Question Are these upgrades okay?

Jun 3, 2020
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Hello!

I am upgrading my old desktop computer:



Hardware Experience: 0
Computer: ASUS CM6870 with completely original parts.
Ideal Budget: $800CDN ($600 USD)
Max Budget: $1000CDN ($750USD)
Goal: Capability to run AAA videogames.
Questions:
  1. Are these upgrades okay?
  2. Should I be looking at other upgrades? I am considering upgrading the fan.
Below are the upgrades I am currently looking at doing after researching for a few hours and consulting my friend who is a software engineer.

Current
Upgrade
3rd Gen Intel i7-3770 CPU @ 3.40GHz 3401Mhrz 4 Cores, 8 Logical processorsNot upgrading
16GB RamNot upgrading
NVIDIA GeForce GT630NVIDIA GEFORCE RTX 2060 SUPER
2TB 7200 rpm Hard DriveSamsung 860 EVO 1TB SATA 2.5" Internal SSD (MZ-76E1T0/AM)
350WDark Power Pro 10 550W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-modular ATX Power Supply
(Free from a friend)

Let me know if you need me to find other specs. More specs can be found here.

Thank you for your time!
 
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AtNvme

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I would personnally consider a whole system refresh, as that i7-3770 will struggle keeping up with that GPU a whole lot. You will not be able to push high framerates out of this card, as it will flood your CPU with too many frames, leading to 100% CPU utilization on a lot of games, leaving you with an annoying lag across your whole system, like laggy discord conversations and poor multitasking.

I'm guessing that picture you added is your current PC? An pre-built Asus system? In that case, you will most likely not be able to fit a standard ATX form factor motherboard in there, as they often support weird brand specific products that match no consumer standards. Again, I think spending an extra 50$ on a decent budget case is a better move, allowing for much better upgradability in the future and to allow you to upgrade your CPU.

I know it sucks, but investing 400-500$ into a brand new Motherboard/CPU/RAM/Case combo and getting a GPU that fills the rest of that budget up seems like a better move to me.

Also make sure that PSU is reliable and of a decent brand, as they are not rated to last forever and PSU failure can damage or even kill your system entirely. It is not to be taken lightly, it's happened to me last month. On a reliable unit. Be careful.

I can post a list of compatible parts if that would be of any help.
Hopefully that helps you!

EDIT: As I keep looking through this, I'm finding it hard to find a solution with your budget, as my advice requires basically a complete system swap. Obviously, if you don't have the money, you could get a new GPU and hope it holds up for now. If this is what you do, perhaps looking at a 1660S and saving that money on future upgrades would be better. Trust me, a 1660S will deliver incredible performance on 1080P gaming, even AAA 1440P capable.

I owned an i5-4690K, which is a technically very similar spec CPU to yours and was struggling to keep up with my old GTX 970, which is nowhere near the level of a 2060.
 
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  1. Your upgrades are OK.
  2. How is the intake airflow to your case? A hot graphics card may require better airflow to cool it.
You may want to look at a case upgrade.
If you have had no issues with the stock cooler, that will not change with a graphics card upgrade.

What is the make/model of your gifted psu?
500w smacks of an older psu that might not be as good as you need.
 

Karadjgne

Titan
Ambassador
I would personnally consider a whole system refresh, as that i7-3770 will struggle keeping up with that GPU a whole lot. You will not be able to push high framerates out of this card, as it will flood your CPU with too many frames, leading to 100% CPU utilization on a lot of games, leaving you with an annoying lag across your whole system, like laggy discord conversations and poor multitasking.
Backwards. The cpu pre-renders every frame. It puts out whatever it puts out regardless of gpu or resolution or detail levels. Cpu does this BEFORE it sends any info to the gpu for final render. You'll get identical fps from a i7-3770 with a 1660ti as with a RTX2080ti, the only difference being when the fps becomes gpu limited in the game.
Useage is entirely different. Usage is the amount of resources the cpu needs to use to complete a frame. Cores, threads, bandwidth, cache etc. The cpu takes a certain amount of time to pre-render a frame. That's reliant on its clock speeds, IPC, game code, available resources. The amount of frames completed in 1 second is your fps limit. Useage is nothing more than what it uses to complete the frame and doesn't matter if it's 20% or 80%, that's amount, not time. The only time usage affects fps is right at or very near 100%, because then the cpu cannot complete as many frames as it's being forced to wait on availabile data from overburdened resources.

