Help with either upgrade or new PC

MrMav11

Well-known Member
Son‘s PC is 4 year old now, spec wise has Intel i5 4460 3.2GHz Quad Core, 8GB RAM, GTX 750TI 2GB in it, plays league of legends I believe mostly. Still plays it fine though.

I‘m happy to upgrade components for him, but just wonder if it’s worth doing this, or getting a new. Budget max is £500 without windows as already have this if new PC and transfer it.

Now I used to PC game many (many!) moons ago, and know people will say they would spend the £500 on just a graphics card, but I can’t, and won’t, do sensible suggestions please!

It still seems to run fine for him, get the odd complaint, but he hasn’t bothered to look into how to upgrade etc, so left to me again. Runs MS office etc fine, which we also bought for school, so don’t need any software.

So what’s the sort of minimum graphics card and CPU I should be looking for please. I’m looking at CCL, eBuyer, CyberPower etc in case need new one. Also local computer shop, but actually the systems seem to cost more for less specs. So recommendations where to buy as well please.

So please help, again left late for good birthday again, if I know can upgrade, or worth it to, I’m happy to give him money to chose, but as this is my “tech job“ then I want to know what he should buy spec wise to push him in right direction.

Thanks

**edit**
some examples maybe if any good?
Infinity X44 Elite Gaming PC £500
CCL Delta X1 Gaming PC | CCL Computers £506
AWD Apex Legends 2300X Quad Core 4.0GHz GTX 1650 SUPER Desktop PC For Gaming £470
 
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duncfunk

Well-known Member
An upgrade should be a good route to take and you can sell the old parts to offset the cost. I'll assume you have a case, psu and hdd that you can reuse which should leave:

CPU - Ryzen 2600 (£125) or 3600 (£150)
Mobo - MSI B450 Tomahawk Max (£100), popular choice but cheaper boards can be had for £70-80
RAM - 16GB 3200MHz ddr4 (£70)
SSD - 500GB boot drive (£60)
GPU - RX570/580 (Around £140 new or pick one up second hand)

Prebuilts are never good value for money and they usually cheap out on at least one of the components.
 

MrMav11

Well-known Member
Hi thanks for reply.

I’m not sure of the exact case, PSU but yes does have one already. The HDD as you say is easy reused, or once I can have a look to see space wise, could even go for SSD.

It’s getting on the PC to have a look to see what it is, to make sure fits. As I said, I used to upgrade, it haven’t in years and am out of the loop on case, MB sizes, RAM versions etc.

Your suggestions above come to nearly £600 though, and that’s a little more than wanted to spend really. I appreciate you suggestions but is that minimum needed?

Were any of the linked whole systems any good?

So that graphics card you mention, is that the minimum I should be looking for in any upgrade, or even whole system? Same with the CPU?

If I can find a system, should I be looking at your specs, or is there a lower spec that would be ok to? I could then sell his current system as a whole desktop.

He doesn’t need monotors, or keyboard and mouse either.

Trying to get a good idea, and maybe order today that’s all as lead times are quite long at moment.
 

richardb70

Distinguished Member
Hi,

Is the "upgrade" question because it's struggling with some applications / games? Or a bit slow in general? Or he wants to do something different with it (e.g. play at a higher resolution / frame rate)? Would be good to understand more here.

If it's just a bit slow all round then a cheap "upgrade" would be an SSD if you don't have one already. Get a SATA 3 250Gb for £30 or so and install Windows freshly on it. This might do you, it certainly gave my wife's old laptop a new lease of life :).

If it's struggling with a certain program then you should probably do some profiling to see what's going on using free software like Rivatuner and HW Info. You can easily see what your CPU, GPU, RAM utilisation is.

Otherwise the suggestions above are solid. AMD Ryzen is where it's at nowadays for CPUs. Note that your current DDR3 memory couldn't be carried over if you upgrade (it's DDR4 now). GPUs, I'd have a look at the second hand market if budget is tight.
 

