Build Advice Upgrading old PC components vs buying a new PC? (Music Production)

Jul 22, 2019
I've had my current PC for 6/7 years, and use it solely for music production. It wasn't an amazing spec when new, but it did the job well enough. Over time I've started to encounter problems with high CPU loads when using lots of VSTs and even single instances of some newer VST instruments. I know next to nothing about PC components, so have put off making any changes to the set up whilst it was stable and working as required.

I would like advice on whether it's possible to upgrade some existing components for better performance (if so, what will make the biggest difference?), or if as seems likely, I’d be better off investing in an entirely new PC?

Current set up:
AMD FX -4100 4x3600 MHz
Gigabyte GA-78LMT-SP2 motherboard
8GB DDR3 PC-1333 memory
Running Windows 7 Home Pr. 64bit

Any help is much appreciated, thanks.


Not much choice. The FX platform is less than half of what anything new can do, literally its 60% slower performance. Even if you spent out on a 95w FX 8320E replacement (and they aren't easy to find at a decent price) you'd still be looking at @ 67% of the performance of a 3rd gen Intel core i5. It'd be a serious waste of your time and money as you'll be ditching the whole thing shortly anyways as even newer stuff gets tossed at you and the VST's that are currently giving you issues will be small potatoes in comparison.

Your only real option worth any value is replacement of your core components. Cpu, mobo, ram. Something like a i5-9400F on a B360 motherboard with 16Gb of 2666MHz ram will come in under $300

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: Intel - Core i5-9400F 2.9 GHz 6-Core Processor ($149.89 @ OutletPC)
Motherboard: ASRock - B360M Pro4 Micro ATX LGA1151 Motherboard ($68.98 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair - Vengeance LPX 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-2666 Memory ($64.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $283.86
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2019-07-17 13:08 EDT-0400
Reactions: aka dave


Jul 1, 2017
music production is all about that CPU, get as beefy a cpu as your budget can carry and 16 gb of ram wouldn't be bad too, also an ssd would be good 2.5 or nvme doesn't matter, no need for a dedicated gpu
Reactions: aka dave
One thing to note: You WILL need a dedicated GPU if you choose an Intel "F" series CPU or an AMD Ryzen (non-G suffix) CPU because those models don't have integrated graphics.

Since your current CPU has no integrated graphics, it's safe to assume you've already got something that you could carry over, however, it may be better for heat/noise to get a new graphics card. Many/most of today's GPUs have semi-passive fan operation (confirm with whatever GPU you're looking to buy) whereas their fan(s) won't spin until the GPU exceeds 55-60C. For your usage, that would mean the GPU has its fan(s) off most of the time you're doing music work (not sure if you do recordings also)