Which component should I upgrade first?

#1 Posted by Flabbergastrate (274 posts) -

Processor Intel Core i7 CPU 860 @ 2.80GHz

Memory (RAM) 8.00 GB 7.5

ATI Radeon HD 5700 Series 6.8

Gaming graphics 4843 MB Total available graphics memory

I've been thinking of upping my performance some, and aside from getting a SATA drive (which I'm not sure I should upgrade even though the Windows Index thing is 5.9), which component upgrade would give me the biggest bump in performance?

#2 Posted by Jams (2960 posts) -

I'd just upgrade the graphics card if you can. Even then... You could get an SSD. That would help a bit. Your memory is fine and although your Processor is an older i7, it's still more then good enough for modern games.

So

  • Graphics Card
  • Solid State Drive
#3 Posted by Dagbiker (6957 posts) -

@Jams said:

I'd just upgrade the graphics card if you can. Even then... You could get an SSD. That would help a bit. Your memory is fine and although your Processor is an older i7, it's still more then good enough for modern games.

So

  • Graphics Card
  • Solid State Drive

This is what my responcse would have been too.

Your PC is a great PC, Unless you want to ad lights, a liquid cooling system, or some other weird thing. I would say the graphics card or the SSD.

#4 Posted by monstersnsoup (80 posts) -

SSD, all the other stuff is still pretty nice. An SSD makes a computer feel so much more snappy

#5 Posted by MrRedwine (430 posts) -

Are you planning to upgrade to Windows 8? If so, here are me thoughts:

Make user your motherboard supports UEFI, not just BIOS, this will make booting faster and more "secure" (You can still load other OSes if you want, despite what others might tell you)

Also, the SSD makes a lot of sense and will more than likely speed up your computer more than anything else.

Get a touch screen monitor. With Windows 8, this will make a LOT of sense.

I would actually reccomend waiting about 6 months from now to make upgrades because I think some hardware manufacturers are holding back things for when Windows 8 ships.

#6 Posted by Flabbergastrate (274 posts) -

@MrRedwine said:

Are you planning to upgrade to Windows 8? If so, here are me thoughts:

Make user your motherboard supports UEFI, not just BIOS, this will make booting faster and more "secure" (You can still load other OSes if you want, despite what others might tell you)

Also, the SSD makes a lot of sense and will more than likely speed up your computer more than anything else.

Get a touch screen monitor. With Windows 8, this will make a LOT of sense.

I would actually reccomend waiting about 6 months from now to make upgrades because I think some hardware manufacturers are holding back things for when Windows 8 ships.

So should I get an SSD now and wait for W8, then?

And thanks! The ATI will be the first thing I upgrade.

#7 Edited by Akyho (1594 posts) -

Your Graphics card is the same as mine, I have a AMD phenom 4x 3.0GHZ CPU.

Everything works like a dream. However things could be better. For overall performance yeah the SSD. As for whats next. I think CPU would be more than hassle to upgrade and you should be fine as now. So yeah like everyone else said.

Graphics card. That model was about 5 notches below the top ATI card 2 years ago. So now getting the top card should be a significant change. Like others have said Windows 8 is round the corner. This could do any manner of boosts (or degrades) for your computer, hardware folks will certainly jump aboard and make use of the pros of Windows 8.

If you arnt going to upgrade to windows 8 or cant wait. Buy the a good Graphics card now.

If you do have your eye on Windows and can wait. Yeah lets see how the new hardware is.

#8 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -

@Flabbergastrate: The only thing which you'll really benefit from as a gamer is a proper GPU upgrade. SSD makes almost no difference to gaming aside from shorter load times.

#9 Posted by Flabbergastrate (274 posts) -

So, veering off-topic a bit, does anyone have suggestions for what SSD/GPUs I should upgrade to?

#10 Edited by bemusedchunk (679 posts) -
#11 Edited by crusader8463 (14419 posts) -

An SSD is the biggest bump in performance that you can get. Thought if someone gave me that PC the first thing I would do is throw out that trash AMD video card and get an Nvidia one. I hate AMD hardware and wouldn't wish it upon my worst of enemies.

@Flabbergastrate: I'm using this one "Crucial M4 128 GB" and it's doing me great. As for graphics cards, I can't say. I haven't been keeping up with them in a year or so so I don't know what the new hot shit is.

#12 Posted by Nate (702 posts) -

@SeriouslyNow said:

@Flabbergastrate: The only thing which you'll really benefit from as a gamer is a proper GPU upgrade. SSD makes almost no difference to gaming aside from shorter load times.