MrMav11

Well-known Member
Hi thanks, as said I’m a little out of the loop on specs now.

I think it’s more in general a little slow, and FPS maybe is low and think he has to reduce resolution. Getting the questions out of him is difficult, teenager!!

It’s for birthday so don’t really want to go second hand, I’ve told him numerous times to do just that, go to somewhere like CEX to get better ones, as people upgrade a lot, but just get grunts and groans...

I think the PC will be slow though being 4 years old, so even if the game he plays now, surely he must have to turn down stuff to play?

To be fair he doesn’t ask for much, this PC is his “thing“ so wouldn’t mind getting some new stuff. As I say I’m not sure what the minimum, within reason, spec should be, so looking now on what’s been mentioned.

Will league of legends run ok still on what he has now? Would he see massive differences in the new specs mentioned?

As he hasn’t done what I really wanted, as in upgrade, I’m wondering on whole system, can then sell his for something?

The CyberPower one above has the RX570, but an i3-9100F 4-Core 3.60GHz, only 8Gb though, comes to £495?
 
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richardb70

Distinguished Member
Hi, thanks for the info and I understand the budget issues! Few people here would advise getting a pre-build as the cheap ones would compromise on key areas (power supplies being common).

The CPU and RAM may well be fine, depending on what he's actually playing. I had an older i5 than yours until recently and it wasn't holding me back too much, certainly at 1080p gaming. Is your son looking at 1080p or higher? My experience with newer titles was that I needed to drop certain settings, but never drop resolution.

If you're not using an SSD currently then I would absolutely recommend that for starters. I'd also look at a decent new graphics card to replace the 750Ti. Loads of sites have "GPU ladders", you want one that's a couple of steps up from where you are now.

It's difficult to know about League of Legends without some analysis. For instance, is the CPU hitting 100% a lot and bottlenecking the GPU? Are you running out of memory? Or is the GPU hitting limits? What other games does he play - anything recent? At the very least, spin up an FPS counter in the corner (Rivatuner does this, but there are plenty of others) and see what's going on.
 

MrMav11

Well-known Member
Hi, again thanks for helping I do appreciate your help, too out of loop, console is much easier!

His monitors are just 1080P, he had 2, but just plays on one with a chat box thing on the other. Agree with SSD. daughter had a laptop and was horrendously slow. Decided to try and mess to save, bought a SSD from crucial, looked on YouTube, was a nightmare as had to remove everything to get at HDD. Got it replaced and wow what a difference, transformed the laptop (a new windows install helped to I expect, but still...)

Looks like the PCs now have a small 240Gb SSD then a larger HDD for space, I wouldn’t buy any laptop or Mac etc without an SSD now, so you’re correct.

Don’t think he plays much else to be fair, obviously uses for school work as well, bought student MS office so any spec should be ok. Not sure what games but sure some his PC are too slow to run. I don’t want to ask him direct as this is a surprise to him.

I understand what you’re saying about spec’ing separate PSU and not buying whole system, is probably me being lazy, as he wouldn’t do it, as I’ve said I’ve tried to prompt him, and he’ll want it working instantly!! He wouldn’t be bothered on size, output size, speed etc on PSU RAM as doesn’t understand or care as long as he can play.

So full system is probably easier for me, if this lasts 4 years then he can sort next one! and also maybe get something (any ideas what?) for his old one.

Looking, correct me if wrong, seems Cyberpower are popular, sold on various sites.
 

richardb70

Distinguished Member
Just looking at that specific game:


This doesn't need much to run at all :). And Office software will run just fine on what you have. And yes, a lot of PCs now would have a small SSD for Windows (and a game or two), with an HDD for everything else.

It's tricky without knowing what's going on and what else he's using this for, but a new SSD and a new graphics card would be a great present. If you're running Windows 10 then as long as it's associated with an MS account, then re-installing Windows is easy (you don't need a product key). I was running an older i5 with my GTX 1070 just fine (also with 8Gb of RAM) for ages at 1080p.
 

