Question How can I upgrade my Build to push it just a bit?

Aug 20, 2020
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Hello.
I'm competent enough to build a pc on my own, but I'm lacking the high enough level of technical knowledge to answer this question on my own.

I need to upgrade my Gaming Budget Build:

Gygabyte Aorus B450 M MicrotATX AM4 - Motherboard
AMD Ryzen 5 1600AF
16G DDR 4-3200 RAM (2x8)

Video card is:
XFX RX 570 4GB GDDR5

I also have 2x 2.5 SSDs, and a EVGA 450W 80+ Bronze Power Supply

It works great so far, and most of the modern games I play (Dark Souls, Dark Souls 2, Portal, Portal 2) run great, at 4k, at 60fps.

But recently, I tried Fallout 4 and Dark Souls 3 at 4k, and the Framerate really lacks. Getting mostly Under 40fps, at times 20fps.

So, I wanted to upgrade my build, and since it looks like it doesn't need much, maybe just a little push, I wanted to know WHAT I could upgrade to give it that extra push.

I thought about buying an Extra Video card (since they're relatively cheap) to do a Crossfire upgrade (I'm still learning about this process).
But I want to know if there is something else simpler that I Could do to upgrade the setup.

Also, if I do do the Crossfire upgrade, will the setup even be able to fully take advantage of it?
The motherboard listing say it has 2 x PCIe 16 slots, but I only see 1.
The second PCIe slot says "PCIe 4" on the actual motherboard, so I think they advertise it as PCIe 16 because it's physically the same size, but it's not an actual PCIe 16 slot.
Would installing the extra Video Card on the PCIe 4 slot even make much of a difference??

Thanks for your help in advance.

-Ron
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
Crossfire and SLI are almost universally dead. Sell your current graphics card and get a more capable one. You are WAY underpowered for 4k gaming.

Are you running at low settings or something?

In reality, your FPS are slow because your CPU is not capable of keeping the frame rate high AND for games that are GPU bound, your frame rate is low because your card is not capable enough for 4k gaming at anything beyond probably low, or a mixture of low and medium settings. Especially in any game that requires more than a potato.

Forget about crossfire. There are very few games being optimized with multi card profiles anymore, and it simply makes no sense. Just get a better card and sell what you have now or keep it for backup and troubleshooting purposes.
 
Aug 20, 2020
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Crossfire and SLI are almost universally dead. Sell your current graphics card and get a more capable one. You are WAY underpowered for 4k gaming.

Are you running at low settings or something?

In reality, your FPS are slow because your CPU is not capable of keeping the frame rate high AND for games that are GPU bound, your frame rate is low because your card is not capable enough for 4k gaming at anything beyond probably low, or a mixture of low and medium settings. Especially in any game that requires more than a potato.

Forget about crossfire. There are very few games being optimized with multi card profiles anymore, and it simply makes no sense. Just get a better card and sell what you have now or keep it for backup and troubleshooting purposes.
So, there's no way to upgrade what I already have?

The games I play run just fine at 4k, 60fps, with Ultra Settings. So, regardless of whether the build is underpowered or not, it gets the job done,...except for in the instance I mentioned.
So, it's not big deal at all to me if I can't get better performance with this build. I didn't build it for performance, the priority was to make the cheapest build I could muster.

Thanks for your suggestion, but buying a new card is beside the point of this post.

Ron.
 

poorbugger

Honorable
Nov 28, 2015
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So, there's no way to upgrade what I already have?

The games I play run just fine at 4k, 60fps, with Ultra Settings. So, regardless of whether the build is underpowered or not, it gets the job done,...except for in the instance I mentioned.
So, it's not big deal at all to me if I can't get better performance with this build. I didn't build it for performance, the priority was to make the cheapest build I could muster.

Thanks for your suggestion, but buying a new card is beside the point of this post.

Ron.
You cant really upgrade anything other than the gpu at this point to get a performance boost. Like DarkBreeze said, sell the gpu and get something better with more vram as well.
 

RTX 2080

Commendable
Jun 8, 2020
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If you want to buy another RX 570 and try to mess with crossfire, nobody is going to stop you, its your money. However, the performance gains that you might get are unlikely to be proportional to the amount of money that you spend. Do you know if Fallout 4 and Dark Souls 3 support crossfire at all? If so, is it at all optimized? You never get full utilization of both GPUs in a multi-GPU setup, its always a compromise of some sort.

Besides that, there's also the question of whether your relatively low-powered PSU can support two RX 570s at once. They're rated for 120 watts apiece, but they can definitely draw more than that.

I know you're looking for a cheap way to get more performance; everybody wants that, so its not like everyone is going to push you to spend a lot of money needlessly. It's not going to be as simple as slapping in another cheap RX 570 and calling it a day though.
 
Aug 20, 2020
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Thanks for your answer. Very insightful.

