seeking upgrade advice - gaming rig


I have about $200 to put into upgrades for my current pc. I mostly game wtih a VoIP client running, and occasionally a streaming service like Netlfix or Hulu on a second monitor. I'm trying to figure out what will give me the most bang for my buck performance wise.

Current system:

CPU: AMD FX-4100
MOBO: ASRock 970 Extreme3 AM3+
GPU: HIS H785F2G2M Raseon HD 7850 2GB
RAM: 8gb Gskills 240 DDR3 PC 1600 2 x 4gb
HD: Samsung SSD 840 EVO

I was thinking about adding 8gb of RAM and going to an FX-8350 or FX-8320E, but not sure that would be better than a newer GPU or what. Thanks for any help, and if more info is needed please ask!
5 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about seeking upgrade advice gaming rig
  1. Upgrading the GPU would be the clear choice, as that's a rather low/medium card. But if you're streaming as well, then the CPU is definitely a factor. I'd recommend upgrading both the CPU and GPU, but clearly your budget won't allow that.

    My advice would be to upgrade the GPU first, something like the GTX 960 or R9 280 would be a vast improvement over your current card, by miles and miles.

    Next I'd upgrade the CPU to at least an FX-6300 or 6350 if not an FX-8 chip but keep in mind that motherboard isn't suitable for overclocking FX-8. For FX 6 core overclocking it's ok, not great, but sufficient for a 4-4.3Ghz stable OC. Even at stock speeds the additional two cores on the FX-6 would be beneficial if you're simultaneously gaming and streaming or recording.

    Knowing what model of power supply you have would be instrumental in knowing what upgrades can be done without replacement of the PSU. Exact model number as listed on the label of the power supply would go a long way towards determining that.
  2. Thank you so much for the reply! The PSU I have is a Thermaltake TR2-430 - newegg link

    Hope that helps, and the advice for a new GPU is perfect, I didn't realize how behind my current card is.
  3. Best answer
    You'll need a new PSU. The Thermaltake TR2 is a Tier 5 replace immediately unit and it really doesn't get much worse without including OEM power supplies made by third rate OEM's. To be perfectly honest there aren't many aftermarket power supplies you could find worse than that one, even if you looked.

    Tier 5 - Other than the units listed above for any of these brands, NOT RECOMMENDED. Replace ASAP if you have one.

    A-TOP Technology
    Aspire(Turbo Case)
    Athena Power
    Broadway Com Corp
    Dynapower USA
    FSP Everest
    HEC Orion
    Hiper Type-R
    I-Star Computer Co. Ltd
    In Win
    Just PC
    Kingwin Inc.
    Linkworld Electronics
    Logisys Computer
    Norwood Micro/ CompUSA
    Spire Coolers
    Star Micro
    Thermaltake Purepower NP
    Thermaltake Purepower RU
    Thermaltake TR2 (and TR2-RX) :(
    Ultra X-Connect
    Ultra X2 >greater than 700 watt
    Ultra LSP

    It also just so happens to be the very same hardware component that brought me to Tom's in the first place, as I was unsure of the actual quality on that particular unit back then. Clearly, I stayed.

    So, in that case, this is what I'd recommend. Either of these options would work well depending on whether you could spring an extra 35 bucks now, or wait until you can, or just go with a lower tiered card that's still significantly better than your 7850.

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

    Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 960 2GB Superclocked Video Card ($189.99 @ SuperBiiz)
    Power Supply: Antec 450W ATX Power Supply ($33.99 @ SuperBiiz)
    Total: $223.98
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
    Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-05-02 00:13 EDT-0400

    Or this if you need to stay under two bones at all costs.

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

    Video Card: Sapphire Radeon R9 270X 2GB Dual-X Video Card ($149.99 @ Amazon)
    Power Supply: SeaSonic S12II 520W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($53.99 @ SuperBiiz)
    Total: $203.98
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
    Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-05-02 00:22 EDT-0400
  4. Thanks so much for the info. Sounds like I was neglecting the worst part of my PC so time to get the TR out of there!
  5. Yeah, nomatter what else you do, that would be a good place to direct some attention. Of course the components I listed above are just recommendations, and you clearly have much more selection to choose from, but overall they would be good upgrades. If you wanted to get something other than the power supplies I outlined, I'd recommend using the following Tier list as a guide. It doesn't list the older TR2 models like yours, but does list the upcoming newer TR2 models that may or may not have hit shelves yet, so don't get confused by the fact that it's not on there. This is an updated list that doesn't include models that are discontinued or being phased out.

    Stick to units that are either Tier 1 or 2, with the exception being that Antec VP-450 I linked to which is only on tier 3 since it doesn't have an 80plus rating due to lacking a PFC circuit. It's still a great and dependable unit if you're using a card that only requires a 450w PSU. The 270x needs two 6 pin PCI connections, which is doesn't have, it has only one 6 pin PCI supplemental power connector for the GPU (Which is all that particular model of GTX 960 requires) which is why I didn't recommend it with the 270x.
Ask a new question

Read More

Memory Upgrade CPUs PC gaming