Upgrade decisions

Hi all I just thought I would get some input from the community here as to the upgrades I'm thinking of doing to my current set-up. Here is what i got now:

i3-2120 sandy bridge cpu


(2x2GB) Corsair 1333 DDR3 RAM TW3X4G1333C9A G

EVGA GTS 450 Superclocked 1024MB GDDR5 GPU

1000w Thermaltake PSU

Now i was thinking of getting a second GTS 450 SC to run in sli with the one i have, getting another set of 2x2GB RAM (same type) to get 8GB total, and upgrading the cpu to an i5 2310 sandy bridge for the quad core. My current set up runs BF3, Skyrim, Guild Wars 2 at around med to low settings but i would enjoy the performance and graphics quality upgrades. Total all this would amount to around $320-340. So my questions are does this seem like a good set up for the price? What should be my first upgrades if I'm doing these all seperately as i get the money to buy them? Is going sli more cost effective than buying a newer gpu? Any input is appreciated. Thanks in advance. :)

Well, if you can pick up a GTS 450 up for cheap then do it, should give you a reasonable boost in performance, but you may have trouble finding one. A memory upgrade would do you good as well, make sure its the exact same, timings and all for best compatability else you'll have to do some tweaking in the BIOS. As for the CPU, if you're gonna drop money on it, I'd say just aim for the i5-2500k and overclock the shit out of it. Might  not be a terrible idea if you got a CPU Cooler if you don't already have one, would give you a great overall system boost.

Thanks for the input CloudScorpion. Yea ive had to search around for the gts 450 and ive only found 2 online that are the superclocked version. Which brings up another question, would the second gpu have to be the superclocked version? I've never run sli before so its new to me. Also i have looked at the 2500k and all of the great reviews it has gotten but it does add on another $50 onto what i have already. I didnt mention it earlier but i would like to keep it as cheap as possible. Should i get the money i'll probably get the 2500k but for now the cheaper i5 seems liike the  more reasonable buy since i dont OC my cpu's anyway. (i don't see the need as i mostly use my comp for gaming and everyday computing tasks)

No the second GPU doesn't need to be superclocked. For SLI the main thing to remember is that the cards need to be the same chipset, your case a GTS 450, and the on board memory has to be of the same size. Other than than you can mix brands and FTW or Superclocks. The FTW and Superclock are just company's factory overclocking. I believe that is all there is to it.


Thanks for the input OccultAssassin. So youre saying i could buy the stock gts 450 with 1gb vram and it would run in sli just fine with my superclocked one? If so thats good news since ive found a couple of stock ones. 

This is what I would do: Get rid of your GTS 450 altogether, and get a Radeon HD 7950 instead. Use the rest of the money to buy the RAM, and save up and buy a new CPU at a later date.

Well....as much as i appreciate the input Vortex88 it kind of defeats the purpose of keeping a budget if i just blow it all on a gpu. I did a quick google search of it and ballpark guesstimations put it at anywhere from $310 to $360(unless im looking at the wrong one in which case if you could give me a link to one i would really appreciate it). For that i think i could get a GTX 660ti or lower GTX 600 series model which i would prefer since i've only ever used Nvidia.

Whatever floats your boat, but the 7950 does generally perform better than the 660TI.

You don't NEED 8GB of ram, and you don't NEED to upgrade your CPU. You'll see a much larger impact from a quality GPU. It might be worth getting an i5 later, but you're going to see the largest impact if you upgrade your GPU to something more current and more powerful.

Well you are right about the gpu being the main factor in regards to better performance gaming wise, I cant really argue against that but i was more so going for overall performance of my rig. I mean the gts 450 i have now can play my games at med to low settings fine and im ok with that. I'm a buget gamer so I dont really need the best and brightest of what out right now. I was just wanting some opinions on an overall upgrade at a decent price. Dont get me wrong i appreciate the feedback its just i dont want to just concentrate on one part instead of getting a better overall performance for my money.