Money is not a problem at all. The reason I built this was to sharpen up my PC building skills, which I had not done in about 15 years.

When considering Crossfire, I was going to get a new PSU as well. I was cognizant of the power usage increase.

The question still stands though. I know I gave the reasons I would want to upgrade my built, but the question is literally JUST:
"How CAN I upgrade this build, as it is??"

As I said, Money is not an issue at all. That's why I came to Tom's Hardware to get an answer to this.......instead of Newegg, and pull out my credit card, to get what will accomplish what I want.

But if the hard answer is "Your current build is not really upgrade-able, and Crossfire will not accomplish enough to warrant buying the extra GPU", then I can accept that.

If you guys have any other ideas, I'm still all ears.

-Ron
 

DSzymborski

Polypheme
Moderator
Thanks for your answer. Very insightful.

Money is not a problem at all. The reason I built this was to sharpen up my PC building skills, which I had not done in about 15 years.

When considering Crossfire, I was going to get a new PSU as well. I was cognizant of the power usage increase.

The question still stands though. I know I gave the reasons I would want to upgrade my built, but the question is literally JUST:
"How CAN I upgrade this build, as it is??"

As I said, Money is not an issue at all. That's why I came to Tom's Hardware to get an answer to this.......instead of Newegg, and pull out my credit card, to get what will accomplish what I want.

But if the hard answer is "Your current build is not really upgrade-able, and Crossfire will not accomplish enough to warrant buying the extra GPU", then I can accept that.

If you guys have any other ideas, I'm still all ears.

-Ron
That's pretty much the hard answer. Significant upgrades almost always mean new parts one place or another. The days you could eke out significant gains from an overclock here or a tune there are largely in the past as many of the things that used to be done have already been moved to the CPU, chipsets, motherboards, etc.
 

Turtle Rig

Prominent
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Jun 23, 2020
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Crossfire and SLI are almost universally dead. Sell your current graphics card and get a more capable one. You are WAY underpowered for 4k gaming.

Are you running at low settings or something?

In reality, your FPS are slow because your CPU is not capable of keeping the frame rate high AND for games that are GPU bound, your frame rate is low because your card is not capable enough for 4k gaming at anything beyond probably low, or a mixture of low and medium settings. Especially in any game that requires more than a potato.

Forget about crossfire. There are very few games being optimized with multi card profiles anymore, and it simply makes no sense. Just get a better card and sell what you have now or keep it for backup and troubleshooting purposes.
I must agree cold heartedly with DarkBreeze as SLI died long time ago and nVidia knows it and Crossfire is dead as well. As for 4k gaming on your system your better of at 2k resolution high or ultra high settings and turning on graphics in the panel and using AA methods like MSAA and so on. You will not see any jaggies I promise. Using for 4k is just going to make things smaller and not allow you to use AA methods and put the game on crummy settings and get low frame rates. Not even the 3080Ti if I were to get one which Im not; I would not put it to 4k resolution turn on AA methods max out everything as you will not achieve proper triple digits FPS in AAA games to match your displays refresh rate and you will get nice drops in FPS. 4k resolution is great for desktop but not for games imho. 👨🏽‍🦲🙈
 
Aug 20, 2020
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Hello.
Maybe I shouldn't have mentioned any games or frame rates or resolutions.
Really, my question was quite simple: How do I upgrade my current build?

As I said, if the answer is: You can't.
I can accept that. But the crux of my problem is "how" I can upgrade the build - not "what is a solution so I Can play X game in 4k, at 60fps".

I gave, as an example, Dark Souls 3 and Fallout 4, as a benchmark for what I'm shooting to do with it. Nothing higher performance-demanding than these 6 and 7 year old games.

Like asking "What's the biggest size tire I can buy for my car?" The size is only so big before the car is not driveable, or the tire just doesn't fit in the well.
All I'm asking is "is there an extra component I can buy, or install, to upgrade my setup."

What I'm gathering from all your replies is that "No, not really upgradeable . The only way to get better performance is to replace your current card with a better one" is the answer to "How to get better performance."
Which is fine, but I just wanted to know if there was a way to just upgrade the current build.

I feel bad that the conversation got a little heated, so I'm sorry to those that got caught in the crossfire. No pun intended.

I think I can consider my question answered.
Thanks for all your replies.

-Ron
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
This would be the best, and first, upgrade (Or something along these lines) that I'd be wanting to look at if that were my system and I wanted to get a little better performance at 4k but was mostly happy with what I had right now.

I have to be completely honest though, unless you are playing Minecraft, or some other incredibly potato-ish type game, I find it VERY hard to believe that you are able to play DS3 and Fallout 4, or any other AAA titles, at 4k ultra settings because I've been around the block a time or two, as have practically every other veteran member of this forum, and I simply do not believe anybody is able to run those games at 4k ultra with an RX 570. Either you are mistaken about the resolution or you are mistaken about having playable frame rates, but that's largely irrelevant to the question of "how can I upgrade the build", and here would be my recommendation on that since you say money is not the problem but you don't need anything too over the top either.


