Question Upgrade options

cburbs

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Jan 3, 2010
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Current setup:

Operating System: Windows 10 Home 64-bit
CPU: Intel Core i7 920 @ 2.67GHz Bloomfield 45nm Technology
RAM: 12.0GB Triple-Channel DDR3 @ 641MHz (8-8-8-20)
Motherboard: ASUSTeK Computer INC. Rampage II Extreme (LGA1366)
Graphics: 2047MB NVIDIA GeForce GT 730 (MSI) 27 °C
Storage: 931GB Crucial CT1000MX500SSD1 ATA Device (SATA (SSD))
Optical Drives: PLEXTOR DVDR PX-716A ATA Device
Audio: NVIDIA High Definition Audio
Power Supply : Thermaltake Toughpower 850W

This is for my son's who want to use it for gaming and with Steam.

Yes I realize this is an older system but if I wanted to upgrade the GPU to extend the life what would be a good option for the TV - Sony 55" (1920x1080@60Hz).

I saw that I could upgrade the CPU (Core i7 Extreme Edition 990X ) but just not sure that is really worth it at that point I would rather see if I could use the current parts and upgrade the MB/CPU and use the rest of the parts but for now just thinking maybe GPU.

I saw these mentioned for 1080p
AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super

Thoughts/opinions? GPU right now around the $300 mark.
 
First note: Does your motherboard have UEFI? A modern AMD card will not work with a motherboard that only has the old-style BIOS (you'll recognize it by the old DOS-style text in the UI - I think it's VESA Mode 103, and the last 2 or so generations of Radeon cards won't work with it). I am not sure if the GTX 16- series will play nicely with an older BIOS of that nature.

The rest of this post assumes a UEFI board, and assumes that your board will work with modern video cards:



A GPU upgrade could definitely help.

Here's a hierarchy chart that gives the relative performance of a large number of GPUs (relative to the RTX 3090 which is fixed at 100%).
https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gpu-hierarchy,4388.html

The RX 5600 XT is a notable step up from the GTX 1660 Super. If we use the numbers on that hierarchy chart, the performance of those two cards are listed as 46.6 and 37.9 percent, respectively.

46.6 ÷ 37.9 = 1.23, so we can say that the RX 5600 XT is about 23% faster than the 1660 Super. Keep in mind that this is a general approximation.

Taking a look at PCPartPicker.com right now, the lowest price (in the US) GTX 1660 is currently 229.99 and the lowest price RX 5600 XT is 259.99.

260 ÷ 230 = 1.13. So, the RX 5600 XT is 13% more expensive, but gives about 23% more performance, based on the prices I'm seeing today.


That, I have seen the 1660 Super on sale for as low as $209.99, and the RX 5600 XT as low as $219.99. Above and beyond that, Black Friday is coming soon.

You can use this link to do some searching for availability, etc. The link I'm giving is for the US, RX 5600 XT and GTX 1660 Super, and sorted by price. You can change the country, sorting, and which GPUs you want by changing various options.

https://pcpartpicker.com/products/video-card/#c=450,484&sort=price
 

cburbs

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Didn't even think of the BIOS stuff. Yeah this board has old bios style as it is from 2008. So is a GPU still an option that isn't quite as new as mentioned or may it be better to use all current components and get a different MB/CPU combo?
 
Picking up a used card might be worthwhile. It couldn't hurt to check Craigslist and eBay, though I've noticed that, for older cards (which, obviously, are used and do not have a warranty), that people ask more than I'd personally be willingt o pay. Still, there are some people selling used cards at reasonable prices.

That said, a new system might be worth considering, especially given the upcoming sales.

While the initial thought was to go with a new video card, given the limits of the existing system, and how low end the existing GT 730 is, I think maybe getting a new system with a Ryzen 5 3400G and not a video card, would still be a notable improvement.

Granted, the integrated graphics on the 3400G is closer to high details 720p gaming, and maybe low-medium 1080p. It's low-end graphics by today's standards, but still slightly (or vastly, depending on which GT 730 you have*) Then, later, a new GPU can be acquired.

The GT 730 cards were, in order of performance high to low, as counterintuitive as it seems:
  • GT 730 64-bit GDDR5
  • GT 730 128-bit GDDR5
  • GT 730 128-bit DDR3
But, if the budget allows, maybe a somewhat higher CPU (and that does not have integrated graphics), and an add-in card. Once Black Friday and the holiday sales start rolling around, you might be able to get a lot more bang for your buck.

If you go for a new system, you can carry over:
  • SSD
  • PSU
  • maybe case (though more modern cases could well be more convenient to work with, compared to one from 2008)
  • Optical drive, if you think you still need it - also note that some cases these days don't have provisions for them, but a USB to drive adapter can be gotten pretty cheaply to plug the optical drive in on an as-needed basis.
You'll need:
  • CPU
  • Motherboard
  • DDR4 RAM (I'd suggest a 2x8GB kit, probably 3200MHz is good)
  • GPU (if you go with any CPU other than an Ryzen 3400G or 2400G)
It all depends on what your budget is and which route you want to go.
 

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