Upgrade Recommendations

Candiss

n00b
Joined
Dec 30, 2016
Messages
11
Hi guys,

So I was last really on this forums in 2012 when I built my PC, and it's still going strong being able to run most things smoothly, so I'm a happy boy! But with the latest games coming out requiring more power, I'm finding my PC is falling behind a bit. Certain higher-demanding games I can only run at mid-settings, or any MMO's with hugely intensive graphics can be an issue too.

Now I the issue is I don't have thousands to upgrade to a completely new rig. I'm aware that as time goes on, I'll need to fully upgrade, but I was wondering if anyone has any recommendations for components I could upgrade that would give me the best bang-for-buck in the short term future?

Specs as they sit:
Intel i7-4770k 3.5ghz Quad (Water cooled)
ASUS Z87-K Motherboard
16GB DDR3 Corsair Vengance RAM
NVIDIA GTX 770 GPU
128GB SSD
2TB HDD

I'm aware the motherboard isn't great, but I'm also painfully aware that my core is old, so there are no real options to change here without a big upgrade. I think for the immediate future, I would just like to get a bit of a richer graphical gameplay experience on the games I do play (FFXIV, GW2, OW, Nier Automata, soon Cyberpunk).

Any thoughts or suggestions would be hugely appreciated!!

Thanks
 
Joined
Feb 3, 2007
Messages
1,021
The limiting factor with your current rig is the CPU. Quad cores will suffer with most modern games. I recommend you upgrade your platform and establish a budget.
That said clearly a GPU upgrade would offer the most performance gain with your current rig, but be careful there because the CPU will still be the bottleneck.
If you must upgrade what you've got there is no need for more than a gtx 1660 ti which would offer decent CPU/GPU balance at 1080p medium settings on modern games.
Of course you could go overboard with a new GPU now and move it to the new platform later when it fits your budget in which case I would recommend a RTX 2070 super now and an AMD 3000 series CPU system down the road.
 

Spartacus09

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Apr 21, 2018
Messages
1,847
What monitor do you have/what resolution do you play at?
Your biggest hinge is likely the GPU gaming wise, a $200 upgrade to a 1070 is your best bang for buck.

For CPU a mid tier ryzen system is gonna cost you at about $400 for a reasonable 6core/12t upgrade with 16 gigs of ram (thats for mobo/ram/cpu only)
If your ssd is long in the tooth too, it'd be another 75-100$ to upgrade to a 500gb NVME

Another question is what PSU do you have and how old is it?
 

kirbyrj

Fully [H]
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
Messages
28,835
In the short term, I'd look at a better video card and maybe a larger SSD (especially if your game installs are on your 2TB spinner). If you're WC'd, what kind of OC do you have? You're probably ok for now.

Longer term, upgrade the whole platform.
 

Candiss

n00b
Joined
Dec 30, 2016
Messages
11
Firstly thanks for all of your suggestions! Some further info as requested:

Monitor: ASUS VE278 - I usually play everything at 1080 x 1920
CPU Cooler: Corsair H60 (Old version)
PSU: I believe it's either a 500w or 750w Corsair unit. Likely the 750.
Currently I've not OC'ed the core at all because I was worried about shelf life. So it's just been sat at standard since purchase.

I think the graphics card upgrade might be a good shout. I understand I'm slightly limited due to my monitor also, but generally speaking I rarely have any CPU-related issues like lags, crashes or frame drops, it's mainly the quality / visual richness of my games that I'm finding to be the issue. Though, a total system upgrade is needed!
 

Spartacus09

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Apr 21, 2018
Messages
1,847
Firstly thanks for all of your suggestions! Some further info as requested:

Monitor: ASUS VE278 - I usually play everything at 1080 x 1920
CPU Cooler: Corsair H60 (Old version)
PSU: I believe it's either a 500w or 750w Corsair unit. Likely the 750.
Currently I've not OC'ed the core at all because I was worried about shelf life. So it's just been sat at standard since purchase.

