Question Must I change other components when changing graphic card?

Mar 28, 2020
10
0
10
0
Hey guys, what with this worldwide lockdown I thought it would be the right moment to update my PC. My boyfriend is adamant that if I change my Graphic Card, I must also upgrade the Processor and other things. Other forums have said it's not always necessary but I don't want to risk messing up my rig so I'd rather check out with you guys if it's okay or not.

I have this graphic card :
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560

And this processor :
Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-3770K CPU @ 3,50GHz

I also have 16GB of RAM, am running W10, I bought the computer new back in 2013, it came with an SSD and a HDD, I've recently bought a second HDD, and I don't know what other relevant info I could give you :/
Also how long are SSDs supposed to last? Maybe I should start looking into changing that too or should it be fine for a few more years?

My problem is that my graphic card is considered old and I can't stream to Discord or correctly play any new fancy games so I really want to change that, what would you recommend?

Thanks!

Elea
 
The simple answer is no, you don't have to. Some people may want to upgrade an entire system, but it really isn't mandatory.

The question you have to ask is whether the PC is doing everything you want it to. If it doesn't then identifying what sort of upgrade is suitable for your usage is the important factor. Insofar you have identified two areas where your PC isn't quite performing how you want it, then you'll benefit from a system upgrade if you choose the correct components.

The one thing missing to help you with potential builds is what is your display resolution and refresh rate. And what sort of games are you playing?
 
Reactions: MancgoChutney
Mar 28, 2020
10
0
10
0
Hi, thanks for answering so fast!

It is doing everything I ask of it, except playing higher resolution games and streaming on Discord for my friends.

For example, Borderlands 3 only works on low resolution, other than that I don't play any greedy games, but I haven't bought the Witcher 3 or Red Dead Redemption 2 because I know they won't work (but I'd still like to get'em!).
The latest driver update for my graphic card was released by NVIDIA back in November 2018.

My display resolution is 1920x1080, with 60 Hz.
 
Hm... the i7-3770K should still hold its own in most tasks, but perhaps shows its age a bit now depending on the tasks. I would suggest a graphics card upgrade, eg. GTX 1660 Super/ti, to see if it helps with your overall experience. The graphics card, and some other components, can be carried over to a new build if the PC still lacks a little in performance.

With games beginning to take more advantage of more cores and threads, then I believe a Ryzen 5 3600 would be the minimal upgrade to recommend. This will help with multitasking like streaming. However it requires a new motherboard and RAM too. I would aim for something like the following if you do a comprehensive upgrade:

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600 3.6 GHz 6-Core Processor ($174.99 @ B&H)
Motherboard: MSI B450 TOMAHAWK MAX ATX AM4 Motherboard ($114.99 @ Best Buy)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper X 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3600 Memory ($78.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6 GB XC BLACK GAMING Video Card ($243.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $612.95
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2020-03-28 11:13 EDT-0400


This will depend on how much you can afford and willing to spend, of course. (Which I should have asked as well....) Take this as a tentative suggestion of a possible upgrade.
 
Reactions: MancgoChutney
Mar 28, 2020
10
0
10
0
Heya, I was thinking about spending 500€ overall, but depending on what components must be changed I'm willing to pay a bit more as I'd rather get good components now and not have to change again for another few years.

My main worry here is compatibility, can I upgrade the Graphic Card and it would work with the CPU I have? I've been told some components only work with specific brands/types of components.
Also is there a brand you'd recommend particularly? I've always had Intel CPUs, so I don't know how AMD compares for example.

Should I spend a bit more and get a 7 core processor which is what I had previously or is there little to no difference between 6 and 7 cores?

The GTX 1660 Ti looks fine to me, not too recent so I don't break the bank while still doing what I need, thanks!
 
I believe we'd have to go back to older motherboards (and chipsets) to start seeing some actual compatibility problems. Modern graphics cards use PCIe x16 slots which are effectively forwards and backwards compatible. There are some caveats to that, mostly associated with prebuilt PCs, eg. Dell or HP. Any idea what your motherboard is?

Currently, AMD are in the ascendancy. Price competitive and good performance. Generally speaking Intel CPUs are best if only gaming, while AMD CPUs are good for gaming and multitasking (also true for the i9-9900K, but that's quite expensive). To see if Intel can redress this balance we'd need to see what their next generation of CPUs offer.