MrMav11

Well-known Member
I agree I’ll try and ask, but tbh he deserves a new PC. His is old, from what I remember it was a great boost when I used to upgrade. It will set him up for next few years hopefully as well.

Using above suggestions how about this for £490, APEX Legends: Mirage has Ryzen 3 2300X 3.5GHz and Radeon RX 570 8GB with a small SSD
 

richardb70

Distinguished Member
^ I would avoid that one. A320 motherboards aren't any form of future-proof, I don't even know if you can run a current Ryzen CPU in one (?). I'd go with a B450 instead for around the same price. It's also a small motherboard with only two RAM slots, and the pre-build is populating one so you wouldn't get the dual channel benefit without buying another module.

The power supply is always a worry with these, I'm not familiar with "Aerocool Integrator".

It's also a 4 core, 4 thread CPU - which is the same as your current one.
 

MrMav11

Well-known Member
Ah ok, this is where gets difficult for me, and needs someone like you!

That’s not good that the CPU is the same then, definitely would want an upgrade. So is current CPU ok then?

I thought the CPU was the above recommended one though? What is the above Ryzen 2600? Is it a Ryzen 3 or 5?

Not sure on the socket on the CPU or GPU, or If I could upgrade the GPU and another stick of RAM would be good, it wouldn’t be bottle necked at the CPU? Get a small SSD for Windows as well?

I think this is why I’m just thinking of getting a whole system, totally agree with what’s been said, but this should have been son and not me! I’m too old (lazy!?!) for this ha ha.

The fact names are just marketing, I dung talked much notice, benefit of the built system is all compatible and tested and warranty.

Need to sort this this week in case for build time, if getting separate GPU etc can easily order off Amazon UK for quick times.

mmmmm.....
 
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richardb70

Distinguished Member
As I said before, your CPU isn't hopeless :). It can't be overclocked unfortunately but from what you've said, it's probably not holding you back for light 1080p gaming. Adding an SSD, reinstalling Windows and upgrading the graphics card would - in my humble opinion - be a step in the right direction.

Later on, if the CPU is proving weak then you would need to look at getting something better in there, following @duncfunk's advice above. This would be a new motherboard, new CPU and new DDR4 RAM. The sweet spot is something like a 3600.
 

duncfunk

Well-known Member
Your suggestions above come to nearly £600 though, and that’s a little more than wanted to spend really. I appreciate you suggestions but is that minimum needed?

With the Ryzen 2600 it's coming out as £495? You could save £20 getting a cheaper motherboard (mine is the Asrock B450M-Pro, £70) and £25 getting a 240GB ssd (although modern games are sometimes 100+GB). Your current motherboard, cpu and ram would probably sell for around £70 and the graphics card another £25-30.

None of those systems are much good really as they either have a low end motherboard/cpu or only 8gb ram. I've never heard of the 2300X but it's only a quad core. The 2600 and 3600 are both 6 core 12 thread cpu's.
 

MrMav11

Well-known Member
I've never heard of the 2300X but it's only a quad core. The 2600 and 3600 are both 6 core 12 thread cpu's
Ah ok thanks, so actually that CPU quad won’t be much over current (surprised as it’s 4 years old though)

So what slot will the GPU GeForce GTX 750TI be? I’m thinking now to just get a new GPU for him and 8Gb RAM and an SSD.

However won’t getting a new GPU then put his CPU as the bottleneck? Any suggestions on GPU if not please.

I think I’ve decided to not get a new MB, CPU, GPU, PSU all separate. It’s either a new system, which is looking like won’t now (other stuff to buy), and get a new GPU, SSD (for Windows), and another 8Gb RAM as easy to fit and use.

Good idea? Just worried on new GPU being too good for the actual system and bottlenecks by CPU?

Again thanks for help and advice.
 

richardb70

Distinguished Member
As above, it highly depends on what he's doing on the PC as to whether the CPU is still OK or not. The only way to check is to spin up the games he plays and keep an eye on the CPU core usage. If it's 100% then it's likely holding you back. If it's not then it's probably fine for now. Bear in mind that a lot of older games (e.g. Crysis 1) were all about single core, and Crysis in particular can still be a problem today as a result. One core on my i5 rocketed to 100%, the other cores - and my GPU - were largely twiddling their thumbs.

