Optimal Upgrades - £1k

Hi guys, I'm new to the forum although I've been following the tek for a long time.

So I have a few questions for you guys. I have a build that I made in November 2012 and I just so happen to have £1k that I must quickly get rid of because money is the root of all evil.

Well, actually that's the maximum I could spend. If I spent less than that, I could avoid having to wonder what I'm doing with my life...

What would you guys recommend to keep me going for what would hopefully be the rest of this gen, assuming that's possible? I'm currently playing at 1080p @75hz and I don't intend on changing that for a long while, I just want as much horsepower as possible so I can max everything out for as long as possible. I also use this rig for graphic design and 3D animation (sporadically).
(I don't care if it's overkill for now)

My current build goes as follows:

  • CPU:    Intel Core i5 3570K @ 3.40GHz
  • RAM:   8.00GB Dual-Channel DDR3 @ 798MHz (11-11-11-29)
  • GPU:   AMD Radeon HD 7950  (XFX Pine Group)
  • Motherboard: MSI B75A-G43 (MS-7758)
  • Audio: ASUS Xonar D1
  •            Marantz PM4000 Amplifier
  •            Eltax Monitor 3 Speakers
  •            AKG K550 Headphones
  • Storage: 250GB Samsung SSD 840 Series
                    1397GB Seagate ST31500341AS
  • Peripherals: Filco Majestouch Ninja TKL (MX Browns)
  •                       Logitech G400    
  • Case: Fractal Design R4
  • PSU: Silverstone 650w       

Should I wait until AMDs new GPUs? I noticed the new LOTR game has a 6GB GPU memory requirement for the Hi-Res texture pack, is this the first of many more to come?

Or would another 7950 suffice? It'd be one of the cheaper options but how are AMDs drivers with Crossfire these days? I also have a triple slot aftermarket cooler on my current 7950 so space is kinda.. tight. I'm not even sure if my PSU could handle another.


Excuse the sagging. I'd probably just get a PCI extender cable and mount my audio card in the vertical slot in my case if I could get another card in there without my current one rubbing it or getting in the way altogether.

My mind is swimming with potential things to change! Help me! Arrrrgh!

If you're in no real rush and you can wait to see what amd's reply to the 9xx series is then you may get better clarity as to what you can get for your money.

The only real weakspot I can see is the motherboard - for its lack of overclocking potential for your cpu, and if you havent already got an aftermarket cooler for it get one. If you could pick up a nice z77 board you'll be able to push your cpu quite a bit.

You could sell the 7950 (while you will still get good money for it) and upgrade to a 290, 780, 780ti, 970 or 980. You're at 1080p so dont worry about LOTR's Mordor's ultra high res pack. Any gpu with 3+ gb of vram should suffice for awhile, 4gb even better for the longrun.

Heres a quick upgrade parts list. Heap of cash left over > http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/user/deejeta/saved/7W4Pxr

review of what the gpu can do >> http://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages/msi_geforce_gtx_970_gaming_review,26.html

btw your image link is broken >> use imgur

Thanks for your reply. I'm probably going to get a new mobo and cooler for now, thanks for the recommendations. a 970 or two sounds appealing, going to think about it for a bit.

Updated the picture too. Imgur didn't like my picture at first for some reason.