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Upgrade GPU or CPU?

By BudgetUpgrader · 5 replies
Jan 2, 2016
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  1. Im looking to upgrade my computer to run most games with a decent fps on high settings. At the moment I cant even run gtav. However im torn between upgrading my gpu or cpu.
    CPU: Intel Pentium K G3258 Dual Core (OC 4.6GHz)
    GPU: Nvidia GTX 750Ti
    RAM: 8gb
    OS: Win 10
    Mobo: msi h81m-p33
    ssd: 120gb

    My budget is around £250.
  2. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,160   +3,257

    That's understandable, I'm torn between which response to give. Both need to be upgraded for game play.

    I would say the GPU. But before I suggest the GPU, I'll need to ask if your PSU needs upgrading to support a more power hungry GPU. What brand and power rating is on your PSU? To upgrade beyond a 750Ti, a 450W PSU or greater will be needed.
  3. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,490   +2,288

    I'm kind of wondering where you came up with a "K" in the model number of that CPU...:confused: I couldn't find one, only the G-3258.

    I know this is a bit off topic, but the new Skylake i3 CPUs hold their own against many of the i5 quads, with respect to FPS (*). Plus, the new X-170 chipsets allow you to use staggeringly fast RAM, (DDR-4). This has the overall effect of overclocking the CPU automatically, and frame rate increases can be on the order of 20% higher with faster RAM., as opposed to 2133 Mhz stock RAM, which is the max for H-xxx boards, and Intel's IGP on die graphics. You're limited ATM with the 2 thread Pentium. Any Haswell i3 should turn in much better frame rates with their pseudo 4 core architecture. It has to be noted though, the Skylake memory controller is allegedly a big improvement over Haswell's.

    All of that notwithstanding, the better graphics card would likely be the more sensible way to go, since "you can take it with you", so to speak,, to your next build.

    Provided of course, as Cliff has pointed out, your current PSU has the necessary oomph to support the step up video card. If your current PSU has been in for a couple of years, it likely can no longer supply its rated wattage. The capacitors get old after facing a lot of heat, and there always exists the possibility of destroying your system with an aging PSU.

    (*) These new Skylake i3's have been tested with GTX-980 cards, to eliminate any and all possibility of the video card bottle necking the CPU's.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2016
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  4. fearraza

    fearraza TS Rookie Posts: 16

    I would suggest upgrading your processor to i5 for quad-core performances. Then if needed, depending what kind of games and resolution you'd prefer, upgrade your GPU.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  5. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,540   +242

    I have no experience of high power systems but I do read the specs when people post. The 8Gb of ram looks a bit meagre when compared with other 64 bit Windows gaming computers. Maybe a boost there would make a worthwhile difference and for less money? The120Gg SSD is also small and it's worth checking the amount of space left. If others reckon those factors are not relevant I'd go with the new graphics card.
  6. Emexrulsier

    Emexrulsier TS Evangelist Posts: 560   +59

    I am still rocking a QX9650 which I have gone through about 4 GPU updates during its life. I am currently on a 980ti sli and still play games at ultra with no issues. Games like battlefront with the super high res mod gives me high frame rates. I often think of upgrading my processor I maybe get hyper threading or some optimizations here and there which may help with my video transcoding but I doubt I will gain any real benefit in games (which is what I primarily use my pc for).

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