I think the graphics card upgrade might be a good shout. I understand I'm slightly limited due to my monitor also, but generally speaking I rarely have any CPU-related issues like lags, crashes or frame drops, it's mainly the quality / visual richness of my games that I'm finding to be the issue. Though, a total system upgrade is needed!
All that taken into account that confirms to me your best bet is the 1070 to start with, you can then evaluate whether a total system upgrade is needed after that.
You should see about double the performance compared to the 770 comparing ultra quality, and only loses a few frames due to your older CPU.
https://www.gpucheck.com/en-usd/com...-intel-core-i7-4770k-3-50ghz/ultra/ultra/-vs-
 

Candiss

n00b
Joined
Dec 30, 2016
Messages
11
Thanks Spartacus! I think you're right, in lieu of not having a few thousand £'s to drop on an entirely new setup, a few hundred on a new GPU might just give me the boost I need for another year or so, until I can afford a complete rebuild!

The issue now is where to find one, as I know they're old cards....
 

Spartacus09

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Apr 21, 2018
Messages
1,847
They're not that old luckily and available here on the forums pretty frequently and are upfront with whether they were mined, finding someone to ship international might be more difficult though.
Ebay is an option too but a risk for being mistreated or otherwise.

There are various electronics resellers that sell renewed/refurbished cards too, but they tend to cost about 40-50% more.
 

pendragon1

Extremely [H]
Joined
Oct 7, 2000
Messages
32,848
Thanks Spartacus! I think you're right, in lieu of not having a few thousand £'s to drop on an entirely new setup, a few hundred on a new GPU might just give me the boost I need for another year or so, until I can afford a complete rebuild!

The issue now is where to find one, as I know they're old cards....
if you update to the 1070 now and its not enough for you, upgrading to a ryzen based system is waaaay cheaper than you think. i just upgraded to the mobo/cpu/ram in my sig for ~500CAN and something midrange like that would still be a massive improvement over the 4770 based system. you dont have to spend thousands to get good performance anymore, especially if youre not chasing 4k...
 

Ultra-m-a-n

Limp Gawd
Joined
Apr 19, 2014
Messages
180
GPU first. If you can pony up for more than a 1070, I would say do it.

Now would also be a good time to upgrade your cooling, since any cooler can be used in your new build if you decide to do one in the future (just be sure not to lose the extra mounting hardware).

That way you can dial up your overclock on your current system, and not worry about temps.

The H60 is not that great, but it does have its uses, but fortunately if you do make the plunge, you can do things like go for a nice air cooler, and optimize the airflow in your case with some good fans.
 

THRESHIN

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 29, 2002
Messages
3,357
Sounds like you run a rig like I do. Buy some decent stuff be run it into the ground firmly. My advice is to overclock the cpu as hard as you reasonably can and buy the best video card that you can reasonably afford. Hopefully that will stagger you through until you can afford a rebuild. Buying a good video card now means that you can put it into your new system when you get there.

If you stay within safe limits, overclocking is very safe. Keep the processor below 80C. Give it some more voltage when it becomes unstable, but be very conservative. Use Google to find what a safe voltage is for your processor. Stress test and take stability over a higher clock. Don't bother to overclock your RAM, the returns just aren't worth it.

I wouldn't spend the money on improving cooling if your temps are ok. Far better to save that for an upgrade. Maybe some cheap improvements, but that's it.

Overclocking is a good way to extend the life of your hardware. I look at it this way: either I buy new hardware now, or overclock it and buy new stuff on the off chance that I burn it out. So far I have yet to kill anything by overclocking.

I remember when I was in college I had an old voodoo3. I was poor and I needed to get all I could out of it. Pushed it to it's limit and that got me an extra year until I could afford something better. That ended up being a $120 ATI 9000 pro lol. Not a great card even then, but it did what I needed until after I graduated and got a job. Then I got a huge tax return and bough two 7900 GTOs. Those were the good ol'days.
 
Top