Need advice on upgrade options


Jul 15, 2011
Hi Guys,

I currently have the setup listed below and looking for a possible upgrade at the end of the year.

MoBo: Gigabyte EP35-DS3R
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 @ 3.0 GHZ
RAM: 2 GB (1 GB x 2)
Graphics: Powercolor ATI Radeon HD 4770 512MB 128 bit GDDR5
PSU: HEC Raptor r500 500w
OS: Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit

I'm looking at a possible upgrade to 4GB or RAM (+ 2 x 1GB/1 x 4GB/2 x 2GB), and processor (one of the Sandy Bridge i3s). Which of course, entails the need to also upgrade my MoBo (I dunno which one though, I prefer a Gigabyte, any recommendations?)

- I don't play hardcore games like Crysis 2, I think the most graphics intensive games I've played so far were RE5 and DRAGON AGE 2. These days, I only play online games like Audition Dance Battle and Eden Eternal.

- I do some photo editing

- I don't have a big monitor at home so my max resolution is 1280 x 1024 (I'm actually thinking of buying a widescreen one, probably a 22 inch)

- budget wise - i think i'm gonna have enough for the things i mentioned above, but i could wait to save up for more of course.

- The main reason why i'm considering an upgrade is that this machine seems to be getting a bit old for me... Its been 3 years since i bought it and its starting to feel a bit slow, and they say the sandy bridge i3's are good.

So what do you guys think? will it be worth it? or could there be a bottleneck that i haven't noticed? or should i just wait for another year or 2?

Thanks guys, appreciate your thoughts. ^_^

It is not a bad setup but would benefit from a ram and a GPU upgrade which will extend its life. At the end of the year there are going to be more options and different prices so it is hard to recommend anything at the present time if you are planning motherboard/CPU upgrade. Getting a new monitor would be the first upgrade I would do.


Sep 26, 2006
First upgrade you should make is the monitor. No point in having a CPU/GPU configuration capable of 1900x1080 if you can only display 1280x1024. At this small resolution, Im sure you are getting enough FPS.

RAM is insanely cheap now, so feel free to get extra 2GB. Its around $20, simply ask 20 different people on the street for 1 dollar, and voila, you get an upgrade.

So, the first upgrades should be Monitor and Memory. In your case, I would wait a litle longer for future upgrades.