PCPartPicker Part List

Video Card: EVGA GeForce RTX 2060 6 GB KO GAMING Video Card ($309.99 @ Walmart)
Power Supply: SeaSonic FOCUS Gold 550 W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-modular ATX Power Supply ($94.99 @ B&H)
Total: $404.98
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2020-08-21 00:56 EDT-0400


It IS worth testing however, by dropping your settings down to medium from ultra, or to low from medium or high, depending on the game, to see if the frame rates go up or not. If they do not go up, then you are probably CPU bound in that game and a CPU upgrade might be the better decision. Fortunately, you can do that too, without having to change motherboards.

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600 3.6 GHz 6-Core Processor ($174.99 @ Walmart)
Total: $174.99
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2020-08-21 00:58 EDT-0400



And it might be that that is the way to go anyhow to start with, because the truth is that the Ryzen 2600 is not going to give you terrific performance on anything that wants to see strong single core performance, and your CPU is essentially a Ryzen 2600.
 

RTX 2080

Commendable
Jun 8, 2020
1,098
279
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Hello.
Maybe I shouldn't have mentioned any games or frame rates or resolutions.
Really, my question was quite simple: How do I upgrade my current build?

As I said, if the answer is: You can't.
I can accept that. But the crux of my problem is "how" I can upgrade the build - not "what is a solution so I Can play X game in 4k, at 60fps".

I gave, as an example, Dark Souls 3 and Fallout 4, as a benchmark for what I'm shooting to do with it. Nothing higher performance-demanding than these 6 and 7 year old games.

Like asking "What's the biggest size tire I can buy for my car?" The size is only so big before the car is not driveable, or the tire just doesn't fit in the well.
All I'm asking is "is there an extra component I can buy, or install, to upgrade my setup."

What I'm gathering from all your replies is that "No, not really upgradeable . The only way to get better performance is to replace your current card with a better one" is the answer to "How to get better performance."
Which is fine, but I just wanted to know if there was a way to just upgrade the current build.

I feel bad that the conversation got a little heated, so I'm sorry to those that got caught in the crossfire. No pun intended.

I think I can consider my question answered.
Thanks for all your replies.

-Ron
I think part of the confusion is that most people ask questions on here when they:

A. Need advice on how to fix something or
B. Want to know what to buy to get X level of performance (either with their current rig, or by buying a new PC).

So people tried to tell you what to do/not do to hit your performance goals because that is what they thought you were asking.
 
Aug 20, 2020
41
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This would be the best, and first, upgrade (Or something along these lines) that I'd be wanting to look at if that were my system and I wanted to get a little better performance at 4k but was mostly happy with what I had right now.

I have to be completely honest though, unless you are playing Minecraft, or some other incredibly potato-ish type game, I find it VERY hard to believe that you are able to play DS3 and Fallout 4, or any other AAA titles, at 4k ultra settings because I've been around the block a time or two, as have practically every other veteran member of this forum, and I simply do not believe anybody is able to run those games at 4k ultra with an RX 570. Either you are mistaken about the resolution or you are mistaken about having playable frame rates, but that's largely irrelevant to the question of "how can I upgrade the build", and here would be my recommendation on that since you say money is not the problem but you don't need anything too over the top either.


PCPartPicker Part List

Video Card: EVGA GeForce RTX 2060 6 GB KO GAMING Video Card ($309.99 @ Walmart)
Power Supply: SeaSonic FOCUS Gold 550 W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-modular ATX Power Supply ($94.99 @ B&H)
Total: $404.98
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2020-08-21 00:56 EDT-0400


It IS worth testing however, by dropping your settings down to medium from ultra, or to low from medium or high, depending on the game, to see if the frame rates go up or not. If they do not go up, then you are probably CPU bound in that game and a CPU upgrade might be the better decision. Fortunately, you can do that too, without having to change motherboards.

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600 3.6 GHz 6-Core Processor ($174.99 @ Walmart)
Total: $174.99
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2020-08-21 00:58 EDT-0400



And it might be that that is the way to go anyhow to start with, because the truth is that the Ryzen 2600 is not going to give you terrific performance on anything that wants to see strong single core performance, and your CPU is essentially a Ryzen 2600.

Thanks so much.

I might consider building a second build with these specs.

As far as the gaming experience - I could probably make a video of it.
As I write this, I'm playing Dark Souls 2-SotfS.
With the RX 570
At High settings (it doesn't go to Ultra)
At 4k (3840x2160), on a true 4k signal on my tv.
And getting cosistent 60 FPS. Maybe dropped down to 52-54 if there are too many enemies on the screen.