Cores (and threads) go up in even numbers. Your i7-3770K is 4 cores/8 threads.
The Ryzen 5 3600 has 6c/12t; Intel i5s have 6c/6t.
The Ryzen 7s have 8c/16t; Intel i7s have 8c/8t.
The Ryzen 9s have 12c/24t or 16c/36t; Intel i9s with 8c/16t.

Now, whether there is a performance difference with number of cores is dependent on the software you're using. Older games can be limited to 2c/2t, so a 6c/12t CPU won't give any performance advantage (except clockspeed). Those extra cores/threads are like extra pairs of hands; useful if there's the additional work for them to do.

Curiously, the GTX 1660 ti is actually amongst the current generation of Nvidia's graphics cards, but without the ray tracing features of the RTX cards.
 
Reactions: MancgoChutney
Mar 28, 2020
10
0
10
0
Wow that's super thorough! Thanks heaps!

Okay now I get why he was so sure that there would be compatibility problems, I'm glad it's no longer an issue.

My motherboard is an ASUS, P8Z77-V LX, it's a prebuilt PC but it comes from a company which builds them themselves (STEG Electronics), so hopefully there aren't any caveats as you mentioned.

I like the multitasking part, I regularly use the Adobe Suite so I guess AMD is indeed a better choice. I'm not necessarily looking for a very high performance, as long as the games and the Adobe programs run smoothly. The CPU I have has no issues with Adobe programs, or with the games I generally play so I'm not really looking for anything much better, but I'm totally okay with changing it and upgrading slightly!

By the way, my PSU is a Aurum Series, AU-600, total power 600W, I was told it's good enough so hopefully I can keep that part depending on what I get.
 
Last edited:
Asus motherboards should be fine. It's the motherboards in prebuilts from Dell, and the likes, where more care should be taken as they tend to use proprietary motherboards.

Adobe software traditionally favoured Intel CPUs. The current generation of AMD Ryzen 3000 series CPUs has shown AMD have caught up (and even surpassing Intel at the top end). So a switch to AMD could still be beneficial for your usage. The main reason I mentioned the Ryzen 5 3600 is because it would be the lowest tier CPU you should consider to see some overall improvement to your usage. My friend made this upgrade (from an i7-3770K) and says the experience is a lot smoother.

Not familiar with the PSU. My concern would be age more than anything, but a good PSU can certainly be used in a new build.

For piece of mind it's possible to use software like HWiNFO to find the voltage readings on the motherboard. Or enter BIOS for those voltage readings. We'd be looking for the readings on the 3.3V, 5V and 12V parts. A good working PSU should have readings within 5%, 5% and 10% of the ideal voltage; readings outside of that likely means the PSU is failing.
 
Reactions: MancgoChutney
Mar 28, 2020
10
0
10
0
Hey so I've been checking out the parts you suggested, I'm totally going with the GC you suggested and the CPU, I just have a couple of questions about the MB :

- Should I also invest in an extra fan for it? My current Intel uses the one it came with but it looks tiny, are the AMD fans more efficient? (They look like they're almost 4x the size of the Intel one...)

- Should I get a different thermal paste to the one that comes with the MB or is it just fine as it is? I've heard a lot of people say they buy it separately and apply it themselves.

I've found a tutorial where the guy actually shows the MB and the CPU before putting them together, as the only thing I've ever done on my PC is plug in an extra HDD, I'm kinda dreading putting all of this together... Though I did open up my exceedingly old Dell laptop when I kept getting BSOD to change the thermal paste which was fried so hopefully I should manage that haha!

I downloaded HWiNFO as you suggested, and I can't for the life of me find the voltage readings. I tried accessing the BIOS but apparently as my BIOS mode is Legacy and not UEFI there's no way for me to access it...
When I change the PSU, I'll check out this thread, unless you have any particular recommendations.

I was thinking maybe I'd keep the RAM I have as I it's already 16GB and working fine (I have four Kingston KHX1600C9D3/4GX), from what I can see I should be able to plug them into the MSI motherboard (the slots are in the same place as on my ASUS MB). Some people say they can last ages, but what is your opinion about that?

