Question Upgrade PC to run 1440p games

Mashuguna

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I'd like to buy a 1440 monitor but I do not know how to upgrade my system to accommodate the larger screen size. I'd like to be able to play games like Cyberpunk and some 2021 PC games on as high of a graphics setting as possible.

Do I need a new GPU? CPU? Motherboard and CPU and GPU? Thanks for any advice.

My budget is around $1,000 for the GPU, CPU, and any PC upgrades. I have other money for the monitor.

Current system:
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Home 64-bit
  • CPU: Intel Core i5 8400 @ 2.80GHz 59 °C Coffee Lake 14nm Technology
  • RAM: 16.0GB Single-Channel Unknown @ 1066MHz (15-15-15-36)
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte Technology Co. Ltd. Z370 AORUS Gaming 5-CF (U3E1) 36 °C
  • Graphics: MX279 (1920x1080@60Hz) 2047MB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB (Gigabyte) 52 °C
  • Storage: 465GB Samsung SSD 860 EVO M.2 500GB (SATA (SSD)) 43 °C
Thank you for any advice.
 
Are you happy with the FPS you get now but you just want to go up to 1440p? Going from 1080p to 1440p is a massive increase in gpu workload but if aiming for the same FPS the cpu workload will stay about the same. Unfortunately gpu’s are in very short supply and usually massively overpriced at the moment.
 

punkncat

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The first obvious suggestion would be to get a GPU. Another would be a matched set of high speed/low latency RAM.
I am not sure that I would suggest getting something like an 8700 unless you found one super cheap. I cannot recall for sure whether you can update to 9th gen on that mobo.
 

TommyTwoTone66

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Apr 24, 2021
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Do I need a new GPU? CPU? Motherboard and CPU and GPU? Thanks for any advice.

My budget is around $1,000 for the GPU, CPU, and any PC upgrades. I have other money for the monitor.
You don't need a new CPU, no. Upgrading to a 9600K would be pretty neat, but only a marginal improvement in games, not worth spending money on at this point.

You do need a new GPU, the 1060 is really a 1080p-targeted card so to move up to 1440p you're looking at maybe a GTX1080 or RTX2070, whichever you can find. Graphics cards of all types are difficult to buy and expensive right now, but if you shop around you can most likely find a 2070 for not too much money.

Your RAM is plenty fast enough, and 16GB will be find for at least the next couple of years. Your SSD is fast, motherboard is a good brand and model, temps look nice and chill. I would not change anything in that PC other than putting in a faster GPU.

Always check your motherboard's BIOS update page regularly and install any updates that are relevant for your board.
 
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Wait a few weeks for the i5 11400F to come back in stock ($175) or you can grab a i5 10400F right now for $150.

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TommyTwoTone66

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Apr 24, 2021
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Wait a few weeks for the i5 11400F to come back in stock ($175) or you can grab a i5 10400F right now for $150.
This is bad advice. Upgrade his whole motherboard and CPU for no reason? Replace a high quality Gigabyte board with a low quality ASROCK board?

The 8400 is still perfectly fine in games. Replacing it costs hundreds of bucks for no good reason. It would give him another 5FPS maybe.
 
This is bad advice. Upgrade his whole motherboard and CPU for no reason? Replace a high quality Gigabyte board with a low quality ASROCK board?

The 8400 is still perfectly fine in games. Replacing it costs hundreds of bucks for no good reason. It would give him another 5FPS maybe.
According to the OP he plans on playing newer games such as Cyberpunk. At the present the OP has a six core cpu that doesn't support hyperthreading. He can upgrade his current cpu & RAM or his entire system. I just showed him what the cost would be if he did a rebuild.
 
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TommyTwoTone66

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According to the OP he plans on playing newer games such as Cyberpunk. At the present the OP has a six core cpu that doesn't support hyperthreading. He can upgrade his current cpu & RAM or his entire system. I just showed him what the cost would be if he did a rebuild.
Cool. At most I would drop in a 9700 or 9900 to speed up that system, add cores and add hyper threading. I still would not replace the motherboard, there’s simply no need.

Cyberpunk only uses 4 cores max and performs very marginally better with hyper threading disabled, so changing the CPU would not help Cyberpunk performance at all.
 

helper800

Distinguished
Cool. At most I would drop in a 9700 or 9900 to speed up that system, add cores and add hyper threading. I still would not replace the motherboard, there’s simply no need.

Cyberpunk only uses 4 cores max and performs very marginally better with hyper threading disabled, so changing the CPU would not help Cyberpunk performance at all.
I have not looked at benchmarks, but cyberpunk routinely uses 40-55% of my 3900x so unless he wants to have no headroom for discord or anything else running on his computer in the background I would suggest he get a 9700KF which can be found without a huge premium. If you do get a 9700K or KF make sure you also get or have a really good CPU cooling part.

