Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Upgrade GPU or CPU?

Last response: in Systems
Share
February 9, 2013 11:06:54 PM

So to start out I currently run an outdated machine but I am on a very limited budget to upgrade. I am currently running:
(Yes I know this is outdated, no laughing! lol)

Q6600 - 2.40 gigahertz Intel Core2 Quad
1000.14 Gigabytes Usable Hard Drive Capacity
NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT [Display adapter] PCI E (16)
4GB Dual-Channel DDR2 SDRAM
350W Power Supply
Windows 7 32 bit
Motherboard - Dell Inc. 0GN723 MicroATX
Bus Clock: 266 megahertz
BIOS: Dell Inc. 1.0.15 06/23/2008

Now for my questions. I am trying to upgrade with around $300-$350 (Less is obviously better). My first thought was to upgrade video card to a GTX 650 TI. However, I do have to upgrade a power supply in order to upgrade the video card. I was going with a Bronze 80 450W.

1st Option
GTX 650 Ti $150
450W Micro ATX12V 80 PLUS BRONZE $69.99
Total - $219.99

After looking over some things and speaking with a few friends, I am now looking over upgrading processor and motherboard and RAM. But I will have to upgrade to Windows 7 64bit and if I do this I want to upgrade tower to a mid tower for future upgrades. I currently have a DELL Vostro 400 and I would like to get away from that MicroATX tower due to low air flow.

2nd Option http://pcpartpicker.com/p/Cvf1

AMD FX-4100 3.6GHz Quad-Core Processor $104.99
Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler $32.99
Gigabyte GA-78LMT-S2 Micro ATX AM3+ Motherboard $49.98
Patriot Gamer 2 Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory $45.98
Gigabyte GZ-F5HEB ATX Mid Tower Case $28.12
Raidmax 600W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply $42.49

Total - $304.53


Now I will be using the 7200 RPM 500GB x2 SATA Harddrives , the 2 DVD Drives from the Dell and the 8800 GT from the Dell if I choose option 2. Now I would prefer to upgrade the video card to Radeon 7850 but that would up my cost another $170 which I can not afford right now.

So which one would I benefit better gaming from? Would I be ok with the 8800 GT while upgrading to option 2? Or would just upgrading the video card and power supply be more bang for buck in the Dell Vostro 400? Although I am afraid with upgrading the video card in the Vostro 400 I will run into overheating issues as well as the Mobo in the Dell is only PCI.e 1.0 so I would be seeing lower upgrade due to that. The new motherboard would be PCIe 2.0, still not 3.0 which I would prefer but 2.0 would suffice.

So please advise is greatly appreciated. If you see a better combo of builds then please by all means let me know. I am not currently hooked on any type. Just looking for the best bang for my buck on the upgrade. Thanks in advance.




More about : upgrade gpu cpu

February 9, 2013 11:42:16 PM

I agree there is great improvement from the 8800 gt to the GTX650 Ti. However, my current motherboard is only a pci.e 1.0 where the gtx650 ti is showing as pci.e 3.0. Do we know if those stats you showed above are showing under the 3.0 conditions or the 1.0 conditions? I would assume more benchmarking of GPUs will be under the circumstances they are modeled for. Which in this sense means I would see a decrease of about 20% from what you posted. Still an improvement, however would I see more of an improvement upgrading the GPU before the CPU.
Related resources
February 10, 2013 12:00:23 AM

Hello... Upgrading your CPU would increase your Number crunching... Upgrading your GPU would increase your Graphics Munching... What programs are you running now?

In the Life cycle of my CPU's... GPU's get upgraded first and more than once... and more than twice...

You are only increasing your Total system wattage by a few Watts...

GTX 650 Ti = 110 watts 8800 GT= 105 watts

The article was to just show you that the new card would run under 400 watts ( total system Power ), and may be, with your current PowerSupply, with proper cooling to it... Don't get any deeper into it...
February 10, 2013 12:08:13 AM

Most of the programs I run are games, at which at best in order to get a sufficient FPS I have to run at low settings or reduce the resolution. I run a bunch of different games, Hawken, Diablo 3, Path of Exile, Tera online. All of which I have to reduce graphics quality most of the time. However, alot of times I reduce the resolution and it runs better, or atleast FPS that is deemed needed for me. If I lower the resolution there is a significant quality reduction. I would prefer to stay at 1680x1050, which is my monitors native resolution. I do see a great improvement when running Game booster as well. This is why I was thinking its more of a CPU/RAM issue.
February 10, 2013 12:34:13 AM

Hello... well... you answered your own question then... you require Graphics Munching, at this time... The GTX 650 TI could perform what you need, with your current setup, without increasing a large amount of wattage to your existing Power Supply... or too your wallet.

And yes... your next upgrade should be CPU ( and everything else that has to go with it )... your are at the end of your CPU life cycle.
June 22, 2013 11:09:18 AM

Ironsounds said:
Hello... Upgrading your CPU would increase your Number crunching... Upgrading your GPU would increase your Graphics Munching... What programs are you running now?

In the Life cycle of my CPU's... GPU's get upgraded first and more than once... and more than twice...

You are only increasing your Total system wattage by a few Watts...

GTX 650 Ti = 110 watts 8800 GT= 105 watts

The article was to just show you that the new card would run under 400 watts ( total system Power ), and may be, with your current PowerSupply, with proper cooling to it... Don't get any deeper into it...


June 22, 2013 12:07:08 PM

Ironsounds -- That first sentence of yours in response to the other poster is a real keeper! I agree with your assessment, BTW, but I like the way you phrased your intro which is in fact spot-on! I would only add this to at least add something to the discussion --- I recently upgraded to the Nvidia 680GTX [** used exclusively on my dedicated "flight sim" machine (the flight simulation hobby dates back many moons even 'prior' to the old Microsoft FS98!), anyway, that particular GPU has some heavy power requirements and require BOTH a 6 plug AND an 8 plug power cable requirement (Molex adapters included in the package) from the PSU. It's not an "either/or" situation as BOTH auxiliary power plugs [6 pin and 8 pin] must be used.

So too, and just FYI for anyone considering the 680GTX, Nvidia [and its approved Nvidia engine vendors] themselves recommend a bare bones PSU of at 'least' 550 watts or better so that the 680GTX and other various components in the system don't get starved for power ... and react accordingly. While some techs or "tinkerers" [there is a difference! I'm a "tinkerer", not a tech!] suggest that a PSU of anything over 750 watts is "overkill" [like the old system memory argument or, as some say, "debate" [versus 'argument'] that more system memory is =not= necessarily "better" over 16GB system max -- some saying as low as 8 gigs [!] and so-called "diminishing return" issues or the loss of dual-channel benefits when the "white slots" are used for "extra system medmory" in addition to the "blue slots" .... !], well, my own feeling is that broad generalizations about such matters should be cautionary at best because one doesn't always know what the user is using! The user may in fact list their machine specs and assorted peripherals , true enough, but how many times do you see listed exactly what specific programs [or games] they are using on a regular basis or non essential yet peripheral add-ons in addition to the system GPU or all sorts of ==CPU powered== [versus externally AC powered USB hubs] USB devices, various of which can be surprisingly PSU wattage hungry not to mention multi-monitors, multiple HHD's/SSD's, dual printers, hey, you name it!
!