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wajubalo

Gaming PC - Upgrade Advice, Thanks in advance!

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Hi guys,

 

I've always been a fan of this forum, it's been over a decade since I last made a post. It's great to be back.

 

I'm writing with the hope I can get some solid advice on upgrading my PC of a few years back to give me another few years.

 

Here are my current specifications (About 3 year old PC):

 

CPU: Intel Pentium ® CPU G3258 @ 3.2GHZ

Ram: 8gb ram

Video card: Geforce GTX 560 Ti

Motherboard: Asus Z97-K

SSD: Plextor PX-128M6S (120gb)

HDD: WD Black 2tb

 

I would like to avoid having to buy a brand new motherboard. Therefore priority would be a CPU (compatible with this mobo) and a GPU to achieve smooth 4k gaming performance on games such as Witcher 3, GTAV, Star Craft 2 and Destiny 2.

 

My budget is flexible, but let's say $1000-1200 AUD.

 

To save on budget and time, I want to avoid changing the case and mobo.

 

Thanks and really appreciate the advice.

 

Cheers,

 

Waj

Edited by wajubalo

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Z97 chipset - same as mine.

 

First up you'd be wanting a proper quad-core i5 or i7. I've got a 4790 (not K). For a decent i5 or i7 in the mid to high 3 GHz range you should be looking at around $140-$240 on the 2nd hand market. You might find stores with LGA1150 CPUs still in stock but they were superseded by LGA1151 a while back now.

 

Another 8 Gig Ram might be nice, another $75-$90 new for 2 x 4 Gig DDR3 modules. May as well get 1600 or 1866 even if the modules you have are slower.

 

Graphics card. For 4K gaming you'd probably want something like a GTX 1060 or 1070 minimum. Starting price about $300 for a 1060 or high $500s for 1070. Or maybe a used GTX 980 in the mid $300s. Or maybe one of the new AMD cards when they land.

 

The sticking point may well become the CPU. The mid-high end i5 and i7 remain in demand for some time and can be hard to find. But personally I'd not commit to upgrading your system with the somewhat paltry current CPU.

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I've been runing my 4690k at 4.4ghz lately while I'm running simulations in the background, and it seems to do ok. The sticking point may well be the video card, if you want smooth 4k gaming.

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1080ti 11g ~$1000-1200 is the only way to get 4k smooth and even it will drop to 40fps in some games when detail settings are maxed it does have a bit of room for overclocking though

so that's your budget blown on gpu alone

 

your cpu will probably handle ~60fps ok in those games if you oc it but being a dual core it will probably stutter at times so not exactly the smooth experience your after

 

you may want more than 8g ram to prevent any loading stutters but if you keep the os really trim you may get away with it

i dont know that its worth buying more ddr3 ram when your wanting to replace the cpu maybe its almost time to spend $130 on the mb and move to ddr4 unless you can find something cheap secondhand

ram speed can have a fair effect on cpu performance ~10-20% in cpu limited sections of games with ddr3 20-30% with ddr4

for ddr3 2133c9 is faster than 2400c11 and 2400c10 was about as good as it got

but if you pick up a 4770\4790 for your system you will probably be gpu bound at 4k anyway so wont see a noticeable difference from ram speed or cpu overclocking although it may boos min fps in a few parts of the games

 

1060 6g-1070 or rx570-580 for 1080p

1070-1080 or vega 56-64 for 1440p

https://www.techspot.com/review/1478-destiny-2-pc-benchmarks/

4K.png

 

https://www.techspot.com/review/1476-amd-radeon-vega-64/page9.html

Witcher_4K.png

Edited by Dasa
  • Like 1

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Also neglected to mention - to do any half decent system justice these days having an SSD as system drive is a must. So another $135 or so for a 240 Gig Samsung 850 Evo. Or $120 on a cheaper alternative.

 

2 TB on the storage drive also might be a bit slim - I recently changed to 3 TB, it's fairly easy to fill up seeing that plenty of modern games are over 40 Gig.

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Wow, so grateful for all this detailed feedback. Brings back memories of a decade ago when I was building something on this forum.

 

So I think I'll switch out the CPU and GPU.

 

So the tricky part for me is the CPU upgrade. So I'll need a CPU with an LGA1150 socket, right?

 

 

For GPU I think a 1080ti or 1080 should do it.

 

Thanks again!

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LGA1150 is the one. A quick look on eBay, there are plenty of sellers asking stupid money.

But you should pick something decent up if you shop around. I got my i7-4790 as well as motherboard, 16 Gig Ram and Coolermaster case for $330. No reason you can't get a decent CPU for around $200.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Intel_Core_i5_microprocessors

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Intel_Core_i7_microprocessors

 

Most of the compatible CPUs will be Haswell, a couple of Broadwell. The K suffix = unlocked multiplier which will mean higher price. Likely the cheap ones you find will be non-K and probably not the fastest ones.

