#1 Posted by Devil240Z (3440 posts) -

I'm looking to upgrade some hardware on my PC. Weighing my best options for possible upgrade paths.

I'm going to upgrade my ram from 4gb to 16gb(being the max my MB will accept)

I have no idea what video card to get, all I know is that it has to be PCI 2.0 and I'm thinking of if there is a more powerful one that my PC will accept I might buy that or get a second ATi 5770 and doing a crossfire setup. Though I forget if my Powersupply can handle two cards. My first PSU could but it died and I bought a different one to replace it.

My CPU is an AMD Phenom II x4 965 Black Edition. I know its pretty overclockable I just have no experience in that area.

So mainly I'm trying to figure out what do do with my video card.

#2 Posted by packs217 (91 posts) -

Overclocking isn't hard, especially with that CPU. Download "AMD Overdrive" from AMD's site, and it'll do the work for you if you don't feel confident.

Is the single 5770 lagging at all on you? I have a 5950 and I still have yet to come across a game I can't run on ultra at 60+ fps. If you are confident you need to replace your card, then start reading reviews. I'd go for something like a 6800 or 6900 as the jump from 6000 to 7000 series was not substantial in architecture as it was from 5000 to 6000. This, and doubling your RAM would make leaps-and-bounds in performance.

I would definitely go to 8gb at a minimum. 16gb might be overkill, as you're going to have to replace that CPU (and assuming the mobo with it) soon enough.

This all, of course, depends on money. You'll be seeing ATi's 8000 series be released here in the next four months, with affordable prices by the end of summer coming to most of the performance cards (<$300).

#3 Edited by Devil240Z (3440 posts) -

@packs217: Wait, I have been under the impression that since my MB only has PCI E 2.0 x16 that I have to use a PCI E 2.0 card. And I haven't seen too many of them still on the market.[EDIT] Just learned that 3.0 is backwards compatable with 2.0 slots.

I have had some games lag a bit on ultra setting recently. maybe its due to a lack of ram. Right now I just want to get the most out of my system without having to build a whole new PC.

#4 Edited by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

@Devil240Z: I have the exact same CPU as you, get this after market cooler, it makes it not overheat and it way more quite than the stock fan. Then launch AMD Catylyst Control Centre, click overclock my CPU, then click auto tune. I was able to get a stable clock speed of 4.3ghz compared to the standard 3.4ghz. That fan costs 29USD.

Don't bother getting a 2nd 5770, that card is weak sauce. I started with that card but sold it and got a 5850 instead and I still can play all the modern games on pretty high settings. I would go for the 7950 if I was you. You could Max pretty much anything with that card. So for the upgrade it would cost 300 for the GPU, 30 for the fan and maybe like 40 bucks for the RAM, but I only got 4gb of Ram as it is and I don't think that is holding me back at all.

#5 Edited by Devil240Z (3440 posts) -
#6 Edited by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

I would get everything else you need 1st, I don't really think anything above 4gb really affects much anyway. If you arent happy then look for more ram, but get that fan I recomended it's a must have, quieter and overclocks real easy with it.

#7 Posted by Devil240Z (3440 posts) -

@Bourbon_Warrior: I think I'm gonna start with the cooler then look into getting a new GPU. maybe wait for some more price drops.

#8 Posted by llamaegg (231 posts) -

Don't get a new CPU heatsink yet, just, don't. Look up overclocking information, grab software like CPU-Z and something to monitor temps and start the process from there, because depending on how far you want to push it you might not even need an after market heatsink, or you might need one that's a bit heftier. Also remember, no matter how much fun overclocking is, you don't gain that much from it in a lot of cases, or at least not as much as people seem to think.

And going for 8 gigs of RAM doesn't hurt, and the stuff is cheap enough these days that it's not hard to just grab 16GB, and hell, I would argue it's worth it just to get rid of Virtual Memory (which is nice, especially if you have a SSD). If you're going to, just completely replace your current set, will probably cost the same amount regardless and you normally shouldn't mix RAM anyway. It really depends on what you're playing though, some games like to eat RAM for breakfast, other prefer to be the picky child.

#9 Posted by believer258 (12210 posts) -

How much are you planning on spending? I'd say just get a 7850 or 7870 and you should be fine for quite a while. More RAM would not hurt either.

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#10 Edited by packs217 (91 posts) -

@Devil240Z said:

@packs217: Wait, I have been under the impression that since my MB only has PCI E 2.0 x16 that I have to use a PCI E 2.0 card. And I haven't seen too many of them still on the market.[EDIT] Just learned that 3.0 is backwards compatable with 2.0 slots.

I have had some games lag a bit on ultra setting recently. maybe its due to a lack of ram. Right now I just want to get the most out of my system without having to build a whole new PC.

PCI-E is PCI-E. The 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0 are all just difference in transfer rate (which actually was a substantial change between 2.0 and 3.0), but they're backward compatible... what you need to worry about is the 16x part (which is what you want).

If you go for a 7850 vs. 6850, the 7850 outperforms in texel rate (the amount of map textures processed per second) by 40%, but everything else is about even.

If you go for a 7950 vs. 6950, the 7950 blows the 6850 out of the water in almost every category (except power usage, of course).

I'd also make sure you update your BIOS if possible before doing any OC'ing. Devs have also been able to help mobos that have 2.0 use 3.0 more efficiently through BIOS updates since it's release, too.

#11 Posted by xxNBxx (982 posts) -

Hey Devil mind if I ask the same question for my PC?

I am looking to upgrade my graphics card myself. Right now I have a GeForce GTX 275. Whats the best card for me at the $250 price range?

#12 Posted by ProjektGill (753 posts) -

@xxNBxx: In that price range, I'd say go with the HD 7870 which you can find around $230.

#13 Posted by Normandy (5 posts) -

Bit of chewy on the cpu hit the fan real hard with a hammer that should get it going a lot faster tip some really cold water into the vent or vents at the back this should keep the central tempreture down tho it may need to be repeated to maintain a nice low temp.