Video card, or CPU? Which to upgrade? - Techist - Tech Forum

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Old 02-09-2010, 07:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Video card, or CPU? Which to upgrade?

Looking at either upgrading my CPU or GPU. The 4870 that I'm suppose to be buying MAY be a dud, 'cause the guy doesn't want to show it works. Which I feel is kind of fishy, but he's letting me pick up the card from his house, and I keep all my emails when it has anything to do with purchasing items.

Anyway, MAX budget is $140-$150 for the upgrade. I'm wanting either a more power GPU or a more powerful CPU. I already got a new PSU, just haven't installed it yet, and it's capable of running a 4850X2, so power should be fine. :P AMD of course, for the CPU, my board can support most if not all of the new AM3 processors. ATI or Nvidia for the GPU, but would rather ATI, 'cause IIRC they have the built in audio codec for HDMI? So far, I've been looking at a 5750 for a GPU, and a 810 or 925.

It seems more and more games are wanting a quad core, but at the same time more and more games are wanting a better card than what I have. Which would be the best upgrade? I THINK my GPU could last another 4-5 months, if I stayed with my current games.

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Old 02-11-2010, 07:12 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Video card, or CPU? Which to upgrade?

I would recommend an athlon 2 x2 240, as it could easily be overclocked to around 3.5ghz if you know what you're doing, and you can pick one up for only $50 with free shipping on newegg. Also I would recommend getting the 5770 instead of the 5750 because it's only $10 or $15 more, but the performance difference makes up for it.
Alternatively you could get a Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition for $90 with free shipping, and the Phenom II X2 550 is an amazing little overclocker, I know from experience. I got mine up to 4.0ghz stable on air.

Any of the Athlon II or Phenom II is seriously going to outperform your Athlon, even at slower clocks, and they don't suffer from the extreme limited overclockability of the original Athlon dual core chips.

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Old 02-13-2010, 08:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Video card, or CPU? Which to upgrade?

I vote Phenom II X2 550 because your motherboard has the potential to unlock it to a Phenom II X4 B50.
(You have the 710 Southbridge, which is the southbridge needed for unlocking.) ((Also the 750 SB can too))

For only 90$ Getting a 3.1Ghz stock Dual core that has the potential to unlock to a quad core is a VERY VERY nice deal.
Good luck!
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Old 02-13-2010, 08:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Video card, or CPU? Which to upgrade?

For $99 you can get an Athlon II X3 620 and avoid the gamble of maybe unlocking other cores that may or may not be stable.

Since your mobo is a Asus M3A76-CM, can it even handle an AM3 CPU? It is listed as AM2/AM2+. An AM2 socket can handle an AM2+ but not an AM3. If it can only handle up to an AM2+, the OEM Phenom II X4 940 would be a good bet ($140).

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Old 02-13-2010, 08:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Video card, or CPU? Which to upgrade?

Good catch there Trotter, I didn't check his Motherboard/CPU compatibility.

Phenom IIX2 550 (HDZ550WFK2DGI),3.1GHz,80W,rev.C2,SocketAM3,Dual-Core 1.00G

Phenom IIX2 550( HDX550WFK2DGM),3.1GHz,512KB,rev.C3,80W,SocketAM3 1.00G

So if he has the 1.00G Revision of that motherboard, yes, it CAN support AM3 CPUs with the 602 BIOS, and an AM3 CPU C3 revision with BIOS 1105.

The full CPU Support list for his motherboard may be found here.

Also, I'd rather have a Phenom II than an Athlon II if I were a gamer (The Phenoms destroy the Athlons for gaming.) and my guess is that he's a gamer because he has a 4870, and not some budget card.
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