Upgrade advice

Mehphisto

Weaksauce
Joined
May 19, 2009
Messages
82
I currently have a:
i5 2500k 3.3
16 GB Ram
and a GTX 960 2GB I think,

I recently upgraded to an SSD, I would like to get a newer video card, but not really sure what to get because of potential bottleneck..
Upgrading the processor isn't really an option for me financially

any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Messages
63
Well I would definitely be looking for a i7 2600K to replace your 2500K with for starters. Having only 4 cores and 4 threads in today's games can really introduce hitches and hangs. The 4 extra threads from a 2600K will be a good stop gap till you can afford a system overhaul which I'm sure you know you are in need of. As for the video card I wouldn't spend more than $200-$250 on a new one for this system. That will put you in the GTX 1660 Super price point. If you're wanting to try AMD look for a RX 5500XT 8GB card. Either would be quite a upgrade from your GTX 960.
 

RazorWind

2[H]4U
Joined
Feb 11, 2001
Messages
3,611
Do we have a budget in mind?

Something like an RTX 2060 seems like it would be appropriate, but it will depend heavily on what you're actually doing, as some games depend more heavily on the CPU than others, and that's likely to be the limiting factor here.
 

Kardonxt

2[H]4U
Joined
Apr 13, 2009
Messages
3,169
It's probably time for a new build to be honest. Like Craptacular said you could pickup a GTX 1660 super or a few cheaper options without it being a total waste and would still perform well @ 1080p when you do upgrade the rest of your rig. I would say anything above that is probably major overkill until you build a new PC.
 
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Messages
63
Also I know you think upgrading your CPU isn't an option but you can find 2600K CPUs for less than $80 on eBay and like I said, that will be a good stop gap and give your 4 more threads which will really help your aging system out.
 

Mehphisto

Weaksauce
Joined
May 19, 2009
Messages
82
Also I know you think upgrading your CPU isn't an option but you can find 2600K CPUs for less than $80 on eBay and like I said, that will be a good stop gap and give your 4 more threads which will really help your aging system out.
Won't I need a new MOBO and Ram?
I wouldn't invest another penny in that rig...you can do a 1600AF / 3300X, mobo and ram for $300...
Won't I still need a newer Video Card?

I appreciate the advice, maybe I should just try to piece a new system, but I live paycheck to paycheck and it has taken me 6 months to save up $225
 

Sodapopjones

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Aug 22, 2012
Messages
1,889
Won't I need a new MOBO and Ram?

Won't I still need a newer Video Card?

I appreciate the advice, maybe I should just try to piece a new system, but I live paycheck to paycheck and it has taken me 6 months to save up $225
I guess it also comes down to what games you want to play, if you're into AAA blockbusters, I would go the route of CPU/mobo upgrade, if you play older single threaded games, than pickup a 5500XT.
 

Kardonxt

2[H]4U
Joined
Apr 13, 2009
Messages
3,169
Won't I need a new MOBO and Ram?

Won't I still need a newer Video Card?

I appreciate the advice, maybe I should just try to piece a new system, but I live paycheck to paycheck and it has taken me 6 months to save up $225
The 2600k is just as old as your 2500k so it would be a drop in replacement but frankly even that struggles in some modern titles now. (and you really need to overclock the 2500k or 2600k to see keep up with more recent CPUs)

You really need to replace mobo, cpu, ram, and gpu at this point if you want to play AAA titles at higher settings. You could purchase a decent GPU like a 1660 super in your budget and move it over to your new build when you save another ~$300. With an overclock on your 2500k it could still perform pretty decent in titles that dont need more than 4 cores.

This probably isn't as cost effective as limping along and buying everything at once ( at which point there will likely be cheaper \ faster options available) but it does let you get some instant gratification.
 

HockeyJon

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Dec 14, 2014
Messages
1,228
I wouldn't invest another penny in that rig...you can do a 1600AF / 3300X, mobo and ram for $300...
This right here. Older Intel processors tend to hold their value as well, so you’d probably have to sink more money than you’d actually want to upgrade that i5 to an i7 from that era, only to still have dated performance. I personally wouldn’t bother.