I'm guessing that picture you added is your current PC? An pre-built Asus system? In that case, you will most likely not be able to fit a standard ATX form factor motherboard in there, as they often support weird brand specific products that match no consumer standards. Again, I think spending an extra 50$ on a decent budget case is a better move, allowing for much better upgradability in the future and to allow you to upgrade your CPU.
They follow standard ATX (or subsets) specs for all motherboards used in most case designs. It would cost far too much per unit to change and retool for limited production numbers. The only real proprietary things on that motherboard will be some case connectors. Otherwise it's a standard mATX, ATX Asus motherboard from there uber budget lines.

That said..

Op. You'll be fps limited by the cpu. It's older, and although still viable (I own one) it's IPC and clock speeds simply isn't strong enough to push the higher fps. So you will run into situations, especially with multi-player online with high server drops, (like 16man teams at boss fights) where the fps tanks and you'll need to lower/disable cpu bound settings like damage data, floating nameplates etc to reduce the amount of AI the cpu has to deal with.

You cannot upgrade the cpu. It's as good as it gets with that mobo, so it's either a full platform swap, or just live within its restrictions. No help for that, sorry.

You 2 choices to update are great. Massive improvement in windows snappiness, drop loading times, map loading times etc. Won't improve your game play much if any, but will greatly improve your chances at more enjoyable game play. The gpu pairs very well with that cpu at 1080p/60Hz and should be about flawless in anything as long as you tailor your expectations and in-game settings to the cpu's ability. You will by necessity have to lower certain settings, but others can be left on high-very high- ultra levels as they don't affect the cpu, they affect the gpu. With a little balancing you'll be a happy gamer compared to what you were with that old GT 630.

Basically you are trading a bicycle for a motorcycle, but you'll now have to follow speed limit signs.
 

AtNvme

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Sep 2, 2015
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Backwards. The cpu pre-renders every frame. It puts out whatever it puts out regardless of gpu or resolution or detail levels. Cpu does this BEFORE it sends any info to the gpu for final render. You'll get identical fps from a i7-3770 with a 1660ti as with a RTX2080ti, the only difference being when the fps becomes gpu limited in the game.
Useage is entirely different. Usage is the amount of resources the cpu needs to use to complete a frame. Cores, threads, bandwidth, cache etc. The cpu takes a certain amount of time to pre-render a frame. That's reliant on its clock speeds, IPC, game code, available resources. The amount of frames completed in 1 second is your fps limit. Useage is nothing more than what it uses to complete the frame and doesn't matter if it's 20% or 80%, that's amount, not time. The only time usage affects fps is right at or very near 100%, because then the cpu cannot complete as many frames as it's being forced to wait on availabile data from overburdened resources.
I see. My point still stands, the CPU will not unlock the GPU's full potential (perhaps it's more accurate in that order, and thanks for the correction). Excuse the incorrect explanation, but the result is the same. Best case scenario would be to use some of that budget to align the CPU with a GPU that will both be able to pump out a similar amount of frames per second to reduce loss on either side. Re-using that thing you said about speed limit, I'd say pairing components efficiently means you may have less horsepower, but you're over the law and are allowed a faster speed, even though your top speed isn't as high. Does that make sense? :p I say this from experience, as I would cap my CPU way before my GPU on AAA games, like Assassin's Creed Origins. Regardless of graphics settings, the framerate would be the same as my GPU wasn't allowed to reach it's full potential.
They follow standard ATX (or subsets) specs for all motherboards used in most case designs. It would cost far too much per unit to change and retool for limited production numbers. The only real proprietary things on that motherboard will be some case connectors. Otherwise it's a standard mATX, ATX Asus motherboard from there uber budget lines.
Good to know, I just assumed as it often isn't the case. In that case (no pun intended) you could save 50$ by not having to buy a new case to upgrade the motherboard, which is nice.

If you play non GPU intensive games, like competitive titles (CS:GO, Valorant, Rocket League, League of Legends etc...) You will see more improvement by getting a slightly less expensive GPU and changing for a newer and faster CPU. If you play graphic intensive games, which is you case, I believe, you will find better results with a better GPU, but will most likely still be bound to your CPU's frame output with a 2060S, unless you run higher resolutions, which will always make it lower framerate overall, but makes a bigger impact on your GPU overall, which could close the gap.