On a separate note I would very highly suggest getting either another of the same stick of RAM that you have now (same exact speed, timings, and model number) for dual channel operation, or buy either a 2x8 / 2x16 kit of ram in the 3200-3600mghz cl16 RAM. Dual channel ram increases performance in everything you will do on the computer dramatically. Get this RAM situation sorted out at the minimum.

You also never mentioned the PSU make and model that you have which is very important.

List of priorities for 1440p operation in your situation;
  1. GPU
  2. Dual Channel RAM
  3. CPU upgrade
I would get the RAM you need while trying to source a GPU that is 1080ti, 2070S, 3060ti performance at the minimum for 1440p. When you get the GPU and after you get the RAM see if the performance at 1440p is what you expected. If it seems slow and you feel the i5 8400 is holding you back get a 9700KF and you will be gaming with the best of us at 1440p.

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: Intel Core i7-9700KF 3.6 GHz 8-Core Processor ($306.02 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 280 72.8 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($114.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3600 CL16 Memory ($93.99 @ Adorama)
Total: $515.00
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2021-05-10 12:48 EDT-0400
 

Zerk2012

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Ambassador
I'd like to buy a 1440 monitor but I do not know how to upgrade my system to accommodate the larger screen size. I'd like to be able to play games like Cyberpunk and some 2021 PC games on as high of a graphics setting as possible.

Do I need a new GPU? CPU? Motherboard and CPU and GPU? Thanks for any advice.

My budget is around $1,000 for the GPU, CPU, and any PC upgrades. I have other money for the monitor.

Current system:
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Home 64-bit
  • CPU: Intel Core i5 8400 @ 2.80GHz 59 °C Coffee Lake 14nm Technology
  • RAM: 16.0GB Single-Channel Unknown @ 1066MHz (15-15-15-36)
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte Technology Co. Ltd. Z370 AORUS Gaming 5-CF (U3E1) 36 °C
  • Graphics: MX279 (1920x1080@60Hz) 2047MB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB (Gigabyte) 52 °C
  • Storage: 465GB Samsung SSD 860 EVO M.2 500GB (SATA (SSD)) 43 °C
Thank you for any advice.
You need a lot of video card for Cyberpunk in 1440p.

 
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helper800

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You need a lot of video card for Cyberpunk in 1440p.

You can play smoothly with some settings tweaked a notch or two here and there especially with DLSS on and ray tracing off you can get around 80-90 fps with the graphics cards I recommended in the majority of the gameworld.
 

TommyTwoTone66

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Apr 24, 2021
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I have not looked at benchmarks, but cyberpunk routinely uses 40-55% of my 3900x so unless he wants to have no headroom for discord or anything else
This is not how Windows works, no. It doesn’t just say “oops, you’ve not got enough CPU left for discord, guess I won’t run it!

Discord and Cuberpunk will run perfectly on an i5 8400. It’s a six core CPU and Cyberpunk can only use 4 cores max. But even if Cyberpunk was able to use all six cores, Windows would still reserve enough power for background tasks like Discord or whatever. You 100% do not need to upgrade your CPU in this situation.

IF OP wants another 2 cores and 10% more clock speed for some productivity reason, he can throw in a 9700 to get that, but totally not needed for games.

On a separate note I would very highly suggest getting either another of the same stick of RAM that you have now (same exact speed, timings, and model number) for dual channel operation, or buy either a 2x8 / 2x16 kit of ram in the 3200-3600mghz cl16 RAM. Dual channel ram increases performance in everything you will do on the computer dramatically.
This doesn’t make nearly as much difference on an Intel system as you seem to think it does. It makes much more of a difference in AMD systems. On an Intel board, going from single channel to dual channel will impact games by 1-2% at the most. Similarly the difference between 2000MHz and 3200MHz RAM is tiny, maybe even less than dual channel and single channel. There’s no need to mess with your RAM at all.
 

helper800

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This is not how Windows works, no. It doesn’t just say “oops, you’ve not got enough CPU left for discord, guess I won’t run it!

Discord and Cuberpunk will run perfectly on an i5 8400. It’s a six core CPU and Cyberpunk can only use 4 cores max. But even if Cyberpunk was able to use all six cores, Windows would still reserve enough power for background tasks like Discord or whatever. You 100% do not need to upgrade your CPU in this situation.

IF OP wants another 2 cores and 10% more clock speed for some productivity reason, he can throw in a 9700 to get that, but totally not needed for games.



This doesn’t make nearly as much difference on an Intel system as you seem to think it does. It makes much more of a difference in AMD systems. On an Intel board, going from single channel to dual channel will impact games by 1-2% at the most. Similarly the difference between 2000MHz and 3200MHz RAM is tiny, maybe even less than dual channel and single channel. There’s no need to mess with your RAM at all.
There is a difference between using multiple programs and them "working" and them working well. You need more CPU for more tasks to work well simultaneously.

Dual channel RAM makes a huge difference especially with fewer cores in a game that routinely uses 4-6 cores. The more stress put on a CPU the more RAM speeds effect performance. The difference between 2000mghz RAM and 3200mghz RAM with the same timings is huge regardless of platform.
 

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