Question Upgrading my Gaming Pc I built in 2016 (How do I go about this?)

Apr 24, 2020
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So recently I decided I want to upgrade my PC that I built back 2016. I told myself I wanted better graphics,more ram and a faster processor but I am trying to figure how I can upgrade from the parts I already have without running into any issues with compatibility. Usually I occupy myself with creating music and editing videos from time to time but more recently I've been gaming more often due to being quarantined. I find my PC runs games at a good frame rate but it tends to heat up causing it to sometimes. I know this could just be because I need to clean my fan or something else but it still motivated me to upgrade my parts knowing I want to do a lot more stuff using this pc (making music, video editing, streaming, gaming etc).

PC BUILD:

GPU - AMD RADEON R9 380 SERIES
CPU - AMD FX 6300 SIX CORE PROCESSOR 3.50 GHZ
RAM - 8 GB

MOTHER BOARD - ASUS M5A78L-M/USB3
WINDOWS 10 64 BIT
POWER SUPPLY - EVGA 500B 500W


So my main questions are:
What parts should I get to upgrade based on the parts I have now?
Does this mean I also have to get a new motherboard?

Its been a long time since I built this PC so my PC knowledge kinda sucks rn lmao
 
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Feb 17, 2020
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If you want a better CPU, you need a new mobo, and also new RAM. Because new CPUs need mobos with a new socket, and because all modern CPUs take DDR4 RAM. If you get a new GPU without the new stuff, it may well be bottlenecked by your older and relatively weak CPU in many modern titles.

What case do you have?

What storage do you have?

What CPU cooler is there?

In terms of the rest, you could potentially keep the case (it may make sense to get a new one of those, depending), and maybe the PSU. The PSU would be fine for many budget-ish configurations, but if you are upgrading to something a bit beefier then a better quality PSU would make sense too.

You may well be able to transfer your Windows licence to the new build. You could keep the storage, though if you don't have an SSD in your current build you will want one of those. Potentially 2 SSDs if video editing and/or making music.

To be honest, if your focus is going to be at least as much on your content/art as gaming, and the budget is a little limited, you may choose to upgrade the CPU etc first, and keep gaming on your current GPU. Which will still run modern games as long as you adjust the settings.

What is your budget for upgrades? Or budget range, if you want a few options and explanations of relative merits? :)
 
Apr 24, 2020
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Thanks for the reply! My Budget is $500 - $700. The case I have right now is a "Thermaltake Commander MS-I Gaming Case USB 3.0 Snow White", CPU cooler is a GV-R938G1 GAMING-4GD and I have a 1 TB hard disk drive. Will I still be able to keep the storage or would that have to be replaced too also, once I get the new CPU can I just put my old GPU on the new motherboard?
 
Feb 17, 2020
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Storage should be fine to keep, though you will really want to add an SSD as well.

And yes, the GPU will go in the same way it does now, that's fine to keep for as long as you want.

The case may be worth looking at replacing. It depends what you'll ultimately think you'll want to have in your system. You'd likely want additional airflow, and i) the case's fan mounting options are limited and ii) if you were going to spend money to buy several fans for the case, that's already some money that can go to a whole new case with better/ additional fans already installed. And if you're rebuilding the core of the PC now, there's an argument for doing the case at the same time so you don't need to then move it all later when you get (say) a beefier GPU.

For your uses you'd probably be looking at an AMD CPU, e.g. R5 3600 or R7 3700x depending how much you want to spend.

AMD and their partners are about to release a new series of motherboards, B550. The current mainstream boards are B450, with X570 being high end. One of the key features of X570 motherboards is that they offer PCIe 4.0 SSDs. However, B550 will bring that to the mainstream segment, replacing B450. So if you don't mind waiting until June you could go with one of those.

If you were keen to move forward now, something like:

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 3.6 GHz 8-Core Processor ($294.14 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: MSI B450 TOMAHAWK MAX ATX AM4 Motherboard ($114.99 @ Best Buy)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws V 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3600 Memory ($159.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro 512 GB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive ($78.98 @ Amazon)
Case: Phanteks Eclipse P400A Digital ATX Mid Tower Case ($98.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $747.08
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2020-04-25 07:21 EDT-0400


32gb RAM not for gaming, as 16gb is more than fine, but for your productivity uses. While the above isn't necessarily overkill (arguably you could spend more) you can still get a genuinely huge upgrade while considerably spending less.