If doing this kind of profiling isn't possible now (and it's easy, especially with two monitors), this is why I recommended a GPU upgrade, run the same games on ultra (still at 1080p, I assume?) and keep an eye on CPU, memory and GPU usage. As I said, I ran an i5-3570k with a GTX 1070 for ages @ 1080p and it was fine.

Bear in mind that if you add more DDR3 memory, then it's not something you can carry over if/when you do upgrade. I'd only add another 8Gb if you have a free slot and it's cheap as chips.
 

MrMav11

Well-known Member
Having had a talk with the boss, think it’s going to just be an upgrade now to save on costs at mo.

So I’m thinking maybe an upgrade to GPU, maybe a GeForce 1650? £140 and upgrade RAM?Checked and it’s 2x4Gb currently so would need 2x8Gb sticks, worth it? Around £65

I understand won’t be able to carry over but not too bothered as next would be a new PC.

Again I’m wondering though if the GPU would then push the CPU to be hugely unpowered. When looking at speeds and cores though even recent seem to be similar, surely a 4 year old CPU can’t hold up today?

It’s not something I know how to do, or ask him to do regarding FPS, as want it as a surprise to him really.

GeForce 1650 a too big jump? Just thinking to stick to GeForce as that’s what’s in and I think I updated the driver once and showed him the console thing?

**edit** had a sneaky check and he plays LoL most, but noticed Steam on there, and others, eg TC Division 2, rainbow six siege, counter strike, Destiny 2 (not sure which of these his PC can play which is why maybe doesn’t?)

Thanks
 
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duncfunk

Well-known Member
The ram you should be able to buy cheaper second hand, check the classifieds on here. The 1650 is a poor card and was slated by the tech press when released. It was quickly superseded by the Super model which is about 20% faster for another £20 or so. A second hand RX570 sounds perfect in this case. Plenty on Ebay for around £100.

Here's a youtube video with someone running a similar setup and games similar to your lad.

 
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MrMav11

Well-known Member
That link was great, seems to be still decent. Thanks for all your help on this. So last decision.....GTX 1650 Super or RX570. Seems like GTX was only released late 2019, whereas the RX570 was 2017, but seem to still hold up well, which surprised at being 2 year different.

So which to choose between those 2? I know it has be be the 1650 Super (again thanks would never have known). I’ve tried to look at benchmarks etc but difficult to tell. Price are around the same, but the RX570 seems to have 8Gb rather than 4Gb on GTX. Presume this makes a good difference?

Will they both fit ok on his MB (GA-H81M-H rev. 2.1), and not need any extra connections? I’ll be buying new, from ebuyer probably, so need to get everything I need.

looking at this seems GTX wins more. Not same specs, but same GPU

thanks
 
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duncfunk

Well-known Member
If you're buying new then I'd definitely go for the 1650 Super. The RX570 makes much more sense if buying second hand. The 4gb of vram won't cause any issues when gaming at 1080p. Nothing else will be needed, it'll just slot straight into the motherboard. The only other factor would be making sure the length of the card fits in your case but most 1650 Super's aren't very big.
 

MrMav11

Well-known Member
If you're buying new then I'd definitely go for the 1650 Super. The RX570 makes much more sense if buying second hand. The 4gb of vram won't cause any issues when gaming at 1080p. Nothing else will be needed, it'll just slot straight into the motherboard. The only other factor would be making sure the length of the card fits in your case but most 1650 Super's aren't very big.
Ok thanks, it’s what I thought, being the newer released card, surely some technologies wouldn’t be available on the 2017 RX.

Looking at the CEX and eBay prices, they are not enough difference, plus it’s a birthday pressy so rather have the warranty.

He has a huge case actually, the MB inside looks small so loads of room

Thanks
 

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