Question Wife's PC Dying, Advice to Replace hers or upgrade my gaming rig


May 22, 2009
My wife's PC which is my previous gaming rig (stripped of a couple components) is about 8 years old and is about to need replacement. My PC is almost 4 years old and I've typically used the opportunity to upgrade my gaming rig and give her the leftovers as she primarily uses it to work from home, web browse, java type games, etc. I have my current rig listed below and I want to see if you think enough has happened in the last 4 years to make it worth upgrading or if it's better to spend $600-800 and just build her a new PC. My only hesitation there is the 2x980ti SLI in my current rig feel a bit slow already in the newest games and I would have nothing to do with my old pc in 1-2 years when I really felt I must upgrade. So trying to make the best choice with my hands forced.

Here's what I'm running:
-Intel 6700k O/C'd a bit to 4.3Ghz
-2xMSI GTX 980TI 6GB OC Edition in SLI
-Asus Z170 Pro Gaming Mobo
-4x16GB=64GB DDR4 3200Mhz G.Skill Ripjaws V Series (Honestly don't know why I have 64GB of RAM I could probably pull 32GB of it to run new machine and save some cash if it's still good with a Z390 Mobo, it was just super cheap at the time)
-EVGA 80+ Platinum 850w PSU
-2TB Samsung 860 Evo SATA SSD

I've been a little disappointed in SLI and run 2x4K 60hz monitors I've had to work the settings down in, but don't feel it's a must upgrade.

Is there enough big stuff coming soon I should upgrade in 1-2 years when I originally planned and just put together a decent new PC for hers? (Maybe $800?)

Or should I put something together with a 2070 Super and 9700k or similar and would see big improvement now? I don't want to spend a ton of money on this new build and really not see a big return. I think I could sell the 2 980ti's and probably get close to $500 for the pair to help.

Hopefully that wasn't too confusing, thanks in advance for the advice.


Hmm... tough call.

While giving her $800 PC would seem cheaper at 1st, you'd be going with new CPU-MoBo combo and GPU quite soon. Here, the better option could be when you get yourself a new PC and gave your current PC to her.

As far as how much you'd gain with new build right now, let's run some numbers.

Two build comparisons, your current build as a base, while potential new PC as an alternative:

Userbenchmark PC Build Comparison

Baseline Bench: Game 101%, Desk 89%, Work 71%
CPU: Intel Core i7-6700K
GPU: Nvidia GTX 1070-Ti
SSD: Samsung 860 Evo 2TB
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws V DDR4 3200 C16 4x16GB

Alternative Bench: Game 130%, Desk 156%, Work 144%
CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
GPU: Nvidia RTX 2070-Super
SSD: Samsung 970 Evo Plus NVMe PCIe M.2 1TB
RAM: G.SKILL Flare X DDR4 3200 C14 2x8GB

Note 01: at current date, 3rd gen Ryzen CPUs have more value than 9th gen Intel CPUs. Once the Intel releases 10th gen CPU, it may change but currently, AMD is leading the pack. Hence why i put AMD CPU in the comparison above,
R7 3700X vs i7-9700K comparison:
Note 02: while i can't put 2x 980 Ti in a SLI into above comparison, the performance of both GPUs in a SLI equals to the performance of one GTX 1070 Ti. Hence why i put it into above comparison.

As seen above, there is quite a bit of gain in all aspects (gaming, desk and workstation). Biggest gain in Desk category is thanks to the M.2 NVMe SSD i put into comparison.

If you go with new build for yourself, there are 2 options you can take:
  1. Only re-use 2x 16GB RAM sticks from your current build while buying everything else new.
  2. Reuse as many components as possible from your old build + sell your two GTX 980 Ti GPUs. *
* Most money saved would be if you're willing to do a system swap, meaning that you're re-using your PC case and PSU as well, while transferring i7-6700K, Z170 MoBo, 2x 16GB RAM to your wife's current PC case (given the Z170 MoBo fits in there). And also re-using wife's PC current OS drive, while keeping the 860 Evo for yourself.

Here's the build that would save you the most money (option 2):

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: AMD - Ryzen 7 3700X 3.6 GHz 8-Core Processor ($329.00 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: MSI - MPG X570 GAMING EDGE WIFI ATX AM4 Motherboard ($219.99 @ B&H)
Memory: G.Skill - Ripjaws V Series 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3200 Memory (Purchased For $0.00)
Storage: Samsung - 860 Evo 2 TB 2.5" Solid State Drive (Purchased For $0.00)
Video Card: MSI - GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER 8 GB GAMING X TRIO Video Card ($539.99 @ B&H)
Case: Phanteks - Enthoo Luxe ATX Full Tower Case (Purchased For $0.00)
Power Supply: EVGA - SuperNOVA P2 850 W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply (Purchased For $0.00)
Total: $1088.98
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2019-07-19 20:49 EDT-0400

Few words
As noted above, R7 3700X has better performance than i7-9700K, about $20 cheaper and Ryzen chip also comes with hypertheading (8/16 cores/threads). MoBo comes from MSI with built-in wi-fi among other features. RAM is re-used from your current build, in form of 2x 16GB. Same is with storage drive, unless you want to go with M.2 NVMe SSD. GPU is the one you picked but from MSI to match the MoBo. Since i don't know which PC case you have, i put in Phanteks case as a placeholder. And lastly, PSU is also the one you already have.

With it, you have complete build with better CPU and GPU. And if you're getting $500 for 2x 980 Ti GPUs, your new build would cost you only $588, which is less than $800 build you planned buying for your wife.

In this path, the following PC would be left for your wife:

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: Intel - Core i7-6700K 4 GHz Quad-Core Processor (Purchased For $0.00)
CPU Cooler: be quiet! - Dark Rock Pro 3 67.8 CFM Fluid Dynamic Bearing CPU Cooler (Purchased For $0.00)
Motherboard: Asus - Z170 PRO GAMING ATX LGA1151 Motherboard (Purchased For $0.00)
Memory: G.Skill - Ripjaws V Series 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3200 Memory (Purchased For $0.00)
Storage: Western Digital - Caviar Blue 1 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (Purchased For $0.00)
Case: Corsair - 450D ATX Mid Tower Case (Purchased For $0.00)
Power Supply: SeaSonic - 520 W 80+ Bronze Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply (Purchased For $0.00)
Total: $0.00
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2019-07-19 21:00 EDT-0400

Few words
As mentioned above, for cheapest price, you'd need to do a system swap. To do that, you need to move your current CPU, CPU cooler (Be Quiet! is as a placeholder since i don't know which CPU cooler you have), MoBo, 2x 16GB RAM sticks into her current PC's case. Since you'd be selling your 2x GTX 980 Ti GPUs, her "new" PC can run just fine from i7-6700K on-board graphics and dedicated GPU isn't needed in her PC. Also, given that her current OS drive is sound, you can reuse it as well. Though, you'd need to install new Win on there. Or any GNU/Linux distro. Oh, WD Blue HDD is placeholder since i don't know her current OS drive model. Same is with her current PC case and PSU, where Corsair 450D and Seasonic M12II-520 Evo are as a placeholders. Oh, if her current PSU is at the end of life, new Seasonic 500W range PSU (that very same M12II-520 Evo) would cost you $67.
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