I would imagine you are playing at 1080p though, as most people still are. Getting a 2060S isn't a bad idea, but keep in mind that the next thing you'll need to change for higher frames is your CPU, since even a 2080-Ti won't increase your framerate at that point since it's CPU bound.
 
Jun 3, 2020
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My friend responded the power supply is a:
Dark Power Pro 10 550W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-modular ATX

I added spoilers because I got a lot of responses and wanted to keep the post navigatable and organised.
Go with a ryzen 5 for cpu
Not planning on replacing the CPU. From what I understand, if I did I would basically have to just build a new PC.

Is your ram ddr4
The specs sheet says:

Memory:
4 x DIMM
GB Up to 32 GB
Dual Channel, DDR3 at 1600MHz

I assume DDR4 is the newer version of DDR3? So I guess not. Not trying to be passive-aggressive. I just know 0 about hardware lmao.
I would personnally consider a whole system refresh, as that i7-3770 will struggle keeping up with that GPU a whole lot. You will not be able to push high framerates out of this card, as it will flood your CPU with too many frames, leading to 100% CPU utilization on a lot of games, leaving you with an annoying lag across your whole system, like laggy discord conversations and poor multitasking.
I acknowledge that the i7-3770 will be a bottleneck. But as you mention below, with my budget I think Build < Upgrade. My hope is that I will get maybe 4+ years with this upgrade before I will have to do a complete rebuild while salvaging the new SSD and GPU.

I'm guessing that picture you added is your current PC? An pre-built Asus system? In that case, you will most likely not be able to fit a standard ATX form factor motherboard in there, as they often support weird brand specific products that match no consumer standards. Again, I think spending an extra 50$ on a decent budget case is a better move, allowing for much better upgradability in the future and to allow you to upgrade your CPU.
I'm not planning to get a new motherboard. The existing motherboard is P8H77-M PRO. I have been told that the SSD and GPU will both be compatible.

Also make sure that PSU is reliable and of a decent brand, as they are not rated to last forever and PSU failure can damage or even kill your system entirely. It is not to be taken lightly, it's happened to me last month. On a reliable unit. Be careful.
I'll have to confirm with my friend. Like I told RodroX, good PSU's are hard to come by right now. If I can confirm that the PSU I'm getting is reliable I'll use it until the market has relaxed. If not I'll begrudgingly delay the upgrade.

I can post a list of compatible parts if that would be of any help.
Hopefully that helps you!
That would help! Note: I have made the decision on the SSD and GPU and have ordered them.

EDIT: As I keep looking through this, I'm finding it hard to find a solution with your budget, as my advice requires basically a complete system swap. Obviously, if you don't have the money, you could get a new GPU and hope it holds up for now. If this is what you do, perhaps looking at a 1660S and saving that money on future upgrades would be better. Trust me, a 1660S will deliver incredible performance on 1080P gaming, even AAA 1440P capable.
I owned an i5-4690K, which is a technically very similar spec CPU to yours and was struggling to keep up with my old GTX 970, which is nowhere near the level of a 2060.
[/QUOTE]

From the other advice and advice from friends, I think I will get by with the current upgrades. Thank you so much for your thoughtful response. This community is pretty great.
  1. Your upgrades are OK.
  2. How is the intake airflow to your case? A hot graphics card may require better airflow to cool it.
You may want to look at a case upgrade.
If you have had no issues with the stock cooler, that will not change with a graphics card upgrade.
Current intake airflow is decent but I am looking at upgrading the fan which I have been told will not be a problem and within my budget if necessary.
Backwards. The cpu pre-renders every frame. It puts out whatever it puts out regardless of gpu or resolution or detail levels. Cpu does this BEFORE it sends any info to the gpu for final render. You'll get identical fps from a i7-3770 with a 1660ti as with a RTX2080ti, the only difference being when the fps becomes gpu limited in the game.
Useage is entirely different. Usage is the amount of resources the cpu needs to use to complete a frame. Cores, threads, bandwidth, cache etc. The cpu takes a certain amount of time to pre-render a frame. That's reliant on its clock speeds, IPC, game code, available resources. The amount of frames completed in 1 second is your fps limit. Useage is nothing more than what it uses to complete the frame and doesn't matter if it's 20% or 80%, that's amount, not time. The only time usage affects fps is right at or very near 100%, because then the cpu cannot complete as many frames as it's being forced to wait on availabile data from overburdened resources.
I struggled a bit to understand all the technical points. But I take that CPU being a bottleneck, or at least greatly impacting frames, will not be as big of an issue as I thought?