I think I'll spread out the expenses, and get the GC, MB and CPU now, and maybe change RAM and PSU in a couple of months if needed. But all the components in my PC are dated end of 2012 to be exact (except for a new HDD), is that considered really old for certain parts?
 
The stock cooler for the Ryzen CPUs are fine (comparatively better than Intel's). If the case has good airflow it should be fine.

With the stock cooler there is some thermal paste pre-applied to the heatsink at the bottom. So you don't need to buy additional thermal paste. (Though if you find you need to reinstall it, then having some is useful; and isopropyl alcohol in those circumstances).

I would say what they do in the video when installing the CPU cooler is unclear; I hope they removed the preapplied thermal paste because only one lot it required. Otherwise it could potentially spill out over the edges into the socket.

The voltage readings will be under the motherboard section. Open HWiNFO, select Sensors at the top and a pop up window should open. Scroll down to the motherboard section. It should look something like this:


For PSU I would consider Corsair RM series (currently using a Corsair RM750i so a little biased). The following thread is good for selection purposes:
https://linustechtips.com/main/topic/1116640-psu-tier-list-40/
Certainly make use of it when you do want to replace the PSU.

The RAM is an issue unfortunately. The reason I added in the RAM in the potential upgrade above is because your current system uses DDR3 RAM. The current modern motherboards use DDR4 RAM. And they are physically incompatible. So if you do upgrade the CPU (like the Ryzen 5 3600) you end up having to upgrade the motherboard and RAM.

One thing I did want to double check on is the BIOS side of things, but it seems current Nvidia RTX graphics cards work on your motherboard model.
https://www.userbenchmark.com/System/Asus-P8Z77-V-LX/1240
https://forums.tomshardware.com/threads/is-gtx-1660-upgrade-logical-in-this-situation.3513801/
 
Reactions: MancgoChutney
Mar 28, 2020
10
0
10
0
Okies, I have good airflow so it should be fine, that's good to know!

Also I've found the voltage readings, thanks! I just wasn't looking in the right part : https://ibb.co/jJBSwXX (I can't upload images directly into the post for some obscure reason)
I'm not sure I'm reading it correctly but it looks okay to me.

Too bad about the RAM, I guess I'll be adding that to my caddy too! I'm 200€ over budget, rofl!

On a side note, as it does appear that the GTX 1660 Ti is compatible with my motherboard, I'm thinking maybe I should only upgrade the card and keep going with my current MB and CPU. Or is there a high chance of the old components wearing out fast/suddenly dying because of a new greedier component?
I'm not asking because of the cost of all those new components, it's just that I hate throwing away stuff that still works and I can't decide which way to go =/
 
The voltage readings look fine as they're within tolerance thresholds.

One of the benefits of the GTX 1660 ti is its power efficiency. From what I could find it's more power efficient than your current GTX 560. One of the benefits of newer technology, so I wouldn't be concerned about wearing things out from a power draw standpoint.

I can understand being reluctant to make that large CPU, motherboard and RAM replacement given what you already have; which is my suggested route was to upgrade the graphics card first to see how well it does for you. Then you could decide whether to proceed with the rest.

One thing about longevity is keeping the key components, like CPU and GPU, cool. When was the last time you cleared the inside of the PC of dust? Especially in the CPU cooler and graphics card cooler. Dust build up could compromise the cooling. A can of compressed air will help here.
 
Reactions: MancgoChutney
Mar 28, 2020
10
0
10
0
Okies, I'll get the card then and see how that goes!

My PC is always on my desk so there is never much dust, I open it about once a year anyway as the fans are generally a bit dusty but that's about it. I'll get a can of compressed air anyway to have a serious go at the CPU because even though it looks fine you never know...

I'll let you know how it goes when I've installed it, thank you sooooooo much for your help :love:
 
Mar 28, 2020
10
0
10
0
Hey there Obakasama, just wanted to let you know I ordered the GPU and received it last week. Since I installed it, I've found out that Lara Croft and Geralt of Rivia actually do not have matted hair and I can now stream my multiple Dead by Daylight survivor deaths to my judgemental friends.
Will def get the new CPU, RAM and MB sometime this year!
Thanks again, take care :D
Elea
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS