Question Upgrading Gaming PC

denglert

Honorable
Jul 29, 2015
4
0
10,510
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Hello,

I am looking at upgrading my system and would love some suggestions. I have a machine I built 9-10 years ago that is still going strong with a few upgrades (video, ssd), and I am wanting to upgrade the components that are needed. This machine is an AMD Phenom 2 x4 965 Black Edition. So that obviously needs replaced along with the motherboard and ram. It still plays the games I enjoy, but due to continued game upgrades has gotten a little laggy some times.

The rest of the system:
Corsair TX 750W power supply
EVGA Geforce GTX 970 SSC
Samsung SSD 860 EVO 1TB
Blu-ray
Not sure on the case (probably could be replaced, especially if water cooling is needed)

My typical philosophy on building machines has always been value (not cheap). So a nice system that is not top of the line expensive, but a balance of price and performance that I can go a number of years without worrying about needing to upgrade cpu/board/ram. Thus my current build making it 9/10 years with just a few component upgrades.

I'd like to keep the budget to $600 or less if possible.

Thank you in advance for your help.
 
Hello,

I am looking at upgrading my system and would love some suggestions. I have a machine I built 9-10 years ago that is still going strong with a few upgrades (video, ssd), and I am wanting to upgrade the components that are needed. This machine is an AMD Phenom 2 x4 965 Black Edition. So that obviously needs replaced along with the motherboard and ram. It still plays the games I enjoy, but due to continued game upgrades has gotten a little laggy some times.

The rest of the system:
Corsair TX 750W power supply
EVGA Geforce GTX 970 SSC
Samsung SSD 860 EVO 1TB
Blu-ray
Not sure on the case (probably could be replaced, especially if water cooling is needed)

My typical philosophy on building machines has always been value (not cheap). So a nice system that is not top of the line expensive, but a balance of price and performance that I can go a number of years without worrying about needing to upgrade cpu/board/ram. Thus my current build making it 9/10 years with just a few component upgrades.

I'd like to keep the budget to $600 or less if possible.

Thank you in advance for your help.
A few questions.
  • Do you have a preference toward AMD or Intel CPU's?
  • What case are you using now?
  • Do you intend to keep using the Blu-ray if you upgrade the case?
  • How old is the power supply?
  • Just fyi: A new CPU and board will require a fresh windows install.
 
Your X4-965 has 4 threads and a passmark rating of 2548. That is when all 4 threads are fully utilized.
The single thread rating is 1368. That is arguably the most important factor for gaming.

For some $250, you can buy a i3-10100 with 8 threads, and a passmark rating of 8890/2645.
A lga1200 motherboard and a 2 x 8gb kit of ddr4 ram.


Now, that is value.
Of course, you can go better.
 

denglert

Honorable
Jul 29, 2015
4
0
10,510
0
A few questions.
  • Do you have a preference toward AMD or Intel CPU's?
  • What case are you using now?
  • Do you intend to keep using the Blu-ray if you upgrade the case?
  • How old is the power supply?
  • Just fyi: A new CPU and board will require a fresh windows install.
I do not have a preference for AMD or Intel. I have had both and they were both great. I generally go back and forth depending on value, but also how long the product line will be in use.

The case I have now, not sure as it was 9/10 years ago when I got it. 4x 5.25" bays and 4x 3.5" bays, ATX board with power supply up top. I am pretty sure it is an Antec midtower case of some sort.

I do plan on using the blu-ray. I use it for burning disks and installations. Yes, I know almost everything now is digital download, but I like having stuff on disk as well as my server with internet backup.

The power supply is the same as the computer and case. It is 9/10 years old. So it could go out, but it is a 750W system. The big downside to it is that it isn't modular, so you have all the unused cables in the way.

A fresh Windows 10 install shouldn't be an issue. I've recently did a fresh install on this SSD so most of the system is setup where I can just move a couple files and do a fresh install if needed.
 

denglert

Honorable
Jul 29, 2015
4
0
10,510
0
Your X4-965 has 4 threads and a passmark rating of 2548. That is when all 4 threads are fully utilized.
The single thread rating is 1368. That is arguably the most important factor for gaming.

For some $250, you can buy a i3-10100 with 8 threads, and a passmark rating of 8890/2645.
A lga1200 motherboard and a 2 x 8gb kit of ddr4 ram.


Now, that is value.
Of course, you can go better.
I was thinking if I went with an Intel it would at least be an i5. I'm not one that typically goes with a lower tier processor as I usually go with a slightly older mid or high tier that I can pick up at a good price. I find new processors don't typically give you enough increase to justify the price increase.

But that is a good price and would be a big improvement over my current system. thank you for your suggestion. I will look into those.
 
I do not have a preference for AMD or Intel. I have had both and they were both great. I generally go back and forth depending on value, but also how long the product line will be in use.

The case I have now, not sure as it was 9/10 years ago when I got it. 4x 5.25" bays and 4x 3.5" bays, ATX board with power supply up top. I am pretty sure it is an Antec midtower case of some sort.

I do plan on using the blu-ray. I use it for burning disks and installations. Yes, I know almost everything now is digital download, but I like having stuff on disk as well as my server with internet backup.

The power supply is the same as the computer and case. It is 9/10 years old. So it could go out, but it is a 750W system. The big downside to it is that it isn't modular, so you have all the unused cables in the way.

A fresh Windows 10 install shouldn't be an issue. I've recently did a fresh install on this SSD so most of the system is setup where I can just move a couple files and do a fresh install if needed.
Here's an upgrade list with the newest Intel CPU and core components sans GPU. I really recommend increasing your budget for a new power supply. A good 650W model will set you back another $125 or so.

https://pcpartpicker.com/list/VVKB3t
 
I was thinking if I went with an Intel it would at least be an i5. I'm not one that typically goes with a lower tier processor as I usually go with a slightly older mid or high tier that I can pick up at a good price. I find new processors don't typically give you enough increase to justify the price increase.
With recent CPUs, Intel has been increasing core counts every other generation due to AMD being a lot more competitive with their Ryzen processors. So, the current 4-core, 8-thread i3s offer similar multithreaded performance to last year's 6-core, 6-thread i5s, and to the 4-core, 8-thread i7s from a few years back. But the prices of those older processors haven't really dropped that much. So, going a generation older probably isn't the best idea in that case, as you will likely be paying more for similar performance. AMD tends to reduce the prices of their older processors more.

That said, if you want the system to be relevant for running new game releases for a number of years to come, then it's probably a good idea to go with at least a 6-core, 12-thread processor. That would be one of the current 10th-gen i5 or Ryzen 5 CPUs. Some games are already starting to see better performance from having more than 4-cores with 8-threads, and that will likely become more important with future games, as the upcoming consoles will be getting substantial improvements in the CPU department, to 8-core, 16-thread Zen 2 processors from AMD.

So, something like a Ryzen 3600 or 3600X, or an i5-10400 or better would probably be good options. Or, if you are not in a hurry to upgrade, AMD is expected to announce a new generation of Ryzen processors featuring their new Zen 3 architecture in a few weeks, that are rumored to increase per-core performance by upward of 15% or more. They could potentially be available next month, though the exact release date is still not known. So, it might be worth seeing what those have to offer. Probably more performance at existing price points, though you might also see good discounts on their 3000-series CPUs during Black Friday sales and such. If you've waited a decade to upgrade, what's another month or two? : P

You will probably also want a graphics card upgrade eventually, though a GTX 970 is still reasonably current, and should still be pretty decent for 1080p gaming. It's likely we will see a good performance boost for mid-range graphics hardware by early next year though.
 

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