Question What to upgrade to on a budget?

Aldrnari

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Greetings.
I am attempting to help my partners in upgrading their PCs for more optimal gaming (ideally upgrading both to the same ability) but I am not terribly well versed in custom PC building still, some opinions would be greatly appreciated!

They currently have an HP Pavillion (specs linked) which is certainly not great, but unfortunately we are on quite a tight budget as to how it can be upgraded.

One of the desktops has had its PSU replaced with a Corsair cx450 and from all I have read this seems adequate for what we are going for (if that is the case, the other PC would be upgraded with the same PSU). Would something like the GTX 660 work for the GPU?

I'm aware we aren't going to be able to get to Witcher 3 on Ultra but the ability to play most modern games on about medium to high is the goal. I feel if we can get Witcher 3 to Medium with the post processing effects on then there won't be much trouble running anything else that we wish to play.

For a little bit of extra information, the PC would ideally be able to run Dark Souls 3 with decent fps (minimum 30, ideally 60) at around medium, Outward on higher settings, and have some level of future proofing so as most new games being released can hit around 60fps on at least low.

Any suggestions on where to upgrade from here would be appreciated (GPU primarily, but if there is any other specific weak point in the PC that needs to be addressed, that would be appreciated), apologies if this post was a little rambly.
Thanks in advance.
- Aldrnari
 
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The Paladin

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" to play most modern games on about medium to high is the goal."
your not likely to run any "modern" games on an A8 CPU with a GTX 660 in medium to high settings.. more like super low to low. even then
your PCi bus is a 2.0 not a 3.0 so any video card you buy will run at v230 standard and speeds. and this will make a big difference on any new games FPS.

I dont have an upgrade path answer without a budget number from you, and what country your in.
 
even then your PCi bus is a 2.0 not a 3.0 so any video card you buy will run at v230 standard and speeds. and this will make a big difference on any new games FPS.
This should make very little difference. Only the fastest of today's high-end graphics cards are beginning to see a small performance hit from running at PCIe 2.0 x16 or PCIe 3.0 x8, either of which provide about the same bandwidth. Today's cards still don't require anywhere near the full bandwidth of a PCIe 3.0 x16 slot, so 2.0 x16 and 3.0 x8 are still generally fine.

Knowing an approximate budget would definitely be useful though, as well as what kind of prices you are seeing for a GTX 660. Also, what resolution they will be gaming at, as that will have a significant effect on performance.

An A8-6500 processor will limit performance in many games, and will prevent some of the most demanding titles from getting near 60fps, but I suspect over 30fps would be possible even in most games that are demanding on the CPU. A GTX 660 is also fairly low-end by today's standards though, and would require graphics settings to be lowered substantially in many recent games, but a graphics card upgrade like that would still improve performance by a lot if they are only using integrated graphics now.

A GTX 660 would likely get along fine on that 450 watt PSU, though not on the stock 300 watt one that comes with that system. If budget allowed, something like a GTX 1050 would be faster than a 660 while also drawing less power, which could potentially allow it to run on a 300 watt power supply.
 

Aldrnari

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This should make very little difference. Only the fastest of today's high-end graphics cards are beginning to see a small performance hit from running at PCIe 2.0 x16 or PCIe 3.0 x8, either of which provide about the same bandwidth. Today's cards still don't require anywhere near the full bandwidth of a PCIe 3.0 x16 slot, so 2.0 x16 and 3.0 x8 are still generally fine.

A GTX 660 would likely get along fine on that 450 watt PSU, though not on the stock 300 watt one that comes with that system. If budget allowed, something like a GTX 1050 would be faster than a 660 while also drawing less power, which could potentially allow it to run on a 300 watt power supply.
This is where I begin to get utterly lost unfortunately, I know the vague beginnings to PC hardware but when we start to get down into the weeds and talking about PCIe 2.0 and 3.0 I can't quite keep up. Does this potentially mean upgrading the 300 watt PSU, the CPU (to an i5, I would assume for best price to ability ratio) and then getting a 1050 would be for the best? I'm not the one with the PCs I'm simply helping so I cannot give an exact budget but we will probably be doing our best to buy things piecemeal, fairly cheaply, from paycheck to paycheck, I've seen a few 660's for £30 to £40 and that would be a perfectly amiable price for each component.

So, accounting for both PC's; two GPUs (660, unless I the 1050 can be get for just a bit more), new CPUs (maybe an i5 750? Would that work?) and another cx450 psu that is looking at under £200 still. This is some really quite budget stuff.

Thank you for all of the help so far though! It is greatly appreciated.
 
Switching to a significantly better processor would involve more than just swapping the CPU, as you would need to switch motherboards to one that is compatible with the processor as well. Plus, an i5-750 is a fairly old CPU, and wouldn't likely be that much of an improvement, so you would probably want something newer than that if you were to go that route.

I'm assuming the specs listed on the page you linked to are accurate for those particular systems, with an A8-6500 processor and running on integrated (HD 8570D) graphics?

