Should I upgrade my CPU or GPU first?

By Timp11
Sep 9, 2012
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  1. Hey I have this specs now:
    Video card: AMD Radeon HD 7770 2gb
    cpu: Intel Xeon X3220 overclocked to 3.1
    and 4 gb ram!
    what is the best to upgrade? first?
  2. xcylent

    xcylent TechSpot Booster Posts: 267   +17

    Depends on a lot of things.

    1. what is your intended usage for the computer?
    2. what are the rest of your specs?
    3. how much are you willing to spend?
    4. can you buy online? where from?

    help us help you, be as detailed as possible :)
    I look forward to hearing back from you.
  3. Timp11

    Timp11 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    I can use 684,69$, komplett.no and gaming!
  4. xcylent

    xcylent TechSpot Booster Posts: 267   +17

    Alright so now that we have a budget, we can start working around some things.
    Your current GPU is a decent little card.
    What games do you play?
    also, what are your other parts (e.g. motherboard, Power supply, HDD/SSD, monitor resolution, etc)
    for gaming I'd probably look at upgrading the CPU first, since that Xeon is
    a) a little old and weak
    b) the Xeon series is sortof designed for server computers, so it's impractical in a gaming rig.

    need more info though! please answer all the questions I asked, this helps me give you better information :)
  5. Timp11

    Timp11 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    I have 600w psu, 5 hard drives I dont know the name on them. 24" 1920x1080 fullHD Motherboard: p5e Ws Pro
  6. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,925   +170

    Well $680 is quite a nice budget, you can upgrade the whole CPU/mobo/RAM as well as the GPU.

    But the most important question you haven't answered yet is what you're actually going to be doing with the PC (gaming, video encoding or just general computing, etc.)
  7. Timp11

    Timp11 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

  8. deanlaing12

    deanlaing12 TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 161

    You got better specs than me and you plan on playing bf3...
    I play bf on max settings with quad core 2.8 & radeon hd 5770.

    How I do it is by disabling atrophic filtering and anti-antilising.

    They both make a little difference to the quality but not realy enough to justify upgrading...

    However, if you are stuck for choice... go for cpu... means it can be useful for more stuff! In my opinion anyhow.
  9. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,925   +170

    Have you bought the 3770K already? If not then I'd recommend getting a 3570K instead, the hyperthreading on the 3770K doesn't help when gaming and costs quite a bit more. Invest your savings into the GPU as that will have the most effect on your gaming performance. Also you'd want the Z77 motherboard, that Z68 you picked may or may not be compatible.
  10. Timp11

    Timp11 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    The motherboard have socket 1155 and the cpu have the same
  11. xcylent

    xcylent TechSpot Booster Posts: 267   +17

    It's not the socket he's worried about, it's the chipset.
    sandy bridge could possibly not work with the ivy (z77) chipset.
  12. Leeky

    Leeky TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 4,378   +97

    The Asus P8Z68-V PRO works fine with Ivy Bridge CPUs, including the i7-3770K, so that won't be an issue.

    I do agree that it makes sense to get a Z77 series for those looking to upgrade straight to Ivy Bridge though. The only time it doesn't make sense is if you already use a Z68 board and want to upgrade to Ivy Bridge.
  13. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,277   +22

    Z77 supports Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge processors (they have the same pinout and are of the same socket type); only caveat (not really one IMHO) is that PCI-E 3.0 support won't be available when you're running a Sandy Bridge CPU in a Z77 motherboard; an Ivy Bridge CPU is needed for that.

    I don't think there'd be any problems.
     
  14. hood6558

    hood6558 TechSpot Booster Posts: 288   +43

    Yes, it would be counter-productive to install an Ivy Bridge proc in a Sandy Bridge mobo, and pointless since the prices are similar across the two platforms. They can't discount previous generation boards without the risk of losing sales of the new gen., so for at least another year you won't find any bargains on Z68 mobos. Look at the prices for H67 and P67 boards, still high 2 generations later. Any money you save will be at the cost of performance, connectivity speeds and feature support. Lots of parts will work together, but not all will work well. Also, without out-of-the-box support, you may not be able to boot the board into BIOS to update it for Ivy Bridge. You'd need a Sandy Bridge proc just to do the BIOS update.


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