Upgrade or Replace my system?

Brad_53

Prominent
Feb 24, 2017
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My custom built PC will be seven years old in February. I'm trying to decide whether I should upgrade/replace some components to help it along, or go with a full rebuild. While a full rebuild may be the best value in the long run, I'm only a very casual gamer anymore so it's hard for me to justify the cost. My monitor is an 1440p60 IPS.

Here is what I am running:


  • Intel Core i5 Processor i5-2400 3.10GHz 6MB LGA1155 CPU, Retail I5-2400BOX $188.99

    1 x ($179.99) OCZ Vertex 3 VTX3-25SAT3-120G 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) $179.99

    1 x ($169.99) SAPPHIRE 100314-3L Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card $169.99

    1 x ($89.99) OCZ ZS Series 650W 80PLUS Bronze High Performance Power Supply compatible with Intel Sandy Bridge Core i3 i5 i7 and AMD Phenom $89.99

    1 x ($79.99) MSI H67A-G43 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel H67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard $79.99

    1 x ($39.99) G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9D-8GBXL

    Coolermaster HAF Full Tower of some model
If I update, I am thinking 8 GB of additional matching RAM, a new Power Supply since I'm told mine is too old and risky at this point, a Samsung 860 EVO 500GB (my current SSD works well, it's just too small), and something along the lines of an RX 580 8GB. I'd roll forward with the old i5-2400, motherboard, case and existing RAM.

If I went new, could you suggest a system that's a worthwhile upgrade that's not overly expensive for 1440p60 gaming? I don't need the newest AAA games at Ultra settings. I'm even cool with Fortnite at 1080 on my current system as it's required in order for me to have reasonable performance.

Thanks for any advice/help!
 
I'd say a video card upgrade is the best way to go. For 1440@60fps, a video card like the GTX 1070 is what it takes. Possibly a 1070Ti. They're a bit expensive, but they can then be carried over to any new system you get in the future.

The CPU will be a limiting factor for some games, and the Sandy Bridge CPUs are getting on in years, but I think your CPU can still manage.

I don't know that there are enough games that you'd be playing where the 8GB of RAM you have is the limiting factor.

A larger SSD is a good idea, as, if you're pushing up against the storage space limits of your existing one, things WILL slow down. Plus, it's another item that can be carried over to a new system in the future.



It might be best to use some kind of monitoring tool to view CPU and GPU usage while doing whatever you do most often with your system. If the CPU tends to max out but not the GPU, then the CPU (and thus entire platform) is holding you back. If the GPU tends to max out but not the CPU, then the graphics card is what's holding you back. That you step down to 1080p for Fortnite indicates that the GPU is a bit of a weak spot.


I don't know enough about PSUs to say anything on your existing PSU.


Are there any specific usages where you know the system is falling short?
 

Eximo

Titan
Herald
I see nothing wrong with picking up a used i7-3770 and dropping it in. You can get whole i7-3770 systems for about $200-250, so unless you can find a reliable offering on ebay or something for just the chip, that can be a good way to go. You can drop your i5 into the system and sell it on (or give it to someone) https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIAAJ26WM6244

7 years is a good while in power supply terms. Getting a new one won't hurt, and you can take that forward if you ever decide on more upgrades.

GTX1070Ti is a good fit for 1440p. The GTX1070 can do it right now, but in a year or two there will be games that will drop it below 60FPS, surely.
 

Brad_53

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Feb 24, 2017
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No, it's great with older games and everything Windows and applications. It's games released in the last couple of years where it struggles. As one example, Fortnite, I have to lower the 3D resolution to something like 900 lines of resolution along with the lowest graphic settings to get something I deem playable, but even then it tanks when the action gets hot. Afterburner shows the GPU % and GPU RAM both maxed out, along with all four cores of my CPU being used but with some headroom.
 

Brad_53

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Feb 24, 2017
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I was thinking the RX 580 was about as high as I would want to go with my CPU, however I guess as the resolution is raised to 1440 the load shifts more to the GPU meaning the 1070/Ti are then a viable mate?
 


Exactly. Alternately a Vega 56, but, at least in the US, those tend to be more expensive than the GTX 1070, not to mention notably more power hungry.

Out of curiosity, Is your monitor FreeSync, GSync, or neither?
 
In that case, the decision for a GPU would boil down to price, and possibly power consumption, depending on your PSU, and not having to worry about Nvidia's Gsync vs AMD's FreeSync.

But, since, compared to the AMD Vega 56, the GTX 1070 is both less expensive and has lower power consumption (equal to your 6870, at 150W), then it's the winner hands down for 1440p.

EDIT: Eximo does have a point, though, that if you want headroom for the next several years, the 1070Ti might be worth considering. But, since you don't intend to go for the top AAA games, that might be a little overkill. The 1070Ti is around the price of the Vega56, still a bit less power consumption, and outperforms it.
 

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