I'm with you on that. I really don't mind waiting for load times so for me an SSD was not the best use of money. If you don't have a top of the line GPU, your money would be much better spent there if you really want to improve actual gaming performance. Look into the Radeon 7850 or 7870. Those cards give a big bang for your buck. If I were in the market for a new one that's what I'd do. Check out this guide for some really good tips on GPU performance.

#13 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -

@crusader8463 said:

An SSD is the biggest bump in performance that you can get. Thought if someone gave me that PC the first thing I would do is throw out that trash AMD video card and get an Nvidia one. I hate AMD hardware and wouldn't wish it upon my worst of enemies.

@Flabbergastrate: I'm using this one "Crucial M4 128 GB" and it's doing me great. As for graphics cards, I can't say. I haven't been keeping up with them in a year or so so I don't know what the new hot shit is.

Dude, he most likely has a 5770. The biggest bump in performance he will get from a single component will be a new GPU. His GPU is very old and slow by modern standards being 3 years old. It's basically entry level these days.

#14 Posted by MAGZine (436 posts) -

@Flabbergastrate: Intel SSDs are known for their reliability. They're what I use and recommend.

@crusader8463 said:

An SSD is the biggest bump in performance that you can get. Thought if someone gave me that PC the first thing I would do is throw out that trash AMD video card and get an Nvidia one. I hate AMD hardware and wouldn't wish it upon my worst of enemies.

This is silliness. I don't know why people hold allegiances to certain brands. Here's a better rule that will serve you and your wallet for many years to come: screw the brand, buy what's good. AMD has consistently gave nVidia a run for their money in performance, power requirements, and cash.

#15 Posted by crusader8463 (14419 posts) -

@MAGZine: Its not a matter of loyalty it's a matter of experience. Every one I have ever known who ran an AMD card has had nothing but compatibility problems with games, and problems with drivers. It's been nothing but headache after headache when running AMD while I have never had a problem with an Nvidia card.

#16 Posted by MAGZine (436 posts) -

@crusader8463: That's ridiculous.

#17 Posted by crusader8463 (14419 posts) -

@MAGZine: YOUR RIDICULOUS!

#18 Posted by Geno (6477 posts) -

Easily the graphics. Rest of your components are fine for at least another 2-3 years.

#19 Edited by Fattony12000 (7252 posts) -

You just gots to gets that Windows Experience Index.

1. OC your CPU to around 3.2GHz (or more if your temperatures are good).

2. Get a better GPU (a good GTX 570 will set you right for a few years). I have a MSI Twin Frozr III, it's been great so far.

3. Get a 128GB SSD as a boot drive + 3/4 big games. I have a Crucial M4 128GB, it's been great so far.

#20 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

@Flabbergastrate said:

So, veering off-topic a bit, does anyone have suggestions for what SSD/GPUs I should upgrade to?

Get a 670. It's the best value this generation, and ATI's cards this generation simply do not compete. They all fall short one way or another, and nVidia has fantastic driver support, where as ATI has pretty piss poor driver support. Running a 5770 here and I cannot tell you how many fucking games don't render right because of this sack of shit.

#21 Posted by cid798 (240 posts) -

@MordeaniisChaos: I wonder sometimes if back in the day the great user developed drivers for ATI cards didn't save them from going under.

#22 Posted by J_Las_Vegas (144 posts) -

@Flabbergastrate:

I just made the jump to a new graphics card and was running a comparable setup to you. I went from an AMD 5770 to a 7870 and the difference is like night and day. Would recommend the OC edition which will give give you the same performance as a top end Nvidia card but costs £150 less.

#23 Posted by Zelyre (1166 posts) -

@Flabbergastrate said:

So, veering off-topic a bit, does anyone have suggestions for what SSD/GPUs I should upgrade to?

Crucial M4 or Samsung SSDs.

Avoid anything that has a Sandforce controller.

They're faster than the M4 and Samsung SSDs, yeah, but you won't notice it unless all you do is run IO benchmarks all day long. Too many people have issues with them just crapping out.

#24 Edited by RIDEBIRD (1232 posts) -

Depends entirely on what you want to play and pay.

For general system performance: A Samsung 830 128gb SSD

For gaming performance on a budget: A random nVidia 560, or rather, if you can wait, wait for the 660 (coming in august)

For gaming performance without a budget: An aftermarket cooled 670. What you will be looking for then is like Asus DCII 670, MSI Twin Frozr 2, Gigabyte Windforce. The reason for that is that the standard design of the 670 is not especially great, and the aftermarket coolers are much, much quieter for not much money. Regarding AMD vs nVidia: You don't want AMD today. They have failed completely so many times with new or upcoming games. I've had several AMD cards and they were fine up til DX11 took over. Drivers since then have been total shit and til they fix that I won't buy another card, nor will I recommend them. It is sad seeing as their cards work fine for most current games (BF3 included), but you can never ever trust them when it comes to a newly released game like Guild Wars 2 for example.