They follow standard ATX (or subsets) specs for all motherboards used in most case designs. It would cost far too much per unit to change and retool for limited production numbers. The only real proprietary things on that motherboard will be some case connectors. Otherwise it's a standard mATX, ATX Asus motherboard from there uber budget lines.

That said..

Op. You'll be fps limited by the cpu. It's older, and although still viable (I own one) it's IPC and clock speeds simply isn't strong enough to push the higher fps. So you will run into situations, especially with multi-player online with high server drops, (like 16man teams at boss fights) where the fps tanks and you'll need to lower/disable cpu bound settings like damage data, floating nameplates etc to reduce the amount of AI the cpu has to deal with.

You cannot upgrade the cpu. It's as good as it gets with that mobo, so it's either a full platform swap, or just live within its restrictions. No help for that, sorry.
Honestly, I mostly game singleplayer non-intensive games from Paradox Interactive. I am blessed to have a job that is asking me to play Arma 3 which is the main reason for the upgrade. I do, embarrassingly, own Battlefield V and Witcher 3 and have never been able to play and would like to.

Do you think I could achieve these goals?

You 2 choices to update are great. Massive improvement in windows snappiness, drop loading times, map loading times etc. Won't improve your game play much if any, but will greatly improve your chances at more enjoyable game play. The gpu pairs very well with that cpu at 1080p/60Hz and should be about flawless in anything as long as you tailor your expectations and in-game settings to the cpu's ability. You will by necessity have to lower certain settings, but others can be left on high-very high- ultra levels as they don't affect the cpu, they affect the gpu. With a little balancing you'll be a happy gamer compared to what you were with that old GT 630.
Happy to hear! I am a simple man so I am not expecting ultra levels.

Basically you are trading a bicycle for a motorcycle, but you'll now have to follow speed limit signs.
Well, now I am excited. Thank you for the detailed response! Very helpful.

Thank you everyone for the responses! I am still open to advice.

Edit: Added PSU Brand, Model and Hyperlink
 
Last edited:

AtNvme

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If the CPU does seem to cause more issues than you had hoped, faster RAM can help with performance, slightly.
I would imagine you are still using DDR3 RAM. In the case you want an extra few frames, upgrading to 2400Mhz modules, granted yours are slower than the new ones and if they are actually compatible with your board would be an option. You might want to avoid that though, as they won't be able to be transfered over through your future upgrade.
https://ca.pcpartpicker.com/product/jx7wrH/gskill-memory-f32400c11d16gxm

And that requires to enable XMP, which is available on your board.
Here's how:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suAIR4XtLgI
 
Jun 3, 2020
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If the CPU does seem to cause more issues than you had hoped, faster RAM can help with performance, slightly.
I would imagine you are still using DDR3 RAM. In the case you want an extra few frames, upgrading to 2400Mhz modules, granted yours are slower than the new ones and if they are actually compatible with your board would be an option. You might want to avoid that though, as they won't be able to be transfered over through your future upgrade.
https://ca.pcpartpicker.com/product/jx7wrH/gskill-memory-f32400c11d16gxm

And that requires to enable XMP, which is available on your board.
Here's how:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suAIR4XtLgI
I was under the impression I wouldn't be able to replace the RAM. Thank you for this idea! I will bring it up with my friend.
 

AtNvme

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I was under the impression I wouldn't be able to replace the RAM. Thank you for this idea! I will bring it up with my friend.
As I was saying, you would have to make sure this frequency is compatible with your board, as it didn't specify on the ASUS website. A bit of digging up should do, but either way switching to the fastest compatible RAM will help slightly with performance, but don't expect massive changes, as they will most likely be single digit, maybe low double. Better than nothing if you have extra money for it.

EDIT: The video also features D.O.C.P. which is Asus' version of XMP on their AMD boards, FYI.

IMPORTANT: I did a fast google search and figure out your board supports up to 2133MHz memory. https://www.pc-specs.com/mobo/Asus/Asus_P8H77-M_PRO/698
Don't go any higher as it will clock it back down.
Those are compatible: https://ca.pcpartpicker.com/product/cF7wrH/gskill-memory-f32133c10d16gxm
 
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