Upgrade priorities?

Hi all,


I have a Steambox/HTPC that I use on my tv for gaming and XBMC. I get pretty good performance from most games but as I built it myself, I always have the itch to upgrade. What I'm wondering is which things should I prioritize? Which upgrades will give me the most bang for the buck?

My current setup:

Asrock 960GM/U3S3 FX AM3+ Micro ATX Motherboard

AMD FX6100

Asus HD-7850 2GB graphics card

8GB Corsair Vengeance ram

2TB main HDD and 1TB supplemental drive


So what should be my first and second upgrades?

I have been thinking about getting a Samsung 840 eve 500GB to use for windows and programs but Im worried about my large steam library. I am already using 450 gigs of the 2 TB drive, most of that is games. If I were to add an SSD but keep my games on the HDD, would I see that much benefit from the faster SSD?

Would a new Graphics card be the best upgrade? I like the looks of the new r9 280x cards, they seem like good performance for the money.

Or would the best upgrade be a new Mobo and processor? Haswell maybe?


Thanks for your thoughts!

The GPU is usually the biggest thing you can do to upgrade your build.  It basically gives you the most noticeable affect for the money you are spending, next one would probably be an SSD upgrade for loading time boosts.

So basically GPU/SSD > CPU/Mobo/RAM/etc...unless somehow its found out that the Intel i7 over 9000k gives you a 50% fps increase in all games and downloading more RAM gives you a 1000% increase.

280x or the GTX 770 is one of the better options for upgrading your stuff. I'd go for the 770 as its cheaper right now (the 280x isn't in stock and has ridiculous prices on it). 


Depending on your psu then a gpu upgrade as previously mentioned. Also depending on your case choosing a card that either dumps heat into the case or exhausts it out the rear is something to keep in mind. gtx760, 280x, even a 770 are all good choices. 

I don't know that I would necessarily bother getting such a large SSD. The effective in-game performance improvement is marginal at best for most games. Games such as Dark Souls or Skyrim where reloading is a critical part of gameplay, do improve significantly, as do games with massive texture files like a modded game. 256 GB would probably be enough to suffice, at least until prices drop again.

Potential upgrades vary from there. More RAM is always a safe bet, but improvements from 8 GB to 16 GB really aren't seen in day-to-day gaming. A new GPU might not be a bad idea because the 2GB VRam is a little low for these new games and modded games like Skyrim. Or a new Processor. Honestly, it depends on what you want to upgrade. You would see the most noticeable difference in-game by upgrading the GPU to something super-high-end or by purchasing and crossfiring another of the same card. on the other hand, if you do a lot of everyday computing activities, you will see the most noticeable difference from an SSD. Depends on the desire and the budget.

Thanks for all the advice, so it sounds like I should go with a smaller SSD and and upgrade the graphics card.

In order to migrate to the SSD should I create a partition on my current drive, move my steam library over to it, then clone my (now smaller) boot volume to the new SSD? How easy is it to move my steam library?

Ill probably plan on upgrading to a R9 280x once the prices drop to the msrp again.

yep do that then use steam-mover http://www.traynier.com/software/steammover. is very handy.