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600 3.6 GHz 6-Core Processor ($174.15 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: MSI B450 TOMAHAWK MAX ATX AM4 Motherboard ($114.99 @ Best Buy)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws V 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3600 Memory ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Crucial P2 500 GB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive ($64.99 @ B&H)
Case: Phanteks Eclipse P400A Digital ATX Mid Tower Case ($98.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $533.10
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2020-04-25 07:20 EDT-0400


With the 2nd option, it's worth noting that if you did want to massively increase CPU performance down the line, the board is expected to support the 16-core 4000 series CPU. It already supports the 16-core 3000 series. And the case would support closed loop liquid coolers appropriate for that kind of CPU.

Ofc the same is true of the first build, but the difference is you'd have spent less on the first CPU you'd have then replaced. That said, you may be quite unlikely to want to replace either CPU though especially the 3700x, given what you've been getting by on.

Case choice due to good airflow and a white frame, but ofc there are other options out there.
 
Apr 24, 2020
5
3
15
Storage should be fine to keep, though you will really want to add an SSD as well.

And yes, the GPU will go in the same way it does now, that's fine to keep for as long as you want.

The case may be worth looking at replacing. It depends what you'll ultimately think you'll want to have in your system. You'd likely want additional airflow, and i) the case's fan mounting options are limited and ii) if you were going to spend money to buy several fans for the case, that's already some money that can go to a whole new case with better/ additional fans already installed. And if you're rebuilding the core of the PC now, there's an argument for doing the case at the same time so you don't need to then move it all later when you get (say) a beefier GPU.

For your uses you'd probably be looking at an AMD CPU, e.g. R5 3600 or R7 3700x depending how much you want to spend.

AMD and their partners are about to release a new series of motherboards, B550. The current mainstream boards are B450, with X570 being high end. One of the key features of X570 motherboards is that they offer PCIe 4.0 SSDs. However, B550 will bring that to the mainstream segment, replacing B450. So if you don't mind waiting until June you could go with one of those.

If you were keen to move forward now, something like:

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 3.6 GHz 8-Core Processor ($294.14 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: MSI B450 TOMAHAWK MAX ATX AM4 Motherboard ($114.99 @ Best Buy)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws V 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3600 Memory ($159.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro 512 GB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive ($78.98 @ Amazon)
Case: Phanteks Eclipse P400A Digital ATX Mid Tower Case ($98.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $747.08
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2020-04-25 07:21 EDT-0400


32gb RAM not for gaming, as 16gb is more than fine, but for your productivity uses. While the above isn't necessarily overkill (arguably you could spend more) you can still get a genuinely huge upgrade while considerably spending less.

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600 3.6 GHz 6-Core Processor ($174.15 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: MSI B450 TOMAHAWK MAX ATX AM4 Motherboard ($114.99 @ Best Buy)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws V 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3600 Memory ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Crucial P2 500 GB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive ($64.99 @ B&H)
Case: Phanteks Eclipse P400A Digital ATX Mid Tower Case ($98.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $533.10
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2020-04-25 07:20 EDT-0400


With the 2nd option, it's worth noting that if you did want to massively increase CPU performance down the line, the board is expected to support the 16-core 4000 series CPU. It already supports the 16-core 3000 series. And the case would support closed loop liquid coolers appropriate for that kind of CPU.

Ofc the same is true of the first build, but the difference is you'd have spent less on the first CPU you'd have then replaced. That said, you may be quite unlikely to want to replace either CPU though especially the 3700x, given what you've been getting by on.

Case choice due to good airflow and a white frame, but ofc there are other options out there.
True, I think I'm leaning towards the second build then because although I been gaming more recently art and music is still a main priority. One last thing, can I also keep the cpu cooler and power supply I have and put it in the new build as well or will that have to replace those too ? Thanks for the insight again, much appreciated :)
 
Feb 17, 2020
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You didn't say what CPU cooler you have - the part you listed is the graphics card :D

The 3700x will come with a cooler of its own. If your old CPU cooler is the stock CPU cooler that came with the CPU, or a very basic model, then you could keep and use the new stock CPU cooler than comes with the 3700x or 3600. You could always replace the CPU cooler later if you wanted.

Most art music software will benefit more from a new CPU than a new GPU. And from an SSD.

The power supply should be fine for either spec with the current GPU.
 
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