GPU, CPU, or memory first?

By vampire2512
Oct 6, 2012
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  1. The GPU (dual, actually) I'm getting is an ATI Radeon 3870 X2 1GB. My current GPU is a classic NVIDIA GeForce2 MX/MX 400. The processor I'm getting is an AMD Phenom II X4 3.4GHz 965. My current is an AMD Sempron (something something). The memory is two 4GB Corsair Vengeance RAM cards. My memory is at 640MB (I know, it's pathetic.) currently.
  2. Cobalt006

    Cobalt006 TechSpot Maniac Posts: 1,750   +162

    Go for your memory first. Your over all performance on you stuff now will improve.
  3. vampire2512

    vampire2512 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 18

    Thanks. I was thinking that too, but I wanted to make sure.
  4. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,925   +170

    Why the 3870x2? That's an ancient card which runs hot and eats power. What's more you're going to run into Crossfire and stuttering issues. Get a modern single card instead like a GTX 650 or 7750 or better depending on your budget.
  5. vampire2512

    vampire2512 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 18

    The 3870 X2 is good in my point of view read from reviews and the 3870 is totally within my budget. But you're right, it does consume SO much power, I've read. I'll have a powerful power supply, so I won't be worrying much.
  6. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,925   +170

    Those reviews will have been 4-5 years old, and of course will have looked good at the time as that was AMD/ATI's flagship card then. Another problem with buying old cards is that they'll have a greater chance of dying as they will have been used for several years already. But the biggest issue which I've mentioned already is that the 3870x2 is a Crossfire card, and you want to avoid Crossfire/SLI issues wherever possible.

    Presumably you're ok with buying used cards, so look around for GTX 460's and 5770/6770's, they were popular cards so there should be quite a few floating around. What is your budget anyway?
  7. vampire2512

    vampire2512 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 18

    Eh, actually, it's pretty bad. $80 and under. Can't you fix Crossfire/SLI issues?
  8. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,925   +170

    I reckon a used GTX 460 1GB will be your best bet. There's several variants though, in terms of perforamnce 460 1GB > 460 SE 1GB >= 460 768MB.

    CF/SLI are all dependant on drivers, you'll come across things such as microstuttering and bad support for new games. Running 2 or 3 GPUs is only for very high end setups where one card isn't powerful enough.
  9. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 1,145   +172

    You mean you have 8GB ram and 640GB HDD space?

    640GB HDD space isn't "pathetic" if you don't store media on the machine. It's quite adequate for game and app installations.
  10. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,804   +1,431

    I took it they said, they're currently using 640MB memory and plan on upgrading to 2x4GB memory modules. I hope vampire2512 realizes the new modules will not work in the old system.
  11. vampire2512

    vampire2512 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 18

    I may replace the motherboard as well, so that would fix it, would it not?
     
  12. vampire2512

    vampire2512 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 18

    P.S. I apologize for the in-activeness. I was busy today.
  13. Cobalt006

    Cobalt006 TechSpot Maniac Posts: 1,750   +162

    Yes you will have to replaces the motherboard. In order to use the new memory.
  14. vampire2512

    vampire2512 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 18

    Yes, I am pretty aware that it won't be compatible with my original motherboard and plan to get a brand new one.
  15. Cobalt006

    Cobalt006 TechSpot Maniac Posts: 1,750   +162

    Once your done you will have a new computer.:)(y)


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