Hyperthreading tends to be standard on i7, and not necessarily available on i5. Realistically it's a 10% advantage at best.

 

I'd be looking for something in the 3.2 GHz and up range. Note that the turbo multipliers will generallly increase the speed above and beyond the base by 100-400 Mhz depending on model and how many cores are busy.

 

ed - there's also LGA 1150 Xeons which might be compatible. Occasionally good ones slip into the market and go unnoticed and can be snapped up.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Intel_Xeon_microprocessors

Edited by Rybags

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Great thanks Rybags. It may take me a little longer to find a CPU. So I think I'll first just buy a GPU outright then keep my eyes open for a good CPU to snap up.

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Hi guys,

 

A friend is heading overseas and offered me the following deal. He won't let me buy parts, only the whole lot for $400 AUD.

 

  • Intel Core i5 3570K 3.40GHz LGA1155\
  • Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H LGA1155 Mainboard\
  • Corsair Vengeance® Low Profile — 16GB Dual Channel DDR3 Memory Kit (CML16GX3M2A1600C10)\
  • ASUS GTX660 TI-DC2O-2GD5 G-SYNC Support GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB 192-Bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support
  • 2x OCZ 128 Vector SSD VTR1-25SATA3-128G (256GB total)
  • TP-Link TL-WDN4800 Wireless N Dual Band PCI Express Adapter
  • Thermaltake Core V31 Window Mid-tower Chassis
  • FSP RAIDER 550W Power Supply
I was thinking I buy this and just purchase a new 1080ti ?
I can also move some of the HDD components from my old rig into this.

For the price/valueI get is it a sound choice?
Thanks everyone.
Cheers,
Waj

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Somewhat of a leap backwards in a way.

 

Problem with the older generation, usually lesser able PCIe and sometimes only 2 Sata3 ports and sometimes none. Likewise, it might be lacking in USB 3.0 ports.

Such deficiencies were enough to convince me to upgrade from my earlier gen i7/Xeon systems (LGA 1366 and 1156 boxes).

Looking at the specs for rev 1.1 of that board, it supports only 2 each of Sata3 and USB 3.0.

http://www.gigabyte.com.au/Motherboard/GA-Z77X-UD5H-rev-11#sp

 

Up to you really, but personally I'd just try for a CPU to suit your current board.

 

Special note if you do decide to buy. I've got an older i7 Gigabyte board and they have known issue where the mosfets start to go bad. A symptom can be reluctance to power up straight away. Mine used to sit there going click, light up, stop, repeat once or twice before starting up properly. Putting a new PSU largely fixed the problem but still, if a system exhibits this trait I'd stay away.

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Is the Asus Z97-K a better board than the one my friend has? He is reducing price to $300 now. Think he is leaving the country so I think he just wants to get rid of it.

 

So the benefit is I could take his two ssds, 16gbs of ram and CPU. If my current mobo is better I'll use mine .

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Is the Asus Z97-K a better board than the one my friend has?

 

Gigabyte boards will always be second class to Asus IMO.

Specifically in the Socket 1155 Era; I can accept that other boards are good, and people have had success, but there was just something about the 1155 "Rush job" that has left some VERY dodgy Gigabyte boards, IMO.

For example, I just left one this weekend, where if you enter the BIOS, the SATA breaks until you reflash the bios....... (no joke).

Bios version doesn't matter.

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Part of the point I was pushing - your board and the board he's selling aren't compatible with each other's CPUs.

 

With the mainstream desktop i3, i5, i7 there's been 4 socket formats which look almost the same, and can use the same coolers.

In order they're LGA 1156, 1155, 1150 and 1151. The first 3 use DDR3 Ram, LGA 1151 uses DDR4 Ram.

The first 2 are considered somewhat old now and tend to have limited support for faster PCIe types (2.x and 3), and are usually lacking or much lesser equipped with Sata3 and USB 3.0 ports.

 

SSDs - they've been around a while now and I'd not trust a 5 YO SSD as I would a mech HDD of the same age. Plus the 128 Gig/smaller ones are cheap to the point of being almost throwaway items. I recently bought a pair of 60 Gig ones for $20 each.

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Oh damn I see. I misread the socket , for some reason I had it in my head his socket was the same as mine -_- that's the whole reason I even considered it .

 

Alright so that's off the table. Thanks for reiterating the point

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SSDs - they've been around a while now and I'd not trust a 5 YO SSD as I would a mech HDD of the same age.

 

A lot of the drives have a way to check total data throughput.

 

For example, my 256gb Samsung 830 has only seen 13TB pushed through it, so it's a long way from dying YET.

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About the same ratio as mine... 120 Gig drive, 6350 Gig of writes = about 52 complete rewrite cycles in a little over 2 years.

