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Build Advice Upgrade or replace?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by superego, 27 Nov 2018.

  1. superego

    superego Member

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    Hello folks. Been a while since I've been here, years in fact. Aside from a newer graphics card a few years back, my system has remained unchanged since around 2011. It's coped for most of that time period but over the last 12 months has started to show it's age. While a new system is not out of the question, if I can keep most of my current rig and just make a few upgrades then that is preferable, at least for now.

    My current setup is as follows:

    Case: Antec 1200
    CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz
    GPU: MSI nVidia GTX 770 Twin Frozr Lightning 2GB
    Mobo: Asus P8Z 68-V LX
    RAM: 8GB Corsair XMS3
    Cooler: BeQuiet DarkRock Advanced
    PSU: Corsair 850W Modular

    So my question is: will my current components support a simple processor and graphics card upgrade? What limitations would I have by wanting to keep the same motherboard? Are there even any viable upgrade options using that board that would make any difference?

    My PC is used 95% of the time as a gaming machine, but in the past I have done some video editing and would like to do so again in the future - not so much editing as compiling which in itself is a lot of computing work. For gaming, I currently have a 23" monitor with a native resolution of 2048 x 1152. Not looking for a 4K machine but would be nice to maybe get a bigger monitor at some point with a slightly higher resolution.

    I was very close to just ordering a new rig in the Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales but decided not to - at least for now. If ultimately a new rig is the way to go then I can start saving. I just thought if I can upgrade my current rig then it'll be cheaper meaning I can buy the components on finance and by the time the 12-month interest-free period is up I'll have saved enough to pay it off before interest starts.

    I've been looking at new full rigs around the £1300 to £1700 mark so bear that in mind with recommendations, obviously the higher the price of the upgrades, it may be better just to go for a brand new full system.

    Any advice/input is much appreciated.

    Cheers guys!
     
    Last edited: 27 Nov 2018
  2. Arboreal

    Arboreal Well-Known Member

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    Gaming will benefit from a new graphics card, as the 2500K is surprisingly capable still. Not sure what to recommend though...
    SSDs are bigger and less expensive than they were, that may help depending on how your drives are set up currently.
    If you jump forward with a used Haswell (Z87/Z97)setup, you can still use DDR3, but they are getting expensive and not much younger than what you have - 2/3 yrs.
    New motherboards offer storage options like M.2 drives, which are super compact and V fast if they're the NVME sort. USB 3.1 Gen2 will be available on newer kit, PLUS the joy of on board RGB + RGB headers on almost anything you can put your hands on!
    Anything newer needs DDR4, which has been pretty expensive thus far.
    That said, I was on Amazon earlier, and 8GB of DDR4 that was over £70 last month, came down to £63, and was at £53 today, which bags you 16GB for £100 ish.

    As has been said elsewhere, Ryzen is great, but its single core performance (mostly what games still want) lags behind Intel's i5s and is, (better on the newer generation), fussy on what RAM it runs well with. Also, Ryzen typically benefits from faster RAM 3000+ more than Intel would due to its architecture.
    TL.DR - cheapest option is a new GPU, more expensive would be all new hardware.
     
    Last edited: 27 Nov 2018
  3. fix-the-spade

    fix-the-spade Well-Known Member

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    Fitting a 1060 6gb will get you a fairly large increase in frames per second and a decrease in overall power usage for around £220. For pure gaming that's the direction I would go unless you intend to play RTS and 4X games.

    A more serious upgrade will mean new processor, motherboard, DDR4 and GPU. I didn't find the upgrades from Sandy Balls to Ivy Balls to Haswell especially worthwhile. Going from a 2500k to a 6600k, 7600k or 8600k would be a more worthwhile upgrade, or a Ryzen 2700. But then you'll be getting close to the £1000-ish and the budget for a whole new system.
     
    Last edited: 27 Nov 2018
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  4. superego

    superego Member

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    Thanks for the replies guys. If my CPU still has some.mileage in it then I'm happy to go for a new GPU. Might I ask - is there a reason you're only recommending a 1060? Would I not benefit from anything further up the foodchain? I'd be happy to go for a 1070 bit if it would be bottlenecks then I guess there's little point.
     