If on a tight budget, I would focus on adding a graphics card above anything else, as that should have the biggest impact on performance in most games. If you did go with something like a GTX 1050, being a newer card, it doesn't require as much power despite being somewhat faster than a 660, so it would be more likely to work with the existing 300 watt PSU in that one system. You would likely need to make sure the particular model of 1050 doesn't require a PCIe power cable to be hooked up to it though, as some do, and I doubt that 300 watt PSU would include such a cable. You would also want to make sure that any card physically fits in your computer's case, as sometimes these prebuilt PC cases can have limited room for a graphics card inside, and some cards are longer or a wider than others.
 

Aldrnari

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If on a tight budget, I would focus on adding a graphics card above anything else, as that should have the biggest impact on performance in most games. If you did go with something like a GTX 1050, being a newer card, it doesn't require as much power despite being somewhat faster than a 660, so it would be more likely to work with the existing 300 watt PSU in that one system. You would likely need to make sure the particular model of 1050 doesn't require a PCIe power cable to be hooked up to it though, as some do, and I doubt that 300 watt PSU would include such a cable. You would also want to make sure that any card physically fits in your computer's case, as sometimes these prebuilt PC cases can have limited room for a graphics card inside, and some cards are longer or a wider than others.
Apologies for the long time it took for me to reply, had a hectic few days!

Would you suggest upgrading the 300w PSU to the Corsair 450 in the other PC too and then seeing about getting two 1050s? What would then be the weakest link in the machine? I was hoping that a Processor upgrade too would help but if the Mobo needs changing for that too then it's getting out of the realms of budget again. Is there any way of finding out what CPUs might work with the current motherboard? I have no idea how much impact a motherboard has on performance in games, if it isn't much at all and all you need is compatible components then that would be ideal.

Thank you for all the help, too.
 

Aldrnari

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What is the GPU budget anyway ?
I wish I could give a solid answer, as I'm just helping upgrade them I don't know any exacts. A lot of it would depend on price to ability ratio but if I were to estimate then over $100 is certainly a no-go, especially having to upgrade both PCs. $50 seems potentially logical for what we are after.
 

Dreamevil55

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I wish I could give a solid answer, as I'm just helping upgrade them I don't know any exacts. A lot of it would depend on price to ability ratio but if I were to estimate then over $100 is certainly a no-go, especially having to upgrade both PCs. $50 seems potentially logical for what we are after.
Then I suppose used market is where you should venture in. GTX 1050 Ti/1050/RX5 560/570s
 

Aldrnari

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Then I suppose used market is where you should venture in. GTX 1050 Ti/1050/RX5 560/570s
Indeed, used market was always a rather tempting option. So, with a 1050, or 1050 ti, Corsair 450w PSU and the other default specs of the machine, what would be holding it back? What sort of level would the PC be performing at? If that is possible to answer, I'm not sure I could even warrant a guess at that.
 

Dreamevil55

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Indeed, used market was always a rather tempting option. So, with a 1050, or 1050 ti, Corsair 450w PSU and the other default specs of the machine, what would be holding it back? What sort of level would the PC be performing at? If that is possible to answer, I'm not sure I could even warrant a guess at that.
Okay it's hard to answer, but the A8 6500 is after all a very slow CPU compared to it's Intel counterparts. With low settings or low res, you should be able to hit the 60fps mark. But the problem will be the occasional stuttering. When there would be too much particles around, the FPS might take a hit from let's say 70 to 20 in for a millisecond or so. Which is fine for most games. Minus the competitive games like Fortnite, Apex etc.
 

Aldrnari

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Okay it's hard to answer, but the A8 6500 is after all a very slow CPU compared to it's Intel counterparts. With low settings or low res, you should be able to hit the 60fps mark. But the problem will be the occasional stuttering. When there would be too much particles around, the FPS might take a hit from let's say 70 to 20 in for a millisecond or so. Which is fine for most games. Minus the competitive games like Fortnite, Apex etc.
So that does seem like a good idea to go with a 1050 or 1050ti. The next logical step after that then would be a CPU upgrade, is there any way to figure out what Motherboard would be compatible with what CPU so I can go about finding the best value for money selection that will work with the 1050 still?
Oh, and as a side question, would windows 10 be necessary for any of this? I am going to suggest it but I don't know if it will be necessary prior to any of the components.
 

Dreamevil55

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So that does seem like a good idea to go with a 1050 or 1050ti. The next logical step after that then would be a CPU upgrade, is there any way to figure out what Motherboard would be compatible with what CPU so I can go about finding the best value for money selection that will work with the 1050 still?
Oh, and as a side question, would windows 10 be necessary for any of this? I am going to suggest it but I don't know if it will be necessary prior to any of the components.
So for CPU, would you be opting for brand new ones, or used ?
 

Aldrnari

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So for CPU, would you be opting for brand new ones, or used ?
(Lord I am awful at keeping up with forums)
Unless there is any specific downsides to it, most likely used. I am imagining the used market would be the best idea for all of the components, unless they are already suitably priced.
 

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