Question Need help upgrading PC for Gaming (upgrading i5-6400 CPU to-i7 7700k good enough?)

Jun 6, 2020
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Hello,

I am not really a techy person so I am asking for help on what to upgrade on my PC. Any help would be appreciated.

Here is my build from 2016 and although it is not bad I did encounter a few games that I wanted to play but couldn't. (like I said I am not that techy to know what the problem is most of the time). I do other things like work on this computer but since I also do gaming most times. I think saying it's purpose would be gaming is better.

CPU: Intel Core i5 6400
Motherboard: MSI B150M GRENADE (MS-7A82)
RAM: I apologize I actually don't know, it could be G.SKILL Ripjaws V Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) as it looks the same.. I do know that it is DDR4 , 16gbs (total) and theres 2 of them.
GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050
Power Supply: CORSAIR - CX Series Modular CX750M 750W
Storage: Samsung SSD 860 EVO 1TB

I think this is all the info needed? if not, please tell me and I'll provide more info (if I can find it)

My budget is max $700 USD total but of course the less would be better. I've used Newegg or sometimes Amazon when I want to buy new components so that is preffered.
I do other things like work on this computer but since I also do gaming most times. I think saying it's purpose would be gaming is better. Expected purchase date is any time really, I can buy whenever.

As for my question, I really want to know if I can upgrade something. I looked up what the highest CPU my motherboard can support and it looks to be i7. I am thinking i7-7700k but i don't know if that's my best solution.

I am bottlenecking with some games, like Borderlands 3. I run the game at Medium but sometimes if there is too much shooting and mobs the CPU says 100%.

It also looks like my GPU isn't the best. Although my post mentions help with CPU, any other help to what I should be upgrading is appreciated.
I don't exactly know how to find out what GPU I can upgrade to. I was looking at NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 but thats like $800.

Apologies for the long post and I am not a native English speaker so I apologize for grammar errors and what not.
 
Where are you located, USA? There's currently a shortage of parts due to the pandemic, so don't be surprised to see things come and go out of stock frequently.

You wont find a 7700k or 6700k anywhere new, you'll have to look for a used unit, it will cost ~$250. It would be best to build a new system based on intels lga 1200 socket as a new motherboard and a 6 core 12 thread i5 10400 will cost ~$280.
Might want an aftermarket cooler as well.

The gtx 1080 is a last gen part, currently we have the rtx 2xxx series, to fit your budget you'd be looking at a RTX 2060(like a gtx1070Ti) or a RTX 2060 Super(like a gtx1080)
There's also the gtx 1660 super, it performs like a gtx 1070, if you wanna save some cash.

The amd rx5700 series gpu's are faster and cheaper, but they tend to have driver problems, and if you aren't too willing to spend time diagnosing, I wouldn't recommend.
 
If you can go for a CPU+Motherboard upgrade, it would be better to go to Ryzen rather than Intel, because their overall value is much better - so you'll essentially be paying less for very similar performance. I'd suggest checking your RAM speed out (use an application called CPU-Z) if it's less than 3000 MHz(in CPU-Z the speed shown will be 1500 MHz, but the actual speed is double of that) then sell your old RAM and get these parts:

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600 3.6 GHz 6-Core Processor ($166.89 @ Walmart)
Motherboard: MSI B450 TOMAHAWK MAX ATX AM4 Motherboard ($114.99 @ Best Buy)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws V 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3600 CL19 Memory ($66.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: MSI GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER 8 GB VENTUS GP OC Video Card ($394.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $743.86
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2020-06-07 00:21 EDT-0400


You can cover the extra $43 by selling your RAM and maybe the other parts as well.
 
Jun 6, 2020
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I really appreciate it guys. From the looks of it, it looks like getting a new motherboard is the solution you guys are telling me and along with a new GPU, CPU, and Memory as of course my old ones prolly won't work on the new motherboard.

As for my RAM speed, I downloaded CPU-Z but I am not sure which one I should be looking at. NB Frequency is at ~3091 MHz and DRAM Frequency is at ~1063 MHz.

maxamillionfeettall says to upgrade to an intel but Shektron says AMD is better than intel overall.

