Question New CPU/RAM or GPU for old machine?

Mar 14, 2020
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So I've been flip-flopping on this topic for a while now, I'm in a position where in the next few months I could either do a completely new pc build (but using my old HDDs/SSDs and graphics card) or buy a new graphics card. Which ever way I go, it will probably be another 6-12 months before the other option becomes possible again.

My primary reasons to upgrade are pretty much exclusively for VR. I have a 1080p monitor, and that's fine, but on a valve index (which is analagous to 2k-4k) I need far more graphical horsepower, especially for games like Fallout 4 VR where the assets are for pancake games. I am aware that the GPU will typically be the bottleneck at VR resolutions, but my system is somewhat aged and I'm concerned that even with a 3080, my CPU and DDR3 bandwidth might seriously limit any gains. Using FO4VR as my reference though (which is a CPU heavy game), my gpu is maxed out constantly whereas my cpu will generally be around 60-80%.

Current hardware;
AMD FX8370 overclocked to 4.2ghz
Biostar TA970 plus v5 (lousy VRMs...)
GTX1060 6GB (actually one card below recommended for Fallout4 VR apparently)
2x 8GB DDR3 RAM (XMP 1600 Mhz)

If I did a new system build I'd do it with the intention of not upgrading much for the next 5-8 years, so it'd be pricey and I'd be looking at;

AMD 3800x or 5800x (or 5700x if that becomes a thing)
MSI x570 MAG tomahawk (for overclocking later in system life cycle if needed)
Corsair LPX 2x 8GB 3600mhz
Phantek p500a case
PCIe usb 2.0 expansion card for win7 support (7 is on my secondary SSD)
USB DVD RW drive

I had planned this new build for the last month or so before thinking it might be wiser to wait for a larger VRAM variant of the 3080 to come out (10gb can be exceeded with modded FO4/Skyrim textures) and get that first, then if and when I need to I could do a new system after, maybe even wait for AM5 to come so I'm not buying in to a platform at the end of it's life cycle again as I did with my FX build.
 
Last edited:

SteveRX4

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Sep 29, 2020
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Get the new CPU/Mobo/Ram and put the 1060 in it till you can afford a better GPU.
Old AMD CPUs will strangle your 3080 - especially at low resolutions.
 
Mar 14, 2020
44
2
35
0
Get the new CPU/Mobo/Ram and put the 1060 in it till you can afford a better GPU.
Old AMD CPUs will strangle your 3080 - especially at low resolutions.
I'm not really concerned about gains at 1080p, I have a 3dtv as my main monitor which is locked to 60hz, so any gains on my desktop gaming will just be adding new tech/features like ray tracing. Which is great, but really besides the point as its just for pancake games.

I'm really asking about whether it would be of benefit in VR, where resolutions go from 1440p to 4k and frame rates can be 90fps or 120fps, that's far more important and the primary reason why I would upgrade at all. At the moment, my system can barely keep up and often has to simulate most of its frames (reprojection), but as both gpu and cpu are being spanked (the gpu is getting it far worse) I have to try and prioritise
 

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