What should I upgrade: graphics card or the processor?

Daniel P August 23, 2013

I’m planning on upgrading components within my PC, but I can only afford one at the moment. I was wondering which part should I go with?

Here are my PC’s specs: (I know, they are not the best in the world):

Processor: AMD A4-3300 APU with Radeon HD Graphics 2.50 GHz
Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GT 520
Motherboard: ASUS F1A55-M LE

I’m not very big PC geek, so thanks for any advice!

  1. Daniel P
    September 10, 2013 at 9:38 am

    Thanks guys for all the support! And sorry for a late reply, but I was busy with college. I think I'm going to go with the A8-3970k and AMD HD 7770, because I have read the reviews you sent me and some other on internet and going with HD 7770 is a better bet. Now I have save up some money, because I haven't got loads of money for now. So thanks again! (if there will be any changes, I will post them here)

    • Susendeep D
      November 9, 2013 at 11:03 am


      Kindly mark your question as resolved.You can do this by choosing the best comment and clicking on the tick icon present on the left side of it.This would help others having similar issues find their solution quickly.

  2. Daniel P
    August 24, 2013 at 11:11 am

    I wanted to get some better performance in gaming, because in games like Battlefield 3 I get roughly 5-15 FPS (on Very Low settings) which is really bad, but for example in Dead Space 3 I get 30 FPS on High setting. I also use my PC for YouTube, I record walkthrough's and gameplay's so having a little bit more FPS would be really nice. I'm planning on spending about £100 - £150 ($155.73USD - $233.59USD)

  3. Dalsan M
    August 24, 2013 at 12:49 am

    You would need to give us what your needs are and what your wants are. If you are looking for better gaming performance, go with a nice GPU instead of the processor (the processor does have some meaning in gaming, but not as much as the graphics card). If you were to upgrade the processor to the A8-3870k (for roughly $100USD or cheaper), you would have better overall performance, including graphics performance IF you leave out the Nvidia card. If you were wanting to play games at a better frame rate and higher settings, upgrading the card would be necessary. If you were to get the A8-3870k, then you could hybrid crossfire with a Radeon 6670 card and get about 50% performance boost, but there are much better graphics cards out there, even for $80USD.

    Let us know what performance you are looking for, general processing or graphics processing, and we can advise you better. Without this information, we are only guessing about what would be best. To me, the A8-3870k would be better for now, and then as cards become cheaper, buy a better one when it can be afforded.

    Avoid the GT610 since it is the same as the GT520 card you already have. Even the GT640 is bad considering the performance is just not as good as it was hyped up to be, and the Radeon 7750 performed better overall.

  4. Daniel P
    August 24, 2013 at 12:08 am

    I was planning to get the Sapphire HD 7850 OC because I've heard it's a pretty good graphics card, but I don't know if it would give me a lot more FPS in game. I have also heard that it is based on the AMD card but I don't know if it would allow me to use the APU's video card. Again sorry if this my sound stupid, but I am still learning.

  5. Hovsep A
    August 23, 2013 at 11:57 pm

    This motherboard supports AMD® A-& E2
    A4-3400 is better than E2-3200

    perhaps to consider another better video card?

  6. Bruce E
    August 23, 2013 at 11:37 pm

    What to upgrade greatly depends on where you are bottlenecked. If your video performance is lacking, a video upgrade is probably called for. If your CPU is overtaxed, that is where you should look. If you do upgrade the CPU, you may also look into the speed of the memory you are using and upgrade that as well to match what the CPU can handle. You may also want to consider using more RAM if you are using a 64-bit OS.

    Since you are currently running an APU, if you were to look for an upgrade for your graphics card, you should probably consider using one of the AMD Radeon HD 6000 series since they will work in concert with the video on the APU.

    If you go for the CPU upgrade, look at the Athalon II series. There is no integrated GPU but going for another APU with an NVIDIA card in the system offers no real benefits as the APU's video will end up disabled anyway.

  7. P J
    August 23, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    Well, you seem to have two dedicated graphics card. Both seems to be good enough for you. I would suggest you to go for upgrading your processor. Also, you may not be able to get the whole juice out of your graphic cards as they are of different makes. But do search for managing two graphic cards to make them work together. That would be enough.

    Good luck!

    • Bruce E
      August 23, 2013 at 10:52 pm

      There is only one graphics card there. The APU has both a CPU and a GPU built into it, but since he is running an external NVIDIA card, it is automatically disabled. If he were running an AMD/ATI card instead and depending on the specific model, it could still use the APU's video capability as well.

    • P J
      August 24, 2013 at 12:28 pm

      Thanks for the correction Bruce.

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