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  5. fix-the-spade

    fix-the-spade Well-Known Member

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    The only real reason is price. For a 1070 you are looking at £250+ second hand or £400-ish for a new one, the 1060 6GB happens to sit at a good price/performance balance, especially if you are using only one screen.

    If you think VR, multiple screens or 4k is in your near future then I would argue to skip the 1070 entirely and get a 2070, it's another £100 on top but more future proof. Obviously that will leave the rest of the PC as a bottleneck.
     
  6. superego

    superego Member

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    Thanks again. If I'm looking at either a 1060 or a 1070, aside from as much memory as I can afford, what else should I look for? Is a particular manufacturer better than another? I'm seeing EVGA, Palit, Zotac, Gigabyte, MSI, Inno3D and Asus. Also some seem much longer than others.
     
  7. silk186

    silk186 Canadian

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    For gaming, the 2GB video memory is really holding you back in newer titles.
    As for the platform, you are missing USB-C and M.2 support. A newer board will have better audio and maybe support wifi.
    The cheap upgrade would be a new platform MB/CPU/RAM from the marketplace.
    I moved from a 2500k/16GB to what's in my platform. After selling my parts it cost me around £130.
    I sold my failing GPU for parts and upgrade my GPU for under £100.
    If you want a monitor upgrade, you could look at a 27" 1440p which wouldn't be too demanding.

    I upgraded my platform because I was having issues with stability and want to downsize to mITX.
     
  8. superego

    superego Member

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    So based on what Arboreal said, if I'm looking for max performance increase for minimum cost, a newer GPU with more memory is the way to go? I'm seeing GTX 1060's with 6GB of memory for between £200 and £300. If I shift to a newer CPU instead, the accompanying motherboard is gonna make a CPU upgrade more expensive and from what I'm reading more of a bottleneck too coupled with my current GPU.
     
  9. TheMadDutchDude

    TheMadDutchDude The Flying Dutchman

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    I’d be looking at the RX 590 instead. It’s faster but at the cost of higher power consumption.
     
  10. MightyBenihana

    MightyBenihana Do or do not, there is no try

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    Just for the hell of it I have put a build together for you.

    https://www.scan.co.uk/wishlists/ea657ff8-ee51-4b73-acf9-6c7c98a72a81

    I have tried to keep 3 things in mind with this:

    Quality of components - no point buying crap that you will need to replace before too long
    Price - Tried to stay as close to £1200 as possible
    Upgrade path - thinking of more core/hyper threaded CPUs, m.2 drives etc.

    For the above reasons I haven't just selected the cheapest components, but I must confess I know little about AMD's current CPU line up so maybe someone could suggest something there.

    As I say with others, depending on how they are bundled you may be able to sell the bundled games to get ~£100 back, you may also be able to sell some of what you have to get even more back.

    If you are happy with you case and power supply and their condition then keeping the could also save you money. Not sure what fittings you CPU cooler has (or you still have) but it is a good one, so if that fits, keep that too.

    I usually go with Asus motherboards (and aways a Intel rather than Realtec Lan) but the MSI (which is reduced in price atm, otherwise I wouldn't have included it really) has built in wi-fi over something like this:

    https://www.scan.co.uk/products/asu...dual-m2-2-way-crossfire-intel-gbe-usb-31-gen2

    but the above includes some useful stuff like Mem OK etc.

    However, if you don't need/want the built in WiFi then this would save you some cash:

    https://www.scan.co.uk/products/msi...ay-crossfire-intel-gbe-usb-31-gen2-aplusc-atx

    I have added little extras like a couple of decent fans to as I am unsure of what the stock fans are like, but you could remove these and maybe buy later if you feel you need them.

    I've included a 27" 1440p monitor. It has decent reviews and a massive recent price drop (not sure how long that will last though). The 1060 may well be pushed by it though so that's something to think about. Maybe go with a second hand 1070 if you can find one for a good price.

