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Question Gaming pc upgrade advice

bropeasley

Honorable
Dec 5, 2014
64
0
10,630
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A while back I built my first gaming pc on budget which I am still using to this day (h170m pro4s mobo, i5 6500 cpu, 8g ddr4 hyperx 2133 ram, r9 280x gpu) a few years later my r9 280x had to go and I went with a gtx 1080 with plans to upgrade piece by piece over time... its now been a couple more years and im still sitting with the same pc just a gtx 1080 instead of a r9 280x.. im finally getting the urge to upgrade and am at a bit of loss where to start, first I thought well more ram becasue 8g doesnt quite cut it anymore, but I ran into the fact my mobo only supports 2133 mhz ram (not sure if this is considered good anymore..) So my question is basically, is it worth buying more ram at 2133 mhz or.. should I upgrade, and if I upgrade id need to upgrade my mobo, if I upgrade my mobo I might as well upgrade my i5 6500 at the same time. I dont really want to sink another $600+ into my build but if thats the best solution I guess its what I will do.

long question made short...
is it time to upgrade my mobo and buy better ram, or does anyone have cheaper solutions that they think would be plenty good enough?
 

R_1

Illustrious
Ambassador
For your consideration

a new trinity, CPU, RAM and Mobo
CPU is more a lateral step but I leave a faster unit to your budget, motherboard is likewise a placeholder, if you need mATX get one. RAM I went with fast units and lots of it. the 1600AF is basically a 2600 in old clothes.

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 1600 (12nm) 3.2 GHz 6-Core Processor ($104.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock B450 Pro4 ATX AM4 Motherboard ($103.98 @ Newegg)
Memory: OLOy 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3600 CL18 Memory ($124.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $333.96
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2020-06-13 10:35 EDT-0400
 
Intel does not depend much on fast ram speeds.
2133 is fine.
8gb is very minimum and not good if you have any apps open while gaming.
If you want 16gb, my suggestion
is to buy a 2 x 8gb kit that matches your current specs.
CPU-Z will tell you your current specs of speed, voltage and timings.
You will have a guaranteed 16gb in dual channel mode.
Then, try adding in your old 8gb,
If it works, good; you now have 24gb.
If not, sell the old ram or keep it as a spare.

What kinds of games do you play?
If you play fast action games or game at 1440P or 4k, then a graphics card upgrade
would be in order.
Here is a simple test:
Run YOUR games, but lower your resolution and eye candy.
This makes the graphics card loaf a bit.
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.

You do have some processor upgrades available to your motherboard, but if you need to go that route, look at 10th gen intel or ryzen current gen.
You will need not only a processor, but a motherboard and ddr4 ram as well.
 

Vic 40

Polypheme
Ambassador
For your consideration

a new trinity, CPU, RAM and Mobo
CPU is more a lateral step but I leave a faster unit to your budget, motherboard is likewise a placeholder, if you need mATX get one. RAM I went with fast units and lots of it. the 1600AF is basically a 2600 in old clothes.

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 1600 (12nm) 3.2 GHz 6-Core Processor ($104.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock B450 Pro4 ATX AM4 Motherboard ($103.98 @ Newegg)
Memory: OLOy 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3600 CL18 Memory ($124.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $333.96
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2020-06-13 10:35 EDT-0400
That motherboard supports up to 3200mhz ram. No need to get anything higher speed and if 3200mhz is cheaper could he maybe invest the extra cash to something else.
 

bropeasley

Honorable
Dec 5, 2014
64
0
10,630
0
Intel does not depend much on fast ram speeds.
2133 is fine.
8gb is very minimum and not good if you have any apps open while gaming.
If you want 16gb, my suggestion
is to buy a 2 x 8gb kit that matches your current specs.
CPU-Z will tell you your current specs of speed, voltage and timings.
You will have a guaranteed 16gb in dual channel mode.
Then, try adding in your old 8gb,
If it works, good; you now have 24gb.
If not, sell the old ram or keep it as a spare.

What kinds of games do you play?
If you play fast action games or game at 1440P or 4k, then a graphics card upgrade
would be in order.
Here is a simple test:
Run YOUR games, but lower your resolution and eye candy.
This makes the graphics card loaf a bit.
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.

You do have some processor upgrades available to your motherboard, but if you need to go that route, look at 10th gen intel or ryzen current gen.
You will need not only a processor, but a motherboard and ddr4 ram as well.
I think im leaning towards getting more ram and looking at a cpu upgrade and using that as a temporary solution, any cpu you might recommend? and 1440p is what im aiming for.. but I dont really play and triple a high demand games, mostly things like overwatch, league, csgo, etc..
 

bropeasley

Honorable
Dec 5, 2014
64
0
10,630
0
also my reason for wanting to upgrade is because im going from a 1080 monitor to a 1440, the most graphic intense game I play is the newest call of duty, when there are issues its always related to either my memory or cpu
really I just want something that can reach above 60 fps..80-100? on a 1440p 144hz monitor on the games I mentioned.. I imagine thats possible with the gtx 1080 and a few upgrades to the rest of my system
 
Last edited:
My suggestion is to upgrade your monitor first.
Then, you will have a better idea on what you need for a graphics card.
Once there, run this test:
Run YOUR games, but lower your resolution and eye candy.
This makes the graphics card loaf a bit.
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.

If you are cpu limited, pay attention to the single thread performance of your options.
Here is the cpu support list for your motherboard:
https://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/H170M Pro4s/#CPU
The strongest would be a i7-7700K.
But, even used, they still command a high price, about $300 used on ebay.
Use the passmark ratings to compare specs.
Your i5-6500 has 4 threads and a rating of 5658. That is when all 4 threads are fully utilized.
The single thread rating is 2122. That is most important for games.
https://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=Intel+Core+i5-6500+@+3.20GHz&id=2599
The i7-7700K has 8 threads and a rating of 9735/2776
https://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=Intel+Core+i7-7700K+@+4.20GHz&id=2874

My suggestion if you need a cpu upgrade is to go directly to a current gen package.
DDR4 ram costs no more, about $60 for a 2 x 8gb kit.
https://www.newegg.com/g-skill-16gb-288-pin-ddr4-sdram/p/N82E16820232417
A current lga1200 motherboard might be $60
https://www.newegg.com/p/N82E16813157931?&quicklink=true
A i5-10400 is $182
https://www.newegg.com/intel-core-i5-10400-core-i5-10th-gen/p/N82E16819118135
Early passmark ratings have few samples, but it looks like 12 threads, 13177 rating, single thread is 2620
https://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=Intel+Core+i5-10400+@+2.90GHz&id=3737
A much better buy for $300.
 

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