Hello fellow PC gaming duders! As many around here are prepping to do, I will be upgrading my gaming PC come tax return time. While I would love to build a brand new from-the-ground-up PC, financially that may not be viable. So I would appreciate some advice on whether or not my current rig would benefit from a few small upgrades, and if it would hold me off until I have the funds to replace everything! And now specs!
CPU: AMD Athlon II X3 440 @ 3 GHZ
MB: Biostar TA870+
RAM: 8 Gigs 1666 DDR3 (Only operating at 1033 due to me not realizing it was specialized for intel boards, ima derp)
GPU: XFX Radeon HD 5770 1GHZ
HD: Western Digital 500 Gig 7200 rpm
PSU: Coolmax 600 Watt psu
Now I should state that I built my rig in mid 2010 and it has performed admirably this entire time, and continues to do so. Ive been able to run pretty much every game I have (That I have installed and tried, my steam library is...big) on Max/High settings gaming on a 23 inch 1080p monitor, getting perfectly acceptable framerates, at least as far as I can tell. Im sure im not getting 60 frames in a lot of games, but i game with V-Sync on anyhow due to lots of screen tearing, and they run smooth enough for me. Even newer titles like Skyrim, Battlefield 3(only the single player, havent touched the multi), Saints Row the Third, Max Payne 3, Hard Reset and Spec Ops: The line, all run at High settings. And the titles I havent bought yet, like Sleeping Dogs, Dishonored and Borderlands 2 Im sure would all run well enough, and STILL look better than their console counterparts!
But even though I am happy with my performance so far, I know that some of the newer titles coming out and over the course of the next year will bring my rig to its knees, such as Assasins Creed 3 and Farcry 3. And I do have that itch to play my current games cranked to 11, SO! Im looking into acquiring a Radeon HD 7970 GHZ Edition with my tax money. Im a bit of an AMD loyalist, and would consider the GTX 680 as well, but ive read some benchmark tests, and the GHZ edition amd card seems to run a bit faster and better than a 680, and I can get one for about a hundred bucks less than the 680. Would I benefit from it greatly? Enough to maybe get me through the next years titles at high settings? Or is the rest of my system too much of a bottleneck?
Am also thinking of adding a 256 Gig SSD to my setup, whether this one or my eventual new build. Im very interested in the speed gains ive read about, but truth be told it kind of sounds SUPER annoying to set up! I Would like to put the OS on it and run games and my my art programs from it, but how do you set up the drives so that everything else is on the secondary HD? If the OS is installed on the SSD, wont all my music and video folders be there as well? Ive heard you have to really manage them so that it doesnt fill up with miscellaneous files and what not. I know about Steam Mover so that would help me keep games installed no matter what and just keep the ones I am currently playing on the SSD, but everything else would be on a 1 TB drive. Any good links to tutorials about properly setting up a gaming system with an SSD?
Thank you in advance to anybody taking the time out to read this diatribe! And thanks for any advice I recieve! Going to bed now, will check back later!