@J_Las_Vegas:

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=GX-012-PL

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=GX-153-MS

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-670-review,3200-5.html

The 670 is faster than the 7970 in several tests, and the 7970 is a lot more powerful than the 7870, while the 670 costs 70 pounds more then the 7870. The 7870 is a competetive card in it's price range for sure, but please. For 150 extra you could get a 680 that smacks the 7870 out the park.

#25 Posted by Flabbergastrate (274 posts) -

@Fattony12000: @MordeaniisChaos: Thanks! Quick question, though; if I get an SSD, could I use it in conjunction with the HDD I already have, or will I have to reign in my memory usage?

#26 Posted by Fattony12000 (7252 posts) -

@Flabbergastrate: That's exactly how you use it, Ryan on this week's Bombcast didn't appear to know how to use one properly.

1) Make the current data on your hard drives 'public', unpassworded, unencrypted, whatever, you just need to be able to access all the data on there just like a USB drive.

2) Insert your brand new, empty, SSD into your computer as the primary drive, with your other hard drives as the secondary and tertiary drives.

3) Install a brand new Windows 7 OS onto the SSD. Do not touch the other drives.

4) Install a few programs/games onto the SSD, things like Battlefield 3/Photoshop/Chrome/things that make use of a good data throughput.

5) Anything that you install on your secondary drive, but that you want the OS to think is on the SSD, use a Directory Junction (you don't get the nice SSD speeds of course). Or just straight up install programs onto whatever the other drive letters are for your non-SSD drives. Change the 'Location' of My Documents/My Pictures/My Videos and stuff from the default place on the SSD (C:) to where they actually live on the hard drive (D:).

6) Something, it's too hot to think over here.

#27 Posted by Flabbergastrate (274 posts) -

@Fattony12000: Would I have to get a new copy of W7, then?

#28 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

@Flabbergastrate: What @Fattony12000: said. You could also potentially get a Hybrid SSD/HDD setup that would let you access all of your data a bit faster, instead of just some of it.

#29 Posted by Fattony12000 (7252 posts) -

@Flabbergastrate: I assume everyone with a legal copy of the Microsoft Windows 7 Operating System has a means whereby to install it onto a new drive, be it through USB stick or DVD or over a network. You don't just CTRL+C your 'C:/Windows' directory and CTRL+V it onto a blank SSD. Is your computer a pre-built, OS pre-installed thingamabob?

@MordeaniisChaos: Hybrids don't quite work that way, you are still limited by the capacity of the flash memory's buffer in terms of getting those sick speeds, and there are still significant drawbacks to the system overall. You do basically get an 'all in one' package doing it that way, rather than 'rolling your own' with two separate drives, one SSD and one HDD.

#30 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

@Fattony12000: I know how they work. I didn't say they were perfect, but they work well enough on a budget for those who are access speed sensitive.

#31 Posted by Fattony12000 (7252 posts) -

@Flabbergastrate: @MordeaniisChaos: The link wasn't really for your benefit, more for the guy asking. As to your point about cost...

Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST31500341AS 1.5TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" = $79.99

Kingston SSDNow V200 Series SV200S37A/128G 2.5" 128GB SATA III Internal SSD = $89.99

Total = $169.98

OCZ RevoDrive RVDHY-FH-1T PCI-E 1TB Hybrid SSD PCI-Express 2.0 x4 MLC Internal SSD (1TB HDD + 100GB SSD) = $319.99

Total = $319.99

That's an extra 500GB of capacity with a $150.01 saving in price. In reality, the OP would just use his old HDDs for the task and thus would just be shelling out for the SSD. In that case he could get a real nice Crucial M4 256GB SSD for $214.99.

#32 Posted by VACkillers (1060 posts) -

Its not the card Mord, its the shocking shit ATI drivers that are more then 90% of the issues when it comes to the ATI cards. For the OP though, as everyone else has pointed out here, the graphics card, its just a tad dated now, the rest of your system seems fine, probably a gtx 570 or a gtx 670 depending on your budget.

#33 Posted by Flabbergastrate (274 posts) -

So I'm definitely getting that Crucial M4 drive, and found thisthing to be around my budget. Is this the best thing I can get for under $200, or should get something else/wait for price drops for more powerful cards?

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