I'm about to go live with a new install though on a Samsung 850 Evo 256 Gig... big reason being that the smaller size just fills up too quickly.

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Hey guys, he also has this one for $650 AUD , just wondering if it's a good deal? Might just buy it for a little brother wanting to game. Not for myself.

 

PC- AMD FX-8370 Eight Core Processor

4x2 GB HyperX Fury Ram 970A SLI Krait Edition Motherboard

ASUS ROG-Strix GTX 970

NZXT Kraken x31 Water Cooler

2x Corsair AF120 Quiet Edition HyperX Fury

120gb Corsair

CX500W PSU

1TB Blue Caviar HDD

Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64-Bit OS

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AMD's FX are yesterday's news, the 8370 is fairly high up that tree though the entire line don't even compete with Core 2 on an IPC basis. Couldn't find current pricing but given MSY have the 100 MHz slower 8350 at $165 I'd assume a new price on the 8370 of about $145.

 

2 Gig DDR3 modules are near worthless but at least they're HyperX Fury (I have 3 2x4 Gig kits). Assume new price there about $75.

 

GTX 970 not too shabby, I've seen them going used around $250 though more commonly $280 thru mid 300s.

 

So realistically used prices on items so far comes to about $400. Not quite seeing $250 in the remainder, I'd be knocking at least $100 off the asking price.

And what you'd end up with is almost the pinnacle of AMD's FX range which realistically equates to about a 3.4 GHz i7 from a couple of generations ago. With next to no headroom to improve on the CPU (aside from maybe overclocking it).

 

Tom's hardware charts doesn't have that exact CPU but the FX-8350 is almost identical specced. I generally like to refer to the "Total Time of all time based benchmarks" as a guide of relative performance.

http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/cpu-charts-2015/benchmarks,187.html

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I'd pay $400 for that.

 

At the $600 asking price, you're only $200 away from a brand new Ryzen machine, with a GTX1050TI 4GB, which is about on par with the GTX970, but will save you money on power.

 

Shall we break it down?

PC- AMD FX-8370 Eight Core Processor - Has Value

4x2 GB HyperX Fury Ram 970A SLI Krait Edition Motherboard - Worthless

ASUS ROG-Strix GTX 970 - Has Value

NZXT Kraken x31 Water Cooler - Boarderline (unless he has the mounting kits for other sockets. Only has value, if you can use it in the future)

2x Corsair AF120 Quiet Edition HyperX Fury - Worthless; I ignore anyone who lists FANS as part of a parts list, seriously WTF.

120gb Corsair - $50, worth it?

CX500W PSU - Has Value

1TB Blue Caviar HDD - Worthless, if it was BLACK it'd have value

Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64-Bit OS - Was free, even on pirated keys for a while, now? Your call.....

 

 

Your first plan was best.

Move up to a better Intel CPU

Add a 1080

Probably a 512GB SSD for faster game loads.

 

 

Give the CPU, GTX660Ti, and old SSD to your brother.

Find some RAM and a second hand Motherboard and Case, and he'll be set.

 

"Younger kids" (maybe with the exception of COD) are all about the minecraft and MOBA and Counterstrike etc.

I very rarely see a younger consumer who's into "Cinematic" games, so that 660Ti should still game at Medium-Low settings for him

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Great! Yeah I said $300 I'll take it. He said if he doesn't find a buyer tomorrow he'll sell if for that amount.

 

But yes, I'm sticking to the original plan. Very grateful for all the advice.

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He suggested I buy his 2nd hand GPU for $200 AUD: Galax Geforce GTX 970 OC BLACK (has 1 year, 2 mths on warranty, with receipt).

 

His advice was that since I don't have a 4k screen (only 1080p) I may as well do a small upgrade now, last out a year or so, then do a more significant upgrade.

 

His logic was that 4k gaming with a 1080ti is smooth, but may quickly become outdated as even Witcher 3, a 3 year old game, get's averages of 70-80fps.

 

In summary, continue to use my 1080p setup with smooth gaming at max with his $200 GTX970 OC, then upgrade a year or so later with a major upgrade.

 

What's your advice on this? I think it makes sense, I can settle for 1080p gaming for a year or so then hand this down to a family member. A year later, get a completely new monster rig.

 

But is $200 for this card a good deal?

 

Thanks again.

Edited by wajubalo

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$200 for a 970 is pretty good. In recent times I saw one for about $240, generally they're going used for $280 to $350.

 

It all comes down to if it'll satisfy your needs. Chances are in a year you'd get near to that back for it, maybe even a small profit.

  • Like 1

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Sweet, it's good to have validation from you guys. Just wasn't so sure if $200 was a good price.

 

Checking the bench marks it looks like the 970 can get pretty solid 1080p gaming on all the latest titles. Next year there will certainly be a bunch of new cards out that handle 4k at much better price points.

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