What to upgrade next?

Hi! I've been casually building my own computers for almost 10 years now. Used to do it a lot more often but now with a family and such it's harder to do new builds/upgrades as often, and I've fallen a bit out of date on a lot of the current news/opinions on everything.

I recently did an upgrade (with christmas money), went from an AMD Athlon X2 7850(Black edition) with 4gb of ram to an I5 3570k with 8gb of memory (BIG difference). Also bought a new case (my old case was getting pretty crappy, and the air flow was bad).

Case -
Motherboard -

My question is what I should upgrade next, and what I can live with for now? I'm going to have around $250-$350ish to work with, possibly a little more if it'd mean the difference between an "ok" component(s) or really good ones. Here are the options I'm thinking of:

- SSD, for faster loading times and just pure awesomeness (currently have a single 500gb drive, had another one but it crapped out a while back).

- A new video card. Currently using a 9800gt I got several years ago, I don't usually play real high graphics intensive games, but it's not out of the question. I mostly play League of Legends lately, and I've started streaming some with the new computer upgrades (couldn't do it before without it looking horrible)

- A new power supply. Currently using a 500W one, when I do upgrade I'd like to get a modular one, but if it's not gonna make any difference I can wait (I do plan to OC my CPU once I get a new CPU fan, using stock right now probably going to get the Hyper 212 Plus or Evo), just not sure if OC'ing will be ok with the 500W power supply.

Thoughts, suggestions?
14 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about what upgrade next
  1. Oh, if it helps, for video cards I've been thinking of a Radeon 7850 for around $190, would probably leave me enough for either a SSD or a PS
  2. Best answer
    Storage: Crucial M4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($107.95 @ Mac Connection)
    Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 2GB Video Card ($225.98 @ SuperBiiz)

    500W PSU will be able to handle this since your old 9800GT is more power hungry than 7870.
  3. The 9800GT is a competent card still - perhaps consider getting a second one for $40 and putting them in SLI?
  4. Thank you, that's pretty much what I was thinking (about the 9800 using more power), and my PS could be upgraded at a later date, glad I got some confirmation =)

    Is the 7870 worth the extra 40'ish bucks over the 7850?
  5. DarkSable said:
    The 9800GT is a competent card still - perhaps consider getting a second one for $40 and putting them in SLI?

    My motherboard doesn't support SLI
  6. docsthaname said:
    Is the 7870 worth the extra 40'ish bucks over the 7850?

    It's roughly 20-25% faster, so I'd say yes.
    Even better buy would be a 7870XT (based on a Tahiti LE chip) if you're going to overclock it any further as you can see here:
  7. Which 500w do you have?
  8. docsthaname said:

    That's a incredibly generic PSU. It shouldn't be branded as a 500w but rather a 300w. You'll need a new PSU to run a decent graphics card.
  9. Ok thanks. So one of the upgrades will be a new PS, kinda what I thought. What would you guys suggest? I was thinking a modular one (unless there's a reason not to get modular). I'd like to keep the price range down (around 100-130'ish), and I'd like to get a nice enough PS that I don't have to upgrade it if I upgrade my computer in the future (leave room for SLI if I get a new motherboard, etc). Any suggestions?

    That leaves me then with do I get a SSD or a video card after that?
    This PSU is a steal. I would get a good videocard along with this.
  11. Ok, I'm thinking I'm going to get a 7870

    and this PSU

    What do you guys think?

    Also, should I bother with the CPU fan? Or just stick with the stock? Was going to get this one:

    Thanks for the replies!
  12. I would get the Evo because the Plus is pretty loud. And you don't need it unless you're planning on overclokcing.

    Eveyrthing else is ok though
  13. Best answer selected by docsthaname.
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