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Ask the Experts Question: Gaming at 1440p @ 144Hz, should I upgrade my GPU or everything else?

Gaming at 1440p @ 144Hz, should I upgrade my GPU or everything else?
Should I upgrade my Core i5-2500K, or my GPU if I want to game at 2560x1440 @ 144Hz
Question asked by Ernie from Canada | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards Content | Posted: Feb 26, 2016 5:29 am
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Hello TweakTown..I am looking for some upgrade suggestions. I currently have an i5 2500K at 4.6 GHz. 8 gigs ddr3 1600. ASUS Maximus iv Gene-z MoBo. Sapphire HD7950 Vapor-x. Samsung 850 pro 256 gig and 1TB HD. Play alot of the new games like Blackops 3 and GTA V. at 1080p@60, but looking to move to 1440p@144. Just wondering if you would be worthwhile to upgrade everything or the video card. Thank you.

Hey there Ernie,

 

This is an easy one - upgrade your GPU. The Intel Core i5-2500K @ 4.6GHz is more than fast enough for gaming at 2560x1440 @ 144Hz, but I would suggest upgrading to a 16GB kit of DDR3 RAM. The motherboard you have is fine, and so are the SSD and HDD setup you've got for your storage goodness.

 

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Now, gaming at 2560x1440 isn't an easy task for the Radeon HD 7950, which is why you're going to need to upgrade - and that's just at 60FPS. Increasing that to 144FPS, is an entire new argument. I would normally recommend grabbing another HD 7950 and going Crossfire, but I think an entire new, next-gen card is required. This is where things will get hard - do you buy something now, or wait for the next-gen cards that AMD will release in the coming months?

 

If you upgrade now, I'd suggest something like the SAPPHIRE Tri-X Radeon R9 Fury - which will be more than capable of 144FPS at 2560x1440 - that is, if you reduce some in-game settings depending on the game. With something like Grand Theft Auto V, you're looking at around 86FPS average with the R9 Fury - not close to 144FPS, but that's with maxed out settings. You can reduce some settings, and hit 144FPS without a problem.

 

The second option is waiting for AMD's new Polaris-based video cards, which we should begin to get a better picture of next month at the Game Developers Conference. We should expect a full launch in the June/July timeframe, if you can wait it out for a few months.

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