Do I need a better processor for a better graphics card?

Hello,
I'm a prestigious gamer and I enjoy playing games such as Skyrim and the War Z. However, I want my computer to be able to play these games at the highest settings. I have a budget of $400. Should I upgrade my processor as well or would just a graphics card update be good? And if so, what graphics card type do you recommend?

I have a Dell Inspiron 15R laptop with the following specs:
Windows Home Premium 64 Bit.
Core: i7 2670QM
Ram: 6GB
Graphics card: GeForce GT 525M
17 answers Last reply
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  1. You cant upgrade your laptop.

    I would save up for a PC build.
  2. You cannot upgrade a laptop. For $400, the best you can get:

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Pentium G850 2.9GHz Dual-Core Processor ($69.99 @ Newegg)
    Motherboard: ASRock H61M-DGS Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($39.99 @ Amazon)
    Memory: Pareema 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($18.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($54.99 @ NCIX US)
    Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7750 1GB Video Card ($84.99 @ Newegg)
    Case: Athena Power CA-GSB01DA (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($27.98 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: Antec 450W ATX12V Power Supply ($31.64 @ NCIX US)
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($89.99 @ CompUSA)
    Total: $428.56
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

    It would still run circles around your laptop, though.
  3. LordTsar said:
    You cant upgrade your laptop.

    I would save up for a PC build.


    I agree.
  4. That 7750 won't be able to play Skyrim at Good or Ultra settings, medium may be.
  5. Thanks for the info although that's quite disappointing.. but there's always hope. In fact, I have an old desktop with very similar specs that you have recommended. If I increased my budget to $800 what are some good parts that I can get to improve on this desktop I already have?
  6. specs of the old desktop pls? You might be able to re-use some parts...
  7. kdawg12 said:
    Thanks for the info although that's quite disappointing.. but there's always hope. In fact, I have an old desktop with very similar specs that you have recommended. If I increased my budget to $800 what are some good parts that I can get to improve on this desktop I already have?


    Can you list exactly what desktop you have, and what parts you can reuse?
    Links if you can.

    Do you need a monitor, keyboard/mouse?
    How strong is the psu?

    As a rule, budget twice the cost of the cpu for the graphics card.
    With a $800 budget, you can almost certainly build a very strong gaming pc.
    As an example of a $1000 pc: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/build-a-pc-overclock-benchmark,3276.html
    As an example of a $500 pc: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-pc-overclocking-pc-building,3273.html

    Use these as examples, since parts and prices will have changed.

    If there are enough useful reusable parts, you might be near the $1000 pc.
  8. Tell us the specs of your desktop and we'll tell you your options :).
  9. I'm sorry if I get some specs wrong but I'm a newbie in the computer department here are some specs of the old desktop (btw, i do not have an external monitor so I cannot see my old desktops specs exactly, I opened up my computer and I'm looking at what I can find from the inside):

    CPU: I'm not entirely sure but I believe it is an Intel Pentium HT 662 because I purchased this computer back in 2005.

    Motherboard: Intel Desktop Board D101GGC

    Memory: Not sure.. sorry

    Video Card: an ATI Radeon unsure of specific model

    Power Supply: Unsure of company name, 400W though.

    Operating system: Windows XP

    Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 80GB 7200 RPM internal hard drive
  10. And yes I have a mouse, keyboard, case.. everything except for external monitor sadly. And thanks for the help guys :) you guys actually care and know what you're doing haha
  11. And yes I have a mouse, keyboard, case.. everything except for external monitor sadly. And thanks for the help guys :) you guys actually care and know what you're doing haha
  12. well that is old, frankly it's just too old to be any real use. Maybe mouse and keyboard could be reused but that wont help much with the budget. If the case has good airflow, so couple of 12cm fans, it might be usable as well, though likely its too 'closed'
  13. Yeah, the mouse and keyboard are usable but the case only has one rather small fan. I can quite possibly sell an old HP laptop I have in storage for 300 bucks, so I might be able to increase my budget to $1000+. Are computer cases and power supplies relatively cheap though? Because I live in the Middle East and if I'm going to get computer parts then I'd have to buy them when I go to the states (US supplies don't ship to my country) and a power supply and a case might be too large to carry with my luggage.
  14. Therefore I'd have to get my Power Supply and computer case from here and in my country products are overpriced so, it'd could range from 10-60 dollars above the original US price.
  15. The case and the power supply would cost $40 and $60 dollars respectfully in the states. I'd suggest checking the cases out in your local shops, and for power supplies look for Antec, Seasonic, Corsair, XFX units. Don't buy cheap power supplies that come from garbage vendors: they might take away your whole PC.

    As for the rest components:
    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($149.99 @ Microcenter)
    Motherboard: ASRock Z75 Pro3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($79.99 @ Amazon)
    Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($35.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Samsung Spinpoint F3R 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($67.05 @ Amazon)
    Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($307.55 @ Newegg)
    Monitor: AOC E2343FK 23.0" Monitor ($139.41 @ CompUSA)
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($89.99 @ CompUSA)
    Total: $862.97
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
  16. Wow! Awesome.. guess that will be my next PC next year, thanks man! I'm still going to use this laptop for work and gaming on the go though. Wow, if I had known building a PC would be that cheap I would've done it from the very start. Thanks a lot :D
  17. No problem :).
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