Question What would you upgrade first in computer

Mar 5, 2022

I am having some FPS drops when playing a game (for example League of Legends) while I have another less demanding game open (like Rogue Legacy 2). I am considering upgrading my pc, but I am not sure if I should upgrade CPU or go for a new motherboard + CPU. I wanted to get your advices on that. Here's my system :
Gigabyte Z370 AORUS Gaming 7
Intel Core i5 8400
DDR4 16GB Vengeance LPX
Nvidia Geforce GTX 1080Ti

Thank you for your help


Welcome to the forums, newcomer!

Can you please parse the specs to your current build like so:

Please include the age of the PSU, apart from it's make and model.
having some FPS drops when playing a game
this isn't saying much.
what are your average fps and what are you "dropping" to?
what resolution, what in-game settings, and what games does it happen with?
if it's only a single game that seems to be affected then it would be an issue with that particular game.
not sure if I should upgrade CPU or go for a new motherboard + CPU
using a GTX 1080 Ti with an overclocked i7-8700K allows me to play the majority of newer games with mostly higher settings @ 3440x1440p getting around 60-75fps depending on the game's graphical complexity.

upgrading that CPU of yours should allow you decent gameplay in most games.
but with the price of a new 8th or 9th gen i would strongly consider a new 12th gen with a new motherboard instead.
it will give you much better performance for a much longer time.
then start saving for a better graphics card to go with it.


My stock approach to this perennial question:

Some games are graphics limited like fast action shooters.
Others are cpu core speed limited like strategy, sims, and mmo.
Multiplayer tends to like many threads.

You need to find out which.
To help clarify your CPU/GPU options, run these two tests:

a) Run YOUR games, but lower your resolution and eye candy.
This makes the graphics card loaf a bit.
If your FPS increases, it indicates that your cpu is strong enough to drive a better graphics configuration.
If your FPS stays the same, you are likely more cpu limited.

b) Limit your cpu, either by reducing the OC, or, in windows power management, limit the maximum cpu% to something like 70%.
Go to control panel/power options/change plan settings/change advanced power settings/processor power management/maximum processor state/
This will simulate what a lack of cpu power will do.
Conversely what a 30% improvement in core speed might do.

You should also experiment with removing one or more cores/threads. You can do this in the windows msconfig boot advanced options option.
You will need to reboot for the change to take effect. Set the number of threads to less than you have.
This will tell you how sensitive your games are to the benefits of many threads.
If you see little difference, your game does not need all the threads you have.

It is possible that both tests are positive, indicating that you have a well balanced system,
and both cpu and gpu need to be upgraded to get better gaming FPS.
If you need more cpu power, there are options up to a i9-9900K
But 9700K and up are still selling for over $200 on ebay.
A $140 I3-12100 based upgrade would be much stronger.
You would want a B660 based motherboard. plan to reuse your ddr4 ram.
Games depend on single thread cpu performance.
Run the cpu-Z bench test on your I5-8400
You should see something like 451:

If you need more graphics power, good luck in finding a stronger card at a decent price today. It might pay to wait a bit to see what Intel discrete graphics might bring.