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What should I upgrade on my system?

Last response: in Systems
November 23, 2012 4:53:31 PM

Hello, I built my system last Christmas. I haven't really had any problems running games, I haven't come across a game I can't run at max settings without having 40+ fps besides WarZ, in which my fps drops to the 20's when in the bigger city, and in the MMO Firefall, my fps is only around 30. (I have not tried Battlefield 3 or Crysis 2). Anyways, I am looking to upgrade my computer with the goal of getting better FPS so I can not only play smoother, but also record some gameplay that I maybe couldn't have before. I will have around $200 to spend.

My current specs are:
GFX Card: AMD Radeon HD 6850 1GB -
CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 960T 3.0GHz -
RAM: G.SKILL Sniper 8GB (2x4GB) -
HDD: 500GB 7200RPM 64MB Cache -
PSU: 600W

My main question here is, should I upgrade my graphics card or processor first? Thanks!

More about : upgrade system

November 23, 2012 5:44:18 PM

Your CPU is good, I would take a shot at overclocking it (btw if your motherboard supports core unlock, you can unlock that CPU to a 6 core CPU) for a decent boost. The CPU is a bottleneck unless you overclock it. I have a Phenom II x6 clocked at 3.3 Ghz and I have not had any problems, your GPU is a bit older (6850 is based off of a 5850 when ATI became AMD they rebranded the last gen) and that would be the first thing I would upgrade because your CPU is more flexible (can get more cores, can overclock. Going from a HD6850 to an HD 7850 would be a decent boost but your best option would be going to an HD 7870.
November 23, 2012 5:50:42 PM

Thank you for the reply! I have actually overclocked both my GPU and CPU. My CPU is at 3.7GHz and stable. I remember reading about possibly unlocking this processor into a 6-core as AMD simply locked them, though I forgot how I go about doing it, and if it can ruin my processor I don't know if I want to xD
So, I think it looks like I will put my money towards a better gfx card, I can possibly spend around $300, so I am looking at the GeForce GTX 660 ti (Nvidia's PhysX looks cool, would it be worth it or is Nvidia overrated?) or going with one of the new AMD 7000 series cards.

Should I just not try to unlock the two extra cores because I am already overclocking at 3.7GHz and it's stable, I think that is good enough :p