Upgrade or new build? budget $750

So, I have been wanting to build a PC recently and have been reading into parts, trying to learn all the lingo DDR3 vs GDDR5, crossfire and went nots.

This is/or will be a gaming computer. I mainly play RPGs (Skyrim, torchlight 2) MMOs (looking into star citizen, wildstar and firefall) Civ5 like games. I don't like playing shooters on my computer, I do play mech warrior online but that's about it in that department.

I would like to play all of these games on max at 1920x1080 resolution (my monitor is my 22in tv also), particularity skyrim which I love modding (graphic tweaks, multiple companions, new zones etc) so anything that helps that area the most is preferred.

Also, any integrated/dedicated sound card that will allow Vent thru headphones and pandora thru speakers. I have peripherals and OS. I’m a bit clueless about cases and OCing kinda freaks me out (probably because I had a heat problem scare with my current case but adding a fan fixed that.)

So with all my research (AKA total noob) I'm kinda struck with what is better a new build that will last 2-3 years or will an upgrade of some current parts also do the trick. I'll list current build 1st and then a pcpickerpart of what I'm thinking would be a good build.

Processor: AMD Phenom II X6 1035T 2.6GHz 64 bit Six-Core Processor

Memory: 8GB DDR3 1333 DIMM 240pin (either 2x4gb or 4x2gb) since the MoBo can have max 16gb and has 4 slots)

Hard Drive: 1TB SATA 7200RPM

Graphics card: SAPPHIRE 100358L Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 CrossFireX ( I do have a ATI Radeon HD 5750 also, crossfire maybe? if cards need to be the same (or just easier to make that work) another 7770 is $95) Would need new case, current one has bad airflow and is extremely narrow)

PSU: CORSAIR TX Series CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply & New 4th Gen CPU Certified Haswell Ready

MoBo: ASUS M4A78LT-M ( AM3 socket, DDR3 1800 max, ATI Hybrid CrossFireX™ , SATA II,) (Don't think two 7770's would fit the slots are kinda close together)

If I upgrade I’m thinking new Processor, new Memory, new MoBo and new case (and maybe another 7770.) AKA pretty much a new comp.

And then the build I’m thinking.

http://pcpartpicker.com/user/Hunterfaller/saved/34KA (reusing my PSU and hard drive) (PSU is 2 years old if that effects anything)

Maybe grab something like a gtx760 + a SSD. 1080p certainly doesnt need all that much grunt. Plus you have some half decent parts still. Plus save a bit of cash along the way.

Maybe oc that cpu a bit (3.4 should be a half decent figure to shoot for without too much trouble), with the locked multi it will be a case of upping the bus etc. Your ram may be the limiting factor in the oc though, just see how it goes.



770 comes with 3 amazing games :)

 Maybe oc that cpu a bit (3.4 should be a half decent figure to shoot for without too much trouble), with the locked multi it will be a case of upping the bus etc.

Noob question time! How do I do said thing. Would like to try it out before I buy anything. If it does well then I probably go with your idea, If I fuck everything up well iTr0_0oW build definitely looks better then mine (though he looks like he left out RAM, so either he thinks my current ram will be fine or he forget)

Since you're using a dedicated graphics card, RAM doesn't affect performance that much in gaming.  1333 is kind of on the low side, but since you already have it in your build, it's not worth it to upgrade to higher clocked memory.

The build you put together has a pretty crappy motherboard.  I do like iTr0_0oW 's suggestion, and would suggest you go with it as well.  The motherboard can support multiple graphics cards in the future, and can handle overclocking(pretty easy through a tutorial, just be gentle with the voltage; voltage is what will fry your chip).  The GTX 770 is a great card, and is quite appealing now since almost all of the R9 280Xs are out of stock.  The aftermarket cooler in iTr0_0oW's build is quite decent at that 25 price tag as well.

Thanks for the help all. 


Here is an old oc guide for phenoms I dug up on another forum im on.


May be of some help.

Thanks, I'll get to reading that. Some questions If later on I do get two cards to SLI/crossfire (depending on what I end up getting) would I need a better PSU and cooling system or what I have now and is in that case be enough? 

I was in your exact situation except my old chip is a i7 920. (1st gen i7) and it's a slow machine. So I got a 770 and an ssd and wow, it's like a whole new machine. (I also got windows 8.1) 

I've only dumped BF4, Tomb Raider, and FarCry3 onto it so far and it looks amazing. I can run all of them at max settings without any visual issues and I did run the Tomb Raider bench after 6 hours of playing and got 55 fps. I'm really impressed with the 770. 

Mkay, good to know. Also I realize the Fractal is amazing for its flexibility, but it's also a black box, not exactly winning coolness competitions there. Would something like this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811146073 work also? (Kinda culess to cases other then it can hold a ATX MoBo) 


I highly recommend you grab this SSD...


It's absolutely amazing for the money.

Sure, that'll work.  Just gonna warn you that it's gonna be freakin' big.

Try an NZXT Phantom 410