I got these parts on the Christmas of 2013, and I ordered them late so I had to downgrade it a bit since the prices of all the parts skyrocketed as I went to order them. I am not stuck on what I want to do to upgrade it. Here are the specs.
CPU: AMD Athlon II x3 450 3.2ghz
MB: ASUS M5A78L-M LX PLUS
RAM: Kingston HyperX Blu 1x4 1333hz
HD: 500gb WD
GPU: MSI Radeon HD 7750 2gb DDR3
Obviously with something this low end, I am noticing a lot of slowdown and am not able to play many games. I use my PC primarily for gaming. I only get about $100 a month and I will have the first $100 at the end of this month (I am only 16 and get payed for chores around the house). I was think about slapping an FX-6300 in here at the end of this month ($95 on Amazon), then saving up to buy a better gpu and a monitor in November. Or save, save save, to get an i5, which would require another motherboard too. I just need help deciding what I should do in the situation I am in, and what would give me the best performance with my limited budget. I want to play games like Planetside 2 at 40-60 fps, GTA 5 at least 50-60 (I dont really care about how good it looks), and I am going to want to play Far Cry 4 as well, at 60 FPS (again, I dont care what settings). Leave suggestions on an upgrade path for me please.
First I'd suggest upgrading the CPU, a FX-6300 or similar will be a good choice since it will save upgrading the motherboard too. That Athlon II x3 is REALLY holding you back, its quite dated so the IPC is low, clock speed is low, etc so a modern CPU is going to massively help and get rid of the bottleneck you've got.
For now that GPU will hold out, I'd suggest waiting to see how things improve after the CPU upgrade since I think thats the primary slow down. If you can game well after the CPU upgrade, maybe consider more RAM. If the CPU upgrade helps but not enough than consider something such as a GTX 950 TI 2GB as it'll be a good upgrade for 150$
For something you can do right now and for free, maybe consider a slight overclock on your CPU and RAM? if you're interested I can link you some guides
Yes, I had a feeling I was being bottlenecked by my CPU right now, but I cannot overclock it since I am using the stock cooler and it already runs quite hot. I am planning on picking up an FX-6300 at the end of this month unless a better option arises. I am only on a crappy 4:3 1280x1024 monitor atm, so I hope my gpu can hold up on this resolution until I save up for a 1080p monitor. Thank you for your input.
Ah I see, makes sense. You can still overclock your ram though, no hurt in more bandwidth and snappier ;) You're welcome, always glad to help
I don't think you would yield much performance out of overclocking RAM. However, I don't see anything wrong with an OC. I would recommend buying another stick of that same RAM to get 8 GB. For reference as I am typing this I am using 3.9 GB out of my 8GB of RAM, and I am not gaming at all just typing.
Your CPU is not as big of a bottleneck as you think, but it's still one. Unfortunately, at this time, AMD CPUs have been stale for a while, so for gaming you'd want an i5. Still, since you have a MOBO, for $100 an 6300 would be a good move. You could get a CPU cooler like the Cooler Master 212 EVO for overclocking (now or later).
I would invest into a new GPU like the R9 280. That can run those games at around 40-50 fps @ 1080pHigh/Ultra settings, and likely 60+ on medium settings, and it is a really good price to performance GPU right now. And for a little extra a GTX 960 would give some extra performance. For something cheaper I would go with the 750 ti.
If you want some snappiness I would recommend an SSD boot (and/or) game drive ($100). This would only give faster load times and not an FPS boost.
Also what's the wattage of your PSU? You don't want to overload it. I would say at the very least 500 watts, and would recommend 750 watt power supply for headroom and future upgrades.
What I would do: GPU: 750ti/r9280/gtx960 ($125/175/225), Second: Kingston Blu 4GB 1333hz ($65) and CM 212 EVO ($30), Third: i5 w/ mobo upgrade ($300).
Absolute cheapest: GPU: 750 ti ($125), RAM ($65), CPU FX 6300 ($100), and maybe a CM 212 EVO ($30).
Hope this helped, and please ask questions.
EDIT: After re-looking at your GPU, I have that one in my older desktop, with a FX 6000 series CPU. And for what you are looking for in terms of gaming, definitely get rid of the GPU first. On an older game like Skyrim, I get 40-60 FPS minimum settings, and that is GPU overclocked. Never buy a GPU with DDR3 VRAM, always get one with GDDR5 VRAM w/ at least 2GB. Also look to see if you have the necessary cables from PSU, Monitor, Etc.
For lack of better words your entire system is a bottleneck and thus choosing what to upgrade first is difficult. Considering your monitor is low resolution I'd say upgrade GPU last but its a toss up between ram and CPU. If it were my system I'd upgrade ram first, it won't be a huge difference in speed but you'll notice much smoother operation. Then get the 6300 then pinch your pennies for a 370x ($175 ish) which will be out by the time you have money for it. Its a fully unlocked Tonga GPU with 3gb of vram it'll do dandy.
Many notes have been taken. Thank you for your extensive input on the topic. I really thought my CPU was the bottleneck hard here. Reconsidering the fx-6300 purchase now.
The other guy recommended to upgrade the GPU first, I am quite confused now. Thanks for your input.
Save up for a year and build a new rig. ~ $1000 or so will yield a beast that you'll be proud of.
In the interim if you're desperate for better gaming performance grab a cheap 2nd hand gpu - 6970, gtx660 or something.
I really do not want to save that long, I want to get something to help me out for gaming over the summer, since that is like, all I do.
Yeah your first thing to upgrade would be the GPU to get you going with something good for gaming right away. Then the CPU and RAM will kinda support it giving you a boost.
Well look at it like this, another 4gb ram stick is like what 30 dollars? You could have money for that in a week ish by your income level, CPU would take a month GPU would take two months. It makes sense to do the RAM right now then if you want to do GPU before CPU its your call, at the end of the day this stuff is getting replaced anyways. I think its worth mentioning that while ram does not directly affect fps it can cause stuttering and lockups which I'm sure you're experiencing with 4gb gaming.
Edit: after doing a little more digging comparing that cpu to the gpu maybe gpu upgrade before cpu would be the right choice depending on the games you play, what are you playing or want to play?
So based on all this feedback here (Thanks for all the input!), is getting an FX-6300 after next week out of the question since I will be bottlenecked too hard by my GPU? And I do plan on getting an extra 4gb of ram some time, because I do notice it.
out of the question is the wrong phrase for it, i would just say if you play games such as bf4/bf3 in multiplayer, skyrim, or anything else cpu heavy upgrade cpu first otherwise gpu first.
If your going the 6300 route you will need a better mb.It might basically ran that cpu but not well. If you wanna use what you have a little longer, just get another stick of ram to match and a stronger gpu. Plan and building a stronger rig later and using said ram and gpu in it later. Think a 6300 and a 970mb with decent power phases and vrm cooling.( Can be had around 200 US dollars for both and use what you have already. Throw in a cheap sandisk SSD and the whole thing will run nicely in comparision to your old rig.)