upgrading my Gaming PC, Budget of $500, increasing RAM, buying new Graphics card and maybe hard drive. Would like advice

I Purchased a Gateway FX6860 December 2011-ish maybe it was 2010 for gaming. Anyway I made sure I got something upgradable because I was not willing to dive into pc construction at the time. Recently New games have been having some trouble playing at a decent framerate on my computer, and I'm hoping to get a few more years out of it with some upgrades.

I asked a friend in IT what was my best bet to upgrade and decided on upgrading Ram, buying a new graphics card, and getting a hybrid SSD to use as my main hard drive.

I think I'll be purchasing 4 4 Gig sticks of Ram, A card with at least twice the video memory as my current one and Still on the fence as to wheather to buy an SSD even though I already have a Terabyte hard drive. Advice on what to purchase would be apreciated. My budget for this upgrade is around $500.

Link to computer on newegg(has specs): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883113177
15 answers Last reply
More about upgrading gaming budget 500 increasing ram buying graphics card hard drive advice
  1. You don't need to upgrade RAM. 8GB is plenty for any gaming. Upgrading to 16 won't help much and if you did upgrade the ram you would want to do 2 8GB sticks if the board supports it, not 4 4GB sticks to keep some of the stress off the memory controller. It would help if you could take the side panel off and get the model number of the motherboard. It should be printed on the motherboard. There's no way to tell what motherboard your rig came with using the Gateway model number as they may have used three or four different boards in that build.

    Instead I would definitely go with a true SSD and not a hybrid. Installing an SSD is the single most performance driven upgrade you can do to any system bar none.

    Upgrading to these components will probably double your gaming performance.

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

    Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 250GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($129.99 @ Amazon)
    Video Card: Sapphire Radeon R9 270X 2GB Dual-X Video Card ($178.99 @ SuperBiiz)

    Total: $308.98
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
    Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-09-19 05:02 EDT-0400

    And if you want to upgrade the RAM too, you're looking at this:

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

    Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($78.98 @ OutletPC)
    Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 250GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($129.99 @ Amazon)
    Video Card: Sapphire Radeon R9 270X 2GB Dual-X Video Card ($178.99 @ SuperBiiz)

    Total: $387.96
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
    Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-09-19 05:07 EDT-0400
  2. Ok, So I opened up my system and typed the first number I saw on the motherboard into google. this is what came up, and the only thing that came up: http://www.notebooksolutions.ca/zc/acer-original-motherboard-ac44243-47057.html

    I know diddly squat about motherboards and compatibility, so If this helps at all please let me know, I'm about ready to buy the products darkbreeze recommended
  3. darkbreeze said:
    You don't need to upgrade RAM. 8GB is plenty for any gaming. Upgrading to 16 won't help much and if you did upgrade the ram you would want to do 2 8GB sticks if the board supports it, not 4 4GB sticks to keep some of the stress off the memory controller. It would help if you could take the side panel off and get the model number of the motherboard. It should be printed on the motherboard. There's no way to tell what motherboard your rig came with using the Gateway model number as they may have used three or four different boards in that build.

    Instead I would definitely go with a true SSD and not a hybrid. Installing an SSD is the single most performance driven upgrade you can do to any system bar none.

    Upgrading to these components will probably double your gaming performance.

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

    Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 250GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($129.99 @ Amazon)
    Video Card: Sapphire Radeon R9 270X 2GB Dual-X Video Card ($178.99 @ SuperBiiz)

    Total: $308.98
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
    Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-09-19 05:02 EDT-0400

    And if you want to upgrade the RAM too, you're looking at this:

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

    Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($78.98 @ OutletPC)
    Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 250GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($129.99 @ Amazon)
    Video Card: Sapphire Radeon R9 270X 2GB Dual-X Video Card ($178.99 @ SuperBiiz)

    Total: $387.96
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
    Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-09-19 05:07 EDT-0400


    I agree with you 100%
  4. Is the model number of your computer FX6860-EF22P or FX6860-UR20P? It should say on the computer case somewhere. Likely a sticker on the back or side.
  5. FX6860-UR20P. both the ssd and the card arived today, had no trouble installing the card, but the SSD was another story.

    I Know I need an adapter of some sort, but I don't know where I can put the SSD, since I have some sort of plug and play memory storrage at the front. my hard drive is in an internal bay that's hard to get at. What I'm wondering is If there is some way of controling the priority of the drives, so I could plug it in in the front and then have it as my main drive. I hope that wasn't to confusing because It was to me.
  6. No adapter is needed. You need to either remove the current hard drive in the lower HD bay, or, you can use one of the hard drive bays in front (What you call plug and play, they call hot swappable, not really hot swappable though as the drives never show up as removable storage on these FX rigs.) to install the SSD. You would then need to go into the BIOS and designate that drive as the primary or boot drive and then install your OS on the SSD.

