATX Mid Tower Case ($44.99 @ Amazon)
    Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($34.99 @ Newegg)
    Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $409.92
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
  35. So now you are piggybacking off of my knowledge?
  36. dscudella said:
    LOL <3 Tiny Voices

    Alrighty, this was a QUICK mock up for a system. It's $450 out of pocket now. $410 once your rebate checks come in. It's not going to break any benchmarks but it is a very capable rig. I went Intel, the CPU & Mobo can be switched for AMD.

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Pentium G860 3.0GHz Dual-Core Processor ($68.99 @ Mac Mall)
    Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg)
    Memory: G.Skill NS 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($19.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($54.99 @ NCIX US)
    Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7770 1GB Video Card ($99.99 @ Newegg)
    Case: Antec One ATX Mid Tower Case ($44.99 @ Amazon)
    Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($34.99 @ Newegg)
    Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $409.92
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)


    This is a great budget build with plenty of space to upgrade in the future. I would definitely do something like this.
  37. dscudella said:
    LOL <3 Tiny Voices

    Alrighty, this was a QUICK mock up for a system. It's $450 out of pocket now. $410 once your rebate checks come in. It's not going to break any benchmarks but it is a very capable rig. I went Intel, the CPU & Mobo can be switched for AMD.

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Pentium G860 3.0GHz Dual-Core Processor ($68.99 @ Mac Mall)
    Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg)
    Memory: G.Skill NS 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($19.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($54.99 @ NCIX US)
    Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7770 1GB Video Card ($99.99 @ Newegg)
    Case: Antec One ATX Mid Tower Case ($44.99 @ Amazon)
    Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($34.99 @ Newegg)
    Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $409.92
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)



    Holy hell. You just tole him to spend $450 to get a system with a processor 5% faster than the one he already has. Good luck with that.
  38. Pentium chips are amazing value for money as far as budget gaming rigs are concerned. Also he has the ability to upgrade to i3,i5,i7 in the future. He has no upgrade path at all on the current rig.
  39. Again, get your facts straight.
    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/21?vs=404

    That's not even the Pentium in question, the G860 isn't on the benchmark. Thats a slower Pentium (the G850, .1Ghz lower clocked) being compared.
  40. He didn't ask for advice to make a system faster "in the future". He asked for a cheap option to play games right now for a reasonable price. Stop telling him to build a new rig that is no faster than his old one.
  41. The reason the G860 doesn't score so well on CPU Mark is because it doesn't have hyper threading which, (if you knew as much as you said you do) doesn't effect games. So it would be very close to an i3. It still beats your quad core. Also the upgrade path is open. Granted 1155 is dead after i7 but the OP can upgrade to an i3 / i5 / i7 if he wanted to. Same thing with RAM & Video.

    I'm trying to be civil and professional but you just keep making harder to do so.
  42. Games can't be coded for hyperthreading. Games are written in threads. Most games are written in two. Hyperthreading is a tactic that intel used to allow one core to process two threads at the same time. Pretty much everything dscudella just said was pulled straight from his rear
  43. Dscudella, I see that you revised your last comment to remove some of the wrong parts, but you missed some. Amd does not use hyperthreading because they are not allowed to. It is intel proprietary. Which renders your argument moot.
  44. Yes, i edited out the part that games aren't coded for hyper threading and changed it to hyper threading doesn't effect games (both are correct).

    You are right in that hyper threading can't be coded for. Hyper Threading doesn't effect gaming which makes Intel stronger as dual core CPU's. I also never said anything about AMD's using H/T.

    So the Dual Core G860 is 5% faster than the Quad Core that the OP currently has. How is my comment (I'm done arguing with you, it's not worth it, you're stuck in your ways) moot?

    If the budget was larger I would recommend an FX-8350 8 Core or an i5-3570K Quad Core. Again, the Intel has half as many cores and is roughly 5% faster. Is that comment "moot" as well?
  45. Why state that games aren't coded for hyperthreading in the first place if it's not possible to do so?
    Why state that your G860 is slow because it doesn't use hyperthreading when amd doesn't either? Now you have an apples to apples comparison.

    You recomment a G860 which is 5% faster in single/dual threaded apps, but it is a 2 core processor vs this guys 4 core processor. So in heavy threaded apps, the G860 is almost half the speed of his amd processor. The G860 is therefore a HUGE DOWNGRADE.
  46. flexxar said:
    Why state that games aren't coded for hyperthreading in the first place if it's not possible to do so?
    Why state that your G860 is slow because it doesn't use hyperthreading when amd doesn't either? Now you have an apples to apples comparison.

    You recomment a G860 which is 5% faster in single/dual threaded apps, but it is a 2 core processor vs this guys 4 core processor. So in heavy threaded apps, the G860 is almost half the speed of his amd processor. The G860 is therefore a HUGE DOWNGRADE.


    LOL What? I never said the G860 was slow. CPU Mark takes advantage of Hyper Threading and Multi Cores. The Dual Core (without H/T) G860 beats the Quad Core Phenom X4 9550 by 5%. How is the G860 a downgrade?
  47. So my best option is to upgrade my pc as dscudella suggested.
    Or if I don't have the money and want a gaming computer tomorrow, I can just upgrade to one of the two video cards suggested by manofchalk. Anything higher will bottleneck my pc?
  48. If you are content with spending $450 for a 5% gaming speed increase, then yes, do as dscudella suggests. Or you could spend about $150 into your current system and get basically the same performance.
Ask a new question

Read More

Prebuilt Systems Product