Cheapest Possible way to get this System to 1080p/60fps


Apr 21, 2014

I am currently running the below system and wondered what the cheapest possible way to get it to run the latest games at 1080p / 60fps.

CPU: Intel i3 4170
RAM: 8gb (2x 4gb) Corsair Vengence
GPU: GTX 960 4gb
HDD: 1tb 7200rpm
Power Supply: 550w (Want to say Corsair but I cannot remember)

I am more than happy with my current mouse, keyboard, OS and case so those are probably redundant.


Depends on the specific title(s) in question, but the 'cheapest' route would be the turn your in-game settings down.

A 960, paired with an i3 should be able to do 60FPS 1080p on most titles on low-medium presets, I would imagine.
What is your budget?

Some games are graphics limited like fast action shooters.
Others are cpu core speed limited like strategy, sims, and mmo.
Multiplayer tends to like many threads.

You need to find out which.
To help clarify your CPU/GPU options, run these two tests:

a) Run YOUR games, but lower your resolution and eye candy.
If your FPS increases, it indicates that your cpu is strong enough to drive a better graphics configuration.
If your FPS stays the same, you are likely more cpu limited.

b) Limit your cpu, either by reducing the OC, or, in windows power management, limit the maximum cpu% to something like 70%.
Go to control panel/power options/change plan settings/change advanced power settings/processor power management/maximum processor state/
This will simulate what a lack of cpu power will do.
Conversely what a 30% improvement in core speed might do.

I suspect you are reasonably well balanced now.

Your likely best upgrade will be to a stronger graphics card.
That should be a biggish jump to a GTX1060 6gb or better.
Anything less will not be that significant.

Your I3-4170 is a very nice gamer with 4 threads and a 3.7 clock.
Your strongest upgrade for a lga1150 motherboard will be a I7-4790K.
It runs at 4.0 stock. Most games can effectively use only 2-3 threads so the extra I7 threads may not be that useful.
If your motherboard is a Z motherboard, capable of overclocking, a I5-4690K with an overclock could be better.

Hope your need is for graphics since any cpu upgrade will not be cheap