I read AMD is better overall because same performance for less $.

I guess I'll have to think about whether I am ready to buy a new Motherboard or not. This was a good computer 4 years ago but I think it's outdated now.

I'll wait until this pandemic settles down as it looks like some of the parts you guys mentioned are out of stock.

After researching it looks like AMD is kind of having an advantage due to price and performance, so I might be looking into picking what Shektron suggested.
 
I really appreciate it guys. From the looks of it, it looks like getting a new motherboard is the solution you guys are telling me and along with a new GPU, CPU, and Memory as of course my old ones prolly won't work on the new motherboard.

As for my RAM speed, I downloaded CPU-Z but I am not sure which one I should be looking at. NB Frequency is at ~3091 MHz and DRAM Frequency is at ~1063 MHz.

maxamillionfeettall says to upgrade to an intel but Shektron says AMD is better than intel overall.

I read AMD is better overall because same performance for less $.

I guess I'll have to think about whether I am ready to buy a new Motherboard or not. This was a good computer 4 years ago but I think it's outdated now.

I'll wait until this pandemic settles down as it looks like some of the parts you guys mentioned are out of stock.

After researching it looks like AMD is kind of having an advantage due to price and performance, so I might be looking into picking what Shektron suggested.
Your memory will be compatible with the new system, but it seems to be running at 2133 MHz, and that's too slow for Ryzen processors - the CPU's are affected by RAM speed a lot, and for 3rd gen Ryzen the sweet spot is actually 3600 MHz, which is why you should buy a new kit.
 
The reason I suggested intel was due to the lack of micro atx motherboards(OP's board is matx) available for a reasonable price for am4. Even the b450 tomahawk(full size atx) posted earlier is listed out of stock.
The 3600 will only work out of the box on boards like the msi b450 MAX series and x570, the new b550 series will work as well, but that hasn't been released yet.

But if you wait for the supply chain to catch up again, then you should definitely go amd, the 3600 is just too good of a chip :LOL:.
 
The reason I suggested intel was due to the lack of micro atx motherboards(OP's board is matx) available for a reasonable price for am4. Even the b450 tomahawk(full size atx) posted earlier is listed out of stock.
The 3600 will only work out of the box on boards like the msi b450 MAX series and x570, the new b550 series will work as well, but that hasn't been released yet.

But if you wait for the supply chain to catch up again, then you should definitely go amd, the 3600 is just too good of a chip :LOL:.
It's not necessary to go for B450 MAX boards only, that's just MSI's way to guarantee support - other manufacturers are simply putting the newer BIOS version in the older models, so they will also work but you'll just have to get a confirmation before buying a board. MSI's system is just more reliable and convenient, that's why it's recommended to go with their board. Doesn't mean other B450 boards won't run the 3600 out of the box, you'll just need to make sure they come with the newer BIOS.
 

vov4ik_il

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Mar 23, 2020
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I would wait for a month or two until the new Intel 10 series rush is over and things get restocked (maybe after the pandemic madness is over the pricing will get adjusted too). After that compare the prices and benchmark charts and make your own educated judgment call.

If you can't wait, the 7700k is the best your motherboard would support and you can get it used for about 300$ without making any other changes to your setup. It is still capable and performs about as good as the 5-3600 in most games, but is getting old, power-hungry, and 5-3600 + compatible motherboard will cost you about as much as 7700k alone.
On the other hand, B450 motherboards have a questionable future as to new CPU support and I do not see much sense in buying those today.

I would not just blindly follow neither red nor blue team prior to clearly seeing what is in it for me in my own use and scenario.

P.S 1050 is on the weak side today, you can get RTX2060 (or better 2070) and later upgrade the rest as you go. Independently piece by piece. Even with RTX series, there are rumors about 30xx to be introduced at some point this year which will knock the pricing down on the existing 20xx stuff. And again, compare the benchmark charts for the particular games you play and the prices.
 

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