Question What parts should I be looking to upgrade for PC Gaming?

Sep 22, 2019
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These are my specs:
ASRock H170M Pro4 Motherboard
Kingston HyperX Fury HX421C14FBK2/8 8GB (2x4GB) DDR4 Black
Corsair CX-600 Modular 80+ Bronze Power Supply
Intel Core i5 6400 2.7GHz
ASUS GeForce GTX 960 Strix DirectCU II OC 4GB

I think my CPU and RAM might be the first things I need to upgrade, but how much should I upgrade it if I want to get a new GPU down the line as well? Also any recommendations for any parts? I bought this PC about 3 years ago and my budget is similar to the price of these parts back then.
 

PC Tailor

Dignified
Herald
Welcome to the forums my friend!

This would largely depend on what games you play and what is currently holding you back? Also what is your monitor resolution and refresh rate?

If you do upgrade the GPU, you may need to consider looking at the PSU at some point, the older Corsair CX green labels are poorer quality and have since been discontinued. So a better quality unit might be advisable after a bit of time.
 
Sep 22, 2019
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Welcome to the forums my friend!

This would largely depend on what games you play and what is currently holding you back? Also what is your monitor resolution and refresh rate?

If you do upgrade the GPU, you may need to consider looking at the PSU at some point, the older Corsair CX green labels are poorer quality and have since been discontinued. So a better quality unit might be advisable after a bit of time.
I play most of the new big release games. I noticed a lot of issues with the Modern Warfare beta this weekend like stuttering and low framerate. I play on a 1080p, 59Hz monitor. I'm not actually sure what's holding me back, it depends on the game I think. The beta was maxing my ram and cpu in task manager constantly though.
 

PC Tailor

Dignified
Herald
RAM is probably an issue at that point being as you only have 8GB, 16GB is advised for modern games, as many use more than 8GB now, but very very few use more than that. Speed on an Intel system won't make a noticeable difference in most cases.

You can always use HWInfo to monitor CPU, GPU, and RAM usage during gameplay and identify what is the limiting factor. Every system has a bottleneck, and that bottleneck changes based on the games/applications you run, so you just need to identify which one is your most commonly encountered.

A huge GPU upgrade would likely not be necessary being as you are only running 1080p at 60Hz. So aiming for GTX 1070 / RTX 2070 + would likely be overkill.

Your motherboard chipset does allow for 7th Gen intel with a BIOS update, so it also depends on your budget :)
 
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helper800

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PC Tailor said it all. As to what you should spend money on I'd say you should get a 7700k processor after the BIOS update with a decent aftermarket cooler such as Noctua or an AIO cooler, and replace the 960 with either a 580-590 from AMD or a 1660-1660 ti from Nvidia. I would assume that the PSU you currently have will be okay for a while longer, however, you can get a 650w Seasonic focus gold for about 90-100 dollars if you can budget it.
 
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PC Tailor

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Herald
Should I buy an entirely new set of 16GB RAM or get another 8GB of the RAM I already have?
Best practice is to buy a whole new pack but that is ultimately up to you.

RAM is only guaranteed in the form sold (from the same pack) and mixed RAM modules (even the exact same model but from different packs) are not guaranteed compatibility. I go into a fair bit of detail into it in this guide and in the comments (someone asks the same question in the comments): https://forums.tomshardware.com/threads/top-not-as-obvious-mistakes-made-when-selecting-parts-for-a-custom-pc.3510178/

But by buying a new pack of 2x8GB for example, you're guaranteeing compatibility. Not saying it never works, but it's a gamble.
 
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helper800

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Should I buy an entirely new set of 16GB RAM or get another 8GB of the RAM I already have?
You can try getting another set of 2x4 gb of RAM, however, for the highest chance that it will work with the other kit make sure to buy the same exact 2x4 gb kit again. I would recommend that if you buy a new kit get it from a local components shop like Fry's or Micro center (assuming you are in the US) so if the new kit does not work return it and get a 2x8 kit.
 

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