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Build Advice Upgrade for friend's kid - older gaming build.

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by ShakeyJake, 31 Jul 2020.

  1. ShakeyJake

    ShakeyJake My name is actually 'Jack'.

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    Hi everyone,

    A 12 year old sproglet that has one of my old builds is looking to upgrade. However, whilst I would normally feel confident in this myself I would much prefer to ask you guys, who are all much more knowledgeable than me because 1) it's not my money I'm spending here, 2) the build is gaming-specific, so not my area of expertise and 3) I think we're looking at a whole mobo/cpu/everything guts upgrade, so there are too many options.

    Use is basic to intermediate gaming. Fortnite, Roblox, Minecraft, etc. I'm pretty sure that one upgrade we will definitely be making is moving the OS to an SSD, which I'll be providing, but what else could we get for a minimum budget? Dad is not the best financed, so I reckon we're looking at about £100 plus whatever we can get on ebay for any old components.

    Current build is:

    Probably keeping:
    Fractal Define XL R2
    500GB WD hard drive
    1080p 60Hz IPS Monitor
    RGB gaming keyboard and mouse that I didn't recognise but he likes

    Probably upgrading:
    AMD Phenom II X4 955
    MSI ATX AM3 mobo
    8GB Corsair Dominator DDR3
    Asus R270

    As this is pretty much the best chip that can go in that socket, I'm thinking it's a case of a whole new bundle. I also imagine that we have two options here, what do you think of:

    a) Used mobo/cpu combo that will allow us to re-use ram and gpu. Maybe something like an 1150 build? This option will be really cheap, the ram is actually very good, and it allows to reuse the parts. If the bundle can be had cheap enough we may be able to wangle a new (to us) used gpu as well.

    or

    b) Buy a whole new mobo/cpu/ram combo off the shelf, and use the integrated graphics for a bit. Dad probably can't afford to buy a new everything but it occurs to me that the R270 isn't probably that far ahead of newer integrated graphics chips that I understand are perfectly capable of playing games at 1080p with reduced settings. This option is probably slightly worse in the short term but having all-new innards would leave us with a nice upgrade path when santa can bring a gpu or something.


    Suggestions, general or specific, are much appreciated. Enjoy your weekend!
     
  2. wolfticket

    wolfticket Downwind from the bloodhounds

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    Why are they looking to upgrade? Is the system struggling with the sort of gaming you mention at 1080p?
     
  3. ShakeyJake

    ShakeyJake My name is actually 'Jack'.

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    Yeah, that would have been useful to include wouldn't it!

    Reasons for upgrading are two-fold. Low FPS in some games leading to a lack of fun. We don't need huge numbers on a 240Hz screen here but it's a slideshow in places. However, there's also just a general slowness about the PC doing other things such as load times and doing some non-gaming tasks. Whilst the GPU looks to be working very hard in games and could likely do with an upgrade, task manager reports that it's more about being CPU bound in places. And, well, hard drives are the devil.
     
  4. wolfticket

    wolfticket Downwind from the bloodhounds

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    My usual go to is option b)

    I'd worry that attempting to upgrade or even keep compatibility you're going to run into bottlenecks and potential compatibility issues due to the age of the platform. I think you'd be better off with a clean break.

    Like you say, I think going for a "G" model Ryzen with decent graphics onboard is a good plan. I'm not the sort to throw loads of money at a system all at once, so going with onboard for a while and then upgrading to an discrete GPU is something I've done a few times. You lose a little CPU performance/core count for the same money initially but nothing that is likely to make a big difference to daily performance or bottleneck a GPU when you do upgrade.It's worth looking at some specific benchmarks for the games you actually want to play though, because you don't want to end up with a shiny new system that really struggles horribly until you by a GPU. Then you might as well wait.

    My last build was a previous gen Ryzen system because I knew it would do what I wanted it too for now, would be unlikely to significantly bottleneck a prospective GPU purchase, and it saved me a quite a bit.
     
  5. nimbu

    nimbu Well-Known Member

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    Hmm option 3)

    Drop in a second hand 1050ti or 1060? And small SSD boot drive.

    On paper much (the 1060 6gb) is miles ahead of the r270 and the ssd will help improve the responsiveness.

    Then wait till Xmas to see what the Ryzen 4 refresh brings to the market
     

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