Help me build a computer to run Skyrim w/ mods etc...

  1. I'm looking to enhance my PC gaming experience so I can play Skyrim (with tons of mods), the new Sim City, new Bioshock, and whatever else comes out that suits my fancy on high/ultra settings for at least the next year or two.

    Please understand that I am not well-versed in PC mechanics and have been a casual gamer for most of my life. I've never built a computer. I'm hoping to just put a better graphics card in my existing computer if possible. I don't understand over-clocking or the significance of frame rates, but I'm teaching myself right now.

    I am planning on buying a new HD monitor and a new video card, so what I'd like to know is: 1. Do I have a beefy enough processor/enough power to handle a great graphics card, 2. what is the best card under $500 dollars (pref. under $400) for what I'm looking to run, and 3. Can I do this without having to buy a new tower, add new fans, etc.? My computer specs can be found here.

    I went ahead and bought the ASUS HD7870 on a whim, but it isn't here yet and I'm wondering if I should send it back and get a better one. I've got the feeling from reading forums that I need something better...

    Thank you :)
  2. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar TS Evangelist Posts: 6,473   +963

    You really only need to buy a new PSU and a new GFX card. Get at least a 550W PSU (only buy PSUs from Seasonic, Corsair, or XFX. I dont trust other brands). I would be safe and go with 650W. If you want to overclock you will need to buy an aftermarket cooler like the Hyper 212 Evo. I would recommend this graphics card instead:
    Get it while it is on sale. $325 for a 3GB EVGA custom 660Ti is a bargain. It is originally around $360. The 7870 is fine, but the reason I am recommending the 660ti 3GB card is that it is basically equal in performance to a gtx 670 since that version I showed you is overclocked. Also 3GB will allow you to play most games at high/ultra for the next 3-4 years. Even in a few years, you can just disable/lower some settings like AA for better performance. That is just for eye candy. Only get the 3GB card if you are gonna game at 1080P.

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