    You could also remove the internal hard drive, put the SSD where that is currently at and then install the HDD in one of the front bays. Either way, with more than one drive installed and already having an OS on the HDD, you will likely need to designate the SSD as the primary boot device in BIOS in order to install an OS on it.
  7. You'd want to also get a different PSU, the one in the PC wouldn't be the best and a 270X consumes more power.
  8. Icaraeus said:
    You'd want to also get a different PSU, the one in the PC wouldn't be the best and a 270X consumes more power.


    Yep, that unit clearly comes with a low budget PSU according to what I can find. I'd definitely recommend getting at least a Tier 3, preferably Tier 2b or higher, 500-550w PSU.

    Tier list:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/answers/id-1804779/power-supply-unit-tier-list.html

    and here's the reason why:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ezk9OA7aKOE

    Good call Icaraeus, I spaced it being an included unit on a prebuilt.
  9. wait you think my power suply might fail? I've been using this thing for like 3 years. If it was going to explode I think it would have by now. do you really think an SSD and a new graphics card is enough to make it fail?
  10. I highly recommend that you switch out your power supply, it's not worth the risk thinking that it won't explode. I couldn't even find out information on the website about that specific PSU, meaning there's a good chance it's low quality and one of these days it's going to die and very likely take the rest of your computer with it. New parts may or may not put added stress on the PSU's load but again, it's not worth the risk.

    As Darkbreeze helpfully linked here: http://www.tomshardware.com/answers/id-1804779/power-supply-unit-tier-list.html , you'd want to get a power supply that is in Tier 2 or higher (Tier 3 at the very worst). I can't completely remember but my specific PSU model is a Tier 2A, meaning it's pretty much the best - maybe slightly less efficient than a couple other PSUs.
  11. Icaraeus said:
    I highly recommend that you switch out your power supply, it's not worth the risk thinking that it won't explode. I couldn't even find out information on the website about that specific website, meaning there's a good chance it's low quality and one of these days it's going to die and very likely take the rest of your computer with it. New parts may or may not put added stress on the PSU's load but again, it's not worth the risk.

    As Darkbreeze helpfully linked here: http://www.tomshardware.com/answers/id-1804779/power-supply-unit-tier-list.html , you'd want to get a power supply that is in Tier 2 or higher (Tier 3 at the very worst). I can't completely remember but my specific PSU model is a Tier 2A, meaning it's pretty much the best - maybe slightly less efficient than a couple other PSUs.


    PSU, you meant "specific PSU", not "specific website". Heh.
  12. You've been lucky for 3 years, plus you've added hardware with power requirements beyond those that came with the unit, plus, since it was likely a poor or borderline quality unit to begin with, and you've put three years use on it, the chances are dramatically increased that a failure could occur now that you're adding new hardware. Here's another item for you to read, just in case you have doubts.:

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/low-cost-psu-pc-power-supply,2862.html
  13. Does it change anything If it has a big 80 bronze sticker on it? also the model number is FSP-450-60EP. I mean It's not like I overclock or anything.
  14. The 80plus ratings are irrelevant and misleading. Having an 80plus rating does not make it a good unit. Regardless if you overclock or do any serious gaming, you still want at LEAST a Tier 3 unit, like I said. Here is an article about why 80plus ratings are a joke.:

    http://www.hardocp.com/article/2011/10/04/80_plus_irrelevant_to_you_when_buying_psu/#.VCs8dul0xhE
  15. darkbreeze said:
    Icaraeus said:
    I highly recommend that you switch out your power supply, it's not worth the risk thinking that it won't explode. I couldn't even find out information on the website about that specific website, meaning there's a good chance it's low quality and one of these days it's going to die and very likely take the rest of your computer with it. New parts may or may not put added stress on the PSU's load but again, it's not worth the risk.

    As Darkbreeze helpfully linked here: http://www.tomshardware.com/answers/id-1804779/power-supply-unit-tier-list.html , you'd want to get a power supply that is in Tier 2 or higher (Tier 3 at the very worst). I can't completely remember but my specific PSU model is a Tier 2A, meaning it's pretty much the best - maybe slightly less efficient than a couple other PSUs.


    PSU, you meant "specific PSU", not "specific website". Heh.


    Haha whoops xD
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