Question Which Should I Upgrade First?

Feb 24, 2020
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Hello. I am very new to this forum so sorry if I leave any details out. I have a 144hz monitor and most of my games aren't staying steady above 144 fps. I am looking to upgrade my PC. I am pretty sure that a GPU upgrade is what I need, but I just want to make sure. Some games I play are Rust, CS:GO, and (sorry) Fortnite. Also I have a dual monitor setup. I am not sure if it makes a difference, but my main monitor is 144hz while my secondary one is 60hz.

Current Specs:
AMD Ryzen 5 1600
20 GB Ram 20418 MBytes (My PC says this even though I believe I took the other 4 GB out...)
GeForce GTX 1060 6GB SSC

I was looking to upgrade my 1060 to an RTX 2060 Gaming Z. Let me know what you guys think. Thank you for any help you provide. I really do appreciate it.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
Your CPU is a lot more responsible for how many FPS your system can provide than the graphics card is, depending on the circumstances.

What kind of settings are you running at? If you reduce your settings in your most demanding game, do your FPS go up or stay the same?

In other words, if you are running at 100FPS at Ultra (OR whatever you are running at) and you drop to high, or drop from high to medium, do FPS increase consistently or pretty much stay the same?
 
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Feb 24, 2020
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If I go to ultra settings then back to my custom (medium-ish) settings then I see a large hop in performance. I get about 60 fps on ultra settings while I get about 115 fps on my settings. On both settings I experience occasional lag spikes in moments that aren't too optimal for this to be happening (Like in fights) These settings were tested on Fortnite.

Sorry for the late response.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
Honestly, I think your CPU is weaker than your current graphics card. If you had even a 2nd Gen Ryzen CPU like the R5 2600 I'd probably say sure, go for the graphics card first. If you were mainly looking to increase quality settings then I'd say sure, go for the graphics card first. The fact that you are primarily looking to increase FPS on games that are not particularly difficult or demanding on the GPU, on top of the fact that we know the first gen Ryzen CPUs are really no better than the very old 3rd Gen Intel CPUs, makes me believe that you would likely see more benefit from a CPU upgrade than you would from a new graphics card.

Your graphics card isn't holding back your FPS to below 144hz, your CPU is. Primarily at least. Likely it is a combination of both, but I think you'd be able to do a lot better with your current graphics card, and might still need to upgrade it certainly, but much better than currently if you had a stronger CPU.
 
Feb 24, 2020
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To be honest I might just upgrade both, focusing on the CPU. Thanks for the advice. If I got an Msi RTX 2060 Gaming Z what CPU would you recommend?
 
You're trying to get a premium gaming experience on budget hardware. While I would love for it to work that way that's not the way things work. That being said it does sound like you would be able to run fortnite at higher FPS and higher settings with an RTX 2060. The Ryzen 5 3600 is recommended. If you are mainly an E-Sports gamer you'll be OK with that combination for a while. But if you want to try other more demanding games then 1440p 144hz is a no go.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
To be honest I might just upgrade both, focusing on the CPU. Thanks for the advice. If I got an Msi RTX 2060 Gaming Z what CPU would you recommend?
Truthfully, the 3600 IS the best low cost upgrade option, however, it may not be the best budget option because the Ryzen 5 2600x is only 140 bucks while the Ryzen 5 3600 is 175 dollars. Plus, I'd highly recommend a better cooler with the R5 3600 or 3600x. After just completing builds with both those CPUs and testing them with both the stock Wraith spire and an aftermarket single finstack 40 dollar cooler, it was pretty clear that not only was the system a heck of a lot quieter with the aftermarket cooler but it was also able to sustain about 200mhz higher boost clocks pretty consistently across the board AND about 300mhz higher single boost clocks than with the stock cooler. For me, that's enough to be worth it regardless of the use case.

But obviously budget might dictate options in that area.

What motherboard you have might be the biggest factor in what CPU is going to be a good fit. Hell, it could even be a factor in what kind of performance you're getting from the CPU you have now for that matter.
 
Feb 24, 2020
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Right now I have an Asus B350 Plus motherboard and I am using the stock wraith spire cooler. I am fine with paying the extra money for the Ryzen 5 3600. After doing some research it looks as if the benefits are worth it. Now, what GPU would you recommend? I know I suggested the RTX 2060 Gaming Z from msi, but is that a good choice? Also what would be a good cooler for the Ryzen 5 3600? Also thank you both for the help.
 
