Help me spend my gift cards!

I'm debating which part of my computer to upgrade first. I did this complete build in 2009. I use this for just gaming.


My Current Build:
Intel Q9550 CPU (quad core)
4 gig DDR2 ram
Gigabyte EP45-UD3 (socket 775)
750 watt PSU
1 TB hdd
ATI 5850 GPU

I'm debating upgrading and am not sure if I should do it now or later this year. Right now I'm either going to buy a new GPU (ATI 7970 or GTX 670 4gig). My other option is to just upgrade my CPU, Mobo, Ram, and a SSD.

I'm wondering if my current build with just adding the video card will be enough of a performance increase to warrant an upgrade. My Mobo obviously doesn't have a PCIE3 slot but the cards are backwards compatible with PCIE2. And if I do upgrade just the card for now will my CPU hold me back much.

The 5850 runs most games just fine. I play BF3, Skyrim, GW2 and a few others. But not at max. I only run games at 1920x1200 resolution and no 3D or multi- display.

I'm leaning towards the cpu/mobo/ram/ssd upgrade to put me in position to get a the new 8000 or 800 series cards...But I'm not playing games on Ultra (which is a bummer).

Sorry for the wall of text. Any help would be appreciated.
6 answers Last reply
More about help spend gift cards
  1. I don't think either one is a bad idea. You could live with lower settings for a few months and get a new system, which is probably a better option, considering some things in your pc would hold back a 7970.
  2. Ehh, why an SSD? For gaming it won't really help, if thats what this rig is for. I agree with lt_dan_zsu, either is a good choice, but you could save you money without the SSD. Unless you really want an SSD, they are 3x faster, but 10x mor expensive per gigabyte.
  3. ^ Yeah, that is true, I'm still not convinced that it is a good purchase. Everyone wants them now.
  4. SSD is sexy!!!

    I guess the real question is which future component is worth waiting for...The GPU or CPU/Mobo... I have about $500 to spend on either...
  5. I would say the one you should wait for is the gpu. If you are spending $500 on a new system beside gpu, there will be no gpu that will bottleneck for at least 2 years. So I would get a 3570k and a z77 mobo, 2x4gb ram, and an ssd if you want it. If you don't get the ssd, you will be able to get your gpu sooner.
  6. Your CPU is actually not that bad. It's only 2 slots under the top tier. It's usually recommended to wait until you can upgrade 3 slots.
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-review-overclock,3106-5.html

    Your GPU however is not so high:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-card-review,3107-7.html

    Not too bad but a lot farther down.

    I say wait for the next gen GPU or wait until you have $12-1500 for a complete revamp.
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