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Old June 15th, 2015, 04:20 AM
Meghiddo Meghiddo is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2007
O/S: Windows 7 64-bit
Location: Austin , Texas
Age: 37
Posts: 243
Based on given specs, what upgrade(s) will give me the most bang for my buck for ~$30

edit - Sorry, topic title should say $300, not $30

I am wanting to upgrade my PC for gaming purposes. I am currently playing Elder Scrolls Online, and that is where I would like to see the better performance mainly. Though I do also play a lot of single player RPGs. I usually stay fairly steady at right over 30 fps, with it getting down to the 20s and occasionally 10s when there is a lot going on on-screen.
I run at fairly high settings right now (max draw distance, medium shadows, most everything else high or max). My goal is to run highest settings I can at a nice steady >45 fps frame rate. The closer to 60 the better.

So let's say within the range of $300, what would you suggest I upgrade or change to gain the most noticeable improvements. No need to consider that a "hard" $300 limit, just a ballpark.

Here is what I have right now:

CPU - AMD Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition Thuban 3.2GHz
COOLING - I installed Corsair H2O cooling, I wanna say the Corsair h70 series?
G-Card - 2 Xfired Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit DDR5
PSU - CORSAIR TX Series CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V v2.3 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready
RAM - G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (I have two open slots on the MoBo still)
HDD - 1 HITACHI Deskstar 2TB 7200 RPM (this is the one I have games installed on, so a new SSD for gaming purposes is a valid suggestion. Though tbh, it is not really load times I am concerned with) (I also have a few other irrelevant HDDs)
SSD - OCZ-VERTEX2 128GB (this one has Windows and nothing else, besides the stuff that gets added automatically, like game saves in MyDocuments. It has 32GB free)
INTERNET - I am supposed to have 50 MB/s coaxial internet, but my speed tests usually hover right around the 20MB/s mark. Just to say, upgrading my internet is not out of the question if it would be best for MMO purposes.
MODEM - Linksys CM100 (still a docsis 1.0 modem)
ROUTER - LinkSys E2000, but I use an Ethernet connection, leaving wireless disabled on the PC I game from

I probably have the latest GPU drivers and version of Catalyst Control Center, as I updated it about 2 months ago. I will probably check that again now to be sure.
At that time, I also installed the AMD Gaming Evolved optimizer software that comes with the latest CCC. I let it install and run for now, because I have not really heard anything bad about it yet.
I have no overclocking. I know I probably have the parts for it, so feel free to include that in any recommendation (no need to give detailed steps if so, just any suggestion. I can do the work to OC myself)

Hmm, that is all that I can think of that could be relevant. But let me know if I missed anything.
Also, if anything is in desperate need of an upgrade, regardless of price, please point that out.


(oh ignore my sig if it has any conflicting specs, I have not updated that in a while)

edit - If possible, I would also like to hear what kind of improvements I might reasonable expect for any suggestion made.

Last edited by Meghiddo; June 15th, 2015 at 02:48 PM.
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Old June 18th, 2015, 05:04 PM
Murf's Avatar
Murf Murf is offline
Join Date: Oct 2001
O/S: Windows 10 Home
Location: Newport News VA
Age: 75
Posts: 17,236
Well you got a pretty good system now, for gaming the graphics card is the "Heart" of the computer as it pumps out those pixels to the monitor. Your current card is a good one;

2 Xfired Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit DDR5, I assume you are running Crossfire with the 2 cards?

Not all games support Crossfire. This depends on your video driver, not the game itself. NVIDIA and AMD often update their drivers to include multi-GPU support for new games, but if one of your games isn't supported, you'll either have to deal with one GPU or tinker with your driver settings to get the game working yourself.

Crossfire can sometimes cause a phenomenon called micro stuttering that makes the video look a tad choppy. It can be particularly aggravating to some people, especially at lower frame rates

I'm not a gamer, but I think you need to research the video card to determine if what you have is the best or maybe go with a better single card.

Your processor is awesome, leave it alone, 8 GB memory is plenty and not sure adding any more you would see a benefit.

The most important internet variable for online gaming is your ping rate (also referred to as latency). This is how fast information is sent from your computer to the game servers and back again. The lower the number, the better.

A good ping rate to aim for would be less than 30 m/s. However, anything under 100 m/s should work. Again, this will depend a little on the game you’re playing.

A good test HERE:

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