But I just finished playing Dark Souls 1-Rem.
And it was the same thing. 4k (3840 x 2160) at 60FPS about 95% of the time. The only time it would drop would be on the Sif fight, which everyone seems to have a drop of fps, no matter how good your rig is.

That's why I thought that I could just slightly upgrade this current system to get a little more oompf out of it.

But you guys are right, if I want an extra gear on the Stick Shift, I'd need to get a whole new Video Card.

Thanks for your help.

-Ron
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
You could certainly try just slapping an RX 580 in there. It WOULD give you an extra gear, above your RX 570, but you would definitely also want to replace the power supply as well with at least a decent quality 550w or higher unit. Not a terrific upgrade, but it gives you a good bump for a 160-190 dollar investment, plus the power supply, which is always just an investment in the rest of your hardware not getting killed sooner than necessary anyhow.
 
The RX 570 isn't enough for 4K resolution gaming. While it might be able to do it for some less demanding games try medium to high settings at 4K on The Witcher 3. That game isn't even new. Many more demanding titles are going to be coming soon as we are on the cusp of a new generation for not only graphics cards but consoles as well. And when those kinds of releases line up perfectly like that you'll tend to get much better looking games but that comes at a price. You'll want at least an RX 5700 XT and even then that's not really a 4K card but more a 1440p card. If I were to get a card for 4K today... Ignoring the impending release of big navi and ampere I'd either get an RTX 2080 Super or RTX 2080 ti and I'd lean more toward the 2080 ti. It's tough and I know it sucks but you'll need an RTX 2080 ti at least if you wanna game at 4K and wanna do it for a few years.
 
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Here's a video I captured, playing Dark Souls 2 SotfS.
4K, High Settings, 50-60FPS.

View: https://youtu.be/dyUcfdvr858



Thank all of you for your replies.
I think we've shifted the topic too much from my original "How can I upgrade my build?" to "What will get me 4K Gaming?"
As I've said before, I have deep pockets, and I could click twice on my mouse, and buy the most expensive video card to get 4k, or 8k gaming, at 60fps.

But that wasn't the original question, and that wasn't the original intent. I was just trying to ask how I could upgrade this build, as if you were teaching a 10 year old to build computers, and you'd teach them about upgrading. Of course, your instruction wouldn't be "Just have your dad buy you a new Video Card." That would completely miss the point of teaching about building and upgrading a computer.

Again, I thank all of you for your passionate replies. I think I've gotten more than enough for an answer on my question.

-Ron
 

DSzymborski

Polypheme
Moderator
Here's a video I captured, playing Dark Souls 2 SotfS.
4K, High Settings, 50-60FPS.

View: https://youtu.be/dyUcfdvr858



Thank all of you for your replies.
I think we've shifted the topic too much from my original "How can I upgrade my build?" to "What will get me 4K Gaming?"
As I've said before, I have deep pockets, and I could click twice on my mouse, and buy the most expensive video card to get 4k, or 8k gaming, at 60fps.

But that wasn't the original question, and that wasn't the original intent. I was just trying to ask how I could upgrade this build, as if you were teaching a 10 year old to build computers, and you'd teach them about upgrading. Of course, your instruction wouldn't be "Just have your dad buy you a new Video Card." That would completely miss the point of teaching about building and upgrading a computer.

Again, I thank all of you for your passionate replies. I think I've gotten more than enough for an answer on my question.

-Ron
I think people are talking about things like your wanting to play Dark Souls III and stuff like that with much greater system requirements.

 
Aug 20, 2020
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I think people are talking about things like your wanting to play Dark Souls III and stuff like that with much greater system requirements.

Right. That's why said that maybe I shouldn't have said anything about any games and should have only asked about upgrading the rig.
I built this pc for 2 reasons:
  • To sharpen up my 25 year old rusty skills
  • To play Emus: Street Fighter 2, Pacman, Altered Beast, Marvel vs Capcom, Asteroids, Michael Jackson's Moonwalker, etc.
And it accomplished both.
I only started playing more modern games on it to test out how much I could push it. The most, so far, is the Dark Souls games, at the aformentioned resolution and framerate. I also played Portal 1 and 2, with the same successful results.
But this build is by no mean a "Serious Gaming Build". This was my "I'm going to throw away $500 of $hit at the wall and see if it all sticks." And it did so, I'm pretty happy.
The reason I posted this question on here was to see if there was a way to push it even further, as after trying all the other games successfully with the highest resolutions and the highest framerates, I thought I'd try out more performance-heavy titles - that's where the Fallout 4 and Dark Souls 3 came in. And that's where I got my answer to "how far can I push it?" - not that far.
I don't plan on playing newer AAA titles, and again, that's not what this build was for anyways. If I want to start playing heavier-demanding titles, I'll probably build a 2nd Rig, for "Modern Gaming".

-R.
 

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