Build Advice To Upgrade or To Build?

bmbrns88

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Feb 19, 2011
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The age old question, do I upgrade or do I build?

Current setup (Purchased new in June 2013)

  • Windows 10
  • Samsung 250 GB SSD
  • WD Blue 1TB Desktop Hard Disk Drive - 7200 RPM SATA 6Gb/s 64MB Cache 3.5 Inch
  • Intel Core i7-4770K Haswell Quad-Core 3.5 GHz
  • ZALMAN CNPS9900MAX-B 135mm Long life bearing CPU Cooler Blue LED
  • GIGABYTE GV-N770OC-2GD G-SYNC Support GeForce GTX 770 2GB 256-Bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.
  • Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
  • PC Power & Cooling Silencer MKIII Series 750 Watt 80+ Gold Semi-Modular
  • GIGABYTE GA-Z87X-UD3H LGA 1150 Intel Z87 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX
I fall in and out of gaming, but I love the Total War franchise and my current rig doesn't handle the new Warhammer titles very well. It runs, but not the way the game was intended to be played. I have disposable income, but I'd rather spend it on rock climbing gear, my other love. Should I upgrade the memory, GPU and HDD or does my processor make that pointless? I'm also worried about the age of the components that I'll keep. Give me some direction tech gods of Toms Hardware!
 

bmbrns88

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Feb 19, 2011
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I'd overclock the CPU, increase memory to 16gb & get a better GPU.

This guide has everything you need to know about your CPU (and more) as well as the software required for overclocking.

https://forums.tomshardware.com/threads/intel-temperature-guide.1488337/
This is EXACTLY what I was thinking, but I get so overwhelmed with the overclocking. I was hoping to use something like the Intel Overclock Tool to easily overclock it, but I was just as overwhelmed.
 

WildCard999

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Herald
This is EXACTLY what I was thinking, but I get so overwhelmed with the overclocking. I was hoping to use something like the Intel Overclock Tool to easily overclock it, but I was just as overwhelmed.
It's a bit of a process to do but could be worthwhile especially in your case as I'm pretty sure those Total War games are CPU dependent. The guide I posted is a bit overwhelming but it's probably the best one out there.

Here's some of the main points.

-CPU should be under 80C while under heavy load, under 85C while benchmarking with Prime95 (Version 26.6 or AVX disabled). Test with Small FFT's for 1 hour.

-Max 1.3V vcore.

-Overclock 100mhz at a time. The guide advises to add 0.05V per 100mhz but I usually only increase the voltage when the overclock isn't stable. With the 4770K I'd start with Auto on the voltage and 4ghz.

When I had my 4770K I got a stable 4.3ghz @1.25V but this was with the Corsair H100i AIO cooler. That being said even if you had 10 samples they could all be different, be it different overclocks or voltages.

Unfortunately there's no easy way to overclock, auto OC programs often use too much voltage which could ruin your CPU later on (electromigration).

What is your max CPU & GPU usage while gaming?
https://www.cpuid.com/softwares/hwmonitor.html (Run this in the background while gaming and report the max usage).
 
Sep 15, 2019
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Overclock the CPU and better get a new graphics card. The game might seems old and fair bit easier to run but the games had some fair amount of upgrade that can cause the game to perform badly in your system.
 

bmbrns88

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Feb 19, 2011
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It's a bit of a process to do but could be worthwhile especially in your case as I'm pretty sure those Total War games are CPU dependent. The guide I posted is a bit overwhelming but it's probably the best one out there.

Here's some of the main points.

-CPU should be under 80C while under heavy load, under 85C while benchmarking with Prime95 (Version 26.6 or AVX disabled). Test with Small FFT's for 1 hour.

-Max 1.3V vcore.

-Overclock 100mhz at a time. The guide advises to add 0.05V per 100mhz but I usually only increase the voltage when the overclock isn't stable. With the 4770K I'd start with Auto on the voltage and 4ghz.

When I had my 4770K I got a stable 4.3ghz @1.25V but this was with the Corsair H100i AIO cooler. That being said even if you had 10 samples they could all be different, be it different overclocks or voltages.

Unfortunately there's no easy way to overclock, auto OC programs often use too much voltage which could ruin your CPU later on (electromigration).

What is your max CPU & GPU usage while gaming?
https://www.cpuid.com/softwares/hwmonitor.html (Run this in the background while gaming and report the max usage).

I used the tool when gaming last night. I played both Total War Warhammer 2 and Conqueror's Blade. My CPU hit 100%, but my GPU was in the high 90s. Both of these games were run on Medium graphics settings. How big of a performance boost can I expect with overclocking? It seems to me that both the CPU and GPU need upgraded.
 

WildCard999

Titan
Herald
Overclocking would help but I'm not entirely sure how much the improvement would be. You should try it before considering buying a new CPU, MB & RAM. AMD Ryzen 3rd gen gives great performance right out of the box for a good price so that would be what I'd recommend. Plus the extra cores/threads should be beneficial for those games.

If you were to get new parts this is what I'd get.

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 3.6 GHz 8-Core Processor ($329.00 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming 4 ATX AM4 Motherboard ($149.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws V Series 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3200 Memory ($73.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER 8 GB Video Card ($399.99 @ Best Buy)
Total: $952.97
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2019-09-24 13:11 EDT-0400
 
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