The i5 is going to be a bottleneck in a lot of games now. I ran into the same problem with my i5 4670K. Looked in to upgrading to an i7 4770K or 4790K and was shocked to discover that the processors I could find online had the same sticker price as they had when I built my system in 2013. Literally no decline in price whatsoever. You’ll probably be happier if you can hold out for a little longer and do it right the first time.

Also, prices for video cards are currently elevated thanks to increased demand and decreased supply due to COVID-19. It’s an expensive time to upgrade, so your money won’t stretch as far.

What games are you playing?
 
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Messages
63
Won't I need a new MOBO and Ram?

Won't I still need a newer Video Card?

I appreciate the advice, maybe I should just try to piece a new system, but I live paycheck to paycheck and it has taken me 6 months to save up $225
No a 2600K is basically a 2500K but with hyperthreading. It's just a drop in replacement for your board.

Yeah I get it man, times are really tough right now. To get the biggest bang I'd drop in a new video card now and start saving for a complete overhaul next year.
 
Last edited:

Conman

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 8, 2004
Messages
459
Those Ryzen 4000 series APUs are coming soon. Would fix both problems in one package.
 

Aspendancer

Weaksauce
Joined
Aug 24, 2014
Messages
109
RX 580 8GB card can be gotten second hand for about $120. Or a GTX 1060 6GB card for about $130, for either card max $150 out of pocket.
 

Sodapopjones

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Aug 22, 2012
Messages
1,889
This right here. Older Intel processors tend to hold their value as well, so you’d probably have to sink more money than you’d actually want to upgrade that i5 to an i7 from that era, only to still have dated performance. I personally wouldn’t bother.

The i5 is going to be a bottleneck in a lot of games now. I ran into the same problem with my i5 4670K. Looked in to upgrading to an i7 4770K or 4790K and was shocked to discover that the processors I could find online had the same sticker price as they had when I built my system in 2013. Literally no decline in price whatsoever. You’ll probably be happier if you can hold out for a little longer and do it right the first time.

Also, prices for video cards are currently elevated thanks to increased demand and decreased supply due to COVID-19. It’s an expensive time to upgrade, so your money won’t stretch as far.

What games are you playing?
Exactly why I ditched my 4670K and moved to a 1600 at that time, nothing like a pegged 4 core, alt tabbing in Watch Dogs 2 was a slide show lol.
 

Dayaks

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 22, 2012
Messages
7,856
Those Ryzen 4000 series APUs are coming soon. Would fix both problems in one package.
I’ve never seen an APU be better value than a dedicated CPU/GPU sadly. Nevermind you have to pair it with fast (expensive) RAM.
 

warhol76

n00b
Joined
Jan 1, 2013
Messages
63
We definitely need some guidance as to what games or whatever you are doing with the system to be able to help at all.
 

Conman

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 8, 2004
Messages
459
I’ve never seen an APU be better value than a dedicated CPU/GPU sadly. Nevermind you have to pair it with fast (expensive) RAM.
Well you're not wrong but his budget and current system puts him in a box. He doesn't have the disposable income to buy a stopgap card that at best limps him along for a short while. At the same time a CPU+GPU seems out of his range. With the low end APU maybe he could upgrade the GPU down the line? Other than that a used part build i guess?
 

Dayaks

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 22, 2012
Messages
7,856
Well you're not wrong but his budget and current system puts him in a box. He doesn't have the disposable income to buy a stopgap card that at best limps him along for a short while. At the same time a CPU+GPU seems out of his range. With the low end APU maybe he could upgrade the GPU down the line? Other than that a used part build i guess?
From what I’ve seen the 960 he has now is still faster than the new Ryzen APUs

Personally I’d dump the money he has into a new GPU. What games he plays could help. Any CPU newish requires new RAM/mobo and that alone, without the CPU would eat most of his budget.
 