Feb 24, 2020
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Also im still using built in tower fans... Is this a problem? I use this pc tower: CA-S340W-TH
 
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Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
Ok, so that power supply is decent enough. Not great, but not bad either really. It is however probably around five years old so the warranty has likely either expired or soon will. That could be a concern for you and is something you should consider replacing before too long. I never trust a power supply that is older than the warranty on the device, with brand new hardware. If the manufacturer felt that was the length of time they were willing to trust the device to last, safely, then that is how long "I" am willing to trust the device to be reliable for when it comes to using it with new and expensive hardware.

Using it with older hardware that has already outlived it's primary usefulness is a different story. I'm a little more forgiving there because I'm not going to be as heartbroken if an old power supply takes out a five year old motherboard or graphics card as I am if it ruins my brand new hardware. So I'd think about that as well.

Assuming it is fit, it is good enough for any of these cards we are talking about.

I think the 1660 ti is the best fit and safest bet right now. It has about 5-10 fps higher on the 1%/minimum frame rates over the 1660 Super. Considering it is only about fifteen bucks more expensive and that those five to ten FPS might be enough to make a difference in some cases since the minimum FPS is where we normally see the most hiccups and problems at, it's probably worth it. I'd recommend this card as the least expensive option that is still a superior product, in that card family.

PCPartPicker Part List

Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6 GB SC ULTRA GAMING Video Card ($243.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $243.98
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2020-02-25 22:05 EST-0500



If saving a few bucks is more important and you like the idea of the Super instead, then this would be a good choice.

PCPartPicker Part List

Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER 6 GB SC ULTRA GAMING Video Card ($228.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $228.98
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2020-02-25 22:03 EST-0500



Or if you want to spend a few bucks more and get a significantly better product, then I'd recommend this:

PCPartPicker Part List

Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6 GB XC ULTRA GAMING Video Card ($312.49 @ Amazon)
Total: $312.49
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2020-02-25 22:08 EST-0500


If any of those show up as not currently available, wait a day or two, they'll be back in stock again. Obviously there are some other choices as well from ASUS, MSI, Gigabyte, etc., but IMO if you are going to buy an Nvidia based card, EVGA is who you buy it from. Same as if you are going to buy an AMD based card, your first look should be at whatever Sapphire has to offer and then possibly look at XFX reviews as they are often a close second but sometimes have some real issues with some of their card models.

For Nvidia though, I try to stick to EVGA, then the rest including Zotac or Palit who also make very good cards but nobody is on the same level as EVGA when it comes to customer service after the sale and with graphics cards, that is something you should be very aware of because the chances of needing to use it are much higher than for other hardware.

All of those cards listed above are more than capable of giving good 1080p performance.
 
Feb 24, 2020
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Thank you so much for the help, but what CPU coolers do you recommend? Also should I upgrade my NZXT fans that came with my tower?
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
What CPU cooler is highly dependent on what CPU, and what you want to DO with that CPU. An aftermarket replacement for a CPU that is going to be run at the stock configuration will be entirely different than what I'd recommend if somebody plans to overclock.

On the Ryzen systems I built last week, I used this. It's very small for a 140mm heatsink, but the performance it offered was terrific and it was extremely quiet.

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU Cooler: Thermalright TRUE Spirit 140 Direct 73.6 CFM CPU Cooler ($42.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $42.99
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2020-02-25 22:41 EST-0500



But if you just want something as cheap as possible while still getting significantly better performance than the stock cooler, I'd recommend this.

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU Cooler: Deepcool GAMMAXX 400 74.34 CFM CPU Cooler ($20.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $20.99
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2020-02-25 22:42 EST-0500



And if you want a really good cooler without spending a ton of cash, but really don't need a top of the line 100 dollar cooler, then it's pretty damn hard to beat this for the price.

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU Cooler: Thermalright MACHO Rev.C 84.97 CFM CPU Cooler ($54.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $54.99
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2020-02-25 22:44 EST-0500
 
Feb 24, 2020
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Thank you so much for the help. I just ordered all 3 parts. Have a great day!
I chose the GTX 1660 TI Xc Ultra Gaming, Ryzen 5 3600, and the Deepcool GAMMAXX 400
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
its too late to tell you instead of the 1660ti get an 5600xt but, you did a great purchase anyway
Glad you didn't, so that we didn't have to have another one of THESE discussions, of which there are already many around here.

https://www.techspot.com/news/84005-gamers-ditching-radeon-graphics-cards-over-driver-issues.html

I've already seen enough members just on this forum alone, to believe the problem is a bit more widespread than anybody is letting on. Kind of like the novel coronavirus.
 
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