Question Need help determining upgrading either CPU or GPU on a budget.

aneeb

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May 21, 2011
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Hi there everyone!

I've been debating upgrading either my CPU or GPU and since I can't do both currently I need your help.

System specs are:

CPU: i3-4160
GPU: Sapphire R7-260X OC
SSD: 850 EVO 120GB
HDD: 1TB Blue 2012
RAM: Kingston 8GB 1333mhz
Mobo: Asus H81m-k

Onto my question, would it preferable to upgrade the CPU to something along the lines of an i5-4590 or would a GTX 1050ti be a better investment? I mostly play games at 720p60fps so not looking for anything massive. I cannot upgrade to a new mobo or a new generation of CPU due to monetary constraints.

Please advise the best course of action, I would greatly appreciate it thank you.
 

punkncat

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I would say depends.

According to your cash flow and projected time frame for another upgrade.

If you could come up with cash for a CPU/Mobo/RAM upgrade within the next six months to a year, I might suggest a better GPU first. With that said, given your display properties it will be a limiting factor very quickly.
Buying a CPU for the motherboard you have now is mostly a dead end. I would suggest rather than looking for the CPU itself that perhaps you look for a refurbished SFF system with a better CPU inside it, swap and then try and resale the SFF for what you can get or gift it to someone in need. It's not uncommon to find i7 SFF systems with or without OS in the $100 give or take range with a bit of looking.
 

aneeb

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May 21, 2011
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18,510
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I would say depends.

According to your cash flow and projected time frame for another upgrade.

If you could come up with cash for a CPU/Mobo/RAM upgrade within the next six months to a year, I might suggest a better GPU first. With that said, given your display properties it will be a limiting factor very quickly.
Buying a CPU for the motherboard you have now is mostly a dead end. I would suggest rather than looking for the CPU itself that perhaps you look for a refurbished SFF system with a better CPU inside it, swap and then try and resale the SFF for what you can get or gift it to someone in need. It's not uncommon to find i7 SFF systems with or without OS in the $100 give or take range with a bit of looking.
Hi there thank you very much for the response! Unfortunately I live in a third world country which makes the prices of any and all upgrades exponentially higher. Swapping out the CPU+RAM+Mobo is completely out of budget so my upgrade path would be to upgrade the CPU since the i3 is very limiting and then upgrading to a 1050ti or a 1060 at a later date.

So I guess i'm wondering for now what the best bang for buck upgrade would be, a dead end CPU upgrade albeit a significant upgrade to my i3, or waiting on the CPU and getting the 1050ti.

Thank you again for such a detailed response and I hope to hear your thoughts soon!
 

punkncat

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My answers probably will not mean as much in a foreign market.
Obviously you could search to see what 4th gen i5 or i7 are available....the issue I have most often found in this market is that i7 tend to stay really high priced, even when older.

There is a YouTube channel called TechYesCity and he swears by Ali Express as a worldwide retailer for inexpensive parts. Perhaps try there, if available to you?
 

aneeb

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May 21, 2011
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My answers probably will not mean as much in a foreign market.
Obviously you could search to see what 4th gen i5 or i7 are available....the issue I have most often found in this market is that i7 tend to stay really high priced, even when older.

There is a YouTube channel called TechYesCity and he swears by Ali Express as a worldwide retailer for inexpensive parts. Perhaps try there, if available to you?
In my price range I have the choice to upgrade my i3-4160 to an i5-4590/i5-4690, so what i'm wondering is for new titles at low-medium would this be a sufficient upgrade to see noticeable improvement or am I better off upgrading my current GPU to a 1050ti to see better improvements?

Obviously I realize these are low-end upgrades so it boils down to if you think they're worth it for my situation since I have no other options really. Thank you again for sticking through what I'm sure is a difficult and situational question.
 

punkncat

Respectable
In my price range I have the choice to upgrade my i3-4160 to an i5-4590/i5-4690, so what i'm wondering is for new titles at low-medium would this be a sufficient upgrade to see noticeable improvement or am I better off upgrading my current GPU to a 1050ti to see better improvements?

Obviously I realize these are low-end upgrades so it boils down to if you think they're worth it for my situation since I have no other options really. Thank you again for sticking through what I'm sure is a difficult and situational question.

I think the "worth it" would be very dependent on what you can purchase one for. I upgraded from a 4690 a couple of years ago and felt like it was a solid processor even then. I utilized it in the office until very recently and it's 'retirement' had more to do with motherboard issues than the proc.
It will bump you from 2 cores to 4 cores, so you should see a pretty vast improvement there. Might look at some vs. articles to get a better idea of what to expect.
In my recollection that CPU gamed just fine at 1080 medium settings with a GTX960. Games have come a way since then.

In my own opinion I would have a hard time justifying spending the kind of money an i7 costs, so with that said if you have to stretch some use out of the current rig this should be a pretty cost effective way to do so. More cores certainly won't hurt.
Along that line, take a look at some of the GPU hierarchy charts and find something well above the current unit to upgrade to, when you do.
 

aneeb

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May 21, 2011
13
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18,510
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I think the "worth it" would be very dependent on what you can purchase one for. I upgraded from a 4690 a couple of years ago and felt like it was a solid processor even then. I utilized it in the office until very recently and it's 'retirement' had more to do with motherboard issues than the proc.
It will bump you from 2 cores to 4 cores, so you should see a pretty vast improvement there. Might look at some vs. articles to get a better idea of what to expect.
In my recollection that CPU gamed just fine at 1080 medium settings with a GTX960. Games have come a way since then.

In my own opinion I would have a hard time justifying spending the kind of money an i7 costs, so with that said if you have to stretch some use out of the current rig this should be a pretty cost effective way to do so. More cores certainly won't hurt.
Along that line, take a look at some of the GPU hierarchy charts and find something well above the current unit to upgrade to, when you do.
Thank you this is exactly what I was wondering and I agree buying an i7 would not be worth the money since in my country it's at least 90 USD more. My thinking is to get the i5 for now and do a complete rig upgrade in 1-2 years. Thank you again for your insight it was really helpful, I'll hold off on the GPU upgrade for now as well and only go for the CPU.
 

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