Sodapopjones

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Aug 22, 2012
Messages
1,889
From what I’ve seen the 960 he has now is still faster than the new Ryzen APUs

Personally I’d dump the money he has into a new GPU. What games he plays could help. Any CPU newish requires new RAM/mobo and that alone, without the CPU would eat most of his budget.
Strangely enough I googled 2500k with 5500xt and found this, OP can limp along with this setup at 1080p just fine, maybe for Xmas or next year he can hop on Ryzen 3.

https://www.gpucheck.com/gpu/amd-radeon-rx-5500-xt/intel-core-i5-2500k-3-30ghz/

an 8GB 5500XT for $200
https://www.newegg.com/asrock-radeo...=5500xt-_-14-930-027-_-Product&quicklink=true
 

cybereality

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Mar 22, 2008
Messages
5,665
If you've got around $200 to spend I would recommend a used 2600K ($80) and a used RX 580 8GB ($120). That should breath enough life into the system for a bit.

Or if you want to spend it all on a GPU get a 1660 Super, I've seen them as low as $200 on eBay.
 

Sgt Hoit

n00b
Joined
Nov 18, 2016
Messages
7
A RX 580 8GB card and a 2600K would be my choice as a stop gap, while trying to save for a new rig.
 

RazorWind

2[H]4U
Joined
Feb 11, 2001
Messages
3,611
RX 580 8GB card can be gotten second hand for about $120. Or a GTX 1060 6GB card for about $130, for either card max $150 out of pocket.
This is what I'd do. Grab an RX580 and then save up to do a full upgrade later. Assuming you're only playing at 1080P, it'll work*.

*Unless you're playing Assassin's Creed. Those need more than four cores, but the "virtual" cores provided by hyperthreading on the 2600K do count.
 

DooKey

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Apr 25, 2001
Messages
8,755
Don't buy a 2600K if your motherboard can be flashed to support Ivy Bridge. If it can, I would grab an i7 3770 from Ebay and a used RX 580.
 

CraigHB

Limp Gawd
Joined
May 12, 2020
Messages
146
Since you're on an nVidia card already, my recommend would be a GTX 1660 Super. It works great for 1080p gaming. I'm surprisingly satisfied with mine. As a casual gamer I've always used a mid-range card. This is the first one that can easily maintain the lower refresh rate I run at 1080p. You can spend more and get the RTX 2060 if you want those features, ray tracing, better encoder. It probably would not make sense to go to a higher tier than the RTX 2060 at this point unless you want it for a platform upgrade sooner than later.
 

SamuelL421

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 3, 2016
Messages
218
Don't buy a 2600K if your motherboard can be flashed to support Ivy Bridge. If it can, I would grab an i7 3770 from Ebay and a used RX 580.
This is good advice, 3770 (non-k) can be found for $50-60, at that price I would say it's worthwhile. The only exception to this is if you are already running some massive overclock on your 2500k. A used RX 580 (or even 590) can be found on ebay between $130-150.

That should get you a couple years of decent 1080p gaming or until you can afford a whole new system.
 

Mehphisto

Weaksauce
Joined
May 19, 2009
Messages
82
We definitely need some guidance as to what games or whatever you are doing with the system to be able to help at all.
Honestly I play WoW and Overwatch, I just started playing COD, I don't have any real issues except with COD I turned settings down, but it is still playable.

I appreciate everyone's advice, I am going to continue saving, maybe deliver pizzas on the weekends and then I will just build a new system.
 

Smoblikat

Weaksauce
Joined
May 28, 2020
Messages
111
Honestly I play WoW and Overwatch, I just started playing COD, I don't have any real issues except with COD I turned settings down, but it is still playable.

I appreciate everyone's advice, I am going to continue saving, maybe deliver pizzas on the weekends and then I will just build a new system.
Good plan. I have a 3770K and a 980Ti, and at 1080P I can run every game I play at max settings (GTA, fallout 4, Metro Exodus, Rocket League etc..), so if you ever find a crazy deal on one of those in the meantime, it could be a worthwhile path.
 
Top