    Other than that keep an eye on the Market Place, there have been a few BNIB items going for great prices recently that would be right up you street.

    Anyway, good luck in whatever decision you make.
     
    Last edited: 29 Nov 2018
  11. Zoon

    Zoon Hunting Wabbits since the 80s

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    My suggestion would be, in order:

    - Go up to 16GB of RAM, a couple of 4GB sticks will be reasonably affordable
    - 1060 or 1070 as above
    - Keep an eye out for a secondhand 2600k/2700k or 3770k for a good price, don't jump instantly on this but aim for 9 months or so from now I guess?

    The CPU bump won't provide much improvement but it will max you out and just extend you that little more.
     
  12. Thewelder

    Thewelder Member

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    Hello,
    Just read your post as was in the same boat!

    I installed blk ops 4 to my 32 gig ddr3,2500k,780gtx system and it crushed it.%100 cpu usage,low fps etc...so I got a evga hydrocopper 1080 and thought I would be fine,no way..cpu usage still %100,gtx 1080 usage %50....looked better,few more fps but crappy.

    ***3770k does not fit the 68 chipset,2700k is max and gets 0 gains nor fps,still be maxed out***

    The 2500k has alot of horsepower left for home media pc etc,but not enough to push 5 year newer gpus.grab a 1070,1080 going foward with a cpu to push it.I realized this having to basically buy everything new mobo,cpu,ram,video card.

    So building only few years I bit the bullet and specs in sig...short story...worth every penny.
    Cpu usage now at %65,gpu %100.

    Keep in mind I also bought a new alien ware 25inch 240hz/1ms moniter to see the most fps I could get at 1080p settings maxed blk ops4....
    Fps now min 120,max 170 ish....tho locked in at at 144 fps.
     
    Last edited: 30 Nov 2018
  13. adidan

    adidan Avatar is in season. See it while stocks last.

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  14. Zoon

    Zoon Hunting Wabbits since the 80s

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  15. DbD

    DbD Member

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    1060 6gb and 580 are about £195 at the moment (e.g. off ebuyer) - and that's with reasonable games bundles (fortnite stuff, monster hunter world, $20 steam for MSI 1060 vs 2 out of 3 games for 580 in AMD promo). At the moment that's better value then buying second hand.

    I also have an old machine with pretty well identical spec. I wouldn't bother updating cpu - the gains aren't worth it and those old cpu's are surprisingly expensive. If you are going to change cpu go for it and get a new mb/memory and cpu.
     
  16. Thewelder

    Thewelder Member

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  17. thewelshbrummie

    thewelshbrummie Member

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    There's no way I'd recommend more RAM unless the OP intends on sticking with this rig for more than 3 years as extra DDR3 won't be reusable in a potential new build that would require DDR4. 16 would be nice but I wouldn't feel happy suggesting that upgrade if a complete rebuild is something being seriously considered (of course, for any new build I'd take 16GB as a starting point).

    GPU is the best bet as you can easily move it to a new rig (my current rig had a 660TI, now has a 970 and will likely get a 2060 price depending). The 6GB 1060 is a good choice for 1080ish resolutions - however I'd consider a 1070 if you're intending on getting a bigger monitor with more pixels - at 1440p the 1060 would struggle going forward (keep in mind it's a 2 year old model).

    That being said I would seriously consider starting over - the 2500k has enough legs but from memory Sandy boards didn't have chipset support for USB3 so it likely has no more than 2 sockets (let alone USB 3.1 gen2 or usb-c) - likewise no m.2 support of any kind. As for the case... my 1200 is doing the split data horder/gaming rig build I wanted perfectly but being 15kgs empty it won't be moving with me to the US and there's definitely been a big improvement in modern case options.
     
    Last edited: 3 Dec 2018
  18. superego

    superego Member

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    Thanks very much for the feedback guys. Been looking at various GTX 1060's and RX 590's - gonna see what Santa brings. Other than the GPU, anything else will need more upgrades to support it so the plan now is to maybe upgrade the card and then slowly safe for an entire new build as soon as I can afford it. I'll likely be back here in the future for advice on that.
     

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